ONE ANGEL,TWO SIMILAR MESSAGES, TWO OPPOSITE RESPONSES

P1080033The book of Luke opens with the angel Gabriel appearing to Zacharias, an elderly priest, and to a young girl, possibly in her early teens, named Mary. In both instances he tells of the coming of a baby, one unexpected, the other looked for through several centuries. Both recipients were astonished at the angel’s appearance. Both asked a question. But how different were the motives of these questions and how different the angel’s response.

Zacharias had been chosen by lot to offer incense in the temple. As he was doing this, Gabriel comes to him. He tells him that his wife, Elisabeth, is going to have a son in her old age. He gives details about this child. How does Zacharias respond? He is afraid.

His question: How will I know for certain? He did not believe. He was filled with doubt. He wanted proof. I suppose you could say he got his proof, but not in the way he expected. He became deaf and mute until John was born.

On the other hand, when the angel comes to Mary, she responds in faith. Her question: How will this be since I am a virgin? She only wanted instruction as to what to expect. She believed Gabriel. The angel answered her question and told her all the details of how this miracle would take place.

Gabriel makes a third appearance–to Joseph, engaged to Mary. His first response when he heard of Mary’s pregnancy was to secretly divorce her to save her the public shame. But after Gabriel comes to him in a dream, he follows the instructions given to him and takes Mary as his wife.

One would expect the elder to have more faith than the younger. A priest should not doubt God where youth may not have lived long enough to gain that strength of faith. But here we find just the opposite.

We have no idea how these three people felt about the messages divinely brought to them. I’m sure if an angel suddenly appeared before us we would be afraid. If the message was something impossible to happen in the natural, we might doubt. But if the message was as great as that to Mary about the birth of the Christ-child, I think we might feel very humble and wonder how we could possibly carry out such an undertaking. Joseph must have wondered about taking a pregnant woman supposedly carrying the coming Messiah and how he could possible have a part in the fulfillment of this prophecy.

How often does the Lord send His messengers to us at unexpected times? How do we respond? Do we doubt, or receive by faith? Do we want proof, or do we want instruction as to the how-to?

These people were ordinary people, not kings or noblemen or famous or particularly gifted. But they were chosen by God for a specific purpose. He supplied them with everything they needed to carry out His will. We need not fear even the greatest task given by the Lord because He knows what He is doing. He always equips where He calls. And He is with us always to help us along the way.

With another year ending and a new one just ahead, let’s choose to respond like Mary and believe, receive and carry out God’s will for us on a day-to-day basis so that when those big things come along unexpectedly we will be ready to say a resounding “Yes!” to the Lord. And we will hear His “Well done, good and faithful servant” when we have finished the final task.

I pray God’s blessing on you. May you have a prosperous and healthy 2019.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. I appreciate all of you. And please take a moment to leave a comment in the box below before leaving. If you are not already following my blog, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Follow” button at the top of this page to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. Have a wonderful day. And a very Happy New Year! God bless.

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WHAT DOESN’T GO IN CAN’T COME OUT

P1070059The ability to love and the need to be loved is inherent in every human being from birth. Like the baby bird waiting in the nest with its mouth wide open for the next morsel of food from its mother, so from the time we are babies our souls are wide open, waiting for that love to be poured in.

But what happens to that little bird if the mother doesn’t return to the nest? Quite obviously it will die in the safety of its home in the tree. The safe place cannot help keep it alive. So with humans. If love is not poured in on a constant basis, the soul withers. Something dies within. It happens in that place called home where safety and protection is expected. When love is wanting, life is wanting. Where love is not experienced, love cannot be given. As an empty glass is not a supply for a thirsty person; an empty soul cannot give out what it does not have within.

Where children are dearly loved by parents, an inner confidence takes root, a sense of completeness, a feeling of worth develops. When we are loved, we are able to love in return. What comes in can also go out. To love others brings great joy. To be loved is to be blessed beyond measure.Eddie and Mikey 2008 011

Is there hope for the unloved? Absolutely. Just look at scripture. There is not one person on whom the Lord does not pour His love. Whether we realize it or not, even if we are completely alone in this world, we are loved. But we have to open our hearts to this love if we want to benefit from it, if we desire to ‘feel’ loved. We must open our whole being to the Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to have the ownership of our lives. As His love pours into us, we can, in turn, pour out that same love to others.

