Saturday, December 31, 2011

Celebrate!

When we celebrate, we want to be happy. When we celebrate the ending of a difficult or challenging year and enter into a new year, we are happier. When we celebrate the good things in life, we become cheerful. When we celebrate Jesus, happiness escalates into exuberant joy!

Take time to celebrate. Celebrate life! Celebrate your friends and family, or neighbors and co-workers! Celebrate the warmth of the sunlight or the stars twinkling at night! Celebrate Jesus Christ, who pulls us out of the darkness and brings us into His light!

Enter the new year with a celebratory spirit. Desire a happy heart. Draw closer to the Lord. For the Christ is bringing His people into a vintage season! Let the redeemed of the Lord celebrate!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Welcoming the New Year

Walking along the brightly-lit path was a challenge for the blind man. He couldn't see the rocks in front of him or know the danger of the slippery slope on one side. He didn't notice the people who rushed past him, or recognize the boys who shoved him aside. But each time he fell down, he reached for the hand that helped him up, and continued walking.

Through wind and rain he trudged onward. Through snow and ice he kept moving until he reached the goal. When he stepped across the finish line, people cheered. His children hugged him. Friends patted him on the back.

A small child stood off to one side, watching. When the noise quieted down, she walked over to the blind man and took hold of his hand. Pulling him aside, she whispered something into His ear. The man smiled, and said, "Yes." Then the girl whispered something else. The man said, "Yes," again. The child giggled and skipped off to play.

A lady standing next to the man asked him what the child wanted. He replied, "She asked me if I knew Isaiah 42:16."

The woman pressed him for more information. "What is Isaiah 42:16?"

The man cleared his throat, and said, "The Lord said, 'I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.'"

"Oh," the lady replied. "What else did the child ask you?"

The man smiled. "She wanted to know if Jesus Christ was my Savior, and I told her that He was."

May you walk into the New Year with confidence that the Lord will lead you through the storms of life. May you know that Jesus Christ will never forsake you, no matter who you are, or what you did, or what situation you are in. Whether you are sick or healthy, rich or poor, blind or have good eyesight, the Lord will lead you onward and teach you His ways, so you can be filled with peace. And when you receive God's peace, you can bring peace to every situation, and watch God's glory overshadow the darkness.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Ordinary Night

On an ordinary night, many years ago, an angel appeared to a virgin to tell her that the favor of God was upon her — that she would give birth to the Son of God. On an ordinary night, nine months later, while people slept soundly in their beds, an extraordinary event took place. The God child was born in a stable in Bethlehem, and placed in manger.

The Heavens rejoiced! The angels sang! Some of them were so excited they appeared to the shepherds, who were struggling to stay awake as they watched over their sheep. The lowly shepherds, a people group that others despised, had the honor of being the first to be invited to gaze upon the child. So the shepherds went to an ordinary stable, filled with ordinary animals, and encountered two ordinary people, named Mary and Joseph. They approached the manger and saw, with their very own eyes, the blessing that God had sent — the promised child. Their hearts were filled with awe and wonder at God's gift to mankind.

Every day is an ordinary day. But when we ask the Lord God Almighty to open our hearts to receive His Gift, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. For when we say, "Yes," to Jesus Christ, our hearts become filled with a new hope. We become sons and daughters of the Living God, and we begin a journey of discovery. We start to understand how awesome God really is, and that we are new creations in Jesus Christ. We discover that God the Father has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus, and that He is rejoicing over us with singing. We discover that God is a God of comfort, who heals our broken hearts and equips us for the journey ahead.

May you allow Jesus Christ to heal any brokenness in your heart, this holiday season. And may the joy of Jesus abound in you.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Gift of a New Day

Darkness slowly crawls into the background as the sun peeks its head over the horizon. It's another dawn, another day, another opportunity to enter into life. But am I ready to embrace the gifts that await me?

As the sun rises, will my heart also rise up with brightness and joy? When the daylight pushes away the darkness, will I also be willing to let go of yesterday's pain? When the sparkling dew or the morning frost washes the day with newness, will I also be willing to wash away the memories of past mistakes so I can embrace the new opportunities that come today?

Awaken, O my soul, and enter into this new day with a right heart, a positive attitude, and forward-facing thoughts. Help me, Heavenly Father, to embrace your gift of a new day with joy and thankfulness. Thank you, Jesus Christ, that You will be walking me through today. Holy Spirit, break through every barrier that binds me, and let me feel your guidance every step of the way.

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www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dancing Frost

Sparkling in the sunlight, the heavy frost takes on the appearance of a million diamonds. An even coat of dazzling white covers the gray roof. But it's the way the sun makes the ice crystals dance on the shingles, that catches my attention.

There are times when I feel frozen, like the roof across the street. I can't seem to budge from the place where I'm stuck. I need someone to shed light on my thinking, pull me out from the shadows, and enable me to see beauty in the tough situations. And this is where my Savior comes in. It's in the light of God's love where I can get up and dance, instead of sitting and sulking. It's warmth and compassion of Christ's heart that lifts me up, when I'm down in the dumps. It's the joy of Jesus that awakens my soul to delight in His ways, and strengthens my weary body.

So when I see the sun shining on the morning frost, and the beauty of the glimmering ice particles, I remember the Lord. For only Jesus Christ can thaw out my icy attitude and show me how to bless, despite the frigidness of the conditions around me.

