Thursday, December 23, 2010

Secret Place

Thank you to all who have been praying for my nephew who had emergency brain surgery this week. I am grateful for your encouragement in standing with our family.

He survived a very long surgery and at this point I'm not sure what his journey holds, but, I'm counting on the One who holds him!

I'm very stuck on Ps. 91...He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge, my Fortress, My God in whom I trust.

To my dear friend who lost a baby this week - - - to my precious one who is facing such challenges both mentally and physically - - - to my friend who is processing such hard things with her daughter - - - to my lovely friend who experienced miraculous VICTORY in her heart surgery, (and, many, many more precious people) ...I find myself praying in the spirit and breathing Ps 91 over and over and over again over you all. I am seeking out the secret place for myself as well as others. He comes. Emmanuel - God with us.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MUST SAY THANKS!

I am struck today with gratefulness. It's for something that won't matter in eternity but is such a gift from heaven for me!

I...can...play...the...piano. I can play the piano while I worship. Couldn't do that for 2 years because of the severed tendons deal. This is the first Thanksgiving that I can play without the damaged nerve firing in anger back at me at every attempt. Last Thanksgiving I sat in defiance of the circumstances and tried to play anyway. That wasn't all that fun! Every day this week I've sat down and sang and worshiped, and sang some more - just for the fun of it.

Oh My God, I thank You! Thank you for handing back to me what You had given me in the first place. Thank you.

I look around me in anticipation and expectation of what You'll do next. You bless us when we don't expect it and don't deserve it. Please surprise someone this very moment with Your blessing, Your provision, Your healing, Your peace.

THANK YOU, Abba - Father.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How's Your Mailbox?

We were gone most of last week, so, Dennis asked that our mail be held and then delivered on Saturday. Usually, it is put on our front porch after being held - but not this time. This time it was JAMMED into our little security mailbox cubby. Magazines and CATALOGS (it's the season) and a package and a bunch of regular mail all jammed into a little box. I had to undo it like a puzzle - one piece at a time to get it out.

Sometimes my life feels that way. Things get 'delivered', one after the other...no hot water yesterday, NO water today, 3 more families going through the process of the loss of loved ones, our kids facing challenging decisions that you want to make all better but know you can't...those kind of 'deliveries'.

I've learned I have to unload whatever is delivered EVERY DAY. I need to take it to the Father EVERY DAY. If I'm too busy to take it to the Father, then I'm too busy...because I'm not built for all this all the time. I will get jammed up like our little mailbox, and that is NOT pretty!

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (New Living Translation)

Will you join me in unloading what's been handed to you every day - not holding on to some - and not being so busy 'doing' for God that you don't have time to 'be' with Him?

God is HUGE. He can handle with excellence everything you and I hand to Him, but He won't jerk it from us - He's waiting...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Higher Ground


I have a gift - at least I'm choosing to see it as a gift! Random songs will pop up in my head, for no obvious reason. I was humming something in the car last week and Dennis asked me, "what is that song you are humming?" And...I didn't know - until this morning. It was the theme song from the old Dick Van Dyke Show. Hello. Who has a brain that spits out random old-school TV show themes. What is that a sign of?

Anyway...another song has popped up and stuck in my brain as well as my heart - and that one is worth sharing with you...

I'm pressing on the upward way, new heights I'm gaining every day!
Still praying as I onward bound, "Lord, plant my feet on higher ground"

Lord, lift me up and let me stand, by faith, on heaven's tableland
A higher plane than I have found, Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

(Here's my favorite verse...)

My heart has no desire to stay - where doubts arise and fears dismay
tho' some may dwell where these abound, my prayer, my aim is higher ground!!!!

I wish I had a picture of Tablerock (a rock that people hike in So. Oregon - that's big and flat on the top). I don't have that. But I do have this picture of these birds on a huge rock at the coast. I took this picture because it was REALLY windy that day, and all of the birds were facing the wind. I know I am suppose to learn from that positioning! (If you click on the picture it'll be big enough to see the birds.)

Someone needs to hear - the higher ground road IS WORTH IT!!!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Be strong, be strong, be strong...

