Sow & Gather

Psalm

Praise the Lord Always!

Thanksgiving, PsalmMarci Anthony2 Comments
even-the-trees-praise-the-lord-sowandgather

Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do His bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds. Psalm 148:7-10 NIV

Vacations are so thrilling. It is so wonderful to leave the routine and drudgery of daily life and just get away. Whether you have a “staycation” or a travel vacation, there is nothing more rejuvenating than a change from the day-to-day routine.

In October, my husband and I decided to travel to California and and visit Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. The national parks system in the United States is so awesome and as you can imagine, both of these national parks are true to their name. Yosemite is full of roaring waterfalls, rugged gray granite cliffs and mountains ready to be conquered with long arduous hikes. Sequoia is just as awesome but also so . . . inspiring.

Sequoia is covered with the huge, red-barked redwood trees. One of the largest and oldest trees is the General Sherman.  He is 275 feet tall, 79 feet in diameter and about 2000 years old. As I gazed upon this beautiful tree and others around him, I was awestruck. I stared with my mouth open attempting to comprehend the beauty and size of this tree. It just goes up and up and up. The branches reach to the heavens. I stopped and thought, “This tree was probably around when Jesus walked the earth.” Wow!!!

But the most remarkable thing about the redwood trees is that they appear as if they are praising God. These trees stretch toward the sky with their branches waving. They stand straight and strong as if praising God and glorifying His name. They are singing to Him. And, at that moment, I realized I should be declaring and praising His majestic name as well. Jesus is worthy to be praised! What a God! 

Well, vacation is over but life is not. I can’t physically see the trees anymore, but in my mind’s eye, I still visualize the majesty and splendor of those beautiful creations. Just as I praised and thanked Jesus in the park with those incredible trees, I can praise and thank Him here in my home, at work and even as I run errands.

Today I will stand like General Sherman praising the LORD from the earth.

Dig Deeper |

Psalm 148Psalm 136

Action Item |

Take time to thank and praise our wonderful LORD. Write down three things you are thankful for today.

Prayer |

Dearest LORD, I praise and worship you. I thank you for who you are and the wonderful blessings you have given me. I don’t want to miss a day without giving thanks and praise to you. Amen. 

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This post is part of the Shine Blog Hop.

The SHINE Blog Hop

Treasure God's Word - Psalm 37:24

scripture memory, PsalmMarci AnthonyComment

God Hears Our Sighs

Prayer, PsalmSow & Gather - Tamera B.6 Comments
God-hears-our-sighs-sowandgather

All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. Psalm 38:9 NIV

The sun was shining and the temperature was rising on this August morning. Normally, my family would be making the most of a summer morning before the afternoon heat sets in, but instead, we were getting ready to attend a memorial service for a dear friend who had lost her two-year battle with cancer.

The last year of my friend’s life had been difficult. It was this roller coaster of emotions from hope, where she would gain ground, to discouragement, facing difficult obstacles that she had to overcome.

As a friend, I’ve never felt so helpless and unequipped to walk this journey with her. I would often sit on the floor and try to formulate what I needed to pray for, but the thoughts and words were raw and never seemed to form in my mind.

I knew in my heart that God knew what she needed, yet I could not express it. A passage in Romans spoke to me many times when my prayers were only tears. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And, he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:26

The Spirit flawlessly interceded for me when I could not do it myself. It turned my groans into words.

Sitting in the church, tears streaming down my face, I knew the Spirit had read my heart. All those times when a sigh was all I could manage, when the words never formed in my prayers, God heard me as though I had spoken perfectly.

Dig Deeper |

Job 3:24; Romans 8:26; Psalm 139:4

Action Item |

Today, all you may be able to do is sigh, but know that is not hidden from our Lord.

Prayer |

Dear Father, You search my heart and know my words and thoughts before I even speak them. Amen.

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Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

This post is part of the #livefreeThursday linkup with Suzie Eller, the  #RaRaLinkup

and Weekend Whispers

Barbie Swihart


Get A Grip On God

Prayer, Psalm, ThessaloniansSow & Gather - Tamera B.Comment
get-grip-on-God-sowandgather-psalm119

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Of course God wants me to have what will make me happy.

Those words crossed my mind in a flash. My eye, like Eve's was on the apple and Satan was saying, "Do it; it feels good. God wants you to be happy."

