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Posts Tagged ‘GOD’

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Are there any three words more delightful to hear than “I love you,” from someone who makes your heart skip a beat?

The best thing is when your ‘love’ knows you so well that he says it in ways that are definitely just for you. It is as though he is speaking your own unique language.

I had that happen earlier this week.

It was a typical Tuesday morning. I awoke at 6am, showered, dressed, and sprinted to the morning coffee. I grabbed a form of sustenance, climbed to my desk, and plunked away at the laptop for an hour. I then finished getting ready, kissed my love, and headed out the door.

I backed down our drive, feeling the ‘I love you’ in the fresh morning air filling my vehicle with the reminder of the gift in every new day.

Then, as I moved the vehicle from R to D, I looked up and faced the ‘I love you’ in the beauty of the sky … fog, moving to make way for peeking blue skies, telling me of the beautiful day to come.

I was awakened to His ‘I love you’s’, and began to anticipate what might be around the next corner …

… and as I turned that corner, the field, that I pass every day, was filled with fog, lightly laying within the confines of the fence that stretched around it, like roses confined to the safety of a vase … ‘I love you.’

I felt as though each corner would be another surprise, another expression of ‘I love you’ from my Creator … and He did not disappoint! More lifting fog, more revelations of hope of what was to come that day.

I smiled as I turned at that busy morning corner, whispering, ‘thank-you’ as I was sure that He had completed His ‘I love you’ message to me.

But, as I faced the tall trees framing the hill under it’s feet, the sky was shouting ‘I love you’ with that most constant symbol of love and hope … the prism of the skies …

‘I love you … with an everlasting love.’

“God’s glory is on tour in the skies,

    God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.

Madame Day holds classes every morning,

    Professor Night lectures each evening.

Their words aren’t heard,

    their voices aren’t recorded,

But their silence fills the earth:

    unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.

God makes a huge dome

    for the sun—a superdome!

The morning sun’s a new husband

    leaping from his honeymoon bed,

The daybreaking sun an athlete

    racing to the tape.

 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies

    from sunrise to sunset,

Melting ice, scorching deserts,

    warming hearts to faith.”

Psalm 19:1-6

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IMG_1400.JPGYou entered the world, and immediately turned mine up-side-down.

That day, you were handed to my open arms, and you were mine.

Now, at twenty-two, and a Psychology major, hearing that you were born into a possessive relationship might make you want to enter into therapy … as a patient.

I can assure you that our relationship got even more possessive, in the years to come. And now, somehow we have reached the point where you like to refer to me as not having time for you … maybe the possessive qualities of our relationship have altered direction (that ought to give both of us reason for therapy!).

According to our friends at Wikipedia, “Possession is nine-tenths of the law is an expression meaning that ownership is easier to maintain if one has possession of something, or difficult to enforce if one does not.”

And, as a newborn baby, you were possessed by myself, and your dad.

Now, if possession didn’t confirm ownership, appearance would cover the other one tenth. You were a visual reflection of your parents. To some a mirror image of myself, to others that of your father. I would say you are an image of the two of us.

There was nothing better, when you were first born, than to look at you. The very sight of you struck awe and wonder in my heart.

That first Sunday at church, when you were surrounded by eager arms, I wanted to hold you close and turn my back on those who would force me to share my possession …

but, I shared.

That first date out, after your birth, which your dad had arranged a dear friend to care for you, I just wanted to say no, and keep your snuggles and baby smell all to myself …

but, I shared.

That first time we didn’t know where you were, in a crowded shopping mall, because one of the girls of youth group passed you to another, I wanted to lock you and I up in our house, and never have to face that fear again …

but, I shared.

The day I took you to preschool, because you begged to go to ‘cool’, I really wanted to stay with you, but your teacher walked me to the door, and said the other children were excited to get to know you …

so, I shared.

And the sharing continued, and continues still.

Now, twenty-two years later, I realize so clearly that I really have never possessed you. From before you took your first breath, before even your heart made it’s first thump-thump, you were a child of the breath-giver.

As I look back at your first twenty-two years, as I look forward, at the appointed ones to come, I am reminded that my main job is not to possess you … but to hand you back into the loving care of the One who teaches us to share.

“I will be a father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6:8

 

 

 

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My post today is not one that I wrote, and I do not even know who wrote it, so I cannot give them the credit. What I do know is that I recently heard it, just when I needed the reminder of the message within. So, today, with back to school approaching, I am sharing this post with you, praying that you receive it just when and where you need it.

THE DEVIL’S CONVENTION
Are You Too Busy For Christ?
Keep The Christians Busy
Satan called a worldwide convention.
In his opening address to his assembled demons he said:
“We cannot keep the Christians from going to church. We cannot keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We cannot even keep them from conservative values.

Nevertheless, we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding relationship with Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.

So, let them go to church, let them have their conservative lifestyle, but steal their time, so they cannot gain that relationship.
This is what I want you to do. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection!”
“How shall we do this?” shouted the demons.
“Keep them busy with the non-essentials of life. Invent schemes to occupy their time.” he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6 or 7 days a week, 10 – 12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with
their children. As their family fragments, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.

