Ebb and Flow

The passage from winter to the approaching spring over recent years has always been a bit of challenge for me.  My internal soul clock counted the days until March 17th with some trepidation.  After all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, New Years and the onslaught of so many birthdays (mine as well), I had to face the harsh reality of the loss of a son.  Winter’s cold blast seemed to reflect, with pin point accuracy how this day typically impacts me.  It’s like a proverbial ton of bricks coming down with enough power to wipe out an army.  Orange sadness would creep in and I would walk once again into the valley of the shadows of death.  That’s how it was!

This year, I made a firm commitment that it would be different.  This year, with the inevitable ebb and flow of the holidays and birthdays, along with our blistering weather seem to mimic the shock and despair many feel when facing a loss,  I resolved not to experience this day with sadness.  Instead I would reclaimed it, and replace the sorrow and loss with something other than orange sadness and gray skies.  Oh, I acknowledged missing our beloved Shawn. However, those priceless memories of laughter, and love which his life represented, not only for me, but also for countless family and friends would be colored differently.  As I posted our son’s photo on Facebook, and tried diligently to thank each and every person who commented, I marveled at the amazing responses. Their thoughts, remembrances, and prayers, both past and present seemed in step with mine own.  A new, transforming ebb and flow emerged, and continued well into the evening.

Yesterday, I awoke with profound gratitude, and a song in my heart for our son and for his legacy.  Sunlight broke across the gray horizon, as I tenderly shared with a small group, what this today had become.  I had colored the day with the bright SON-LIGHT of God’s love and grace, instead of green.  This one particular ebb and flow is now filled with something more, LOVE.

2014

2014 has arrived with all the usual fanfare, a party in New York Times Square, fireworks, parties, parades, and of course football games.  These elaborate demonstrations are over.  Here is the question of the day.  Have you already broken a new year resolution?  Researchers report the first Monday after new year’s is the most depressing day of the year. People are back to work and depressed they had to go back to the job.  Many have already given up on keeping the new year’s resolution to stay fit.  Others are despondent because they didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas, or are sad due to the lost of a loved one.  Whatever the reason the party is over, and now things back to “normal.”    For many normal is not good.

However, we are called to shine a bright light for those who are experiencing dark days and moments.  God sent a million, million lights of love in the world – that would be us.  “God doesn’t call the qualified He qualifies the called.”  We are “the called.”  Share your bright light and the love of God today.  Someone out there needs it.

Sing Praises for God 2013 and 2014

The psalmist wrote, “It is good to give thanks to the lord, to sing praises to the Most High.  It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening, accompanied by the ten-stringed harp and the melody of the lyre.” Psalm 92:1-3 NLT

Today many are preparing for new year’s eve celebrations.  In just a few short hours 2013 will be history.  The precious gift of time is cause for celebration as well as an opportunity to give thanks to the Lord for all He did in 2013.  The psalmist encouraged us to sing praises to God.  For it was by His Grace and Mercy we celebrate life and His gifts to us.

During this holiday season, my husband and I have had so many reminders in the form of phone calls, cards, texts, FB, visits with family and friends and gifts. These were priceless drops of love from heaven.  They felt like rays of love coming from the throne of Grace.  God was saying I heard your prayers, I know your hearts and thank you.  This time has been glorious, and I am so grateful.

Now, as we prepare for tonight’s watch night service where songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard, we extend to you and yours blessings for the new year.  Sing farewell to 2013. Sing praises to God and welcome to 2014.

contemporary-christian-wallpapers-11

Plant Good Seeds

Yesterday, we received news one of our dear friends’ cancer had returned.  As she related the information about the treatment plan, there was an undeniable peace within her voice.  How grateful she was for the excellent clinicians, support network, and medical facilities.  She blessed God for his goodness, grace and for allowing her to survived two previous bouts.   Her confidence in His goodness was evident.  Our conversation was one of joy and hope from a beautiful woman who knows and loves the Lord.

Hosea 10:12, “I said, “Plant the good seeds of righteousness and you will harvest a crop of love.  Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.”

Our friend planted good seeds for years.  We’ve witnessed her faithfulness, compassion, joy and the harvest of love.  I have no doubt God will continue to reward this remarkable woman.

A Peculiar People

The King James Version of Deuteronomy 26:18 translates God’s people as “peculiar.” Peculiar means unusual, strange, or unconventional, and also
unique: belonging exclusively to, or identified distinctly with somebody or something. The Lord declared His sons and daughters as peculiar, unique, exclusive, belonging to Him – His treasured possession. Being different separates us from the vanities of life,and places believers in a category that oftentimes defies explanation. That distinctiveness is seen in the way we love, fight, serve, work, live, communicate, and yes, even suffer because of God’s glory.
Being peculiar is challenging at times. There are distractions, traps, and competing demands tugging for our time and attention. However, the Lord provided the only way to minimize, and even defeat those forces trying to trick us into forgetting our “pecularity.” Being different is not a bad thing, nor is it something to shake off like dust. It is our badge, label, our divine clothing God gave us. When we are fully arrayed with His glory we show the world just how wonderful it is to be a peculiar possession of God.

A Peculiar People

Prayer of Saint Francis

During these 22 days of praise, let this beautiful prayer of Saint Francis remind us of our holy calling.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

Blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving

Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving

Preparing to share the holiday with family and friends, or perhaps participate in a community service activity?  During these activities,  celebrate the knowledge that you are neither barren nor unfruitful. Our Lord and Savior blessed you with power, and purpose.  The purpose for which you were created is being fulfilled, and the time spent in learning who are you, and whose you are is producing fruit which can be shared to encourage, and assist others who are on the path as well.

