What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Secret Garden Chronicles ~ A Lenten Devotion

Today is the beginning of the season of Lent... click HERE for more information about the meaning of Lent (according to Wikipedia).   


As I have stated in my previous post linked above,
 "My approach to Lent is that it is not so much about making a "sacrifice", as it is about moving forward in the right direction, a new beginning; a clear resolve to obey rather than sacrifice."

So today as I sat in the Secret Garden


contemplating how the Lord would have me approach this Lenten season this year, I was directed to look at a few different scriptures:


Joel 2
12.  "Now, therefore, says the Lord, 
Turn to Me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.

13.  So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.



Romans 12:1-2

1.  "I beseech you therefore brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that you present your bodies a living sacrifice,
HOLY, Acceptable to God,
which is your reasonable service.

2.  And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable
will of God."

And then in verse 6 it says:

"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,
let us use them..."

Instead of sacrificing some thing for Lent, my prayer is that I would turn to the Lord with ALL My heart...truly "rend" (tear open, look inside) my heart, and  be that "living sacrifice, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE TO THE LORD; and that I would be more fully committed to using the gifts that God has given me for His honor and glory.  I pray also that the Lord would transform me, renew my mind, and create a clean heart within me.  (Psalm 51:10)


In the past few days I have been contemplating the word "Quietude".  Click HERE for a previous post about that.   I truly didn't realize that this was a real word that we use in our vocabulary. I thought it was a Latin word for quiet, and actually I believe that is where it originated.  But here is the definition of the word according to Dictionary.com"
qui·e·tude
ˈkwīəˌt(y)o͞od/
noun

  1. 1.
    the state of being quiet; tranquility; calmness; stillness; quiet.
My "One Word" for 2017 is "REST".  It would appear that "quietude" and "rest" go together quite nicely.    I'm wondering how the Lord is going to dovetail these two words as I approach His throne during this season of opening my heart before Him...

"For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
'In returning and REST you shall be saved;
In QUIETNESS and confidence
shall be your strength.'"
Isaiah 30:15

"The work of righteousness will be peace,
and the effect of righteousness,
quietness and assurance forever."
Isaiah 32:17

"You will keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You."
Isaiah 26:3

I believe that God is leading me into a place of "perfect peace", as I REST and TRUST in His Word, and in "quietness and confidence" be assured of God giving me the strength I need to face whatever challenges may lie ahead.  

I look forward to experiencing what the Lord is going to show me during this time of "quietude", as He prepares my heart to remember Christ's great sacrifice for my sins...and the 
gift of eternal life that He gave to all of us who would believe, on His Resurrection Day!
Hold on friends, 
Easter is coming!


(All photos were taken as I sat in the Secret Garden today contemplating these thoughts and passages. I found it to be a very tranquil and serene setting watching the Cardinal and the Chickadees...as they watched me as well.  God is so good! Amen?!)

17 comments:

  1. Love the pics of the cardinal. I've taken a few days off from my blog... not really intentionally, but I think I needed to rest myself. I believe that I will be taking more days away from the blog as God directs.

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    1. Oh Dear Debbie! I know we all need time to retreat, refresh, regroup, and rest...and especially when we feel the Lord prompting us to do so...we need to listen and obey. I know I started out gung-ho on the Secret Garden Chronicles, an then got busy again and have had to prioritize what I can and cannot do every day. God never meant this to be a "chore", but something to enjoy and treasure. When it becomes to much like "work", we start to resent the time taken...and then we need to pull back and let God redirect our thoughts. Take care of yourself...and trust the Lord to lead you in His path. You are such a blessing to all...rest up so you can come back refreshed!

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  2. Pam, thank you so much for this lenten devotion. I really like the idea of opening our heart to Him and to use the gifts He has given us that others might be blessed and that He might be glorified. Hugs to you, my friend.

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    1. Thank you Dianna, for your thoughts and affirmation of these words today. Yes, and now to wait on the Lord to show me how He might be more glorified through what I do with the gifts He has given. I guess it is just a matter of being obedient and letting Him do the rest!

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  3. Wonderful message on lent. Create in me a clean heart O Lord, yes, yes, yes!! Let me sacrifice myself to His glory.

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    1. Praying that the Lord will help me as I seek His face...that He will help me to do and be what He needs me to be for His honor and glory. I know I can't do this in my own strength...but God is already well aware of that...and I believe He has a plan! Thank you for stopping by today. Blessings.

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  4. A lovely devotion to begin lent and a beautiful setting in which to seek the Lord.

    Diana

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    1. Thank you Diana. I truly feel the Lord moving and shaking my spirit up to be ready for His action. I know I can't work it up in my own strength. Thank you for stopping by today. Blessings to you my friend across the sea!

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  5. Wonderful thoughts Pam! Being willing and obedient to whatever the Lord has for you is a beautiful place to be, so much He can do with that kind of an attitude and heart! And those lovely pictures of the birds who were with you there in your garden... I do believe animals are sensitive and know when the spirit of the Lord is moving around them! They feel the peace :) Hugs to you today dear friend, may the Lord mightily bless you today :)

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts and affirmation of what the Lord is saying to me and through this blog...and yes, I do sense His presence in the garden...and the birds seem to be getting quite used to me being there and are at peace as well. Blessings to you and your little "wild kingdom" in the frozen north!

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  6. Quiet and peace are such a blessing to me right now. Thank you for this Lenten devotion. I love the red cardinal.

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    1. I am so glad you could stop and visit here today. I am praying that the Lord is ministering to you in the quietness as you continue to prepare for your big move. I am so happy for you to have these things to look forward to.

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  7. Quietude is a word?? I have never heard it, but I like it!

    ""The work of righteousness will be peace,
    and the effect of righteousness,
    quietness and assurance forever."
    Isaiah 32:17"

    LOVE THIS.

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    1. It IS a word...just not one that we use in our every day conversation I guess...but I am finding it an attitude of my heart more and more each day as I practice these moments of "quietude" while contemplating God's Word to my heart. It's really been a game changer for me...one that I sorely needed. Thank you for joining in.

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  8. Pam: "Quietude," I like it. It relates to peace, my word for 2017. I like my home in the mornings because it is peaceful. I sometimes forget that, although we live on a fairly busy street, our back yard is quiet. I have found I work best when I have peace around me. I can't wait for the weather to get better for longer periods of time. Blessing as you observe Lent.

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    1. Yes, "peace" and "quietude" go hand in hand. I am glad that you are able to find little moments and places for a time of peace and quietude in your home and in your back yard...praying that the weather continues to cooperate! Blessings to you and your family during this time of preparation for the Holy season of Easter. I really appreciate spending this time of focusing my thoughts on the great sacrifice that Jesus made for me...and the promise of eternal life as a result. What joy is ours!!! Amazing Grace!!

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  9. Pam, I'm thinking that abiding goes along with quietude too. Fruit on the vine simply abides--it's not all that active, at least on the surface. However, I'm not sure how diligence goes with quietude? Hmm...being mindfully quiet while in the secret place, to pursue God with great passion. Just some random thoughts...

    Blessings!

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