Monday, December 30, 2013

You Got This?

I think I like commercials more than I like the programs on the television. There is a commercial out now that shows a husband and wife at a store and she has a huge pad of things they need to get. She is reading off the list when the husband takes the list from her and says, "why don't  you go get a yogurt, I got this!" She asks, "are you sure?" He reassures her that he is capable of completing the task. She walks away lighter and then you see the husband turn to the store clerk and he says, "You got this right?" To which the store clerk replies, with confidence as he takes the list from the husband, "I do got this!" This always seemed so funny to watch until it seemed to happen in my life just this past week.

Life was humming along quite well when I received a call from one of my children that things were not well and health was at the root of the call. It all seemed so hopeless as I listened to the frightened "child" of mine. I said to call the Doctor and make and appointment and that we would go together and get this all sorted out. {"I got this!"} As I hung up with my child, she was feeling more confident that she was not alone in all this, I however, felt anything but confident. This was my baby and she was frightened and hurting which in turn had me hurting. I stood there for a moment feeling the tears start and searching for a way to make this "better".

That still small voice suggested that I call those Christian friends that I have from all parts of the country and ask for prayer. I sent out the text, asking for prayer, feeling pretty low. It was mere seconds later that my phone chirped with a response, "I'm praying". Just two words but such comfort. For the next ten minutes or so my phone would chirp with another faithful friend taking my request before God. With each chirp my burden lightened until finally I was smiling and laughing at how that little chirp had lifted my head to the One that was telling me "I do got this!"

God is faithful and his steadfast love endures forever. In Isaiah 64:4b God is telling us, "I will act on your behalf as you wait for Me."  The Lord brought to my mind that I needed to pray and seek help in doing that as my mind was so muddled. I "don't got this" but I know Who does! Thank you Father.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ponder

Tomorrow is CHRISTMAS! Have you read Luke 2 from the Bible where it tells the story of the birth of Jesus? I know you have read it "hundreds" of times. You hear it every Christmas when you go to church. Sometimes when we have heard something "hundreds" of times we tend to zone out and say " yeah, yeah I know that one."

Being a "question box" myself, I have to wonder about things. Did you know that we know the names of the Wise Men, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, but what were the shepherds names? Why didn't we get their names? They were the first to arrive and we don't have a clue what their names were.

Speaking of the shepherds, can you imagine what it must have been like to have the night sky become like day? On top of that an angel starts with, "don't be afraid." too late on that one! Then the whole place is pounding with singing angels! Wow.

Did you realize that the Wise Men, who were gentiles, knew that the King of kings was born and the Jewish leaders didn't have a clue and had to go back and check the records? Hmm gives you pause to think, right?

Was there anyone to help Mary have the baby? She was a teenager! Did she do this all by herself? What did Joseph know about birthing a baby? Wow, a miracle in itself that the two of them were able to do this. Hmm, more pondering!

Have you ever thought of the angels, who were so excited that they broke out in singing and praise and worship, how they looked on "God with us" in awe and wonder?

In Luke 2:19 it says:
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Perhaps we all need to do a little more "pondering" about the Christ child. This Christmas ponder the Christmas story that you think you know too well. Ask yourself some questions, put yourself in someone else's shoes. What did they think, how did they feel?

I pray that the Christmas story becomes alive and a wonder to you this year as you ponder the Christ child anew! Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

All I Want for Christmas

I was sent this clip in an email and it got me to thinking, do we really ask God for what we are seeking in life. Watch this clip.
I was amazed at the requests made to Santa, a make believe person. The guy's biggest request is a pair of socks and underwear! REALLY?! This got me to thinking about how we come to God. Do we bring him our hearts desire or do we ask for "socks and underwear"? I think the guy that asked for socks didn't really think his request was going to be answered so he said the first thing that popped into his head. Was he afraid the request would be too great to fill?

Then there is the couple that say a "big screen TV." Now this couple is absolutely sure of what they want and nothing seems to great to ask for. They come straight to the point and aren't shy.

I wonder if the guy that asked for socks was kicking himself all the way home and thinking I should have asked for . . . ! Do you think by the response of the couple that they were shocked that their request was fulfilled?

This all deals with Santa and WestJet but we have a God who has such a storehouse full for you and for me. He is waiting for us to put our hearts out there and seek His gifts. No not a big screen TV that will be out of date next year, or underwear and socks that will have holes in them sooner than we would like. No, He is waiting for us to ask for things like, more of His heart, directions in this life, ways that would please Him, a closer walk with the Father, help getting through this problem that is looming in our lives, etc. He is waiting for you to come and seek the goodness He has.

In Ephesians 3:16-21 it talks of God's "glorious riches".

Ephesians 3:16-21

New International Version (NIV)

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 ..

God's riches far surpass Santa or WestJet! We can seek God anytime day or night. He is able. I suppose even socks and underwear are there for the asking but why not seek higher and seek to walk with the King, or talk with Him in the quiet of the garden. Ask Him for things that will not break down or get holes in them, but things that will last and help you move through life.
 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Oh the Agony of it all!

We were spending the afternoon with our daughter and granddaughters, it was such a fun afternoon until IT happened. The agony of it all! The horror! Our son-in-law sat down on the old recliner, {the only recliner in the room} and something popped and down dipped one end of the ancient chair. He said well that's that. My daughter cheered at the prospect of getting rid of the old chair. Our granddaughter had an entirely different reaction. As our son-in-law struggled to get out of the chair and find another seat our granddaughter ran to her fallen "friend" and jumped on the seat turned to face the back and hug it fiercely. Tears popped into her little eyes and she wept. We all turned to the sound of her crying thinking she must be trapped by the beast of the chair. Nope, just in the seat hugging it like it was her best friend who had {or would soon} be moving away. What a strange reaction to the process of life, things get older and wear out and we discard them. We got her straightened around and she was soon right as rain again. Another tragedy averted.

Little did I realize this lesson would come to me the very next day. My husband found some old pictures of me in the cupboard.{why was he in the cupboard you ask, my question exactly!} He set them on the table with no instructions or preface, I should have never looked at the small album! I started to peruse the pictures and the farther I got the more teary eyed I became. The pictures were of a younger, more healthy me with other members of the family that are no longer with in range of talking any longer. So as not to be caught crying and having to explain the reason for the tears I quickly swiped the eyes and stuffed the feeling back into the little compartment that is hidden deep inside of me. Thinking all was well I went on about my day.

I was feeling kind of low as I went to take my shower. {did you know that the shower is the greatest place to cry as no one comes in on you and the water washes away the tears} I started to cry again remembering the things that I used to have and no longer am capable of doing or even looking like, I was just like that little granddaughter crying for what was! As I sat drying off, I cried out, to the only One that knows me inside and out and lives in me, for help. Slowly the tears all dried up and such a sweet peace flowed through me, nothing changed on my body. I wasn't young again, I still had the aches and pains I had before I entered the shower, but inside where my heart hurt was gone, replaced by such a peace and joy that still reigns as I write this. God's words were brought to mind from
 1 Samuel 16:7b:
"The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
 
 
If your heart is hurting for what was or could have been reread these words and take comfort in our God who adores you just as you are now!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kiss and Make Up

After spending some time with a four year old and a seven year old there are so many life lessons to observe. The two sister get along well for the most part. They were watching a kid friendly movie and all was fun and happy times, then for no apparent reason, the very short and feisty red head let the much bigger much gentler sister have it. This was followed by a bellow {don't think the hit was quite as bad as the blood curdling scream} and then the voice of reason {Dad} told them to both go to their bedrooms as no one wanted to take responsibility. Well, that led to crying and carrying on by both girls. Not a minute later the battered darling came to the top of the stairs and said she was sorry and could she continue to watch the movie. Not to be out done the perpetrator, {the feisty red-head} also appeared at the stairs right beside her sister and also wanted to continue watching. Dad said if they could they give each other a hug and say they were sorry the movie was still on. If you weren't watching you would have missed the hug and the words "sorry" uttered by both girls, who then quickly went back to watching their movie.

