Friday, October 28, 2011

Soul Comfort














O God, my God, earnestly I seek you......


Coolness is coming to our parts which causes me to yearn for comfort of the warm. 


The peace of pounding dough, the smell of sweet butter bread as it rises in the oven. It soothes the soul.


my soul thirst for you,


I take the quilt and wrap my body tight hugging myself until I feel the warmth.


my body longs for you, 


Outside the cold comes, still dark, the world is just waking up. I reach for a cup of warm and a Book of Holy Words for the inside.

in a dry and weary land 
   where there is no water. Psalm 63:1


Still journaling the nourishment for which I'm thankful.

  • Strenth.
  • Determined Spirit.
  • Healing.
  • Crisp weather.
  • Warm homemade bread for breakfast.
  • Finding my secret garden.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Smallness of My World








It's a breezy morning, my husband and I went walking through Old Town, shutter fly telling stories. I walk up to an older man heaving lumber into his truck bed.

"May I take a picture of your barn?" Approaching with pride he answers, "Absolutely, take any picture you would like." He then extends his hand and begins to tell the story of his civil war era home. He knew the name of the family who owned the house in the 1800's and how they were bean farmers. We talked for awhile, thanked him, and walked on.

Being here makes me feel like the world is small
and life can slow to a comfortable pace.

You can talk to a stranger and shake hands.

Front porches and tree swings.

Church cemetery where those who fought for what they thought was right now lay.

Maybe this is not what the real world is like, but I like to think it is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Wednesday’s
Breakfast with God



"He (Jesus) must become greater and greater, and I must 

become less and less." John 3:30


Just a thought

How have you made a practice of letting Christ increase

 (humility, patience, loving etc.) in you this week and self (ego, 

pride, short temper etc.) decrease?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Are You Stuck?



In life sometimes we get stuck.


Not knowing, should we go this way in our decisions, or that way.


Frozen. Not able to move forward.



But Jesus has a word of comfort for us. 


"Keep your eyes on Me, trust not in what you understand or see before you. If you do this, I will direct your way out of being stuck." Adapted from Proverbs 3:5-6


He goes before us, preparing the way for us. 
But waiting on God requires patience while in the "stuck" mode.


How many wonderful situations can happen when we are not where we want to be?
Enjoy the moments.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fear of Falling

1972. It was Christmas morning of my fourth grade year. I was given a brand new banana seat bicycle with streamers. This was the year I was finally going to learn to ride my bike. Fear of falling had stopped me short of ever riding on two wheels. While all the other kids were riding to school, I kept my little secret.
After presents were all opened, my daddy and I took her outside. An unusually warm Christmas, there was no need to put a jacket on. I grabbed the tall upright handles and walked the bike down the driveway. I lined it up next to the curb. The seat was adjusted so that I could sit on the bike and put one foot on the curb. Leaning in I propped my left foot on the pedal. “Now push off and keep looking straight ahead”, Daddy said. He knew if I looked down or slowed, the bike would wobble and fear would win. So I pushed off pedaling fast, fear and excitement went through me. “Don’t look down” I whispered to myself.  For fear of stopping too fast, I  slowed down enough to gently fall to the curb, my right foot out to brace myself. I got off my bike and turn it around and rode back.
Turns took awhile. The curb was my friend.

I have faced many fears since then. But the same questions still pop up in my mind to this day.

What if I fall?

What if I fail?






  I hear my heavenly “Daddy-God” saying, “Keep looking straight ahead and if you look down and feel like you are wobbling,
I will catch you”.
 



Friday, October 21, 2011

The Joy of Friday





Friday night is for football.
In our small Texas town it seems the entire community stops what they are doing and heads to see the highschool football game.





 All eyes are focused on ones they love.


Each child doing what they do best.

And laughing.







My heart can be heard in the rythm of the drum. But my eye is on the (not so little) red headed drummer boy.



Let me not miss one minute of the joy of youth.
Four short years before these birds take flight. Too soon.

And the drum beats.
I hold this in my heart and give thanks for the joy of young life, happy.

Youth is but a flash of time.....



 




May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. Psalm 144:12

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pay It Forward





 The address is handwritten, a personal letter to me. I open it like a child receiving an unexpected gift. The summation of the words are, "Just thinking about you." Someone took the time to sit down with pen and card just for me. I'm deeply touched. But months go by and I have not even acknowledged my thanks.

