Spring Forward!

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,”
Philippians 3:13 NKJV

Some things are intended to move with us.

Memories. Love. Lessons learned.

Others are meant to be forgotten and buried such as regret, disappointment, and fear.

Spring as a verb means to move in a forward direction; it also suggests momentum and height.

Some of us have lost our momentum. Others are not reaching high enough to attain the promises and abundance God generously gives.

In the above verse, emphasis is placed on the “I do.”  This indicates that it is an active and continual process to forget those things which are behind and reach forward.

It takes an effort to let go of pain and hurt. Remaining somber and disgusted won’t make the memories and emotions fade. It takes a concerted effort to forgive and forget. It takes a determination to reach, think, and look forward.

But it is God’s will for us to look forward and to look up to Him!

In spite of the many miracles experienced by the Israelites on their journey toward the Promised Land, their faith did not overcome the temporary discomforts of moving to a better place. They complained.

A lot.

In fact, their lack of faith, complaining, and the poor report from the spies sent to survey the land promised to them angered God so much that these naysayers never lived to see the promise fulfilled (Ref Numbers Chapters 13 and 14).

We would do well to learn from their mistake!

 Spring, new blooms and the Easter Season will soon be upon us. This is the perfect time to renew our minds and spring forward in whatever manner “forward” means for you.

Forget what lies behind.

Embrace the new!

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert,” Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV

What’s the Good Word?

“This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life,” Psalm 119:50 NKJV 

God’s Word resurrects us. It combats fear and despair. His Word provides hope for tomorrow. It fuels our faith. The Word of God is our defense against the cruelties of this world. It allows us to endureWe can exist without God’s Word but we will be void of His comfort, peace and joy, not at all as God intended.

Spring blooms are beautiful but short-lived. The blossoms are often celebrated. Yet, it is actually the leaves that are vital for the growth of the tree. The leaves provide nourishment and rejuvenate the tree long after the blooms are gone. God’s Word sustains us and allows us to flourish even as the “beauty” fades away!

Achievements and promotions herald our personal seasons of “spring.” We can make gains toward reaching a goal or realizing a dream. Our accomplishments are like “blossoms” in our lives adding beauty and joy.

march camilla blessed devotional 2015     However, promotion and blessings can bring with them new tests and even temptations. The Word of God offers wisdom, stability and direction. His Word promotes humility, love and charity. God’s Word combats pride, arrogance and greed.  

I’m looking forward to spring in my life. I don’t doubt it may bring a few challenges as well. Yet, when I immerse myself in God’s Word, I am confident I can pass those tests that will eventually leave me blessed!

What about you?

But He said, “More than that, blessed [are] those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28 NKJV 

But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” Luke 4:4 NKJV

Welcome Spring!

It is now officially Spring! Flowers have gradually begun to bloom, birds are singing with a renewed fervor and all manner of critters in my corner of the world are rejoicing.

The activity of the three Bs (birds, bees and butterflies) finally caught up with the calendar. This week I was fortunate to enjoy their presence and their signal of a new season.

Yet, unlike the seasons on the calendar, our personal seasons are unpredictable. They can arrive at any time.

A harsh winter often catches us unaware. It may arrive in the midst of the seasonal sun. Or, we may reap a bountiful harvest when there are few signs of life and the frozen sky still stands gray.

b blessed devotional first bee 2015 I’ve decided to mentally “spring forward” even though my plans (ha ha!) have yet to catch up with me. I’ve been waiting for a few changes all the while I suppose God is waiting for me to mature enough to handle them. Our seasons of bounty and new fruit eventually follow the long seasons of preparation and patience.

While we may think we’re ready for (fill in your personal blank) God may be waiting for us to get a little stronger, possibly a bit wiser or even gain experience so we can conquer the challenges that inevitably accompany our blessings.

And there will be challenges.

We often pray for a new this or that, yet rarely do we expect or prepare for the burden that comes with the blessing.

When God answers our prayers we often receive more than we asked for. It isn’t always a “good thing” but it may be necessary.

With that promotion may come huge responsibilities.

New house!? New mortgage.

Sometimes our answered prayers may even come with unanswered questions!

Often that little bit of “extra” keeps us grounded and humble.

It may very well be that our something “extra” allows us to keep our spiritual eyes on our Savior instead of recklessly worshiping the very “thing” God blessed us with!

So, as I wait (patiently) for a few positive changes, I am thankful for what I do have and look forward with faith that my spring will come. It may not follow the dictates of a calendar but I’ve learned God’s timing is always perfect.

I trust that when my personal spring does arrive, I am mature and wise enough to manage my harvest as God would have me to.

welcome spring 2015 robin blessed devotional  In the meantime, I will enjoy the blessings associated with this time of year. I will think forward and spring forward embracing even more of the sun’s Son’s warmth while I wait.

Will you?

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

Don’t Lose Sight!

