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.
Friday, October 29, 2010
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.
Friday, October 22, 2010
The video on this blog I'm linking you to gave a real life example of someone who reached out and did exactly what I think Jesus wants us to do.
Be a friend.
I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.
Vonda Skelton - Love or Hate?
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
Monday, October 18, 2010
I know what is is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.Wish I could say I epitomized this scripture. But I don't.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether
well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
However, I have learned how not to panic, most of the time, when things don't go the way I had planned. Most of the time. Perhaps 80/20. Ok, Ok, 70/30. Whatever.
In my certification classes, the instructors said that, as teachers, we need to be flexible and ready to handle change at a moments notice. Eeish. Like, as if. Who really does that anymore? I mean, really?
What I have learned, however, is that whatever I face, or whatever hits me from behind, I'm not alone in dealing with it. Earlier this week, I visited one of my favorite blogs, and found a wonderful phrase from the author which I've copied in my journal so I can remember it.
"Pray, process all the steps through in your mind, and prepare... and don't stop praying."
This is something I have learned while walking with the Holy Spirit. I have found that when I don't panic, if I'll just take a deep breath and ask, "what now?" An answer will come.
As I pondered this, another scripture came to me from Ephesians 6:13-"Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so when the day of evil comes, (such as troubles, challenges, obstacles, conflicts or disappointments) you may be able to stand your ground, (Pray, process, prepare and pray some more) and after you have done everything, to stand." Then in vs 18, it goes on to say: "And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kind of prayer and request. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
That means keeping my eyes outward focused and not inward focused.
Pray, process, prepare and Pray!
Stand your ground, and after you've done everything, keep standing.
Then pray some more.
Father God, Keep me from getting knocked off my feet when things don't go my way. Help me to stand firm and know without a doubt, that you are in control of my live. May I remember to stop and seek out your wisdom when faced with obstacles. May I learn the secret of being content in any and every situation. Help me learn this. Teach me your ways, O Lord. I love you. Thank you for your many blessings and provisions. Amen.
Rest in ease, my friends!
This is from my archives. I needed to be reminded. Hope it blesses you again as it has me.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
People will say, “You need to kick him out. You need to get up, dust yourself off and keep going.”
And I do. I know. I really do know and have given the same advice myself.
Well, if it gets too bad, I suggest you seek help. If not a professional, then at least a friend who you know has the heart to walk through those dark places with you.
Along with that, remember this:
“Where can I go from Your spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will
Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the
darkness will hide me,
And the light become night around me,’
darkness will not be dark to You;”
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for You
are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.”
With or without people around to help, with or without professional help, we keep going. If we love God and belong to Him, then we don’t go through the dark places alone. He’s right there. He’ll never leave or forsake. He doesn’t promise happiness and sunshine every day. But He does promise that His presence will go where we go if we will only seek him. And if we seek Him, the darkness will flee. It has to. He says He is light and God doesn’t lie. Never.
Friday, October 8, 2010
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
"The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people." Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity." Jer. 29:12-14Lord, set me free from myself so that I can live in freedom and be all that you've created me to be. Amen.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The words of the wise prod us to live well.They're like nails hammered home, holding life together.They are given by God, the one Shepherd.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
There weren't so many disappointments. So many hurts caused by someone loved or not so loved. Hurts I've thrown right back, as well.
The times I question, “Why even try? Why waste my time?” When I feel like a failure. I can’t do it, I refuse to take another step. When I want to give up and run for the hills. Yet each morning, I find myself getting back up, trudging the same path from shower to closet as I get ready to try, try again. To head into a job I’m unsure I'm any good at. Or to sit at a blank screen knowing that the words I’ve spent hours on may never leave the digital file they were created in.
At the end of his life, Solomon wrote: "Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun." Ecclesiastes 2:11
Everybody has something stuffed down deep in their pockets. Every once in awhile they might pull it out to show someone before they stuff it back in. What does one do? Sometimes... most times, I'm at a loss.
Hurt is no respecter of persons. It pretty much spreads itself around one way or another. So does disappointment, fear, condemnation, anger… all that nasty stuff that bears its sharp teeth and rips apart hearts and spirits.
You know what I think would make life easier?
If I could get myself to a place where I love, encourage, accept and comfort more than all the other crap I do. (sorry, I tried to think of a nicer word for what I'm thinking and found none.)
Life would be easier… if I could love like Jesus loved. Despite what was done to him, he loved. Oh how he loved.
I want to. I want to be so pouring over with compassion that I can say to someone who has none, “Here, you can have some of mine.”
Lately I've felt all dried up and empty.
I want to be an outward looker instead of an inward seeker.
God help me! Change me. From the inside out. I don’t want to look back like Solomon who had everything and then some … and think everything is all a waste. Please, please, please don’t let me come to such an end.