This little scenario was brought home to me the very next day with a cast of characters that were a bit larger. I was having one of those days were I was a bit out of sorts but not any real reason that I could put my finger on. I just didn't seem to want to talk or be talked to. {ever had a day like that? They can get you into trouble faster than you think} I wasn't really paying attention to some words of wisdom that my husband was expounding and wouldn't you know it, it required an answer! He waited for me to give my response but none came and that brought something like the bellow I had heard from the girls. I just pouted and got very quiet. {you shouldn't be able to get into trouble being quiet should you?} Wrong! Then it seemed to become a trial to see who could be the quietest for the longest. {Where was the voice of reason?}

Good news! We worked it out without going to our bedroom. We apologized and had dinner and a pretty good evening together. I think Dad {ABBA} was the voice of reason. His words in James were there for me in the morning for my Bible reading.

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.


I am still a work in progress and I am learning to count things like this pure joy. I don't want to lack anything and I really want to preserve.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Under Cover

Have you ever felt you were an undercover agent? Recently that is exactly what I have felt like. I have not gone so far as to use my "shoe phone" yet. {if you don't know what that is you are too young, just enjoy the thought} I have been reading a lot lately about people that are standing up for what they believe. They are paying such a great price for their stand. Some have been whisked  away from their families, others are in prison and the worst was a whole church full of people were shot at and many died. I also am reading and doing a study on Paul. He was just about torn apart for speaking about what happened to him when he came face to face with Jesus. {No wonder I am practicing the undercover agent thing!}

Then I read another article asking if people can recognize what I stand for? Well of course, or maybe, perhaps not. What a terrible realization on my part. I grew up where my grandmother hit you over the head with a two by four when you first walked into her life, asking " Are you saved?" I swore that I would never badger people like that. So I went the exact opposite and made people guess where I was coming from. Two extremes neither one the preferred approach.

Now as I look at who I am and what it looks like to those on the outside I am not very well convinced I have the right approach still. I profess to be a Christian but would you know it if I didn't tell you? Perhaps, just perhaps,I am worrying about what the outside it saying, or what people think instead of what my love of the Savior looks like. The great thing about God {well one great thing} is that He is doing the work. He is making the changes in me. He adores me enough to put up with my imperfections {undercover agent}and gently corrects my walk and my talk. He knows my heart. He knows my thoughts. He is leading me the way I should be going. Doesn't that take a load off? It does for me. I don't have to be like the world thinks I should be! I can be exactly who God made me to be. What a relief! What a God!

Are you trying to be someone you are not or are you relaxing and being just who God created you to be?
 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Are you REALLY Listening?


We live in a world today of lots of noise, but I think it was always this way just different types of noise. I was one of those kids that had to have it absolutely quiet to be able to do my homework. I couldn't seem to concentrate if there was a bird outside my window singing or a radio playing somewhere within earshot. My own children, however, were quite different. The television could be playing right next to them and they could get their homework done. Amazing!

We seem to have lots of things competing for our attention. Do you find yourself half listening? Are you listening to the television while someone is talking to you? Are you on the cellphone trying to listen while you are folding the clothes and the TV is on in the same room? Is it ok for you to do these things but do you want the person on the other end of the conversation to be listening intently to your valuable words?

I found myself in this predicament lately. I was watching a wonderful movie and my husband chose that moment to have a conversation. I was half listening to him and half listening to the movie. Needless to say I didn't hear either one very clearly. I either had to tune out my husband {not good} or tune out the movie {just at the good part too}, I finally had to turn and face my husband or I would be sucked into the movie never to return. {good choice on my part}

I started to think about all the times I have done just this. When someone was sitting right across from me telling me something, was I thinking about what wondrous words I was going to expound next, or listening, really listening to what was being said? Guilty as charged! It made me sad just to think of  my shallowness.

What about God? When I go to be alone with Him is He listening with one ear or tuning me out? Nope! I have His full attention. He has turned his face to me and is listening to my every word. He longs for me to talk with Him. Imagine that! He also expects me to be listening to what He has to say to me. Yep, He talks with us. We need to tune out the world and give Him our full attention. Just imagine the Creator of all things wanting to have a conversation with you! He never tells you just a minute, or can you hold that thought for a second? He wants to hear all we have to say to Him.

What are you waiting for, find a quiet place and start sharing your heart with the One that has all the time in the world to sit with you and listen!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What are you afraid of?

Halloween has just passed and as a 4 year old, most things scare my grand daughter. This past Halloween was no exception. She was so excited to wear her pig costume! {not sure why but she adores pigs.} As the much anticipated evening approached she got a little apprehensive but she told her mom she was sure everyone else would be dressed as ponies and unicorns. I think this was to reassure herself that all would be well.

The much awaited evening was finally here! Her sister and she were dressed, goody bag in hand ready for the much longed for chocolate to fill their bags. As she approached the first house decorated in Halloween fashion, she informed her mom, "not that house mommy it is too scary!" So they passed by many houses until they found a plain "undecorated safe house" to make their first stop. A "trick or oink" was made and she received her treat! Great. However, as they were finishing up the evening they came to a house where the garage jutted out beyond the front door. My daughter had noticed this was a "safe house" {no decorations} so they pressed onward. They were not able to see the little boy, around 5 years, old dressed like a skeleton just stepping down from the porch and heading straight for them. As they both came to the corner of the garage at the same moment, disaster! My granddaughter screamed at the top of her lungs EEEEEEKKKKKKKKK, which made the little boy also scream at the top of his lungs AAAAAAKKKKK! The little boy's mother who was waiting at the street shouted, "its ok Davie its just the skeleton outfit" to which the little boy screamed, "where's the skeleton?" He forgot he WAS the skeleton! So now he is terrified there is a skeleton chasing him. Meanwhile the man whose home it was is rolling on the ground with laughter. The mother runs to get her son, my daughter apologies for the confusion and the man drops the candy in the bag between fits of laughter.

I was also rolling when my daughter related the evening to me. Then I got to thinking about the things that scare me, like my health problems, my son's tentative job situation, my husband's illness. Hmm, am I so different from my granddaughter? Am I living in fear of the unknown? Will I come around the next corner only to run into another scary problem? No, I have One who is greater than any problem or scary thing I could encounter. The Bible tells me in,

1 Peter 5:7

New International Version (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
 
This is hard to do at first but the more I do exactly this, give all these "scary skeletons" to God, the calmer I become. I remember that God is bigger than all my problems and He is able to do all things. So just like my granddaughter was "rescued" from the scary skeleton and received her prize, so will God rescue me from all my "scary problems" and I receive the prize of His wonderful peace!
 
