Thursday, August 25, 2011
We were so hopeful this morning when we sat down to coffee and thought we heard thunder! Husband went off to work, and in a few minutes the unmistakable sound of rain was hitting our skylight in the kitchen. Ah! There is nothing like the touch and smell of rain, even though it be only a little in a time of drought. Maybe we really appreciate it because it has been so long for such a simple, but life-giving entity.
I quickly got into the car with my camera to go down to visit the creek at the edge of our development. I saw a hawk across the dry creek. There were a few patches of stream left to reflect grasses and rocks that had become more exposed by the lack of water. As I returned home I saw the rainbow in the western sky and the strange pattern of wet/dry streaks on the concrete.
I was at the creek a few weeks ago looking at the effect of the drought and searching for life signs. I always find them if I but look. It is the same for God: you will find Him if you seek Him. Even in a drought, rejoice always, for He is with us; He cares for us! Sometimes it is in the drought that we realize our need for Him and truly reach for the life-giving love and care for which a thirsty heart yearns.
A sense of God's wholeness,
everything coming together for good,
will come and settle you down.
It's wonderful what happens
when Christ displaces worry
at the center of your life.
Phillippians 4:7 The Message
Thursday, August 18, 2011
I could hear John Denver singing in my dream last night. I was shown, while hearing the song of 'You Fill Up My Senses' how that applies to God giving us ministries. Let me go stroll through the manifestation of touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing in my own life. This is not meant to be a list of MY accomplishments, but a spurring on and encouragement to each of you that HE HAS GIVEN YOU GIFTS AS WELL FOR THE BODY. Believe me, I am in awe of those that can organize events, things, and people; administer, oversee finances, run committees, deeply understand and navigate technical waters/computers. lol I have been around long enough to know they are not my gifts, but they might be yours!
God has let me express His love to others by TOUCH through my massage therapy, and by giving hugs or touches to convey not only my love for others, but His love for them as well. We can only love because HE first loved us. He has let me minister through SMELL and TASTE by sharing meals prepared for others. He has graced me with the ability cook and to set a beautiful table to serve as a preview of the BANQUET that awaits us in heaven. He has put in me the passion to be a warrior for women that have been abused.
He has let me minister through sound (HEARING) by giving me songs and being a compassionate listener. He has let me minister through SIGHT by use of colors; making banners, preparing a restful and peaceful flow of colors in my massage room and home as a whole. He has put me in places to photograph breathtaking and unbelievable things in order to bring others to the awesome presence of God.
I think that all the senses work together in strengthening the of flow for the glory of God. For instance, it makes a difference how songs are put in order for worship. There is a building in each song, and a connection between songs that makes the worship service more effective. It follows for me that it makes a difference what color your massage room or sleeping area is painted. It makes a difference how building of flavors, smells, colors, and textures of food build upon each other to construct a meal for guests. The impact on our senses that draws us to worship God is one of the way He fills us to do his work.
The impact of a tremendous divine appointment to see a spectacular scene to pass on to you is but to draw you to Christ, Himself, WHO WAS PRESENT AT ITS VERY CREATION! He is present and expressed through our senses, if we allow ourselves to get out of the way and let the LOVE flow out from us that was poured into us. He flows at our tables, on our walls, through our words and touch, through our works and hearts.
God has ministered to me so much especially through photography and song by giving me opportunities to witness things and receive songs to sing that help MY unbelief. Those are not things to keep to myself. They are for the Body. So many times people have responded to me about a photo, "How can you see THAT and not believe in God?
Believe me when I say that the senses and how we receive and pass things on through our ministries comes down to the heart. At the end of the day I do not covet your praises about my photos, massage, decorating, cooking, skills with color, singing, hospitality, or whatever. I am a right-brained, creative introvert. These are things God has given me with which to minister. He gives us gifts differing. We all have strengths, gifts in which to flow. My heart's desire is that you would feel peace and inspiration through these offerings that would lead you to the GIVER OF ALL GIFTS. He fills us up to be poured out for the Body.
Per my blog, I am glad that you like my photographs. Don't get me wrong; I am human and it makes me feel good that you enjoy the photographs. But I hope when a photo brings you to your knees or ministers to you in some way that you would see the awesome Creator! Not saying, "Oh, Connie", but "Oh, GOD!"
Like looking through these TENT ROCKS in New Mexico to the light and great ROCK calling us in a direction; it is life giving to know that God gives us visions and dreams to point our way to how He would work in us His purposes.
And we know that in all things
God works for the good
of those who love him,
who have been called
according to his purpose.
Monday, August 15, 2011
We were able to go with the entire family to the Barnum and Bailey circus on Wednesday night. It was wonderful to see the animal acts, clowns, stunts, and amazing feats of all kinds. But for me, the most thrilling to see were the balancing and trapeze acts that took the skill of one built upon another to accomplish. These represented years of practice, many falls, and a building of trust with the partners. The skills were not perfect at first or hundredth attempts.
I remember as a young girl putting a pole between two trees out on the farm and trying to walk across. We kids also got pretty good at barrel rolling. I also remember swinging my siblings by their arms, and see my children swing theirs in the same way. I had tons of dreams that I could fly.