As one of those on the receiving end, I want to take this time to express my appreciation.  You are a blessing to me, to your community and families, and to the body of Christ.  May this Thanksgiving be a time filled with the wonder of Christ’s love, and the knowledge that you matter .

Happy Thanksgiving!

Charting Your Relationship with God

Charting your relationship with God opens your life to the beauty and love of God. How does one chart their relationship?
What does the Bible say? It said “seek ye first the Kingdom of God”; “love God with all your heart, mind and soul”; “love your neighbor”; “love Christ as he loves the church” and there is a lot more, but the consistent message is love.
I’ve shared lots of love messages in this blog through the stories of triumph, pain, sacrifice, suffering, and of hope. Loving God with excellence is my desire, and my course. I don’t meet the mark in every situation. Sometimes, I flat-out blow it. But I’m “pressing towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus”.
Charting our relationship with Almighty God is a daily journey of discovery, and restoration. It is our opportunity to hit the pause button, and see with faith-filled eyes His promise to never forsaken or leave us.
I encourage you during those moments of reflection, when the air is thick with gratitude or despair to sense His amazing grace and love. IN THAT MOMENT, put a pin in it. Yes, right there on your heart space. Pause. Wait. Don’t rush or turn away. Gently allow your spirit to kiss the hem of his garment, and receive the gift of Him. Breath in gratitude for the gift of love. You’re charting your relationship.

God waits for us in every moment of life confirming and reestablishing those divine connections. For many of us all it takes is one breath and one thought of Him, who is everything. Tell God you are turning your compass due north, straight back to Him. A little latitudinal adjustment is a good thing, when you’re charting your relationship with God- our bright and shining star.
Because it’s all about love.

Sing a New Song of Praise

For the past several mornings, lyrics from a praise song have been stuck in my mind.  “God is great and worthy to be praised.”  I can’t seem to get away from the word “praise.”  I am still praising God for our recent trip to Uganda, and for the many blessings we received.  I know I am praising him for the blessings of family, friends, home, and the fellowship with the saints of God.  It is important to praise God from “whom all blessings flow.”  Praise is such a powerful thing.  It lifts you up out of earth realm into a connection with the divine.  It also prepares you for the new.  Like the scripture says, “you can’t put new wine into old wineskin.  The new will burst open the old leaving the new wasted and exposed.  Praise removes debris in the soil, and prepares it to receive the new wine – the seed – the word.  Praise bring deliverance and restoration.

The Lord is asking “What is your first song of deliverance?”  “What is your song of praise?” As the Israelites sang a song of praise after being delivered at the Red Sea, so now we should be singing songs of praise, salvation and deliverance. Songs that tell the everyone about salvation, joy, healing, and about our Holy God.  Praise songs help us to seek forgiveness for our sins and brings restoration with God.  They also deliver us from our enemies, and establish our rightful inheritance in the promised land.  Praise brings us closer to our Lord and Savior.  Praise prepares us for the new thing.

God is transforming our lives, and restoring us to our rightful positions as sons and daughters of the most High God.  As joint-heirs with Christ, we are entitled to receive all the “best” and all Christ has for us.  Glory and honor, dominion and power are ours.   This means we can possess the land, our communities.  Everything the enemy stole from us can be restored as God has appointed.   We can be reclaimed as God’s precious child.   When the praises go up, the blessings come down.  More praise will release more power, more wisdom, more love.  We become more like Christ when we praise.   What are you praising God for?  What is or was your first song of praise?

Sing a new song of praise.  Sing songs of His matchless power, and love.  Sing songs of beauty, and hope, and ones of His blessed salvation.  Jesus, our Lord and Savior is our strong tower, a mighty fortress is our God.    Focus on praising Him.   The enemy wants to come in, stop your praise, and take away “the seed” that was planted.  But praise and worship defeats all the plans of the enemy.  The joy of the Lord is your strength.  So sing unto the Lord a new song of praise.

Morning Meditation-Flourishing

Sometimes the word of God hit me like a ton of bricks. The words leap off the page into my spirit with awe, power and gratitude.  This morning I read Psalm 92, and the passages beginning with verses 10 hit me with such force that I had to share them.

Hear the word of the Lord,… v10 But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. v11 My eyes also has seen my desire on my enemies; My ears hear my desire on the wicked who rise up against me. v12 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  v 13 Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the our God. v 14 They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, v 15 to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. “(NKJV)

You may be wondering why such impact?  Well,  I recalled a dear friend’s recent trial and how God delivered her that she is flourishing and praising Him.  I recalled our trip to Uganda, and how forces attempted to prevent our going. But God delivered us, and we flourished under His righteousness hand.   I recalled, this morning that even at this time in my life, I have been afforded the opportunity to “still bear fruit” and flourish as was the case in Uganda.  American_elm_1a

I recalled our first grandson’s graduation last week, and how God allowed me the opportunity to witness and experience this milestone, and the evolution of our “family.” A branch of our family tree flourishing.

I recalled I have been anointed with “fresh oil” to proclaim the righteousness of God as a minister.  I recalled that “it is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to His mighty name.”  As I praised him in song, in dance, in my personal devotion and study this morning, I recalled God’s faithfulness and loving kindness toward me.  Verse 13 states, “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our Lord.”  Not may flourish, but shall flourish in His courts.

Yes, dear saints and friends, His words hit me.  Today, it was a hit, tomorrow it may be a gentle, comforting reminder.  Whether it is a hit, or a gentle breeze, the Word of the Lord planted in your good soil shall flourish.