Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fw: Rain your reign




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2017 8:04 AM
Subject: Rain your reign

Rain your reign from high above!
-
Touch my cheek, wet kiss of love.
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Saturate this soul with you,
That we be one...
Your touch is true.
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Hard to look up to the sky,
When the rain fills my eyes;
-
But covered with this blanket now,
Heaven's hand anoints my brow.
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Job 38:28
"Has the rain a father,
    or who has begotten the drops of dew?


Friday, August 4, 2017

Fw: Be direct




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Friday, August 4, 2017 7:37 AM
Subject: Be direct

Matthew 20:31 The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" 32 And stopping, Jesus called them and said, "What do you want me to do for you?" 33 They said to him, "Lord, let our eyes be opened." 34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.
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Two blind men sitting by the side of the road were determined to get Jesus' attention as He passed.  They had one pressing need...to gain their sight...and they were determined to overcome all objections and make that need known to the one who could meet that need.  They were persistent in purpose, focused and forthright.  Jesus matched their determination with a direct question and they expressed their need in six words.  And Jesus responded.....and they followed Him after gaining their sight.
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Focus, determination, persistence, trust...great qualities to develop a real relationship with Jesus!


Monday, July 31, 2017

Fw: Rise, and have no fear




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2017 7:17 AM
Subject: Rise, and have no fear

Matthew 17: But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear." And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
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Peter, James and John had just witnessed a miracle.  They had accompanied Jesus up to the top of a mountain.  There they saw Jesus dramatically change in appearance.  His face shone very brightly and his clothes became very light...as if they were illuminated.  Then they watched as Jesus actually spoke with Moses and Elijah, who appeared out of Heaven.  On top of all that...God, Himself, spoke and told them to listen to Jesus.  I don't think they knew how to act or react.  Peter offered to set up a tent for each of these heavenly figures.  And then Jesus came and touched them and told them to get up and be without fear.
-
It isn't likely that we will experience a "transfiguration" like Peter, James and John.  However with every day we face many unknowns.  In a sense every day starts with a question mark...What will this day bring?  How will I cope with the day?
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It is a good reminder that Jesus comes to you and touches you and says, "Rise and have no fear".  We need the assurance that there is one who is greater than we are, who knows the beginning from the end and who has our very best in mind.  And when we lift up our eyes we too will see no one but Jesus.  We may not see a "transfiguration" but we can surely experience a transformation.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fw: ...still good advice




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 7:36 AM
Subject: ...still good advice

This past Sunday afternoon Shirley and I toured Jamestown island, site of the original English settlement in 1607.  This humble location, still small and unimposing, eventually endured disease, Indian attacks and discouragement to grow into the United States of America.  There is a monument dedicated to the settlement that has been there for a long time.  I took a picture of a quote from the London Council for Virginia that offers advice to the Virginia Colony before they left England, so that they would be successful.  There were two pieces of advice: (1) be united and (2) fear and serve God.  We learned from a tour guide that this is basically what the people of Jamestown did.  They united to defend themselves and establish a sustainable presence in America and they worshiped God.  One of the first buildings in the fort was a church.  And God sovereignly preserved the colony...even when they were decimated by disease and starvation.  We learned that they almost abandoned the village to return to England after a period of severe famine when a supply ship arrived in the nick of time.
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"Make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country" and "Serve and fear God, the giver of all goodness"...sill the best advice for Americans and for people who would prosper everywhere!
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Ephesians 4: "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fw: white as snow




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2017 7:29 AM
Subject: white as snow

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool."
-
I spied the pure white heron this morning and snapped his picture.  It was the first time I'd had a clear view of this beauty.  Even to spot a gray heron is a pleasure but this one is so rare from my experience.
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The pure white feathers of his coat reminded me of the purity that is only possible when we bow before the Lord and acknowledge our sin.  He will make us as clean and pure as the heron's wings.  And one day we will fly too!
-
blessings this day!
Rob Smith


Monday, July 24, 2017

Fw: son kissed day




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2017 7:29 AM
Subject: son kissed day

Son kissed day, you have come down
to start this way...your touch we've known.
-
Summer warmth paints all below as you join
the work you own...
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Driving shadows of the night, sun-washed branches drink your light;
Fed across the miles of space, every branch your hand does reach.
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I will walk with you today.  Son of God wash me also!
-
Psalm 74:16
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
    you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
-
love to all this day,
Rob Smith


Friday, July 21, 2017

Fw: when faith is underneath everything




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 7:31 AM
Subject: when faith is underneath everything

Job 16:19 
Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
    and he who testifies for me is on high.
20 My friends scorn me;
    my eye pours out tears to God,
21 that he would argue the case of a man with God,
    as a son of man does with his neighbor.