This weekend we got to watch two of our grandkids. It was the first time for this experience and we were extremely jazzed about it. Of course, there was the Pregnancy Care Center Galas (Thursday night and Friday night)....and two funerals on Saturday, but, we did TRY to clear what we could. I didn't lead worship, etc...

So here's the deal - it's a stretching season for me. Learning how to care for my elderly parents has been tougher emotionally than I could have imagined. This week's challenge - how to get a wheelchair in and out of my Honda civic's trunk. (Thanks to a wonderful friend who met me at 2 doctor's offices, it was accomplished!)

I find a vulnerable place in my heart and mind when it comes to the questions, 'what's the next step, the next day, the next phone call going to bring?'

So, back to the kiddos. They arrived, and it became very apparent that the 3 year old was......sick. The next day brought 103 temp. He was really, really not well. The 1 1/2 year old was cutting 4 molars and 2 eye teeth. Get the picture?

The 3 year old looks very much like his dad. His dad had some serious health experiences when he was little. So, this weekend did I rise up as a woman of strong faith????? No. I became afraid. It was like living my son's experiences all over again, and it wasn't fun the first time. The verses that I rehearsed in my mind were - "BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT" - and Joshua's "Be strong and very courageous." "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

By the time the parents came to pick up the grandkids, the 3 year old was feeling much better....and I went to bed at 6:30pm last night.

It seems for both the generation before me that I'm caring for, and the generation that I'm caring for that comes after me the theme will be the same...."BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT!!!!"

That's what I'm thinking about tonight!

Monday, October 4, 2010

His eye is on the ... frog ...



"His eye is on the sparrow....and I KNOW He watches me." Ok, so I haven't taken a picture of a sparrow yet - I have this one of a little frog in one of our roses. He let the frog rest in a rose, for heaven's sake. It's fun AND it's sobering. So, now my song is..."His eye is on the fro-og...and I KNOW He watches me."

For some reason, the prayer that I am praying for my lovely Parkway sisters this morning is this - "Lord, show them Your provision for them. Show them that You have not left them to walk alone - that is a lie of the enemy. Show them Your love. Help them rest today in a rose. If You'll do that for a frog, You will surely do it for your daughters. Be revolutionary in their lives!!!!!!!" Amen

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hair On My Face Lesson #1

So, you know from previous bloggings that I am somewhat trouble by the random hair that sometimes grows on my face. No one really warned me about this phenomenon so I am left to face it on my own! There is one hair on my jaw that is growing slowly - it's there enough that I feel drawn to fool with it during the day, but it's not long enough to....successfully rid myself of it. I need to let it grow a little longer! Oh...my...stars....so weird.

My grandmother had a whisker issue. I remember trying to kiss her good-bye but avoid getting stuck with the whiskers on her chin. (I am laughing right now at the strength and strangeness of that memory!) A couple of my grandkids are coming to spend the night tonight - I REALLY don't want my random facial hair to scare them, or be what is a stand out memory!!!!

This morning I was thinking - what can I learn from this stupid hair on my jaw????

Here's what I came up with...timing. Timing is really important in life. We want to fix things NOW. We want to have what we dream of NOW. We want to see the promise of God NOW.

We wreck relationships because our words are ill-timed. We wreck our finances because our decision to purchase is ill-timed.

We get frustrated and can even get angry at God if our timing does not match His. I've seen people lose faith over this. We have trouble WAITING.

Hebrews 11 is this incredible chapter showing us faith, and people of faith. It's so great...until we read that some people OF FAITH didn't see what was promised in their lifetime.

Verse 39 - "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something BETTER for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect."

In our culture we think it is down-right wrong to have to wait. I have heard (even in the church) that I need to be true to myself. But that is not what we are called to be. We are called to be conformed to the image, to the person, to the heart of JESUS. I need to be true to HIM, not myself.

Lord, I pray for those who walk the journey with me and are reading (and praying) right now. Give them faith...faith to live...faith to ask...faith to receive...and, faith to wait! Thank you for your Name that breaks every chain, heals every broken heart, and never stops loving. Amen.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Time Out!




I had an unusual "family fix" during Labor Day weekend. All the little Webbers were at our house (ok, AND their parents - except Heidi). So much fun. So much energy.

