Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wonderment Wednesday- Romans 5

Romans 5:1-5

Justified by FAITH
PEACE with God
Walking in GRACE
firm standing
Rejoice, Sing Praises, Dance with JoY
of the glory of GOD

Rejoice in Suffering
Suffering = Perseverance
Perseverance = Character
Character = HOPE

- does not disappoint
by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us....
(A repost)

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Candy Drawer

I don't know how many times I passed that drawer. Unaware.

And honestly, I didn't even care what was inside. Until I found out... what was inside.

My friend has a heart for giving. And she loves to host dinners and gatherings in her home. It's a modest home, but very comfortable. Big, plush chairs fill the living area. There are two dining tables. An open kitchen. Like I said, she has a heart for welcoming people in and making sure they enjoy their time there.

So one day, we had a church dinner at her house. Several of the guys were gathered around this drawer. At first I didn't think anything of it and went to sit in the living room. But then I heard it... that sound... that distinct sound a person makes when they've found something good.

First I heard the riiippp, crinkle, crinkle, crinkle... followed by mmmmmmm....

Intrigued, I had to go investigate. I'd never dreamed there was something good inside. Yet, it was there, all the same. When I rounded to corner to where the guys were gathered I found my husband there, his hands full of the goodness that drawer offered to anyone who would venture to open it up and reach inside.


And since that first discovery of this treat drawer, hardly a time has passed when I've seen it empty. It's almost always full with some delightful sweet.

This got me to thinking:
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!" Matthew 7:11

How many blessings do we miss because we don't keep our eyes open to God's grace which abounds all around us? How many gifts do we walk past because we have our eyes on our lack? How many delights do we ignore because our eyes are focused on our own needs and not on the abundance God has provided?

It's there, just like the candy. But that candy doesn't hurl itself out of the drawer and smack me upside the head to get my attention. I have to look for it, open the drawer, reach in, riiipppp... crinkle, crinkle, crinkle... mmmmmm....

Oh yeah, it's there. Since I've began counting things I'm grateful for, my eyes have started to refocus, to see things they didn't see before. And the bounty is more mind-boggling than that candy drawer. Sometimes, the candy drawer is running low, or once, I believe, I actually did see it empty. But God's blessings... they never seem to end.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt. 6:33
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3
Everything I need can be found in Him. The gifts are there if you'll only look.

Be blessed,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wonderment Wednesday

God is King, robed and ruling, God is robed and surging with strength.

And yes, the world is firm, immovable, Your throne ever firm--you're Eternal!

Sea storms are up, God,
Sea storms wild and roaring,
Sea storms with thunderous breakers.

Stronger than wild sea storms,
Mightier than the sea-storm breakers
Mighty God rules from High Heaven.

What you say goes--it always has
"Beauty" and "Holy" mark your palace rule,
God to the very end of time.

Psalms 93
Photos from stormy Texas skies.
A repost from the archives. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

When Enough is Enough

I close the book and run my finger over the picture of hands holding a bird's nest. For the past three years I've been following Ann Voscamp's blog, A Holy Experience. For three years, her beautiful words have encouraged and inspired me to be thankful for the small things.

Then I got a copy of her book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully. Since I began reading it, the word of giving thanks, even in the pain, has resounded all around me.

I heard it while on Retreat last week.

"Attitude is behind every action and reaction." said one speaker as she talked about how our attitude will make our break our lives. She gave three ways to have an attitude like Jesus had:
1. Having an attitude of gratitude- giving thanks in all circumstances.
2. Having an attitude of latitude- understanding that God loves us right where we are.
3. Having an attitude of fortitude- being courageous even in adversity.

2 Peter 1:3
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.

Everything we need...

The other day I got really angry with one of my kids. I mean furiously angry. First came the outburst, then the guilt. Why do I let myself get so bent out of shape? Not that my anger wasn't justified, but the outburst wasn't.

As I sat at my desk, seething with anger, I heard in my spirit, "Think of what you are grateful about this child."

I'll be honest, it was hard at first.
But I grabbed my little moleskin book, the one I've begun writing down gratitude gifts in, and found three great qualities about this (at the moment) very annoying child.

With each one I wrote out, the anger ebbed away like water into a parched ground. I began to breath again. My muscles relaxed. The only thing left was the guilt over having let my anger get the best of me.

Mistakes happen, right? But his grace is enough. Sufficient.

His love covers a multitude of sins.

He died that I might live. And learn. And move on.

First I had to forgive myself. He'd forgiven. It happened at the cross.

Jesus said "It's finished."

It was enough.

I have enough. The more I write down the gratitude gifts found around me, the more I realize just how much I have. Often, more than enough.

Be Blessed,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wonderment Wednesday: Zephaniah 3

Be glad and rejoice with all your heart....

The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save

He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zeph. 3:14&17

How can we not fall utterly and completely in love with such a God as this?

Monday, March 14, 2011

When God Seems Small...

God starts with the small, the seemingly insignificant--

A garden and two people
     A boat and eight people
          An old guy and a barren women
               A shepherd boy
                    A babe born in a stable

And yet... God may start small... but he finishes BIG!!

The world is populated with those two people.
Then re-populated with those eight people.
A nation numbering the amount of the stars comes from the old guy and barren women.
A shepherd boy grows up to be a mighty king and unites a people.
A babe born in a manger grows up to save the world.

"Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. Fill the air with song, you who've never experienced childbirth! You're ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women."

God says so!

Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep.

You're going to take over whole nations,
you're going to resettle abandoned cities.

Don't be afraid--you're not going to be embarrassed.

Don't hold back--you're not going to come up short.
Isaiah 54:1-4 MSG

Don't despise the day of small beginnings, the word says. How do you see yourself? As a tiny seed, hidden the the dark earth? That's all right. In time, you have the potential to be a mighty oak, strong against the winds and storms. Shelter. Food. Life!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wonderment Wednesday: Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever!

Give thanks to the God of gods,
His love endures forever!

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
His love endures forever!

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever

who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever

who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever,

who made the great lights--
His love endures forever

the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever

the moon and stars to govern the night
His love endures forever

with a mighty hand and outstretched arm
His love endures forever

to the One who remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever
and freed us from our enemies,
His love endures forever
and who give food to every creature,
His love endures forever

Give thanks to the God of Heaven,
His love endures forever

Psalm 136 (NIV)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wonderment Wednesday: Philippians 4:11-13

I have learned...
to be content...                  
whatever the circumstance.

I know what it is to be in need,
I know what is to have plenty.

I have learned the secret
of being content
 in any

whether well fed
or hungry,

whether living in plenty
or in want

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV)

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