I am endeavoring to take up the habit of listening to the Bible in the mornings when I am getting dressed instead of the news. (This politics business is not a good way to start my day.)
Photo: Norfork River (using a Topaz plug-in, this is actually the bottom of the river; and, no, it did not look like this in person but I do like the effect)
I am finding that Isaiah 55:11 (msg) is so true:
“I (God) don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” GOD’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them."
Even in listening to His Word, I grasped truths like I haven't heard them before. I've read the Bible through; I've studied a great deal; yet there is always more --- even in the familiar.
Today, when listening about the Israelites in Egypt before God sent Moses to bring them out, I heard this in Exodus 1:12:
"But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites."
I believe one lesson I am reminded of from this verse is that God is going to allow oppression to come into my life. That's just a fact. But it is in that very oppression that I am going to grow - to multiply - not only in bearing an abundance of fruit but also, more importantly, it will cause my trust in Him to grow because I will have to depend on Him to survive on the path out of the oppression.
Thank You, Lord, that you are constantly teaching me. I do love to learn (though it is nice when I don't have to learn it the hard way - smile).
Photo: Georgia Aquarium
(Howard"s Thoughts in One Word)
The next time you pass a vineyard laden with a healthy crop of grapes (or any other fruit bearing tree or plant) stop and listen. You will never hear the branches straining or grunting in order to bear delicious fruit. The only requirement of the branch, in order for the farmer to harvest a bountiful crop, is for it to simply abide or remain in the vine.
Jesus says in John 15:5 CEV 'I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me' that His followers will be productive and bear much fruit, not by exertion or grunting but by abiding in Him.
The word abide means to 'dwell down deep within.' Jesus is the Vine; we are the branches. If we are deeply connected to Him, He will cause much fruit to come from our lives."
Confession: I have been stressing instead of abiding. Today, I do believe I will try to do it His way!
FIRST WEEKEND IN OCTOBER:
Rick and I were able to sneak away to enjoy a few little-bit-chilly hours in our kayaks on the North Fork River in Missouri. I experienced something I hadn't ever before --- flipped my kayak (and, no, it wasn't on purpose). I wasn't paying attention because I thought I had gotten through the rapids, so was planning my next shot of a beautiful red tree. Surprise! Big Rock! The right side of my pink kayak slid ever so smoothly over that rock and flipped me --- almost it seemed on purpose. As I grasped to pull myself up out of the water onto my kayak, I was so thankful to see my camera, long lens, phone, and keys go floating by in the dry bag. My first thought was, "It works!!!" My second was "I'm so glad I decided to put my camera up before the rapids;" I almost didn't.
Note to self: "ALWAYS put that camera in the dry bag before rapids. If you want a photo during those rapids, stop and take it from shore."
Had a terrific and fun day despite the soaking.
p.s. Thanks Rick for giving me your sweatshirt but thanks most of all for not laughing. You've learned well, sweetheart.