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