Friday, May 26, 2017

Fw: thrown a curve




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 7:31 AM
Subject: thrown a curve

The straight line of my life turned a corner the day I was thrown a curve.
-
Where did this creature come from...who walked into my life?
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Why did I sense that what I missed I'd find with her beside?
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In my way life seemed straight and moving on a line...
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But the curves moved past, my heart just flipped...
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my path was re-defined!
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I'd been to school with only guys and worked aboard a ship.
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Men were all I'd hung around and tasks were linear...binary...
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Everything about this girl was circular and scary!
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From the softness of her skin to the music of her voice to the way her walk was dancing...
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But especially those curves!  Her everything en-trancing...
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My life was moving down the line, in arithmetic sequence,
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Until the curve came cross my path and turned me round (thank goodness!)
-
-
Genesis 2: 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
"This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man."
-
To Shirley...the curve that straightened me out!
Rob


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fw: the good competition




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 7:30 AM
Subject: the good competition

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
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We were built to love each other.  The twelfth chapter of Romans discusses the design God used to give each of us different gifts so that we could give them to others...spiritual gifts and gifts of service.  When we get outside of ourselves and help others we are putting His design into motion.  Paul exhorts the reader to "not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord" and puts that command inside lots of direction about helping others.  Here are some of the ways he lists to help  others:
"Contribute to the needs of the saints"
"seek to show hospitality"
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them"
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep"
"Live in harmony with one another"
"Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly"
"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all"
"so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all"
"never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God"
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head"
"Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good"
-
The Lord has loved us with an unusual love that goes out of its way and calls us to the same.  This is the competition worth giving ourselves to.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fw: Plans fulfilled




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 7:39 AM
Subject: Plans fulfilled

Jeremiah 33:14 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The Lord is our righteousness.'
-
Jeremiah was known as the "weeping prophet".  He prophesied over a period of fifty years and five kings in Judah.  It was a time when Israel was far from the Lord and they had given their hearts to worshiping false gods.  The Lord answered by conquering them and taking them into captivity.  But through Jeremiah He also gave the promise quoted above, that a "righteous Branch" from the house of David would eventually come to "execute justice and righteousness".  A commentary I read said that this is referring to the second coming of Jesus, when He will rule as conquering king.  When Jeremiah prophesied he wasn't believed widely.  In fact people got tired of his words, which often predicted judgement and the coming conquest of the Babylonians.  At one point he was even thrown down a deep pit...but survived.  Jeremiah lived about 600 years before Christ.  His words are still being fulfilled.
-
There are some today who scoff at the reality of God and who demean those who tell of His coming and of His coming again.  But, like Jeremiah, the plan of God is not dependent on the opinion of scoffers.  And many who weep today will rejoice in the many tomorrows of eternity.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Monday, May 22, 2017

Fw: peaceful morning




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 7:20 AM
Subject: Fw: peaceful morning




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 7:20 AM
Subject: peaceful morning


Peaceful morning greets first light,
We have come through sleep and night.
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Knowing not what lies ahead...
Shall we cope with fear and dread?
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Or deny our deep concerns?
Run from trouble?...Take blind turns?
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But peaceful morning reminds us true,
God in Heaven yet sees you too!
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The light that breaks on nature's rest
proves He's here to bring His best.
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And as He watched you while you slept,
Even so He'll guide your steps!
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Peace will come despite the storms.
They rage outside His sheltering arms.
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Peaceful morning will become,
His new day...
Eternal sun.
-
-
Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.




Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fw: empty or risen




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2017 8:06 AM
Subject: empty or risen

The tomb was empty.  [Jesus' tomb, that is.]  That much is accepted by all.  When Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb early in the morning the stone had been rolled away and she saw that Jesus' body was gone.  Clearly the tomb was empty.  But she thought the body had been taken away by someone.  She ran and told Peter and John about this and they ran to the tomb and found the linen cloths that had wrapped around his body and head folded neatly.  John believed at that point that Jesus had raised from the dead but Mary was still troubled that the body had been moved by others and as she sat weeping angels tried to address the situation.  They sat in the tomb at the place where Jesus' head and feet had been and asked Mary why she was weeping.  Despite the fact that she was talking with angels she had not grasped the reality of the resurrection.  So then Jesus, himself, appeared and also asked Mary why she was weeping.  But, at first, Mary thought this was a gardener working around the tombs.  She asked the "gardener" to tell her if he'd moved the body and then Jesus called her by name and Mary recognized Jesus.
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Mary had to move from "empty" to "risen" in her concept of the tomb.  When that took place her life moved also from empty to risen.
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In a sense our lives are empty until we grasp that One has risen from the dead to fill us with life...eternal life.  When we realize, on a personal level...one at a time...that Jesus was resurrected from death and that He who had been buried was now alive...then we also leave a "tomb" of an incomplete life and are also raised to eternal life.
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It all turns on our view of the tomb.  Was it only "empty" or was He "risen"?
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John 20:
16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!"
She turned and said to Him,[a] "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'"
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Believe and be risen...let the empty tomb become the place of resurrection for you as well!
Rob Smith


Monday, May 15, 2017

Fw: overflow




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, May 15, 2017 7:21 AM
Subject: overflow

Recent heavy and sustained rains caused the local pond to overflow the spillway.  The excess water rushed out to feed the creek that leads to the York River and find its way to the Chesapeake Bay.  The overflow was powerful and loud and you realized that water can be transformed from the calm of a pond's surface to the appearance of a herd of wild mustangs when channeled to a narrow passage. 
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We experience the overflow of the Spirit of the living God as we walk with Him.  He rains into our lives and causes the overflow that can impact people, cultures and the world beyond.  He can bring peace, like the surface of the pond, and also channel great energy to those who thirst for life from above.
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Habakkuk 3:10
The mountains saw You and trembled;
The overflowing of the water passed by.
The deep uttered its voice,
And lifted its hands on high.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fw: road to life




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2017 8:55 AM
Subject: road to life

I found the road to life this morning!  Down at the pond a concrete barrier prevents traffic from crossing a washed out bridge.  Someone has added graffiti to the barrier.  I noticed that the last word was "life".  It occurred to me that each of us needs to find the road to life and we may be surprised when we discover  that road in an unexpected place and time.  Like the road in my picture, your road...your well traveled life...may be a bit rough, overgrown and unsightly.  But Jesus stands at the head of that road.  He stands in the middle of that road.  He says, "If you want to continue and find life then you must deal with this barrier I have put in your path.  It is not so much a barrier as an intersection.  But before you complete your journey I want you to face me and either accept me or climb over me.  For I have come to meet you on your road."
-
Isaiah 43:19
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Friday, May 12, 2017

Fw: this very moment




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2017 7:17 AM
Subject: this very moment

How are you "this very moment"?  I was struck by this passage from Paul's letter to the Ephesians (chapter 2, verse 13 in the Amplified Version):
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"But now [at this very moment] in Christ Jesus you who once were [so very] far away [from God] have been brought near by the blood of Christ."
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I realized that my picture of God is too often distant even though I have put my trust in Him and even though He has been faithful to me.  I allow too much distance into the relationship when He desires intimacy.  He has brought me near and through a great price.  And now I can view my life as an endless series of "moments" ...each one is "this very moment"...when I experience this nearness.  And if He has brought me near, who am I to draw away or withdraw into myself?
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We get a sense of what God is doing in this chapter as He is breaking down barriers between people and between people and God.  The chapter concludes with a statement of God's plan in verse 22: "22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit."
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This very moment you are very near to God and He is very near to you...so near that God has chosen to live within you and within the fellowship of believers together.
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May this day be a succession of moments where we remember His nearness,
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fw: faith




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2017 7:26 AM
Subject: faith

We all have faith. 
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The question is: What is our faith in?  Faith is belief in something we cannot see.  I have faith in the electricity that lights up my home and powers my smart phone.  I can't see it and I really don't understand it but electricity works!  I have faith in God.  I haven't seen Him and He's way beyond my understanding but I have experienced the result of faith in God.  There is an invisible part of me that needs the touch of God.  Just as I can't see my personality...or my emotions...or my conscience...or the workings of my mind...so I need the help of the invisible God who can see all of me and is able to reach and touch every aspect of me.
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And faith in God leads to greater faith in God as this belief becomes a steel cable and over this cable travel my innermost concerns and questions and over this cable come answers and peace.  And so we walk by faith, having found this cable to be true.
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Faith both connects us with God and provides the highway through which God speaks to us, leads us and causes us to grow.  Jesus is the doorway to faith.  He has been on both sides of the door...here on earth and also in Heaven...and He paved the way for that door to open also to us...who have begun here and need to move through that door.
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When your innermost person longs for the deepest truth and all of this is past your understanding turn your faith toward the one who formed you, understands you and defines truth.  He will complete the bridge of faith.
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Romans 1:17 For in it [the Gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fw: soldier of the mist




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 7:17 AM
Subject: soldier of the mist

