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When God Bends

Renee Ann Smith —  January 28, 2015 — 3 Comments

Prayer Bible verses

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Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath. ~Psalm 116:2~

Like a tall, strong earthly father who lowers himself to his child’s level in order to give full attention to the smallest cry or wish;
from the heights, God bends down to enter my life and hear my woes and longings.

Let’s share this message far & wide today. God hears! God cares! Pass it on!

Thanks for joining me on this awesome journey! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created this graphic with an image from RGB Stock Photos and the effects and overlays at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

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Making Life Beautiful

Renee Ann Smith —  January 26, 2015 — 10 Comments

Brighter Lives Scripture Qutoes

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Some days, I feel like I’m playing a part.

I’ve gotten good at going through the motions, saying and doing all that is expected of the adult me. But inside I’m still that awkward sixteen-year-old girl who used to look up at the sky and wonder if God knew her name—because she had no clue who she really was.

I’m glad that only God can see the wayward thoughts, uncertainties, doubts, and fears that sometimes clog my brain.

And I so look forward to the day when I’ll be free of the sin that wraps itself around my heart and squeezes out the joy and hope I long for.

When I’ve lost myself in the fog of daily living, the paradox is that focusing on eternity is what ends up grounding me in the here and now.

Those days remind me that who I am—my heart, my soul, my personality—is inextricably linked to the One who breathed the breath of life into me.

My Creator completes what’s lacking in me.
He brings out the best in me.
He makes the true me blossom as no self-improvement efforts can.
In His time, He makes me beautiful.

Thank you, Father, for changing me from glory unto glory. I look forward to the day when I look in the mirror, and Your brightness illuminates my face.

“[There is] nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” II Corinthians 3:18

Thanks for joining me on this awesome journey! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created this graphic with an image from Unsplash and the effects and overlays at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Find me on Facebook at this link & follow!

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here

***Let’s connect on Instagram! I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link. Continue Reading…

God’s Work in Us

Renee Ann Smith —  January 21, 2015 — 11 Comments

Oswald Chambers True Beauty

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You will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside. ~Oswald Chambers~

 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.~Ezekiel 11:19~

We don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know.
We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore.
Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah
gets a fresh start, is created new.
The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!
~II Corinthians 5:16-17~

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 1:6~

And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
~II Corinthians 3:18~

Thanks for joining me on this awesome journey! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created this graphic with the effects and overlays at PicMonkey. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here

***Let’s connect on Instagram! I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link. Continue Reading…

The God Who Sees

Renee Ann Smith —  January 19, 2015 — 17 Comments

We live in a culture that focuses on outward appearance. Some days it seems like everyone around me worships youth and exalts physical attractiveness.

And sadly I too often find myself falling into the trap of looking no further than the surface of people and things and missing the true beauty buried underneath.

I remember first reflecting on this years ago, the day of Princess Diana’s funeral, September 6, 1997. Every major network covered the event. All day long the news anchors talked about Diana. They showed videos and photos of her hobnobbing with celebs, playing with her boys, and visiting the less fortunate—even HIV patients. They tracked her changing style and talked about how much her gowns cost and who designed them. Later those same gowns would be auctioned off for charity.

In an odd twist, Mother Teresa had died the day before—just five days after Diana. Though they died the same week and the world would honor both of them in some way (India would give Mother Teresa a state funeral on September 13.), the two women could not have been more different when it came to outward appearance.

I doubt any young women intentionally copied Mother Teresa’s hair style. She didn’t have a bikini body to show off for the paparazzi. Celebs weren’t lining up to dance with her at state dinners or writing songs for her. No former lovers were tapped to write tell-all books. I couldn’t think of anyone who would bid for a garment she’d worn on Ebay.

Yet I wondered how Mother Teresa looked in God’s eyes . . . 

Did her incredible heart outshine the physical beauty He’d given Princess Diana?

Did God smile as He replayed images of Mother Teresa hugging an orphan or washing a beggar’s feet?

Did He see a trace of His beloved Son in every wrinkle and gray hair of this woman who had spent her whole life serving Him?

I’m so thankful that our Heavenly Father is the “God Who Sees.” He views what no one else can—the real us, the part of that will live for eternity, the part of us that bears His Image.

Perhaps that thought should scare me, but it doesn’t.

Like the woman at the well, I’ve looked into the eyes of Him who “knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out” and seen only love there.

GodWhoSees Brush With Love Review

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“She gave this Name to the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are the God Who Sees Me.’” ~Genesis 16:13, The Message~

A story I read recently—Rachel Hauck’s A Brush with Love—reminded me of this truth.

The novella focuses on hair stylist Ginger Winters. Though Ginger has an uncanny ability to bring out the beauty in others, she can’t see anything attractive in herself. Scarred by a childhood tragedy, Ginger is content to hide behind her many scarves and never reveal her true self—until preacher Tom Wells comes back into her life.

Tom invites Ginger to see herself as he sees her and—more importantly—as God sees her.