The Old Testament figure, Job, had suffered the loss of almost everything that mattered in his life: crops, herds, children, personal health.  And as he was mourning all this his wife told him to turn his back on the God he believed in and his friends also provided more judgement than comfort.  But despite all this adversity Job clings to his faith and the passage above reminds us that we, also, have a witness in heaven...one who testifies for us.  Jesus is the one who argues our case before God.  And we deserve the loss of all things but our advocate is also our sin-bearer.  He paid our price and now represents us in the courts of Heaven.
-
Job had this confidence too..that one day Jesus, who had redeemed him, would come!
-
Job 19:25 
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith
-

-



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fw: lifetime crop




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2017 7:37 AM
Subject: lifetime crop

Matthew 13: And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow.
-
24 He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,
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31 He put another parable before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.
-
Jesus used the illustration of planting to teach lessons about heaven.  He used the familiar terrain of land and crops and sowing and reaping for a people who lived close to the land and depended on their relationship with the ground to give them life.  In a sense we all have been planted in this ground and will grow from its surface and, like any crop, we will reach some kind of maturity and bear some kind of fruit and eventually return to the ground.  But Jesus uses the illustrations of the earth to teach us about Heaven because He knows that we are a unique kind of produce that has its physical origin on earth but its ultimate destiny in eternity.
-
So there are lessons to be learned about the soil quality that will produce best and there are lessons about the sovereign rule of God, as the master farmer and lessons about the great reality of God's Kingdom...which may not appear so great while we live out our days under the sun.  In a sense, all of this natural life is a parable, or picture, that God is using to prepare for the awesome reality of an eternal place.  And as the generations come and go they are like the seasons of sowing and reaping that the ground produces each year.
-
(I know the picture of the heron doesn't relate to this but I couldn't resist this morning!)
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fw: beyond belief




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 7:32 AM
Subject: beyond belief

Genesis 15: And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
-
Genesis 15:And he said to him, "I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess." But he said, "O Lord Godhow am I to know that I shall possess it?"
-
Abram (later Abraham) is considered the "father of faith" because he believed God when God told him that, even at a very old age, he would become a father and ultimately have countless descendants.  But right after believing...and right after we are told that his belief was the gateway to being counted as righteous...he has a big question about another promise God makes.  Abram isn't satisfied just hearing from the Lord that he was led from his old home country for the purpose of being given a new home.  He wants more...some kind of commitment from God.
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When we believe in the Lord Jesus...personally come to the place where we trust that He came to save us personally from our sin...that belief is counted as righteousness for us, just as Abram's belief counted for him.
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But that belief opens the door to a new relationship that leads to a new set of questions about God's plan and promises for our lives...and just as Abram is the example for faith that saves, so he is the example for faith that asks the next questions.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Fw: still water reflections




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2017 7:21 AM
Subject: still water reflections

Ezekiel 1:25 And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings.
-
I snapped this photo of the pond this morning.  The water was nearly still...almost without ripple.  The only disturbances I could spot were insects scurrying over the surface of the water and occasional brief eruptions from fish breaking the surface to swallow them.  It occurred to me that a still pond makes a clear reflection and a heart at peace may show the presence of the Lord.  We are challenged to share our faith and as we walk in peace...the peace that He provides in the midst of trials, especially, our faith is more than shared...it is reflected.  As we see from the verse in Ezekiel, when the Lord speaks even angels stop their flight and fold their wings.
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Because, a still pond makes a clear reflection.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fw: patience




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2017 8:43 AM
Subject: patience

Herons were made to stand in, and strut through, shallow water because that is where they find their food.  They patiently, almost statue-like, wait for their meal to swim past their stick-like legs before uncoiling their wiry neck to snatch and swallow the unsuspecting fish.  We, on other hand, need some assistance to catch a fish...we need equipment like rods and boats and bait.  I suppose the only thing we have in common is the need for patience.
-
Just as we need patience to catch fish, so we need patience to trust in the Lord.  If we try to "make things happen" on our timetable we may need the Lord's help to untangle us before He can lead us in His paths.
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Romans 8:25 "But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
-
We need a hope that is anchored in faith to patiently wait for grace.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Fw: from above




