megmariem

a heart, longing for more of it's Lover.

Archive for the category “Photo Posts”

Journal Entry: Immovable Rocks

immovable rocks

I went to the lake today to be alone with the Lord. After spending some time talking with Him sitting on top of a picnic table, I wanted to put my feet into the water. I walked around the edge of the lake until I found a place low enough to sit and dangle my feet.

I marveled at the Lord for awhile. I was reminded that the One who controls the waves is the One who gives me life.

The waves were pretty strong today, and I began to focus on how they hit the bank and shot up into the air before receding back into the lake. I was being soaked from my feet all the way up to my knees. Then my attention turned to some rocks on my other side, at the base of the land. The waves hit them with just as much intensity…but even the strongest waves that slammed into the rocks didn’t even cause them to budge. The rocks were immovable.

My mind immediately went to the passage in James that my bible study group has been dwelling in for the past couple of weeks.

“My bretheren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have it’s perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all his ways.” 
James 1:2-8

The waves were like the trials and temptations in life. But he who is aware that those trials produce what we need to be sharpened and asks for wisdom in the trial, in FAITH…he will not be overtaken by the waves. He will be firm. Steadfast. Immovable.

Well, then my mind began to think logically about what my eyes were seeing. Realistically, these rocks weren’t EXACTLY immovable. Over time, as the waves continue to press down, the rocks are slowly worn down, layer by layer. Then my mind went back to the beginning of chapter 1 of James.

“Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have it’s perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Those waves are slowly wearing down the rocks but what is being taken away is temporal. When we are in the storm, standing firm in the waves, what the waves wear off of us are the parts that are not perfect and complete…the temporal and fleshly nature. What will be left will be stronger and sanctified — if we keep our eyes on the One who is in control of the waves. He will not allow more than we can handle with the power of His Holy Spirit! ( 1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

So buckle down and be strong. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6) so that you can be firm in the toughest storm….and when you are in the storm, trust that God is refining you into a more sanctified and stronger follower of His. If you need wisdom, ask Him. He’ll give it to you. Memorize the promises God gave you in His Word. Then stand on them. That’s why He gave them to you…to help you be firm. He has given you everything you need to be strong. You just have to take advantage of those things and put them to use.

Love and prayers, dear friends!

Editing People

I am a photographer. I see beauty in things that many others cannot see. I am told so often that I am crazy for stopping to take a photo of a specific scene and when I turn my camera (or phone) around with the captured moment, there is an instant of wonder in the eyes of the beholder as they see what I had to stop and photograph. This happened yesterday as I quickly pulled over at the lake to capture such a moment. I saw the sun rays spilling onto a patch of yellow flowers and stopped. My friend followed me, bewildered, and watched as I stooped down onto the ground to freeze the moment of God’s glory.  When I showed him the photo – he was beside himself with the beauty…and kept exclaiming how crazy it was that I could “see” the shot before I pulled over.

Image

I do not say any of this to portray myself as a fabulous photographer. In fact, the more I learn about photography, the more I find there is to learn! I am still a newbie. I say this because as I was editing earlier, I had a thought. I’d like to share it with you.

Photographers not only “snap” your shots in your session. We do a lot behind the scenes that you may not know about. When I slip the memory card out of my camera and into my computer, there are a plethora of choices I must make – edits I must apply to turn the raw images into beautiful shots that will resonate in the heart of the client. I can soften the image, smooth out wrinkles, brighten eyes, whiten teeth, bring the vibrant colors to life, or change colors to black and white or sepia. Many other changes can be made to the photos to impress the viewer.

Sometimes in life we encounter people who think they are like the photographer. They try to “edit” people, if you will. Do you know what I mean? I am talking about the people who try to change others to fit into what THEY think is an acceptable lifestyle. I may be able to make touch-ups on a person’s photo, but I CANNOT change a person’s inside. I cannot tweak a personality, fix a person’s spiritual life, or change someone’s lifestyle. Nor is it my place to try to do so. Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit of God who has the power to do this, and it also relies in part on the person’s cooperation and willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in their life. Condemnation and judgment is NOT our purpose.