The result is a sweetly romantic story that resonates with a profound message:
God sees the true beauty in every one of us.

Are you or someone you know in need of soaking in that message today?
You can
download Rachel’s novella for less than $5 at this link.

Brush with love Hauck

Find me on social media and let me know what you think of it.
Let’s celebrate the God Who Sees Us!

Thanks for joining me on this awesome journey! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I created the Scripture graphic with an image from Unsplash & PicMonkey, my editing tool of choice! Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here

***Let’s connect on Instagram! I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link. Continue Reading…

God’s Word on HOPE

Renee Ann Smith —  January 14, 2015 — 12 Comments

God's Word on HOPE

Everything that is done in this world is done by hope. ~Martin Luther~

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Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. ~Hebrews 11:1~

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. ~Hebrews 6:19-20a~

The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. ~Psalm 147:11~

We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven. ~Colossians 1:4-5a~

Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer. ~Romans 12:12

As for me, I will always have hope. I will praise you more and more. ~Psalm 71:14~

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. ~Psalm 33:22~

Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Titus 2:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13~

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. ~Psalm 119:114~

As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. ~Philippians 1:20~

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. ~I Peter 1:3~

I, Paul, am an apostle on special assignment for Christ, our living hope. ~I Timothy 1:1~

He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth. He saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth. ~Job 5:15-16~

Thanks for being a companion on this awesome journey! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I pulled out an old pic of my niece’s pretty garden to enjoy on this frigid winter day. I created the graphic with PicMonkey, my editing tool of choice! Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here

***Let’s connect on Instagram! I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link. Continue Reading…

Is Memory A Gift?

Renee Ann Smith —  January 12, 2015 — 7 Comments

Memory Never Forget JM Barrie (Click to Tweet)

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.
~J. M. Barrie~

I recently attended the funeral of a dear hundred-year-old woman.
Her children read letters and poems in tribute to their mom.
She loved the Lord, and we rejoiced in her Homegoing.

I’ve been in that funeral home many times before. As I sat and studied the familiar wallpaper, memories of friends and family flooded me.

Their memories blossomed like summer roses and warmed that bleak winter day.

But just as roses have thorns, certain memories pricked and stung.

For some friends I’d come there to support in their time of grief.

 But others I’d said good-bye to there—in that very room.

Like Hamlet, I wondered, “Heaven and earth! Must I remember?”
Is all this remembering really a gift?

In Isaiah 43:18, God says, “Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

Yet He inspired Paul to write,“I thank my God every time I remember you . . . It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.” (Philippians 1)

Maybe the key is to include Christ in all my remembering. To allow the healing balm of His presence to erase the sting and enhance the aroma.

And to remember, too, that the memories need sustain us only a short while longer until we meet again in that place where there are no more tears, no more death, and no more good-byes.

“And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.”
~Deuteronomy 8:2~

Thanks for being a companion on this awesome journey! Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: That’s my grandmother’s portrait from when she was in her early twenties and a clock that had been in her house as long as I can remember. She was born in  1901, lived to be 102, and blessed us with her life. I created this graphic with PicMonkey, my editing tool of choice! Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here

***Let’s connect on Instagram! I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link. Continue Reading…

Faith Follows

Renee Ann Smith —  January 5, 2015 — 15 Comments

Oswald Chambers Faith follows(Click to Tweet)

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves & knows the One who is leading. ~Oswald Chambers~

The year stretches before me, fresh and new and full of possibilities.

Part of me loves the thought of stepping out into the ‘new’ to see where it will lead. But I also love the familiar paths I’m leaving behind.

Left to myself, I’d probably dither too long between the forging ahead and the longing for what has been and waste precious living time. Or allow doubt and fear to obscure my view of the prize up ahead and veer me off course.

Fortunately, my Guide knows me well. He knows where we’re headed and what it will take to get me there.

I’m so thankful He is trustworthy and true.

And that all I need is faith enough to follow Him one step at a time.

Thanks for being a companion on this awesome journey! Happy New Year, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I made this graphic with a photo from Unsplash, which I tweaked with PicMonkey, my editing tool of choice! Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here

***Let’s connect on Instagram! I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link. Continue Reading…

For the New Year

Renee Ann Smith —  January 1, 2015 — 11 Comments

CS Lewis dreaming goals(Click to Tweet)

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
~C. S. Lewis~

Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”
~Job 12:12~

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.
Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this,
but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.
I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
~Philippians 3:12-14, the Message~

Thanks for stopping by today! Happy New Year, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I made this graphic from an iPhone pic of the wreath on my administrator’s door. It’s the last of the Christmas decoration pics for this year.
Small sigh. I love a new start, but I hate saying good-bye to last year—even to the sorrows!

  PicMonkey, my editing tool of choice, makes no claim on this image & the photo is my own. So feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Just let me know in the comments. You can find me here

***Let’s connect on Instagram! I so enjoy scrolling my Instagram feed & admiring everyone’s pics. Let me know if you’re on Instagram or find me at this link. Continue Reading…