Let love, the agape love of God, flow like a river into your spirit and out again. You will find fulfillment and satisfaction in healthy living by allowing His love to wash over you, fill you and flow out to envelop all with whom you come in contact.

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Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my blog. Please leave a comment in the box below and let me know your thoughts on this subject. If you are not already following me, I hope you will take a moment and click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of future posts. I appreciate you taking your time to visit here. Please drop by again. Have a wonderful day. May you be blessed of the Lord.

MOANING AND MOURNING

Copy of P1070930You know the type. Woe is me! They moan and groan that nothing works for them, no one ever does anything for them, they’re so ill-used and nobody understands how they feel. I’m sure you’ve met them. Nothing is ever right. The world, in their opinion, owes them something and is not handing over what it owes. Complaints are the main course of dinner, and for dessert there’s criticism sometimes topped with a few expletives. These people do little and expect much in return.

After “dinner” comes the mourning. They mourn lost opportunities, past failures, unfulfilled dreams. These folk specialize in negative words, probably know more of them than the average person. Death spews out of their mouths like water out of a fountain. Selfishness and self-seeking and ownership issues are at the root of it. And often just pure laziness.

The wisest man that ever lived said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (King Solomon – Proverbs 18:21). If only they knew it, these ‘downtrodden’ souls are killing themselves. Their words bring death every time they open their mouths. If only they could see things as they really are! From God’s viewpoint. Then they would say with David, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end Copy of P1100028that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.”

We need to be constantly on our guard where our mouths are concerned. If we recorded our conversations, I wonder how often we would catch a negative statement or even just a word. How many times would a negative attitude be evident? I cry with David, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

Instead of mourning what can never be or what has been done in the past that can’t be undone, let’s make a decision to live this moment with a positive attitude, think positive thoughts, speak positive words. Let’s mourn for our past negative attitudes, repent and put them behind us, then get to work making a permanent change. Let’s determine to bring life, not death, wherever we go–to ourselves and to others.

It’s never easy to overcome negativity. I know–I’ve had to do it myself in some areas of my life. For years I lived with an inferiority complex. I thought I would never feel any other way, but with the Lord in my life, it has been conquered. I think less and less in the negative, more and more in the positive. It’s freedom! It’s believing God who will never fail rather than myself with all my failures.

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With a positive attitude, we have the whole world in our hands.

Now I don’t look at those failures. They’re in the past. Gone. Done deals. Can’t be changed, so I’ll leave them there while I extract the lessons I have learned. Not to say I’ll never fail again, because I will, but I don’t focus on the possibility of failure. I have this new, fresh moment to live and I will live it for the Lord. My health and happiness depend on my positive attitude. I desire to live unselfishly, giving to others, giving to God without looking for anything in return. In this is blessing. And in this, in the long run, there will be great return. The ROI (return on investment) is out of this world. I’m looking forward to claiming it, but in the meantime I’m looking forward to each new moment the Lord gives to me. My mourning has been turned into dancing. No more moaning; no more mourning. Just dancing, singing and praise. (Actually, the dancing is just in my spirit. I have never been an actual dancer though I love to watch others dance.) We will have the world in our hands. Now that’s what I call a recipe for a healthy lifestyle!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit. You are most welcome to come back any time. And I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment in the box below and let me know what you think about the post. Do you have anything to add? Anything to share? I would love to hear from you. And if you are not already following my blog, I hope you will take a moment to click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. I have been busy getting my books published over the past month or so and have not written many new posts. They are now both on Amazon just in time for Christmas giving. I will try to be a little more consistent again. I wish you joy and peace and love every day, but especially during this Christmas season. May the Lord bless you abundantly in every way.

WORDS OR SWORDS?

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Take time making decisions.

Making decisions on the spur of the moment without taking time to reflect in silence can be a dangerous move, unless it is an emergency situation that needs an instant response. Otherwise, it signifies lack of planning. It’s a careless action that often reaps a disastrous reaction. And if we don’t take a little time to reflect in silence, we cannot judge wisely.