So, what scares you and what will you do about it?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What a Day!

What a day and it is only just beginning!
  1. Internet is driving me crazy!
  2. Pop ups are every where
  3. Can't make my virus protection work
  4. My online Bible is not working properly
  5. etc
  6. etc
Have you ever started a day like this? Everything seems to be going wrong and the day has just started. You want to pull out your hair or scream into the quiet of the morning! What is happening? I got up with a positive attitude and it all went to pot the second the toothpaste lid fell into the toilet. {yep that was the beginning of this day.}

I persevered and finished my Bible reading for the day. But I can't tell you that I got much out of it. I prayed but felt like a nag to God's ears. {even my ears weren't happy with all that was said!} If I thought it would do any good I would go back to bed and try to start this day over again.

Have you ever had a day like this? How did you continue? Did the day escalate until you were so weary you just threw up your hands and quit?

I have done all these things before and my hair is very sparse to show the hair pulling doesn't work.
I think today I will do something new. I think I will just sit and think of all the things I am thankful for and tell God.

  1. For grandchildren that grab your face to give you a proper kiss
  2. For a husband that fixes the credit card that the teller stapled {don't ask}
  3. For a God that can handle my frustration and still love me
  4. For the day that lays ahead unused yet
  5. For forgiveness
  6. For a calm spirit
  7. For friends
  8. For Bible Study that is coming up tonight
  9. For salvation
  10. For God reminding me I am his Beloved
 Yes I do believe thanks is the answer to this day that didn't start out so hot. I need to go and thank God for so many more things.

1 Chronicles 16:34
New International Version (NIV)
34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Different Kind of Love

If you are a parent you know what it is to love your child. Some times that love overwhelms you it is so great. If you have more than one child you know you have enough love to go around to each one. However, your children will often say "you love him/her more than me". Could that be possible?

I am struggling to understand the Love of God. I know that I am one of a billion {or is it trillion now} people here on this planet. How does God love me the same, no partiality? Have I been spending my time trying to "earn" His love? Doing all the things the right way, living in a way to garner His attention so He will love me more? Sadly, I think I would have to say some days yep, that is exactly what I was doing.

As I read more closely it tells me that God loves me the same today as he did yesterday. {yesterday I wasn't a person that I would have wanted to love} His love NEVER changes! It is not based on what I do it is based on Who He Is. I can't earn his love. He is freely giving me His love. No partiality here.

I was praying for something that seemed insignificant to someone else and after the prayer they said that God doesn't bother Himself with such a small thing. I was upset by this remark and under my breath said "oh yes He does." {I am slow on my retorts so it didn't come to me until this morning} If he knows the number of hairs on my head, pretty insignificant if you ask me, there is nothing that takes place in my life that is too small to ask Him for help.

That's when it hit me, wow what a great love to even care about my simple problem, it isn't about world peace or world hunger, just a simple leaky roof. God cares about me and loves me with abandon, not because I am the most loveable person alive but because He is God!

There is the most wonderful description of His unfailing love that was shared with me and I would love to share it with you.



Above you are the overshadowing wings (Psalm 91:4);
Underneath you are the everlasting arms (
Deuteronomy 33:27);
Round about you is the angel of the Lord (
Psalm 34:7);
Beside you are still waters (
Psalm 23:2);
Within you is the peace that passes understanding (
Philippians 4:7);
Before you is the presence of the Lord (
Exodus 33:14);
Following you are goodness and mercy (
Psalm 23:6);
Ahead of you is heaven’s home (
Philippians 3:14).

—expanded from a quote by Virginia Bell

 How great is His love that he has prepared all of this in advance just for you, and just for me! What a different kind of love!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This Little Light

12 Later, in one of his talks, Jesus said to the people, “I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.”

John 8:12 Living Bible (TLB)





"Turn on the light I can't see a thing."
"The light bulb just came on! I get it."
"The lighthouse will lead the ship to safety."


All of the above statements talk about light and how it leads the way. I remember a night when the school where I was working had all the parking lot lights and all the lights of the building shut off as they were have an astronomy group and their telescopes at the school. The children were so excited to be able to look at the stars. However, telescopes don't work too well if there is light on around them. Thus lights off. Well, I had to leave the event early my husband was going to pick me up in the parking lot.{the one with the lights off!} I was running a bit later than when I said I would meet him so I was walking very quickly. Very sure I remembered what all was where, I picked up my pace. I was sure there was a picnic table close to where I was. So I saw it in the dim light and hurried to sit down and look like I had been there for a while waiting for my husband.{just goes to show pride is not all it is cut out to be} I did not however remember seeing a cement slab about 6 inches under the picnic table. I tripped, not seeing the rise in the darkness and went head long into the table and the corner of the cement. I immediately felt that warm sticky stuff on my arms, and legs and saw some stars that no one would be seeing on their telescopes. My arms and legs still tell the tale with the scars I carry around to prove how silly I was and how we need a light in dark places.


This week has been a "dark" time in the lives of our family. An extended member was murdered. It seems like bad things happen in the dark. Just like my fall, this happened at night also. The only thing that makes any sense in all of this is that God is in control. None of this took Him by surprise. He is the light and in Him is no darkness. Should I run to dark thoughts, or run to the comfort of the Light. I guess we all have to choose which direction we will go. I know from first hand experience that the dark only leads to more pain.{I have the scars to prove it} I think I will choose the Light, the One who sees all clearly, even when all I can see is that darkness. There is comfort in being able to see clearly. I can run and not trip over "landmines" that are just waiting to bring me down.

Which way are you choosing in your life? I know that I am not alone in going through dark times.Are you willing to trip and fall in the dark or will you turn to the Light and be drawn into the safety that is offered there

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Be Careful What You Ask For

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

Okay, yes I have been asking God to use me and wandering how He could possibly use someone that isn't able to get around so well any  more. I was sure the missionary journey to Africa was out so I was safe in asking to be used, right?

God is so awesome and has a wonderful sense of humor.

I was in Bible study last week and happy to just be a participant. The leader was asking for prayer as she was traveling to see a friend in need. No problem! Easy peasy! Then in a flash she turned to me and said would I lead the group next week? What? Could you repeat that as my eyes became as big as the desert dishes that were on the table. Surely there is someone else that is much more qualified than I! The lady that usually does it was on a camping trip so she wasn't there for me to turn to and say, "I know she will do a better job." By this time the other ladies are saying, "you'll do fine!" Well, I know why they were saying that because it wasn't them that was on the hotseat!

What could  I do? I said ok!

Have you ever asked God to use you and when He says Ok I am ready to use you, you come up with all the reasons you can't do it today? Well, I have spent the last week doing exactly that. I finally got down to business,{very early this morning}and prepared all I could find that was extra. Then I remember the lesson is on how Paul shared so long that a man fell asleep and fell out of the window and died! {there is God with his humor again} It all turned out well for Paul just in case you were worried.

I finally have settled down after reading the above verses and figure all the ladies can do is never ask me again to lead the group. God and I will do what he has lead me to share and that will be enough.