Also:
*Super-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small voice.
*Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive, and to keep the TV, VCR, CD players and PCs
going constantly in their homes.
*See to it that every store and restaurant in the world blares secular music constantly. This will jam their minds and break
that union with Christ.
*Fill their coffee tables with secular magazines and newspapers.
*Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day.
*Invade their driving moments with billboards.
*Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogs, and every kind of newsletter and promotional
offering, free products, services, and false hopes.
*In their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted, and
unprepared for the coming week.
*Do not let them go out in nature to reflect on God’ s wonders. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events,
concerts, and movies instead.
*When they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled
consciences and unsettled emotion.
*Let them be involved in soul-winning, but crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power
from Christ in prayer.

Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.”
Convention Aftermath
It was quite a convention. The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and rush here and there.
Has the devil been successful at his scheme? You be the judge.
How about this definition of BUSY: Being Under Satan’s Yoke.
Author Unknown

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“Depression is an ink that stains everything it touches
A black hole that swallows all that comes near”
-The Beaver (movie)

I do not personally know the truth or fallacy in the quote above. I do know that as I look back at times when I was sad, when I was feeling downcast those words are so true. Looking back on those periods in my life, I can see the stains that were left on those around me, even today.

It is easy to forget, or not even be aware, that we are part of a bigger world than just ourselves, and that things that happen to us, affect those around us. It is the relational evidence of the scientific fact that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So when we are overwhelmed with pain or sorrow or frustrations, we are not the only ones to feel the effects … all those closest to us feel our reactions, and then they, in turn, also respond.

As a mom (I cannot speak for dads) I am naturally predisposed to guilt. I can look over the well-intended mothering that I have done, and see errors that I made that will surely result in therapy for my kids in years to come. Yes, I have forced them to clean their plates, at times. Yes, I yelled at them more than once (a day). Yes, I sent them to their rooms to await discipline … and forgot them. Yes, I made them clean their rooms. Yes, they are all aware that that their not at all skinny parents have skinny dipped (that one may send them to therapy for longer and sooner than any other, if their faces turning green when they discovered this is any indicator).

There are certain periods in our life together, when I thought I was hiding my own disappointments and sadness with life’s circumstances so well, and as I look back, and look at changes in their lives, I am aware that too were stained by my sadness. It is such a guilt-ridden thing when I see those stains that they wear, because of me. My inability, at times, to manage and deal with events in my life better, have permanently stained my children …

I am coming full circle now, though. And I am looking to see purpose in suffering, I am looking to see good from bad. I am looking to see that something positive, not just negative, can come from those stains. And I am beginning to see it.

I see a daughter’s sensitivity to a friend who is being stained by sadness and illness in her home. I see a son’s expression of his friends need of God. I see a daughter’s desire to go to those in desperate pain and need, in a place I would not want to go, to show love and mercy. Those times of sorrow for me, that were permanently etched into the beings of my children, have altered their hearts. They have been able to take the stains that I have caused, and are wearing them as certificates of accomplishment and experience. And these stains are being used to reach out to others, more desperate than their mother ever was.

The redemptive way that God can take our pain, and mold it into something beautiful for others is something I do not expect to ever understand this side of heaven. But, I am thankful that the stains I may have caused, have not swallowed the futures of my children.

“God Himself will be among them,  and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes;

and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;

the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.

He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son (daughter).

Revelation 21:4-7

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I HATE dust!

It makes me sneeze, it makes me cough, it makes my breathing labored, and … it is dirty! I just do not like it. The only thing that is good about dust is how you feel once you’ve showered AFTER being covered with it … it is then that you are truly aware of what it is to be clean, to be cleansed, to be freed from the dust of the ground.

Dust is a given for me when I garden. Our house is built on land once known as ‘sand hill’, and it was appropriately named! I remember digging up top soil to build a sandbox in our back garden. Once that was removed, I already had a sandbox, without the box …

I love to garden! It is an opportunity to work with beauty, or at least beauty imagined 🙂 My daughter gets frustrated with me when I garden, because I have gardening ADD … I easily get bored with where I put my plants, and move them around frequently … often before they really reach the pinnacle of their intended beauty (okay so maybe it has more to do with my lack of patience …).

But, when I garden (or cook, or paint, or clean the house … or move from one room to another …) I get really, really, really messy with whatever I touch. I am sort of like a toddler on steroids! All I have to do is make one step out of my door, and I’m a visual wreck! And, by the end of the day, there is not a bit of my body (you should see the dirt and foliage that falls from my unmentionables!) that has not been ‘dusted’ by my surroundings! I look (and smell) like a living dust cloud … like Pig Pen from the Snoopy comics. And, when I blow my nose, at the end of a gardening session, well the ‘outcome’ is a sticky, dirty black mess of goo (too much information?).

