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May 31, 2018, 9:06 PM

I Survived


Recently I was talking with Andrew who said his favorite book series is "I Survived".  These chapter books by Scholastic are historical fiction. The events happened but the authors add make believe characters so we can feel and experience the event with depth.

I bet there is something in your life about which you could say, "I survived!"

There was a time in my life when surviving was about all I seemed able to do but some wise people came along and told me they wanted to see me Thrive.  They wanted to see me fully live.  They wanted me to see that in the Bible God calls us into fullness of life not just getting along, barely making it.

The Bible tells the story of Jesus triumphing over death, over evil plans, over sin.  The Bible promises we too can have fullness of life moving beyond difficulties and just surviving (endurance) in Romans chapter 5.

It takes time and perseverance to move from "I survived" to living with joy.  It takes attention to being present in the movement, encouraging and entering into laughter, and effort to move to deeper pools of joy.

But it is worth the effort and God is here with us, walking beside us, encouraging us, carrying our burdens when we share them and offering forgiveness to lighten our load.

May you be able to see hope is just ahead.

May you join in with people who will walk the journey with you.

Hope is just ahead!

 




May 17, 2018, 7:31 PM

At Rest Unshaken



Recently while in Colorado, I passed by a business labeled "Rest Haven" and immediately thought it was a nursing facility. However the rest of the sign read "Cremation and Burial Services."  

Our ideas of what was a haven and what rest was were dramatically different!

Psalm 62:1 (HCSB)

I am at rest in God alone;

my salvation comes from God.

God alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold;

I will never be shaken.

Sometimes events in life shake us up. We feel anything except rested.  Memorizing Scripture or repeating the words again and again can help restore our peace.

Patting one's legs or snapping one's fingers alternately while speaking Psalm 62 aloud helps give new life to the words and brings a sense of peace while building new thought patterns that will help us move through shaky times.

 

May you experience the strength and peace of God today!

 

 

 




May 3, 2018, 7:15 PM

Unending Care


It hasn't been that long ago...

I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.

Psalm 118:13

 

We were in sunny and warm Florida a few years ago and though I felt physically fragile, all was well. We went on a Segway tour and the guide took us through many tight twists and turns then stopped us for a photo op by the Atlantic ocean. Nearing the end of the tour, we went “off road” and on to the sandy area in the state park nearby. I was trying to catch up to the guide when it happened. Smack! I hit the dirt hard. The Segway went one way and I went the other way. Somehow I had hit a rut that was just deep enough to throw me off.

Humiliation. Frustration. A bruise, a cut, a scrape—nothing requiring a trip to the  Hospital, but for me it felt like the last straw. My track record was now a fall every other month for the last six months. Later, I sat on the beach and felt exactly like the weather, a storm of emotion swept over me. I couldn’t see that fifty-nine out of sixty days I was not falling down. I didn’t feel upheldby the Lord, I felt let down by my body.

As a gentle rain swept in, I was reminded of God’s unending care for me whether I was standing upright or whether I had just fallen.

Are you aware of God's unending care for you?

 

 

 

 

O God,

Help us to see your tender care in the actions of others around us.

Help us to remember that you are with us.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 




April 26, 2018, 9:55 PM

Fixed Gaze



One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.

I love Psalm 27:4 (NIV) because it provides a place to rest your eyes when all around you is swirling and unsteady. Often I just need to be reminded of where I am to be looking.  There are situations all around that "rock our world." 

So Psalm 27:4 reminds me of how to keep my head on straight in times of trauma, trouble and tragedy. This verse always leads me to the throne room of God described in John's vision in Revelation chapter 4.  The throne room in Revelation 4 is a place of deep beauty, awe inspiring worship and great reflection.  The chapter even gives you the words to pray/praise.  There is something about the chorus of both the creatures and the Elders that can bring a hush to any room and heart and a vibrant awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

 

 Each of the four living creatureshad six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings.

Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”

When you are troubled I invite you to join in with the heavenly chorus and be transported to the very throne room of God.  For the peace of God promised in John 14 awaits each of us and we have only to join in with wholehearted praise to be transported to the presence of God.




April 18, 2018, 8:21 PM

Leaping for Joy


                                                                               

 Psalm 28:7

My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to God in song.

 

Experience Joy

 

When I was in college, receiving care packages was a joyful experience, especially when they came from my sister, the artist. She would doodle cool stuff on the outside of the package and then fill it with bright things:

purple sweatpants, a sea green bandana, and a new book to read.

 

I believe when we experience joy it is a direct gift from God, often prompted by one of God’s creatures or creations. This joy can be found even in the darkest valley. Cindi Broaddus, in her book, A Random Act, speaks of the joy that laughter gave her in the midst of excruciating pain while recovering from burns covering sixty-nine percent of her body.

 

How about you?

 

When was the last time you allowed yourself to experience joy? Have you found a way to include humor and laughter in your day to day, hour to hour life? When you have found it have you praised God for this incredible gift?

                                                                     


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