Just ask for your prayers today. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Beautiful

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.  Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.
Act 3:1-3
 
 
As I was reading my devotion for the day I was drawn to the word Beautiful. Here was this man, he was 40 years old and every day some one or probably a few some ones brought him here to this gate called Beautiful. Here he sat begging passersby for a few extra coins. He was pretty much invisible to all that passed. If you continue to read the story it says that Peter and John were the ones that were the passers that day. He was so used to people passing not noticing him he didn't even look at them.
 
He had to be asked to look up at Peter and John. He took a risk and looked up not sure what he expected these men to do. He asked them for a "donation" but the first words he heard were "silver and gold we don't have". Ah, so these men weren't going to give him any coins. Were they going to make fun, say how sorry they were he was like he was, throw something at him and walk away laughing? I am sure he had experienced it all before. It was so much easier to be invisible.
 
The men continued talking and said "in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise and walk. The man didn't stop there he gave him a hand and helped him stand up. Can you imagine his surprise and unabashed joy when his legs held him, no pain, and not only held but made it possible to walk. Well, he was so thrilled he not only walked but at 40 years of age he was leaping into the air, jumping, and praising God. He hadn't let go of Peter or John so I am sure they made quite a site as they entered the temple.
 
I don't know about you but there are many times I feel invisible. The "passersby" don't see me though I have been there for a long time. Perhaps you are ill, widowed, divorced, or just lonely { not that lonely is a "just"} or any number of other possibilities that make you feel invisible. There is a place called Beautiful where we can go. The arms of Jesus are outstretched waiting for us to look up and into his eyes of love.
 
No matter where you are today, He is waiting for you to look up. You are not invisible or alone. Are you ready to start leaping and jumping today? He is waiting to take your hand!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Surrender

Yesterday was a day many Americans will not soon forget. The Navy Yard in Washington D. C. was under attack by an employee. It is a day I will not soon forget, it was a testing of my faith in the God I profess to be the One that is in control. You see my son works there!

I have read the story of Job and how God was pleased with him and how the enemy wanted to prove God wrong. Job lost everything! {there is a very happy ending to the story!} I felt bad for Job and have tried to understand his friends {with friends like his who needs enemies} but I don't think I was able to empathize with Job. Yesterday I was able to ponder what it must have been like to be him.

I was just finishing up with my daily devotions and going to check out the news before I woke my husband and started my day, when I saw "shooting at the Navy Yard" as a headline. Thought I would check it out and it was live coverage. {gotta love the news channels} I started to watch and then it hit me this is where my son works. As I was drawn into the news broadcasters words of fear and dread I had to pull away from the news to go to the Father and ask for protection for my son. The announcement that there were 3 dead and some injured made me pray again. The phone rang and it was my other son calling with a sense of panic in his voice saying he was headed home to calm his wife and try to decide what to do. {He also lives in the DC area} He tried to reassure me that my son was surly in another building and safe, but he couldn't raise him on his cell. {has the beginnings of one of Job's friends.} He told me he had called the Navy Yard as there was a number on the screen, but couldn't get them to answer. He was going to continue to keep trying. Hmm, his response was to seek the aid of man. My first response was to seek the One that had this situation in His hands. I didn't call the Navy Yard.{being a Mom would have more weight that a brother} I called and text my "family", those that love God and are called by him. I didn't feel the panic I heard in my son. I just asked for prayer. My "family" responded quickly and reassuringly.

I did have a peace. I know it sounds strange but my husband and I went about our day. We had placed it all in God's hands and knew we could do nothing.{except pray} The day turned into evening with no word from our son. {I had send him a voicemail telling him we were praying for him} If you listen to only what the news tells you, you can become very frightened.{there were now 13 dead} We were watching the news and the fear was starting to creep in. It is very important in times like these that we keep our eyes on the one in control. {Just as Peter looked at the waves and started to sink, the news took my eyes off of the protection the Lord had provided all day.} I once again went to the Lord.

Finally, we got the call we had waited to hear all day, our son called and said he had made it home. He sounded exhausted, worn, but relived to be home. We praised God for his faithfulness and prayed for those who didn't get that call. You see our son hasn't asked the Lord into his heart. There is still time for him. As long as he is breathing we will continue to pray for God to reveal Himself to him.

Please if you don't know Christ as your Savior, seek him out. Find out for yourself who He is. While you still have breath. You never know what the next moment will bring.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

El Roi

I am struggling to put my racing thoughts into words today. I have deleted time and again what I want to say. Hopefully this time I will convey my thoughts in a way that will express the awe and wonder I have discovered this morning.

I was reading in John 4 today about the woman at the well. If you are not familiar with it, it tells of a woman that goes to the well to collect water for the day. She doesn't go when the other women go as she is not "one of their kind". She must go and collect by herself to avoid the ridicule and biting remarks of others. She meets Jesus, who is tired, hungry and thirsty. They have a conversation and she is amazed by him that first he sees her and then speaks to her. The most amazing part is that when he asks her to go and call her husband and come back she is brought back to earth as she is living with a man who is not her husband and has had 5 husbands already. The shame and embarrassment arises. Jesus tells her she he knows of the 5 and the one she is living with and she only had said she didn't have a husband. Jesus met her right where she was. She is so excited she runs and tells the whole town, "come and see the one who told me everything I have ever done"! Jesus knew all that had taken place in this woman's life, yet offered her life.

Then I remembered Hagar Genesis 16 as she fled from Sarai to the desert to die. She encountered an angel that asked her where she was going. She told him and the angel and he said that God had seen her pain. She called God El Roi the God who sees.

In both cases God saw the pain that others refused to acknowledge or want to be around. He offered life and release from that pain. Are you feeling dejected, or the pain of loneliness, or some other pain? There is a God who sees you and has wonders to offer you. All you need do is seek Him.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Treasure Hunt

It is so exciting to have grandchildren! My husband celebrated his birthday over the weekend and we spent that time with two of our precious grandchildren.

When we arrived our granddaughter informed my husband that she had prepared a Treasure Hunt for his birthday. {keep in mind she is 6 years old} Well, we hadn't even taken our shoes off or told everyone hello and she wanted him to go on this great hunt she had prepared. Mom said in a little while. You know what that means to a 6 year old, "I must wait an eternity." So she piped down and we got the greetings out of the way. She would casually interject the "hunt" into each conversation. I had to use the restroom and not knowingly stumbled on the final clue, where X marks the spot, and was quickly told to close my eyes while the "spot" was relocated. Didn't know it was even there until I had to shut my eyes!

I noticed she could stand it no longer and asked my husband to go on his treasure hunt. I thought it was to be his alone, being his birthday and all, but once again I was sadly mistaken. We ALL were to go on this hunt. So we all followed along behind her and my husband. She was the leader, {well she did know where each clue was after all} and my husband was trying to keep up. She would hover around where she knew a clue was and as my husband wasn't quite fast enough she would scoop up the clue and read where to go next. Then the procession would continue to the next clue. It was such fun as the closer to the prize the more excited she became. We finally made it to the "relocated" X and my husband found the prize. This was all her idea and the clues were in her hand writing. What fun!

