Who you are and what you do--
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Who you are and what you do--
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
This was really cute, so I wanted to share it with you all. I pray your holiday week is filled with joy and excitement. Keep your eyes on Him who the season is all about.
There's so much to celebrate for what He's done for us. Amen!
(turn off the sidebar music while you enjoy this video)
Monday, December 20, 2010
All the tinsel and lights
but the real gift is You!
Happy Birthday, Jesus
Yeah, all that is nice... the decorations, the twinkling lights, and PRESENTS! Of course. But all that is a means to the end. It's our way to celebrate God's real gift, and it's easy to forget when you get burdened under with the pressure to get more and do more and having everything perfect.
And that's simply madness. Jesus' first bed was an animal troff, that manger where animals munched on hay. Where did we get the idea that everything had to be so... well, you know.
It's okay, if you can't buy a lot. It's okay if the decorations are sparse. It's okay, really. The real gift... it's HIM! It's Jesus coming to earth, dying for our sins, showing us how to really live.
Friday, December 17, 2010
In Jesus, the reason that we celebrate this season, we do have everything we need. He is the dream maker, the dream take-carer. If we can only have faith in Him and what He's doing with our lives, there is nothing and nowhere that we can't go.
Have Faith. He will see you through.
Turn off the music on the sidebar and enjoy Josh Groban and Beyonce sing Believe. . .
Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when test and challenges come at you from all sides.
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father.
Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Eldredge wrote, "We see God as a means to an end rather than the end
itself. God as the assistant to our life versus God as our life. We don't see
the process of our life as coming to the place where we are fully his and he is
our all. And so we are surprised by the course of events.
It's not that God doesn't want us to be happy. He does. It's just that he
knows that until we are holy, we cannot really be happy. Until God has become
our all, and we are fully his, we will continue to make idols of the good things
he gives us."
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I sing in the shadow of your wings,
Monday, November 29, 2010
"You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit." Job 10:12
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I will say it again: REJOICE!
Do not be anxious about anything,
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding
May the God of peace be with you always...
(my photos from random wanderings)
Monday, November 22, 2010
Taking my life into my own hands. Struggling to accomplish a never ending list of daily tasks. Racking my brain to figure out how to solve a problem. Banging my head when no answers come.
And in all this, when I've finally collapsed in a tired heap at the end of the day, having run out of myself... there He is. I feel Him. I hear His whisper, "Why didn't you call on me?"
John Eldredge said in his book, Walking With God that he often struggles with his own "driveness" that pushes and propels his life, and he says it comes as a result of "unbelief, from some deep fear that it's all up to me. Life is up to me. I've got to make as much headway as I can before the bottom drops out."
And that is how I often find myself thinking. It's not going to fix itself, so I better get after it. I. Me. The Master and Commander of my life. Yeah, right.
But He's good at waiting until I've run out of myself, my own energy, my own self-determination before he comes and his presence sits beside me, saying, "Why have you taken your eyes off me?"
I wanted to be a teacher. I sent out resumes, emails, visited schools, nearly everything I could possibly do aside from camping out in their office. Now I'm working as a substitute. I thought teaching was the right thing to do, maybe it will be eventually. But for now, He's put a burden on my heart to write again. To put everything I have into it. It's risky. So far, after three months, I've seen no return for it. Sometimes, I just want to throw up my hands and say, "What's going on God? I'm trying the best I can and look where it's getting me!"
I have a feeling, that's exactly where He wants me, too. Because I'm going to have to learn how to trust Him. And the broken places in me are really afraid to trust too much. What if I don't get a job after all? What if I never sell a piece of writing? How will that make me look? How will I feel about that? And this seeps into every aspect of my life. Trusting Him with our finances. Trusting Him with our children, family. Trusting Him enough to step out in faith and do the things He's asked of me. What if I fail? What if I fall and skin my knee? What if that makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing? Which more often than not, I don't.
He wants to heal those broken places. Each of those shattered parts, chipped away from life's circumstances. Yet I try to hold onto my life, myself, fearful that if I stretch out my arms to him, all those fragments will scatter into a million pieces.
They wont, though.
Eldredge goes on to say, "The Bible says we can't hope to walk the path God would have us walk without the healing of our souls.... The path to freedom from all this pushing and striving involves both repentance and healing so that I can be made whole and holy by his love."
Jesus said in Matthew 13:15:
"For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart and turn,
and I would heal them."
Heal them. He yearns for us to turn to him, let Him heal us. Let Him have control. Don't be hard hearted. Don't walk with a blindfold on, and wax in your ears. Look to me. Hear my voice.
Help me to connect my heart to yours. May I be able to stop and look to you for help, and to listen to the words you give me. I wish to walk in truth, with you by my side. Amen.
A friend shared this song with me awhile ago and as I thought about this article, it came back to me tonight. So turn off the sidebar music and I hope you enjoy "By Your Side" from Tenth Avenue North.
Friday, November 19, 2010
I want to be seen as a good parent, because I believe I'm not. I get hurt easily by my kids when they don't seem to appreciate me, or listen to my oh-so-wise words, or follow through on my request. And I look to God while pointing an angry finger at them and say, "Look what they are doing!"
I would like to be a wonderful wife, but when my expectations of my husband fall short, when he lets me down, when not all of MY needs are met, I turn to God and stomp my foot as I cry, "How can I be a help-mate to someone who treats me like that!?!"
In my writing I put out one article and story after another, telling God, "I'm sending this out now. Lord, I need to make a living doing this if you really want me to keep doing this. I have bills to pay, you know."
As I read Six Things Every Christian Blogger Should Know written by Ann Voskamp, I stopped about midway through and wondered,
And I began to do some quick apologizing and repenting.
