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Sabbath Sunday: The Detour

July2015EvansLake

 

This summer a small bridge closed that connects us to most of the routes I need. Thanks to the construction of a new bridge, I’ve had to take detours to find my way around.

Some detours were through official signage and others were roads I took by looking at my GPS.

The picture above is Evans Lake in Springfield, Ohio. Had the bridge been active, I would never have needed a detour.

I never would have seen this beautiful spot.

And that’s just how life is.

There are times, too many, actually, where I have it all mapped out.

And then comes a detour. Something I never planned and I don’t appreciate.

But that detour was never a surprise to God, and if I allow myself to take a look, I might find beauty, peace, blessings and so much more.

How about you?

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Sabbath Sunday: When You’re the Purple Tree

May2015trees

When I first saw this picture I focused on the colorful tree on the right. It looked like one of those inspirational quotes “If you can’t stand up, stand out.”

It also reminds me of a talk I had with my oldest years ago. He is a kid with a clear sense of right and wrong. He’s deeply grieved when he sees people choose wrong, especially when it is himself. He realized the name of his school had “Christian” in it, yet he wasn’t seeing the behavior in everyone. He really struggled.

I couldn’t completely remember the verse but I knew it was in 2 Timothy. I told him there’s going to be a time where he’s going to do the right thing.

And he’s going to stand alone.

All the green trees are going to follow the popular choices, the fun ones.

But him, that purple tree, is going to stand on a solid rock and proclaim truth. And even though it will feel like he’s standing alone, he won’t be.

The Lord will always be with him.

I’ve felt like that purple tree—standing out for Jesus—telling others how free it is to live for Him (not easy, free.) Guess what? I often stand alone.

I bet you’ve been there, too.

Guess what?

The Lord will always be with you.

 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. 2 Timothy 4:3-5

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Sabbath Sunday: Beyond the Woods

November2014sunrise

 

Each Sunday I take my own amateur nature photo and share a thought or two about God’s love.

Fairy tales are a popular theme these days and I’m a fan like everyone else. There’s Once Upon a Time, Maleficent, Cinderella is coming out, and right now, Into the Woods.

But real life hasn’t shown me a carriage or a fairy godmother.

And when life is hard, going into the woods is not full of music and dancing.

It stinks.

Probably why wilderness is named that and not rainbows and sprinkles fun time.

Thing is, the wilderness is where I’ve grown the most. It’s isolating by choice. Not only did the Lord put me there to have me to Himself, to prepare and teach me, I had to surrender to it. At first I fought the wilderness tooth and nail. Who signs up for that kind of torture? Not me.

But I realized that once you’re into the woods, there is a destination. Beyond the woods. There will be a clearing. The sun will shine. And I emerge stronger, taller, and because of my trust in Jesus, I’m a force to be reckoned with.

And that’s something to sing and dance about.

Can you relate?

My favorite verse about the wilderness is Hosea 2:14. May it encourage you today.

 

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Sabbath Sunday: Still Waters

<img class=”aligncenter size-medium wp-image-6725″ src=”http://juliearduini.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/100_0501-300×224.jpg” alt=”100_0501″ width=”300″ height=”224″ />
<p style=”text-align: center;”><em>The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.</em> (Psalm 23:1-3, NIV)</p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”></p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”>Picture by Julie Arduini</p>
<p style=”text-align: center;”>Watkins Glen State Park, NY</p>

 

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Sabbath Sunday: Still Waters

100_0501

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
(Psalm 23:1-3, NIV)

Picture by Julie Arduini

Watkins Glen State Park, NY

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Sabbath Sunday: Still Waters

100_0501

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
(Psalm 23:1-3, NIV)

Picture by Julie Arduini

Watkins Glen State Park, NY



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