Leaves, sky, and puffy white clouds, even in black and white are pleasing to the eye.
I have never been able to read in the midst of distractions. I know others can tune everything out and focus on the book at hand, not me. I tend to read the same sentence over and over again, without comprehension. I need a quiet place to read, a place where the distractions are minimal. When I sit down to read God’s word, I am the same way, just Him and me; a nice quiet time to read, study, and reflect on the Word of God. I will usually read my Bible in the morning, before anyone else is up and moving. We should all take a few minutes to spend reading the Bible. When our computers or iPhones start acting up, the first thing the tech geeks tell you to do is, “try rebooting”, which normally involves powering down and restarting. Well, that applies to us too. Sometimes we need to reboot, power down, and spend some quiet time with God. Psalm 46, verse 10 tells us to, “Be still and know that I am God”. What better way to reboot, than to spend some quiet time with the One who knows us better than anyone; the Maker of Heaven and Earth, our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
The assignment this week on Digitalphotographyschool.com is to take a photo using available window light. I set up this still life, fruit in our “fruits of the spirit” bowl. The verse is from Galatians 5:22-23…
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 ESV
My Bible is worn and torn, ragged around the edges, and there is a story there. I wish I could tell you that it is worn and torn from the many times I’ve opened it to read the Word of God; or it’s worn and torn because I take God’s Word with me everywhere I go. No, neither of those are the reason my Bible is worn and torn. I do read it, but not as often as I should. I have taken it with me, but not as often as I should. One time when I did take my Bible with me so I could read the Word of God while flying, I lost my Bible. When I arrive at my house and unpacked, my Bible was nowhere to be found. I remember having it in the airport after landing, but could not remember placing it back in my bag. I phoned the airport and spoke with someone in the lost and found department. They searched and then told me they were unable to find the Bible. Well, you can imagine my surprise when there was a knock on my door, about 3 weeks later. I answered the door and there was a representative from Bishop Airport holding my now worn, torn, and tattered Bible. Who knows where it had been. I like to think maybe it fell into the hands of someone truly in need of God’s Word, because the Lord knew that person needed to feel the love of God. I will never know, but I like my worn, torn, and tattered Bible.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season. In Biblical times people would wear sackcloth and ashes as they repented, amended their ways to seek God’s forgiveness. During our Ash Wednesday Worship service we have ashes applied to our foreheads as we begin our Lenten journey. The Bible study and our Mid week Lenten sermons are centered around the theme of, “Our Suffering Savior” from the Book of Isaiah. Isaiah prophesies the life and suffering or our Lord and Savior, Jesus 700 years before His birth. Read the poetic prophecy from Isaiah, in the American Standard Version downloaded from Youversion. “13 Behold, my servant shall deal wisely, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.14 Like as many were astonished at thee (his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men),15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they understand.
1 Who hath believed our message? and to whom hath the arm of Jehovah been revealed?2 For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.3 He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not.4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.7 He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who among them considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due?9 And they made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.10 Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand.11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and he shall bear their iniquities.12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Such poetic words from long ago, so beautiful to read and realize the love our Lord has for us. Thank you Jesus for giving your life for me, so that I have forgiveness.
Music is said to, “soothe the savage beast”. I find it difficult to remember things from long ago. But when I hear a song from long ago, I can remember every note and word like it was yesterday. Songs are tied to events in our lives. We hear a song and instantly memories rise to the surface. We remember where we were, who was there with us, and everything that was said and done. The memories can be of happy times, sad times, and thoughtful times. We read about David soothing King Saul in the Bible, maybe that’s where the “savage beast” saying came from, Saul certainly acted as a savage beast on occasion, especially toward David. A day without music, I can’t imagine it.