Thursday, December 24, 2009


It's been a long while since I've visited here.

Did you miss me?
I have to make a confession-
I allowed life to take me down a rabbit trail of busyness. Yet it wasn't such a bad thing. Much good came out of this side trip.

Yet here I sit, this Christmas eve, thinking over the past year, and it was some year. Also, I'm looking at next years possibilities.

Those who know me, know I think of life as a journey. A road we travel that takes us to the high places and down deep into the valleys. Sometimes we are blessed to rest beside still waters and other times, we are leaping and jumping along the jagged rocks where the clouds hang low.

Sometimes we get off the road we are meant to travel and end up lost.

Long ago, when it wasn't such a big deal to keep your dog on a leash, I remember walking with my Grandpa and his German Shepherd, Shadow. That dog loved to tramp around through the brush and all you'd see of him was a wagging tail above the tall grasses. But then, Grandpa would let out a low whistle and the brush would quake as Shadow raced back to his side and they continued on their way.

That's how God does us at times when we are tramping along the brush and forgetting where we really need to go. He's lets out a call, getting our attention and inviting us back to his side so we can get a move on.

Every year during my holiday break, I stop tramping around and stop to listen, asking,

"What's next?"
"Am I heading in the right direction?"
"What should I focus on this next year?"
"God, am I still walking on the path You've laid out for me?"
And during these two weeks He answers me.

And His guiding words are more precious to me than any packages I get this time of year.
Don't get me wrong, I love getting gifts and lots of them.
I love shopping for gifts as well.
But as I journal, and I begin to hear His words whispered into my spirit...
Nothing compares.
Nothing at all...
My fingers grip the pen as it races across the blank page more eagerly than tearing the colorful paper away from a box. And I can see there's a hope and a promise for my future. I'm seeking the shelter of His wing. He's not going to let me strike my foot against a stone.
And because I love Him so very much, He'll answer when I ask these end of the year questions. He'll answer because He is the Father of the heavenly lights and every good and perfect gift from above comes from Him.

Father God-
Thank you for answering us when we stop and ask for direction. You gave us a much greater gift than any of us can imagine or create. You gave us Jesus who came and taught us about you, who laid down his life for our wrong doings and who you rose up, to conquer sin and death and separation from you. For this reason, we can approach you any time and seek your counsel and guidance. We will always find Your arms open and Your heart full of love.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Amen.

scripture reference: Psalm 91 and James 1:17

Have a blessed Holiday and I hope to meet with you here more often this coming year.

God Bless!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Faith and Prayer #32

Dear Glorious Saints,
In the last letter I talked about Hebrews 10:23 & 35. “ Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful…So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”

Then last week I heard a message by Sion Alford that really gave me additional perspective and I want to share my take on what the Lord has been showing him. Sion pointed out the difference between the promise of God and the will of God. He used the examples of David and Joseph and spoke about how they had been given promises from God that were not fulfilled for many years. However, each one of them had to walk in the will of God during those years and more often than not God’s will for them did not seem to reflect His promises at all. But through those circumstances God was working His perfect plan in their lives and establishing the character in them that they needed to be ready for the promise.

Often we try to bend and twist the circumstances of our lives to match the promise rather than seeking and walking in God’s will each day. What I heard was when our situation does not seem to line up with God’s promises we need to trust Him because of who He is and trust that He is working for good in our lives. His will may not always look like His promises, but rather than become discouraged and lose hope we need to continue to seek first His Kingdom and His will to be done on earth. And “all these things,” including His promises, will be given to us as well.

Sion shared what God has been using in his life to make all this real to him. Over two years ago he and his wife believed that they needed to sell their home and move closer to their church. They did all that they heard from God to do, prayed and trusted that He would bring a buyer. After over two years it still did not happen and they could not understand why. Then this July, due to a death in the family, they became the guardians of five children who are now living with them. Two weeks later their home sold. Had it sold earlier they would have bought a house to accommodate their three children rather than the eight they now care for.

God’s plans and His ways and His timing are perfect! We don’t always understand why the promises seem to tarry, but we can always trust Him.

