Creation Speaks

The morning sings joy

and mercy

 

Do you hear it?

 

The noonday sun radiates righteousness

and truth

 

Do you see it?

 

The moon and stars whisper peace

and wisdom

 

Do you perceive it?

 

The whole earth

and all of creation

speak of Divinity

 

Listen well

and walk

in the morning joy,

the noonday truth,

and the nighttime peace

 

with your Creator

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    You call forth songs of joy.

– Psalm 65:8 (NIV)

 

He will spread out righteousness for you as a sunrise spreads radiance over the land; He will deliver justice for you into the light of the high sun.

– Psalm 37:6 (VOICE)

 

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
    which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.

– Proverbs 4:18 (NLT)

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to Him who alone does mighty miracles.

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to Him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to Him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to Him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.

the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.

and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.

– Psalm 136:1-9 (NLT)

 

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
    His mercies begin afresh each morning.

– Lamentations 3:22, 23 (NIV)

 

At every time and in every place— from the moment the sun rises to the moment the sun sets— may the name of the Eternal be high in the hearts of His people.

– Psalm 113:3 (VOICE)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

Perfect

Self-loathing

Self-consciousness

and

Self-hatred

do not lead to true humility

but lead only to increased self-absorbtion

 

Let us not waste time

being engrossed in how we don’t hit the mark

but focus our energies on Almighty God

the One whose

unconditional

perfect

stubborn

unrelenting

Love

 

desires an accepting of that love

unconditionally

 

– Susie Stewart

 

It used to be that I never felt safe with myself unless I was performing flawlessly.  My desire to be perfect had transcended my desire for God.  Tyrannized by an all-or-nothing mentality, I interpreted weakness as mediocrity and inconsistency as a loss of nerve.  I dismissed compassion and self-acceptance as inappropriate responses.  My jaded perception of personal failure and inadequacy led to a loss of self-esteem, triggering episodes of mild depression and heavy anxiety.

Unwittingly I had projected onto God my feelings about myself.  I felt safe with Him only when I saw myself as noble, generous, and loving, without scars, fears , or tears.  Perfect!

But on that radiant morning in a cabin hidden deep in the Colorado Rockies, I came out of hiding.  Jesus removed the shroud of perfectionist performance and now, forgiven and free, I ran home.  For I knew that I knew Someone was there for me.  Gripped in the depth of my soul, tears streaming down my cheeks, I internalized and finally felt all the words I have written and spoken about stubborn, unrelenting Love.  That morning I understood that the words are but straw compared to the Reality.  I leaped from simply being the teacher of God’s love to becoming Abba’s delight.  I said good-bye to feeling frightened and said shalom to feeling safe.  What does it mean to feel you are in a safe place?  That same afternoon I wrote in my journal:

To feel safe is to stop living in my head and sink down into my heart and feel liked and accepted…not having to hide anymore and distract myself with books, television, movies, ice cream, shallow conversation…staying in the present moment and not escaping into the past or projecting into the future, alert and attentive to the now…feeling relaxed and not nervous or jittery…no need to impress or dazzle others or draw attention to myself…Unselfconscious, a new way of being with myself, a new way of being in the world…calm, unafraid, no anxiety about what’s Going to happen next…loved and valued…just being together as an end in itself.

– Brennan Manning

 

Quit keeping score altogether and surrender yourself with all your sinfulness to God who sees neither the score nor the scorekeeper but only His child redeemed in Christ.

– James Finley

 

 

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith….

– Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

 

But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

– Ephesians 2:4-9 (NLT)

 

Photo taken by Susie Stewart

 

Remarkable Existence

Let all that I am praise the Lord.

O Lord my God, how great You are!
You are robed with honor and majesty.
You are dressed in a robe of light.
You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
You lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
You ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers;
flames of fire are your servants.

You placed the world on its foundation
so it would never be moved.
You clothed the earth with floods of water,
water that covered even the mountains.
At your command, the water fled;
at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
Mountains rose and valleys sank
to the levels You decreed.
Then You set a firm boundary for the seas,
so they would never again cover the earth.

You made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to set.
You send the darkness, and it becomes night,
when all the forest animals prowl about.
Then the young lions roar for their prey,
stalking the food provided by God.
At dawn they slink back
into their dens to rest.

O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
teeming with life of every kind,
both large and small.

May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
The Lord takes pleasure in all He has made!
The earth trembles at His glance;
the mountains smoke at His touch.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath!
May all my thoughts be pleasing to Him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.

– Psalm 104:1-9, 19-22, 24, 25, 31-34 (NLT)

 

It is absolutely illogical to believe that nothing produces something, or that profoundly intricate designs have come into existence by self-generation. The more simple and natural conclusion is that there is an immeasurably great Creator and Benefactor back of all the remarkable existences which we observe and experience.
-Gordon Olson

 

Photo taken by Andy Stewart

Good

This morning I read the words aloud.

For God to hear.

For the angels to hear.

For the dark ones to hear.

“In the beginning God created  the heavens and the earth…”

What a sentence!  It is amazingly understated, but as I read it aloud, the profundity of it quickened my spirit.  Deep called to deep.

“…and God saw that it was good.”

My eyes, my heart, my spirit, everything that bears His image in me, knows that

IT IS GOOD.

All of His glorious creation.  It is good.

We gaze at a brilliant sunset, and our spirits say “It is good”.

We see a precious baby born, and our spirits say “It is good”.

We feel love for a person so deeply that it seems we might burst from the depth of it, and our spirits say “It is good”.

We stand on the edge of a great and awesome cliff overlooking a scene we can hardly comprehend, and our spirits say “It is good”.

We take time to focus on Creator God, we are filled up, and our Spirits say “It is good”.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him…”

What a treasure we have in these jars of clay bodies that we can live and breathe and experience “good”,

the understated awesome.

Lord, I will speak Your Name forever.  Out loud.

– Susie Stewart