As I sit and think about such a thoughtful child and how she wanted her "Fafa" to have a wonderful present and to search with her, I think of how God must see His children. He as placed a guide in our hands, the Bible, and He continues to lead us I am sure with such excitement as I witnessed on my granddaughter's face is on His face! Can you see Him as we discover truths that He has hidden for us to find? Like the truth, "I will NEVER abandon you." Hebrews 13:5, or "My plan for your future is filled with hope" Jeremiah 29:11. He has hidden so many wonderful treasures in His word and He can't wait for us to find them. Just like my granddaughter who was hardly able to contain herself for us to get started on that hunt, God is hardly able to contain the love He has for us and the treasures that await us on the "Greatest Treasure Hunt" of all. Why don't you start today and find a clue to your next treasure!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Glasses

Just recently I went to have my eyes checked and the Dr. said it would probably help to have a pair of glasses for reading and for seeing far away. Yuck! That wasn't what I wanted to hear. I wanted one part of me to work properly.

I followed the Dr.'s "suggestion" and went to have the new glasses ordered. When they came in they were very hard to get used to. They were part bifocal and part regular glasses. When I put them on I told the lady that I couldn't see very well with the reading part of them. She looked a little distressed but told me to give them a few weeks and if they still weren't working I could come back in and they would adjust them.

I started to wear them but they made me feel sea sick. So I took them off and put them in the holder. But I had told the woman that I would give it a shot for a few weeks so I wore them occasionally. Wonder of wonders they were helping me see things that I couldn't before. I started to use them more frequently and the sea sickness feeling is starting to abate. I am still not wearing them all the times but hope to get there.

It seems that God has been using these glasses and the lessons that have been barreling down on me lately to draw me to an understanding of Himself. He has been giving me a "new pair of glasses" to see him better. He is reinforcing that He is in control of all areas of my life. I need to continually surrender all that I think I have a right to. He is in control of my health, my wealth, my children, {that is still a sore spot we are working on}, my home, my husband, well you get the point. There is nothing that is not His. I however, need to take my hot little hands off them to allow Him to do the great plans He has for all of them. With these "new glasses", when I wear them, I can see how He is turning all things to good. {Romans 8:28}. I am no longer a victim of the things that happen around me, I have a sovereign God who is turning this things that I see as terrible, ugly things into things that are drawing me closer to Him. How awesome is that!

Do you need to go to the Great Physician and see about a "new pair of glasses"? Don't wait go today!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Know Your Heritage

I have been wondering lately about the Promises of God. There are songs about them, "Just Hold on to the Promises" one singer so eloquently sings. But do I really know what they are? How many are there? How do I find them? Are they mine or just for some people?

I have accepted Christ as my Savior, so the Bible tells me that there are some things that God has promised to me. How could I have lived so many years being in God's family and not know what my heritage is? Well, I am not going to let another second go by without searching out who I am and what it means to be in God's family.

 It seems that so many people are so interested in their family tree. There are websites, books, how-to's, to find out who we are, where we came from and what it means to be in that particular family.{just as the McClan clan can not be a part of the Moon family and share all the same heritage with them we too must first go to God and accept Him as our Savior or these promises don't belong to us.} So to there are things that we have been promised from God when we are accepted into His family. So please come along with me and see just what we are promised, all of us have the rights to these promises!


When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we were given a heritage, we became a Child of God!
 
Galatians 3:26-29
     26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
 
Did you know you are a Child of God? Have you thought about what that means? We are royalty because God is King of kings. We are of great worth. Don't ever think you are a nobody or a nothing. We have this promise from God the Creator of the universe, the One that never lies. He is the only one that can say and keep this promise. What a great way to start to search out who I am in Christ, what a beginning to our heritage. We belong! We are in the family of God!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What a Journey!

We’ve been walking the path of God-sized dreams together for a few months now. Will you share an update with us about your dream? Let us know where you are with it–the happy and the hard. Tell us how we can pray for you and your dream too.

When I started this blog, I had no idea of what my God-sized dream was thinking I didn't even have a dream. I wasn't even sure that I belonged here with all these women who seemed to know exactly what they were going after and that God had put these wondrous dreams in their hearts. Felt like I was on the outside looking in at an exciting party.

I have made some very exciting discoveries by staying and searching. I have "met" some amazing women with awesome dreams and been able to watch their struggles and how they are dealing with them. I found out that I am not alone in these feelings that I struggle with each day. That others feel the same fears and struggles that I do. An amazing find for me.

One 'dreaming sister' gave me the thought of trying to come up with one word for the year and to search it out. The funny thing is that one word immediately popped into my head, KNOW. I wanted to KNOW God, not just know about Him but to know Him as I do my children or husband. What He likes, how he would do this or that. So I started to spend time with Him getting to know him better.

I have had some silly questions to ask Him, like what is your favorite color? Sounds silly I know but you know what I found out? He created the rainbow and every color is there. He is light. There is no darkness in Him. He created the blue sky, the rainy day and he wants me to see the beauty in all the wonderful colors he puts out there. Wow!!

I have also had days were I feel like I don't understand a thing He is trying to tell me. {kind of like listening to my children when they would say one thing and mean something entirely different} Some days I was way to "busy" to spend time trying to know Him better. What a wasted day.

He is making me more aware of himself during the day, not just in my prayer time. I am so thankful to the beautiful woman that suggested the one word for the year. I am also so grateful for all the women that are walking with me, the continual encouragement each week and the openness to share what is happening with their dreams.

I ask for your prayers that I will continue on and truly get to Know Him. Thanks for your encouragement and prayers.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Is it worth the risk?

What part of your dream feels the riskiest? Have you ever had people misunderstand or disagree with your dream? What do you do when your dream is scary or when others don’t support you?

The biggest risk of this journey of my God-sized dream was putting this out here for all to see! To share my heart and thoughts where they weren't able to be hidden in what my sweet husband calls "Maggie speak". This language is the one where I quickly weigh what I think the recipient wants to hear, and that is what I say! Since I can't weigh what all of you want to hear at once, I simply share what I long to say. You all have made it so much easier to state what is in my heart, as each of you is doing the same thing. Each time I read more of each of your lives and how you are on this journey with me gives me the freedom of speaking the "real" truth and putting the "Maggie speak" away for good.

You know the next part of the question for this week is probably the biggest shock of all. At least it was to me as I pondered it. I think the only one that has disagreed with my dream is ME. I was so sure at the beginning of this journey that I didn't have a dream or that I didn't dream any more. Then as I began to pray and see if there even was a dream for me, I was encouraged by so many of you and my sweet encourager I began to have that bud of a new dream. As quickly as it came the disagreement started within me. I was too old to dream, not able to accomplish things with the state of this body! All that silly stuff we tell ourselves {at least I tell myself silly stuff} when doubt creeps in.

As to the last part of this very thought provoking part of this week's blog, is how do I handle all of the above. I have found that sitting down and talking with the One that has given me this dream in the first place is such a wonderful place to start. I don't know if you have ever heard the song about this person going to a garden and taking a walk with God or not but it has such a vivid picture for me. To be in such a quiet, beautiful garden. There's a bench where it is perfect for two people to sit and enjoy the beauty, enjoy the sweet smell of the roses, and enjoy the companionship of the One who is always with you. I share my fears, my heartaches, and the successes that only He has made possible. He puts his arm on the back of the bench and whispers in my ear that He will never leave me or let me travel this path alone. I am filled with expectation and ready to face anything the day has to offer. It doesn't seem to matter who else is for me or against me just knowing that He is for me is enough!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Greater Sin?