With thanks to Sion,
written August 31, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Faith and Prayer #31

Dear Glorious Saints,

As we move through this second month of prayer and fasting I am really encouraged by some of the words from Hebrews 10. In verse 23 the writer admonishes us, “ Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”

Yes, we should hang on, hold tight, stand firm – however you care to express it- to our hope. Why? Because He, our great and mighty, all-wise, all powerful God, the One who made us the promise in which we hope – He is FAITHFUL! He will do what He said and He has absolutely everything necessary to fulfill His promise.

Think of Him, who He is and all He has done for you. Remember all the ways He has touched your life, saved you, lifted you from the miry clay, set your feet on a Rock, given you eternal life, called you to Himself, loved you dearly and personally. Remember! Remember and know that He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. The One who loved you and was for you then still loves and is for you now.

No wonder the writer goes on to say in verse 35: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”

So let us continue to do what He has called us to do. As we pray, as we call down to earth that which He has declared in heaven, let us be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. He who promised is faithful.

Standing in hope,


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wonderment Wednesday

Praise the Lord, my soul,
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits--
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit

and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds in the people of Israel.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious

slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever,
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth
so great is his love for those who know him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on those who fear him,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

As for mortals, their days are like grass
and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children--
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
Psalm 103:1-19

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's My Birthday

My grandma was around 86 when she passed away. Today, I'm halfway there.

And I don't say that to be morbid, or down about my birthday. But there comes a time when you simply have to stop and say, "What the heck are you doing?"

While I was in Summer Academy for my teacher certification, one of the instructors said there's three important questions you should ask children to redirect them.

1. What are you doing?

2. What are you supposed to be doing?

3. What are you going to do about it?

I think 43 is a good time to stop and ask these questions.

Happy Birthday cake Pictures, Images and Photos

What are you doing with your life, Jackie? Nearly half of it is passed, are you making the most out of the opportunities God gives you?

Think I'll come back to that one later.

What are you supposed to be doing, Jackie? Are you doing what God's asked you to do? Are you using the talents he's given you to the best of your abilities? Are you staying on the path He's laid out for you?

Uh, can I have some time to think about that and check my notes? I'll get back to you shortly.

Lastly, Jackie, what are you going to do with the rest of your life? What are you going to do with this precious gift of life the Father has bestowed upon you? What?

I really do want to make the most of it. I do, oh, I do.

Father, help me not to waste a moment of the wonderful talents you've gifted me with. Let me not waste a moment of this precious life you've given me. I have so much to be thankful for. More gifts and blessings than a table piled to the ceiling with packages can match. Thank you, for my life, thank you. Help me to make the most of it, for your glory. Amen!

What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its
time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what
God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men
than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink
and find satisfaction in all his toil-- this is the gift of God. I know that
everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing
taken from it; God does it so that men will revere him.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-14

Sunday, August 2, 2009

No Limits

This guy is truly amazing, and inspiring. Listen to his video, about his life and know, despite whatever limitations you think you face, God is bigger, greater, and limitless in what he can bring us through if we'll just let him.

Turn off the music on the side bar, and let Nick Vujici tell you his awe-inspiring story.

Here's a video of Nick speaking to a group of young people.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be the glory.... Eph. 3:20

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

He's Our Healer

One day, while in church, a family comes in late and takes one of the back seats. A few curious glances dart their way, then return to worship. Couldn't hardly help but notice. We were such a small group, a penny dropping would catch your attention.

Worship ends. Eyes casts one more look at the newcomers. Husband holds young daughter of perhaps two or three tightly. Son, maybe around the age of 10 stands mere inches from dad. The wife, thin as a reed, eyes downcast, clutches husbands free arm, whispering words only for him. He gives a quick nod, and then they leave.

Had we offended? It was odd, I have to say.
What was even more odd, was when they came back the following week and did exactly the same thing.
Then the week after that as well.
Finally, the leaders were able to learn that the wife, Amy, suffered from an anxiety disorder. She had been unable to leave her house since the birth of her daughter. She's been seeking counseling, and was trying to break free of her prison by short visits to the closest church to their house.

Never ever judge by first impressions. I'm afraid they will lead you astray every time.

Well, this family continued to come for awhile, and Amy continued to make progress, being able to stay longer and longer each time. Then they moved and the drive to our church was too far out of Amy's comfort zone. About a year passed until one of the leaders felt an urge to call and check up on the family.