Danita brought squirt bottles for the boys to play with. There was one main rule - no squirting in the face! I love optimism!!!!! We learned the principle, "you tend to shoot where you're lookin'!" That's a lesson we learn in all kinds of areas....we tend to steer where we're lookin' .... we tend to eat what we're lookin' at ... you know how it goes!

So, are you looking at what you REALLY WANT to be aimed at???? Are your meditations leading you to a place full of Life? Or, is your mental focus on what's happening around you that you wish wasn't, or what COULD happen that you wish wouldn't?

You probably know where I'm going with this - FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS. (Heb. 12:2) As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Prov. 23:) Be intentional about what you are allowing your mind to focus on. When you find you're aiming at the very thing you didn't want in your life yell, "TIME OUT FROM SQUIRTING!" (Well, it worked for Jack!) Sometimes we NEED to say out loud - "Time Out"...stop rehearsing that situation, conversation or future possibility over and over and over again. We have a choice, just like the little Webbers did, about where our thoughts aim.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Please help me float when I'm all freaked out...

I have never been a good swimmer. Didn't have lessons. Just didn't swim much in our family. These last couple of weeks remind me of what I feel like when I'm in the deep end of the pool, or trying to enjoy the ocean when waves are knocking me around. Not so relaxing. It struck me this morning how many times I've heard about people rescuing another who is struggling in water, only to find themselves in trouble. There are wisdom rules in a rescue operation.

I'm trying to learn those 'wisdom rules'.

Many hours in a doctor's office, in ER, in my parents home trying to help them navigate the things that have happened. Deep end of the pool time.

There have been a few times in the last couple of weeks that one line from a song (I must have heard a long time ago) would float through my mind. "Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side." Didn't know any more of the song than that, and that was...something to hang on to.

I guess when you thrash around in the deep end because you feel unequipped to even BE in the deep end, eventually you exhaust yourself and you sink. But, if you can have your mind speak to your heart and say, "quiet down, and float", it seems you can last a lot longer.

"Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side." (I'd ask you to picture me floating now, but that would involve you picturing me in a bathing suit and that would scare you more, so never mind...)

I found the rest of the words of the song yesterday and ended up sharing them with my friend Marlin yesterday. (His dad is the one we've been praying for for the last couple of months - he had the hot air balloon accident.) Since we both breathed the words in like they were fresh air in a stale room, I'm going to share them here as well. It's longer than I usually write, so if you are tired of reading, stick with - "Be still my soul, the LORD IS ON THY SIDE." If not...

Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain. Be still my soul, thy best, thy heavenly Friend - thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still my soul, thy God doth undertake - to guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still my soul, the waves and winds still know - His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below!
Amen (so be it)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"I cried to the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all of my fears."



So, I had a break-through thought this morning - at least it was to me.

I have been praying about - no, begging God - to help me concerning something that makes my heart HURT. Hurt, like, over and over again. Hurt, like, you think you've dealt with something and don't think about it during the day but wake up thinking about it in the early morning hours so it's been stirring around in the back of your mind somewhere. That kind of hurt. Thought that forgiveness was settled. Didn't know what to do next. Felt like it was chained to my heart and I couldn't find the clasp to disconnect it. HELP ME, JESUS.

This is what I felt like I heard this morning, on the way to church. It seems that I have been waiting for human words to come and heal my heart. In some deep place, I have been expecting someone to call or come in some way, say the right words and my heart would be healed. Healing from a human. What I heard was, "I will heal your broken heart. Not the right words from a person - I will heal your heart. You are expecting healing from a human".

You see, I always tend to hope. Hope for resolution. Hope for restoration. Hope for authenticity. Unfulfilled expectations lead to...a lot of things that don't bring life.

I will place my hope and my heart in the hands of my God. HE WILL HEAL MY HEART, and out of that healing I will speak life to others, not death.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Victory Lap



We just got home from a little vacation time. We spent 5 days in Mexico with our long-time friends, the Plunketts. 5 years ago we went with them to Mexico as well. But, that year, Lynne was in the middle of a major battle with cancer. Some of you might remember that I stayed with her to help with her care for several weeks. (This picture was from our trip 5 years ago.)

This time, five years later, she is cancer free. Hallelujah! We didn't really do anything super-spectacular, but everyday was a victory day. She made it through such hurtles and is still here to tell about it! Yep, everyday I loved just looking at her - and smiling.

