Saturday, October 14, 2017

Monarch Butterflies

Here in South Texas it is time for the Monarch Butterfly migration.  I found only this one lone monarch today, but I wanted to share it with my friends around the world. I hope you enjoy and are reminded of the graciousness and glorious artistry of our Mighty God.

© Joyce Powell

Thursday, October 12, 2017

When I Am Afraid

When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
Psalm 56:3-4

In recent weeks, we have witnessed tragedy after tragedy; earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and mass murder. Our nightly news brings headlines of all kinds of tragedy from around our world. Anger and fear permeate news story after news story. If you and I do not proactively fight against it, depression and despair can overtake our thoughts and actions.

Having given my life to God through Christ Jesus I know I am anchored safely between Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God…” and Revelation 22:20 where Christ tells us, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  God remains in control of all things.

In John 16:33, Jesus tells us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Many theologians believe that as David penned the words of Psalm 56, he was fleeing from King Saul who wanted to take David’s life. Yet, amid great fear, David trusted God. He understood that no matter what King Saul might do to him, ultimately his life remained safe in the hands of God.

So, it is with you and me. Believer or non-believer. Young or old. Faithful follower of Christ or one who practices casual Christianity. God is sovereign over all life. Do you want peace in the midst of fear? Trust in God through Jesus Christ. Get to know your Creator. As you read His Word, He walks through the pages. Listen!  He still speaks! And in these tumultuous times you and I, like David, can know that when we are afraid, He is trustworthy.

After all, if I am a Child of God, “what can mortal man do to me?”

© Joyce Powell

Friday, September 8, 2017

Beyond My Imagination

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen,
nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love
him”—these things God has revealed to us
through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches
everything, even the depths of God.
                             1 Corinthians 2:9-10 

Several years ago friends, a female trio, asked me to write a song about what we would see in heaven. I agreed—under one condition. I asked each of them to write down and mail to me their expectations of heaven. With the promise that they would not share with the others but with me alone, I began receiving their letters.

I read, I smiled, I wept, and I wrote Glimpses of Home. Although these young women spent a lot of time together and each loved the Lord, as evidenced by the way they lived their lives, their views of heaven and what they were looking forward to seeing were individual and exciting expectations.

Why—because the heart of man cannot imagine the splendor and wonder our Heavenly Father has prepared for us. It is beyond our earthly comprehension. Heaven is beyond our imagination!

As a young Christian, I looked forward to streets of gold, gates of pearl and walls of jasper. Now, I just want to sit at the feet of Jesus, to lay my crown of righteousness before the throne of God, to sing with the redeemed in perfect harmony—I am redeemed by love divine glory glory Christ is mine! I want to worship God!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 confirms that God has planted eternity in the hearts of man. We have a longing to see Him. We know there is more than what our earthly life offers. As His children, we anxiously await our reunion in heaven. Occasionally, as when my mother was dying, God gives us glimpses of home by allowing our loved ones to speak aloud what they are seeing. But it seems that it is always just enough to intensify our longing to see for ourselves.

Some day God will call each of us into eternity, and we will see with our eyes what our hearts and minds have only imagined. I know one thing for sure! Heaven is “bright and clear.” The rest is beyond my imagination.  

©Joyce Powell

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Glory of God

1The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens, God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Psalm 19:1-6 NIV

On this day of solar eclipse, it is good to remember the Son, Creator of all that is (John 1:1-2) as we look up and see the sun and moon dance across the heavens.

© Joyce Powell

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

God is in Control

Jesus answered, "You would have no power over
me if it were not given to you from above..."

John 19:11a

In John 19, the Bible shows Pilate handing Jesus over to be crucified after asking Him this question. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?" Jesus' answer was short and direct, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above."

Each time I read this my heart is filled with gratitude knowing that nothing, absolutely nothing, can come into my life unless God allows it. Why? Because I am a child of God, a follower of Christ, an heir to the Royal Kingdom. I belong to the Father. And the great news is my Father is the Creator of all that is. My Father is Eternal...from before time as we know it and after time as we know it has passed away. My Father is Sovereign. He has all authority over everything in heaven and on earth. My Father is Omnipotent; powerful beyond man's wildest imaginations. My Father is Omnipresent; wherever I am, He is. 

And besides all of that, My Father is loving, holy, good, just, merciful, patient, faithful, and so much more.

Therefore, I can be at peace during chaos, at rest amid turmoil, and secure in the midst of doubt because I know He deeply loves me. He gave me Jesus. His Spirit of love is in my heart. (Romans 5:5, 8:39; 1 John 3:16, 4:19)

God knows me. (Romans 8:29; 2 Timothy 2:19)

I am taken care of. (John 6:37, Philippians 1:6, 4:19)

He is in control. Whatever touches me, has come through the hands of my Father. I am in His care and like Jesus said to Pilate I can say to all those who come against me-unless my Father gives you permission, you cannot hurt me.

And, I can have confidence in knowing that if my Father grants the evil one permission to come against me, he may mean it for evil, but God will use it for good.

If you have not yet accepted Christ as Savior, I am praying for you. God loves you (John 3:16) But your sin separates you from Him. (Romans 3:23, 6:23) But God, in love, made a provision for sinful man to reach the One and Only Holy God. (Romans 5:8) It is up to you to respond to the love of God. (Romans 10:9-10)

I pray that is also your testimony. I pray you have been rescued, ransomed, and redeemed by the blood of Jesus and born into the Kingdom of God. If you have, then you can join me in the blessed assurance that whatever comes our way there is no need to fear, stress, worry, or complain because our God is in control. 

© Joyce Powell

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Praise the LORD

It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to your name,
O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning 
and your faithfulness at night...

Psalm 92:1-2

I pray your today is blessed and beautiful in Him.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Living on Borrowed Time

For everything there is a season, and a
time for every matter under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Like you, I have often heard the phrase “living on borrowed time.” We think of someone who survived a tragedy that should have ended in death yet that person walked away. We think of a friend or relative who had a massive heart attack and should have died yet to the surprise of a myriad of medical personnel, they survived. We think of someone who has battled cancer and survived over and over and over and we say—living on borrowed time.

But in reality, each of us lives on time borrowed from our Heavenly Father. He placed us right where we are for a season, a purpose, a reason, and when our purpose has been fulfilled, He will call us back to Himself and we will stand before Him to give an account of how we used our precious borrowed time.

Some live decades of time; some only hours or days. Yet even the infant who comes and goes quickly on this earth has fulfilled God’s plan for that tiny life. Time is a blessing! We cannot afford to take one moment for granted. Satan will try to lull you into thinking that there is plenty of time to accomplish God’s plan for your life—to live like Scarlett O’Hara in "Gone With The Wind" and to think about it tomorrow

But tomorrow may not come. Like thousands who went to work in New York City on September 11th expecting the day to progress normally, this day could be your last—my last.

What is on your “bucket list?” Does it include a list of souls you would like to see brought into the Kingdom of God? Pray for the opportunity to invest in the lives of those people. Do you desire to travel? Don’t forget the clerk in the store, the cab driver, the single mother struggling with luggage and three small children—she might need Jesus! 

I need to improve my use of time—laying aside the superficial and looking ahead to the “mark of the high calling” that God places on the lives of His children. What will you do while you are living on borrowed time?

©JP 2013