Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We are back from a wonderful time in Nebraska. Much of my wish list was accomplished, the most coveted being able to have some snow fun. We had wonderful steep slopes on Uncle Mikey's yard to do some sledding with the help of some discs lent to us by the neighbors. We went screaming, sometimes tandem, down the hillsides. We got soaked pants, cold noses, and warm hearts. The gleeful shrieks down the hills will be a forever memory.
Later, on a walk through Doane Campus, a couple of us spotted a steep hillside that had fallen into enough shadow to escape the melting of most of the snow. We went back to fetch the crew for a second helping of sledding. We didn't have to try very hard to convince the grandkids to go again. But this time cousin Scott joined us. When we began the pairing of grandkids on backs of adults, David took Faith down and Scott took Charlie. On the next run David was waiting for young Charlie to climb aboard and hold on. Instead, Scott hopped onto David's back and pushed off for a glorious ride down the hill. What goodness, grace, and giggles poured out on all of us!
Scott is our nephew who many of you have been praying for regarding diagnosis and treatment of Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He is doing quite well, and as you can see, Laughter and Love are the best medicines!
Without a doubt, younger brother David had a joyFULL heart of...No, He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.
Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I will be off computer for the nest few days, visiting family out-of-state. Have a wonderful Christmas!
~~~~~~...Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.
Today...a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
These beautiful lamps were down in Waxahachie, Texas. It is a beautiful place to visit during the holidays. The community glows from all the Christmas lights, decorations, and street lamps. It seemed like there was a wreath on every door, and a light in every window. It was as if they were all waiting for company...perhaps Santa. The Spirit of giving from warm hearts inside shined to those passing by. Cheer! Shine! Sing! Welcome! Hallelujah!
When someone lights a lamp, does he put a box over it to shut out the light? Of course not! The light couldn't be seen or used. A lamp is placed on a stand to shine and be useful.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Isaiah 22 says that the Lord stretches out the heavens as a curtain. He spreads them out as a tent to dwell in..
I found myself outside again at 3:30 to take cloud pictures. The skies have been spectacular all throughout the day lately. The rapidly changing weather systems have stirred them up into beautiful tapestries.
Often, I look at a pattern in the clouds and think that it would translate beautifully into a silk batik scarf, table runner, or magnificent curtains. I played with the color on these to encourage you to imagine the fine silks and wonder what you might make of them. God's creativity stirs our imagination.
The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God. Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going forth from his chamber.
Let your eyes delight in my ways.
I can tell you two of the things that stop me in my tracks and make me refocus on God are sunrises and sunsets. Each one is like a delightful manifestation of God that invites you to give Him your heart. Each day gives an invitation to turn and return to Him. These skies are bookends to the gifts the day holds. They are DELIGHT FULL.
The sky was changing last night as I was delivering baskets to my neighbors. I would have missed the glorious gift of this sky had I not been out giving gifts to others. A gift may not always come back from the same place that you gave it. Keep giving them, anyway. One of my favorite things is to give a gift to someone that doesn't expect it, sometimes to a complete stranger. Try it...you will be blessed maybe more that the one who received the gift from you.
When the whole sky changes every few seconds, it is no less than a Gift From God. Expectancy of the holidays gets its proper perspective. The best gift came down from heaven to live amongst us. Love came down at Christmas.
Friday, December 19, 2008
These are both pieces hanging on my wall in my massage room. I like to put holy ideas in my workspace so that when I am
working I can meditate on the things of God.
The Nativity is one of the favorites that I have collected. The bottom piece is beautiful art work done by my son-in-law, Devon. Between the two the room is filled with the lifespan as man that Jesus gave us. Holy Child, to Lamb of God, to Savior, He is the Joy of every longing heart. Son of God in a lowly birth, grew up to the rejection and the cross. Yet, He lives now and forever the Messiah, Lord of Lords, Emmanuel, God with us!
He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Okay, so right off the bat, I confess that this entry is going to be a bit different from my others. I am exposing a childlike side of myself that you may think is crazy. A few of my close friends know about it, but not a lot of other folks do. I get really strong personalities exuding from stuffed animals. I think God reveals things about the heart through what He shows me in the Spirit about these individual creations of fabric. The lessons are really about all our heart issues as human beings.
I found this sad little guy at the Goodwill store today while looking for a few baskets to fill up with goodies. The poor little stuffed toy seemed to want to be something other than a bear. He had a tiny hat of reindeer antlers on, and was posing, quite sadly, as something other than what he was created to be. Look at him...he is not smiling. He has sad eyes, but note his tender pink heart. I doubt that the cause for the antler headdress was a celebrating of winter or Christmas season. He must have come to the conclusion that it was better to be a deer than a bear. Somewhere along the way he was tossed out and ended up in the second hand store. He had developed deer envy.
Well, I love bears, so he was in the right place at the right time. My heart warmed as to a stray puppy, and I took him home. I hope his smile will come back, and he will rediscover the wonder of being a bear. He will delight in the things a bear can accomplish that a deer cannot. After all, he has yet to learn how to fish in rushing waters, or the great and awesome task of hibernating through the winter months, or climbing a tree. Deer can't do those things.
I guess my point is about how God creates all of us, and puts gifts differing in each one. Sometimes a friend will say to me, "Is there anything you can't do?" Oh my, let me make you a list! Keeping a spotless house is not one. Investment banking is not one. Anything that takes a LONG TIME is probably not on the list, either. Left brain and patience are not areas where my strengths abound. And frankly I hate the assignment of having to call people on the phone to try to get them to do something. But what is a task for me is a breeze for someone else who is gifted in that area. Why are we envious of each others gifts? Don't we know that God made us a Kingdom quilt, with need of all to work together to bring forth God's full glory?
