Posts

Showing posts from September, 2007

Anticipatory Faith

Go visit me at Next-step-of-faith today.

Suffocating

“My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but Thou dost not answer; and by night, but I have no rest. Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:1-2)

There are days when it is difficult to breathe. The world is shrouded in suffocating darkness; the path to heaven is blockaded with boulders, overgrown thistles and howling wolves. Every breath is effort, every movement is painful, and every part of your being is parched. Nothing seems to satisfy and nothing comes easily. Are you in this desert, are you suffering from spiritual pneumonia?

St. John of the Cross called this the dark night of the soul. God’s presence feels far away and the world seems empty of solace. During a dark night, the soul is stripped of all imaginary supports – even the experience of God’s presence. Somehow the wind is knocked out of you and your faith begins to crumble. Doubting cree…

Hunting Harmony

Image
It’s that time of the year again. No, I’m not talking about the glorious brilliant colors gracing the maples or the fresh red apples or even the Sunday afternoons spent cheering a favorite team. It is bow hunting season – the time of year my lifetime lover anticipates all year long. He goes out in the dead of winter to look for tracks and other sign of the big bucks in the woods. In summer he goes stir crazy because the ticks prohibit his exploration of his beloved woods. By the beginning of August he’s about ready to wear a hole through the contoured map of the area, but somehow he manages to wait those excruciatingly long days until the season opens in September.

So now the anticipation is over and the journey has begun. He will spend his Saturday and Sunday evenings sitting in the tree stand searching for his prey. It brings him great pleasure and even though I don’t completely understand the allure of hunting, I don’t begrudge him this hobby.

To make this journey a bit sm…

Praise of the Sky

Image
Psalm 19:1-2 NIV
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”
Golden rays of joy dance with pink skirted ladies along a tangerine river. Suddenly an angel fire of crimson leaps into the scene as a lavender dress slips in to join the ball. They dance for the joy of Jesus, for the glory of God. Dancing partners shift and pause to watch the glorious becoming as each one in turn transforms from one hue to another. Darkness is stealing in but the dancers continue on. Slowly each one tiptoes off the stage and meanders home.

After a short interlude new performers begin to tune up their instruments and prepare for the night-time display. The black curtain darkens the stage and one by one, splashes of shimmering light sing out a song of praise. The beacons dance into formation joining arms and singing softly of The Way.

A silver crescent hangs in the center of the sparkl…

A Prayer for the School Year

Image
Lord of all the earth, Father to the redeemed, Savior of unlimited grace,

Pour out your favor and loving-kindness upon my children. Bless them in all their endeavors this year.

Be a strong shelter around each child – a champion to defend their cause. Protect them from scars – both physical and emotional. Guard their tender hearts from the cruelty of others.

Be their shepherd – guiding them away from wrong choices, gently whispering in each ear when to turn to the left or the right.

May each of my children (Darling, Missy and Little Man) live in the shadow of Your wings and never by disobedience leave Your protective hedges. Hem them in behind and before; hold them tight in Your embrace. Reveal Yourself again and again to each one.

May they choose each day to follow You. May they be drawn by Your irresistible love. May they rely on You and put all of their trust in You. Shine brightly in their small souls – a light that cannot be extinguished by any power.

Wednesday morning is "…

Fall Flames

Image
The air is as crisp as the juicy tart Macintosh I bite into as I meander down the dirt path. Overhead, the canopy explodes with vibrant shades of autumn – the foliage is on fire blazing a chorus of praise to the Creator of all. As a gentle breeze sings through the flames, crackling noises accompany the dancing hues of crimson and gold. A few sparks fly loose and tumble to the ground at my feet. I kick around the dying flames which have not turned to ashes, not yet at least.

The crystal sky is set as a clear backdrop to the majesty of the Artist’s work and the scent of remembrance is in the air. In order to appreciate the artistry around me, I must look up; I look up through the flames to heaven and my vision is refocused on eternity. The earth, my home, has been on this path before – its cyclical elliptical path never changing year after year and it has returned to this spot so many miles from the sun once again.