5 years ago we stayed in a room that had a view of the ocean. This year, not so much. Our view was of....the building next door. But, the ocean was still out there - we just couldn't see it from the space we occupied. I could walk to the end of the hall and look out, or go down the stairs and out the building...walking with the purpose of seeing the ocean.

Will I walk with that same purpose to KNOW the presence of God? Will I stop sitting on my little deck and staring at the building that looms so huge and so close in my vision? Will I walk WITH PURPOSE into His Presence and His PROMISE?

II Cori.4:
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Lord, help us, Your kids, to FIX our eyes on You...to remember that so much of life as we know it now is temporary. And, THANK YOU for the victories! Thank you for Your abundance on our behalf! Thank you for your comfort! Thank you for your healing! Thank you for your wisdom! Thank you for your love that is...always. Thank you that I get to love you back.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Breath!

Have you ever gone an extended amount of time and all of the sudden realized, "I've been holding my breath all morning!" (Or - all day, or all month, or...all year.) That's hard on a body to do, and sometimes we don't even realize we are doing it.

I've been praying in an unique way this week, for those He's given me to care for (specifically) in His Kingdom. I hear myself praying, "Please let them breath in You. Let them take DEEP breaths of Your presence and Your love and Your provision and Your joy. Help them to let go of what holds them fearful or anxious - and breath."

You don't have to GO somewhere to get a breather. LOOK UP! Look up and listen for His voice - His words, His love, His song.

Take time to look around - the mountains around us, the sky above us, the flowers growing, the smile of a child - even a child you don't know - can give a breather to your heart.

Let Him renew your strength today - don't forget to breath!

Monday, June 21, 2010

SUPERglue



It's Monday again! Let me begin by saying that when I call myself a 'dork' it is an affectionate term, ok? It is such a laugh-out-loud dork morning for me.


We have these 4 grandkids - everyone knows that by now. Our house is prepared for any of those grandkids to come and visit at any time. (Remember the 2 moving boxes of Geotrax that I bought on Craigslist???)

Anyway, one of the grandboys loves the cars from the movie 'Cars' - so we have a few. There's a little guy named Guido (I think) who helps repair cars in the movie, and we own one of those. The little drill came off the little guy so I needed to glue it back on....with superglue.

Tiny little toy, tinier little drill, superglue + ....me trying to fix it. Got the picture? Of course, the superglue runs down the tiny toy and down 3 of my fingers. With superglue you really shouldn't try to wipe it off with the other hand, because it's SUPERGLUE. (As I'm trying to unstick my superglued fingers I am saying to myself, "This is so SUPER" (or something like that!)! The story of trying to get the glue off my hands goes on, BUT this morning I went to where the toys are to find the tiny toy, and found that I set it on the toy Noah's Ark after getting it unglued from my hand. Noah's Ark now had a repair guy riding with all of the animals. DORK, DORK, DORK!!!!!

It popped off pretty easily, but really.....is ANYTHING safe with me around????

You're probably thinking, "Where is she going with THIS?" Well I'll tell you...

We talk a lot more about the enemies 'strongholds' than the stronghold that Jesus has on us. The reality is that in the Word, the stronghold of the Lord is talked about MANY more times than the strongholds of the enemy. Jesus has such a hold on us. He says, He is able to even make us stand! He won't let go. He doesn't back away when we embarrass Him. His love is deep and high and wide and STRONG. It's like superglue, but in the hands of the Master. He restores our souls. He makes broken places stronger, when we let Him be the Master Repairer. Those places He touches are stronger than before. It's amazing. It's LOVE. It's POWER. It's MERCY.

Some verses to get you started: 2 Sam 22:3, Ps 9:9, Ps 37:39

Monday, June 14, 2010

Today is Monday...

Today is Monday. My brain really needs to WORK on Mondays and that's not always the case. But, my heart worked today and I'm pretty excited about that.

I needed to accomplish some stuff having to do with my parents. Insurance stuff, communication regarding what looks like an upcoming surgery for my father. STUFF. In my devotions this morning I simply asked that I would be aware of My Heavenly Father's favor today. I'm of the strong opinion that God does things for us all the time, but we don't 'get it'. We don't see it. It just doesn't register as from Him. So, Lord, please let Your blessings REGISTER with me.

