Thursday, February 23, 2017

"The Perfect Picture"

I love this picture! Well, to be honest, its not so much the picture I love as it is the truth it holds dear to my heart! I see a picture like this one ... where ... a little tiny, seemingly insignificant plant is making its way through difficult life situations and I am reminded of that dear to my heart truth. You know, the one that we so often lose sight of. This little tiny plant is not only surviving but growing and flourishing despite the hardships it is forced to endure because of that one basic truth. It grows towards the light!   

Check out 2 Samuel 14:14 "... Yet God does not take away life away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him." He has a plan! He has a way devised! Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father except through me." John 14:6 And in John 8:12 He says, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." Jesus is the Way! Jesus is the Light we need to look to. Life doesn't have to come to a halt when things get hard. It is just like with this little tiny plant, there is a way to see the light at the end of the tunnel in your situation.

With Him there is always a way through to the Light!  "Seek ye first the kingdom of God," "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength." "Set your mind on things above!" These are all great ways to remember to grow towards the Light. The truth that I was telling you about, that one that is so dear to my heart isn't just that its important to survive the situation but to continue to grow and flourish despite the situation.

A picture like this ... speaks to my heart. It speaks a message that is so much more than that of  just surviving. It is the perfect picture because it offers up a message of hope! It is all about hope and the possibilities that lay ahead despite the hardship that lay behind. Hope. Hope that we don't have to stay a struggling little seedling but that someday, if we grow towards the Light we too "...may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified." Isaiah 61:3

God Bless!!!




Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Tenth Coin

Can you picture this?

A woman hurries around the house trying to get ready to leave. She's already late. Very, very late. Her oldest children are screaming over a toy. She estimates thirty seconds until her boys come to blows. Her toddler has just learned how to undress herself, and now she runs around the house laughing victoriously as she tears off each article of clothing - including her dirty diaper.

Finally, with only a dash of depleted desperation, she's ready to go.

But wait...

An internal alarm blares in her head. She realizes she's missing something. She can't put her finger on it... Oh, no! Grabbing her purse, she pushing miscellaneous items around, fingers the pockets, and finally dumps all the contents onto her kitchen counter.

Frantically she counts.

"One...Two...Three...Four...Five...Six...Where are the others?" She mumbles under her breath.

She spies Seven under an old receipt.

Grabbing Seven she sees that Eight and Nine have fallen onto the floor. She scoops them up.

Where is Ten? Where is Ten?

If Eight and Nine fell onto the floor, then she theorizes Ten might have as well. She grabs a broom. She would sweep the entire house, look in every jar, and under every toy and dirty sock until she found it.

And then she and her kids would celebrate with ice cream.

Does this sound vaguely familiar? Perhaps you've lived this scene. (I imagine most anyone with children have experienced a variation of this particular day.) However, it's also inspired by The Parable of the Lost Coin.

"Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:8-10



God is so amazing. So loving. So diligent. So merciful. So loyal. So forgiving.

He will search for you. Always.

That is an undeniable truth.

But I felt Him whispering to my heart, adding another layer.

He searches for us. But do I search for Him?

I know I don't usually notice a missing penny. It's just a penny. However, in a sea of people God notices me. Truthfully, He notices my missing penny, my missing shoe (I hope it's happy, wherever it is...), and my missing book (Yeah, I'm going to want that back...).

But do I always notice when I'm missing Him? Time? His Word? His Truths?

The Tenth Coin. It works both ways.

May there be more days where I search frantically until I find it. Him.

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What I'm Not Thankful for This Year



Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you will have/are having/had an awesome Thanksgiving!!!

Isn't it amazing how reflective we get this time of year? I feel especially reflective. My daughter's first birthday is this week, so I'm really thinking about the days leading up to her birth. The labor. The surgery. My gorgeous daughter's little face now and then.

And turkey. I didn't get any turkey last year. I want turkey and stuffing this year. Yeah, I'm thinking about that, too.

I'm thinking about how this week five years ago, my husband and I started dating.

I'm also thinking about all the changes of the past year. Good and bad. I'm thinking about my daughter's first steps and the first time she got really sick. I'm thinking about my debut novel releasing. I'm thinking about my husband's new job. I'm thinking about my family.

These events play in my mind's eye. There are a lot of things that I am thankful for. So many blessings, opportunities, and triumph.

And there are a lot of things I'm not thankful. A lot of hurt and heartache. A lot of long days and sleepless nights. A lot of disappointments.

"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'" Job 1:20-21

I was thinking about Job and how he still blessed God in the good and the bad. I have definitely not done that.

"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

I have definitely not thanked God in the good and the bad, FOR the good and the bad.

My feelings towards many things this year wouldn't be described as thankful, but Job's words give me some perspective. Because all the things that I'm not thankful for this year could never outweigh the blessings I've been given. Starting with my God.