My pace slows as I recall the past times in this place on the pa…

Faith Lifts - Less Income More Investment Article

Go Visit me at FaithLifts Today!

Passion

Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me on magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You

To know and follow hard after you
To grow as your disciple in your truth
This world is empty, pale, and poor
Compared to knowing you, my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after you
Lead me on and I will run after you

Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after you
To know and follow hard after you
To grow as your disciple in the truth
This world is empty, pale, and poor
Compared to knowing you my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after you

Lord to know and follow hard after you
And to grow as your disciple in your truth
This world is empty, pale, and poor
Compared to knowing you my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after you
Lead me on and I will run after you
Lead me on and I will run after you

©1988 PDI Praise\Dayspring Music, Inc.
Words and Music by Mark Altrogge

Passion – such a st…

My Lifelong Lover

Image
I’m eternally grateful to the Giver of all good gifts for this man who will stand by my side for the duration of life.

He loves me for who I am – the frantic me, the quiet me, the babbling me, the forgetful me, the deep thinking me, the busy me, the bored me, the real me.

I love him for his tender way of unearthing my deepest fears. I appreciate his passion for truth.

I love him for his masculinity – his prowess in managing wildlife, his protectiveness of his family, his provision for us too.

I love him for his God-like characteristics – wisdom, discernment, and sincere concern for people.

I’m so blessed to be loved by this man and to spend my life loving him.

Works for me Wednesday - Apple Peeling

Apples abound this time of year. We eat apples around our house as if they really did ward off doctors. I find rotting cores under beds (yes, that is disgusting!), littering my yard, piling up in garbage cans, but the best part of apple season is the pies! My kids enjoy apple baseball too though I'm not sure I'd recommend starting that since they can't always remember to only play with rotten apples.

Apple pies with crumb topping hot from the oven topped with creamy white vanilla ice cream is true comfort food. In preparation for the days of comfort food, we make 8 or more pies and freeze them. This nifty apple peeler makes the process swift and relatively easy. Using teamwork, the process is a memory maker each fall. This year my husband peeled (and sliced and cored at the same time - amazing!)all of the apples. My 6 year old Darling used a dull knife to cut the slices in half and my mother-in-love made pie filling in a huge pot. She had some help from Little ma…

Plans

Image
Plans…(Jeremiah 29:11)

I have plans for you. They are great, wonderful, marvelous plans bursting with blessings.

But first. First, we need to take care of this issue of sin – the insidious black rot that is taking over your soul. Drastic measures must be taken to remove the filth that pervades your heart. It will hurt. For a time. I’m sorry that it’s come to this. I gave you opportunities every day to acknowledge me but you stubbornly closed your eyes, clenched your teeth and shook your self-centered fist at heaven. You ignored me and worse, you imagined you were in control of your life. So now I’m forced to use drastic measures to get your attention.

After the disaster and mourning you’ll see the promise of a plan for good on the other side. If you could rise up on the wings of a soaring eagle to look down upon the path that is called your life, you would not see the weaving twists and turns, the valleys and the mountains, but the most direct route to a glorious end. Rise …

Naked...and so very Ashamed

My hidden self is laid bare before You Lord and I cover my eyes in shame. So much selfishness, so much of me, so little of You, so much taking, so little giving, so much pretending, so little honesty, so much guilt…

Your hand gently lifts my chin to look into Your eyes full of compassion and I see a deep well of never-ending forgiveness. You accept me? Even my ugly, filthy hidden parts? All of me?

My tense body relaxes into the peace of cleansing, the hope of renewal, the beauty of redemption. Fear dissipates and is replaced by unimaginable joy. I am free from sin than entangles my soul with darkness. I am purified by the simple act of faith.

Reproval. Renouncing. Repentance.

Restoration. Renewal. Rejoicing!

Be Still

Image
Psalm 46:10

Be still.
Be.
Be quiet.
Be at rest.
Stop.
Not just slow down, but STOP.
Stop moving.
Stop thinking so hard about everything.
Stop working.
Stop trying to control things beyond your control.
Stop worrying.
Stop whining.
Stop carrying that load.
Cease striving.
Vacate – take a break.
Rest….in Me.
Trust.
Hope.
Believe.
Be.
No more doing, just being.
Be a simple child.
Be Mine.
Be completely, totally, thoroughly Mine.
Be still.

