His Eye is on Me and You!

Have you ever wondered if God really sees what you’re doing? Have you ever wondered if he really cares for you personally? Or felt like perhaps you’re too insignificant in this world for God to really know what’s going on in your life each day. Perhaps you’re going through a painful period in your life or you’re dealing with an illness that leaves you exhausted and at times almost unwilling to go on or have a desire or will to fight? I’ve been in both of those places in the past. I’ve gone through tremendous heartache, when I was fighting battles on every side and thought that nobody cared. I’ve lost loved ones that I never thought I would get through the pain. I’ve faced health issues that made me not want to fight. But I know that God does care and he loves me and he loves you! I was reminded this morning of how much God cares for us as individuals and how much he cares for nature and beauty in this world, by a very simple event. It’s one of those things that almost takes your breath away when you think of the simplicity and the majesty of it at the same time.

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I had just fed my plants a liquid fertilizer, because it was a nice cool morning and a bit foggy. These are rare now in southern North Carolina, when our days are nearing 90 degrees and we are wishing for the slightest breeze to push the oppressive mugginess out of the air. Right after I hung up the hose, I headed for the house to make a cup of hot tea. As I walked up the steps, there was the sweetest little baby goldfinch sitting on my welcome mat! What a surprise! I tiptoed up to it, just knowing it would fly off, but it didn’t. It was hunkered down and breathing rapidly, but it never flinched. I thought, it must have just flown and gotten tired, but is it hurt? Did it hit my glass storm door? Should I pick it up or leave it alone? All these thoughts went flying through my mind as I watched it. Then I realized my maltipoo was on his twelve foot dog run only ten feet away. I quickly moved him further away, because he was oblivious to this precious creature sitting on my stoop. I stepped inside the house and grabbed my phone and started snapping photos, because I just knew it would fly away too soon to get my camera. But it sat there long enough for me to take several photos, walk around looking for its parents, then come back and shoot a video. Just after I shot the video, I opened the door to the house again to get my camera and immediately he flew off, over the roof of the house, as if he knew exactly where he was headed. Wow! All that time, he had just sat there, with me admiring him, taking photos, looking at how remarkable his feathers were and talking to him and him eyeing me back and he didn’t fly away! It was as if he knew he could trust me! He wasn’t hurt at all! Perhaps he was just tired and was headed back to his family. I will never know, but I know that my stoop was the perfect place for him to land, because he found refuge there and the welcome mat meant what it said. What if he had landed on my neighbor’s step across the street? He would have been eaten or mauled by one of her dozen cats! Perish the thought!! But isn’t that just how God is, when we listen, he gives us a place of refuge? He Is our refuge when we are tired, worn out, or don’t have the will to go on. He is our refreshment until our wings have the strength to go on. 

The song, “His Eye is on the Goldfinch” comes to mind, okay I know it’s Sparrow, but this was a Goldfinch. 🙂 

  1. Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

    • Refrain:
      I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
      For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  2. “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear, And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

  3. Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6:26

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

Where do you go in times of trouble, who do you seek in times of trouble, or what do you seek? I pray that you go to God or Jesus and that you search the word, the scriptures that have carried me through the roughest patches in my life are in Psalm 91. I hope that it will do the same for you and know that he is always there to show you where to find a safe refuge. He cares for you as much as the sparrow or goldfinch. With my Love, Katie aka Kimberly

Hey Jesus!

With Palm Sunday this week, let’s talk about Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Remember, this happened just before Passover. Jesus had dinner with Mary and Martha. Lazarus was able to eat with them, because Jesus had raised him from the dead. As dinner was being prepared, Mary poured a fragrance from the Alabaster jar and anointed Jesus feet, wiping them with her hair. Judas took objection to this lavish gift and act of worship. Judas Iscariot, was the one who would soon betray Jesus and was the disciples’ treasurer and embezzler. We see where his heart was. The very next day was when Jesus was to enter Jerusalem. Many people had heard of the story of Lazarus and about the miracles Jesus performed. With this news, they were anxious to see them both. The priests, who were jealous of the attention being taken from them, were plotting to kill Jesus and Lazarus. We see where their hearts lie too. Both the priests and Judas were looking at monetary losses. 

My daughter was teaching her children the story of Palm Sunday and asked her three and a half year old son what the people said when Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding the donkey. He said, “Hey, Jesus!” While funny and cute, and not the answer she was looking for; I think he nailed it more than all the attendees at Palm Sunday then and today. When we truly know “Jesus” and what his name means and stands for, then it is sufficient. ‘At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow!’ (Philippians 2:10) Pray in the name of Jesus, ask anything and it will come to pass… (John 14:13-14 & 16:23-24) Call on the name of Jesus and you will be healed. (Mark 16:17-18) By the name of Jesus, we enter into salvation. (Acts 4:12) 

When my 3.5 year-old grandson said, ‘ Hey Jesus,’ he said a mouthful! Isn’t it just like a child to remind us what’s important? He encapsulated everything Jesus stood for by saying his name. The Hebrew meaning of the name Jesus comes from Yeshua, the first part meaning “God.” YWVH used over 6,800 times in the Hebrew Bible and translated, Lord. The second part of the name Yeshua means deliverer, to save, or rescue. Putting this together, Jesus means God delivers, saves, and rescues, through the Messiah, who bears God’s name. 