My granddaughter loves to be swung around in every direction by her father. It brings smiles and giggles instead of fear because she trusts the one that has a hold on her. Hmmmm.
There is something about swinging and balancing in high places that is intrinsic in our nature to try to escape the bonds of earth. I love to watch my oldest granddaughter swing. She gets so high, and likewise swings on the monkey bars with the greatest of ease. My grandson, however, loves to fly across the room from one sofa to another. He literally flies! There is a consciousness that is stirred up. It has intensified as well in me as I have been able to ride in helicopters, hot air balloons, and ski lifts as an adult. I get the same rush of fast movement as I have been able to increase speed skiing down a mountain.
It is not that I have a death wish; but I look forward to the time when, with the greatest of ease, I will be loosed from the earth and the bondage of self. For now, we need to help each other balance life's terms with the faith that we have until that day.
Two are better than one,
because together they can work effectively,
if one of them falls down,
the other can help him up...
I want us to help each other
with the faith we have.
Your faith will help me,
and my faith will help you.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
We awoke to the unfamiliar sound of rain this morning! I went outside to smell the fresh air and feel the raindrops on my skin. The street lights reflected onto the glimmering, running water in the road. The crape myrtles and ligustrum hung onto every precious drop. How refreshing!
The grass has become yellow and crunchy. The highways, only a few months ago crowded with wildflowers, cry for a drink and cringe at the cigarette butts thrown casually out of car windows. Trees, lawns, and bushes are taking their last breaths all through Texas. It is only a little rainfall, but how refreshing! We receive it with glad hearts! You know you don't live in Nebraska anymore when you race out to take pictures of snow and rain.
The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your soul in drought,
and strengthen your bones;
you shall be like a watered garden,
and a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
Monday, August 8, 2011
On this past Friday morning I was out doing some errands and stopping at a few garage sales along my path. I found myself passing by an apple tree while getting back to the main road. I noticed that lots of birds were feeding on the apples. As I got out of the car to get closer to take a picture of the fruit I noticed green movement. When I stepped closer a flurry of green birds flew off into the tall trees in back of the lot. I rubbed my eyes, and though I saw them I still did not believe what I was seeing. Doubting Thomas I was.
When I went back the next day with my camera I saw them again. A few were in the apple tree; but most of them were across the street. I had to strain to see them hidden high in the green leaves. The neighbor to the apple tree told me that they had migrated from the Texas coast last year and again this year. They returned to the apple tree.
I thought again how God sets me up. I stop to take a picture of one thing and find the He has positioned me to see something that is so awesome that it is hard to believe, even though I see it right before my eyes. God is good!
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
I kept two of my grandchildren today while my daughter went to a medical class. I had gotten a shirt and some sunglasses for my grandson, and some skorts for school for my granddaughter. I found some sunglasses in my stash as well that I gave her to match the sundresses I made her from a sleeping shirt she brought over to use as a pattern.
Faith has loved fuchsia and purple forever, so when I pulled out this yardage I knew it would be well received as a long summer dress. The short one with sunflowers was a remake from a very large size Acapulco shirt I found at a garage sale. I put it away until the idea came to match the remake.
We went around the corner to Subway after a vote of choices. I was able to get a gluten free sandwich there as well, and we enjoyed a great lunch together.
My husband Skyped us from Israel, and it was great to see and talk to him with the kids here. Phone and computer problems at the first of his trip made the days very long without voice communication.
When my daughter came to pick them up after her class I was blessed to be a gram sandwich surrounded in a big hug by my daughter and grandchildren. Much joy and laughing today!
He will fill your mouth
and your lips
with shouts of joy.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I knew when my husband was going to be gone for a week and a half that it would be an opportunity to clean out corners and clear clutter out of my house. I have made promises to myself before to exercise every day or throw /give away 10 things every day. I need God's help to be able to do those kinds of things. They are not necessarily fun, but there is much satisfaction in completing the tasks, one day at a time.
One of the pressing things I have wanted to get done is paint an accent wall of navy blue in our master bath. I started yesterday afternoon and finished today. I have also gotten a few other huge tasks started. You can't finish unless you start. The start button, for me, does not keep the motion going forward unless it is fueled by God. Discipline, if it were easy, would be evident everywhere. A simple definition for discipline? G...ood O...rderly D...irection: GOD. Without God I run out of gas, gumption, and grace. With God? All things are possible!
The Spirit helps us in our Weakness.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Isn't God good that he put in us the capacity to stay in the moment, but also the capacity to bring up a memory. We can remember a place of wildflowers growing on the banks of rushing waters when we are dwelling in a time of parched ground. We can remember fertile, lush fields when we are in the midst of flooded lands. There is a cycle, and things pass.
My friend from Colorado always reminds me, "It came...to pass." The circumstance we are in, whether it be flooding or parched ground, will not be forever.
We can sing praises of thanksgiving that we have beautiful memories of past times and hope for a future. God is good.
He turned the desert
into pools of water
and the parched ground
into flowing springs.