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May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from the abundant joy found in Jesus Christ. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Monday, December 5, 2011

Guarding Our Nest

Unnoticed by the two squirrels chasing each around the yard, is a blue jay. From the top of the roof, the bird watches the squirrels run up and down several trees before racing race across the top of a fence. The gray squirrels leap into a neighboring yard, and wrestle each other in a pile of dried leaves. When they grow weary, the smaller squirrel scampers to the nearest tree and stretches itself across a wide branch. It's buddy disappears around the corner of the house.

A moments later, the blue jay flies to the squirrel's nest. The bird starts pecking the carefully woven leaves and twigs, pulling out seeds and nuts. Then the bird pokes its head out of the nest and looks around. The squirrels still haven't noticed, so the blue jay hops to a lower branch and begins extracting food from the sides and the bottom of the nest. A second blue jay arrives. Together, the two birds feast on the banquet they found.

It is easy to understand the importance of guarding our valuables, but sometimes we forget to guard the treasures in our hearts. Let us work hard to hang onto these precious gifts of joy and peace from Jesus Christ, and be alert to things that try to rob them from us.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from the abundant peace and joy that Jesus Christ has for you. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting for Change

Yesterday, the wind blew harshly against the bare trees. Branches creaked back and forth, under the gloomy, gray sky. Some of the weaker ones fell off, barely missing the small birds and animals looking for shelter. Today, the wind is gone, the cloudless sky is a beautiful shade of deep blue, and young squirrels leap from branch to branch. Even the chickadees are pecking at trees to find insects, while the mourning doves rest upon on the high branches to bask in the warm sun.

I am so thankful that change happens, storms pass, seasons come to an end, and new days can begin with hope and expectation. I am so grateful that the way things are today, they don't have to be tomorrow, that blue skies lie beyond the dark clouds, and that the sun is always shining somewhere.

The wind still blows harshly in my life. The things I try to do still come apart at the seams. Passing clouds still try to obscure my vision. But I have hope — hope in the promises of God, hope in the plans He has for my future, and hope that He will get me where I need to be. And because of this hope, when I fall down, I can get up again. When I fail, I'm one step closer to success. And whether the sun comes out or the clouds cover the sky, I can still scamper with delight up to the Tree of Life, and celebrate Jesus Christ.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from the abundant life that Jesus Christ has for you. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hidden Beauty

Standing leafless under the overcast sky, the maple tree looks stark and bare. It appears to be stripped of all beauty as it enters its winter sleep. Yet in a hidden, secret place beneath the fertile soil, rich growth begins to take place in the tree's roots.

Just like the maple in winter, our outward appearance doesn't always reflect the inner transformation that is taking place. God meets us in the hidden, secret place of our heart, to prepare us for new growth. And like the tree, we need to rest during this process, except our rest is in Jesus Christ, who covers us with His love.

Do not try to determine the outcome of what you see around you with your naked eyes. It's in the dark times, when everything looks stark and barren, deep inner growth is taking place. You cannot see it. Others are not showing it. You many wonder if anybody can do anything about the problems all around us. But do not despair. Fix your eyes on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. And when that new growth in Jesus Christ is ready to spring forth, nothing can stop it.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from the abundant life that Jesus Christ has for you. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Monday, November 14, 2011

Canyon Detour

Brown leaves concealed sections of the trail as it wound through the canyon. Traveling was slow. Numerous roots and jagged rocks created an uneven path. Detours around a few fallen trees and occasional pools of murky water also made hiking treacherous. I pushed forward, hoping this canyon would have a trail leading to higher ground. It came to a dead end. The image that stood in front of me — fallen logs hanging over the edge of a stone cliff and dead branches rotting in a pool of stagnant water — reminded me of life.

Discouraged, I walked out of the canyon, wondering why my efforts seem to fall down, get stuck in the mud, or come to a dead end. Then words of encouragement popped into my head, "Don't give up. Persevere. Press forward. God knows the way." I felt uplifted and started humming a melody. Words formed on my lips, and I began singing, "Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." Yes, I needed to go to the Rock that is higher than I because Jesus Christ is the Rock, and He is the way.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from the abundant life that Jesus Christ has for you. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rocky Steps

As we climb the hard, rocky steps of life, we discover that Jesus Christ provides shelter and rest along the way. Through our weary eyes, the road often looks gloomy, gray and barren. But as we learn to rest in the love of God, we begin to see things from a different perspective. We begin to realize that He turns the barren wastelands into blooming gardens. And as we stand more on His Word, we begin to see His promise of abundant life for us.

Enable us, Holy Spirit, to stand on Christ's promises and replace our negative thinking with the truth of your Word. Help us, Lord God Almighty, to remember that it's not what our physical eyes see, but what your Word says, and the truth that You speak into our hearts, that brings us victory. May the truth, that we are your beloved, and the promise that through Jesus Christ we have victory and are overcomers, replace every the doubt, negative thought, and fear that arises in our heart. For as we stand on your Word, and align our thoughts with your promises, our heart becomes open to the abundance of Your blessings.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from the abundant life that Jesus Christ has for you. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

Be Like a Child

It is good to practice being like a child — to sing in the rain, to dance in the storms, to watch the puffy, white clouds go by. And sometimes, to get silly.

It is good to let go of our worries and cares, by placing them in the capable hands of Jesus Christ, so we can bask in the light of His love, be filled with God's wonderful peace, and experience joy in our heart.

May you practice being like a child today, and enjoy the freedom that comes from Jesus Christ.

video

To view this video on YouTube, click here.