When something unexpected happens we often react to it in confusion, frustration, anger, rather than act with an intelligent response. When we react in anger we don’t use reason, and we take the chance of flinging out words that bring death rather than life. If you take “WORDS” and switch the “S” from the end to the beginning you have “SWORD”. Hasty words can kill the spirit just as easily as a sword can kill the body.

Don’t risk destroying life for the sake of saving time by making quick decisions.

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Death or life?

Take time to think over and plan around the circumstances you face. Spend some quiet moments in intelligent reflection before you act. And don’t be afraid to listen to godly advice from those you trust.  It may mean the difference between living your dream and having to bury it.

We are getting very close to the beginning of another new year, 2019. I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I think a good decision we could all make would be to take time to think before we take action. Make sure our decisions are sound. Make sure our words will not bring harm to the people in our lives. The Bible talks about turning swords into plowshares. I say let’s turn our sharp words (swords) into gentle words that bring life and joy and healing.

I thank you again for taking the time to stop by and read my thoughts. I would really appreciate it if you would leave me a comment in the box below. And if you are not yet following me, please consider clicking on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of each new post. Have a wonderful day filled with God’s blessings.

THE STORY BEHIND THE MOUNTAIN

Shadows in my Valley New coverThere is a story behind the photo on the cover of one of my upcoming books–“Shadows in My Valley”.

When I design my book covers, I like to use my own photography, but for this one I didn’t have many pictures of mountains. I have a few prints from my 35mm camera that I took in Western Canada back in 1981, but none of them really fit what I was looking for.

So I decided to get creative. I wasn’t sure at first how I would accomplish it or whether it would even work, but I am very happy with the final result.

I take pictures of all sorts of things in all sorts of places. I think I took the original of this one purposely to see if I could re-create it into a mountain for my cover.

One winter several years ago we had a lot of snow. It was piled up on the roadsides, in our parking lot, everywhere. So here is the original photo I took and then “doctored” up to end up on my cover design.

Copy of P1080104Can you find the ‘mountain’? It is simply a pile of snow pushed there by the snowplow. I’m still surprised at how I was able to remove everything I didn’t want, but was very pleased with how it turned out. What do you think?

Thank you for stopping by to visit. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment in the box below. If you are not already following me, please consider clicking on the “Follow” button at the top to get e-mail updates as I post new articles. If you have a few minutes, I hope you will browse the other posts here and that you will find something that you will enjoy.

I hope you have a wonderful day. May God bless you with everything you need.

WHATEVER IT TAKES?

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Don’t be unwise in your actions.

 

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ll do whatever it takes”? Have you ever said this of something you want more than anything in life? Do you think it is a healthy attitude? What has been your experience, either personal or in someone you know who has taken this attitude?

First, I want to say that no matter how badly I need or want something, I am not willing to “do anything” to get it. “Anything” is a pretty big category. “Anything” could mean…anything!

 

 

What I am not willing to do:

I am not willing to compromise my principles or my faith.

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I am not willing to sacrifice what is precious.

I am not willing to do anything illegal.

I am not willing to sacrifice what is most precious in my life.

I am not willing to ride over others, to knock them down, to use them simply for my own benefit.

I am not willing to look at others merely as instruments to be discarded after I have gained what I want from them.

I do not want to succeed if I can’t take others with me and show them how to succeed. No, I am not willing to “do whatever it takes”.

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I am willing to be kind and helpful where needed.

What I am willing to do:

I am willing to work.

I am willing to ask for help.

I am willing to teach others what I have learned.

I am willing to live out my dream, to keep seeking it if I haven’t found it yet.

I am willing to ask for guidance and direction when I am unsure of myself.

I am willing to learn new things.

I am willing to make changes where change is necessary to my success.

Remember, success cannot be measured merely on a financial basis. Zig Ziglar once said, “I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”

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I’m willing to work with integrity.

Integrity is a must. If we do not operate on ethical principles and methods, eventually we will find others treating us in the same manner we treat them—unethically and without integrity. We may just find ourselves alone out there with no friends, no support. But when we reach out a hand to someone in need, there will be someone there to reach out a hand when we are in need. We will have lasting friendships and wonderful, caring business associates.

That is the true measure of success.

Thought for the day: No success is worth jeopardizing friendships, principles, faith, integrity. That is not success.