One of my errands (after being with my folks) was to talk to someone at U.S. Cellular about my smart phone. (sigh) My smart phone is really smart - I can rarely get an answer to my challenges with it. But, today...while I was waiting...one of the employees started asking (in a very loud voice) - "WHO HAS THE BLACK HONDA CIVIC?" . Well, I have a blue Honda Civic so I waited to see who had the BLACK civic. He then announces, "IT'S ROLLING DOWN THE PARKING LOT"! I went to the window and sure enough - it was my BLUE Honda Civic that was being restrained from crunching into the car on the other side of the parking lot by an employee! A girl (Stephanie) was behind it! Holding it until the owner could be found! Me!

Really - - - a girl was behind my car, keeping it from rolling into another car.

I went and got a gift card at Dutch Bros. to give her as a thank you - and looked up to heaven and said, "I get it. THANK YOU." I'd get God a Dutch Bros. gift card if He liked coffee, but what He really wants is my trust and my JOY at His Presence and His Provision. So, that's what He's getting right now. Thank you Lord, for Your provision and blessing and favor. For every traffic light that was green and every conversation that was fruitful. Thank you.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thoughts and conversations that I've had this week...

~Supposedly my ears and my nose will continue to grow until I die. Not that happy about the thought.
~When the woman who colors my hair warns me that the color will be 'richer' this time, it means that it's going to be darker enough that people will comment on my new hair color.
~When did the holes in my earlobes stretch????? Looks like I've been prepping for a plug look. Really? My earlobes are stretching out and going south? Really?
~I tried to medically advocate for my elderly mom this week in a very challenging environment - to the point that I started crying. I dislike my gift of tears. The whole experience made me sad. It's hard to see your parents decline and not be able to fix things for them.
~I missed our grandson's 3rd birthday party today because of our schedule - couldn't fit in 6 hours of driving today. He'll have a blast. I am sad at missing his moment.

One thing I love about serving Jesus is that He never changes. My body and my world is changing. But the Word says, - "Jesus Christ the same - yesterday, today and forever." He doesn't get weary. He doesn't get disappointed. He doesn't have less than mature moments or emotions effected by hormones. He is Faithful. He has a new portion of mercy for us every single day.

This blog is a personal response to what I think is a challenge from the enemy to not be transparent. I want to be real in my walk with Jesus and my walk with those who are with me on the journey. But being 'real' has brought with it some pain. My choice is to shut down and cover up so people won't shoot bullets of opinion my way, or...be real and hand Him - and you - who I really am. This blog entry is an act of obedience to do just that.

God bless your day as you delight in who you really are - and know that God made you that way you are because we need you!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Costume Jewelry


Yesterday I was wearing one of my favorite necklaces. It's a funky chain with a key hanging from it. It caught on something and the chain just pulled apart. I tried to put the links back together with my teeth but...it doesn't look so good.

It was a cheap buy, that I really liked. It didn't withstand pressure. I felt like I heard His voice - "Learn from this. It's costume jewelry. It's not quality, it's not tried by fire - it was inexpensive for a reason." My response - "But, I really, really liked it!" His response - "You got what you paid for."

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-3

Please hear that God sees your faithfulness and obedience in the face of difficulties. What the fire of your circumstance is doing is taking you to a depth in Him that is strong - able to withstand pressure - valuable - beautiful - a testimony of HIS GREATNESS. Don't settle for being a piece of costume jewelry in the Kingdom that looks good but falls apart under unexpected pressure.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Today's Meditation...

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and no not curse.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

Romans 12:12

Monday, May 3, 2010

Intervention



I had another 'intervention' with myself today! (Yes, this is not my first invention - I'm hard enough on myself that no one else has to gather a group to help me see my problems!!!!)
I was looking at the pictures from Tilly's birth day. (Tilly Marie - 9lbs 4 oz - 21 1/2 inches long - arrived easily and without trauma - which is a total, total answer to prayer.) You'd think that her safe arrival would be all that would fill my mind when I looked at those pictures, wouldn't you??? But no. I saw....a wrinkled face and a gi-normous nose and the start of - - - jowls - - - and a double chin. OH MY STARS! If you can see past my nose you'll find a BABY in that picture. Our little Tilly who snuggled right into my chest like she already knew how much I love her is beautiful - but how would I cut myself out of that picture - and when did all that drooping happen????