For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rocky Cliff

Stained with streaks of sulfur and iron, the rocky cliff appeared to be void of life. No plants grew between its tiny cracks. No small rodents scurried along the narrow ledges. No reptiles poked their heads out of the weather-carved holes. But as my eyes moved upward, numerous trees, colored in their fall glory, graced the top of the cliff. How surprising to see an abundance of foliage with trunks well-rooted in the rock below.

Seeing these trees gave me a clearer image of what "building a foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ" means. It means that I can grow, flourish and stand tall like these trees. It means that my roots can go deep down into the Word of God. It means that there is something solid and dependable that is holding me up and keeping me from toppling over. It means that I should endure because there will be abundant growth at the end of the rugged, barren-like journey.

How amazing is the Lord God Almighty, that He illustrates His scriptural truths in nature and in the way He shapes the earth. How delightful it is to discover a visual example of His teaching. Highest praises to the Lord God Most High. Highest praises to Jehovah.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from enjoying the splendor and love of Jesus Christ. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Zeal in the Wind

Only a few leaves remain on the poplar tree, but they glisten in the sunlight and dance delightfully in the wind. They are more jubilant than the surrounding maple trees that still have most of their foliage. What causes one tree to clap its hands with excitement while the other trees sway casually in the breeze? Is it the way the leaves are attached to the branches that enable them to be more attuned to the breeze?

Attach me to You, Lord Jesus Christ, in a way that causes my spirit to soar. I want to dance in the wind of your Holy Spirit and praise You with zeal and excitement, like the tree outside my window. Thank you for the light of your awesome love that causes my heart to want to stand up and cheer for You.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from dancing in the wind of the Holy Spirit and being filled with the joy of Jesus Christ. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Gift of Refreshing

The early morning sun shines on the huge maple tree, highlighting the tips of its branches that are turning yellow. Joy rises up in my heart at the beautiful sight. Not only does the tree look illuminated in the sun's rays, but it also appears to be standing in quiet reverence. Not a single leaf is moving under the clear, blue sky.

A hush comes upon me. I can feel the love of God. The magnificent sight of the maple in light is an invitation to bask in the light of Jesus Christ. I feel a nudge to quiet my anxious thoughts and be still — to be still and know that God is God. How refreshing it feels to be still in the light of the Lord. Thank you, Lord God Almighty, for this morning gift of refreshing.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from feeling the love of God and receiving the refreshing of Jesus Christ. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Wind, the Ant, and the Leaf

The hard-working ant searched diligently for food, climbing over grass, under leaves, and across the wooden fence. Food was scarce, the day grew long, and the ant traveled too far. It became confused, frightened and lost. A gentle breeze began to blow. The ant felt the power of the wind on its body and watched the dried leaves scatter across the lawn. The ant decided to speak to the wind as best as it could. It climbed on top of a brown leaf and looked towards the sky. Somehow, the wind understood, and gently lifted the brown leaf into the air. The leaf swirled round and round, and up and down. At first, the ant became dizzy and disoriented, but soon adjusted the thrill of sailing on the wind. After a while, it began to feel tired, closed its eyes, and fell asleep. When the ant woke up, it was back home, surrounded by its family.

Like the ant, we sometimes loose our way. We become tired, confused and disoriented when resources shrink and opportunities diminish. Then we remember God's scriptural promises, and the ability of Jesus Christ to lift us up. We remember the power of the Holy Spirit, and the ways God can turn every situation into an opportunity to strengthen our faith and our trust in Him. And as our hearts shift from the negative around us to the excitement of sailing on the wind of God's Holy Spirit, the Lord lifts us up. We begin to see life from a different perspective, and hope enters our hearts.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from enjoying the splendor and love of Jesus Christ. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Monday, October 10, 2011

Autumn Colors

The landscape around us is dotted with fall colors. We are dazzled by the brilliant yellows, the blazing oranges, and the radiant reds. The multicolored maples and yellow ash trees show off their individuality. One portrays the splendor of a rainbow, the other lights up like a globe of golden glory.

As we admire the beauty of autumn, and watch the leaves dance delightfully to the ground, we are reminded that a blessing awaits us. For just as we are drawn to the to the colorful leaves, we are also drawn to splendor of Jesus Christ and His amazing love that is reflected in the glorious colors of fall.

May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from enjoying the splendor and love of Jesus Christ. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Monday, October 3, 2011

God Has Turned My Darkness into Light

My God has turned my darkness into light! Jesus Christ has removed the heaviness from my heart. I rejoice and celebrate!


I was going through a tough time and could not rid myself of the gloominess that had gripped its ugly fingers around me. The sorrow and trauma that I had seen and felt were very upsetting. Even though the sadness was interspersed with moments of great joy, the heaviness refused to lift.

Then my Heavenly Father answered my prayer by bringing me to a place of abundance, where I was surrounded by people who cared. Together, we celebrated the wedding of a cousin, walked through botanical gardens, and enjoyed each other's company. In that place of God's love and delight, Jesus Christ healed my downtrodden spirit. And He will do the same for you.


To see a video of this testimony, go to Video


May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from rising up in the mighty love of Jesus Christ. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com


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Special Event:

Let the Holy Spirit enhance your creativity at this upcoming event:

Art & Writing Seminar and Workshops

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Release Your Talents"

Workshops in sketching, self-publishing a paperback or E-book, and creating art with paper and fabric. For more details go to: www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rise Up and Release Your Talents

Rise up, O child of the Living God.

Rise up in Jesus Christ.

Rise up and praise God, who loves you with an everlasting love.

