God is in the Details

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

 Matthew 6:28-30

I stood looking out at the rows of sunflowers their faces upturned to the sky, seeking the warmth and nourishment of the sun. Strolling between the giants I smiled and meditated on the beauty of these unique flowers and their creator. 

The sunflower is much more than just a beautiful flower or a source of food; it is a mathematical demonstration of God. A picture of a deliberate and purposeful creator. Have you taken time to study the face of a sunflower? The seeds of the sunflower form in spirals. If you trace the seeds on the face of the flower, you will see that they spiral to the right and the left from the center. The pattern of seeds within a sunflower follows the Fibonacci sequence, or 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144… If you remember back to math class, each number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers. By counting the number of spirals in each direction, you would find that no matter the size of the sunflower, the ratio is always approximately the same. This number is known as the Golden Ratio and rounds to 1.6. 

You may be asking, so what, it makes a beautiful pattern? Whereas that is true, the purpose is more than just the aesthetic; that ratio enables the most number of seeds to fit on the face of any given sunflower. God, in His wisdom, created this flower to reproduce in the most efficient way possible. There is precisely enough consistent space between the buds for the seeds to mature. God is in every detail of His creation, and His designs are purposeful. If God takes this much care in the arrangement of the seeds of the sunflower, imagine how much more care He takes over you?  

You are important to God.

Typist for Jesus

Summer Fruit

 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,  for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 ESV

The lush green moss provided a comfortable bed for me to stretch out.  I bit into the firm white flesh of the pear, juice sweet and sticky escaped, trickling down my chin.  Through the limbs of the walnut tree, I watched whisp of white float on an unseen current across the summer sky.  Only the sound of an occasional car broke the steady hum of the insects busy at work. My grandmother sat on her milking stool, peeling pears, and apples for a pie.  The sun had risen high glaring down on us and chased us out of the garden and into the cool shade of the ancient walnut, who’s limbs grazed the ground, bent by the clusters of nuts.  She spoke as she made long curls of peel that hit the aluminum pan with a thud, telling us stories of her time in California during the Second World War. Tales of the tenants in their boarding house. Stories of lemon and orange trees at the back steps of the house. Nights filled with laughter and dancing as they clung to that moment, never knowing if the next would come.  My eyes grew big as she told us about sitting around the radio and listening to the war reports, the fear, the wonder, will the enemy touch our shores. As the clouds lazily floated past her stories formed on the stage of my mind. 

 I loved those afternoons under the walnut tree, barefoot, wearing tank tops and shorts.  The cool of the moss, the sweet fruit, and the smell of clean air. That hour or two that we escaped the heat and hid in the hazy shadows.

Life is fleeting, busy, stressful, meaningful, and at times seems meaningless, and we have a way of getting caught in that spiral.  We all have schedules and deadlines; however, do not forget to take pleasure in what God has given you. As Solomon tells us, we were created to enjoy food, drink, each other and our jobs.  God has provided many things for us to enjoy, do not allow yourself to get caught up in the spiral of deadlines, schedules, and worries. Take the time to enjoy the summer fruit.

Typist for Jesus

Finding the Right Path

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6 NIV

Though still morning, the humidity swaddled us in damp that clung to my body and salty beads of sweat stung my eyes. The breeze I had enjoyed earlier had ceased, and the air hung stagnant.  Sunlight filtered through the trees, making a kaleidoscope of green and yellow.  The pine needle littered path absorbed the sound of our footfalls and the cicadas buzzed in the trees filling our ears with their drone. My fellow travelers and I had fallen silent, the three of us seemingly lost in our thoughts plodded in single file through the woods.  I pulled my tube from my camel pack and drank deeply of the cooling water that I carried on my back.  A cacophony of bird song seemed to precede us, no doubt warning the wood’s inhabitants of our presence.  Ahead the trail divided, we stopped to consult the map. It was a divide that came back together further down the trail.  One side was for bikes the other hikers, we took a right, continuing our trek.  However, in the back of my mind, the thought lingered.  Did we read the map correctly?  Will this trail merge again on the path back to the parking lot?   

