What the locusts ate…

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A thought from a friend:

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten….” Joel 2:25 NIV

For everything you’ve loved or lost, God has something else. For everything that’s been stolen from you, God has something else. The situation you are in right now is not the end of the story; God wants to write a new chapter. – He’s not through with you!

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My artwork for sale

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Needing unique greeting cards? Do check out my photo art greeting cards for sale at the following link:


Greeting Cards

Coolac

Coolac, NSW (Oil Expressive)

I also have unique photos and digital art for sale at:

Fran Woods Fine Art Gallery

Trees in the winter fog (sepia toned)

Do consider buying.

Enjoy!!

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God’s good in life’s experiences

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“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

What we consider wasted experiences can become experiences in wisdom – when we decide to learn from them! God in His wisdom knows that we need the challenge of certain situations to mature and stretch us.

[from a friend]

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God has plan and purpose for us

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“…I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.” Jeremiah 29:11b NIRV

There’s an appointment on God’s calendar with your name on it. God has an appointed task for you to accomplish and appointed blessings for you to enjoy. He has called you with an “eternal purpose” and He will bring it to pass.

Isn’t that just great? What a hope!

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Goodbye 2011, Welcome 2012!

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Saturday, December 31, 2011
Last day of 2011 — and the sun shines — lovely blue sky — lovely, lovely, lovely!!
This is just a day like another. And tomorrow will be another. Yet today and tomorrow have symbolic significance for us human beings — end of the old > beginning of the new. We aspire to do better than we have before. We aspire to do good things — to live more honourably, more honestly, more truthfully. We aspire to put away the bad and put on what’s good.
YET…
any change is cosmetic. To reach our aspirations we need an interior change — a transformation of the heart. Who can do that? We may try mightily and seem to succeed for a time but we still end up reverting to our default mode. A mode that has decades of imprinting by our upbringing, our choices in life, our experiences, our sufferings, failures, successes, and so on.
Who or what can change our default mode? How do we get out of this rut of reverting? Can we never make a real difference in our own lives? Or, in our family’s? Or, our community’s? Or, our nation’s? Or, our world’s? Will all things revert to that default which we deem unacceptable, untruthful, unloving?
Seems pretty bleak.
We can’t change ourselves let alone anyone else.
But, Jesus Christ can change us. He changes our hearts. He alone makes it possible to reach our aspirations. He alone is the transformer — not a new year resolution or wish, not a promise on our part. We are weak; he is strong.
Sadly, we have legislated anything to do with Jesus out of our schools, our communities, our nation… and, thus too out of our lives, and out of the lives of our children. Sad really. The one person who can sort it all out is relegated to the dustbin.
YET…
Psalm 113: 4,5 “For the LORD [Jesus] is high above the nations; his glory is far greater than the heavens. Who can be compared with the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high?”
For those who seek Jesus… God bless you!
If you don’t, may you be surprised to discover how great is his love for you in 2012!

Longing for God

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Some years ago I wrote a reflection on ‘longing for God’. As I read it again now I find that it’s still just as relevant for me now as then. As you read this be encouraged… God is no stranger to our unsettlednesses, our longings, our questions. In fact, rather than churning around and looking for comfort or escape in alcohol, drugs, sex, money, or whatever, God longs for us to turn to him. He alone is able to settle our unsettledness. Do allow him to do so.

Psalm 42: 1-3: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and stand before him? Day and night, I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?” ”

There are times when I am fully aware of my longing for God. It is so strong that my heart aches inside. At other times I have no awareness and am busy thinking and doing other things yet have felt so restless and unsettled. No matter what I put my hand to or think about in my mind it does not settle the unsettledness. What I believe is happening is that my deep longing for God is causing the unsettledness; I am dissatisfied with everything else. My deep being is crying out with longing for God. My outside being (my conscious self) is distracted with many things; some of these distractions may be my efforts to escape from my longing for God.

Then, too, there are my enemies who seems to whisper forever, “Where is this God of yours?” The demons are ever ready to throw this question at me when God seems not to be near, or seems not be hearing or paying attention.

My longing for God gets attacked by myself (the sinful self who is so full of self and does not want a competitor) or by the demons who do not want me to draw close to God in any way.

God knows this. He knows how to deliver me from the taunting demons. And, He knows how to work in my heart so my dissatisfaction deepens until I do turn to Him and am willing for Him to bring about the needed heart changes.

He has made clear in Scripture that He loves us and desires to fellowship with us. He has planted within us this deep longing for fellowship with Him, as well.

Copyright © 2003 Fran Woods

originally published at Bhojli Reflections

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Grape Hyacinths – photo art

Grape Hyacinths - photo art by bhojman
Grape Hyacinths – photo art, a photo by bhojman on Flickr.

Spring has arrived here in Oz. So welcome! The warming days and the absolutely gorgeous flowers are so healing to the soul.
Here we have some Grape Hyacinths, one of my most favourites. Their delicate little bells proclaim to me that God remembers me and loves me.
I turned this into a piece of photo art by using software from Topaz Labs.

Incline my heart to you

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Some years ago I wrote the following poem. It really speaks of issues that can cause us grief in our pursuit of health and wholeness in life as well as in our walk with Jesus. I trust is blesses and encourages you!

Incline my heart to you

My heart is inclined to you, O Lord
Yet not all
So often I see myself withholding
some thought, some desire
some bit of the old
declaring with shaking fist
this is mine,
don’t touch.

A so-called friend offends me
I’m enraged
I want revenge, tit for tat.
Don’t tell me to forgive,
it’s unforgivable…
so my heart inclines to hatred
this is mine
don’t touch.

There’s much to do, and
I’m tired of doing
I want to play
to go where I want to go
and do what I want to do
so my heart inclines to selfishness
this is mine
don’t touch.

And so the list goes on
I spiral down
lost to myself in whirling self-pity
deeper into loneliness,
so my heart inclines to
hopelessness and despair
O God, I am yours, You are mine
touch me.

Written as a result of reflecting on 1 Kings 8:54-61
Copyright © 2005 Fran Woods

via Incline my heart to you.

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Being Freed from Generational Bondage

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For those interested in further information to do with generational healing you’ll find the following link very helpful:
Christian Healing Ministries – Being Freed from Generational Bondage.
Many have been been blessed through the ministry of Francis and Judith MacNutt, and I recommend them highly.

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What to do with trouble?

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When trouble comes our way, what do we do? Depend on God and look to him to help us in the midst of the trouble? Blame him or someone else? Have a pity-party? I’ve just started another study on Job and am reminded yet again that the why’s of our sufferings are known only to God… and only as we trust him for who he is can we hope to make sense of anything. I thought this little snippet from Paul is helpful. It comes from Reading for Today:

“… But that happened so that we would not depend on ourselves but on God. He raises the dead to life.” 2 Corinthians 1:9 NIRV

Anything that causes us to turn to God and lean harder on Him is an asset, not a liability. It’s when we lose a job, a marriage, a loved one, our health or our peace of mind that we can turn to God and discover what He can do.

And, for inspirational daily messages, check out www.thewordfortoday.com.au