The Great I AM is with you.

The Great I AM is for you.

The Great I AM blesses and strengthens you.

Rise up. Rejoice. And be glad!


Picture yourself bending and swaying joyfully in the wind, like the leaves and branches on a tree. God is with you and He is for you. He blesses you and strengthens you.


Special Event:

Let the Holy Spirit enhance your creativity at this upcoming event:

Art & Writing Seminar and Workshops

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Release Your Talents"

Workshops in sketching, self-publishing a paperback or E-book, and creating art with paper and fabric. For more details go to: www.promisegarden.com


May you breakthrough every obstacle that is keeping you from rising up in the mighty love of Jesus Christ. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two Evergreen Trees

The spruce and the pine tree grow side by side. Healthy, new growth can be seen at the end branches of both trees. The new growth differs from the rest of the evergreen. On the pine tree, the new growth is a vibrant, dark green, while the older needles are fading into a yellow green. On the blue spruce tree, the new growth is a silver-like blue-green, while the rest of the needles are a dark, forest green. The older needles on the pine tree will start to fall off during the winter. The older needles on the spruce tree will remain on the branches, adding to the fullness and beauty of the tree.

Sometimes we need to be like the pine tree that lets go of the old to make room for the new. We need to drop our old ways to embrace the newness of what Jesus Christ is doing in our lives. Other times we need to be like the blue spruce that needs the maturity, the experience, the strength, or the wisdom of the old to add fullness to the new. The beauty of a tall building exists because of the many floors and the solid foundation under it. When we build upon what the Lord has already given us, we become stronger and are better prepared to help others.

As we go through life, we need wisdom from the Lord to know when to let go and when to retain. We need to know when our branches will become weak if we do not drop what we cling to, and when are branches will become stronger if we build upon what is already there.

May we breakthrough the obstacles that are keeping us embracing the wisdom that our Heavenly Father so eagerly offers us. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunrise on the Edge of a Hurricane

The sun rises on the edge of hurricane Lee. In life, the beautiful and the terrible often walk side by side. Too many Pennsylvania rivers overflowed their banks; too many people were evacuated from their homes; too many valuables were washed away. During the days of high winds and the intense flooding that followed, babies were born, a wedding took place, surgery was performed, cancer removed, and friends reunited. There were laughter and tears, joy and sorrow, celebrations and devastation.

Yet in the middle of these two extremes, the love of Jesus Christ was found by those who looked for God. He was the One who watched over and protected the children when their schools were evacuated. He was the One who could see the road when the pouring rain and the passing trucks made visibility impossible. He was the One who sent His angels to watch over people in surgery. Highest praises to the Lord God Almighty, who is with us in both the good times and the bad.

May we breakthrough the obstacles that are keeping us embracing the comfort and the love of Jesus Christ. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Roaring Power


The neighborhood was relatively quiet. It was a peaceful afternoon, with a warm breeze and plenty of sunshine. Out of nowhere came the increasing rumble of a freight train. It tooted its whistle and rushed by like a roaring wind, shaking everything in its path. Then it was gone.

Though the passing train lasted only a few minutes, the impression it left on me lingered for quite some time. My life was interrupted by its powerful approach, I was awakened by its thunder-like rumble, and stirred by its tremendous strength. There was no way that I could have not noticed the change in atmosphere.

Then a question came to mind. Will I let God's mighty love interrupt my every thought and every action? Jesus Christ wants His people to see the powerful positive effects of His love. He wants to interrupt our lives to radically change us so we will never desire our old ways again. Do I want a radical change? Am I willing to embrace Jesus Christ and His Kingdom in every thought, word and action? Will I be willing to be like the mighty freight train, interrupting the quiet, little world of the folks around me with the mighty power of God's amazing love?

May all of us breakthrough the obstacles that are keeping us from entering into the splendor of God's majesty. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Friday, September 2, 2011

Opportunities

Yesterday, the poplar tree was shining in its golden glory. Today, most of the leaves have fallen to the ground. It's one day of splendor came and went as the tree gave up its gold to cloth the earth in a protective covering of leaves.

Opportunities to see glorious things, like the tall tree shining in its brilliant colors, come and go quickly. Many times we miss out on the radiant joy of being in awe of what Jesus Christ does or the splendor that comes with getting to know Him better. Our schedules get over-booked, we decide we're not ready, or are afraid to seek more of the Lord. But what would happen if we choose to stand in the brilliance of God's glory, not just once in a while, but everyday?

Heavenly Father, open our hearts up to the magnificence of who You are, to the splendor of your glory, and to the riches of your Kingdom. Help us to enter into the beauty of your ways and the awesomeness of your days.

May you breakthrough the obstacles that are keeping you from entering into the splendor of God's majesty. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Suddenly

Overnight, the foliage on the huge tree across the street turned yellow-orange. This morning, its leaves glisten like gold in the awakening sun. What a beautiful sight to see! Yesterday, all the trees on the street were green. But today, the largest one stands tall in the splendor of its new color.

Change happens. And it can happen suddenly. Many times we grow weary in waiting for problems and issues to be resolved. Sometimes they seem to go on and on, like the long, hot summer, with no end in sight. But as we continue to trust in Jesus Christ, we discover there is a season for everything. We come to understand that God is a God of suddenlies. And when the time is right, the Lord God will suddenly change the our situation, like He did to the tree across the street, and bring us into a time of splendor and glory, as we shine in the light of His mighty love.