Prayer: Lord, show us Your ideal for success, the standard You would have us to live up to in order to attain success as You see it. May we never abandon that which has eternal worth for what has merely temporal worth. Help us to get our priorities straight and to consider the consequences of our actions in our working for success. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Thank you so much for stopping by to read my post. I hope you found it worth your time. If you can spare a little more time, please browse through my other articles to see if you can find something of interest to you. I would really appreciate it if you would leave me a comment in the box below. And if you are not following this blog, please take a moment to click on the “Follow” button to receive e-mail updates for each new post. I wish you a healthy, happy day. God bless.

RETURN FLIGHT

Sunset 005Monday August 15 dawns wet and foggy. The plane is half an hour late because of headwinds, but I don’t mind. I enjoy watching people in airports. There is a couple from London sitting on the same bench, and an elderly man from the Toronto area, and we begin to chat. Finally, at 3:20 p.m., we are called to board flight 561. We taxi out onto the runway for what seems a very long way, but we must wait for another plane to take off. Now it is our turn. We take off smoothly and rise into a dense cloud where it seems we are floating in the midst of a silent sea of white mist. I see only the wing of the plane. I know we are still climbing, but there is no touch-point to detect the ascent. We break through above the heaviest cloud and everything suddenly becomes scintillating radiance, even though there is but a small expanse of watery blue, more cloud than clear. The blue ‘window’ through which the sun beams its bright rays is opening wider before us. From my seat, I can only catch a glimpse of it. Below are hills and valleys of dull white with grey shadows. It is like a vast frozen barrenness, snow piled in huge mounds broken by bottomless chasms.

We are traveling at an altitude of 20,582 feet and a speed of 404 mph. Suddenly we emerge into Copy of P1080441a fresh new world. Thick cloud has been replaced by a very thin veil sprinkled with countless cotton balls. A large river winds its way haphazardly over a dark backdrop. Fields and big buildings appear. As I watch the changing landscape I notice large luminous regions that seem to hover in the expanse below us. They are shimmering with rainbow color as if they were alive. Soon they disappear and again I see only a sea of ever- thickening cloud. We come out above it and the horizon of cloud is sharply visible below a clear, deep blue heaven. Again it is an ice-bound arctic fairyland, a solid mass of white-grey with long streaks of deeper grey shadow.

We come to a clearing and I look down on what I assume is a forest set in the middle of hundreds of acres of orderly, geometric fields. Rivers snake along; buildings dot the landscape. Roads straight as a rod cut through the fields. Wisps of mist, like a stream of jet exhaust, trail, not behind some aircraft, but behind small, dense bundles of cloud. In the distance, the terrain takes on the appearance of shadows cast by giant trees, branches leafless and spreading over the landscape in every direction. A series of smaller oblong fields comes into view, and looks unexpectedly similar to the keys on a xylophone. Huge lakes appear. They look like mud puddles from this height. Everything appears uncluttered.

Fields gradually fade into the distance and are eventually hidden by a bumpy sky-scape of little white mounds glistening in the sun. A major river changes shape and size. It looks, in places, like a pair of giant reptiles writhing across the earth. The river ends in a huge lake that, from my viewpoint, is curiously shaped like a bird preparing to take flight. More irregularly-shaped lakes, milky marble and tan, are scattered over the terrain. Some are swirling hues of sombre grey, creamy white and cold steel-blue. Fields, splotched with green pock marks, stretch like disease-riddled flesh across the landscape. Here the heavens are a deeper Prussian blue. It is like being on another planet with no visible life outside the aircraft. Puffs of cloud now mushroom out of a flatter overcast area like huge bubbles surfacing in a boiling vat of soapy water. In the distance are gigantic mountains of whipped cream.

Suspended within the window glass, I discover a tiny metal tube about one-sixteenth of an inchMore pics from Waterworks Park, etc. 145 in diameter, perhaps less. Frost is accumulating on the outside of the window and directly opposite this little tube is a perfectly clear circle surrounded by a dense formation of sparkling crystals creating a half-inch-wide band. Small spikes radiate from the outer edge fashioning a stylized sun of crushed diamonds.