Ingratitude. I can be guilty of it.

It can be the first step in taking my focus off of God. When I take simple blessings for granted as if I am entitled, ingratitude can thrive. Entitlement. Unrealistic expectations. I never really thought I was guilty too much of these until the Lord revealed it to me through scripture.


"Although they knew God they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:21








It always begins in the home. I gaze at my homelife as an outsider looking in, with a different perspective now. I can see with new eyes how the undercurrent of ingratitude creeps in through cracks and crevices of what should be our safe place. Affecting the ones we say we love the most, it occurs when I begin to have expectations that are unrealistic. Expecting God's unchanging love and faithfulness to be found in another person can only result in dissappointment. This has ruined many a marriage.
I am taking a challenge that I hope you will join me in. For the next thirty days (since that's how long it takes to make a habit out) I am going to focus on two behaviors I want to cultivate in myself that will cause me to have a more grateful spirit to my husband. This concept can be applied to all family members as well.

1. Avoid the ugly. Try to not say anything negative either to your husband or about him to someone else.
2. Point out the good. Share regularly things you admire about him to him and to others.

Time to "pay it forward". I reach for my pen, pull out the unused stationary from my drawer and I begin.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Sweet Tobe

"I think he's dying" I say to the doctor. 
Sleepless nights awake checking on him.
 I'm so worried about losing him.






This is not my child or my husband, but he is a member of our family. It's funny-strange how these four legged family members we call pets come into our homes and grab our hearts. My little buddy is sick and I can see the saddness in his eyes. I give medicine but I can't heal. I feed him more but he won't gain weight.
He looks at me with desperate eyes and I know he knows he is dying.


Tobe at his graduation from obedience school.






My friend made the comment that our dogs are the 


epitome of God. I agree. Unconditional love and 


faithfulness. 


A great daily reminder to us of how much God loves 


us no matter how we act or how much attention we 


give Him.




My sweet Tobe passed away early this morning.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Waiting Room

Again, I lift up the same unanswered prayer.








Waiting on God. Waiting on His timing. Oh, but sometimes I think I know best. If he would only listen to my plan. I'm sure I have it all figured out. 


God smiles, and says "Be patient, my child." 


From an earthly perspective it doesn't make sense. But from a heavenly perspective He has great purpose in the waiting. 




Another day is over. I close my eyes facing the sunset and just feel.
Am I focusing my faith on the outcome of my prayer? Is my faith level in relation to how many times God answers "my way"?


Or is my faith in God? Period.


I will try to give up my instructions or suggestions and trust in His great purpose!
Oh, the challenge of a woman letting go of control!


When my hearts desires line up with His, great power is in the prayer. 
So I will continue to pray the prayer that never fails, 
"Your will be done, Lord."


The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
  • It has power. 
  • It causes an effect.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lukewarm Faith







I sit in the pew-chairs singing with my lips while my thoughts drift to matters outside the church walls. I am physically present but spiritually adrift.


Do I become complacent to the magnificent? The sin of taking my salvation and my Savior for granted is not the sin of the unbeliever but the one who has received and accepted God's grace and mercy. The thought causes me to shutter. The pagan magi were seeking Christ while the so-called God’s people were acting like pagans.


I remember the words of Jesus in Revelation. 
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Rev. 3:15-16 


I want to flame the burning ember within, praising my God until the wonder is re-awakened.
Bowing my head in prayer, I thank Him for loving me enough to die for me. Shouldn't that alone make my heart on fire?





 And I thank God for the gifts of the day:

  • The camera telling a story.
  • Chicken that falls apart after simmering all day.
  • Hands held in thanks at the table.
  • Hope for healing.
  • Warm bath.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hope



Hope.
It's a beautiful word that runs deep in my faith. It's not the same as the hope found in the world. It is seeing that which is not in front of me, believing God has gone before me to prepare the way. I see hope in the first rain after a long, serious, drought.






After a dead, cold winter and there begins new life budding. A working under the ground that I could not see.


Hope is in the pain before the healing,
the question before the answer,
the uncertainty before direction.


