Matthew 6:25 - 27
Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son..."This year, I got the BEST Christmas Gift Ever ... the Gift of GIVING.
I didn't "stick to the budget" ... and I learned that God didn't "budget" what He was willing to Give that First Christmas.
I didn't give gifts according to what was "deserved" or "earned" or "expected" ... and I demonstrated that God's Gift was undeserved, can't be earned and isn't what we expected!
I spent more than I "should have" ... but I learned that all love is sacrificial and "worth" whatever it costs.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son..."I got the Gift of Giving! What did YOU get for Christmas?
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Sometimes, I even mean it. Usually, though, I "pick myself up" and try some more/harder/again ... only to find myself in another situation that feels the same (only the names and details have changed). That's when I might truly, give up.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
|September 7, 1991|
|19th Anniversary Flowers|
Monday, September 5, 2011
- Seeing "the Sparkle" on my bed. (Someday, I'll tell you about the special meaning of "the Sparkle")
- Autumn's cool breezes
- The color yellow
- Christian music and radio
- Praying friends
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
"And in the midst of trying to help each of them achieve their level of independence while desperately wanting to cling rather than let go, I find that I, too, need to go through that whole nasty process of self-identification all over again!"
Ever since I posted those words at the end of my last blog, "Thirteen ... Eighteen ... Widowed", it's been (Holy Spirit)-bugging me! No, I DON'T! The whole idea of "finding myself" or "self-identification" is flawed in its concept. We never have to "figure out who I am" at all –not at thirteen, not at eighteen, not NOW! God's “divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him” (2 Peter 1:3). His word tells me who I am (His child), my value (completely, eternally, loved) and my purpose in life (to know Him and love Him)! Sounds too simplistic, doesn’t it? That’s where we miss “getting the message” … we get caught up in the details. We want to know “but what do I DO with my life? How do I pay my bills? How do I know where to live? … go to school? …work? … and on and on. How is my life to have meaning? How am I to be productive? Even as I write these words, He is answering me … “abide”. That is all He asks of me, of any of us. Abide in Him.
The word “abide” is a word we don’t use much these days. When I went looking for the scriptures that I knew used the word “abide” I kept coming up with “no results”. Even when I tried using the concordance in my NIV bible, the word “abide” was not there! But the Holy Spirit had clearly said “abide”! One of the problems of “growing up” as a Christian with at least three different translations of the Bible is that I never know what version I memorized something in and therefore, don’t know where to look when the Holy Spirit brings the Word to mind … it can be very puzzling and frustrating! In this case, the word “abide” is used in the KJV and translated “remain” in the NIV.
In the gospel of John, chapter 15, verses 1 – 17, Jesus tells his disciples that He is the vine, we are the branches and God, the Father, is the gardener. If we remain (abide) in Him, He will remain (abide) in us, and we will bear much fruit (be productive)! But if we do not abide in Him (if we strive to live life apart from him), the “gardener” will cut us off and discard us as so much dead wood! Those of you who garden know that a plant produces much more “fruit” if you remove what is dead so that the “life” of the plant is not sapped by trying to revive the dead thing and goes into producing new growth.
Earlier this summer I had some landscaping done. A “dead” corner outside my front door was given new life by removing a nasty scrub tree and creating a triangular planting area with my existing shrubs and adding 7 shrub roses, some grasses, and a few boulders. The shrub roses bloomed profusely in the first weeks but a few weeks later had only “spent” blooms with few new blooms. The landscapers who had installed them came back to finish some driveway work, and one of them took the time to show me that I needed to “dead-head” the roses for them to continue to bloom well. I did that at once, and within a couple of days, my roses were beautiful and covered with new blooms again! In the weeks since, it’s been too hot or too wet to get out there and tend to the roses. I let them go. Again, there are very few new blooms and a lot of spent blossoms. Yesterday I spent several hours getting sunburned “dead-heading” them again.