We ended up reconnecting and taking our small cell group to their house for a short time. Amy still struggled with getting out of the house, and now she couldn't even stand to be alone. It would send her into panic attacks. So her husband managed to find a way to work from home and the children were home schooled.

Yet, she fought. One thing I can say for Amy, small and thin as she seemed, inside lurked a true warrior.

Again, never go on first impressions. Be willing to wait and see what's hidden in the deep places. You'll be amazed.

God had promised Amy that she would be singing before a church congregation within the next year. Every week we prayed with her, standing on that promise. But it wasn't us alone. This became a group effort. Other friends from other churches came to minister to this family as well.

Another lesson. Doesn't matter what building you attach yourself to. We are all part of the body of Christ and we all have a part to play in the grand scheme of things. I saw this in my experience with Amy.

Our time with them only lasted a short while once again. Sometimes you are only called to walk a short distance with people, sometimes you need to pack a lot because the journey may take a lifetime.

I've been able to keep up with Amy's progress through Facebook. With amazement, I watched as she began to take short trips shopping. Each time stretching that imaginary fence, pushing it out more and more until it finally snapped. Her children can now attend regular school. She goes out almost daily. And she has her highs and lows just like the rest of us.

Then one day she posted these videos below, her first time to lead worship. I cried. I praised God. I sent her a message telling her how blessed and how proud I was of her.

She never gave up.
God gave her a word. His words never comes back empty.
She grasped that word. She tended it.
It grew and it became fruitful.
She sang.
She sang in front of people.

Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!!

Enjoy the videos. The first one has her story, the second one she sings a song that sums up all she's been through. Healer. He is our portion, he is more than enough.

Be sure to turn off the music on the sidebar so you can hear this amazing testimony.

Be blessed,

Friday, July 3, 2009

Faith and Prayer #28

Dear Glorious Saints,

In the past I have shared that my desk is covered in little notes that remind me of the truth that the Lord has spoken to me that help me to stay on track. Well I added a few more last week that I want to share with you.

Friendster Graphics

I was feeling somewhat discouraged and frankly, sorry for myself. God has given me numerous long-term faith and prayer projects that have required years of believing and praying. I am so grateful for the many answers He has given me in the past year. Two sons married to wonderful young women, a granddaughter on the way, and the Marriage Prep classes are no small things to me. I am very thankful. But last week I had my eyes on the answers that are yet to come, the promises that are still unfulfilled. My eyes were not fixed on Jesus but on the unanswered prayers. Not good. It’s hard enough to deal with the circumstances but when my joy is robbed by the self-pity and the hopelessness that comes with taking my eyes off the Lord, then it becomes even more difficult.

Fortunately, the Lord in His kindness spoke to me and He reminded me of some of the things He has said in the past. Some are quotes that I had written down but without their source (so apologies to the writers), others are from the Word.

“When you are following God’s plan for your life, you’re living the life God created you to live.” God created me to live this life with these circumstances. This is the day that the Lord has made. I am running the race set before me. It’s not the race set before you. You have your own race tailor made for you. “Every trial is to bring you to a greater position in God.”

It struck me; if I cannot run this race with joy, why bother to run it at all? What good would it have done for Mother Teresa to have gone to India, given up the “good” life to serve the poor if she grumbled and resented the life she had to live? What good is it for me to wait on the Lord and not take things into my own hands if I cannot do it with joy and trust in Him? God loves a cheerful giver. If I cannot be cheerful in giving my life to Him and waiting on Him, then what’s the point? It will not please Him.

He reminded me that one of the virtues that I choose for my life is joy. “I will not let any person or circumstance rob me of my joy.” My quote. I had let myself be robbed of my joy and my hope by focusing on the circumstances and the length of the wait. No more! By His grace I will keep my eyes on Him, remind myself of His faithfulness, His wisdom and perfect timing. By His grace, in this day that He has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. If I am going to offer myself as a living sacrifice I want to do it cheerfully and full of joy and hope and trust in Him.