Thing is, it's not about what my family does or doesn't do. Nor does my writing depend on how much I make... or don't make. When I'm a kingdom servant, I work unto God, not men. Whatever I do is in service to my Father God who knows all my needs, who is my one and only validation.
I don't need to worry, nor do I need to strive. It doesn't matter what others do, or what they think. I must keep my eyes focused on Him, my ears attuned to His words and my feet walking in the direction He has pointed out.
Everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind, (Ecc 4:4) unless I'm putting all I do, into God's hands.
I hope you enjoy the post. It's a powerful message. Just click on the title link above to get over to it.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Monday, November 15, 2010
I sit before the easel, blank, white, full of possibilities. Grabbing a charcoal pencil, I sketch a design, images as the completed project forms in my mind. I see it clear, eyes closed, but once opened again, it's no more than vague lines.
Dipping paintbrush into a swirl of color, bristles sweep across white expanse and a thrill erupts in my heart. We are on our way. What will happen? How will it all come out in the end?
Almost, as if taking on a life of it's own, the paint and brush sweep, blend, mesh and I gasp, "No, not quiet what I had in mind." I fight back, trying to regain control. Add more yellow. Yet the blue grasp and changes it to green.
In this tug-of-war endeavor of creating, I find I can hear God quiet clearly in the brush strokes.
"I understand your frustration. It's how I feel while I'm trying to mold you and
you have your own ideas. Your own color scheme... Yes, dear one, I
I stop and set my brush down. "I do, don't I? You say yellow and I want orange. You draw a crisp, straight line and say don't cross, yet my toe constantly brushes against, blurring it. Yes, it must be frustrating for you as well."
So He waits as well.
So does He.
As my project nears completion, I add defining lines, light and definition to each form.
In my life, I feel him doing the same. Setting boundaries. Highlighting the good in me. Defining who I am.
I start off as a big mess. A swirl of assorted colors. No real form. But he creates in my mess of a life, a work of art if I'll let him. His masterpiece. Something that bears His name.
And I want to proudly bear his name. I want to be a thing of beauty that brings joy to those who behold the work he's done in me.
Friday, November 12, 2010
The thing with Lisa is that her very life is a testimony to overcoming worry. This dear friend has faced some neck-bending obstacles, yet has found a way to get over each one. But I know for a fact, she hasn't done it alone. With each step, she learned to lean heavily on her Lord.
This post in particular seemed to put the cap on the worry bottle. When you read it, you'll see that even when we aren't aware of what's going on, God is in control and he makes a way around the bad places. That is His great love for us in action.
Click on the link to read Wonderfully Made.
And while you're there, why not check out the list Lisa came up with of scriptures that tell about how God feels about you. Read, When you need those reminders that God loves you.
You know, while your there, just have a good look around. Lisa is a true blessing.
But before you go... sit back and listen to this beautiful song and think about what I've said this week. Set your worries in His lap. Enjoy your life, friends. He loves us so very much. He's given us such beauty, so many good things. Don't let a couple of bad apples ... well, you know. Right?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
If this is how God clothes the grass of the field that is here today and
Monday, November 8, 2010
Jesus said: "Don't worry about your life. Don't worry saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' For the lost children - (those who don't know the Heavenly Father who rains down good and perfect gifts on his children. The Heavenly Father who waters the earth, clothes the fields and provides food and shelter for all living creatures)- they go after such things. Your Heavenly Father knows what you need." Matthew 6:25-32 paraphrased
Psalm 55:22 says: Casts your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; for he will never let the righteous fall.1 Peter 5:7 says: Casts all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.
"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." - Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:12-14
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
When we asked ourselves what kind of place we were building, we finally came to see it as a bit like a beach house. You can put your sandy, dirty feet on the coffee table, laugh late into the night with friends, and also hear God’s voice clearer than perhaps anywhere else. Life just feels more vibrant and real, as if you’ve stumbled upon a glimpse of heaven and it’s nothing like you ever imagined but everything you’d always hoped.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
When have I lacked? When have I hungered? When have I had to go without? Never! For You, my Lord, have always provided, always made a way and for that I'm am eternally grateful.
How can my mere words express my thankfulness to You?
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
Psalm 23 (NLT)A re-post that's been modified a bit for what's on my heart today. His mercy, grace and provision never, ever, never fail us.
Photo of pond from Charis Canyon, Grace Ministries International retreat.
Monday, October 25, 2010
She walked singing across the first field and was halfway over the next when suddenly she saw Craven Fear himself coming toward her. Poor Much-Afraid: for a little while she had completely forgotten the existences of her dreadful relatives, and now here was the most dreaded and detested of them all slouching toward her. (Hinds Feet On High Places: pgs 31-33)
She looked right and left, but there was no hiding place anywhere, and besides it was all too obvious that he was actually coming to meet her, for as soon as he saw her he quickened his pace and in a moment or two was right beside her.
She shrank away from him and shook with terror and loathing. Unfortunately this was the worst thing she could have done, for it was always her obvious fear which encouraged him to continue tormenting her. If only she could have ignored him, he soon would have tired of teasing and of her company and would have wandered off to look for other prey. In all her life, however, Much-Afraid had never been able to ignore Fear. Now it was absolutely beyond her power to conceal the dread which she felt.
Here she was, alone and completely in his power. He caught hold of her, and poor Much-Afraid uttered one frenzied cry of terror and pain....The Shepherd had approached them unperceived and was standing beside them. One look at his stern face and flashing eyes and the stout Shepherd's cudgel grasped in his strong, uplifted hand was more than enough for the bully.
Much-Afraid burst into tears. Of course she ought to have known that Craven was a coward and that if only she had lifted her voice and called for the Shepherd, he would have fled at once.... She was overwhelmed with shame that she has so quickly acted like her old name and nature, which she had hoped was beginning to be changed already.