It occurs to me that our spiritual lives are a lot like those rose bushes. When we are “bearing much fruit” (everything looks beautiful and productive), we tend to forget the need to continue to tend to our relationship with the Lord. We’re too busy! And then things get “too hot” – troubles come, life gets complicated – and again, we don’t have time for the Lord. Or it is too “rainy” – doesn’t it seem that when one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong at the same time? Only when the Master Gardener steps in and starts “cutting off” the things that are “dead works”, does life and fruitfulness begin to return. I am so thankful that He continues pruning and promoting growth even when we are unfaithful or distracted.
This blog has drifted so far away from my original intention: to share the truth that God has already defined who I am and my purpose in life, and all I really need to do is abide in him and He who began a good work in me will also complete it!
For a list of some of the things God has said about me, my life, you and yours, please read this wonderful blog: Measuring Up by Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 Ministries!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Be still, there is a healer
His love is deeper than the sea
His mercy, it is unfailing
His arms, a fortress for the weak
Recently, I woke up slowly with the realization that the chorus of a song was repeating in my sleep: "Let faith arise, let faith arise, open my eyes, open my eyes". While I was sure that the song was familiar to me, I couldn't figure out what song it was. I thought it might be one of the last few songs I had downloaded into the music player in my phone so I quickly checked those and found that it wasn't any of them. Then life got busy and I forgot about it.
I lift my hands to believe again
You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart, these things I remember
You are faithful, God, forever
In the midst of my daily array of thoughts, feelings and busyness, I have been realizing that those words sung in my sleep were beginning to be manifested in my spirit. I began to realize that there was a renewed yearning for relationship with the Holy Spirit and a growing re-commitment to seeking Him and trusting Him as the Source of all in my life
Be still, there is a river
That flows from Calvary's tree
A fountain for the thirsty
Pure grace that washes over me
This morning, I had the radio tuned to my favorite Christian station and running in the background as I was sitting on the porch and being "busy". Suddenly my attention focused on the fact that I was hearing those words again ... "Let faith arise, open my eyes...". Phone apps can be very convenient and helpful for spur of the moment needs! I opened up my "Soundhound" app and let it listen. It is the song "I lift My Hands" by Chris Tomlin.
Let faith arise
Let faith arise
I am so thankful that even in my weakness and unfaithfulness ... His is faithful forever!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Oh no, You never let goThrough the calm and through the stormOh no, You never let goIn every high and every lowOh no, You never let goLord, You never let go of me(You Never Let Go by Matt Redman)
Yes, I can see a light that is comingFor the heart that holds onAnd there will be an end to these troublesBut until that day comesStill I will praise You, still I will praise You
Friday, May 27, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Sometimes I just wanna start over'Cause everything looks like a wreckAnd I need the courage to carry on'Cause I can't see what's aheadAnd there are places I've wished I could beBattles I've wanted to winDreams that have slipped through my handsI may never get back againBut I'm still a dreamer, a believerOh, I lost my faith in so many thingsBut I still believe in You'Cause You can make anything newSometimes I just wish we could sayAll the things that are easy to hearIgnore the injustice we seeAnd explain every unanswered prayerBut I'd rather speak honestlyAnd wear a tattered heart on my sleeve'Cause in the middle of my broken dreamsRedemption is hereAnd I'm still a dreamer, a believerOh, I lost my faith in so many thingsBut I still believe in You'Cause You are the answer, the RedeemerOh, I've given up on to many thingsBut I'm not giving up on You'Cause You can make anything newI don't have every answer in lifeBut I'm trusting You on day at a time'Cause You can make a weak heart stay aliveForeverAnd this is where heaven and earth collideI lift my hands, I give my lifeThis is how my weary heart stays aliveOh, I'm still a dreamer, still a believerAnd You are the answer, the Redeemer'Cause You can make anything newYeah, You can make anything new(Sanctus Real, Pieces of a Broken Heart)