So what did they say to Jesus riding into Jerusalem? “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Hosanna was an appeal for deliverance, the rest is the meaning of his name. On Palm Sunday, some of those who were there shouting, were doing so because they caught the fervor of others. It’s okay to catch fervor, but it doesn’t take hold to take on another person’s fervor as it does to have your own, through a personal encounter. When you have a personal encounter with Jesus, you may be the one saying, “Hey Jesus!” and meaning it with as much zeal as “Hosanna, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 

Jesus asked his disciples who they said he was. I ask myself who do I say Jesus is? Yes, I revere him, I do not take lightly his worthiness of revere, awe, wonder, or praise, but I also know that he is approachable. He is my ‘Hey Jesus!’ whenever I need him and he is My deliverer today and everyday. He doesn’t expect palm branches or alabaster jars, but I’ll gladly lay them down and pour them out for him. It’s more an attitude of what’s behind the words, than what the words are. Who do I say Jesus is? He is my all. 
Matthew 16:13-20  Let him be your ‘Hey Jesus,’ your all, and your salvation today. 

Investing Time and Honor

As I recently painted the Christmas story, I thought how the wise men heard of Jesus’ birth and desired to seek him out and honor him with gifts. Then they not only honored him, they protected him from Herod, by not telling Herod where he was, because they realized Herod wanted to harm him. They knew Jesus was to be honored. Even though I feel there were more than three wise men, I depicted three of them bearing the gifts of worth, which were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were lavish gifts bestowed upon a king of all ages. I want to focus on the fact that they put great effort and traveled many miles to witness that this ruler had been born. They invested time as well as luxurious gifts. They saw that a child had been born that wouldn’t be a typical man, he had a purpose to fulfill. His purpose was far above any purpose you or I have and he drew crowds everywhere he went as he grew older.

But in that same vein, how often do we overlook others in this world that we come in contact with each day and ignore their purpose in life? How many times do we wish we didn’t have to deal with lines in the stores or the person we have to call to arrange some event, reservation, or to buy something? How much time do we give others? Sometimes a simple sentence of encouragement is all a person needs to hang onto to make it through the day. Sadly, a negative phrase or sentence can have the reverse and harsher effects. Or perhaps there’s a family member who we don’t accept? But that person or those people also have a purpose in life, just like Jesus did, and just like we do. It isn’t just to service our needs or be a thorn in our side, God put them on this earth with a destiny. Are we helping them fulfill their destiny by honoring them as an individual? What gifts do we bring to them? I’m not talking physical gifts, I’m speaking of charitable gifts. The gifts we freely give to our friends. It’s easy to engage with our friends, to offer kindness, to fix a cool drink for them or offer food they like. It’s easy to converse, because we have things in common, but what about people we don’t know or haven’t taken the time to become acquainted? Do we leave them with words of encouragement? Or do we leave them wishing they’d never been born? Do we treat them with honor or impatience? We can make or break others. Words can uplift or they can destroy.

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

What about our family? Are we esteeming them or do we bring them words of derision? Do we act happy to see family members we haven’t seen in a while, or do we act like they’re a burden? Is it their character flaw that we see, or is it our own shortcoming that gets brought out when we’re around them and makes us feel exposed? I’ve been around people like this and I had to reassess myself and make adjustments in my own attitude because there was nothing wrong with them, it was their shining example that shone on my lousy attitude. Once I corrected, things were so much better. I was able to see that my outlook was the culprit in the relationship and they’d done nothing wrong. I was just offended that they had exposed my weakness.

Another weakness some of us have is in giving and receiving. When and if we buy gifts for family birthdays or for Christmas; do we purchase the first thing we see, or do we put thought behind it and buy things to honor the recipient? Because a gift given without love, is a gift without life. It would be better to offer love, and be empty-handed than to offer a gift given without love. It’s equally bad to give a gift only in recompense for a gift they’ve given. People know when gifts are sincere and when they are not. They also know when strings are attached, neither are correct. We should give expecting nothing in return and we should give from the heart, not out of duty! When we rush out at the last minute to compensate for another person’s gift, it isn’t heartfelt. I personally would rather leave empty handed and be genuinely thanked for a gift I’ve given than to be given a gift that I don’t need or won’t use, because there was no forethought by the giver.

Can you imagine the wise men buying things along the way or in a rush for Jesus? Or can you imagine them coming back to remind him one day about the gifts they gave and asking him for a favor or some compensation? Yet how many times do people do this? No, their gifts were given from a pure heart, with respect and honor. They were offering and worshipping a baby who had never given anything to them, but they knew the relationship they invested in would give them great rewards. Think about that for a minute… the wise men were investing. How many of us invest these days? Whether it be time, love, kindness, sincerity, or honesty; what do we truly and freely give?

We only get out of a relationship what we put into it. If we dismiss a person as insignificant then they will be insignificant in our lives. But if we see them as valuable and worthy, they become valuable and worthy, even if only to us. You only get what you expect, nothing less. And sometimes it has nothing to do with the other person and more to do with our perception and acceptance of them. Jesus can only be Savior to those who accept him as Savior. But the clerk at our local grocer or our family member will never be cherished if we don’t value them. Let’s try to at least offer kindness, acceptance, honor, and humility to those we come in contact with each day. And in this season of giving, with family members around, let’s go out of our way with them by putting their needs above ours. Give gifts of love, honor, and respect. Show them they’re of value and have a purpose. If we are following the Holy Spirit, this should come easy by evaluating them through Christ. He didn’t hold any sins against them and neither should we.

2 Corinthians 5:16-20 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”