Give thanks.

Hugs!

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, November 17, 2016

"His Hearts Cry"



The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words."

Then I went down to the potter's house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

Then the word of the Lord came to me saying:

"O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the Lord. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

"The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,

"if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.

"And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it,

"if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.

"Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.' "     Jeremiah 18:1-11

      -----------------------------------------------------

I love that He sent me to the potter's house today for the very same reason that He had sent Jeremiah all those years ago. The Lord sent Jeremiah to the potter's house to observe the potter and his ways for a very special purpose. He wanted Jeremiah to receive a important message. One that He wanted delivered to His people. Remember, His heart is to always take the marred vessel in His hand  and rework it into a different vessel, a vessel of honor, made for His purpose. (Then the word of the Lord came to me saying: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the Lord. "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!") Jeremiah 18:5-6

He is the potter and we ARE the clay. Are we willing in this day and hour to do the very thing that He sent Jeremiah to the potter's house to do in his day. Are we willing, not only to receive this amazing message of hope for ourselves but are we willing to take it to the nations as well? Are we willing to call His people to a place repentance? Are we willing to heed the words that He is speaking
and call His people into a place of obedience to truly hear His voice?

Are we willing to use our voice to echo His hearts cry for our generation ... "Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good!"

God Bless!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Speak To The Wind"

   And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."
   Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, "O dry bones, hear the word of the  Lord!
   Thus says the Lord God to these bones: "Surely I will cause  breath to enter into you, and you shall live.
    I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord."
   So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone.
   Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
   Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, "Thus says the Lord God, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breath on these slain, that they may live."
    So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
   Then He said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, 'Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!"
   Therefore prophesy and say to them, "Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
   Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I  have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.
   I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it," says the Lord. Ezekiel 37:3-14

So, what do you think? Can they? Can the dry bones live? How would you respond if God was asking you and only you about the dry bones of today? Can they live? Can they be revived? I love how Ezekiel answers and is basically acknowledging that it is truly in God's hands. God knows the plans that he has to give His people a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) He even, not only knows, but plans for the dry, dead bones to regain muscle, sinews, and most importantly the breath of life. Like Ezekiel it is our job as His people to speak to the to the wind. We have to be inviting the Holy Spirit to come, to move, to bring life to everything that is causing us or those we love to feel dry, hopeless, and cut off. Instead of speaking words of death we need to be inviting the Spirit of God to bring His breath of life ... No matter how dead it looks in the natural. One  touch from Him is all it takes to raise to bring any army to life! Speak to the Wind.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

"No To The Choke Hold"

Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19

I have to admit to the fact, that of late, 'the cares of this world' have had me in a pretty serious choke hold! I admit it. I'm guilty! Its not that I have walked away or not been spending time with Him because I have. What it is is this ... as a foster parent I have had a couple of kids that have been consuming  so much of my time that I haven't been able to sit down and write. One ate up my daytime hours and the other continues to eat up the night! I found myself writing the blog  at 2:00 in the morning and eventually I just needed sleep!  The next thing I know its been forever since I've had a moment to share the things He has been showing me.

The truth is its just that easy for all of us to get distracted by all the situations in life. Its easy to fall into a "Martha Moment" and forget that the "One Thing" thing necessary is sitting at His feet. How does the Word put it? She was "distracted with much serving." Luke 10:40 I'm guilty! That is what I've been doing. I've made sure to stay in the Word and to have my personal fellowship time with Him, but and here is the thing ... I just stopped making it a priority to share it per His instructions. I know that it was and is His will for me to be sharing His word through this devotional. So, I'm here today saying, "No, to the choke hold! I'm sorry, Lord. Forgive me. Help me to do better in the days ahead as I PURPOSE in my heart to no longer let Your Word be choked out with my 'serving.' Lord, my hearts desire is that Your Word would always and forever be fruitful in both words and deeds each and every day of my life."


Friday, July 8, 2016

"His Sustaining Touch"

I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. Psalm 3:5

I love this thought or rather this truth! The Lord sustains me and He keeps me in all my ways! According to the Strong's Concordance the word sustained comes from a primitive root meaning to prop (both literally or figuratively): reflex. it means to lean upon or to take hold of (in a favorable or unfavorable sense.) What that means is that as His people we can rest, assured in the knowledge that He has our back!

We can lean on Him as He takes hold of all the things we deal with on a daily basis. It is easy to understand that we can look to Him when we are facing a difficult situation but how often do we acknowledge that He is the one we look to for everything else as well. I think that it is an all to often event for His people to take His "sustaining touch" on our day to day for granted! I think that all to often the thought of our heart is ... I've got this and we forget to even acknowledge that He holds us up in all that we do!

He has a good hold of us and He sustains us as promised ... "See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me." Isaiah 49:16