Life is often the same when we come to a crossroad.  How do we know we have made the right decision or chosen the correct path? Throughout life, we face choices.  Some are life-altering, not just to us but those in our lives.  Other decisions transcend this physical world and extends into the next.  Each of us has a path to follow, and along this pathway, we have decisions and choices that influence the journey.  This path refers to how we choose to live and what we do with our limited time. The Bible has several scriptures that address pathways, decisions, and crossroads.  My personal favorite is Proverbs 3:6.  If we are obedient, and involve God on our choices, consult him on decisions, he has promised to lead us onto straight paths.  The path will not always be easy.  There will be hills, rocks, and dangers, but you will not travel alone.

Typist for Jesus

Fearing What They Think

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25

Hurrying down the hallway, the girl pushed her way into the lunchroom. She found her friends and with a smile as wide and as bright as dawn, she blurted out, “Someone asked me to the dance!”
The table erupted with giggles and chatter and of course the question burning on everyone’s mind. “Well, who is it?”
She leaned back grinning, allowing the tension to build, and when she could no longer contain herself, she whispered his name. Her friends looked from one another and then laughed.
“What?” she asked, her furrowed brow burned with embarrassed heat.
“You mean, you don’t know? He used to eat paste.”
“So all little kids do.” Her voice raised above the din of the midday diners.
“No, I mean like in the sixth and seventh grade. It was weird.”
All the girls begin to laugh. The excitement that just moments ago brimmed drained away replaced by hot tears. She wanted to run back down the hallway and hide. How could she go to the dance with him now? What would all her friends think?

We all care about what people think. We worry about fitting in with people, being accepted. We want everyone to like us, but at what cost?
Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will approve of you, and that is OK. If Jesus had cared about fitting in or making everyone like him, he indeed would have never chosen to die on the cross with common criminals so that you could have eternal life. He would have hung around the Pharisees, but instead, he chose the tax collectors, fishers, prostitutes, a crowd of women, a doctor and a guy that ran around in camel skins and ate bugs (Matt. 3:4).

Proverbs 29:25 reads, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” What does that verse mean? It has nothing to do with being afraid in the sense that we think of the word “fear,” but rather, it means “to fear the disapproval of man.” This verse deals with our insecurities. Worrying about what others think is a snare. The word snare refers to the traps a hunter sets to catch small animals and birds. Allowing ourselves to worry what people think entraps us in fear, doubt, and gags us. Do not focus on what people think. Instead, put your trust in the Lord.

Typist for Jesus

Set yourself free from fear of what they think.

Stolen Joy

andgive no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:27

I sent a text to myparents Friday afternoon.  It read, “Ihave had more wins than loses this week, so I count the week a win.”  I indeed had enjoyed a fairly positive weekhowever, there had been one incident that preyed on my thoughts.  No matter how much I tried to focus on thepositives of the week that one failure kept nagging me.  Before I knew it my mood clouded and I letall my attention fall on that one event. 

How easily we allow our joy to be stolen.  In all that was accomplished, I found no satisfaction because I could not let the one insignificant event go.  That is exactly what the enemy wants.  He wants to refocus my thoughts on the negative, things that encourage resentment, anxiety, anger and frustration.  The weight of these emotions cause my spirit to sink and then the negative voices begin to whisper in my mind.  What do we do when this happens?  We steer our thoughts to Jesus.  Consciously breathe, soften your body, relax and then put up your hand and say, “I’m not going down that road.  I am choosing to focus on Jesus and keeping my joy!” 

Feelings of resentment,anxiety, fear, anger and frustration are not of God.  They are from the enemy and he will dowhatever he can to bring you down and burden you.  If you are burden and your spirit low, youare unable to lift up those around you. If you are filled with joy then it is easier for you to accomplish yourspiritual mission, which is to glorify God by spreading love and light.

Do not let the enemysteal your joy!

Typistfor Jesus!