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 NKJV

Today I caught sight of two very large birds in the sky. I am pretty sure they were vultures but I watched them anyway. I was trying to decide just where they were going or what possible carcass had drawn them near.

All the while I was watching them I saw waaaayy up in the sky a hawk flying far higher than those two. I almost missed it. The hawk had a white underbelly that nearly blended into the overcast sky.

pink bud 2 blsd what do you see   At that point I felt a gentle “nudge” from God. My message for today was “don’t lose sight.”   

I am very aware that I am easily distracted and pulled away from goals and priorities that are important to me. As we are soon to close out this first quarter of the year I was reflecting on what goals I’d met and those I need to give more attention.

I’m doing well on a few. But others have managed to slide by the wayside.

My “distractions” aren’t trivial. They are the same life issues that most people deal with.

Job. Family. Even self-doubt.

I’ve noticed that when we set our mind to carry out something productive or walk the path God sets before us there is always that “lion” waiting in the bush seeking to “steal, kill and destroy.”

Sometimes we can become so fixated on our personal “vultures and lions” that we forget to look up to God instead of concentrating on the chaos around us.

We can often become so distracted we forget what we are trying to accomplish in the first place!

And that is exactly what the enemy wants.   

Some distractions are so loud that we fail to hear God.

Others are blinding and we fail to see God.

I challenge you (and myself) to reexamine your goals and “resolutions” for 2015 and with a renewed spirit, go after them!         

Instead of worrying about what the vultures are doing I will look higher and seek God’s guidance for my next steps. I don’t believe God’s best for us is preoccupation with things that reek or are dead.

We do best when we set our minds on higher things, that we may fulfill our purpose and enjoy the blessings God would give us.

pink bud 3 blds 2015   God can renew us just as He brings the trees through winter into a fruitful spring.

Delay is not failure. We only fail when we give up.     

I trust God’s grace is sufficient for me to meet and even exceed my goals.         

What about you?  

Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:18-20 NKJV


“Jesus said to him, “If  you can believe, all things [are] possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23 NKJV”

When Jesus was crucified and laid in the tomb, His friends and family were devastated. It looked like His ministry was over. Jesus spoke to His disciples of the very events that would take place. However, His disciples didn’t “hear” Him. His friends and family couldn’t see His death in its proper context. They only saw an ending. They had no vision for a new beginning.

How often are we guilty of that very same thing?

We often face situations in life that appear dead. Joy may be gone. There may be no light shining on a particular situation. Even though God has spoken a dream into you, you can’t see any imaginable way it can come to pass.

Abraham and Sara didn’t see how they were ever going to physically produce a child in their advanced age. They didn’t see it but, they believed.

Noah couldn’t imagine just exactly what a flood was but he obeyed and built that ark anyway.

Joseph was sold into slavery and later thrown into prison. He couldn’t from his lowest point imagine his brothers bowing down to him. Yet, Joseph held fast to his faith and his dream become reality.

There are so many more examples in God’s Word of dead situations that looked hopeless but God wasn’t done.  God had a plan. God has plans for us as well!

The above photograph is of an Oak Leaf Hydrangea. I planted it years ago in remembrance of my father. It has grown beautifully over the years but now it is crisp, dry and lifeless.  Or is it?

  hly wk 2

If you merely glanced over this plant you wouldn’t see the small buds of life breaking forth. I think one of the reasons I actually favor this plant is because it is resurrected year after year. In fact the more “dead” branches on the tree, the greater the potential for blooms.

Now if God will do that for a plant, how much more will He do for us!

Believe that God cares for YOU! Believe that your life does matter! Don’t give in to fear over faith!

Resurrection is available for us!

Dare to believe because…He’s… NOT… dead!

Worthy is The Lamb!

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever” Revelation 5:12-13 NKJV

Break Through!

“For now I will break off his yoke from you, And burst your bonds apart.” Nahum 1:13 NKJV

‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them.’ Jeremiah 30:8 NKJV

I spent a few days this week inspecting my yard and playing with my camera. Doing so, I came across my hostas!  Hostas come in many varieties and  return faithfully year after year. However, for this to happen, the hostas must first break through my very hard Georgia clay.

Like hostas, we have to push through some hard things as well. These things are as unique as each of us, yet if  persevere, pray and stay with God;  we can also find the warmth of the Son/sun and enter a season of growth and renewal. Not only does the hosta have to break through the cold hard ground to thrive in the spring, it must also shed some of its old dry and useless self. Hostas push away the old “bones” left over from last year making room for more life-sustaining leaves. There is a lesson in this for all of us.

The scriptures above speak of God’s promise to His people. Both prophets testify about how God will free His people. God’s Word speaks of delivering His people from enemies both physical and spiritual. God doesn’t want us to be in bondage to other people or sin.   DSC_0607

For some of us to live our lives as God intended we need to

Break some bad habits

Break new ground…learn something new, meet new people, broaden our thinking, vision and aspirations

Break off the shackles that bind…fear, depression, doubt, regret, guilt or whatever holds you hostage

Dare to deviate from what is not working. What has God promised you? Have you asked Him for direction, discernment, revelation? Have you done the things He’s told you to? If you are waiting on God, He is probably waiting on YOU!

