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Blessings to Ponder in the Springtime

FaithAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

One of my favourite things about nature is that the lessons it teaches us about God are literally endless. I’ve heard nature being called God’s second book, and I can truly see why - the more I learn about the things of nature, the more I see God’s creative hand in it, and the more I see how intentional He truly is. What an amazing Creator.

In just the Spring alone, for example, so many beautiful Bible promises come to life every day just walking outside.

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When I smell the rain, I think of the blessings God wants to pour down.


Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;

   his going out is sure as the dawn;

he will come to us as the showers,

   as the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:3, ESV)



For I will pour water on the thirsty land,

   and streams on the dry ground;

I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,

   and my blessing on your descendants. (Isaiah 44:3, ESV)



When I smell flowers, I think of how God takes care of me.



And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin (Matthew 6:28, ESV)



When I hear the birds singing, I want to sing praises to the Creator.


Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! (Luke 12:28, ESV)


“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32, ESV)


When I see the trees growing back their leaves, I think of the blessings I am continually receiving.

And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (Genesis 9:3b, ESV)

…Let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy (Psalm 96:12)

When I hear the water rushing again after being frozen, I think of God’s provision for us.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys;

   they flow between the hills;

they give drink to every beast of the field;

   the wild donkeys quench their thirst. (Psalm 104 10, 11, ESV)



they shall not hunger or thirst,

   neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,

for he who has pity on them will lead them,

   and by springs of water will guide them. (Isaiah 49:10, ESV)



And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (Revelation 22:17b, ESV)


When I see blue skies above or the twinkling skies in the clear nights, I can’t help but praise the Lord!


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1, ESV)



When I see and smell the new buds springing, I think of the newness that God wants to bring to my life too!

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19, ESV)

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What blessings do you ponder in the Springtime?


 

10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

A lot of people (including me) like to refer to the commercialized Valentine's Day as, "Singles Awareness Day (SAD)". Of course, society has emphasized romantic relationships on February 14 every year, but who says only those in romantic relationships are the only ones who love? I know many people who are single, yet love with great fierceness. Part of this is that they ultimately love the Lord, and because of that love in them, it flows out to everyone. 

I recently came across some notes I had scratched on the topic, and I thought I would share them today in honor of Valentine's Day. It's hard to love others sometimes, but as we grow and become more like Jesus, it becomes natural. Here is some of the ways the Bible tells us to love.

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1. Listen without Interrupting

 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
    he breaks out against all sound judgment.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.
When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
    and with dishonor comes disgrace.
The words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
    the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
It is not good to be partial to[
a] the wicked
    or to deprive the righteous of justice.
A fool's lips walk into a fight,
    and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool's mouth is his ruin,
    and his lips are a snare to his soul.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Whoever is slack in his work
    is a brother to him who destroys.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
    the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
A rich man's wealth is his strong city,
    and like a high wall in his imagination.
Before destruction a man's heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.
If one gives an answer before he hears,
    it is his folly and shame.
A man's spirit will endure sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
    and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A man's gift makes room for him
    and brings him before the great.
The one who states his case first seems right, 
    until the other comes and examines him.
The lot puts an end to quarrels
    and decides between powerful contenders.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
    and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied;
    he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
    and obtains favor from the Lord.
The poor use entreaties,
    but the rich answer roughly.
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (
Proverbs 18, ESV)

2. Speak without Accusing

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (James 1:19, ESV)

3. Answer without Arguing

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
    but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. (
Proverbs 15:18, ESV)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)


4. Promise without Forgetting

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (
Proverbs 13:12, ESV)

5. Trust without Wavering

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4: 18, ESV)

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain. (
Proverbs 31:11, ESV)

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6. Forgive without Punishing

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:13, ESV)

7. Give without Sparing

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV)

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
   is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death (
Proverbs 21:6, ESV)

8. Share without Pretending

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (Romans 12:9, ESV)

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:15, ESV)

9. Enjoy without Complaining

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, (Philippians 2:14, ESV)

10. Pray without Ceasing

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (Colossians 1:9, ESV)

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV)

 
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Of course, you should love others every day, not just Valentine's Day, but today is a great day to start!