May you breakthrough the obstacles that are keeping you from basking in the light of Christ's love. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Monday, August 29, 2011

Before and After

A while ago, the room was dark. But now it's light. When it was dark, I stumbled across the bedroom floor. But now, everyone on the carpet is clearly visible. In the dark, I had to search the wall for a light switch. Now, there is enough brightness streaming in from the window to write by. What a difference one hour makes! What a difference Jesus Christ makes.

Before I welcomed Jesus Christ into my heart, worry and fear were, too often, my companions. Now the joy of the Lord and the peace of God highlight my day. Before discovering the grace of God, I stumbled through life, often times, making wrong decisions and trying to figure out life on my own. Now I have Someone who guides my way and lights up the path before me. Before I knew the reality of the Son of God, I was often sad and lonely, and found myself in situations without hope. Now my hope is in Christ and He is the One who is growing and prospering me in Him. What a difference that one hour made when I asked God to make Jesus real to me.

May you breakthrough the obstacles that are keeping you from basking in the light of Christ's love. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dancing Diamonds

Rippling water sparkles in the early morning sunlight. Millions of dazzling diamonds ride the waves in a parade of joyful celebration. What a beautiful sight is the dance of light and water interacting in playful delight.

The God who creates beauty on the water creates beauty in us, too. We become like sparkling diamonds when we move and dance in the light of God. We radiate with joy and delight when we reflect the love of God. We glow with the glory of the Lord as we set our eyes on Jesus Christ and rejoice in Him, knowing that He sings over us. For we are diamonds in the rough being refined by Christ's love.

May you breakthrough the barriers that are keeping you from dancing in the light of God's love. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Wind of Joy

The leaves and the branches bend and sway joyfully in the wind.
They do not stress or strain, but clap their hands with exuberance.
This is where we need to be:
Flowing freely in the love of Jesus Christ...
Enjoying the wind of the Holy Spirit...
Riding on the waves of God's grace...
Dancing delightfully through the storms of life...
Well-rooted and well-grounded in the Word of God...
Fearless of what is happening in the physical realm...
Rejoicing in what Jesus shows us in the spiritual realm.
Rise up, children of the Living God.
Rise up and be like the trees that way joyfully in the wind.

video

May you breakthrough the barriers that are keeping you from dancing through the storms of life and sailing on the wind of God's Holy Spirit. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Evening Sky Celebration

The sky was so spectacular last night, that an ode arose from within my heart. This is an Ode to the Greatest Artist — Jesus Christ, who paints beautiful sky shows and paints an awesome picture of our salvation. My dictionary says an ode is a lyric poem addressed to someone, and characterized by lofty feelings and dignified style. So here is my attempt at honoring Jesus Christ with an ode and also the video of the evening sky.

With love, O Lord, You paint the sky
That causes our eyes to look up high,
And see the splendor of your light
That brings forth beauty and delight.

You orchestrate the clouds and sun
Positioning them 'til your art is done,
Shaping the sky into an awesome sight
To bless your people on this summer night.

video
May this ode encourage and bless you, and cause the beauty within you to rise up and breakthrough. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tenderness, Trust, and Affection

How beautiful it is to see the look of tenderness, trust, and affection between a loving father and his daughter. How heart-warming it is to observe the twinkle of delight in the daddy's eye, and the joyful excitement of his child, as they walk hand-in-hand down the country road.

"What's this?" the child asks, knowing her daddy has knowledge of all things.

"This is a lily," the father explains, pointing to a yellow flower. "As it blooms throughout the day, the flower follows the sun, always facing the brightness of the light."

The child giggles with joy. Daddy smiles back. He knows how precious his daughter is to him. He teaches and guides her. He protects and watches over her. He delights in watching her grow. He loves when she runs into his open arms. He hugs her and she hugs him back. He holds her close to his heart. She rests in his embrace, knowing she is safe.

Thank you Heavenly Father, that this is what You do for us. May we be like the lily flower, always facing the light of your love.

May you breakthrough the barriers in your life that are keeping you from basking in the light of God's love. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to
www.promisegarden.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

Refreshing Showers of God's Love

Droplets of water cling to the pine needles. Tiny bubbles of moisture sparkle in the morning sun. The tree branches look clean and new. All is well in the world around the pine tree.

All starts to become well in my world, when I take my eyes off the huge "to do" list and begin to rest in God's love. Refreshing are the showers of His grace that cleanse my tired soul. Beautiful is the assurance that Jesus Christ loves and cares for me. Mighty are the arms of the Lord that quiet my anxious thoughts. God cares for His people, He cares for you, and He cares for me.

May you breakthrough the barriers in your life that are keeping you from basking in the peace of the Lord. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Standing Against The Winds of Antagonism

Sooner or later, everyone runs into opposition. Even when we seek God for direction, follow His guidance, see His Hand at work, and rejoice in what we saw Him do, people will come against us. So what do we do?

First, we need to understand that everyone has their own opinion. People get comfortable with doing things one way, and when we work differently, feathers get ruffled. Second, problems often arise from hearsay and misunderstanding. People may have heard that we did such and such without taking time to find out what we actually did. That's why its important to stay calm when we hear hostility rise in the voice of someone else.

In everything we do, it's important to always ask God to be in charge. We need His vision, His wisdom, and His direction. Then, as we hear from the Lord, we need to go out of our way to do an outstanding job. Also, ask Jesus Christ to let you see His Hand at work. For when we know the Lord is directing us and see the results of His power, we have solid ground to stand on.

