Thursday, March 07, 2019

Unknown, Known, or Forgotten?

We close our Bibles too soon I think. I have a habit of leaving mine open. I never want to stop, so that's my way of helping pick up where I left off.

Have I heard of bookmarks? Yes. I have those too. But "open page" status is fresh. It's top priority. What I really need for a bookmark is one with a plethora of ribbons, each with an attached erasable tab for me to note the topic or rabbit trail of the moment. (I stopped to sketch out my idea just now. I may need to start making them myself! Watch out Etsy!)

Before jumping into work devotionals, I almost closed the Bible left open on my desk from a project the day before. A heading caught my attention: "Confirming One's Calling and Election." Hey! That sounds good! The first words after the heading drew me in: "His divine power." Mmm! Yes, divine power. That's the kind of power I want working my life. We all do!

I got no further than one verse:

2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Two words hit the fan! I mean that in a good way. They jumped through my whirring mind and splattered themselves onto my consciousness: "our knowledge."

Wow. Somehow I've heard that verse throughout my life, though I don't recall any specific person or pastor using it ... but the thought that God has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness? Very familiar.

But that thought is incomplete according to Scripture. That word "through" is powerful! Through what? Through what means does this "everything we need" come? Our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Our knowledge. OUR KNOWLEDGE! 

Yes, these things are given. But if they come through our knowledge of Him, it sure seems like our knowledge is the path that these good things come. So maybe if we sense lack, it's a reflection of our knowledge of Him. Sure seems like it.

If my knowledge is the road for provision of divine power to travel, then I think I'm about to start a highway improvement project!

[Look up knowledge--what the Word says about increasing it. But really, just spending time with Him would be knowing Him ... His Word, prayer, etc. But REALLY spending it WITH Him.]

[Also could continue on through verse 10. SO MUCH GOOD STUFF! Goes into the forgotten element. I was drawn to the through these/so that statements. Also the "For this reason" and "For if" lead-ins. There are all kinds of benefits that have a reason, way of passage, or conditional factor.]

[Or just focus on the unknown, known, and forgotten ... how that might affect us.]

Monday, February 18, 2019

Tearbitten


News of a dear soul passing to heaven reached me early this morning--the third of such people in recent days and weeks. I spent my waking hours tearbitten.

Tearbitten is my new word. I saw a word from scripture translated as hungerbitten. It doesn't need much definition, does it? Those hunger pangs nibble and bite. That's how tears feel this morning, a cry in response to the heart pangs.

Now I will say that the joyful side of heavenly entrance is very much a reality. And my tears are definitely selfish. I know this. :-) There is a beauty that resonates of a much different nature on that side of the scale.

If my cries could have resurrected someone, I would welcome that! They didn't even rouse my cat. It was all my soul pouring itself out. I'm not sure what I even want to say about that other than I want to write about it, and this is simply a draft at the moment. I may just need to acknowledge the moment while I can.

Something unfinished ... that's the ragged edge to my tears. Not just this morning, but in all three recent situations. For each one, my heart had previously been wanting to reach out--specifically, I wanted to write a letter (or text in one case). Regrets of the undone are the pangs, the piercings, the haunting sharpness.

Why am I so slow to respond? Why do I bow to procrastination? When did it get power in my life? Since when is my piddly day more important than reaching out to another human heart? Why am I timid about it?

Maybe the whys aren't important. Maybe just my recognition and awakening to this awful inversion is what counts.

I took it to the Lord in communion this morning. I judged myself of not following my inner urge to write when I could have shared my heart while a person was alive. (Not that my heart was important! Dear me. No! But that another person's life is important, and for me to take the time to acknowledge that and express my thankfulness for them.)

As I was trying to find words for a new commitment I could make with the Lord's help, I wondered silently why it was even a hint of a problem for me as I had a flashback to the times when letters from me were unfettered--free and lengthy outpourings of my heart. In that moment as if in response, I also recalled many experiences that targeted my words, hurt deeply, and caused me to restrain or second-guess (ultimately silencing) myself.

It answered my why.

