I wonder….

I wonder…

 

How’s your sense

of wonder?

 

How’s your awe?

 

As you stare down

at the earthy path you’re on

 

Have you forgotten to look up?

 

Is your child buried

beneath layers of adult?

 

Is God big to you?

Or, do the concerns of this world smother?

 

Gaze at His beauty

Be excited for His love

 

And don’t make people wonder

about your wonder

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Let all people stand in awe of the Eternal; let every man, woman, and child live in wonder of Him.

– Psalm 33:8 (VOICE)

 

Therefore, let us all be thankful that we are a part of an unshakable Kingdom and offer to God worship that pleases Him and reflects the awe and reverence we have toward Him, for He is like a fierce fire that consumes everything.

– Hebrews 12:28-29 (VOICE)

 

O Eternal, our Lord,
Your majestic name is heard throughout the earth;
Your magnificent glory shines far above the skies.
From the mouths and souls of infants and toddlers, the most innocent,
You have decreed power to stop Your adversaries
and quash those who seek revenge.
When I gaze to the skies and meditate on Your creation—
on the moon, stars, and all You have made,
I can’t help but wonder why You care about mortals—
sons and daughters of men—
specks of dust floating about the cosmos.
But You placed the son of man just beneath God
and honored Him like royalty, crowning Him with glory and honor.
You ordained Him to govern the works of Your hands,
to nurture the offspring of Your divine imagination;
You placed everything on earth beneath His feet:
All kinds of domesticated animals,
even the wild animals in the fields and forests,
The birds of the sky and the fish of the sea,
all the multitudes of living things that travel the currents of the oceans.
O Eternal, our Lord,
Your majestic name is heard throughout the earth.

– Psalm 8 (VOICE)

 

The people brought children to Jesus, hoping He might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and Me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in His arms, He laid his hands of blessing on them.

– Mark 10:13-16 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

Invisible

My beautiful

Invisible

God

 

Sometimes I long

to see Your face

 

and Your invisibility

appears as a barrier

 

between You and me

 

But it doesn’t have to be

that way

 

There really is

no barrier

 

Only Jesus,

as the Way

 

Invisible God

You see me

 

right through to my core

 

And,

Invisible God,

you see the invisible people

among us

 

None escape Your sight

 

And while I still long

to see You,

Jesus

 

It doesn’t need to be a barrier

 

For You have made a Way

 

Communication with You

Creation Divine and serene

Your Word powerful and life-changing

Relationships beautiful

Love overwhelming

 

Life abundant

 

They show me You,

my invisible God   ❤

 

– Susie Stewart

 

We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, He organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

– Colossians 1:15-18 (MSG)

 

We all live off His generous bounty,
gift after gift after gift.
We got the basics from Moses,
and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
This endless knowing and understanding—
all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
No one has ever seen God,
not so much as a glimpse.
This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
who exists at the very heart of the Father,
has made Him plain as day.

– John 1:16-18 (MSG)

 

But you may not look directly at My face, for no one may see Me and live.

– Exodus 33:20 (NLT)

 

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

– 1 Timothy 1:17 (NIV)

 

No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us.

– 1 John 4:12 (NLT)

 

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

– Romans 1:20 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

 

Critical

If you have a critical spirit

your joy will be swept away

 

plain

and simple

 

You will spend your time thinking

about the flaws of another

 

instead of on the sweetness

and beauty

and loveliness

of life

 

and of God

 

If you find yourself

criticizing

this person

and that person

 

outwardly

or in your thoughts

 

Stop

 

Just stop

 

And send your thoughts

into the realm of joy

 

Your world is small

if all you do is think critical thoughts

of people

 

Expand your heart

to joy

and thankfulness

 

And watch those words

 

Build others up

 

You know that you don’t appreciate

someone being critical

of you

 

Find joy

in focused attention

on goodness

and Light

 

and always be

thankful

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, “Let me wash your face for you,” when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

– Matthew 7:2-5 (MSG)

 

For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment [will be] merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment.

– James 2:13 (AMP)

 

Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive His approval.

– Romans 14:4 (NLT)

 

Do you judge others? Is it easy for you to find fault with those around you? Then beware: Your spiritual life is in danger.

A critical attitude can hinder your walk with God and distract you from God’s purposes for your life.