Rejoicing in His kindness,


Marianne Paulus is a marriage and family educator. She offers weekly classes in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex on Marriage Preparation. She also teaches at the Mid-Cities Pregnancy Center.

post it found at= Friendster Layouts - Myspace Quotes - Myspace Surveys

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


(be sure to turn off music on side bar before playing video)

I wonder...
Not only what it would be like if we stood firm, as Ephesians 6:10-14 directs us...
but if we dedicated ourselves to standing firm beside each other.

No matter the race, social status, orientation or religion...

What would that world look like? - From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", comes the first of many "songs around the world" being released independently. Featured is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe.

Click on the video to read more about this.

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Cor. 15:58

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Gal. 5:1

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Best Father of All

Sunday school teacher pulls out white sheets of paper and passes them around the table. I stare down at mine. Blank. Devoid. Like the person I was supposed to create a card for.

I didn't hate Father's Day. I hated the reaction when asked, "What will you draw for your dad?"
"Uh, don't have one. Guess I can make one for Grandpa."

The staggered looks were what got me most. Back then, two parent families were the norm, not blended or single parent families. Then also would come the questions.

"Where is he?"
"Is he dead?"
"Where does he live now?"

All of these I really had no answer for. I wasn't even sure what he looked like. And to explain, or try to explain the stories I'd heard were far worse than keeping silent with a slight shrug of the shoulder.

Had to make him leave...
Hurt mom once to many times...
Never wanted children...

Then one day, one particular Father's day, someone said the right thing at the right time...

"It's OK, honey. God can be the father you don't have, if you'll let him. . ."

Eyes glazed with hope. "Really?"

I was old enough, I guess, to take that to heart. I've never felt fatherless again.

And so began my relationship with my Heavenly Daddy. All I had to do was accept his son Jesus into my life. Then I had a Dad and a best friend. Later, they introduced me to the Holy Spirit, my comforter and guide along life's journey.

I made a Father's Day card this year. As I thought about what kind of picture I could draw, I saw him holding me as a babe. Even then, He was there. I was never supposed to be born. Mom wasn't able to have children. Like Hannah, she petitioned God until he relented and gave into her wish.
Over the years, my heart has connected with His heart. The things I love about him are numerous like the stars. In my picture, I wrote only a few of those qualities I adore about him. The picture could never hold all of them:
Giver of grace and mercy
Has a vision for my future
Keeps promises
Dream maker and giver...

Not long ago, when I was going through a particular difficult time, I sought prayer. During that time, God spoke Psalm 139 over me. I wrote the words in the robe because they now surround me and cover all I do and all I believe.
God, investigate my life, search me and know me...
You are familiar with all my ways...
You know my going out and my lying down
Where can I go and get away from you? NOWHERE!
No matter where I go, you are there
You created my innermost being...
Knit me together...
I am wonderfully made!

Father of the Fatherless. Keeper of all mankind. Lover of my soul!
This and so much more.
My life has never been the same since that day. He's been my constant companion in all things.
I love him more than life itself.
Blessed am I to have such a father.
Best part of all... he's there for anyone else who wants a Dad. He's there, arms open and ready to receive, to hold and to care for all. Orphan or not.

I do hope He likes my card. And I hope it ends up on his fridge with all His other favorite pictures.
God bless!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Faith and Prayer #26

Dear Glorious Saints,

I recently read again one of my favorite Bible stories: the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and the fiery furnace. I have always loved that story and a few years ago the Lord really spoke to me through it. This week God reminded again of the truth of what He said.

The part that really captured me was when they came out of the furnace: “They saw the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.” (Dan. 3: 27)

I was going through a really hard time and not handling it too well and I told the Lord, “Not only do I smell of smoke, Lord, I stink!” In His great kindness He said to me, “It’s okay, Marianne. You are still in the fire, but when you come out you will smell just fine.”

What tremendous encouragement that was to me! He was still in the process of burning away the cords that bound me but when He was done, just like the three Israelites, I would be fine.

How grateful I have been for that word through the years. There have been many fires and lots of smoke but I thank Him so much that as I have come out of each one, I have emerged unharmed, looking a little more like Him, and not smelling too bad either!