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2017 7:27 AM
Subject: from above

It is not what you achieve but what you receive that best leads to what you believe.  For who has "achieved" a flower?  And who has constructed a life? And who can bring peace that is beyond understanding?
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As we receive the light and warmth of the summer sun, so we receive the blessing of God.  And as we acknowledge this we are set free from the prison of self.
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James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."
-
blessings this day,
Rob Smith


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fw: heavy with blessing




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 13, 2017 7:28 AM
Subject: heavy with blessing

My wife, Shirley, has the green thumb that has led to beautiful gardens around our home.  One bush, in particular, always surprises me.  This hydrangea "tree" has blooms that are so heavy with moist blossoms that the branches are weighed down.  It seems an apt picture of how we are full of the Lord's blessing, wherever we are planted.  Our "tree", planted in His soil...illuminated by His Son, filled with His Spirit, blooming to return glory to Him.
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We are heavy with His blessing.
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John 1:16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
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May you feel His blessings this day,
Rob Smith


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fw: His works are perfect




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 7:34 AM
Subject: His works are perfect

Psalm 50:2
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.
-
Small or large, the handiwork of God is perfect.  The butterfly is an example of this beauty...perfect in symmetry, delicate in balance, pretty in pattern, dancing in flight...miraculously transformed from caterpillar to adult.
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Man was formed in the image of God and the rest of Creation was fashioned for man to see the Creator's handiwork and worship Him.
-
Psalm 96:6
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fw: on watch




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 7:12 AM
Subject: on watch

Genesis 1:16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.
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I was looking for some wildlife to capture by camera this morning but, apart from a pair of geese who quickly skittled away, there wasn't much that stood out.  Then I spotted the morning moon above the trees.  I was reminded that every day it is almost as if the "watch" is passed from moon to sun...as the moon fades and the big orange orb rises.  I was reminded that the Lord told us He put the two great lights in the sky to show His rule over day and night...and that His domain reaches to the stars.
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And His watchful eye cares for us continually as well...both day and night and wherever we are.
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Psalm 121:3 He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.   
-
Blessings,
Rob Smith



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fw: Heaven's wind




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Saturday, June 24, 2017 7:29 AM
Subject: Heaven's wind

I feel the wind this morning...
You send it from your sky,
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washing over as I face you...
links me with your mind.
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Heaven's breeze ...I lift my sail...
move me with your power,
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Thrust me out upon your mission,
Take charge of my hours.
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Not my ways and not my strength,
I lay them down to catch your breath... 
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Job 30:22
"You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it,
    and you toss me about in the roar of the storm."


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fw: By, through and for




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:28 AM
Subject: By, through and for

Colossians 1:16 "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him."
-
I spotted the pictured dragonfly this morning right after reading the verse above.  I had been moved by three simple prepositions that described Christ's sovereignty: By, through and for.  This verse proclaims so powerfully and yet so concisely why Jesus has a claim on all of His creation (including us):  All things (even the dragonfly) were created by Him, through Him and for Him.  You can't get around that word "All" and you can't get over the fact that this includes all things "in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible".  It's amazing enough that Jesus created the visible things...but somehow especially reassuring that He also fashioned the invisible things.  And He made them for Himself.
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It is reassuring to remember that we are among "all things" that were created by, through and for Jesus!
-
Rob Smith


Monday, June 19, 2017

Fw: a different attitude




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2017 7:27 AM
Subject: a different attitude

It's interesting to consider how our attitudes are formed.  What are the forces that shape our hopes, our fears, our dreams, our ambitions?  It seems that there are sources within us and from without as well that shape our attitudes.  Jesus teaches on attitudes that are associated with people who are looking to God as the source in Matthew, chapter 5.  Here is one attitude: (verse 5)
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 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
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What a short statement...only 10 words.  But what a contrast to the attitudes that the world presses on us and that can boil up from our own desires.  Our ambition often is more like: "Successful are the powerful, for they shall conquer the earth"...or "Happy are the wealthy, for they shall buy the earth".
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But the meek one is the one who doesn't need to conquer because the great battle has been won already and he is trusting in the victor...the Savior.  And the meek one isn't driven to acquire wealth because he is a child of the Heavenly Father...and his needs are being satisfied.
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"shall inherit the earth"...Rather than striving for things that perish, or do not satisfy, the meek one rests in the Lord.  On the far side of death awaits an inheritance greater than any human ambition can attain.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith