To Soar Like An Eagle

For some reason this morning, a treasured memory has flooded my mind and heart. Last April on the 23rd., Kevin and I were blessed to spend several hours with some great friends just before they returned to minister in Europe and in Israel. Our first stop was a quaint coffee shop with a great view of the Chattahoochee River. We purchased our coffee and made our way outside to enjoy the beautiful scenery from the bank of the river. As we chatted and caught up a bit on each other’s lives, something grabbed all our attention. Right in front of our eyes, up in a perfectly blue sky, soaring over the river right in front of us were five beautiful bald eagles circling around in front of us. After circling a few times they began to fly away. Kevin and I have been to this very spot a number of times, never have we seen even one eagle and this day there were five! It was an amazing sight to behold, sitting in quietness with special friends who we don’t get to see near enough, listening to the rushing of the waters and seeing that majestic sight. What a great way to start off our visit; what a great memory!

Eagles are Beautiful and interesting creatures. Here are just a few facts about them…

  • Eagles are powerful birds of prey.
  • They have hooked beaks and powerful talons to hunt prey.
  • There are over 60 species.
  • They build their nests on high cliffs or in tall trees. Bald eagle nests can weigh as much as a ton.
  • Some eagles hunt animals as large as a young deer.

Credit to:  Science

  • They have very sharp eye sight, perhaps among the best of all other species.
  • Bald eagles are known for spectacular aerial shows.
  • Considered symbols of power, transcendence, and freedom.

Credit to:

  • Mate for life; Once pared together, bald eagles remain together until one of them dies. Life span-20-30 years
  • Most are approximately 3 feet long with wings spans of 6-7 feet and weigh 10 to 14 pounds.

Credit to:

Eagles are mentioned in scripture between 31 to 34 times depending on which translation you may be reading. Some scriptures compare God to a mighty eagle, others may refer to His enemy as an eagle. Perhaps one of the most quoted verses about eagles is Isaiah 41:30-31 “Youths may faint and grow weary,and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”

What a beautiful picture that paints for us! It is truly a beautiful sight to watch an eagle soar up high, whether it is one or five! Just think…His Word tells us that we can soar on wings like eagles when we trust in Him; when we wait upon Him. He promises to renew our strength, that we will soar; run and not grow weary; walk and not faint… What a promise! We exchange our worry and doubt for trusting God and the benefits are beyond most of our expectations! We can be refreshed, renewed, and we can soar above our circumstances just by trusting God with our lives and our circumstances.

This is my hope and prayer for us for 2015: to trust God more; make Isaiah 40:31 more of a reality in our lives; to dig deeper and go deeper with God; to leave our cares with Him and trust Him to even turn the tough things in life into something beautiful and that He will cause us to be able to soar!  Don’ s words from that afternoon, as best I remember were… “May you soar above any turbulent waters and may you be found standing on a rock in the middle of the river holding a cup to catch the blessings when the blessings are flowing all around.” What a blessing to speak over your friends, and may it be so for each of us as we enter this brand new year! May God take us to a place of deeper relationship and deeper trust.  May we both give and receive mercy and may we be overwhelmed by His grace and peace.

Just What is this Wonder?

Just what is this wonder that you speak of? Miriam-Webster online ( ) defines wonder as something or someone who is very surprising, beautiful, amazing, hard to believe. The verb is described as to have interest in knowing or learning something, to think about something with curiosity, to feel surprise or amazement.  Now, if you will, let me describe wonder through my eyes…through what I observed watching this little grand-daughter of mine and through the eyes of her siblings and cousins over the last seven years when they were awestruck.

My definition:  Wonder is an amazing, stop dead in your tracks, jaw-dropping, surprising and beautiful sight. It takes your breath  away; makes your heart beat a little faster in awe and excitement. For a moment or two everything stands still and pales in comparison to what your eyes and senses are beholding and you feel just a bit more alive. It brings a smile to your face and to your heart. You just want to linger in the moment and never forget it. You are captivated, feel like you have a great blessing before you and have no desire for the moment to end!

Wonders are all around each of us all the time. Many times we fail to see them for the cares of our world can be great and the demands all around us can keep us too busy to see what is right before us. I have been on a journey over the last ten years or twelve years to force myself to be more aware of the wonders that this world holds. As I said, it began around ten or twelve years ago. A well-known Bible study teacher in one of her studies was teaching on The Patriarchs, specifically on that day the story of Moses when he asked God to let Moses see Him. God’s response was to hide Moses in the cleft of the rock to protect him and then God would walk by and show Moses His glory for man could not see God’s face and live. She suggested during that video session that we pray for God to reveal His glory to us in our daily lives.  I did! Day after day, I was aware of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets, a rainbow, a majestic deer standing on the side of the woods as I drove by, shooting stars, a beautiful moon and the list could go on. Each time even if for a moment, it took my breath away, brought a smile to my face and reminded me of God’s love and majesty.  It reminded me I was not alone, God was with me and He was honoring my request to show me His glory. It became my habit to whisper as I gazed in wonder at  His latest example, ” You did that just for me, Thank You, Lord!”

Alas, even after learning such a great lesson in slowing the pace and looking for the wonders in life, life happens.  Schedules try to take us over and keep us from seeing the beauty, wonder and grace that is all around us. Burdens and circumstances try to rob us of the simple joys found in a child’s smile and laughter, in their hugs and kisses, in taking a break from the cares of life and just sitting along side a fire, a lake or river and just being.  Since that time, many times when I am feeling overburdened, overwhelmed, and in need of something or longing for something but I just can not put my finger on that need; I repeat that prayer. “Lord, please show me your glory.” He has always answered in some meaningful way. Whether it was small or grand, a whisper to my heart or a beautiful night sky filled to the brim with twinkling stars-one shooting across the sky; He always hears and draws my attention in some way.

You may be skeptical, I was too at first. The first few time the answers were blatant and easy to see, but they aren’t always so. Sometimes we may have to be a little more tuned in and attentive but they are no less wonderful. Like a grand game of hide and seek, just when you are about ready to “give up” and suddenly you find what you are looking for! Some call it practicing His presence, taking time out even if just for a moment.  In one of these times in my life, I felt a gentle whisper to my  heart. “I created you, you are a human being, (emphasis on being) not a human doing!”  You see, I was an avid perfectionist and a full-fledged people pleaser. If you are one or have been one, you are well aware what impossible burdens we place upon ourselves when we live this lifestyle. Thankfully, His words gave me the freedom to break from this lifestyle permanently.  Oh temptations still arise occasionally, but freedom is much more desirable! All it takes for me to say no now is to remember all the wonders of life I have missed trying to do the impossible on my strength. How much better is the freedom to just “be” at times.  To be still and know… to take time out and rest in Him, wonder at His creation and at His glory!

 “The Lord who made the earth, the Lord who forms it to establish it, Yahweh is His name, says this: “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

Grace, peace and joy to you!

Days of Grace-Day 23

     Just a few days ago, we hinted at some division in a small portion of the early church. It seems that there were some from the Pharisees among them that were convinced  that the new Gentile believers were to be both circumcised and follow the 613 laws of Moses.  The apostles and elders came together at the Council of Jerusalem to address the matter.  Peter went before them reminding them of his call to take the gospel to the Gentile people and how God, who knew the hearts of these folks, had given them the Holy Spirit and had made no distinction between the Jewish believer and the Gentile believer. God cleansed them all by faith.  Then Peter asked the question, “why put God to the test by placing on them a burden that neither our fathers or we could bear?” Peter continued, “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”  All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were  relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.” Acts 15:11-12 (NAS)

     James, head of the Council, agreed with Peter citing the words of the Prophets as proof. How could they place a heavy burden on these believers? God had already given them the Holy Spirit upon their believing without condition. Next, James sent Paul and Barnabas along with Judas and Silas to the Gentile followers with a letter with the following message:

“The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings “Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your soulsit seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ “Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essential that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”   Acts 15:23-29 (NAS)

     The body of believers at Antioch was gathered together when the men arrived and the message was read. The fellowship rejoiced and were greatly encouraged.  Paul and Barnabas stayed at Antioch for a while preaching and teaching, then Paul began his second missionary journey.  Paul and Silas left together to return and revisit all the cities that he had previously taken the gospel message. Verse 40-41 tells us Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the LordAnd he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia.”

     There is so much to be said for wisdom! When questions and differences of opinion arose it appears to have been handled swiftly and with wisdom. They took into consideration the testimony of the witnesses, the prophets teaching in Word of God and they prayed. The result was a response based on both the Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  The bottom line for both groups of believers was that it was through the grace of the Lord they were all saved, because of His favor, goodwill, mercy and love.

       Two of our other grace verses are also found in Acts. Both were spoken by Paul on his missionary trip to Ephesus; the first is Paul speaking about his life and his mission. He says in Acts 20:24,“But  do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. Paul is totally committed to complete the work that was begun in him and the purpose that God had set before him as a minister of the gospel. The second was to those to whom he was ministering. Paul told them to be on guard for their flock; wolves will come in speaking falsely to draw them away from the faith; Be Alert! Then he said, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32

     All through the book of Acts there are examples of grace upon grace. Grace is a powerful motivator. The more we receive or realize that we have received grace, the more we want to give it to others. My prayer for us all is that our eyes be opened to the great grace that God has extended to us through Jesus. That in itself would have been enough, but may we also be acutely aware of the many examples of His grace in our day-to-day lives and in our circumstances. May your days be filled with the awareness of amazing grace all around you!

Days of Grace- Day 4

     In our journey so far we have looked at three examples of grace. First, Noah found grace with God because he and his family stood out above the wickedness that surrounded them. Secondly, Abraham and his family was the benefactor of the grace of God and lastly Moses and God’s chosen people found favor with God as the cord of grace and favor are weaved further through scripture. Our first day we looked at the Strong’s definition of the Hebrew word for grace (Chem). Today, let’s finally look at a working definition of this word grace.  According to Noah Wester 1828 online dictionary, the noun grace is defined “Favor; good will; kindness; disposition to oblige another; as a grant made as an act of grace;  appropriately, the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him.” Amazingly, this just covers the first two of twenty definition listings just for grace the noun. It is a very dynamic word!  For more see:

     Now that we have a working definition in our language, let’s look at the next connection in our grace pilgrimage, we will be in Judges six looking at the story of Gideon. The story begins with an explanation of how God’s chosen people find themselves living in caves and mountain strongholds because they have done evil in God’s sight and have been targeted for seven years now by the Midianites. Israel was hurting. After all that God had delivered them from in the past, they still had memory failure and fell into disobedience once again. Now they find themselves in a struggle to get by and crying out to God once again and God answered their cries. His response is located in verse  8-10: “the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land; and I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell : but ye have not obeyed my voice.” KJV

     Gideon was hiding out and threshing wheat by the winepress. This is indeed an unusual place to be threshing wheat, normally they would thresh on the hillside where the chafe could blow away and the wheat would fall back to the ground but Gideon was here trying to preserve the little wheat they had from the enemy. An angel of the Lord appeared saying, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.” (Judges 6:12b)  Gideon responded,  “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about,saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:13)

     Then the Lord responded that Gideon should go in his own strength and deliver Israel from Midian and Gideon, much like Abraham had several excuses why he could not do as he was asked.  Patiently, the Lord responded again with these words from Judges 6: 16-17. “But the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.”

      Gideon then said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. “Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” Gideon found favor with this messenger and He awaited as Gideon prepared a meal and returned. The angel of the Lord then sacrificed the meal as an offering unto the Lord.  Judges 6:22-24 tells us, “When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.”  The LORD said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace.”

      Once again we see the great grace that God shows one of His chosen. This is  a man clearly hiding and trying to protect his grain and yet God sees his potential and calls him mighty warrior despite him being of the least and the smallest among his people. As the story goes Gideon takes the first step in fulfilling God’s request. We not only observe that God is a God of peace, we also get a glimpse into the great patience God has with Gideon. God goes on to patiently answer Gideon as he asks for signs not once but twice before he continues to fulfill what the Lord has called him to do. How great is the patience and grace of God throughout all the ages and even in our day, Grace to you!



Praise the Lord, O my soul!
With all that is within me, praise his holy name!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
Do not forget all his kind deeds!
He is the one who forgives all your sins,
who heals all your diseases,
Psalm 103: 1-3


Yes, Bless The Lord oh my soul! What an amazing display of Your glory are the sights and sounds I am blessedly surrounded with this morning! A stunning example of Your goodness, kindness, faithfulness is rolled out like a red carpet before me, my spirit leaps and my heart magnifies You, oh my Lord!!

Oh how great are you Lord, there is none other like You! Your creation cries out at Your great majesty as I meet with You here this morning. Rushing waters, waves crashing declare Your Glory! Palm fronds flutter in Your presence as the palm stands at attention before You, arms raised high. Birds flock to the sky to sing Your praises. The flowering trees wave their hallelujahs to the Most High God, welcoming Your presence in their midst. The sound of lapping waters, crashing waves dim in comparison to You. At Your command the sun begins it’s daily ascent rising over the waters leaving a trail reflecting Your Glory dancing toward me on the sea as it reaches for new heights. Gentle waves advance toward me. They break forth in a crashing song, then quietly receded in awe of Your Splendour.
Sea grass stretch toward You in the warmth of a new day, celebrating. In the distance, playful dolphin leaping for joy at the wonder of You.

Yes, let all that is within me join with creation, praising Your Holiness; let my soul magnify You and bless Your holy Name. My hearts cry. “There is NO other like You” !! Living waters dance jubilantly, fluffy clouds in their sweet worship gently sway to Your beautiful melody. In response, a lone sea gull stands at attention facing sunward, lifting its head to Your dwelling place in awe and wonder! Those made in Your image stand in utter amazement in the beauty of the ever changing canvas as You paint this new day, basking in Your great creativity; enjoying the echoes of You personally singing over our lives; watching an ever changing slide show of Your faithfulness, mercy, and love. This is grace! Continual glimpses of Your goodness, Your beauty. How can we not worship? How can we not Magnify Your name?

Praise the Lord, O my soul!
With all that is within me, praise his holy name!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!