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Showing posts from 2013

Unacceptable

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One thing I know is that there is no one perfect.   Not me. Not you. It is always easy to point a finger or say harsh words instead of having a heart of compassion and lifting up another when they are down. Jesus is the only perfect One and He said "let him without sin cast the first stone."    He said to take the plank out of your own eye before pointing out the speck in another's. He went first to those in the most desperate need... the outcasts of society... the diseased, the broken, the homeless, those with foul habits and filthy language, those that lived socially incorrect lives...people that most of us would avoid.    You know.... those sinners. He wasn't offended by them.   He is not offended by you. He loved them.   He loves us.   He never said "well I hope you have learned your lesson because hey you are unacceptable the way you are". He just said "come to Me, all that are weary and heavy laden."  He said "let the little children come&q…

Dark Garden

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Gardens are amazing places... they are places of color and beauty, perfumes.   A delight to the eyes, ears and nose... they are a place of refuge and peace. It doesn't surprise me that God created a wonderful  garden for Himself and placed within it his most beautiful creations.
The Garden of Eden was full of life. The tree of life stood in the center of it. It must have been lush and new like spring all the time... no brown leaves, no dead undergrowth... just color and life unceasingly.     It must have been a place that God treasured and held close... a place where He could come and spend time with His creation and take delight in what He had made.
But, you know the story. Adam & Eve in the garden, and they blew it. Ate the fruit... invited evil into their innocent lives... and into God's garden.
Of course, the minute they heard God calling, they ran and tried to hide. They tried to find a place within the trees to get away from Him. They tried to find a dark spot in this …

Little Things

Thanksgiving. This year I decided to  make a list.   Thanksgiving is on the 28th, so I will list 28 blessings.   Let's start with the little things. 1.  Fresh water.     So many people in the world have to work  hard just to get a drink of fresh water.    All I do is turn it on...   which brings me to 2.  Indoor plumbing.    Praise God that I live in an area of the world where indoor plumbing is considered commonplace, when in fact it is a huge blessing and accomplishment of engineering. 3.  Hot water!!!!!!!!   Need I say more?    Who in their right mind is not thankful for hot water? 4.  Public toilets.    In fact, I have come to appreciate public toilets much more than I ever did in the past.    When  your only option is a foul smelling steaming hot port-a-john in the desert, and you are thankful it is there, you develop a new appreciation for the little things. 5.   Oxygen.    The air I breathe.     Yes, I am thankful for clean air. 6.   Green.    The color green is an ointme…

If You Get to Choose, Choose Love

"Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend." lyrics from "We Can Work It Out" by The Beatles

In Canton today, I found these lyrics on a home decoration and, being a die hard Beatles fan, just had to purchase it. The young lady that checked me out had not a clue that the words were lyrics to a song, so with my out of key voice, I sang her a few lines.... She was probably glad when she got rid of this crazy customer.

Every now and then a song will get something right, you think? This is one of those. Life is short. No time for fussing and fighting.

If you get to choose, choose love (that one is from me)...............


WE CAN WORK IT OUT
Try to see it my way,
Do i have to keep on talking till i can't go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.
Think of what you're saying.
You can get it wrong and still you think t…

Fluff & Substance

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Truth is... it's all fluff. All that stuff that you want to do or have or be?     It's Fluff.
Truth is...  we are human.   Even when we try to do right, we do wrong.  
Truth is... there is nothing we can do about it.    Nothing at all. We are fluff stuffed.    We are heavy and weighted down by the accumulation of it. It is the soft and compliant filling of our lives that suffocates our vision, holds us down, and takes the place of our real need.   No matter how hard we try, no matter how many times we watch "Dr. Phil", read "Dear Abby", knock the dust off our Bible or listen to a preacher or read our daily devotional.....  None of it matters until we get real with ourselves and get bare faced, nothing held back, eyeball to eyeball, gut wrenching, heart wrecking honest with God.   Until we get sick to death of the fluff and are ready to trade it for something of substance.    Ready to take Him up on His offer. If you will expose your innermost to Him, whi…

Intercessor

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Holy Father... Precious God of all creation... Thank  You. Thank you that I can come BOLDLY into Your throne room.  Unannounced. Yet not unexpected. Thank You that I do not have to do battle in order to enter Your presence.  You anticipate my entrance and look forward to our conversation.  You welcome me with open arms. Thank You for Your Son, Jesus... Lamb of God, King of Kings, Savior, Friend. Father, God... I come before You, knowing and believing  through  your Word, that I can present my petitions and be heard.  Knowing that when I ask, I am forgiven.     Knowing that Jesus intercedes for me.   He is not an earthly advocate that would only know the facts of my situation yet have no understanding or compassion for the intimate personal longings and desires of my heart. He is not a prosecutor, pointing out my faults and weaknesses. He is my personal representative in Your presence.  With the Holy Spirit, He knows my heart, my soul,  my situation, my wants and needs and dreams.  He even knows…

Inciting Rebellion

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I stumbled over this one today, like tripping over a kid's toy laying in the floor.    It was waiting for me.