As I sat with my communion elements, this time the breaking of the bread took on the significance of breaking that power over me. The body of my Lord broken for this ... for freedom from self-intimidation. After judging myself, I asked for forgiveness. I forgave those who contributed to the pressure that I responded to and shut myself down. I declared that power broken in my life. All in a gentle atmosphere of humility--acknowledging that I have no power in myself, but it's all God's doing and I welcome His work in my life to bring change, spark life, and spread His love.

I'm seeing such value (and challenge) in connection. We sure do need one another.

I want to look back and say that today is the day I leveled-up in life when it came to other people. It's another chip in the hermit-wishes (my mind gravitates toward being a hermit)! But most importantly, it's another day to step into the world bravely and see the hearts around me. It's another day to pick up my pen, put it to beautiful paper, and celebrate someone's life.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The 4 a.m. Lord's Supper

A recent article (future to the rest of the world, as it will be published in June) was the subject of discussion yesterday. Even though the suggestion had been submitted by the editor many times, when it came to her desk as an article, it was sobering.

We were discussing the impact. The focus was a passage in First Corinthians 11:23-32 about the Lord's Supper. The sobering part has to do with judging ourselves and discerning the Lord's body. "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [are dead]," (vv. 29-30).

Verse 31 swoops in with a breath of fresh air: "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." I do believe I prefer to judge myself rather than to be chastened of the Lord! But even in that, He does it that we should not be condemned with the world. He is a beautiful, loving Savior.

In light of that, she shared some experiences and things she had witnessed. It inspired me. I had a plan. My intention was to come home after church, sit down to communion, and judge myself! I wanted to hit that cause of sickness and weakness, and eradicate it! I didn't. I ate a bunch of chicken and went to bed!

But I woke at 3 a.m. with the Lord's Supper on my mind. Our conversation yesterday brought up Smith Wigglesworth's practice of observing communion daily. I decided to do a bit of research. I came across this quote in an article on cfaith.com called Building a Wall Between You and Sin:
"The real change in Smith Wigglesworth did not come until he started getting up every day at 4 a.m. to take Communion.

"Like clockwork, every day he would begin the day remembering his covenant with Almighty God by taking the bread and the cup. Every day, he lived under the influence of that covenant. And every day, he became more and more bold - until, finally, he became one of the boldest men of God in history."
I looked at the time. I had 20 minutes until 4 a.m. I may as well launch this effort at 4 a.m. like Smith Wigglesworth! I gathered crackers, juice, and my Bible. I looked up scriptures and wrote them down on a card for future reference. But I spent my time in First Corinthians 11:23-32.

I got quiet. I asked the Lord to show me where and how to judge myself. When any specific situation came to mind, I apologized and asked for forgiveness. I repented for thinking low thoughts and asked Him to help me see things His way.

Then I thought about the setting in the scripture. Jesus, about to be betrayed, spent His last meal with the disciples and made a covenant. Knowing what was to come. Knowing His body would be broken. Knowing His blood was to be poured out. The blood of the new testament, the new covenant, His own "last will and testament" so to speak (but He would live again to oversee it). Wow.

So I spoke the words softly to myself before each element: "Take, eat: this is My body which is broken for you ..." I broke the cracker, and as I placed it in my mouth, tears came. "This cup is the new testament in my blood ..." The tears continued.

I don't know why I cry exactly. It seems like any time I am drawn out to God and express it somehow, tears are usually part of it. But in this moment, I don't even have the words as I reflect. It was simply a very personal time with Jesus . . . He and I connecting over covenant.

This will become part of my life, my dedication to Him. I will do this in remembrance of Him. I just don't know that I can consistently do it at 4 a.m. every day!


Saturday, September 01, 2018

Start Forgiving. Start _____.

When we stop accusing and start forgiving, we "switch sides" so to speak. The "accuser of the brethren" is a role attributed to the devil (Rev. 12:7-12). In contrast, Jesus' words reflect forgiveness: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34 NIV).

The power of compassion and forgiveness is seen throughout Jesus' life on earth. It brought release and freedom. FREEDOM! That's what we cry out for.

Maybe the release you seek is not out ahead of you. Maybe it is within ... in your heart and in your words.

Stop accusing.
Start forgiving.

