The Journey Begins

IMG_2687Thanks for joining me! My name is Tami and I am so happy you found my blog!  This blog is dedicated Jesus Christ and the hope I find in Him. I love nature and each of God’s creations teaches me a life lesson.  Just like the beautiful Monarch caterpillar you see me with here (more about this and my trip to Aruba in a future post!), we go through different parts of our “life cycle”.  As we journey together, I will share how Jesus has changed me, breathed His Spirit into my life and given me hope when all seemed hopeless. Feel free to come back as often as you like!

He is my GOD

“This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety: He is my God and I trust Him.” Psalm 91:2

This I declare, some definitions are “to say in a solemn and emphatic manner, to state without hesitation, to swear. My favorite definition is “to broadcast.”

This I broadcast

“about the LORD”: The LORD —Master or Ruler

He alone is my refuge.” Refuge—a condition of being safe & sheltered from danger. The place that I run to when the storm or trial is hitting. The place I can go for shelter from pursuit, danger or trouble. A place of security.

“my place of safety.” safety—the condition of being protected from risk, injury or harm. A place where I am protected from harm. A place I can be at ease because I trust where I am.

“He is my GOD.” GOD—The Creator & Ruler of the universe. The Supreme Being. He is worthy to be worshiped. There is no one above Him. my GOD—I am claiming Him as my GOD, belonging to me. I have a personal relationship with Him.

“And I trust Him.” Trust—firm belief in the reliability, truth, strength or ability of someone or something. To be certain, assured, and convinced. To know that He can be relied upon. That He is my protector and I am His charge. He keeps me & cares for me. He has full custody and I know I can depend on Him.

So my version of Psalm 91:2 is:

I broadcast this about the LORD: He alone is my security and my place where I am protected from harm. Where I can go to cry and laugh, to be myself. I will run to no one else. He is my GOD, The Creator of all & is above all things. He has sole custody of me. He lovingly cares for & protects me as His charge, as His child. I have firm belief that He is not only able but He is willing and is always in the process of caring for me. I rely on Him. I am certain that my hope & trust is in the right place. In my GOD.

He is your GOD too when you believe in His Son Jesus. Some helpful verses to learn more—John 3:16, Romans 3:23, 6:23-24, 5:8, Romans 10:9-13, Acts 16:30-31

You Are Loved

“In a far-off land the LORD will manifest himself to them. He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NET) 

A little lopsided but my mind sees a heart 🙂

In my travels near & far over many years, I have often found things in nature shaped like a heart. Each time I am reminded of how much God loves me & you and is always making Himself known to us.

I am also reminded that He does not give up on us. He is faithful to help us when we call out to Him.

Even when I am off in a dozen different directions, scarcely giving Him a thought. He is thinking about me. So I take a minute to focus on His heart. Our amazing God & Creator loves His creation, you and I, made in His Image…and I pause, take a deep breath…the very breath He gives me…and I praise Him! He is worthy to be praised!

Abide in Me

Jesus tells us to abide in Him. Not just a suggestion, but a command.

To bear fruit, we must remain in the Vine

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” John 15:4

Abide. What does that mean.

The dictionary definitions are—1: to remain in, to stay stable or fixed 2: to continue in something, to persist, to pursue 3: to tarry, to linger

We need to be connected to the vine. As a branch, it cannot get nutrients without being attached. I remember growing cucumbers. We put up a fence for the vine to grow and as it branched out the tiny cucumbers began to grow. Some grew this way and some went that way. I went out a few days later hoping to get some for my salad.

On one side of the fence I found several yummy cucumbers, but on the other side, I saw shriveled up cucumbers, smaller than a few days earlier. There was no fruit, or vegetables in this case. What happened??

Looking closer, I discovered that one of the branches, as it went over the fence, it got caught and broke off from the vine. Without the nutrients and support from the vine, the cucumbers shriveled up and died.

When we are not attached to Jesus, the vine…we too will not bear fruit. We need to stay attached, to tarry in His Presence.

Abide can also mean to tarry. It reminds me of the song, “In the Garden” “I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known”

Oh to tarry in the Presence of Jesus, what a sweet picture.

New Creation

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Are you in a dark place? Feeling overwhelmed? Are you trying to change? Are you trying to do things the way God has called you to do them…and yet no results? You see no difference?