There are times when you may feel like "a soldier in the mist".  I spotted this heron before he spotted me this  morning.  He seemed to be standing guard as the morning mist, rising from the pond, surrounded him.  He quickly left his post, however, as my presence startled him.  As the new day begins there is a certain mist of uncertainty that accompanies it.  We may have some idea of the challenges and pleasures that await us as the day unfolds but we cannot know the specific details and there is much that is totally unknown.  Each day turns open as a page...but do we turn the page?  The Lord turns the page and the Lord knows how the day will unfold, as a writer knows his story.  And just as we are assured that a book will have plot and meaning because it is held within the limits of its covers, we are reassured that the story of our days will have meaning and structure as we are held within the arms of the divine author.  And the mist will be chased from our mornings and the true guard of our day will not be flushed from His post.
-
Psalm 90:14
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
    that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fw: beyond




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 7:27 AM
Subject: Fw: beyond




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 7:26 AM
Subject: beyond

Beyond the view of here and now,
We know there is a place.
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A place of light, a place of peace
a place where hearts will find release.
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How can we know that we will find
this home of rest to calm our minds?
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Uncertainty in every day...How can we find the way?
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What promise can we lean upon?
What knowledge surely leads us home?
Where shall we place our deepest trust...who knows the way beyond?
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Only One has words that bridge forever with each day.
-
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2 Peter 1:"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature..."
-
blessings,
Rob Smith




Monday, May 8, 2017

Fw: Heavenly wind




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Monday, May 8, 2017 7:45 AM
Subject: Heavenly wind

John 3: 8 "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
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A strong wind moved through our area late yesterday afternoon.  I saw small branches with brand new spring leaves fall and the trees sway behind the force.  The wind was followed by a brief downpour.  Of course I could not see the wind, itself, but only the effects of the wind.  There is a wind that is blowing that has its source in Heaven.  We can't see this wind either but we see the effect of it blowing through a person.  This wind first stirs something deep within.  As the person responds and faces this heavenly force they become aware that they can't stand against it.  This is a wind that is meant to be received.  Bowing and yielding to this wind, it blows through and removes the debris and clutter inside the person.  All is made clean, as a Chicago wind that blows the streets clear of trash.  But the wind is also a carrier.  It replaces the old earthly things with Heaven's oxygen and there is an awareness that life is new.
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And this wind becomes the transporter as it moves the believer forward...now no longer buffeted but partnering with the wind as a boat trims its sails and moves ahead.
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Fw: light revealed




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 7, 2017 7:53 AM
Subject: light revealed

Light is a form of electromagnetic energy.  There is a spectrum of this energy that runs from the low side (including radio waves) to the high side (includes x-rays).  Visible light is between radio and x-rays but is the same kind of energy, only different in wavelength and intensity.  We didn't know about any of the other kinds of electromagnetic energy besides visible light until about 1800.  By 1900 we had identified x-rays and found medical applications and radio waves and found communications applications.  But this energy has been around us all the time...since the beginning of time.  We needed to discover it and understand how to harness its energy.  Now we know how to harness microwaves, infrared, gamma, ultraviolet for thousands of applications.
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The first chapter of the apostle John's gospel explains that Jesus is light ("In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness..", verses 4-5) but that when He came to earth many did not see His light.  Many still do not grasp that He is light.  We needed to discover the light that had been with us since Creation, just as we needed to discover the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum. 
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God provided help by revealing His Light to John the Baptist ("He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.", verse 7).  When God reveals that Jesus is light to a person they are forever changed. ("But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.", verse 12)
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We need help to recognize the light that Jesus is.  If we hadn't gotten the help of scientists to find the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum, beyond visible light, we wouldn't have radio, microwave ovens, television, x-rays or thousands of other inventions. 
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The same Lord who made the entire electromagnetic spectrum and knew it would be discovered also wants each of us to discover the light that will lead us to Him!
("who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.", verse 13).
-
blessings,
Rob Smith


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Fw: Sweetness by the road




----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <toanosmith@yahoo.com>
To: Rob Smith <rsmith@mycwa.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 6, 2017 8:32 AM
Subject: Sweetness by the road

We can miss the beauty that we drive and walk past so easily.  This morning I spotted a clump of honeysuckle growing wild across an abandoned road.  The sweetness of this simple plant was enhanced by its presence in a place that people have lost interest in.  I was reminded that God creates beauty and plants it wherever He wants.  
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There are people who feel abandoned, who believe they are of little value.  God is ready to reclaim every available heart and replace the emptiness with sweetness just as the honeysuckle grows over the road. 
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Isaiah 43:1
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But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
-

blessings,
Rob Smith