So when the winds of antagonism try to topple you over, and you know that you followed Jesus Christ to the best of your ability, let the peace of the Lord and the power of God's Holy Spirit reign in your heart. Forgive those who come against you. Let God deal with them. Then celebrate Jesus Christ. For He has more plans for you to prosper and grow in the ways of the Lord.

May you breakthrough the barriers in your life that are keeping your inner beauty from coming forth. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Monday, August 8, 2011

Droopy and Drenched

The early morning rain left the flowers looking like I sometimes feel — droopy and drenched. This feeling happens when too much weight is on my shoulders. Even good things can become weighty when they happen all at once and place too many demands on my schedule.

There are times in life when we must carry burdens, like caring for children, helping our elderly parents, dealing with employment issues, or paying the bills. The trick is to turn these burdens into delightful challenges. And the place to start is by knowing we don't have to carry the heavy weights all by ourselves. Jesus Christ stands ready and waiting to straighten up our drooping shoulders, to turn the rain into sunshine, and to carry our burdens for us. The question for me is, "Am I willing to let go?"

I want to be like the happy flowers that blossom in the light of God the Father, that bask in the joy of the Lord, and that bloom for the King of Kings. I want to go through life, free and unburdened, singing in both the rain and the sunshine, dancing through the storms and celebrating happy occasions. I want to be unburdened by the problems around me and the issues within me. I want to face every day with the strength of God and the power of living in Jesus Christ. This is my heart's desire. O Lord God, let this be so.

May you breakthrough the barriers in your life that are keeping your inner beauty hidden. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tuning My Ear to Hear Beauty

The sound of the traffic zooming down the highway filters through the open window. The world is waking up and the sound of people commuting to work has already begun. Despite the loud noise, one songbird chirps its song. It sings loud, lovely and cheerfully.

My ear is drawn to the bird's music. I listen closely as the bird sings a few notes, stops, and then repeats the pattern. It does this again and again. Time does not deter the bird, nor does the racing traffic. Listening to the bird's singing becomes more important to me than the commuting cars. So my mind fades the highway noises into the background. After a while, my ear tunes into something new -- the faint sound of a second bird, answering each of the first bird's calls.

The bird is teaching me how to tune into God's voice. If I take time to sing out songs of gratitude and praises, despite the busyness and interruptions all around me, my focus changes. I become more aware of the delightful sound of Jesus Christ whispering His love to me than the stressful noises that the world is shouting at me. And if I persevere in my songs of prayer and praise, I begin to hear the soft voice of the Lord through the peace that quietly seeps into my room. And this is where the conversation between the Divine and the natural begins.

May you breakthrough the barriers in your life that are keeping your beauty hidden. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thunderstorm

Lightening flashed like a strobe light — off/on, off/on, lighting up the sky as bright as day, then plunging it into deep darkness. Thunder rumbled. Rain pounded the earth, drenching the already water-logged ground. Without warning, the sound of a thousand bowling balls slamming into each other, pummeled downward. How long will this storm last? Doesn't it know that I have things to do and places to go?

I left the dishes and silverware soaking in the sink and sat down on the steps, by the open door. The powerful flashes of light, that lit up the entire street, reminded me of someone who turns my darkness into light. Too often, I find myself oscillating between long periods of darkness and very short moments in the brightness of God's love. Does this storm reflect the back and forth meanderings of my thoughts? Or the flickering fickleness of my life? I long to be in a place where truth lights up the world around me not just once-in-a-while, but all the time.

Thank you, Lord God, for the electrical storms that make me stop and wait, stop and listen, and stop and see. I need You to interrupt my ordinary life with the powerful boom of your extraordinary grace. I need the brightness of your amazing love to light up the darkness. Thunder into my life, O Heavenly Father. Make me excited about You. I want to light up with the love of Jesus Christ.

May you breakthrough the barriers in your life that are keeping your beauty hidden. For more encouragement and inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Monday, August 1, 2011

Escape to Grace

In hot, muggy weather, our bodies long to rest in a cool, shady spot. We yearn for an escape from the heat and humidity. We know that we need to find shelter from the scorching sun and drink plenty of liquid to keep from dehydrating. Our discomfort causes us to look for a place where we can find relief and rest our weary bodies.

We know what we should do when we have a physical need for shade or shelter. But we don't always recognize our need to find a safe haven when our spirits are weary. All of us need relief from stress, worry, fear, anxiousness, anger and problems. These things can drain the life out of us just as much or more than staying out too long in the hot sun. And the good news is that there is a solution. We are invited to release, hand over, and let go of our burdens and place them in the capable hands of Jesus Christ. God wants to carry the heavy weights for us. He wants our spirits to be refreshed, and Jesus invites us to come and rest in Him.

And when we are able or willing to let go of our troubles, and let Jesus carry our burdens for us, we sometimes feel a wonderfully, refreshing descend upon us. The heavy weights lift off. The stress of our situation fades into the background. The issues that caused us so many sleepless nights become insignificant as an indescribable peace permeates our entire being. And in that moment of divine grace, we start to taste the goodness of God and experience the comfort of His unsurpassing love.

For more encouragement and breakthrough inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We Are Valuable

A quiet morning,
A cloud-covered sky,

A sweet softness,
I wonder why?

Birds singing softly,
Clouds standing still,
There's a hush over nature,

What is God's will?

A breeze stirs the treetops,

It rustles the leaves,

Which clap for a moment,

What does God see?


Great joy in His Creation,

Musicians with new songs,

Artists painting pictures,

Praising Him all day long.