Share about your favorite nonprofit organization. They are all God-sized dreams in action. How have they inspired you?

I need to share something I have been struggling with for the last month to share today's topic. Seems like a long way around but hopefully it will make sense when I am done.

I read in John 19:11
Jesus answered him, Thou wouldest have no power against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath greater sin.
This is where Jesus was talking with Pilate. The part that hit me was the word GREATER. Did sin come in different levels? I thought sin was sin! I struggled with this on my own for a while. I found in a commentary that he was speaking of Caiaphas because he knew the truth and decided that it would be best for Jesus to die for the good of others. Pilate, however didn't know Jesus and therefore had the lesser sin. Both however, sinned.

Then I went to trusted friends that knew the Bible better than I did. They also began to search about this sin problem.  They sent emails that quoted Bible verses that stated there were different levels of sin. The story where there were 2 debtors one great on small. Luke 7:41-47. I was starting to understand. However when I went to the Pastor of my church to see if he could shed some light on this. He agreed with me that sin is sin however, there are different consequences that must be accompanied. He went on to say that if you are going 5 miles over the speed limit there is a consequence to pay and if you are going 50 miles over the speed limit there is a greater consequence to pay. Both are wrong but one has a greater penalty. Ahh something I really understand.

So I said all this to help you understand the nonprofit organization that has touched my heart. The group is Pregnancy Centers. Just as sin is sin, there are greater consequences for those of us that know the truth and have seen the light. We simply can't sit back and do nothing. These centers are striving to help women to see the light that we know. They are striving to show the love of God and help women make difficult decisions. They are also helping women that have made wrong choices to come to a peace that only God can give.

There are a faithful group of women that are struggling to get a center off the ground here where I live. Please pray that God will advance their struggle and get a foothold to help these women find God's love.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pay it Forward

Find a way to pay it forward. You’ve been encouraged in your God-sized dreams by your sisters here the last few months. How can you spread that encouragement forward by investing in other dreamers? It can be small and simple or BIG and wild. Ask God what you can do and get creative.

I just love how God coordinates things in my life! As I thought about this new blog direction I wasn't sure just what I was going to do. I prayed and thought and nothing seemed to jump out at me. I should know by now that God is never late {though I must admit in my life He seems to just squeak in at the last moment sometimes!}

 On Sunday at church we had a woman, a huge God-sized dreamer, come and share her dream. She was a MK {missionary kid} and also a Missionary herself and knows first hand the intensity and hours of full-time service and the great need for a little time to recharge her batteries. So she has dreamed the God-sized dream and created a place for Missionaries, pastors and their families to rest and renew their spirits, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

She has taken the gift God has blessed her with, hospitality, and used it to serve the servants of the Lord so they can return to their mission field renewed. What a dreamer! Her place is located in Vrbovce, Slovakia, she shared pictures of before and after of the house where she offers a retreat.
This is the wonderful sister dreamer Amber Stark. The website is here. My husband and I are so excited to come along side and be "silent partners". There are so many ways to "encourage" her. We can send books {they have a hard time getting books in English there}, we can send care packages {chocolate chips are a huge hit as she bakes cookies} and we can also support her for a day by sending funds. We are so excited that we are choosing a couple of ways to help her to continue on with her dream.
 
 
God is so good that he allows us to help another dreamer continue dreaming, and along the way we are blessed also.
 



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Sweet Friend

Our blog for this week is Write a letter of encouragement to another dreamer in your life.

My dearest friend Anita,
I can't tell you how much I miss you and how your life speaks to me. I can still remember the first time we met, I was not sure we were in the right place but God sent you straight to us and you sat down and welcomed us and then proceeded to want to know, really know about us. I will always remember your sweet and kind ways. You didn't stop there you became my dearest friend.

I had so many walls of protection built around me that it was a fortress. You very gently and persistently helped me remove the walls ,brick by brick, so that I was allowed to be the real me with you. I didn't have to worry about what I said, or go home a fret about our conversation, did I say too much, did I reveal too much, how will she take the words I said. Nope, you gave me the freedom to be the real me! What a new and refreshing experience for me. A bit scary but wonderful. Now I don't think there is anything I can't tell you or share my deepest fears, hurts, or dreams.

You are such a Barnabus! {His name even means encourager.} You are a God-sized dreamer yourself. Your desire to reach out to other women that are hurting or alone is just awesome. I know that the women in your group are blessed just as I was. You make it so easy to talk to you. You are not judging them but hearing their hearts. You understand the hurts and the loneliness they are going through and you aren't afraid to share your heart with them. I know you couldn't do the things you do alone, but you see, God shines through you so brightly that we can't miss it.

You are the skin that shows us what our Father is like. You are the arms that surround us when we hurt or the listening ear that is so needed to tell all our woes to. God has used you so greatly in my life. You have given me verses from the Bible so often that are just perfect to my longing heart. You continually make me want to give to others what you have given to me, that longing to fall in love with my Savior and share Him with all I meet and sharing those special verses that seem to be perfect in times of pain and fear.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and praise to God for placing you in my life. I will meet you at our "table".

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Concept . . . FUN

Take some time to play

These words take on a whole new meaning when you get a little older. What I wouldn't give to be able to run and twirl like a little girl. To take absolute joy in running as fast as I can! However that is not play now. I looked at the list of things Holley mentioned to get an idea of what I might do to "play".

Pintrest, hmmm perhaps that would be fun. So I set up an account. Not fun like I remember more stress than fun as I am not sure what the directions are telling me and why this is to be fun. Let's move on to something else.

Read a book. Now that is an easy one. I have a Kindle and read all the time. Not different enough to be called fun.

Make a craft. I love to do that. So that is the idea that energizes me. Have you seen those "bouquets" in the grocery stores that are made of candy instead of flowers? Well, I decided to give a try for one of those. I go to a gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to keep what mobility I have. I don't do the treadmill or the weights but I do aerobics in the pool. It is just me and the lifeguards most days. They are college students for the most part. They are very faithful sitting in the chair with their life float at hand. They will be the object of my craft attempt! How fun.

So I set out to plan this gift. If I put it in a vase the glass is not good for pool area so I get a child's sand bucket. I need something to attach the candy to so get some skewers. Hmm how to make it so they stand up in the bottom of the bucket? I go to the floral section and get a half circle Styrofoam. Now for the candy. Awesome! Hershey bars are on sale and to cover the half circle a bag of Starburst. I have counted the pictures of the lifeguards and have enough candy bars for each one and one extra just in case. I write a thank you on the shovel. Pretty cool! I take it and it is received with great joy. Now that was great fun and I think it qualifies as "Play".

It did just what Holley suggested, it was better than twirling until I fell down giggling. It has left a smile on my face for days. Thanks Holley for reminding us life is not just working away but having fun!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Be Still and KNOW. . .

 Set aside a particular time this week to be with Him–to pray, journal, take a walk or simply sit quietly and listen. Write a post sharing what your heart hears or receives .

Being still is not something I do well, at least my mind finds it hard to be still. I have all the best intentions but no cooperation. As I thought about this post I decided to give it my very best effort. Little did I know this would turn out to be the biggest challenge I have had in a long while.