Hope does not dissapoint. Romans 5:5

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day Thirty: Praising Him


Day Thirty of Thirty Days of Prayers from the Psalms 
Praising Him
Psalms 100, 103, 104, 111, 112
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalm 100:1-2
Lord, my heart shouts for joy as I bring the gift of laughter into your presence. Only you are God. It is you who made me, and

 I am yours. I praise you this day with thankfulness. For you are sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and forever.

 I praise you, Lord, with all my soul. You forgive me of every one of my sins and redeem me from a life of darkness. You 

wrap me in your goodness, renewing my inward beauty so I am always young in your presence. You do not treat me as my

 sin deserves, but fill me with your mercy and grace. As high as the heavens are over the Earth, that is how strong your love

 is for me. You have separated my sin from me as far as the sunrise is from the sunset. Your love is forever and always 

eternally present. I bless you and praise you, God, O my soul. In wisdom you made all creation. Your spirit gives life and 

renews the face of the earth. I remember the wonders and miracles you have done in my life. [Recite them to God.] 

My blessed life began with the awesome fear of God, when the sunrise broke through the darkness. My heart is ready.

 I trust in you. My spirit is firm and unmoved, ever blessed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day Twenty-Nine:Confessions of the Heart


Day Twenty-nine of Thirty Days of Prayers from the Psalms 
Confessions of the Heart 
Psalms 51, 55, 65 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great 
compassion blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1 

Heavenly Father, giver of grace, generous in love, huge in mercy, I ask today that you 

wipe away my record of sin. I know how wrong I am. My sins are staring me down. I am 

overloaded with guilt, my sins too much for me. You are the one I sin against, and you 

see the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you. You are justified in

whatever decisions you make about me. Forgive me , Father, I have been out of step for 

a long time. What you desire is the truth from the inside out. I ask that you enter my 

heart and conceive in me a new life, one that is true. Make a fresh start in me. Breathe

your breath of holiness to revive my spirit. You alone forgive all my transgressions. I call 

to you, Father. I know you will help me any time of day or night. You hear and rescue 

me. I give my troubles to you, and you ease my burden, always there to sustain me. 

[Confess to the Lord what is on your heart this day.]

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day Twenty-Eight: Thankfulness


 Day Twenty-eight of Thirty Days of Prayers from the Psalms 
Thankfulness 
Psalms 25. 30, 41, 55, 114, 119 

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 

Heavenly Father, I give thanks to you now, tomorrow, and always. You are higher than 

anything and anyone. Your love takes over my life and never leaves. Thank you, Father, 

for your word is a clear revelation that renews me. It gives me light and understanding. I 

thank you for preserving my life with your mighty acts of power. You are my great 

physician, whenever I am sick. Thank you, Father, for always getting me back on my 

feet. You know me inside and out and you hold me together, setting me in your 

presence forever. I come before you today, Father, thanking you for

  [list specific things you are thankful for today]. 

I give you all the credit for any goodness in my life. When I run to you, you watch over 

me and keep me out of trouble. I can pile my burdens on your shoulders and you will 

carry my load. Thank you, Father, you never let me topple into ruin when I run to you. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day Twenty-Seven: Thankfulness


 Day Twenty-seven of Thirty Days of Prayers from the Psalms 
Thankfulness 
Psalms 77, 108, 111, 112

Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Psalm 
111:2 

I thank you, Heavenly Father, everywhere I go, praising your name. The deeper your 

love, the higher it goes. Every cloud in the sky is a flag to your faithfulness, covering the 

entire earth with your glory. Your generosity never gives out. Thank you for your word 

that is never out of date, never obsolete. Father, how you have loved me is so personal 

and holy, it takes over me. My life began when I received you for myself. 

Thank you, Father, for standing tall and making things right in my life. With your mighty 

arm, you pull me out of the worst kind of trouble, and the blessings follow. 

[Recount to God the blessings he has given you.] 

Thank you, Father, for your word I cherish. It is the light breaking through my darkness. 

My heart is yours, my spirit stands firm. I am honored, my life is beautiful, because you 

first loved me.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day Twenty-Six: Confessions of the Heart


Day Twenty-six of Thirty Days of Prayers from the Psalms 
Confessions of the Heart 
Psalms 37, 40, 42, 43 
  
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;   Psalm 37:7a 

Heavenly Father, today I am being still, waiting patiently on you, putting all of my trust in 


you. Allow me to open up my heart before you, Father, and hold nothing back. Validate

my life and put your stamp of approval on the desires of my heart.