Cities and smaller communities relieve the checker-board monotony. Roads extend unswerving into the indistinct distance. A four-lane highway arcs around what looks like farm buildings and forest, only to straighten again, then form cloverleafs–on and on until it disappears below the aircraft. Another river wildly snakes and loops in a tortuous path for countless miles until it, too, disappears towards the horizon.

Clouds take on peculiar, life-like shapes–a giant with his chin leaning in his hand, a sleeping man, a dog laying on its back with all fours pointing to the heaven above, laughing in ecstasy at the idea of floating so freely above the earth. Another dog, carefree, floats on a sea of nothingness. Volcano-like eruptions of foam boil up from cotton candy cloud. A child in the midst of a back flip hangs upside down, suspended in empty space. Billowing cloud, solid in appearance, bewitches me into imaging myself sinking into the luxurious softness of a feather bed.

P1070819We are climbing higher, though at a slightly slower speed, over another thick blanket of cloud, but I can see farther than ever into the distance ahead. As we glide past it, a vast forest spreads below us. A field in the middle of squares and rectangles, curved at top and bottom, forms an oval with squared-off ends. Other fields are interspersed within virgin land and pristine forest. There are now more lakes than land, too numerous to count. What appears to be a small community of white-roofed buildings on a narrow strip of land spreads out in a long ribbon reminiscent of toothpaste squeezed carelessly from its tube.

A large body of water with a few inlets and no visible islands comes into view. It arches in a very smooth, gentle curve along much of its northern shore. I spot another plane headed in the opposite direction. It is so far away that it looks like a fly making a beeline towards its next meal. Looking back as I follow its path, I am dazzled by the lakes which have suddenly been magically transformed into exquisite pools of pure gold spilled randomly over the landscape. The sun’s reflection is almost blinding on the smooth, mirrored surfaces.

Thin, wispy haze hovers above a motionless, opaque mass of cloud. We are climbing again. I look down on several layers of varying density through a thinly translucent film of mist. Still we climb. Shadow covers much of the land because of the cloud suspended above it. Where land is visible, geometric shapes appear again, some small, some large, some irregular, some, to the naked eye, perfect. We are flying at an altitude of 42,190 feet. Surprisingly, buildings are still visible, though nothing more than tiny white dots and dashes as though made by a child playing with a piece of chalk. So many layers, shapes, and types of cloud form a fascinating scene. Whimsical little tufts resemble a forest of snow-covered trees observed from above. Still we climb into ever-changing panoramas. The only constant is the wing of the plane sporting the dark blue WestJet.com on the tip.

We are now flying over Wisconsin, south of Lake Superior, and heading for Lake Michigan, Sunset 010north of Green Bay. Earlier we passed over North Dakota and Minnesota. We crossed above the Canada/US border somewhere east of Montana. I can see the main body of Lake Michigan as we fly over it. It has become a little hazy below. Though I cannot see much detail at this height, I am still able to detect the occasional tiny white dot of a roof. A three-quarter moon hangs high up in the blue beyond. We have reached 42,694 feet, about the highest altitude of the flight. Endless snowfields of creamy-gold cloud banks are shadowed with soft grey-blue as the sun shines from behind us. The view through my window suddenly takes on the hue of hazy rainbow colors–a magical moment.

We are beginning to descend. The rainbow returns, filling the window with such fragile transparent color that I wonder if it is real. Or is it merely a fleeting fancy that has insinuated itself on my rather fertile imagination? No, for the rainbow continues to reappear and disappear, a specter playfully teasing me, enticing me. My eyes follow it only to find myself peering out into a tinted, gossamer universe. We are now at an altitude of 21,304 feet. Communities are more densely scattered over the countryside below. Roads are still, for the most part, straight, and mark off huge squares of land. Lake Huron is coming into view. The sun reflecting on the wing of the plane sets it ablaze with iridescent orange highlights. In dramatic contrast, the water below is a deep purplish- blue.