Some days, I feel as though my life is dust. I am dry, and there is simply nothing good happening. It can even seem as though all I do is make life for others miserable, like dust that makes me sneeze and cough. Sometimes it seems as though my purpose has dried up, and that there are no longer any signs of life.

It is interesting to me that at a solemn event like a burial, dust comes up. The phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” is a common part of the burial rites, and is said to have been ‘inspired’ from Genesis 3:19, which reads, “You were made out of the ground. And you will return to it. You are dust. So you will return to it.” Those are NOT encouraging words for me … I HATE dust! If my beginning and my end, on this earth (pun intended ) are as dust … well, that is just not satisfying. I mean really, what is dust, but something to be washed away?

And, washed away it will be … one day. As I am, I am just dust. And those ‘dust-like’, dried up, miserable days, they are reminders that, on my own, I am just someone who needs a shower, a bath, to be cleansed. And, once the cleansing, life-giving, hydrating waters have flowed over, and under and through me, until the dust that I am is gone, and the water that refreshes me has taken over and is all that can be seen …

then I am a beautiful thing,

a living thing …

not because of anything that I could ever do,

but because of what God has done with the dust that I am.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.

He has also set eternity in the human heart;

yet no one can fathom what God has done

from beginning to end.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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I know I experience beauty.

I know I experienced joy.

I know I experienced peacefulness.

And, I KNOW I experienced … WONDER.

I know this from a day off I had one spring day. It was on my favorite trail, with my favorite beast (next to hubby), on a SUNNY day (I got a tan … I was beginning to think I would turn green with mold, before I would turn golden brown), enjoying every step I took.

And I really mean that I was enjoying every step I took. Now, most of the time, my walks are walks with a purpose (jiggle the cellulite into submission), but this particular day, I felt compelled, no, insisted upon, by someone much greater, to just enjoy the journey … and so I did. And it was wonderfilled!

There was the dandelion, gone to seed …

How is it that something that, when in flower, can cause me such frustration on my own lawn (and disaster once it’s gone to seed on my lawn), can bring me back to sunny childhood days, when future planning, and dreaming was only a breath away?

Or the tree, bent over right to the ground …

How could such a strong and beautifully created thing, looking so hopeless, from the strong winds of life, still live, and show signs not just of blossoms, but of new life in it’s leaves?

Or the bright, beautiful blackberry blossoms …

How could something so beautiful, so eye-catching (and foretelling of the juicy, sweet berries to come) also be so damaging to the wetlands, to other plants and trees, to streams that it’s ‘mother plant’ drinks dry?

Or the beaver …

How could such a visually adorable, brilliant builder, who really knows how to sink his teeth into his work, be so destructive to forests?

I learned that day that things are not always what they seem. That beauty and evil can be in the same place. That blessing and curse can be wrapped up in the same package. And, maybe even, that good can even come from something that also is, or seems to be, evil.

Ah, so much to wonder …

“I wonder,

as I wander,

                                                                       out under the sky”

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Holy, Holy, Holy

I wrote this on a Sunday, three years ago!

It has been many weeks of ‘church visiting’. Hubby has been away from his ministry position, on sabbatical, since mid-February. And, my easily bored, need for the adrenaline rush of anything ‘new’, undiagnosed ADD personality has thrived with all of this change and variety!

I have been to amazing churches that have made us feel welcomed, transported my mind to heaven, and taught about spiritual things … kind of sounds like how  ‘Woodstock’ has always been described to me 😉 (there was not stripping at ANY of the churches I visited … just for the record, after my Woodstock comparison).

And today, like the rest, left me feeling well fed (ah, the story of my life). But, not just well-fed … if left me, us, feeling nurtured.

We originally chose the church we went to today, because our son has a friend who attends there, but, he and his family were not there today. We were greeted warmly by people we knew, and by people we did not. There was a line up to enter the church! (when does that happen?) The worship music was not spectacular, but it was good. The message was not spectacular, but it too was good. There was a ‘family feel’ in the place, but not a blood-relation-family-feel … (although, as Christians, it is a blood relation … from the events of Good Friday), so much as a we-chose-to-be-a-family-family-feel.

Maybe, for me, the morning was solidified as good, when we sang an old hymn from, well, forever-ago! I remember singing it EVERY Sunday as a prelude … my friends and I would mock it, because we were so familiar with it … singing it with our faces contorting as though we were singing opera. We HATED it! (I admit, I LOVE ‘classic’ hymns … not all though, some should be filed … permanently. And I love the new worship music … but if it is 10 years old … it is not longer ‘new’ for me)

But now, as an old church lady … (okay, so maybe I’m not quite a ‘lady’ yet), when I hear it, when I sing it … the tears flow as though it is my whole being … heart, mind, body and soul, singing to my creator what I was was created to sing … praises, and confessions, and, once again reminders that the God who reigns, always has been, and will forever be, praised by all that He has created. And that, is not dependent just on my will to sincerely praise Him, because I was created to praise Him, as all of His creation will praise Him.

I was good to go to the house of God, and to feel part of something bigger … just because I showed up … and He did the rest.

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