“I Would Take a Bullet For Her”

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Trenton’s wisdom is deep for such a young boy.  In describing his love for Lindsay, his sister, Trenton shared, “I would take a bullet for her.”  As he regained his composure after getting choked up, he added “She’s my best friend.  I would do anything for her.  My life would be nothing without her.”  These are not trite statements they emanate from his heart.

Lindsay has spinal muscular atrophy yet from her motorized chair she beams when she describes her older brother.  His example of love if followed would change the world!  Watch their story at https://youtu.be/9PM6uX4yGp4 and make sure to have Kleenex handy!

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MEDITATION ON 1 THESSALONIANS 4:9

1 Thessalonians 4:9—About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.

Jesus took a bullet for us in large spikes and wooden beams.  This ultimate sacrifice was God’s greatest lesson on love.  Before dying, Jesus’ daily sacrifice painted what brotherly love looks like.  “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).  If we are not periodically moved by His monumental devotion we are surely bewitched by the wrong things.

I would take a bullet for you.  My life was purchased by the blood of my Savior.  His love is what founds, fuels, and fires my ability to care.  Therefore it would be an honor to lay down my life as a brother for you.  It is an honor to serve you.  I identify with Paul, “I have become its servant [the church], according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known” (Colossians 1:25).

Brotherly and sisterly love is the stuff of champions.   When you model love, you leave a stamp on lives that no soap can wash away.  Never tire of doing the simple acts of service to help others.  “I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and faith toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints” (Philemon 4,5).  Thanks for making a difference and for your willingness to take the bullet.  [1]

INSPIRATION FROM DOUG POLLOCK

Love is a commitment you make to act in someone else’s best interest.  True love can only be known by the actions that it prompts.—Doug Pollock in God Space

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[1] ©2015 Daniel York  ARR.  Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause.  If you would like to receive these devotionals go to http://www.firstcause.org and click on the “GET THE LATEST REVERATION FROM DANIEL YORK” box.  Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

The Story of All Things New

All Things New

“Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

This is the first time we have lived next door to farmland and I’ve grown to appreciate the barren fields of a farmer’s life. To be unabashedly honest, when we first moved here, I would drive by those fields and glance at them with a disinterested nod. Oddly, I’m beginning to see the beauty in those flat treeless fields with straight lines of plowed earth.

All Things New

We moved here mid summer during a scorching heat wave with record-breaking high temps that made Arizona seem a cool place to be. The farm lands looked depressed lined with dead dry stalks. Then fall arrived with a picture book view of splendorous colors surrounding the brown fields. My husband and I began to prepare ourselves for the biting chill of winter soon to arrive. There was great delight when the harsh gray days were brightened by the sparkling glare of white snow covering those acres of barren fields.

Finally, spring is here. Trees are beginning to bud, daffodils splash bright yellow and orange colors surrounding strong leafless oaks and front lawns are bursting new with the fresh green color of vibrant life. The colors remind me that the fields are waiting for harvest to come. It reminds me that what God has promised, will indeed come true, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)

I can’t wait for God to make all things new. For those barren fields to show new life, ready for the harvest. I can’t wait for God to make all things new in our lives, which can seem at times like a barren field. It is good to have our hearts turned and plowed. To feel the tug of the Holy Spirit groaning in our prayers; our efforts to grow are delayed by drought. Our hope is in the Lord, as we worship Him, to make all things new.

All Things New

I’ve been reading through the book of Ruth over and over again. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read this book and every time I finish reading it, I have a deep contented feeling, to inhale and exhale a deep hopeful sigh of relief and joy. In terms of storytelling, the story of Ruth begins with tragedy…pain, sadness, and bitterness yet it’s one of the most beautifully written love stories in the Bible that shows the providence of God; demonstrating his glory by way of his justice, kindness, and faithfulness to keep his promise, to make all things new.

There is a famine in the land. The barren fields have gone through the seasons of waiting for a harvest…a season of new things that will not come. There will be no harvest until there is a change in the people’s heart to love God and desire to honor him more than anything else. So much time goes by and the barren fields become parched, cracked and dead from lack of rain. This harsh reality and existence takes the lives of three men. The wives of these men, Ruth, her sister-in-law, Orpah and her mother-in-law, Naomi, have become widowed.

What begins as a heartbreaking story ends as a fairy tale of living happily ever after, only this is not a fairy tale, although I imagine that Ruth had hopes that her dreams of a knight in shining armor would come true. Finally, there is celebration and delight in worshiping the one true God. The rains came.

God causes the rain to pour down and the place where barren fields once were are now rich with all things new. Eventually, Ruth and her mother-in-law travel back to the place where God has deliberately shown that He is in control.