Believers are arising,
With a dance in their feet,

Giving glory to Jesus,

Glowing as they meet...

...The Lord of Creation,
The Savior of the Earth,

Who walks with us daily,

And shows us our worth.


Thank you, Lord Jesus, for showing us how valuable we are to You. Thank you for showing us that we are a treasure in your kingdom. You love us, and You reunite with our Heavenly Father. Thank you for atoning for our sins to make this possible.

For more encouragement and breakthrough inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Monday, July 25, 2011

Extraordinary Things

It's the ordinary things in life that become extraordinary when God touches them. He might take the gas in our car and stretch it to go twice as far during a financially challenged week. He might nudge us to bake some muffins and take them to a friend who we didn't know was in need of comfort. God might take a short story we've written or a piece of art we created just for fun and show us the deeper, hidden messages of His powerful love that need to be shared with others.

Our God wants to keep our jars of oil flowing. He wants to keep words of astonishment and gratitude on our lips. He wants us to yield to Him so He can use us to feed thousands. We don't have to think up something big or marvelous to do for the Lord. Jesus will use the things we already have — common items, like loaves and fishes — to show us the amazing things He can do.


Praise be to the Lord God Almighty who turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. Praise be to Jesus Christ who takes us way beyond our imagination. Praise be to the Holy Spirit who is at work in our hearts, helping us to yearn for more of the Lord.

May we desire the extraordinary to be part of our everyday existence. May we yield to Jesus Christ in all things. May we feel enthusiasm, excitement and zeal for our King rise within us, as God answers this prayer.

For more encouragement and breakthrough inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hummingbird

A hummingbird lingered near one of the high branches of the evergreen tree. Its quick movements caught my eye as it circled the same spot, moving up, down, sideways, and back and forth. Then it stood almost motionless in the air for a few seconds, and darted away.

Seeing the tiny bird brought a spark of hope to my heavy heart. It was a reminder that God hears my prayers and that He is with me in times of sorrow. So I welcomed the joy of that moment, taking delight in watching the little bird and knowing that the Lord delights in and watches over me. It was also a reminder to let God comfort me and to receive the smile that followed.


I must never forget that the sweet nectar of God's love is always available twenty-four/seven. Like the tiny hummingbird, I can linger in God's goodness and grace. I can release my cares to Jesus and bask in the light of His promises. And I can know, without a doubt, that God is with me and will never leave or forsake me.

For more encouragement and breakthrough inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Better Way

It's easy to focus on our mistakes and the mistakes of others. Our nature and our culture gravitates towards criticism, critiquing, fault-finding, and dwelling on missed opportunities. This is especially true when family and friends take pride in pointing out everything wrong that we do.

But there is a better, happier, and more exuberant way to live. We can choose to take a stand against our natural inclinations and encourage others, even though people have discouraged us. We can smile, even when others have frowned at us, because we know that God loves us. And we can practice remembering the good things, instead of focusing on the bad, because we are called to take our thoughts captive.


Too often in life, we wait for good things to happen to us instead of actively seeking to do good. We wait for God to move powerfully in our lives instead of looking to see His Hand at work and asking Him to open our eyes and hearts so we can be part of His plan. For when we seek we will find if we don't give up. When we allow Jesus Christ to transform our way of thinking we begin to experience a new freedom that loosens our bonds to negativity. We discover that we can celebrate life despite all that is going wrong around us. We discover that we can be happy because the joy of Jesus is our strength.

For more encouragement and breakthrough inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What Are We Looking For?

Is that a blue sky on the horizon? No, it's just bluish clouds hiding behind the tall trees. When we want something so much, we begin to look for it. And as we begin to look, we sometimes think we see it. But as we take a closer look, we discover that is isn't what we are looking for.

Never give up. Scripture says to seek and you will find. It's the persistence that makes the difference. It's the perseverance in both hope and action that brings us to where we need to be.


As we step forward, seeking to strengthen our relationships, wanting to communicate more kindly with others, developing our skills and talents, learning the new language of our ever-changing world, we find ourselves becoming overwhelmed. We wonder if those bluish clouds will ever turn into a blue sky. But as we set our hearts on Jesus Christ, and do whatever it takes to know Him better, we discover that He is the One who brings our blue sky into full view.

For more encouragement and breakthrough inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Light Cheers People Up

It's amazing how happy I felt after opening the curtains and seeing the early morning sun shine through the thick, tree covering. Seeing some of the lower branches glimmer in the sun's rays made my heart leap for joy!

What is it about light that makes people so happy? I don't know the full answer, but I do know that light brings cheerfulness to my inner being and darkness doesn't. Therefore, I need to learn to stop focusing on the shadows around me. Staring into the dark areas never brings clarity of vision, so my eyes need to get off them. Hanging onto "what if" is a bad idea, too. Dwelling on what should have happened or could have happened is not only time waster, but also drags me down. Making more room in my too-busy schedule for more of God's light is another great idea because when I loose sight of His light I find myself stressed, over committed, and overwhelmed.

Holy Spirit, help me to ignore the shadows that vie for my attention and step into your light. Enable me to become more aware of your presence, Jesus Christ, and welcome more of your love, your power, and the quietness that Your light bring to my soul. I want to be like the tree that stands in majestic stillness to bask in the light of your mighty love.

For more encouragement and breakthrough inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Truth and Deception

Deception tries to cloud the truth, play down victories, and discourage honest endeavors. Deception tells me that I will never change, that I am prone to failure, and that my old ways and bad habits are just something I have to live with. Deception says I am trapped and confined to ways of my family and to the ways of the people around me. Deception lies! The truth is: I am free to be all that God calls me to be when I trust in Jesus!