Copy of More pics from Waterworks Park, etc. 003Beautiful emerald fields with contrasting dark green and sand shades are interspersed with dense forested areas. Long, soft sweeps of pale pink, muted orange, and lovely mauves, with an intricate array of soft blue and grey tones gently swirled like marbled icing on a cake fill the evening sky. Areas of trees take on picturesque forms: one is a turkey, another is a deer frolicking in the field. Lights are becoming visible in the distance as dusk begins to fall leisurely on southwestern Ontario. A field, perfect but for small spatters of dull green, lies serenely below. Pink and orange swirls radiate into the evening sky, filling it with a soft dream-like quality. Fingers of color reach out into the bright azure, softening and blending together into one indescribable hue along the horizon. An unseen artist has gone wild tonight with a pastel palette and broad strokes of His paintbrush. He has creatively captivated my imagination. That artist is the God who created this marvelous panorama.

London is sparkling with lights–yellow, white, red, green– a sprawling Christmas tree twinkling in the descending darkness of a summer sky. A huge gravel pit extends over a prominent area on the right. Small, brightly-colored boats line a long stretch of the bank of the Thames River like fringe on the edge of a garment. The sky has become deep orange. Its reflection, soft as a breath, rests on the wing of the aircraft like the hand of God gently bestowing a blessing, reminding us to give thanks to the Lord for yet another safe landing. Sunset 020

Thought for the day: Look for the hidden things in God’s wonderful creation, in His word, and in His people.

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, so often we go about our business day by day and never observe the beauty all around us. We take so much for granted and do not take the time to search out Your secrets. Psalm 25:14 tells us that “the secret of the Lord is with those who fear” You. Solomon believed that if we search for understanding and discernment as if we were searching for buried treasure, we would discover the fear of the Lord.2 Teach us, Lord, to search out the hidden things of God. Teach us to fear You. Open to us the secrets of the Almighty that we might see all the hidden beauty of Your creation. Psalm 91 speaks of the secret place of the Most High. Help us to find that secret place and abide there. Teach us to see with Your eyes. Teach us to hear with Your ears. Make us aware as never before of the little things we so often pass over without a thought. Transform our minds and our hearts, Lord, and make us more like Jesus. We give You praise. Amen.

2 Proverbs 2:3,4

INSPIRATION

For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.1

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God’s perfect creation

An artist splashes a canvas with a profusion of color from the very softest of hues to the most brilliant palette. The poet pens a verse using lyrical rhythms and word pictures that capture our sense of the aesthetic. A musician composes a symphony, weaving harmonious sounds into a glorious hymn of praise. A story-teller weaves a graphic tale that lifts us out of the mundane into an imaginary world and provides a temporary diversion from reality. A journalist compiles a scientific account of this marvel, opening up new vistas for our intellects. A photographer captures a moment of breathtaking beauty. A richness of diversity has evolved from a familiar marvel of nature, one too often taken for granted. What do you see in a beautiful sunset?

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My imperfect creation

A thought, a feeling, an idea is God-breathed into a life, but how that inspiration is expressed is a very individual matter. You will display your own distinctive imagination which will be characteristic of your distinctive personality, talents, interests and experiences in life. All of these creative outpourings bear witness to one particular scene in nature, yet each is as unique as the person who originates it. The marvelous thing is that people unable to adequately express their own feelings tangibly may be inspired by any of these methods of interpretation. Our eyes and minds feast on the fruit of the labor of others, and we reap the benefits: encouragement, satisfaction, joy and often simply an unreserved sense of wonder.

Inspiration is the infusion or arousal within the mind of some idea, feeling or impulse, especially one that leads to creative action.2 It is the creative impulse of an artist, often seen as a supernatural prompting; a person who or a thing that inspires, and to inspire is to move with divine influence; to fill with creative power.3 The Hebrew, neshâmâh, means a puff, i.e. wind, vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect, inspiration, soul, spirit.4 “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”5 In the New Testament, the Greek is theopneustos: divinely breathed in, given by inspiration from God.6 It is a presumed derivative of theos (a deity, especially the supreme Deity) and pneo, a word meaning to breathe hard, breeze, blow.7 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”8 The wind of the Spirit of God blows on us, and we are inspired to some action, great or small.

Effort and energy must be constant companions of creative action if the desired goal is to be

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Creating a symphony of sound

attained. You cannot dispense with hard work. There is a clear distinction between God’s creativity and that of man. God created by His word–He simply spoke things into being; He created everything from nothing. Man creates with action, not speech, and must accomplish it from already-existing substance.

