Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A November Reminder in July~

So many times,
when we slip into November,
and begin our descent (or ascent!) to our Thanksgiving table,
the often neglected joy of counting our blessings,
is pulled out of the closet,
dusted off,
and put into practice, once again.

We list each day, and with it,
something we are thankful for.
We spell out the ABC's, and next to each one,
a corresponding blessing.

Like turkey, that is eaten only one time a year,
we stop for a moment and do what we normally don't -
give thanks.

We momentarily jar ourself loose
from the I still wants of life,
and settle awhile on the
so glad I haves.

Lord, I'm thankful for my
family,
health,
job,
faith.

Seldom, if ever,
do we flip our list over,
start anew at the top,
and open our hearts (and our lives!)
to the possibility of thankfulness
found in the have nots.

And yet, here, in this uncharted,
never go to place,
are blessings
never before seen,
never before counted,
never before mentioned at the Thanksgiving table.

Lord, I'm thankful I don't have - - -
Lord, I'm thankful I didn't get - - -
Lord, I thankful I haven't  - - -

Sometimes, when we truly,
sincerely,
open-heartedly,
reflect on our life,
we make the most astonishing discovery of all:
Some of our greatest November (life long!) thank yous
are not what we can list,
but what we can't.

This year,
as we make out our grocery list,
launder the tablecloth,
defrost the turkey,
vacuum behind the sofa,
and dust off the light fixtures,
may we stop for a moment (an hour, a day, a lifetime!)
and re-examine our giving of thanks.

May we be willing to try more than
a new recipe,
a new tablescape
a new guest list.

May we be willing to try a new kind of thanksgiving -
thanksliving!

In all ways,
in all things,
in all moments,
in all the days of our lives,
may we give thanks.


Counting our haves    
and our have nots.

Being mindful of what we got
and what we didn't get.

Giving thanks for our dos
and our don'ts.

This year,
as we push back from the table,
another great meal settling in our tummy,
may we choose not to settle
for life as before.

As we take the leaf from the table,
and place the china back in the hutch,
may we
intentionally
and
purposefully
let an attitude of gratitude remain.

As we slip into each new day,
and make our descent ( or ascent!) to the end of our life,
may we choose to keep
the joy of counting blessings,
both the dos and the don'ts,
smack dab in the center of our life.







 
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Beauty of Life~








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Friday, July 25, 2014

Don't Settle~

Are you going through a tough time? 

Then, keep going.

Don't stop and don't settle.

So often we let tough times keep us from reaching our goals, 
living out our dreams,
fulfilling our God-given destiny.

In ALL things -
especially the hard things,
God is working out HIS purpose, 
God is orchestrating HIS plan,
God is perfecting HIS perfect will in our life.

Keep pressing in to God,
and keep pressing on.

Don't settle for anything less than God's best for you. 

Don't ever settle until God, Himself, has settled you.~

 
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.
~1 Peter 5:10 (AMP)






 
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Offering of Praise~








 
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This~

This week has found me tired and weary.
Oh, so very tired. Oh, so very weary.

As I sit here this morning, trying to talk my sleepy self into waking up,
I keep reminding myself of these beautiful truths:

In our weakness, His strength His made perfect.
(2 Cor. 12:9)

Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit.
(Zech 4:6)

I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.
(Phil 4:13)

Come to me all you who are tired and weary and I will give you rest.
(Matt. 11:28)

And, this - THIS - yes, this -

All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
(Eph. 3:20)

As my heart traces the words of each promise,
(they are all promises, you know)
tired begins to fade and strength rises.

As I name and claim these verses for
my next moment, my next hour, the day ahead,
weary weakens its grip and hope takes hold.

I'm so thankful it's not about me,
but it is this - THIS - yes, this -
Christ in me, working through me.

I have a feeling this is going to be an amazing day.~♥





 
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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mountaintops, Valleys, and Life In Between~

This past week I had the most amazing experience. I was privileged to be part of a week long summer camp for children in 4th-6th grade. I have to admit that prior to last week, the idea of being a camp counselor was not something I was looking forward to. Don't get me wrong. I love children. I love the mountains. I just wasn't sure how spending a whole week....24-7....with these youngsters in the mountains was going to turn out. I overlooked the fact that God would also be with us at this camp. What a difference He makes!!!!!

We settled into our bunks, acquainted ourselves with the camp, and it wasn't long before I discovered I loved "mountaintop living". Here, there were no TVs, no computers, and no cell service. Only trees, a small pond, squirrels, fresh air, each other and God.

Each day started and ended with Worship. Sometimes Worship was held in the small, wooden chapel. Other times, God's creation itself was the setting of our praises and our worship. As we breathed in the cool, fresh mountain air, it was easy to breathe in God's spirit. As we sat in the silence of the stillness of the mountains, it was easy to hear God's still small voice. As we focused on the only thing that truly matters in life...



it was easy to keep our focus on Christ.

All too soon, though, our time on the mountain was over. It was time to pack our bags, exchange addresses and say our goodbyes. Sitting in the small chapel for the last time, I tried to capture it all in my heart. The angelic voices of children singing praises. The smiles on their faces. The presence of God. For a moment, it felt like "heaven on earth" and I longed to stay in this moment. It was so easy to experience God in this place. It's not so easy when you come down off the mountain.

The speaker at this final worship service knew this, too. And yet, this wise women of faith reminded us that while God is with us on the mountaintop, He is also with us in the valleys of life.

I knew this, too. My heart and my life could attest to this very truth. It was during the lowest times of my life that God became the most real to me. It was when I was walking through the fire that I felt God's presence walking beside me. I had felt God on the mountain, but I had come to know God in the valleys.

As I sit here tonight, the time at camp now but a memory, I give thanks to God. I thank God that I can still start and end my day in worship. I thank God that I can still choose to sit in silence before Him each day and hear His still small voice. I thank God that I serve a God who has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I thank God that always, He is here.

I have to admit, now that I have been a camp counselor for a week, I am not looking forward to heading back into my "normal" life. Don't get me wrong. I love my life. I love where God has me. I'm just not sure how my life, the day to day, 24-7 of it, is going to turn out.

Yes...I have come down off the mountain, but what I must never overlook is the fact that God has come down with me. What a difference He makes!!!




(Note: I wrote this in July 2010. This past week, I was blessed to attend yet another camp and enjoy another mountain top experience with God. Once again, He was faithful to meet me there, and once again, I know He will be faithful to accompany me back here.... to the day to day living of my life. What an AWESOME God we serve. What a faithful friend we have in Jesus. What a Saviour!)



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Friday, July 4, 2014

Set Free~






 
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

God's Place~







 
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