Consider all the roadblocks that are present in our lives. How many of them are connected to disappointments or other things that we hang on others: hurts, lack of grace, infringement of our rights or privacy or any other thing that makes us feel violated?

When will we take those trials and circumstances off of their human hooks? When will we forgive and move forward? What if the one way to make the path straight is to forgive? Will we give others the grace we so desperately desire? When will we stop railing against others for what we are not willing to give? We become both the accuser and violator in one.

Stop.

My heart shouts it. STOP! My heart prays it. Stop.

Let's release one another. Let's release ourselves. There are powerful desires and dreams within us. We have voices to be heard. We have significant lives to live. What is that "thing" that burns in you? Is it a message? Is it a cause? What is in your future that seems so far away?

I believe that if we are stuck behind hurts, there is a way we can be released: start forgiving. And that's not just toward others. It's toward yourself, too.

Stop accusing.
Start forgiving.
Start living.
Start _____(whatever is in your heart)_____.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Three Dads and an Uncle (Plus a Super-Texting Mom)


Three smiling faces. Two hybrids. Two blessings: one is to me, one is through me to my daughter. But that's just the surface. The best blessings are people.

Gratitude is my goal of expression here. When last year's blessing (2000 Toyota Camry driven by my daughter) died on the highway, it wasn't long before people started getting involved. The whole story is too long for a blog post, but let's just say it wasn't the best time to navigate such a situation!

Considering that my preferred course of action was to buy bicycles for the kids and keep driving my Honda Civic hybrid FOREVER, it feels like a miracle that I am the one in a practically new car! 

Miracle. What kind of miracle is buying a car? I could go on and on. Maybe I'll separate the lessons I've learned in this short little exercise into bite-sized morsels to write about later on. But for all practical purposes, let's just say that every blessing outside of a practical living expense has got to be inspired by God! (Not that living expenses aren't! I believe it is all His provision along the way. It's just that the planned and known provision is already stretched to miracle status to meet planned and known expenses. LOL)

Car shopping was something I would have laughed off until my dad got involved. Now it was real. His help was pledged, so the quest began. There's something for all of us to learn about trust and God if we have fathers like mine. :-)  Love you, Dad!

Car shopping is also overwhelming! The calls! The texts! The emails! The web cookies that bring cars on to every web browser page! Who knew I would need so much help? Evidently God did. People were alongside all the way. Even when car lots seemed more like a field of vultures, one of my dearest friends was there to help shoo them away or simply get me out of there! Thank you.

Before long, my mom and step-dad were researching cars. Then my uncle stepped into the ring and was plugging in VIN numbers as fast as my super-texting mom could conduct traffic between all of us.

Let me just say to all of you: THANK YOU. While I bumbled around and spent every available moment researching cars, you were all there for me to bounce options off of and offer information. Let me also say: I'M SORRY for inundating you with all the fragments of my mind! But I'm SO VERY THANKFUL that you were all there.

Now if you read the title of this post and have reached this point, you may have wondered (if you have a mathematical mind) where is the third dad?

Papa God is the other "dad" involved in this story. There is no way I can adequately thank or brag on Him, of course. But I do want to give glory to Him for seeing us through a difficult situation and making sure that we are better off on the other side. Only He knows how much I have wrestled with this blessing and the tears I have shed receiving such a wonderful gift.

So what does "give glory" really mean? I went to look it up just now in biblical terms. Interestingly enough, most of the ties I see involve money or wealth! That sounds like another subject to search out. We use words so loosely in modern culture!

But one word that applies (which is part of "kabowd" in Hebrew and translated "glory" in the Bible) is this: honor. That I can do! 

I honor You, Papa God.
Every blessing You have inspired
   I gratefully receive.
I acknowledge You ...
   Your love
   Your generosity
   Your majesty
   Your brilliance
Discovering Your blueprint in my life
   is my greatest adventure.
Thank You for every idea You have that involves me.
Your way of life is the greatest!
And thank You in particular
   for this unexpected bright blue blessing.
It's my "jubilee" car!
Thank You for all the help you inspired.
Bless every life and gift involved FAR more than they could ever dream.
(And even to the vultures, I speak Your goodness and peace over them. May each one know the joy of life with You.)
Amen!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Office Tears


They're the worst ... and the best. Tears at the workplace usually mean that I've tapped into something with a passion. Or maybe I'm just tired. They mean I've touched something meaningful. Or maybe I'm just lonely. They signal a significant moment--something deep with God. Or maybe I'm just frustrated.