Going up to strangers and talking to them about Jesus is my Colorado friend's gift. I am amazed to see her hand out baked goodies to strangers and pray for them. She is out there doing the love legwork of ministering to the whole community the love of Christ. I could sing to them about Him, or show them a photograph and tell the story of how God revealed himself in it. I am fitted by the Creator to minister through different giftings. I am a unique snowflake. Yes, a little flakey at times, but one of a kind.
Be imitators of God...as dearly loved children, and live a life of love...as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
So God, show me how to be love to everyone I see through the unique ways you made me to serve the Body.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
As I was searching for path pictures for the previous post I came upon a photograph of Peyto Lake in Canada. I remember putting it on a list of things to see before we took that trip, It was one of those times in life where a picture of something cannot compare to seeing the size, beauty, and essence of it in real life. The expansive color of turquoise for the eyes along with the magnificent smell of the forest was enough to make me dizzy.
I think about heaven, when I will see in a high place the one face to face who is my River; the one whose Spirit washed me and swept me into the flow His love.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
I was listening to Carole King sing 'Where You Lead' and went down memory lane to some paths that have invited me. Several have been country roads such as these. I am a sucker for a road with a grass ridge down the center. I am driven to find where it leads. Lots of wildlife and wildflower encounters have happened on paths such as these.
Something draws me to the path less worn; the road less traveled. I want to discover what is around the bend. I love to be there by myself or perhaps with one other special person. Once in Colorado I was with a friend down such a byway close to Granby. A path beckoned to me after we had just seen a moose in the trees to the right. I found a path through tall grass on the left that led down to the lake. I only got a few steps into the tall grassy walls when I got a warning by the hair standing up on the back of my neck that I needed to stop, turn around, and get out into open space again. Perhaps that path did not have 'life' for me, but something dangerous, if my senses were warning me correctly.
I have found that the urgency to see so much more of the beauty of this planet is increasing as I age. I am not ready for the rocking chair, unless it is to rock a sweet grand baby. I still want to take chances and experience fully that which God has put in me to do and see. Much joy comes from quiet times alone with God. If those times come on a country worn path of life to which He has led me, or the top of a mountain, Lead Me On! Strengthen me, as I am filled with joy in your presence.
You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.
Monday, December 15, 2008
It seems that God puts heart shapes in front of me no matter where I go. These happened to come in the forms of cactus, leaves, and deer prints. I think it's a message to remind me He sees the heart and is giving each beat of life to it, His home in me. It is pretty simple stuff, yet the very core of relationship with God. God wants to be ruler of your heart, not keeper of the rules. He sent his one and only Son as a babe to set us free.
I recently restudied a piece of work by Jeanne Guyon. In it she states:
For some reason men try to love God by forms and rules. Can you not see it is by these very forms and rules that you have lost so much of that love?...
The simplest can know Him, and in the deepest way, with no help from rituals or forms or theological instruction!
(Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ)
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us...
1 Jn. 4:16-17
Sunday, December 14, 2008
So, here is the second installment of my crazy morning praise and worship.
Here is what I saw:
Big-handled coffee mug
UFO? or Star Trek badge
We carry the reward of praise and worship in our hearts. He imparts his beauty to us in his manifest presence...whether we are in a building or outside with hands lifted high to the heavens. There is a responsive, holy synergism, and we cannot help but fall in love with Him!
From a song I wrote in 2000
SOAR IN BEAUTY
PLACE IN OUR HANDS A HARP AND BOWL.
THAT IS ALL WE NEED.
TELL US WHAT TO TELL YOU, LORD;
SO THAT WE MAY INTERCEDE.
WE ARE LOVESICK.
WE ARE AWESTRUCK;
AND WE LONG TO SOAR IN BEAUTY!
LET PROPHETIC WIND BLOW THROUGH US,
AND STOKE THE FIRES OF PRAYER;
SO THAT DAY AND NIGHT WE WILL NOT STOP
TIL JUSTICE FILLS THE AIR!
YOU SINGERS AND GATEKEEPERS,
CHOIRS WALKING ON THE WALL~
REMOVE THE STONES, PREPARE THE WAY
FOR THE GLORY OF IT ALL!
WE ARE LOVESICK.
WE ARE AWESTRUCK;
AND WE LONG TO SOAR IN BEAUTY!
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven...
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back~~whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' "
Mark 13:32, 35-37
This morning around 8:00 I felt the Holy Spirit nudge to go outside. Upon doing so, I raced back inside the house to get my camera. For the next 15 minutes I had the most incredible, fast-paced cloud show of my entire life. The clouds were moving so quickly that I was spinning to take it all in. The high winds resulted in curves and loops of clouds that had my mouth open in awe the duration of the shoot. I shot 50 pictures, and could have done many more, but for the speed of the formations. I took the liberty of changing some color to help you see what I saw. Perhaps you will see something different. Let me know!
Here is what I saw:
Bearded Santa with hood
I will post another cloud show after this one to include more of the fascinating shapes the heavens revealed in the span of just a few minutes this morning. God's firmament in sunrises and sunsets can be so healing. Letting ourselves be taken up into that beauty can delight our hearts and bind our wounds. We can realize in those times that we are truly precious children of God.
Suddenly, in an instant,
the Lord Almighty will come.