Sea Glass

Have you ever thought about how long it takes to form sea glass? I bet it is a long time. Maybe several decades. The salt water adds to the beauty giving it a frosted appearance. A lot of people hunt it and use it for making jewelry and other unique pieces of art. But it did not start out this way. It was not instantly a finished work of art or even very pretty. It more than likely started out as a jagged piece of broken glass from a beverage bottle. You could say it was just a piece of garbage. It was rough around the edges and painful if you cut yourself on it.

Isn’t that how we start out? Our hearts are rough around the edges, and we cause others pain if they get too close. We could say we are sometimes discarded by others as trash and end up in a sea of troubled waters. Then God lifts us out of the murky waters, just as we are. He begins to shape us and smooth out our rough edges. But just like sea glass, it takes time. It is a work in progress; we are God’s masterpiece. He created us in His own image and although we are not perfect because of sin – He wants us to strive to be more like Jesus, not in our performance but in the way we love, treat, and serve others. Our lives are like shards of brokenness awaiting transformation that is only accessible through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:16 ESV)

Angelic Presence

A while back I asked God what He wanted me to write about. His answer was the title of this message. I did not take to pen and paper or computer/keyboard right away. Frankly, I was not completely sure what to write about in that arena. I know a little about them from what I have read in the Bible, but to write about them felt a little intimidating at first. I know I cannot do it on my own by any means.

I began reading a book my friend gave me for my birthday entitled, “Angels” by Billy Graham. I received this gift a few months earlier and had not pick it up to read until then. I believe it was no coincidence that she gave it to me.

It also was not a coincidence that two days later I dreamed about mom and dad. Mostly dad as he stood over me watching me sleep. When I woke up (in the dream) to see him standing over my bed I knew he was there to protect me. I got up and he gave me the best hug! This was a special gift, even in a dream, as when I woke up it made me very happy and stayed with me all day like a warm smile from an old friend.

The next day, my sister called and began to tell me how angels had been on her mind that week. I told her my dream, but I still did not write about them just yet. I forgot about it for a couple of weeks and had not read any more of the book about angels either until one evening I picked it back up and this sentence stood out to me like a sore thumb, “we are not to pray to angels.”

The next morning, my scripture reading led me to Hebrews 1:14- “Angels are only servants, spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.”

He showed me that prayer is a form of worship, and we are only to worship God the creator of all things. Angels are not higher than Jesus and should not be worshipped.  

The next morning, my reading led me to Revelation. 19:10, where John is reprimanded for attempting to worship the angel who was delivering the message. “Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, no, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God.” In the notes section of the NLT study bible, it gives this reflection: “God still has angelic messengers, but they are creatures who serve Him, not divine beings to be worshipped. Faithful servants of the past, including Mary, are human beings. They may be honored in our Christian memories, but they have no claim to divinity, and they should never be worshipped.”

I believe and have experienced that God can send messages through many forms, including angels, who are also here to protect all believers everywhere. The presence of angels can be comforting, but most of the time we do not even realize they are with us. They can come in different forms that are unseen or in physical body form, but we may not always know when they are here.  God can send angels to protect and save us from danger as He chooses.

The Holman Bible dictionary defines an angel as, “created beings whose primary function is to serve and worship God. Unlike God they are not eternal or omniscient.” Angels carry out God’s will as He directs them. (Ps. 148:2-5; Col. 1:16) They also preform tasks as mediators. (Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19; Rev. 1:1; 10:1)

Some people think cardinals are a visit from a loved one or an angel. I am very fond of cardinals. One evening, during this time, a cardinal flew up to the living room window and tried to perch multiple times. I feel God sends me multiple messages until I finally write about it. Perhaps this was another reminder. Angels continued to show up in my reading as I read the book of Revelation. There are some very beautiful imageries in this book if you get a chance to read it again.

I will leave you with this: “And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is the light.” (Rev. 21:23)

The Light

I was sitting in my car at the traffic light this week waiting for it to turn green when my gaze drifted to the cars passing by in front of me. I attempted to read the sign on each truck that sped by and see each person driving them. It was chaotic and hard to keep up, until I diverted my eyes back to the light realizing I needed to be ready to move when it turned green so I would not get honked at if I hesitated even a second (it happens).

When my focus was on the right place, I did not feel overwhelmed by the distractions around me. The same is true, as we go through our day, when we have our eyes on everything going on around us, it can be confusing, busy, and distracting. But when we remember to look up and keep our gaze on God we can be ready to move when He gives the signal. I need to remind myself of this when the things around me seem chaotic or I get too busy; I need to remember to pause and turn my eyes back to the ultimate ‘light’, which is Jesus.

It makes it easier to drown out the noise around us so we can hear God’s voice and discern the direction he wants us to go when we are in His word daily, praying for discernment, and keeping in step with the Spirit.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2, ESV).

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Baby’s Breath

With the Father by His side, the Groom awaits His bride

He walked the earth to be by her side

He searched the fields for the perfect bouquet

Everlasting love in a fragrant sachet

Mere words fall short and express only in part

The beauty He sees within her heart

A magnificent love story waiting to be told

As their paths cross the journey unfolds

Grace and honor hold hands, their fingers intertwine

In the unity of truth, His glory divine

Made for this moment, their hands finally meet

Their purpose intact, the puzzle complete

A picture of hope for a new life

They come together as husband and wife

Respect, honor, and peace shine through in love

Their Father looks down from Heaven above

A past forgiven, new hope springs forth

A memory shared, their hearts rejoice

All creatures great and small circle around

To witness the union in reverent awe

Baby’s breath, so tiny and sweet

A reflection of purity, His purpose complete

For this moment He died upon the cross

With a loving heart, He bore the loss

To save His bride and live a life

As God intended with the bride of Christ

The kingdom of God awaits us all

An inheritance of joy when we heed the call

Have faith and trust in a mighty God

Who loves us fiercely and forgives our flaws

A servant’s heart He asks of us

We fall on our knees, lift our eyes in trust