This was a reality check about coffee.  People, coffee.  I have ongoing discourses with Satan about stopping coffee. (Drinking coffee is fine. I just have a little bit of an addiction issue that God is working on when it comes to me and coffee).

If Satan is going to tell me lies about coffee - you know he's got some whoppers for other issues.

Or, maybe they aren't whoppers. Perhaps Satan works best in the small things.  The seemingly innocent day-to-day events where we make choices. They aren't bad or illegal. But, still individual choices that don't honor God.

I think we've all been caught on a "path" called a "slippery slope." Once you start down a path that's a little off course it gets harder and harder to recover. Subsequent decisions just keep you sliding down that slope. I've been on a few slippery slopes - literally. If you don't have traction or something to cling to, you will start to fall.

As a hiker, I know I need boots with rugged grooves on the bottom to get traction on a slippery slope. I even need trekking poles to put out in front of each step to guide my path. I use these tools to navigate the less than ideal path.

When I start down the slippery slope of thinking, "It will make me happy; of course God wants me to be happy." I need to find my spiritual hiking boots and trekking poles and change course.  My spiritual traction comes from God's word. I've got to get a grip on God or I'll be tumbling head first down that slope. God gives us tools to avoid that slope or change course if we've started sliding.

We're to treasure His word in our hearts. At first I thought that verse was only about scripture memory. It's about so much more. Friends, we need to marinate in God's word. We need to soak it in and taste it. Yes, taste it. Roll it around in your mouth, breathe deeply the aroma of God's goodness.

Have a chat window open to God at all times. Pray continually. This is sometimes harder for me than soaking up His words. Satan seems to always be pinging me for a conversation (and my inner voice seems to chat it up with him). 

As soon as you recognize you are on that slippery slope, stop and grab God. God is your traction. Keep the line of communication open at all times.  Pray and listen to God's response. He will always provide a way out, over or thru the obstacle you are facing.

Dig Deeper |  

Psalm 119

Action Item |

Ask God to help you recognize your slippery slopes. Marinate on a verse from the Dig Deeper section and write out the verse in your own words.

Prayer |

Dear Father, You know I'm human and I have human cravings and desires. Desires for things that may not be bad, but perhaps are not the best choice for me today. Give me the awareness to avoid ever stepping foot on a path the takes me away from you. If I am already on that slippery slope, help me to recognize it immediately and grab you for traction. Amen.

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P.S. As of the date of posting the author has been off caffeinated coffee for two weeks. She keeps having to begin again. Fortunately, no loved ones or co-workers have been injured in the withdrawal.

This post is part of the "A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up."

And, we joined Kendra at A Proverbs 31 Wife.


The Twenty-five Cent Bible

Psalm, Prayer, seekSow & Gather - Tamera B.Comment
twenty-five-cent-Bible-pray-God-answers-prayerssowandgather

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 

In a world of fast food, Amazon Prime, and smartphones the skill of waiting is hard to practice.    

A couple of years ago a dear friend of mine was in need of a new Bible. The Bible, given to her when she began her Christian walk, was coming apart at the seams, literally. 

She checked into having the binding restored, but it cost as much as a new Bible and her tight budget didn’t allow for either one. She knew that God would provide a Bible for her in His timing so she prayed and waited while carrying that Bible with rubber bands keeping it together.  

Pray till prayer makes you forget your own wish, and leave it or merge it in God’s will.
— Frederick William Robertson (1816-1853) English clergyman

The library in her local town also sold books. One afternoon while she was there gathering books with her children, she decided to stop off at the library book store. On the shelf in the “Religion” section sat a brand new, burgundy leather, New Living Translation Bible for twenty-five cents.  She couldn’t believe her eyes as she knew who had provided that Bible for her. 

To this day she carries around that Bible with the twenty-five cent sticker on the inside cover as a reminder of the Lord’s provision. She never misses an opportunity to glorify God every time she opens it! He always provides what we need when we need it. We just have to wait and pray for the eyes to see it. 

Dig Deeper |

Matthew 21:22; Psalm 62:5-6; Luke 11:9-10

Action Item |

Believe that God will supply all your needs, pray, and wait on Him.   

Prayer |

Dear Father, in the morning I will pray to You and eagerly watch and wait. Amen.

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What's the Source of Your Strength for the Race?