Thus the intervention...I evidently didn't absorb as much as I thought from the "So Long, Insecurity" simulcast!!! Oh my stars!

So, what AM I going to do? Cut myself out of all pictures from now on???? Really??? Be depressed? Really?

I decided that since the chance that I'm going to trade my face in for new one is pretty slim... (Can you IMAGINE the trouble I'd have with scar tissue on my face, if I had surgery just for fun? - considering what I've just gone through with my wrist accident???)...I might as well accept it. And the fact that shock waves of wrinkles travel up my cheeks when I smile is....almost fun. Almost like exclamation marks of joy. (Hey, I don't tell you how to settle things - don't mess with MY process, ok?)

Haven't decided how I can enjoy the acreage of my nose yet - but I will.

Why did I feel compelled to confess this? I don't know - but I did. I WILL NOT MISS THE TREASURE BECAUSE OF WHAT I WISH WAS DIFFERENT. I WILL NOT. Can't you see that the enemy loves it when we are distracted (if not depressed) about what we wish was different in life? Really...come on....don't miss the treasure in your today!

Sunday, April 25, 2010




What a time we had this weekend - 300,000 women participating in the Beth Moore Simulcast. Our church was one of the venues and was filled with

spectacular women from different churches and different towns. Women who came together to learn from, and worship - JESUS! Wow.

One thing that will stick with me was the lack of grouchiness. The spirit in the room was joyful and sweet and filled my heart with hope. The enemy loves us to be critical or arrogant or offended. Something powerful happens when we choose to love and serve and forgive.

I am praying that what we learned will put down roots and grow strong - and that we will grow strong together.

A huge THANK YOU to all who volunteered to help. And, thank you to all who came - I'm so glad you did!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

....Covering...





On our vacation we went to see a well known ocean blow-hole. It was in all the info books. Tour buses were stopped to see it. People were set up to sell all kinds of junk to help you remember that you came to see the famous blow-hole.

Along the path where many, many people were walking was a mama hen....covering her baby chicks....protecting them from the approaching storm. People were hurrying to get to their cars or buses before rain hit. And there, in the middle of the storm - in the middle of people racing to see something they hoped would be really impressive - was this hen covering her chicks.

I'm afraid in our desire to see or experience something 'really impressive' spiritually, we can miss His covering, His peace, His provision. I'm afraid that we sometimes miss His covering because we're too busy chirping at Him about the storm! Stop for just a moment right now and experience His covering - His wings that want to bring you close to Him.

Ps. 91:4 He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Grateful



Just want to say I'm grateful. Grateful that the wounds that Jesus took on His body paid the price so that my body could be healed. My heart could be healed. My mind could be transformed.

I took pictures of my wrist so that I could show the restored tendon. The surgeon did not find it and reconnect it but the Great Physician did. Another picture shows that tendon more clearly, but this picture stopped me.....it reminded me so much of His wounds - taken so that I could be restored - body, soul, spirit - restored.

He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,and by His wounds we are healed.
Is. 53:5

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

THE FOG...




Today I'll talk a little more about the hike I blogged about last time...



Initially, there's a place to view the ocean that's pretty easy access. A paved path, hand rails, handicap access. Someone else did a lot of work so that others could just come in and enjoy the view.

When you take the hike to the higher vantage point, you leave the easy access. Every once in awhile there's clearing and you can look back to see how far you've come - you can see the look-out with people standing there.

Probably 45 minutes into our hike fog started to develop. It collected quickly around the place of easy access. Those people simply could not see the view any longer.

By the time we headed back down the path, fog had filled where beautiful view had been several hours before.

My heart was sad as I watched the fog envelop those people...it reminded me of the Church.

Someone goes before us and experiences God (the View). Tries to make it as accessible as possible for others to see Him.

Some are happy to not go any higher - if higher involves work or discomfort - or the path isn't what they anticipated.

Fog can be discouraging in our lives but, it's only VAPOR - it's not a brick wall. Don't believe the voice of the enemy when he whispers to you in the fog.