Today I choose...

Image
Today, I choose…to be an intentional Mother

1. I choose to allow myself the freedom to make mistakes (without beating myself up) so my kids can also have that freedom.
2. I choose to communicate to each child their specific value in my life – to let them know they are treasured.
3. I choose to listen and speak with my children with respect – putting down the phone, looking up from the computer, stopping for a moment to give them my full attention.
4. I choose to keep the vision in the forefront of my mind each day – the vision of godly, mature, grace-filled adults who will impact the world for Christ some day.

Treasure, Pearls and Jewels

Image
Treasure, pearls and jewels (Matthew 13:45-46)

In the dirt, something sparkles…
He digs deeper, unearthing the treasure.
Removing the cloth from His pocket, He begins to restore the jewel’s shine.
Shimmering, glowing, beauty bestowing
The jewel is YOU

The investor sees an unusual treasure…
It’s a gamble, but it’s worth it.
He puts all of His earnings, all of His investment into one little pearl.
Full of hope, full of potential, full of value
The pearl is ME

A simple stroll through a field ended in a surprise.
Something so wonderful you’d give away your life to keep it forever.
Something so beautiful nothing compares.
Limitless love, marvelous grace, amazing sacrifice
The treasure is HIM

He gave up everything for you.
Will you give up everything for Him?

Scubbing Muddy Toes

Image
30 dirty toes soaked in water for 5 minutes + 1 soapy washcloth =
Unlimited spontaneous giggles and spiritual service

All I could think about was Jesus’ command in John 13 as I scrubbed my kids’ filthy feet. I wonder if the disciples laughed too? Sometimes I think dying to self and living for Christ sounds so serious and difficult which is why I never imagined that spiritual service might involve FUN.

In my present situation, as a mother of young children, dying to self means serving my children with a glad heart. My children’s needs always seem to come right at the moment when I’m tending to my own personal needs. This type of spiritual service tests my selfish nature daily. Dying to self is such a painful process but last night’s foot scrubbing revealed the life that can be found on the other side of death. I’ve been so caught up in the dying part that I forgot about the living part.

I’m ready to start enjoying my life as a servant-mother instead of dreading the daily death t…

A rainbow! A rainbow!

Image
Grey, ugly clouds filled the sky as we headed out for preschool this morning. The kids had not been obeying and I was my usual scatterbrained self, so we were running late. I was irritated at everyone but I couldn't put my finger on the real reason for my tears. Someone I love dearly is struggling....I can't really say more but my heart hurts for her. I almost allowed myself to go down the path to a self-indulgent pity party until I heard my 2 year old say, "a rainbow, a rainbow!" I looked up in the sky to see the rays of the sun piercing through the dark clouds in several bright rays. The image spoke deeply to me of God's power to pierce through any darkness in my life at just the right moment. It wasn't a rainbow but it was powerful.

I'm thankful for my son who directed me back to THE SON.

The God of Second Chances

Image
I was walking and praying about my next post and the Lord reminded me that He is a God of second (and third and fourth and....) chances and then I stumbled onto this awesome blog! I have been reading Lee Strobel's questions (in The Case for Faith) about God's wrath in the Old Testament - it's hard to understand why He allowed such brutal things to occur. But when we realize how long He waits for people to turn to Him and how eager He is for us to repent, His retribution is balanced with His love and patience.

In Jeremiah's time, the Lord continually spoke through His prophets and pleaded with the people to turn back to God. It's amazing for me to realize that God's requests were very simple: He required that they worship God alone first of all and He asked that they treat each other with kindness. Don't you think the people of Israel could have done that? Again and again He warned them of the consequences of disobedience but they ignored Him and cont…

Online Published Again!!!

http://www.christian-mommies.com/special-features/just-for-moms/pessimism/

Go to the link above (click on the title)and see my article recently posted at Christian Mommies! Thanks Lord for the encouragement to keep on persevering!