Isaiah, PsalmSow & Gather - Tamera B.4 Comments
jesus-strength-for-race-sowandgather-isaiah41

I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.  Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:8-9 NLT

Believe it or not, I love to run.  I don’t always do it but I love it.  Several years ago, I decided I would take on a half marathon in the city of Dallas, Texas.  As I prepared for the race physically, I also researched the race online.  Every single article I read about this race said, “Beware of mile 8!”  You see, mile 8 was on an incline. 

All the way through the first 7 miles of the race I kept thinking I would have to save a little extra strength for the dreaded mile 8.  I must say that incline felt like a gigantic mountain.  As I was putting one foot in front of the other I seriously did not know if I would make it to the top.  About half way through, one of the spectators looked straight at me and said, “Don’t give up, this incline is almost over!”

say-it-out-loud-god-is-with-me-sowandgather

Life is much like that race isn’t it?  We sail along, reserving strength for the hard times, knowing they will come.  However, when we get there, it is simply hard to put one foot in front of the other. 

God knew this would be true about life and through His word He gave us words of encouragement to keep us going.  One of those encouragements is the verse above. 

As you are running through life, and the going gets rough, listen in your spirit and you will hear from the sidelines, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.”

Dig Deeper |

Psalm 46

Action Item |

Say it out loud, God is with me!

Prayer |

Dear Jesus, thank you for being with me always.   Sometimes I am desperate to see you and hear you.  Give me the strength to please you and live life according to your word.  Amen.

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purposefulfaith.com

This post is part of the weekly #RaRaLinkup over at Kelly Balarie & Friends.


Treasure God's Word - Psalm 46:10

scripture memory, PsalmSow & Gather - Tamera B.1 Comment

Is it sweet, salty, spicy, cold, hot? Terms you might not consider when you are reading God's word. God calls us to hide, treasure and taste His word. Join the contributors and readers of Sow & Gather in tasting and memorizing God's word this week.

Memorize it |

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10 ESV

be-still-psalm46-sowandgather

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Gather with us by clicking the Comment link at the beginning of the post and leaving your comment or prayer on this verse.


Treasure God's Word - Psalm 119:11

Psalm, scripture memorySow & Gather - Tamera B.Comment

Be Still Before The Lord

Isaiah, Peace, PsalmSow & Gather - Tamera B.Comment
be-still-before-lord-sowandgather

Be still and know that I am God . . . . Psalm 46:10 NIV

When something is troubling me or I am worried or anxious, I can’t sit still.  I need to pace back and forth or start cleaning out a closet or drawer.  I just need to DO something, anything.  I wonder if instead of pacing and moving around if I could just sit and be still for a moment? 

What if the feeling of restlessness is actually God calling me to spend time with Him?  Just to stop for a moment in the midst of all the noise and activity so that I could hear the whisper of God telling my soul, “be still and know that I am God.”  Not simply to think, wonder, or wish, but to KNOW:  God is God, and He is in control!

dont-worry-run-to-jesus-psalm46-sowandgather

The definition of know is “to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty; to have established or fixed in the mind or memory.”  Is God’s word so fixed in my mind that I know it to be truth?  If it is, what does His word say to do when I am anxious?  1 Peter 5:7 says “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”  God knew that you and I would have anxious times, and He tells us what we can do. 

But HOW do we do it?  What does that mean “cast all your anxiety on Him?”  He is not physically here.  It means to bring our burdens, cares, and concerns to Jesus in prayer.  Talk to Him about it, tell Him what’s on our heart, what’s bothering you…and then, LEAVE it with Him.  Every time you start to worry or get anxious, go straight to Jesus and talk to Him again. 

The second part of 1 Peter 5:7 says “for He cares for you.”  That means that Jesus literally cares about your concerns.  He WANTS us to come to Him so that He can quiet us in our soul.  He tells us “I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.  It is when we are still and spending time with Jesus that we find His joy and peace.  Once we have been with Him in prayer and in His word, even though the situation that caused us to be anxious hasn’t changed, the way we look at it will. 

Dig Deeper |

Read Psalm 37:7, Psalm 62:5, Psalm 91:1-16, Exodus 14:14, Isaiah 32:17, and Isaiah 41:10-13 for more encouragement.

Action Item |

Ask the Lord to help you identify what is causing your anxiety and give it to the Lord in prayer. 

Prayer |

Lord, when I am worried or anxious guide me to rest in You.  Help me to draw so close to You that I can hear you whisper;  “Be still my child and know that I am God.”  Let me know Your peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding.

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