This has been a very difficult week with the people I love, my family. Many times I found myself in tears not knowing what to do to do right. My stillness was no where to be found. I was in the "fix it" mode but there was no fixing these problems.

As I sat  in my quiet time with God, {not so quiet as I was fretting over my family situation}I finally became very still. My mind traveled to when the angels broke into song at the birth of the King of kings. I wondered what that must have sounded like. Then I started to think about what it would be like to join that "choir" of awesome praise. I know that we are made to praise God. I just didn't feel too much like breaking into singing right then. But the more I sat there in quiet contemplation I realized that I can choose to wallow in something I have absolutely no control over or praise God for what he is going to do. So with tears streaming down my face I, timidly at first, praised God for him being right there with me. Hmm, that wasn't so hard! Then I thought of my favorite songs and picked out lines that were so uplifting and said them to my companion and He in turn started to fill my heart with a sweet peace. As I continued to think of things to thank Him for He continued to lift up my entire spirit until I was at such peace it was amazing. My tears were gone replaced by a calmness and peace that He was in control and He would bring us all through this.

I have since let go of trying to be in control {at least for this situation}and figure out the outcome on my own.{Not happening anyway} The peace continues, He has moved us through this and the outcome looks so much brighter. Perhaps I can sing with that heavenly host and blend my thanksgivings with theirs after all.

We all have a choice, wallowing in "what ifs" or praise God for His hand on our shoulder leading the way through to victory. Why do I always choose the wrong one first? Lord help me to remember this quiet time with you so the next time I choose to praise you first!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Take That!

 Dear Chihuahua of Fear, I have some things I’d like to say to you…”,
Remember how you battered me after 4 long hard years of college telling me I could never be a teacher I just didn't measure up , so I sold jewelry? Remember how you tormented me after I was married that my husband could never forgive my past? Remember how you had me huddle in the corner when there was a large crowd around because you made me sure I didn't have a thing to offer others? Remember telling me that at my age God just didn't have a dream that would include me?

Well, I just want to remind you that I did go on to teach for 27  years and got a few awards to prove it! My husband has moved on and we both have left my past were it belongs, in the past! I am able to walk up to a complete stranger and introduce myself and carry on a conversation.{hat one still surprises me!}

About that God-sized dream, well God has been waiting for me to come to him and really KNOW Him, not about Him but to know the Great I Am!

I have lived with fear most of my life. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being accepted, fear of being a terrible mother. You name it I was afraid I would flub it up. But as I look back on my life God has met me where I am. He has taken each fear,{all my Dobermans}and turned them into wimps.{Chihuahuas}  He had given me the ability to become a teacher. I absolutely loved every minute of sharing my knowledge with all those very small people. Watching the light bulb come on and have their little faces show that they understood was such great fun. { sure beats selling jewelry.}

As I see all the things that I feared that looked like Mt Everest to me at the time, God has turned into small speed bumps in my life. It still amazes me that God coordinates things so beautifully, on Sunday the lesson was about Fear. Hmm. I guess there is a lesson here somewhere.

As I look back I realize that I have never been alone, God was right there holding my hand and walking me through each terrifying moment and it really was a Chihuahua after all. There are so many places in the Bible that God reassures us. John 10:29 "I will keep you safe because no one can snatch you out of My hand". "My plan for your future is filled with hope."  Jeremiah 29:11 "I will never abandon you." Hebrews 13:5

 Well, Chihuahua of Fear I think you get the picture, my God is so much bigger than you,  I think you need to just leave.

Sincerely,
Maggie

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Best Dream


Why is your dream worth pursuing, fighting for and seeing through no matter what happens? What a great question to get you to really evaluate the next step. It is funny that I was ready to just give up and let this blog “go away” and let the younger sister dreamers carry on. What could possibly be a God-sized dream for me? Two comments were given at just the right moment and just the perfect words that I needed to hear. I seem to be someone that needs a cheering section to tell me that I can do this and that God is not finished with me yet! So once I got my head on straight and started to think of this Dream thing in a new way not the finished goal {way to overwhelming} but the way that God leads me to the goal. {I know you are saying is she going to answer the question or just ramble?}

First I needed to see the dream, a dream, something that I wanted more than anything and then a dreamer sent a comment that said think of one word that would be my goal. Hmmm that seemed easy and the word was KNOW. More than anything on the planet I want to KNOW God. I want to know what He is like when I am joyful, know what he is like when I am frightened, know what he is like when I mess up, in all the situations of my life. To know what he means when he says I am His Beloved.

OK, now to start down that road of Knowing, This is so worth pursuing, it excites me to think of God so close I can hear Him whisper he loves me, always has since the beginning of time. How I want to know Him so much better! I want to read His love letters to me about what He and His Father have been doing. I want to know what he would do in this situation or how he would deal with that problem. I want to know how to please him with every breath I take.

How could you not want to fight to know the love of your life no matter what? I am going through a very difficult time right now and I am striving to see just how this KNOWing will lead me through. It has given me a whole new way to look at how He would deal with this, no watching how He IS dealing with this and how He still has His arms wrapped around me keeping me safe through it all. Oh yes, this is so worth fighting for, to Know!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Simple Blessings

When I read the subject for this week, "What’s a typical day in your life like right now? How can you see God’s hand in the middle of the “small” and ordinary too?" I wasn't too sure this would be very exciting to read. I am retired and my days are always different. My husband is not well and my body seems to have a mind of it's own. Anyway I will give you a small window into a sampling of my day.

I like to get up early, as that is when I feel the best, and sit down with my cup of chai tea and my computer. I check out my email and daily devotions that I subscribe to. It is still dark, and at this time of year a bit chilly. I empty my mailbox and then sit and write a letter to God. I have found through the years that for me to pray out loud or in my head the thoughts of the day, of yesterday, rattle so loudly that I can't think, so to be able to concentrate I need to write things down. I feel like I am writing to a loved one that is away on a trip. I tell Him everything that is on my mind and how terribly much I love him. Then I do my Bible study lessons, it is either a Beth Moore study that I am involved in or the book of Psalms that I am finishing up, or reading the book of John.

It's time to try to wake my husband, he always asks for just 1/2 hour more.

We share breakfast and then decide what we will do for today. We have a Skype call with friends from Kurdistan today so we are looking forward to that. We may go out on a small expedition of our new area and see what we can find. {we have recently moved to be near our daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters.} Perhaps we will go and visit them today. You just never know. What great freedom!

We will spend time together and that is the best thing of all, being with family.

We will probably end the day eating dinner together and watching a little TV or reading.

Fairly ordinary, but when I think of it it's the little things and the times that I feel God's presence so very close are exactly what life is all about. Spending time with the One that knows me better than anyone, being with the man of my dreams, sharing time with friends that had moved so very far away, seeing my beautiful daughter and her family, I realize that my life is full and so very blessed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Joy Undescribeable

Our new prompt is "What brings me joy in my God-sized dream?" As I sit and think this through I look back on when we started this journey and it brings me joy to see how I have grown to look for God in all my situations. It is turning out to be an awesome journey. I thought I didn't have a God-sized dream and as I look back over the last weeks I see God drawing me to Himself in such a loving way it is breath-taking.

