Saturday, September 27, 2014

No Worries~








 
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

This . . . ~









 
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

♫ Beautiful ♪

A beautiful reminder of just how beautiful God makes our life . . ..~♥





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Monday, September 22, 2014

Tell Your Story~








 
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The Bond of Unity~

I stood behind them as they worshiped together -
a husband, a wife, two sons.
As their praises rose up to Heaven,
they drew closer and closer,
the space between them less and less.

At first, the father stood next to the older son 

who stood next to the wife 
who was holding the younger son.

Then, the mother handed the little son to his father.
With his free hand, 

the father took hold of the older boy's hand,
who with his other free hand,

took hold of his mother's hand.
They stood in front of me -
a single chain, swaying to the move of the Spirit.

Then, 

the older son placed his left arm around his father's waist 
and his right arm around his mother's waist,
pulling his parents to him.
The husband and wife then linked their arms, 

atop the others shoulder, 
as they hovered over the son in the middle.

As I gazed upon them, 

I no longer saw a family of four, 
but four who were one family. 

As I stood and watched them worship, I saw the bond of the unity of Christ.~♥


As God’s prisoner, then, I beg you to live lives worthy of your high calling. Accept life with humility and patience, making allowances for each other because you love each other. Make it your aim to be at one in the Spirit, and you will inevitably be at peace with one another. You all belong to one body, of which there is one Spirit, just as you all experienced one calling to one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, one Father of us all, who is the one over all, the one working through all and the one living in all.
~Ephesians 4:1-6





 
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Use Your Gift~







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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Taste and See~









 
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Me, A Blessing? Yes, Lord~









  
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Monday, September 15, 2014

To Know The Heart of God~

Her words rattle and shake me.

As I read, and then re-read, and then re-read her emails again, I hear her heart.

In each word I hear the desperate cry of her pain.
"Where were you God when . . .
Where were you God when . . .
Where were you God when . . .
Where were you God when . . .
Where were you God when . . . ?????"


In each word I  hear the sorrow and the anger.
"You must not have suffered as much as I have because you would not find it so easy to write these silly emails....God makes life easy for some...like you... it must be great to have a nice life."

In each word I hear her hurt .
"you do people like me a disservice...I wonder if you'd write the way you do if you had suffering in your life and God stood by and did nothing. yes its hard to trust and have faith when God favors some over others...."

As the words of her heart come barging into mine,
I feel my heart struggle to stand up under the weight of it all.

To have gone through so much pain.
To have experienced hurt after hurt after hurt.
To have looked for God and not seen Him.
To have cried out to God and not been rescued by Him.
To have come to the conclusion that God is a God who plays favorites and blesses some and not others.
To have decided that God's goodness is found only in the good.

More than all that she has gone though,
more than all that she has experienced,
more than each tear she has shed,
more than each cry of her heart,
the one thing that breaks my heart the most is this:
not knowing the heart of God.

Suffering.
Heartache.
Rejection.
Abuse.
Disappointment.

Just like the rain,
these fall upon the righteous and the unrighteous.
Just like the rain,
these fall on those who know God and those who don't.
Just like the rain,
these fall on all races, all tribes, all people.
Just like the rain,
these fall on each and every. single. one of us.
Just the like rain,
these fall on you and these fall on me.

And, just like the rain,
God is there, too.
He is always there, and He is always love.

Love isn't something God does; love is who God is.

Circumstances are not a reflection God's goodness.
Situations are not an indicator of God's faithfulness.
Heartaches are not a representation of God's love (or God's lack of love) for us.

Yes, I write about God's goodness -
not because my life is always good,
because my God is good.

Yes, I write about God's faithfulness -
not because my life is always steady and sure,
because my God is steady and sure.

Yes, I write about God's love,
not because my life is always full of love,
because my God is love.

The world is the world.
And, God, He is God.

When we allow the two to become one,
we lose the heart of God,
we lose God.

More than all that she has gone though,
more than all that she has experienced,
more than each tear she has shed,
more than each cry of her heart,
the one thing that breaks my heart the most is this:


not knowing the heart of God.







 
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Friday, September 12, 2014

The Prayer of a Wife's Heart~








 
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Mind of Christ~









 
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Hope of Heaven~

Have you ever seen the hope of Heaven?
I did.
Last night.
But, for you to see it, too, you have to go back to here:

I find myself seated in a pew at the funeral of a four month old. From the angle where I sit, I can see the tiny casket resting atop a green and yellow striped baby afghan.