That being said – we ARE to encourage people in the ways of the Lord. I hear it said SO often, “The Bible says not to judge, so don’t tell me that what I am doing is wrong.” Whoa. The first part of that statement IS true. We are not to judge. But what about Galatians 6:1, when it says; “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” The key here is “gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.” The difference in judging and what this verse is speaking of?

Love.

Love makes all the difference. If we operate in the love of Christ, we will not be condemning. Christ Himself hung on the rugged cross and asked God Almighty to forgive His condemners. If we strive to align our lives with the life of Jesus, He will continue to teach us how to operate in His perfect love…and we will find that instead of being judgemental – or even being completely “hands-off” to avoid being judgemental – we will have opportunities to point people to the One who redeems. The One who saves. The One who can change them. Then all of a sudden they ARE willing and cooperative with the Holy Spirit. He can “edit” them and conform them to the image of Christ.

You see, when we try to do the work of God instead of rely on His Spirit to do it, we become instruments of destruction to the Kingdom of Heaven. When we strive to be true followers of Christ – aligning our lives with the instructions in the Word of God – our lives become instruments of peace and love that are used by the Holy Spirit to increase and bless the Kingdom of Heaven.

What kind of instrument are you? Are you detrimental to the work or are you a vital part?

All or Nothing.

All or Nothing.

I keep coming back to this scripture. “All or Nothing” is a familiar and cliche phrase that we hear from a very young age. However, when the Lord adds that into His Word through the pen of a man inspired by the Holy Spirit, He doesn’t mean it lightly or cliche at all.

How often must I have overlooked this before. This is saying that we either give 100% or we give in vain. Your 87%? It doesn’t matter if it was completed in good efforts…it is in vain. Your 99%? Sure, in math, that rounds up to 100%…but in God’s eyes, it is nothing. If you do not give Him all — you choose to give Him nothing.

Conviction.

God, teach me how to live a life of 100% devotion to You. I want to honor You with every part of my being and all of my life! You are so worthy — and there is none beside You! Change my heart, Oh God. Make it completely transparent and fully on fire for You alone! Be glorified in me! This is my heart’s cry!

What does it look like to love?

Focus first on your need to change, not on hers or his. It may be that your spouse is sinning against you far more than you are against him or her. But you will not give an account for that to the Lord Jesus. You will give an account for your responses to it. That is the great battle. Will you change?
– John Piper

Wow. Conviction all over me as God uses this quote, posted on a fellow sister’s blog, to take what I posted about last night a step further.

I realize that this quote specifically speaks of marriage, but in all reality, the truth in the second half of this quote applies to us all, in every acquaintanceship, every friendship, every family relationship, and every marriage. Every-single-one. We are not held accountable for the wrong things they do — we are held accountable for how we respond in every moment of that relationship.

Pride must disintegrate as we move forward in life. The less pride we carry, the easier it is to respond in humility and with grace. I suppose this is one of those things that we will never master while we are in our mortal bodies. Only the Holy Spirit can enable us to overcome the pride that so easily and naturally rises in us. Though we will never perfect this — it is something that we must strive for, always.

My dear friend whom I referenced earlier addressed this; that we should not try to remove the speck from our fellow brother’s eye before removing the plank from our own. (Matthew 7:3) I agreed with her words wholeheartedly. How often do we say or do things that are out of line while trying to correct someone else? More so, how often have I had negative thoughts about someone because of their decisions or actions? How is this edifying to the Body of Christ? It is not. I cannot control the person, but I CAN (by the power of the Spirit) control my RESPONSE, and THAT is what I am going to be held accountable for on the day I stand before the King of Kings.

And — if you think about it, as the person to whom you aren’t judging…the one to whom you are so careful of every response to…the one who expects you to treat them like everyone else does…as he sees you responding differently, with grace and mercy, he will see Christ in you. You will be making eternal impacts on those lives, instead of causing destruction.

Which goes back to my last post. Love never gets different than a choice.

Love brings life. Pride brings death.

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