Office tears make me face myself and my perceptions of what others think. Those little dew drops can bring on a wave of self-consciousness that feels as if it could drown me. And at the same time it can burst into a fountain that releases my heart.

Funny thing these tears.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Creative Affirmations



These are taken from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (I'm doing the 12 week course via book to begin 2016).

  1. I am a channel for God's creativity, and my work comes to good.
  2. My dreams come from God and God has the power to accomplish them.
  3. As I create and listen, I will be led.
  4. Creativity is the creator's will for me.
  5. My creativity heals myself and others.
  6. I am allowed to nurture my artist.
  7. Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.
  8. Through the use of my creativity, I serve God.
  9. My creativity always leads me to truth and love.
  10. My creativity leads me to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
  11. There is a divine plan of goodness for me.
  12. There is a divine plan of goodness for my work.
  13. As I listen to the creator within, I am led.
  14. As I listen to my creativity I am led to my creator.
  15. I am willing to create.
  16. I am willing to learn to let myself create.
  17. I am willing to let God create through me.
  18. I am willing to be of service through my creativity.
  19. I am willing to experience my creative energy.
  20. I am willing to use my creative talents.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rainy Days and Tuesdays



Rainy days and Tuesdays always get me ... well? Not down (like Mondays - heh). But maybe introspective and cozy.

I've been thinking about thinking. Thinking about spirit, soul and body, and how thoughts operate in each realm. This is just musing from a perspective of what I've learned so far (but truly feel like I know so little), so it isn't meant to be an authoritative voice. I'm just sorting things out for my own sake and happened to see a photo that illustrated it and thus I'm sharing!

SPIRIT and THOUGHT: I believe our spirits hear from God's Spirit and reflect to us the things of the spirit world and truth. When guidance or knowledge or wisdom break through, I see that as a function of our spirit man ... thinking like God thinks, learning the ways of God, making what we meditate on in God's Word real in our lives. The challenge? Quieting the rest of the influences enough to hear that still, small voice.


John 14:26 (NIV) 
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, 
whom the Father will send in my name, 
will teach you all things 
and will remind you of everything I have said to you.


SOUL and THOUGHT: Mind, will and emotion are at play here. This is where things get filtered, interpreted, tinted and maybe even generated based on what we think, desire and feel. I think it is a dangerous place where what we see and perceive (two different things) seem to feed information to us that can be entirely opposite of truth. The challenge here? Harnessing the mind and training it to think on the things that are good, true, right, etc.

Romans 12:2 (NIV) 
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, 
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--
his good, pleasing and perfect will.

BODY and THOUGHT: My recent fascination with neuroscience has brought some interesting possibilities. Some theories state that by the time a thought becomes what we would call our own thought in the conscious mind, it has already been decided in the brain before we are aware. In that sense, the "machine" of the mind feeds us thought as if it were our own. But the interesting point is that all the neural connections and learning and direction comes from the past ... everything already experienced. And it goes beyond past experience. Nutrition, medication, etc. all play a role in how the physical brain functions. I find it very interesting that many cases of mental health have been "solved" by changing diets.

Add another interesting element ... it seems that our science is advancing to the point where it can show that our thoughts bring things to pass. And those who can focus their thoughts are the happiest of them all. To me, that simply explodes all over the Bible! It's hard to limit my thoughts to just one verse!

The challenges in this area? To treat the body as God's temple (because it is), retrain the mind according to God's future instead of our past, and learn to focus on what will bring us into the best future.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life,
to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
and to put on the new self,
created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) 
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.