I thought when I started that I knew God. To have a God-sized dream you have to know the one that is giving the dream, so I thought I knew God. But as I have traveled these last few weeks I have searched for this dream but what I found was the wonder and awe of our awesome Father. The way he speaks to my heart at just the moment I need that encouragement. The sweet sister dreamers that leave comments that spur me on to seek more of this dream journey that I have taken. The words that Holley leaves each day that make me sit and think and nod my head in agreement. This all brings me joy.

Just to know that God is changing me {I am not sure if anyone else is seeing the change in me but I can see it as clear as the type on this page} that he loves me so much that he is revealing himself everywhere I look, how awesome is that? That, is the joy is this awesome journey. Thank you all for your part in my journey.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Time

What do I want more of in my life?

I can think of lots of things I would like to have more of, more time to spend with my children, more time to share with my husband, more time to talk with friends that are no longer a walk away from my home. I want more time to enjoy each grandchild on a one on one bases. I want more of God. I want to know Him with such intimacy that I can't wait to tell Him everything.

When I look at that list of the things I want more of I have to go to the next thing and that is what can I do less of to get to the MORE? Now that is the harder question.

Perhaps less time watching television. Maybe less time with my nose stuck in a book. (I don't think I can get up earlier or go to bed later, those aren't options.) I think that as I look at what I desire more of, I need to make better use of my time. I seem to waste quite a bit of it doing things that in the long run just don't matter much. I need to decide what I can do that will make a difference and bring glory to God.

As I reread the things that I want more of, the word TIME seems to be the ultimate goal. I can't get more time but I can start to use the time that I have better. Only with God's help can I leave some time stealing things and do time honoring things. Hmm it really does help to see things in print.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Letter to the God-sized Dreamers

Dear Sister Dreamers,

As I read the God-sized dreams so many of you have embarked on I can't believe what a God we serve! So many of us have taken the challenge that Holley proposed so many weeks ago. God has been whispering these sweet dreams to each of us. Can you see the wonderful pleased look on His face as you step out, trembling and struggling to be bold, but determined to walk with Him on this journey He has proposed! God is bending close to your ear telling you to "fear not, I am with you." He is talking to you sweet dreamer. The God that created the universe, the same one that knows the name of each star is bending low to tell you He is right there beside you. How awesome is that?!

Just to realizing that God has a wonderful plan to use YOU in a special way is enough to curl your toes and put a spring in your step. Don't give up when it seems you have run into a road block. Remember Who holds your hand! Lean in,be still and seek His direction. He hasn't left. He is still right there beside you cheering you on.

Please know that there are a cloud of us that are praying for you and cheering you on also. We are excitedly waiting to be encouraged by your dream and God's faithfulness.

I am excited to go through Holley's book "You're Made for a God-Sized Dream", with you and share her encouraging words as we travel this journey together.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Unlikely Heroine

A woman who suffered more than her share of grief,  she had lost two sons and her husband in a short span of time. She was in a foreign land where God was not worshipped and had no money to even take care of herself. She would have to return home with nothing to show for herself but a loving daughter-in-law.

I am sure you recognize Naomi from the book of Ruth.  I think I could read this love story a thousand times and find things that I never saw before. When I thought of what or who to share that had a God-sized dream I thought of her.

 Naomi was older and didn't seem to have anything in the way of a God-sized dream, or did she? When she returned home she even changed  her name to Mara because she thought the Lord had dealt harshly with her. (Sometimes I seem to have that feeling as I struggle through some days.) But what she didn't know was that God wasn't finished with her by a long shot. She just happened to know the handsome dude her daughter-in-law had encountered when gathering food. She told Ruth just what to do to capture his eye and it seems his heart. Naomi in her experiences with God and the Jewish ways was able to direct Ruth into the arms of her kinsman redeemer! And the rest is, as they say, history. Not only did Ruth get the guy but she is in the genealogy of Christ! What a God-sized dreamer was Naomi, the one that thought her life was over and God had dealt her a bad hand.

When I look at the hand I feel God had dealt me, with all the pain and struggling that seems to be day to day living, I look at what God can do with someone who thought they were at the end of their usefulness.  My eyes are lifted up once again to the God who can do anything with anyone and know that I still have a God-sized dream to complete. So I don't think I will change my name to Mara but keep the name that was given me that means Pearl. I am God's Pearl of Great Price!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mason or Wrecking ball?

This has to be the hardest topic yet for me! What am I going to stop delaying and start doing to be ready for my God-sized dream? I am still praying that God will reveal my God-sized dream. If I let it the pressure mounts and my need to come up with something threatens to overwhelm me. Have I failed  to hear God? Am I taking too much time? Will I ever know what that dream is? Am I too old to have another dream?

 ARRGH!

I think I will give up all this doubt so that I am ready and waiting for God to speak directly to my heart. It is so easy to doubt my self, to rethink what I just said or did. That leads to pulling back and building walls around myself to protect from harm or pain. That makes me seem aloof and not caring. Not what I had in mind at all.

I read a few posts before I started mine in the hopes I would get a few ideas on what I could stop delaying. I read one that talked about "what Jesus would say about me". That made me stop and pondered what WOULD He say about me. Like the writer I know what the Bible says about all of us but specifically about me, hmm?!

I am going to start tearing down the walls of protection I have built up over the years and not doubt that God has a dream that is just for me. As I write this it seems like a monumental task! I do know that "all things are possible through Christ who give me strength".  So I am going to be like a wrecking ball this week and I suppose for many weeks to come. Please pray that my "masonry" days are over. No more building walls but an open heart waiting.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Skimming

Our challenge this week was to find something in my life to decrease so that my God-sized dream may increase. I gave this a lot of thought and was coming up empty until Sunday. (cutting it pretty close!

We have been hearing about Nehemiah, an ordinary guy who heard an extraordinary God and together they did some extaordinary things. In listening to a story I have read, and even studied I thought I had it pretty much down as to what happens next. But the pastor took a turn to tell us just how extraordinary and awesome our God truly is and he quoted Genesis 1:3
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
Well, I was positive I had that down but continued to listen anyway. Then he said something that I was sure was incorrect, He stated that "God just said let there be light and BOOM there was light". Of course there was light, I thought, the sun the stars the moon were there and it was light. So the sermon continued on and the thought wouldn't leave me that perhaps that wasn't quit right. I had to know what day the sun was introduced. As soon as we got home I went to the scripture and read very carefully.
 
Now I am sure that all of you know exactly what I found but after 20 years of reading and rereading the Bible I was stunned!
16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19 There was evening and there was morning, a
 fourth day.
What? Not until the fourth day were the sun, moon, and stars added to creation! Then what had I been thinking was the light all those years? How had I skimmed over all those words and missed something so important? There was light without any light source but our extraordinary God!
 
I got to thinking, how much else had I misread by my haste in reading God's letters to me? Why am I in such a hurry to read His word? To say I have read it, to hurry on to my day (devotions in the morning), to prove how wonderful I am? What is the rush?
 
I know exactly what to decrease so that my God-sized dream has the time to increase! My need for speed! I will no longer feel the need to read to finish. I will not try to think of what I need to say to keep the conversation going. I will not be in a rush to complete the next task. Hmm, sounds so freeing! No more skimming through life. I will take the time to savor each moment not worrying about the what to do in the next. This is going to take much prayer as a life lived in a hurry is going to be difficult to change. But I have an extraordinary God who is quite able to lead me through this.