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” 9 God is His own inspiration, but mankind needs the inspiration of God in order to be creative. The Bible was written by men, but those men first had to receive from God before they could record it. Yet each man wrote according to his own style. “…God did not dictate the manuscript of the Old Testament to these writers as if they were secretaries. He revealed His truth to them and showed them how they should present it; but in so doing He led them to express His word in terms of their own outlook, interests, literary habits and peculiarities of style.” 10 This accounts for the variations in the gospels. Four men from completely different backgrounds- a tax-collector (businessman), a physician, a young man and a fisherman–all recorded the same events, yet their descriptions often appear inconsistent. Matthew and John were eye-witnesses of most of these events. Each recorded only a fragment of the whole, but when the pieces are

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Jigsaw puzzle

joined, like a jigsaw puzzle, the whole picture emerges. Personal experience plays a large part in the way inspiration is expressed. Creative writing, for example, can develop into a diversity of forms: a simple setting down of thoughts in a diary or journal, short stories, devotionals, books, articles, songs, letters, Bible studies. Each will reveal something about the writer: personality, lifestyle, morals, interests, spirituality, motivation, desires. The Book of Psalms is an excellent example of poetic writing. David turned creative impulse into words that have inspired and encouraged millions of people down through the ages.

Art galleries display a profusion of paintings that give pleasure to multitudes. The airwaves resonate with sounds of music. Library shelves are brimming with books. Inspiration must have an outlet, a creative action, or frustration will ensue. “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” 11 Jeremiah received a word from God. Because of previous opposition to his prophecies, he determined this time to keep it to himself. But that word burned within him until he had to release it. When God reveals something to us, it is our responsibility to bring it forth, at the right time, in the channel best suited to us as individuals. Inspiration must bear fruit. Like faith, it cannot stand alone.12

All true creativity originates in God, the Creator of all, regardless of the mode of expression:

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Books filled with inspired stories

music, prose, poetry, art, public speaking, preaching. When God acts, Satan counterfeits that action. Presumably, writers of pornography, heavy rock, etc., imagine they are inspired. But when Satan is the source, the result is destructive, never creative, never life-giving. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”13 Satan’s inspiration is in direct opposition to God and never exhibits life. Satan has come only to “steal, and to kill, and to destroy”. Jesus has come to give “life more abundantly”.14

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God’s Word where inspiration begins

Inspiration begins in the mind. It must capture the emotions, the intellect and the will before it can be shaped into some form of tangible action. An idea comes. You are emotionally stimulated to proceed by research and planning. Finally you craft and hone the idea until it shines like a polished gem for the world to see. You have birthed a poem or a painting, a story, a sermon, a song. The finished work can now be shared with others, and possesses the potential to motivate them towards their own unique output. And so the cycle continues: creative impulse flows, inspiration is expressed, the world is blessed and God’s revelation lives on.

Thought for the day: Allow the Lord to inspire you and run with it, past all interference, until you reach your goal.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit would rest on every person who reads these pages. Let their minds and spirits open like blossoms in springtime to produce a beautiful fragrance that will spread to all around. May they run with the vision You give them, and may Your word be fulfilled in them. For those who do not believe they have the ability to produce anything worthwhile, enlighten their minds to see that You have given each one of us at least one talent. Help them to see that if they refuse to put that talent to work, it will shrivel and die, but if they will use that gift for Your glory You will multiply it beyond their imagination. Remind them of the parable of the talents that Jesus taught His disciples. Remind us all that we have been made in the image of God, the Creator, and therefore must have the ability to create, small or great, because of that. I pray that all who utter the words of this prayer will have their every God-given desire fulfilled and be encouraged and uplifted in spirit to do exploits for You. Thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness. Amen.

1 Philippians 2:13

2 Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary

3 Larousse

4 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

5 Job 32:8

6 Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

7 Ibid

8 2 Timothy 3:16

9 Genesis 1:3

0 0The Bible Almanac

1 1Jeremiah 20:9

2 2See James 2:17

3 3Isaiah 14: 12-15

44John 10:10

I hope you have been inspired by my post on inspiration. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment in the box below. I love to hear from my readers and know what you are thinking. If you are not already following me, please click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail updates when I post new stories. Have a wonderful, God-inspired day.