So I am confident of this: “…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Ph. 1:6)

Smelling better,

Marianne Paulus is a marriage and family educator. She offers weekly classes in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex on Marriage Preparation. She also teaches at the Mid-Cities Pregnancy Center.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Paving the Way

Finding a Way to Heal a Marriage
Awake, north wind, and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad.
Let my lover come into his garden and taste of its choice fruits.
Song of Songs 4:16

When we moved into our new house, the back yard looked barren. It had been neglected and left to grow at will... the clay ground hard and sparse, patches of grass choked with weeds and the many trees blocked life-giving rays of light.
We attempted to fix it up some, adding a covering to the porch, then building a small deck to set the bar-b-quers on. Yet, it still lacked.
Unfortunately, over the past year, we found our marriage lacked as well. Our relationship looked no better than the back yard, hard, sparse and dark. We sought counseling.

The counselor told us that we needed to find something in common. We needed to restore our friendship. He had his hobbies and I had mine... and hardly ever the two would meet.

After trying a few activities... I remain a avid hater of bowling...
and card games...
and sports activities make me nauseous, too...
we prayed for God to show us. Then we both looked out the back door.
So began the Castle's Backyard Pathway Project

Both of us hate mowing. We pay the man for that pesky task. The backyard, small, narrow, and not worth the energy to pull the mower cord just to shave down a bunch of weeds.
But if we could create walkways and bordered gardens...

And true to our independent, different natures, we picked our different jobs, based on our different skills.

We'd obtained a bunch of white bricks for free. So...

Brick cleaning became his job.

Brick laying mine.

Arguments cropped up along the way.

"You can't do that. It wont work." I often said.
"Sure it will. This is how it needs to be done." His tight-lipped reply.
"It needs to be done right!" I'd even stomp my foot for emphasis.
Then, after sitting and thinking about it, I'd realize, "Drat, he's right! Ugh!"

I hate when they want to grab a tape recorder... It's just not right.

And throughout the process, everything began to grow...

Beauty sprung up. Appreciation. Teamwork.

Then we ran out of white bricks and had to find a compromise...

Yet, in the end, it worked out. The result is so much a semblance of a Castle creation.

It's quirky with the red and white mixed in together. And it dips and bumps. It doesn't match up in some places.

A true Castle creation, no doubt.

Yet, it did something for us. It did something for the yard, as well, that now is springing with life and beauty and produce!

So are we.

In this, we've found a connection, a common goal and something that causes us to work together, talk and laugh much, even in the arguments.

This "project" has paved a way to healing in so many ways.

"So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.

And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided."
Genesis 22:14

Father, when we call out to you for help and direction, you provide. When we knock, you open. When we seek, you help us find. Thank you for providing ways to bring healing, restoration and new life to this garden that is our family.

photos from our walkway project.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Faith and Prayer #24

As a church body, we all have gifts and talents to offer which lift up, enhance and exhort our family members to keep up the good faith, to keep running the race, to not grow weary or give up.

Marianne Paulus is a part of my church family. Nearly every week, she sends out these Faith and Prayer messages to encourage us. I simply love them and wanted to share them here, with you. I hope you find some little nugget in them, and I have faith that you will.

Dear Glorious Saints,

I love the story of Jesus on the boat in the middle of the storm (Luke 8). But as many times as I have read it I have never really connected it to the story after it about the man who was tormented by the legion of demons. In looking at it several things stand out to me.

First, Jesus was the one who initiated the boat trip: “One day Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.’” He did not say why, but it was not a random or capricious request; He had a reason.

Then He was not alarmed or even disturbed when the storm arose. He slept while His disciples, seasoned and experienced fishermen panicked in fear. He chided them, “Where is your faith?” Where was it? It was buried in fear, overcome by circumstances. Rather than approach Him in trust and confidence, they cried out in terror. Even so, He rebuked the storm, calmed the sea and left them in amazement as to who He was who could command the wind and the waves. Certainly this was one of His purposes in prompting the boat trip. They needed to see that He was no ordinary man.

But it seems like there was more. Upon reaching their destination they were met by the demoniac. Jesus delivered him from his tormentors and sent them into a herd of pigs that went careening down a steep bank and into the lake. And the man, restored to his right mind, begged Jesus to let him go with Him. But Jesus said this, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:38-39)

Jesus had a purpose for this journey. Not only did He wish to reveal more about who He was, but He also wanted to deliver a tortured soul from his torment and then have him spread the word about the goodness of God and all that God did for him. It is no wonder that His plan was met with the kind of opposition that could not only capsize the boat but thwart the good He would do and the glory that would go to God.

