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Archive for November, 2007

I had the most amazing time at church last night.  seriously.  A great teaching, some of my favorite songs, and a really cool story.  Can I tell you about it?

 Zach, one of our youth, was at a basketball game last week, and commented to me that he had his Bible in his backpack.  I was so thrilled.  I mean, really, that just thrills my heart, this high school student, football player, carrying his Bible to school!  That’s not all, he also had his concordance.  I’m not lying.  I loved it.  So we were talking about the Word, and I showed him one of my favorite passages in Colossians – in the Message – chapter 3, verses 15-17.  He loved it. 

Now, back to last night.  Zach comes up to me, and tells me the story of how God already used those verses in his life.  He told me (this happened the very next day after we had talked) of family members who had not been getting along, and he told one of them about these verses.  He read them to her, I believe.  He reports that “it really made a difference.”  (yeah, it does!)  He was grinning from ear to ear. He also joyfully told me, “I knew the Lord had given me those verses for a reason!”  well, amen! It makes me love Him all the more….

Zach gets it.  And the Lord did not make him wait to use it – He is ready and able to do the same for us!  The trick is to be IN THE WORD.  Don’t wonder where God is, if you’re not spending time with the Holy Scriptures!  He’s right there on every page.  I’m not going to include a Scripture for you today – I pray you go and find your own.  so much love, and His blessings!

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August Rush

I may be sentimental, sappy, and altogether too easily entertained, but I thought this movie was amazing…..Last night, the family went to see it, and I was mesmerized – by the poetic scenes, the characters, and the music. Ah, the music! To all my musical friends out there – go now and see it – I think you will love it too. It’s not really believable, but I don’t go to the movies for believable stories, but for entertainment. It was hopeful, satisfying, and remarkable. (my daughter, who saw it with me last night, is laughing at me over my shoulder as I type this – I know, I’m lame. fine, go ahead and laugh, but if you miss seeing this movie, you really miss out on a great one!) I left the theater too full of popcorn, and really really happy. Yes, even today, I’m still happy. I plan on seeing it again – on the big screen. Remember, though, I told you I’m easily entertained. Let me know what you think if you see it……

As we are all snuggled inside today, on this cold, rainy day, I pray you too, are secure and content with your family and friends this weekend. Have you rested this holiday? Have you given God great praise and thanks?!! Are you ready to re-enter the real world on Monday? I pray His joy in abundance to each of you!

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Grateful

I have dozens of thoughts running through my head right now, so I’m not sure how in the world this particular post will turn out. But write I must, for tomorrow is Thanksgiving. And we must be thankful.

There are so many things I am thankful for – health, my precious family, the love of an amazing man, the dearest friends I could ever imagine, my God – my beloved God. The fullness of His presence, with all His attributes. The cool front that will be here by tomorrow, homemade biscuits, music – my gosh! music!, the truck parked at the house down the street that means my dear friend is home, playing Monopoly with my family last night, walks with my dog ever morning. Sunshine. Wind. Sunrises and sunsets. Rain. You. And on and on. I’m sure you could add dozens of things too. . . So what are you thankful for? What are you grateful for? I’d love to hear a few of your favorite things.

I also have a Scripture for you – one of my favorites, and I may have even written it here before – but it’s too good to miss this Thanksgiving Eve. . . “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

“be thankful. . . with gratitude in your hearts to God.” I really think nothing is of more importance at this season. Along with our thanks, I believe comes a call to serve and help others. I challenge you during this season to seek out those you can help – those you can serve. Give to. Pray for. Our gratefulness, and thankfulness can then be a source of help to others. May God be glorified in our day tomorrow. No matter what challenges we may encounter. Glorifying God can indeed make an eternal difference. Have a grateful heart, my friends. and Happy Thanksgiving.

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they are home!

I do indeed love this time of year – you know why?!!! MY BOYS ARE HOME!!! It gives me so many things to be thankful for. One – my boys are home! Two – my BOYS are home!! Three – well, you get the picture. However, there is one thing that keeps my heart from fully rejoicing…. one of my sons is not going to be able to make it home. Sooooooo, I am so very happy, but not completely. I am loving sitting here, like right now, with them both on the couch, one on his computer, the other watching “Chuck”, just hanging out. with their mom. However, firstborn is not here. He’s not coming. And I’m missing him, though he’s not far from my thoughts and prayers. The lack of his presence here, is hard on this mom’s heart.