We love to see the magnificence of God but is He less magnificent when we are fogged in? NO! His magnificence is still there - just like the ocean is there whether those people could actually see it or not. Don't be disoriented, discouraged, or let your faith be dampened by the fog.

I truly believe that it is time to leave the easy access place and climb higher on the the trail less traveled. Don't turn back - PRESS ON!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Aha! vs. Yikes!


We arrive in Kauai...
Aha! We can watch the whales do their thing from the porch of the cabin we're staying in!
Yikes! We are not just staying on a missile base, but a missile RANGE. For some reason that one word startled me.
We decide to hike...
Aha! Spectacular views of the ocean every once in awhile from 3500 feet!
Yikes! The hike is more like climbing on slippery rocks, or climbing your way up a mountain with the help of roots and tree limbs. (What has slowed me down in the past from taking these kind of hikes is the fact you do have to COME BACK DOWN after you climb UP somewhere.)
Aha-ha! The two men I was hiking with slipped and fell, and I DIDN'T FALL! I didn't fall!!!! Those of you who know me know that this is somewhat of a miracle. Usually my story goes something like, "and then I hit my head or broke some bizzare bone or cut myself in some freakish way", but not this time! Yippee! (They weren't hurt - but their faces as they suddenly landed on their backsides was so great. Yep, I'm laughing out loud as I write this.)

So, what did I learn? That life has aha moments and yikes moments happening at the same time and it's all good - as long as my attitude is not RULED by the "yikes". When you look back over your day (or your life) what do you think of? What went right or what went wrong? What you have, or what you don't have? It's much more strengthening to think about what's true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of GOOD REPORT....if there be any virtue, if there be any praise THINK ON THESE THINGS! (Phil. 4:8)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Terrible Two's?


There was a popular book out awhile ago that was titled, "All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten". When I get to spend time with our two two year old grandsons, it makes me think that we all learn a lot at the two year old stage. The learning curve - how to share, how to express feelings appropriately, how to handle ourselves when life isn't fair, how to be polite, how to stand up for oneself in a healthy manner, how to enjoy life and toys and laughter and singing and play and love - lots and lots to learn. And we learn at different paces. It doesn't make one wrong and one right - it just means we're different people.

Oscar is a 'peddler', and Jack is a 'runner'. At this point Jack does not want to learn to peddle - he gets off the trike and runs. But Oscar loves to peddle. We caught one moment of uniqueness in play. Oscar peddled and Jack stood on the back deck of the trike and hung on cuz Oscar loves to peddle fast! Jack leaned on Oscar to hang on. So fun.

But see, as 'adults' aren't we STILL LEARNING how to share, how to express feelings appropriately, how to handle ourselves when life isn't fair, how to be polite, how to stand up for oneself in a healthy manner, how to enjoy life and toys and laughter and singing and play and love????? (We call it BALANCE.)

We have the opportunity to grow in the circumstances that we are in right now. Today. Quit comparing yourself to someone else (either to feel better about yourself or to feel condemned). (2 Cor. and Gal. talk about that!) Your learning curve is unique to you. So I can enjoy someonelse's joy of peddling without having to be a peddler myself. And TOGETHER we look at Jesus and say, "Make me just like You!"

(P.S. - thank you for your prayers for Oscar - we so appreciate them.)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

FearLESS


Ok - so - the picture doesn't really have anything to do with what I'm going to write about! It's just so fun! Oscar figured out how to suction the rubber duck to the side of his face. That's just fun.

From my heart to yours today are these thoughts from Psalms 112 - -

Happy are those who fear the Lord. yes, happy are those who delight in doing what He commands.
When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come BURSTING IN. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
Such people will not be overcome by evil circumstances.
They do not fear bad news: they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.

It's time to exchange fearFULL with fearLESS!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

LET IT RAIN!

It has been RAINING today. It was RAINING last night. BIG, GIANT DROPS. The kind that soaked clear through my clothes when I ran to the car after church. I didn't think I needed a coat today because.....I live in Oregon and we know how to do rain very well. But these were big, fat drops that soaked me!

I love the sound of rain - really and truly. (Actually, I love the sound of water - waterfalls, ocean, white water river sounds...but today it's about rain.) It's an amazing sound. I understand that big, fat drops of rain don't soak in as well as the gentle stuff. The gentle stuff tends to soak down to the roots of trees - and big, fat drops tend to run off the top. I know you don't want to read another sentence about how much I like - no, I love rain, but I do.