How often has this been true in my life? He sets me off in a direction and then the storm hits. Sometime I actually do have the faith I need but other times the circumstances seem overwhelming and I cry out to Him in fear and not in faith. I am grateful for His compassion to deliver me anyway, but I long to grow in the kind of trust that has confidence even when the waves seem to be swamping the boat. How I desire to recognize quickly that He has a good plan and a purpose that goes beyond what I can see, that He desires not only to reveal more of Himself, to do good for me and others but also to bring greater glory to the Father.

Next time He invites me for a boat ride I want to be ready. How about you?



Marianne Paulus is a marriage and family educator. She offers weekly classes in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex on Marriage Preparation. She also teaches at the Mid-Cities Pregnancy Center.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Walking With God - John Eldredge

A journey of learning to walk with God...
One Sunday afternoon last fall, I strolled through the Barnes and Noble bookstore, biding time until daughter was done with her youth group. I love browsing bookstores, touching the sleek, shiny covers, taking in the scents of coffee and new, hot-of-the-press book pages. Fingers run over raised titles, wondering what treasures are hidden within the inky insides.... I waited patiently for one to jump out at me, catch my eye in a most enticing way, challenge me to take a closer look.

That particular day, it was John Eldredge's newest book, Walking With God. The title itself caused my breath to catch. I'd been earnestly seeking God, wanting to learn to hear his voice, walk closer.

Like a child excited to see a parent at the end of a long day, the book seemed to leap into my hands and after a few pages I knew I'd found my newest adoptee.

The first page wrapped itself around my heartstrings and wouldn't let go. Here's a short paragraph on the opening page:

It is our deepest need, as human beings, to learn to live intimately with God.
It is what we were made for. Back in the beginning of our story, before the fall
of man, before we sent the world spinning off its axis, there was a paradise
called Eden. In that garden of life as it was meant to be, there lived the first
man and woman. Their story is important to us because whatever it was they were,
and whatever it was they had, we also were meant to be and to have. And what
they enjoyed above all the other delights of that place was this--they walked
with God. They talked with him, and he with them.

For this you and I were made. And this we must recover.

The book isn't written in chapters. As Eldredge says, life isn't made up of neat chapters, with summary points at the end of the day. We live through seasons and that's how the book is divided up. Within each season, Eldredge shares his own stories, his own experiences of learning to walk with God.

There's something about sharing your own personal stories that helps others see and understand the basic truths this world is founded on. We all experience them. And we can help each other out most by sharing what we've experienced, learned, and fought for on our own journey.

I didn't sit down and consume the book in a couple of weeks. And it's not meant to be read that way. In truth, I read some, then set it down for awhile and kind of forgot about it. Every once in awhile, I'd pick it up and read a little more. Each time, it seemed to speak to a need or challenge happening in my own life at the time. Finally, a few weeks ago, I felt God stirring my heart to open it once again right where I left off. It was spring break and I had free time to go into a more in depth study, which isn't something that often happens while school is in session.

Laughter filled my small, morning-quiet office as I read the heading: Spring. A glance down at my calendar confirmed my question. The first day of spring had begun the day before. And such are the ways of God, I've been finding over the course of my own journey with him.

Does God still speak to us?

Listen to Eldredge speak through a series of videos (click the link above) about how God still speaks and directs us, even today.

He's also set up a website that expands on what the book says. There are videos, podcast, and audio teachings. Throughout the book is the link to show you where there's more on what he's talking about for those who want to go in deeper for more understanding.

If you're interested in learning what it means to hear God, walk closer to him and understand what it means to have such a life, then I suggest this book. It's opened my own eyes to so many freeing truths and most of all, it's helped me draw closer to my best, most kindest and generous friend- The Lord Almighty himself.

Product Details
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 15, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0785206965
ISBN-13: 978-0785206965
Amazon's link for Walking With God

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mom sayings

You may want to stop the music player while you listen to this. Hope you get a good laugh.

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