So, first son of mine, if you are reading this, I love you very much. And I’m very very thankful for you. To the rest of you, I pray you are with those you love, or looking forward to being with them soon. Happy Thanksgiving week….

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praying for you today

I spent much time praying for you this morning. Can I tell you about it? We are “enjoying” really warm weather, yet our leaves are falling like it’s actually “cool”. It was in the upper 80s today. I’m not bitter……
Anyway, so, I felt “led” to rake the front yard of this rent house we are living in. I guess I was “led” because I couldn’t see the front sidewalk!!! I had already had my run, and walked the dog. Tended to sick daughter. Other chores. Then went out the front door, armed with rakes, and trash bags.

I really enjoyed the time outside, in spite of the heat. It was beautiful. sunny. a breeze at times. (that caused more leaves to fall, actually) As I worked, I prayed. I was, of course, listening to my music. But it was just a lovely backdrop for that time in prayer – I don’t even know many of your names, and may not recognize you if I saw you, but I love you. I find that as I pray for others, I find this amazing love for them.

I had also prayed for my family, my friends, my co-workers, the students I work with at church, the dear people building my house, the yard men down the street working on other yards (almost asked them to finish mine for me!), and the police that drove down the street while I was working….on and on. I had such a great time! I asked Him to lavish His love on you – to give you hearts that seek Him, minds that are set on Him, and lives that follow hard after Him. As we approach Thanksgiving, I just want to tell you how grateful I am for you. How thankful. How blessed.

From Philippians 1:3-11, NIV. . .
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”

My husband will return home late tonight, and be surprised when he sees the yard (in the morning) – I pray it blesses him, that I spent 2 and 1/2 hours raking and picking up leaves. But actually, I am the one that was blessed. I loved my time with you in prayer…….

now, I just pray I can get out of bed in the morning…….love to you!

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a word for the weekend

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy’. I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone, regardless; the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

That amazing word is found in Matthew 6:38-48, the Message. I find it challenging. It may take me a lifetime to figure this out, to find success. And this is only do-able with Christ. So, as I find every moment, every day, I’m desperate for Him. “You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity…..”

There is more where this came from – we may hear from Matthew again soon……..Have such a great weekend. Know you have been prayed for today. His lavish love to you.

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Trusting in Him

Today’s devo was stunning.  (from The One Year At His Feet Devotional, by Christ Teigreen.)  So, I share this today with you.  I pray it blesses you as it did me. 

 “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”  John 11:14-15

IN WORD   Circumstances don’t get much worse than this.  The loved one Mary and Martha had been praying for had died.  Jesus was four days late and under fire from those who had come to expect miracles.  Mary’s pointed words are sadly resentful: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (v.32).  Defeat apparently reigned.

    But circumstances don’t tell the whole story.  How often in the Gospels were appearances deceiving?  Wind and waves threatened to capsize a boat; thousands hungered; disease ravaged its helpless victims; demons held hopeless captives.  And, don’t forget, God was executed by men.  In all of of these situations, those who stared at the problems despaired.  Those who stared at the Truth found hope.  And hope was fulfilled. 

    An acquaintance of George Muller once told a story of going from England to Quebec for an important engagement.  The ship was struck in the North Atlantic fog and Muller was told by the captain he would by no means make it to his meeting on schedule.  Muller’s response?  “My eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God who controls every circumstance of my life.”  The fog cleared.  *from Streams in the Desert

IN DEED   Our human tendency is to feel trapped by visible situations.  But circumstantial evidence is not the truth of a matter.  It is deceptive.  God’s assessment is always the truth of every situation.  And it doesn’t include our being trapped by superficial appearances. 

   Are circumstances threatening what you know to be God’s plan?  They lie.  As surely as the North Atlantic fog lifted, as surely as Lazarus was raised, circumstances are unreliable measures of reality.  God’s plan, when believed, is immovable.  Those who focused on their problems in the Gospels found those problems to be overwhelming.  Those who focused on Jesus found their problems to be illusory.  Focus on Jesus.  There is no deceit in Him.  Just ask Lazarus.

Wow.   So friends, what do you think?  another quote by George Muller says “Real trust in God is above circumstances and appearances.”  I pray our trust is in Him today.  this week.  No matter what.  “Those who stared at the Truth found hope.  And hope was fulfilled.”  May your hope be fulfilled today……..

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