Through the providence of God, Ruth meets her “knight in shining armor” by way of a brave and courteous announcement of her presence. God has been designing this introduction for many years already. I love the fact that God writes a magnificent love story! While reading this awesome story, I pray to become more like Ruth. To live my life story in anticipation of God making all things new. I appreciate Ruth’s bravery to glean from the harvest that God has caused to grow. She is bold and self-confident and trusts a wiser and older woman, Naomi, to coach her. I value her humbleness in listening to wise counsel.

As the story of Ruth unfolds, we read that she left her home for a greater purpose. Even though Ruth had no idea what was before her, she packed up and moved because she believed God had called her to something greater…the “something greater” was to worship God alone. Ruth met her beloved kinsman redeemer, her knight in shining armor while gleaning from the harvest that occurred after a dry season of barren drought. God rescued her by providing a “knight in shining armor”…a redeemer! I  love this picture of God’s ultimate kindness and grace towards us.

This causes me to ponder…

I place myself into the story of Ruth. I am rescued.

When the fields are barren, this is the time to worship God.

When I glean from the fields, this is the time to worship God.

The story of Ruth begins with barren fields and ends with rich crops of grain and a bountiful harvest. A love lost and a love found. She ventures by faith to meet her kind redeemer and through God’s providence becomes linked, in a very significant way, to the genealogy of Christ.

This is me. This is us. We are, by God’s providence, linked to Christ. We are living every day experiencing God making all things new.

All Things New

The Flight of the Butterfly

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

In order to live, a butterfly must fight its way out of the cocoon on its own. It is only through this struggle that it gains the strength in its body to move its wings and fly.

Life is like a butterfly – You go through changes before you become something beautiful.

The following are photos of one particular butterfly I spotted while vacationing last year at the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While the views of the beautiful resort are breathtaking in grandeur, I found myself captivated with following one particular butterfly gracefully move, carefree from one hanging pot of Impatiens to another.

So many hanging pots of flowers and so little time for a butterfly to taste the sweetness.

I wondered how long this beautiful fluttering of wings would last.

“You can only chase a butterfly for so long.”
― Jane Yolen, Prince Across the Water

Once upon a time, we had a Golden Retriever puppy. The cutest little puppy ever! Finding the right name for the newest member of our family was very important yet none of us could agree on the right name…until that day while in our backyard, our puppy began chasing a butterfly. The dog was running and jumping and zigging and zagging chasing the butterfly all about. That’s it! We had a name for our best friend to be. We named him, Chase.

I chuckled considering that I was running (not so much jumping) but definitely zigging and zagging to chase after this butterfly! Finally, it stopped for refreshment…I was ready for some, too.

Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies ~The Little Prince

This butterfly has certainly done its fair share of work! Flitting from one landing pad to the next, searching for the best nectar.

“…butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  And everyone deserves a little sunshine. ” ~Jeffrey Glassberg

We should bask in the sunshine of God’s grace and goodness. We should notice God’s power through the tenacious strength of a butterfly. Count the moments you have each day to experience the Lord’s presence, to be strengthened by his grace. For the more your heart is strengthened by grace the more it will beat for God’s glory.

These photos are borrowed from my photo blog, Remember the Year, a scrapbook and journal of visual memories. I hope you will visit there soon. http://photolog365.wordpress.com

Winter Inspiration

Patchwork Barn

Patchwork Barn

Red Barn

Brown and Red Barn

Our God manifests Himself in our mangers and muck, our mundane and mess. Ours is the God manifesting Himself in the unlikely and unbearable, in the surprise and the second-chance. The God Who bears the burdens and brings the hope. ~Ann Voskamp

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“Listen to your life.
See it for the fathomless mystery it is.
In the boredom and pain of it,
no less than in the excitement and gladness:
touch, taste, smell your way
to the holy and hidden heart of it,
because in the last analysis
all moments are key moments,
and life itself is grace.”
~Frederich Buechner

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I prefer winter and fall, 
when you feel the bone structure of the landscape–
the loneliness of it, 
the dead feeling of winter.  
Something waits beneath it, 
the whole story doesn’t show.
~Andrew Wyeth

Bare Trees in Winter
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Weeds in unison
Move with the sun
Balancing the snow

Overcoming Stress

Denver, CO

I am so thankful that God lavishes his love and grace on me and continues to turn my affections toward him. More Grace!

This is one of my favorite quotes.

“I would propose that we sit down, often and for longer periods of time, and let Jesus shine a light in our hearts on the idols we harbor. His love, kindness, and desire for us to be whole will reveal what lies deep within and does not belong. He will haul these idols out and turn our affections toward him.”

“Is our Stress Rooted in Invisible Idols” by Greg Gelburd. Resurgence.