Through Jesus Christ, I am dead to the ways of the world and alive to Him.
I can seek truth, know truth, speak truth and live in truth. Through Jesus, I can accomplish everything God tells me to do. For my Heavenly Father has blessed me in the Heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus, and this is a scriptural promise. God the Father does the same for everyone who trusts in His Son.

Alleluia! We are new creations! The old is gone! The new has come! Our past no longer has a hold on us! Our mistakes cannot tie us down. We are forgiven and blessed by the Creator of the Universe! We are no longer bound to the ways of the world or by what people say to us. God is for us! His Holy Spirit lives in us. Through Jesus Christ, we have all that we need.

For more encouragement and breakthrough inspiration by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bird Choir

Early every morning, the birds sing cheerfully outside my window, but today, one song resonated high above all the others. It was the song of the robin. He was singing so sweetly, so powerfully, and so joyfully, I had to stop and listen. His voice was clear and crisp. It had a boldness to it. It echoed confidence. The bird had a song to sing and it sang it loud and clear.

The robin reminded me that I have a song, too — a song of praise to the Lord. My voice is not beautiful, like the robin's, but that doesn't matter. The question is, "Will I be willing to join in with the birds in praising God?" As I pondered this thought, a pee wee joined the chorus. Other birds added their songs, too. Some high, some low. Some reverberating, others with quick stops and starts. It was an orchestra of praise to the Creator of the Universe.

A tinge of excitement seeped into my heart at the thought of singing with the birds. I couldn't resist any longer, and entered in with a melody of thanksgiving. Afterwards, a stillness came upon me. And with it, a lovely peace. So I sat quietly, while the birds continued their symphony. As I abided in Jesus Christ, a sweet calmness filled my whole being. It was a lovely rest, a welcomed respite, and a much needed time of tranquility. By God's grace, I was strengthened and refreshed for the busy day.

For more encouragement by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Inner Longing

What is it about sun bathing that we desperately want, other than receiving a tan? Do we enjoy the feeling of the hot sun on our skin? Does the warmth from the sun's rays reflect an inner yearning for the warmth of God's love? When we seek to immerse our bodies in the sun, are we really seeking to immerse ourselves in the Son?

Cry out for the hidden longings in the heart — for there is a deep hunger within each of us for more of the Lord. On busy days, this longing is almost unnoticeable. But in those moments when life slows down and we feel that something is missing, or that there must be more to life, we are feeling a nudge from the Lord to step closer to Jesus Christ.


O Holy God, immerse me in the warmth of your mighty love. Saturate me with your goodness and grace. Draw me closer to your heart. Make me more aware of your presence. Turn my heart and my thoughts towards You. Help me enter the quietness of your holiness. I need more of You. I want to bask in your Light.

For more encouragement by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Garden Gateway to God's Love

How pleasant it is to wake up to the sound of cheerful music. Thank you, Lord God, that every morning You sing to us through the birds. Your songs are always happy, uplifting and filled with joy.

When we take time to listen to the music in nature — whether it's a gentle breeze, a lullaby of night insects, or songbirds outside our window — a calmness descends upon us. And if we allow ourselves to take the time to enter into those subtle moments of tranquility, we can discover a gateway to God's love. At the entrance of the gate, Jesus Christ stands with open arms saying, "Come."


And if we accept His invitation, we sometimes find ourselves walking into an amazing garden of brilliant flowers, sweet fragrances, lush greenery, singing birds, and beautiful butterflies. Close by is a white gazebo. The Lord ushers us to one of its benches. As we sit down, next to Him, we can sense God smiling at us with a radiating love that lifts us far beyond our worldly woes. We feel cherished, accepted, welcomed and encouraged. And when we smile back, our soul feels satisfied.

For more encouragement by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Standing Ovation

Outside my window, there's a whole world that I do not understand. It's possible to study about the clouds and learn the names of the different formations. It's possible to study about the trees and learn how they grow and produce leaves. It's possible to study about the wind, too. But the power that creates these things — the force that pushes the clouds away, that sways the trees back and forth, that rustles the leaves and makes them dance — the power behind the invisible wind, this is what I do not understand. It's the power of God that is incomprehensible to me.

But as I stand in front of my window, the Lord God Almighty directs a magnificent sky show. He sends away the dark clouds and exposes a blue sky. He dots the blue sky with puffy, white clouds, and brings in the sun to cast its rays between the clouds so light glistens on the treetops. He narrates His show through a robin and sets the trees dancing to His tune. Then He quiets the stage with a soft hush. Quickly, He changes the scene. Dark clouds roll in. The sunshine disappears. The puffy, white clouds fade away. The focus turns from the clouds to the trees, as the wind whips the branches back and forth. The trees dance with glee and clap their leaves in exciting applause. The robin continues the narration, then ends with a song.

Thank you, Jesus Christ, for an awesome sky show. You masterfully directed the elements to include brightness and darkness, sight and sound, narration and movement. You captured the audience with an awareness of your excellence and power. How splendid are your ways. How majestic are your days. Please direct my day to include all the parts You want to be there. For in the drama of your direction, life becomes full of excitement and anticipation. Direct my day, and give me eyes to what You do, so by the time the curtain of night time falls, I am giving You a standing ovation.

For more encouragement by Lynn Zuk-Lloyd, go to www.promisegarden.com