1 Timothy 4:14a,15 (International Standard Version)
Do not neglect the gift that is in you ... Think on these things. 
Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Light


Profound in wisdom
The Spirit leads me to Light
My soul is at peace

Friday, June 26, 2015

Tasting Stars


From a delightful Marry Poppins themed birthday party for my friend's daughter, Ava (who has grown into such a lovely little six year old, by the way), I saw the curiosity, determination, delight, and even frustration on the faces of the children all lined up to see who could eat their gingerbread stars fastest without hands. 

Of course, a life lesson jumped from the children's endeavors.  Opportunities come and they look both exciting and daunting. What do we do with it? Jump in with gusto? Ponder strategies before setting in? Secretly try and get along faster (dare I say cheat)? Or maybe wait a bit unsure of our abilities or to watch others for clues? 

And when the initial excitement has passed and you've still got an uneaten star in front of you while others are dancing to the cheery music ... do you give up? 

The most lovely moment I witnessed was a loving parent encouraging a son. His face was full of tears while the line bobbed up and down and the cookie danced before him, just out of reach. The parent gently guided him, told him he could do it, and urged him not to give up. Standing right there with him, the strength was what he needed.

Hopefully we all have those people standing with us. However, even if we can't see anyone around us, there are still two who are ALWAYS available. God and you. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (AMP) Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another
and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.

Hebrews 13:5b (AMP) ... for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you
nor give you up nor leave you without support.
[I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless
nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

1 Samuel 30:6b (AMP) .... But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kisses


From The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us, by Sheril Kirshenbaum

"A romantic kiss does nothing less than set off an avalanche of biological activity. During a passionate kiss, our blood vessels dilate; more oxygen is routed to the brain; our breathing quickens and becomes erratic; our cheeks flush; our pulse quickens; our pupils dilate; dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and adrenaline levels spike, leaving our bodies awash in a chemical bath. In short, our biology seem to be hardwired to make kissing extremely pleasurable and, to some degree, addictive."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Life and Love


Life and Love
Heartbeats Intertwine
Creation Begins

Thursday, April 09, 2015

The "I" Project



In 2004, I started the "I Project" which involved rediscovering myself. At the time, I had come upon some shocking news that my husband was a closet pedophile and a master manipulator who had been emotionally abusing everyone near him. Hard to believe until I got involved with professionals who deal with these kinds of things all the time. It was true.  I had unknowingly married an abuser, and I had lost myself.

I started to look through photos of decades past and read old journal entries.  I was looking for things that resonated with the "real me" that I had forgotten.  What I found was AMAZING! 

Without going into details, it turns out that I knew more than I had ever realized.  It seemed like my dreams and even my inner thoughts knew what was happening, but my logical mind fought it because I thought I was being selfish.

The big lesson? TRUST myself ... as long as I was committed to God's will and seeking His path, I should have trusted what seemed like me.  Evidently it was His Spirit in me. 

Lesson learned?  Not quite.  I had to go through a few more years in the opposite ditch before I was able to separate myself from the past - good and bad - and simply seek God.

One night on my balcony, I burned photos and memorabilia that was significant to a subsequent relationship that never quite got to the place of having God first.  It hurt.  But it was also cleansing.

Since then I have had continued challenges, but my foremost aim - even amidst repentance for being human far too much (LOL - like we all are) - is to keep God in His place in my heart. 

I am thankful for grace, forgiveness, redemption, and restoration.  He is a VERY good God, and I am so humbly grateful to be His. :-)

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Hope


Words of the soul
finding voice
finding light
finding peace in the night

When daylight comes
they find peace
like a prize
I breathe in the wind
and take shelter in shade
counting my blessings
in another new day

Colors awaiting
like art in a dream
they bring life to hopes
uttered within

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Gifts


A friend got me thinking about gifts ... not the kind that are wrapped up and given to people on special occasions, but those that are placed in people that can be a powerful blessing to others.

We all have them. Some people don't think they have gifts, but they do.  EVERYONE has gifts present within them. And when they are unwrapped, they bring a whole different kind of gift to the world.

I was very blessed to grow up in a home that encouraged me to be who I was and express myself (with limits, of course - sometimes my creative spirit included clothing styles that the world just wasn't ready for or were honestly inappropriate but I was too naïve to realize [I am remembering my father censoring some shorts that left my "butt hanging out" and I really didn't agree. LOL. But looking back, THANK YOU DAD!]).