Hold on. Just as the Monarch caterpillar waits patiently within its’ chrysalis to be transformed…so are you being transformed. Being a child of God makes you a new creation. The old ways of the flesh have passed and the ways of the Spirit are emerging.

Don’t get me wrong, it takes time to change. God has a much different time table than we do. Be patient.

The Monarch butterfly cannot see the beautiful changes taking place within the darkness…but we can!

Just like in the picture. The beautiful Monarch butterfly seemingly hidden, cannot see the beauty of it’s wings. It is dark in there. She has to be still & wait. No wriggling & fussing like I sometimes do.

We too, must wait and TRUST our CREATOR & FATHER GOD. We must have FAITH that He knows what He is doing.

Take a closer look, the black outline of the wings are showing! Just a few more days. Breaking forth from the darkness is so close! If the Monarch would quit now, it would miss the new creation it will become. You can be so close to emerging from your dark place too!

As you are transformed by CHRIST, your new creation emerges!

You & I are beautiful, new creations in CHRIST. Maybe in your darkness, you cannot see your changes. I can see the beauty of your wings. Just wait. God has so much more for you!

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No Condemnation

“There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but walk according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1(NKJV)

It is damaging when others condemn us. I think even more harmful is when we condemn ourselves. We are our harshest critics and we need to know that our heavenly Father does not condemn us.

It is okay to be genuinely sorry or upset with ourselves about something we have done wrong. We need to ask for forgiveness from the person and from God. Genuine sorrow for sin is always given forgiveness from our gracious Heavenly Father. You are set free. Let it go.

“So if the Son sets free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

There is no condemnation for you. Jesus paid our debt when He shed His blood on the cross. The cross took care of ALL our wrong doings once and for all.

Jesus did not come to condemn us, but to save us, to bring us back to a right relationship with God. (John 3:17)

This broken, sinful world may condemn us if we stand up for Jesus and what is right. Don’t allow criticism to sway you or take you off the “right” path. The path the LORD has laid out for you.

We may be condemned if we aren’t a certain weight, look or act a certain way or reach a certain status. That somehow, if we don’t measure up to the worlds measuring stick…we may be of less value. Not true. That is not how God, our Creator, sees us. God loves you. John 3:16

Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you have done wrong, confess and don’t do it again. Jesus clearly tells the woman caught in adultery…

“She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:11

When Jesus set us free, He set us free from ALL the tentacles of sin that try to strangle us, to steal our joy, to get us to doubt our value. That freedom includes being free from self condemnation too. You and I are free my friend! We have a brand new chance. “Neither do I condemn you…” What a wonderful Savior!

Monarch caterpillar 1 day old

God and His stunning creation always amazes and inspires me. I am especially fond of the Monarch butterfly and their life cycle! This Monarch recently hatched and we can already see the signature black, white & yellow strips. It is the size of a fat grain of rice today at one day old.

Check out milkweed plants on your property…hopefully you don’t mow them down! It is the ONLY source of food for the Monarch caterpillars.

Look for little circle nibble marks and it is usually a Monarch caterpillar happily munching!

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You are Mine

“But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (NIV)

Many people suffer from insecurities. We struggle with who we are and where we belong. Perhaps you had an earthly father who was not there, who let you down or even hurt you. I am sorry. Our Heavenly Father is not like that.

God makes it clear in this verse. He cares deeply for His children. He has redeemed us through the death & resurrection of His only Son, Jesus. If you believe that as I do…you are redeemed. You are His.

Do not fear, our Daddy who formed us in our mother’s womb…who knew us before we were born—He holds us. (Psalm 139:13-16)

God has called you by name. There is something so comforting thinking about God calling my name. I hope you are comforted knowing God claims you as His own. He is calling your name in love, calling you and I back to a safe place with Him.

He is possessive of us. Make no mistake on what he is telling you. As a proud Father, He is claiming His child. Claiming you. You matter. You are redeemed.

When the world says you are not good enough or not something it thinks you should be…Don’t let those words define you. Don’t listen to the lies of our enemy who lives in the world. Who seeks to destroy us. (1 Peter 5:8) Give it all to your Father.

“Cast all your cares upon Him, for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Review often what your Father is telling you in Isaiah 43:1 “I have redeemed you. Do not fear. You are Mine.”

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