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For [it is] time to seek the LORD, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12 NKJV

Fallow in the above verse refers to land that is allowed to lie idle during the growing season. Many of us are waiting for a break through but do nothing during the growing season. How can we expect to reap a harvest if we don’t  sow good seed? Our break through requires work on our part!

Reap in mercy. To reap mercy you have to sow it. If some of us were a bit more merciful and less judgmental it would allow more time to improving ourselves!

It is time to seek the LordMany of us continually look for the next best thing, big idea or solution to a problem; yet, if we would only seek Him we would find the answers we desire. Our God is more than able. He is more than willing.

For those of you waiting on the perfect time to take that leap of faith, obey God’s prodding or even courage to take that first step, do it anyway. Do it afraid.

You don’t have to be fearless. God rewards our faith in Him, not perfection.

Finally, I never know when my hostas are going to appear. Some years I find them in February. Other years not until May. I never know when they will break through. We don’t know when our big break will come either. Yet, I am always expecting them to appear. I dare you to expect God to do the miraculous with you and through you.

Break out of what was and step into what can be.

Life is waiting. Time will not.

“A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;” Ecclesiastes 3:3 NKJV

Flaws and All!

“Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God,” Luke 3:5-6 NKJV 

 The Cherry trees pictured above are mostly recognized for their soft fragrant blooms. However, what I find most fascinating about these trees is not their short lived blooms but rather their imperfect trunks. Even the limbs that spread out into pink and white canopies grow irregular and seemingly malformed. 

I think their true beauty stems from the fact that their rough and ill-shaped limbs can still produce something so delicate and beautiful.  Only God can take what is rough and crooked and turn it into something magnificent and breathtaking. The transformation of these trees from something sinister looking into what they are now illustrates how our Father can do the same with us. 

You see, I believe that what God does for these trees, He can do on a continual basis for you and me. Even when we have deviated from the proper path, God can still allow us to flourish, bloom and even glorify Him. DSC_2881

Our twists and turns often take us away from the narrow path that leads to Him. Even our best efforts to be spiritual, church going, or however you choose to commune with God ultimately fall short in developing us into the people we can be. Only God can make us righteous, a blessing to others and develop us into people who look outward instead of inward.   

God uses our “detours” away from Him to define and build our character. And sometimes isn’t always about the choices we make as it is how we react to the twists and turns life throws our way.  

Sometimes we do get where we want to go, just not when or how we expected to get there. Our experiences often become a reference from which we change. Hopefully, we become compassionate. Educated. Humble. Not bitter, mean or hopeless.  

Recognizing our faults and weaknesses makes us wiser because we learn we can’t do it ourselves. We need Him. God is not an accessory in our lives but a vital necessity! 

Only He can make our crooked places straight. Flaws and all, God can use us; we can glorify Him! 

We just have to remember to not let the twists and turns obscure the bigger picture. He does love us. He wants us to flourish, blossom and grow…nearer to Him. Because our God wants the absolute best for us. And that just happens to be Him.  

Though less than perfect, these trees never stop reaching up toward the Heavens. 

And neither should we. 


New Life!

“This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life,” Psalm 119:50 NKJV 

The Word of God is essential for an abundant life. It allows us to grow and not stay where we are. You can exist without God’s Word but you won’t truly live as He intended.

God’s Word brings forth new life in us. It combats fear and despair. The Word provides a hope for tomorrow. It fuels our faith. The Word of God is our defense against the hard cruelties that we must endure in this world.

The blossoms on this pear are beautiful but short-lived. The blossoms are often celebrated, but it is actually the leaves that are vital for the growth of the tree. The leaves provide nourishment and rejuvenate the tree after the long cold winter. The leaves are the sustenance for new life just as God’s Word is for us.

Most people celebrate the beauty that comes with spring and new growth. Achievements and promotions can herald our own season of “spring.” We can make gains toward reaching a goal or realize a dream.  These things are often “blossoms” in our lives adding beauty and joy. Yet, it is God’s Word that sustains us and allows us to flourish.

Promotion and blessings come with new challenges, tests and even temptations. The Word of God offers wisdom, stability and direction. The Word promotes humility, love and charity. The Word combats pride, arrogance and greed.  Obedience to The Word prevents your blessings from overtaking you!

In this season of Lent, I have committed to spend more time in The Word. I am hopeful that my heightened awareness will continue far beyond the Easter season. I want to become so dependent on God’s Word that I can’t function without it. I want to read it until I breathe it. I want to be transformed into someone new.

God’s Word has the power to make that happen. He is faithful to me and I want to be faithful too! 

“Then I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh,” Ezekiel 36:26 NKJV 

But He said, “More than that, blessed [are] those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28 NKJV 

But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” Luke 4:4 NKJV