I  know it's there, but all of a sudden I am tumbling head first.   It's going to be painful and I know it.   I can already feel the bruised knees, hands... maybe even my head.    No... I'm not gonna like this one bit.      There is gonna be pain.    A lot of pain.

This time it isn't a toy in the floor or a shoe I left laying or a rug that was out of place.   I didn't stumble over an inanimate object.

No, this time, it is words.     Living Words.   Words that hit me like a ton of bricks.   Words that pierce my heart and make me sick in my soul. 

To be more specific, these are the words that bruised and pierced my ego, my heart and my conscience:

"For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace."  (Romans 6:14)

Sin.  Shall NOT.  Have.  Dominion.

This makes me think of Gandalf the Grey standing on the narrow …

Jonah? Again?

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The story of Jonah came to life for me way back in 1998.   

You know... the guy that got swallowed by the whale?

No... I wasn't being swallowed up by a whale.    But I was being swallowed up by the problems of life.

God used His story of Jonah to get my attention.    He brought His Word to life in my mind and spirit through Jonah and made me understand that if He could save Jonah from the inside of the belly of a fish... from that horrible pit of a prison from where there was no escape.... then He could do anything in my life.  

Anything.

Miracles became more than an imaginary image in my head.   They were real and could happen for me.    God did a miracle in my life during that time.    He brought me out of the pit and set me on solid ground.  His ground.

I've been in a pit or two since then, but never without knowing that He would bring me out.

Now... in 2013, a little over 14 years later, He points me to Jonah once again.

This time, these are some of the things I have …

Thank You Jesus!

Nick Wallenda walked across the Grand Canyon on a 2" wire tonight.    He did it on live television before a TV audience of millions upon millions.

Before he walked, the tv crew showed us his weeks of preparation for the event.   He shared his family with us and their enthusiastic support of his desire to perform.

There was a lot of preparation... a lot of hard and physical work and planning.   It all culminated in one thing.   

The walk.

On a 2" wire with no net, no tether, with nothing holding him there except his physical ability and his faith.

He walked across a 1500 foot chasm from one solid rock to another.     His family and friends holding their breath as they silently cheered him on.

I held my breath too.

As he walked, he began to praise Jesus.   "Thank You Jesus... Thank You Jesus."    "Praise You Lord."    "You are King of Kings.... Thank you Jesus!"    

It was a continuous prayer of praise and supplication as he walked that narrow w…

Speak

There is a place inside of me that longs to be a 'giant' of faith.

I want to feed and furnish that 'giant'  place and starve my flesh that says "I'll do it tomorrow... next time... later."

Do it Now!  
Be Tenacious!
Be Steadfast!

Feed that 'giant of longing' daily.   God will use the giant.

"You say 'But He has not answered."  He has.  He is so near to you that His silence is the answer.   His silence is big with terrific meaning that you cannot understand yet, but presently you will."  (Oswald Chambers)

2:00 a.m.

I finally get out of bed trying to talk with God and something inside me says "on your face before Him."

On the floor, face down... mind rambling... still trying to talk with Him.

"Shhhh.." 

but..

"Shhhh."

Finally, my mind quiets for a split second.

I think (or does God say it?)  "Holy Spirit."

and I am surprised as though I had forgotten He was there.

"Holy Spirit."

a…

While He Prayed

His friends were sleeping while He prayed.      

He knew their hearts were hurting and their minds were troubled.  They did not understand what He was doing.  How could they?

In the upper room after the feast of Passover, He had shared with them what would come.  Yet they still could not comprehend the final outcome of His life, His mission. 

They had all boldly and courageously proclaimed that they would never let Him die alone.. not without them.

In the fog of their understanding, His words of life and resurrection seemed to have slipped past them unnoticed.

In the garden, He had asked them to pray as they waited for Him.   "Pray so that you will not fall into temptation."

Yet, in exhaustion from their sorrow at the dreadful words of His portending death, they fell into  the temptation of sleep.

While He prayed for them in that dark night, they slept.   While He pled with the Father to remove the cup of wrath, they slept.   As He prayed obedience  "Nevertheless, not…

What Do I Do With This Cross

I was wandering around my home trying to figure out what to do with this cross.   My daughter had given me a beautiful wood and metal cross at Christmas.   Christmas had come and gone... several months ago.  

It was way past time to find the perfect spot for it in my home.

I carried it around with me to every room.   I tried it in an empty corner... or on a wall next to a picture.  After about 30  minutes of going in circles in my house holding this beautiful cross in my hands, I finally found the perfect spot.

Yes, the cross has become a decoration.   They are so beautiful!   We hang them on our walls, set them on our tables as a centerpiece, wear them around our necks, on our wrists, on our feet.   They sparkle and shine as jewelry.   They are painted and decorated gloriously!

For quite a while, this has bothered me.    The symbol of Jesus' sacrifice...  the cross which is an instrument of torture and death has been turned into a decoration, an ornament.

I cringe to see a cross…