And, I listen.
And, wonder.
And make myself face this question head on.

"Do I really have faith?"

As the lady seated in front of me wipes a tear from her eye, I wipe a continuous stream of them from my own. Pew after pew, eye after eye. It seems no one here is untouched by this heartbreaking loss.

"Faith isn't faith until it is tested. It is in times like this that we stand on our faith and it carries us through. It is in times like this that we discover the kind of faith we have."

The words of the minister reach deep into my soul. I can hardly stand the pain I feel seated in this place, in this moment. It is overwhelming, suffocating, too much. My eyes keep veering right and then left; any direction except straight ahead at the reality before us and the reason we are here.

And, I think of this precious mother, this broken father, these young sisters and tiny brother.

To suffer such loss.
To bury one so tiny, so helpless, so innocent.
To love God in spite of and in the midst of.
To believe without a doubt that God is good all the time,
even in times like this.

Faith.

Do I have it?

Or am I simply spoiled by the goodness of the Lord?

My life has been an easy one.
God's blessings have been abundant. Sorrows, few.
It's easy to have faith when all is well, life is happy, "God is good."

But, what about when God's goodness is disguised in heartbreak?

What about the times when everything falls apart and nothing makes sense? What do we do with our God when our God allows something into our life that pulls the rug of our heart right out from underneath us? What do we do when our foundation shakes so violently we find ourselves grappling to keep our footing.......and our faith?

And, I wonder.
And, I hear God's Spirit asking me the hardest question of all:
Do you trust me?

And, the only answer I know,
the only answer I can give,
the only cry of my heart is this:

"Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
~ Mark 9:24

*********
Last night, on the second birthday of this tiny infant,
I saw the hope of Heaven shining bright in this momma's eyes.
I heard the hope of Heaven loud and clear in this momma's words.

"Everyone wanted to stay home and mope around today. Nobody wanted to smile or be happy. Everyone just wanted to be sad. So, I called a family meeting. I sat everyone down and I reminded them. This is a day of rejoicing,this is a day to celebrate the gift we were given, this is a day to be extremely happy. No moping around. No sitting around crying. Rejoicing and celebrating that we were given such a precious boy and rejoicing and celebrating that we will see him again."

As this precious young mother stood beside me,
I looked deep in her eyes, and I saw it:
the unmistakable, undeniable, inconceivable hope of heaven.

And, it was breathtakingly beautiful.~♥

If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world. But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised. For just as death came by means of a man, in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man. For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ.
~ I Corinthians 15:18-22








 
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Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Wonder~









 
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Friday, September 5, 2014

In CHRIST~









 
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When Healing Doesn't Come~

Have you ever prayed for healing, 
and yet,
healing doesn't seem to come? 

I have. 

I have been praying for healing for 5 months, and still....no sign of healing. 
Physical healing, that is. 

I know our God is the Great Physician. 
I know our God is The Healer. 
I know our God is more than able, 
more than willing,
more than loving,
more than kind, 
more than compassionate. 

And yet, here I sit, still in need of healing.

As I have sought God's heart during this time of "silence", I have come to this conclusion:

my healing is not what matters most. 
What matters most is this: 
will my faith, 
my affection, 
my loyalty, 
my belief, 
my witness, 
my heart 
stay firmly fixed on my God - 
even though, in spite of, in the midst of?

While we all covet healing, we often fail to realize and appreciate the treasures found in suffering. My "hurt" has made me more compassionate toward those who have chronic suffering. My "hurt" has made me appreciate even more than I already did my fearfully and wonderfully created body and the blessing of health. And, most unexpected (and most blessed!) of all, my "hurt" has peeled back layers of my heart, revealing to me, the true identify and level of my faith.





Yes - - - healing would be wonderful. If my "hurt" was suddenly made whole I would jump, and shout, and praise His name! I would tell everyone what He had done for me. I would proclaim His goodness night and day. 


But - - - here's the thing:      

God is worthy of 
my faith, 
my affection, 
my loyalty, 
my belief, 
my witness, 
my unending, unstoppable praise 
simply because HE IS. 

The blessings He so lovingly lavishes upon us are just that - blessings - 
and as wonderful as they are - they can never compare to the WHOLE of who HE IS.

I know our God is The Healer. 

I know our God is more than able, 
more than willing, 
more than loving, 
more than kind, 
more than compassionate. 

And praise God, here I sit, receiving God's healing in the place where it matters most, my heart.~♥





 
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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Turn it Around~








 
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