[Share your desires of the heart.] 

Teach me to be quiet in my prayer time with you. I want to drink deep from your well so 

that I might be filled with your peace. For you are my lantern, my compass, and my 

map. Keep my feet on the right path and your word in my heart. Open my ears so that I 

can listen, and through my eyes may you see a healthy soul. This will bring a smile to 

my face. 

I ask today that you not hold back your passion, your love, and your truth from me, for 

all those blessings keep me together. Without you, I am a mess. I am nothing and have 

nothing. Make something of me, Lord, I pray. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day Twenty-Five: Praising Him


Day Twenty-five of Thirty Days of Prayers from the Psalms 
Praising Him 
Psalms 33, 34, 36 

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. Psalm 34:1 

I praise you, Lord, for your word is solid to the core and you are faithful in all you do. 

You have drenched the Earth in your affectionate satisfaction. The skies were made by 

your command; you breathed a word and stars popped out. I am depending on you, 

God. You are everything I need. Since I have taken your holy name, my heart brims with 

joy. I open my mouth to taste, I open my eyes to see how good you are. When I come to 

this time each day to stop and worship you, you allow me to receive all your goodness. 

Your love reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. How priceless is your 

unfailing love. The fountain of life is in you. In your light, I see the light. 

Keep loving me, Lord. Do your work in me, this slave, whose freedom you paid for. 

[What are some ways God is blessing your life?] 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day Twenty-Four: Confessions of the Heart


Day Twenty-four of Thirty Days of Prayers from the Psalms 
Confessions of the Heart 
Psalm 119 

My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. 
Psalm 119:81 

Father, I ask that you to give me lessons for living, give me insight so I can do what you 

tell me. May my entire life be obedient. Give me understanding for what is of eternal 

value and not for worthless things that will perish. Divert my eyes from selfish gain. Let 

your love, God, shape my life. 

Before I knew the truth, I wandered all over the place, but now I am in step with your 

word, hungering for it, hanging on for dear life. What you say stays as permanent as the 

heavens and holds me up in difficult times. I am overwhelmed with a heaviness of grief 

within my heart. Hear my prayers, Lord. I pray that I may be encouraged today. 

[Confess to your Heavenly Father what is on your heart today.] 

Father, I am your servant. Let your love dictate how you deal with me. Turn my way, 

look kindly on me, as you always do to those who love you. Steady my steps with your 

word. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day Twenty-Three: Thankfulness


Day Twenty-three of Thirty Days of Prayers from the Psalms 
Thankfulness 
Psalms 30, 31, 32, 33 

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs 
of deliverance. Psalm 32:7 

Father, today I give all the credit to you for the blessings in my life. When I am down and 

out, you pull me out of the grave and give me another chance at life. My nights of crying 

give way to days of laughter. When I try to do life on my own, I fall to pieces. You turn 

my tears into dancing and my mourning into joy. God, my God, I can never thank you 

enough. A stack of blessings you pile up for me, ready and waiting. Thank you for being 

a cave in which I can hide  when life gets crazy. I count myself blessed to get a fresh 

start, my slate wiped clean. You hold nothing against me and you are holding nothing 

back from me. When I confess my sins to you, the pressure of guilt dissolves, and my 

sin disappears. My heart rejoices, for I trust in your holy name. 

[List the specific blessings you are thankful for today.]

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day Twenty-Two: Confessions of the Heart


Day Twenty-two of Thirty Days of Prayers from the Psalms 
Confessions of the Heart 
Psalms 28, 29, 31, 139

Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most 
Holy Place. Psalm 28:2 

Investigate my life, O God. I am an open book to you. You watch me grow through all

stages of my life. I ask that you come close to me today and hear my prayers. 

I tell you what I need, calling out for help and lifting my arms toward 

your inner sanctum. I am asking you to carry me like a good shepherd carries his 

sheep. I run to you, God, for dear life. Free me from the traps I so easily fall in. If I put 

my life in your hands, you do not drop me, you never let me down. I ask for your 

kindness when I feel hollow inside. My troubles can wear me out. Desperately, I throw 

myself on you. You are my God. Hour by hour, I place my days in your hands. You warm 

me with your smile, you save me because you love me. Help me to be brave, to be 

strong, and not to give up. 

[What do you need to specifically confess to the Lord today?]