We judge because of our own selfish interests. For example, we sometimes become critical when comparing ourselves to those around us. We try to find fault in others to prove that we are smarter, better looking, happier or wealthier. But these are selfish reasons. We simply want to feel better about ourselves. We also get critical when others fail to do what we ask, or do not do what we think is right. Often, it is a family member, friend or co-worker who fails to meet our expectations. Our expectations lead to a judgmental attitude.

Even our own frustrations can lead to a critical attitude. If life is not turning out the way we desire, we hide our own frustrations by finding fault with others…

Remember, it’s easy to be critical. The faults of others are often very obvious to us. During these times we need to make sure we give grace instead. Thank God for those people and ask the Lord to bless them and reveal His will to them.

It’s really quite simple: God has granted you mercy. He has paid the debt for your sins. Now, the only debt you owe is to offer His love and mercy to others, for “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13; NASB).

– CBN.com

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Inside

Outward

Shell

Exterior

Shallow

Skin-Deep

Temporary

 

Inward

Depth

Core

Heart

Soul-Deep

Forever

 

Watch what you look at,

for beautiful can be deceptive

 

What lies within

is profoundly significant

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

– 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)

 

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

– Proverbs 31:30 (NLT)

 

…but let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, [one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature] which is very precious in the sight of God.

– 1 Peter 3:4 (AMP)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Beauty

I think it’s interesting that so many who are confronted with extremely difficult circumstances – cancer, loss of a spouse or child, a natural disaster, imprisonment in a railcar – seem to find wonder in the simplest things. And those of us in seasons of comfort and ease seem to have such a hard time seeing the beauty around us.
– Matt Heard

 
When we experience beauty, we feel called. The Beautiful stirs passion and urgency in us and calls us forth from aloneness into the warmth and wonder of an eternal embrace. It unites us again with the neglected and forgotten grandeur of life.
– Elaine Scarry

 
From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance.
– Psalm 50:2 (NLT)

 
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display His craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make Him known.
– Psalm 19:1,2 (NIV)

 
Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
– Luke 12:27 (NLT)

 
… I fight to nourish my mind and heart with beauty. Yes, it’s a fight, because the world is fallen. But it’s still a world that has its Creator’s fingerprints all over it, so I open the eyes of my heart and behold His beauty. And the greatest reward of the journey is growing closer to the Author of all the beauty….My intense hope for you – and me – is that we’ll start uttering, ‘That’s beautiful,’ more often and more deeply than we ever have before. And that we, as men and women created in the image of the Creator Himself, will experience the freedom of using our unique and creative abilities, whether we call ourselves artists or not, to generate more beauty on the canvas of our relationships, our careers, our stories, and our culture.
– Matt Heard

 

 

Photo by Arik Stewart

Beautiful

God created Beautiful

He is the Author of Lovely

 

The Maker of Mountains

and seas

bird songs

mother love

and skin types various

 

Eyes sparkling

colors inspired

 

majesty

and billows

and clear

 

And the beauty of His Creation

inspires

warms

and fills

 

But

everything beautiful fades

in this temporary world

 

everything, that is,

except the beauty inside of people

 

It grows more and more radiant

when the Author of beautiful resides in a heart

surrendered

 

Reflecting the Creator

 

No outer beauty that fades

is more important

than the beauty inside that doesn’t

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

Charm can be deceptive and physical beauty will not last, but a woman who reveres the Eternal should be praised above all others.

– Proverbs 31:30 (VOICE)

 

The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.

– Isaiah 40:8 (NIV)

 

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!

– Isaiah 52:7 (NLT)

 

You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

– Isaiah 62:3 (ESV)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

Goodness

 

God promises to work ALL things for the GOOD

 

for those of us who love Him

and have been called by Him

 

He takes our mistakes

our heartache

our everything

 

and brings purpose and good

 

Beauty from ashes

from all that happens in our lives

 

No exceptions

because of unconditional love

 

How unimaginably gracious!

 

 

So, what if you and I sought to do that

for people?

 

What if we were to respond with grace

when wronged,

bringing the good

to that situation?

 

And what if we loved

when it makes more sense

to hate?

 

And what if we took awful circumstances,

and inserted compassion

and truth

instead of criticism?

 

What if we responded with patience

when it isn’t warranted?

 

What if we sought,

by God’s Spirit,

the good

in everything?

 

What if we showed His goodness,

by His power,

with His Light,

in the darkness?

– Susie Stewart

 

 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

– Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 

…we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

– Romans 8:28 (MSG)

 

And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.

– 2 Corinthians 3:18 (AMP)

 

To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.  In their righteousness, they will be like great oak that the Lord has planted for His own glory.

– Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart