You know what makes each sunset or sunrise one of a kind?  The clouds surrounding it.  Every morning and every night it’s something different…and I LOVE it.  I look forward to it.  Each rise and set portrays God’s glory.  It demonstrates His consistency, His sovereignty over the earth, His creativity and His great love for us.

While a sunrise or sunset with just the sun is certainly beautiful, when clouds are present, it brings about a uniqueness and makes each one original.  The colors, contrast and rays of light the clouds produce are breathtaking!

New iphone 3889New iphone 8564

New iphone 8638New iphone 9927

photo 4

photo 1

photo a

photo 5

photo 3

It’s neat to think that the clouds, which so often produce rain can add such beauty to a sky.  These clouds have the potential, and sometimes succeed, to stop the sun from visibly shining, but never do we see a rainbow without clouds…never do we see such magnificent pinks, purples, oranges and yellows without the clouds there, reflecting the light.

“When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds.”  Genesis 9:14

photo 2

Now apply this to life–the very “clouds” that have produced rain or had the capability to stop us from shining also have the power to make us all the more vibrant and unique.  Do we see the true beauty in these clouds?  Can we hold onto God’s promises of a rainbow?

Tonight, look at the sunset and remember how special and unique you are and don’t ever doubt what God can bring out of the “clouds” in your life.  And as a dear friend put it today…shine on. 🙂




oh how He loves us!*

God is our Creator; we were in His care even before we were born (Isaiah 44:2). He created us in His image (Genesis 1:27) and we are His cherished personal treasures. He knows (and cares about!) every single detail of our lives. NOTHING is too big or too small for God. I love the analogy Beth Moore uses in the study The Law of Love of a baby tied into its mother’s womb, and how He is “tied into” and bound into our very being. Think of how bound we are to our own children…as our creator He is even more bound into us. Matthew 10:30 states that “even the very hairs on our head are numbered,” which is astounding because if your hair is anything like mine that number changes daily! Oh how He loves us!

God is love (I John 4:8). No human will ever be able to meet our deepest needs; only God can fill that hole inside each of us with His unconditional love. It’s a love that knows no end. A love that knows exactly what we need. No matter what has happened, what we have done, or how far we have run from him, His love is always there with open arms full of security and forgiveness. He has even given us a book about His love, so we would know and abide in it. It is a precious book full of abounding love from the Father that we must all keep close to our hearts. Oh how He loves us!

This world is not easy; God never said it would be. In fact the Bible tells us that we WILL suffer and have pain and difficulty in this world, but it also says this world is not our home. When we look at things happening around us, we can’t possibly begin to understand why…but the God who loves us knows why. He knows how, He knows when, and He promises better things to come for those who live for Him. His wisdom and understanding are above all else and we have to TRUST that He loves us individually, knows us individually and created us individually. He has a perfect plan for each of our lives. This plan, however imperfect it may seem to us, is perfect to Him. Oh how He loves us!

Two words: Jesus Christ (have I mentioned that He loves us!?). Oh that He would send a Savior; oh that He would send His Son, a man who knew no sin, for you and me. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” And that is certainly what Jesus Christ did for us. As many years removed as we are from the day Jesus died, we still have to know and believe that the God who loves us sent His one and only son to die on a wooden cross to take on the sin and bad choices of the world. So WE could be free. So WE can receive HIS never-ending forgiveness and grace. WOW. What a sacrifice. Oh how he loves us!

To sum it up, God loves us. And the God who loves us wants us. He has no greater desire than to fill each of us with His Spirit. He wants us to reach out to Him, accept His love, and love Him in return. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deuteronomy 6:5).

He chose us as His cherished personal treasure…is He our treasure?

*This article was originally published in My Journey of Faith online magazine in February 2013.  Click here to read the original and other stories of God’s goodness and grace!

All things for good…

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

This verse.  I couldn’t get it out of my head last week.  In light of the recent catastrophic and devastating tornadoes that ripped through our state and through conversations with others who are hurting because life is just hard, I have needed something to hold on to.  I’ve needed something to remind myself that nothing goes without purpose, nothing is ever wasted and that God is sovereign and knows the good He has prepared for those who love Him.

I once wrestled with this verse and didn’t know if I really believed it or not; it was in 2006.  My heart wasn’t necessarily in the best place to begin with, nor was my relationship with the Lord. That May I experienced our first miscarriage, the unexpected death of my brother in October, and a second miscarriage in early 2007.  I will be honest, I was a mess, nothing was well with my soul and I didn’t know how God could do this to our family.  I grieved a lot, ended up angry and stayed there for a little too long (ever been there?).  I focused on all the bad that had happened, questioned God and lost faith for a while.  But, I got to such a point in that pit that all I had were His promises, the hope of Him and His Word so I turned to Him and let Him pull me out of the pit.

I can now look back at that time and see God’s hand weaving things together for my good; using pain and loss to refine me, bring me good and bring me closer to Him.  And I can praise Him.

I can also look back and know that leaning on my own understanding is a sure-fire way to end up in a pit.  Trusting in Him and the Truths He has given us in scripture is the only way to hang onto His anchor of Hope while walking through life’s deepest depths.

The world we live in now is not our forever home.  Although beautiful and full of blessings from God, it is also full of sin, sadness, loss and injustice.  I think that helps us long for Heaven but I also know that God can take these things, the things that break us, and use them for good while we are here; for His glory, His purposes and our good.  Sometimes we bring things on ourselves, and other times, the Lord allows things to happen.  We have to believe that He loves us, wants us and can see the whole picture, from beginning to end.  Our sight is so limited but He knows the good that can come from things.  All we have to do is love and trust Him in the process; it’s His design to do good for us in the end.  Don’t ever doubt this (I’m talking to myself here too!)!

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Write it on a sticky note, memorize it, meditate on it, believe it to your core.  In the big things and the small things, He is able to work them together for good; He wastes nothing.

I would love to hear how you have seen God work things together for your good!

If you want to study this more, look up the following! 🙂

  • Genesis 50:20
  • Deuteronomy 8:16
  • Ephesians 1:11
  • Ephesians 3:11