Then I experienced a marriage in which many of my gifts were invalidated ... but invisibly. I was doing my best to not be selfish, to follow God, and to yield to my husband.  Little did I know that I was experiencing emotional abuse.  Thirteen years later, I started learning the truth when some secret things were revealed in my spouse's life.  Professionals guided me to resources that I thought would pat me on the head and send me on my way.  To my surprise, the local domestic violence organization shared things with me that rocked my world.  And as I began to follow the guidance I received, more and more was revealed.

The crisis that arose was far more than the emotional abuse I experienced, and I focused on the next steps for my children to keep their world as solid as I could while I transitioned to the life of a single mother.  The challenges were huge.  And to this day, 11 years later, I am still dealing with huge challenges with roots in those years of marriage and still focused on my children.

But what about me? Initially, I thought certain gifts would come flooding back as I found myself free from the "emotional version of munchausen by proxy syndrome" that I had lived in for years. But it didn't happen like that. My counselor encouraged me to be patient. Those years of abuse will take at least as long to undo as they did to form ... and maybe longer.

One gift was music. But it felt like it had died within me. I used to write. It was my outlet. I found shortly before the separation with my former husband that it threatened him and he was afraid of losing the spotlight. I was stunned. The spotlight? I had never wanted one. I just wanted my expression to make a difference in the lives of others ... and it did then. I requested that he leave a keyboard for me when he left our family. But I would sit at it dry ... the only thing that would come was tears.

But over a year ago, it started to awaken. Just seeds of songs. And it may be starting to grow now.

So this is where I consider gifts. If this is my gift, I want to set it free. And now? I am afraid. It's as if the invisible bars I had let imprison me are still there. But the gift is getting stronger and my fears are fighting harder. Because of some very unusual circumstances, I am in a position to be able to explore more and have talked much with God about the struggles in setting myself free. His encouragement is always powerful and brings a challenge. I know the key. But now I must do it. I believe the key is in God's Word. And to release that, I need to meditate and speak His word. It will strengthen me on the inside and where I once would struggle and shut down, I can experience strength and confidence and success.

Marking this moment today ... I will take those baby steps I have begun accustomed to taking, just doing what I know to do, and trust Him.

John 6:63 (AMP) It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.

Luke 1:37 (AMP) For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

Romans 11:29 (AMP) For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]

Monday, April 06, 2015

F***!


FART! Fart. f.a.r.t.

I don't swear, so I need to be creative.  My substitute for h*** is "hooty-hoo" ... just ask my daughter. LOL! When we listen to music in the car, sometimes a word pops up to surprise us in the lyrics and the substitutes come in very handy, send the message that the language isn't appropriate, and usually get at least a semi-entertained response from my teen.

Today held a different kind of disappointing surprise. Conflict has risen to the surface. I want to trust and believe the best. However, my fears from the past cause me to be reluctant and skeptical. AND ... it seems like my fears win out over my idealistic perspective when they shouldn't and vice versa when they should!

We have had a string of good weeks, which is AMAZING for us. It also had me secretly concerned. My concerns were valid. Discovering that erases those weeks of cross-my-fingers-maybe-a-turning-point-has-come hopes.

I want to list all the challenges ... tell the world ... but it would hurt others and possibly discourage me. Neither of those are good. So, like King David in the Bible, I need to encourage myself.

1 Samuel 30:6 (AMP) David was greatly distressed.... But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

John 16:33 (AMP) I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

Joshua 1:9 (AMP) Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Easter



John 20:11-13 (MSG) But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”

Why do I weep?

Maybe because I am a woman? (LOL).
Because my heart is engaged.
I miss someone.  And sometimes that someone is me.
My heart is drawn out to God.
My dreams are torn.
Worlds collide.
I feel relief.

But this weekend, I wept because I saw new life. I watched others as they probably felt all of these things while they heard about new beginnings that could spring from the God-shaped hole in each of their hearts.  Not just a beginning ... a NEW beginning.  Fresh. Clean. Beautiful. Worthy of tears.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Delays

Delays just happen.
They wear invisible suits
And strip when they want!