Today I have found myself crying out for rain in this valley - BIG, GIANT DROPS THAT DRENCH US - the Presence of God kind of rain. I love that the Holy Spirit gives us times to soak so that our roots can grow down deep and we can't be easily ripped from the soil. But, today I am longing for a heavenly downpour of the Spirit of God that drenches us.

Hos. 6:3 - "Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established like the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth."
Ps. 72:6 - "He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, like showers that water the earth."

Then there's this...
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Mal. 3:10

LET IT RAIN!!!!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Prize


I've still been thinking about the carousel. I absolutely understand that life is more of a race/marathon than a merry-go-round BUT...sometimes it FEELS like a merry-go-round.

This picture was taken while the carousel was in motion (so it's blurry) - but - if you look carefully (you can click on the picture to make it bigger) you'll see a woman in the background. She rode the entire time we were there. She reached out and grabbed those little rings you can catch - as often as possible. There were no prizes involved - she just loved collecting as many rings as she could.

I'm choosing to believe that she just loved the whole riding adventure, and found it fun to gain victory over each ring she grabbed....

But sadly, it reminds me of people going round and round - gaining and accumulating and collecting and achieving - that which gains no prize at the end.
The Bible says that our lives will be like a big pile of stuff (my translation) and it'll be torched to see what was actually worth something in what we did with our days. And THOSE things (moments, conversations, kindnesses, etc) will be rewarded.
The faithfulness to keep going will be rewarded - not the accomplishments. Obedience will be rewarded - not perceived value here on earth - obedience.

What I want is to have something of value laying there (after the torching) so that I can pick it up and take it to Jesus and lay it at HIS feet. I'm a gift-giver - but what can I give to the Guy who is and has everything? I can give my reward to Him! Wow.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bucky


What does a carousel really look like from a 2 year old's perspective? We say, "Ride Bucky - it'll be fun!" What does the child think? Jack has mixed feelings about Bucky. Kind of a love/hate relationship. He sees the potential for fun but isn't that thrilled yet with the actual ride. He's got a great dad who's standing right next to him and holding on to him - but the horse keeps going up and down and the carousel keeps going round and round and round. It seems to be going too fast to really be able to focus on something or someone outside the carousel. I hear Andrew say, "Watch for Grammie..." - but too soon the opportunity to see me is gone. He gets glimps of things but it's pretty choppy.

Do you ever feel that way? I'm on the horse going up and down and round and round but.....wow, it's hard to get perspective of what's going on in the whole park! What Jack CAN hear and CAN see is his father standing right next to him. What gives him confidence and peace is the awareness of the presence of his dad during every rotation.

So, you see where I'm going with this, don't you? Today, let's fix our eyes on Jesus more than trying to fix our eyes on the things that are changing all the time. Ask your Father to help you be more aware of His incredibly close presence - His love - His provision - His delight in you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I've been reading people's 'status' postings on Facebook. New Year's Resolutions - incredible promises from the Word - even promises to not make any New Year's resolutions!

Instead of some fun, whoo-hoo thought or verse - you know those great ones that absolutely keep us going - this is what I land on...

Ps 95:10 - "Forty years long was I grieved and disgusted with that generation, and I said, It is a people that do err in their hearts, and they do not APPROVE, acknowledge, or regard My ways..."

You can walk into a room and acknowledge someone's presence without approving of them. It's not enough to just BELIEVE that God exists - believe that 'He is in the room'. He is asking you and I to regard Him (honor, obey, listen, learn His ways) AND approve His ways.

Here is the challenge I think I heard from the Holy Spirit..."You acknowledge Me, You regard Me, but do you approve of My ways?" We've walked through some very, very, very tough stuff with dear ones these last few months - and honestly, I think I was starting to get ticked! Another version of this verse says - 'they went astray in their hearts'. I need to guard my heart - what I allow to settle in there.

I think the biggest door to the room of 'approval' is - - - TRUST. Lord, You see what I cannot. You love more than I ever could understand. You are working when I cannot see anything happening. Your are Faithful. You are Powerful. You are Abundant. THE LORD REIGNS!

The Lord bless your new year and your day!