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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the overflowing life

I want an overflowing life; I want to be refreshing to those around me.
But where does the overflow come from? That overflow that spills over to revive and refresh…the overflow comes from the fullness within.
 A life full of Christ and empty of me.

As I watch the rain gently fall the Lord shows me the secret to this full and overflowing life.

I set a pitcher out in the rain and watched as it began to fill and then overflow.

I notice how still the pitcher stands gathering in all that water. In it falls drop after drop and I realize it would not be so full and overflowing if it were moving.

In reality pitchers can not move, but people can. We can run around and get soaking wet but never really full. A soaking wet life is not a life that blesses others. You are the only one benefited from that kind of life. 

If we want to live the full life that God intended for His children, we must learn to become still. Even with our outer man busy with daily responsibilities we can find this stillness continually
in our inner man. 

This is the stillness of soul in which the Spirit can minister not only to you, but those around you. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

beauty instead of the brown

Today I went for a walk with my camera and ended up in a field, a field of death, a field of brown.

My camera has set on the shelf for the past few days. I haven’t found much inspiration from the prominent color of brown that greets my eyes every time I walk out the door.
But here I am, surrounded by it.

It is a challenge; can I find beauty in this?

The lens that zooms close uncovers the beauty, and I begin to see life instead of the death, beauty instead of the brown. 

The veil of brown has risen from my eyes… and all the sudden, this field is alive

It is the seeds that catch my eye. In these tiny pods are next summers beauties.  
All spring, summer, and fall these plants have grown. Now is the time of their death.

Withered and colorless they may appear, but the life they hold is precious. It is summers promise which  winters cold winds will wring free. 

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.- John 12:24

Monday, November 28, 2011

strength to praise

 I glance around one Sunday morning as we sing…

Here we are in your presence, Lifting holy hands to You,
Here we are praising Jesus, For the things He’s brought us through

I see the hands stretched high; they are beautiful to me for I know what they let go of to reach up.

The mother whose daughter has 8 full body seizures a day and constant pain.

That sister who has seen the death of her hearts desire, but continues to hope.

A father who has lost a child.

The couple who is shunned from earthly family, but chose to gladly forsake all earthly ties for the sake of knowing Him. 

These saints praise their Father even though what their eyes long to see, is not what is seen ...
but in its place a greater gift develops… Faith to trust, Hope to labor onstrength to praise.

There is a sweet fragrance in this place... I too am stirred to praise.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pots of Gold

Ordinary things become beautiful when the sun touches them.

Take for example hay.

No, normally it's not very pretty; quite itchy actually. I was sitting on a round ball with my donkeys grazing around me when the sun peeked over the trees and came spilling into the barn.

The hay turned gold in the sun’s light and soon after a prism of color bent to kiss a single blade poking up above the rest.     

  So this is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...a pile of hay”, I laughed to myself.

But it's true, the one ingredient that changes the ordinary into the extraordinary is the SON.

The light of His face brings beauty to all things. 
To dishes, and diapers.

 To dirty floors, and piles of laundry.

 Take the things you lest enjoy, set them in the SON, and be AMAZED!

Monday, October 31, 2011

growing up together

 I remember that day, not much bigger then a doll, he spun her round on his neck.

It seems I blink and the image replays…except now, she’s a LOT heavier. 

But now he's a lot stronger; so their still having a blast.

Reminds me of the great importance we have to grow up together

If we didn’t we’d be off balance.
If Preston didn’t grow stronger as Bethany grew heavier they still couldn’t enjoy each other as they are today.
God made us to grow up together. When one is not growing…it affects another.
It prevents a blessing that could have been if things would have gone as they should.
Yes, we are all at different ages in Christ; which makes things wonderfully enjoyable, as long as we continue to GROW UP with one another. 

“So we are no longer to be children…. But practicing the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Christ, who is the head. From him the whole body grows, fitted and held together through every supporting ligament. As each one does its part, the body grows in love."
  -Eph. 4:14-16

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

frosty reflections

I wake to a blanket of white crystals. I marvel at the beauty of it, shimmering in the sun’s first light.  
I’m reminded of long ago when the Israelites woke to something that resembled this… “thin flakes like frost”. Manna. The bread of angels.
 I wonder…did it to sparkle in the morning light? 

I can almost see the women bent low on hands and knees gathering flakes for the new day.

He still sends His Manna and He still sends it early. To gather it we must bow low.

“…I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions…”
“When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor.”

“This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent. The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.”

It could have grown on trees where it would have been effortlessly picked…easier on backs and knees.

It could have come in bigger chucks, quicker to gather

You’d think God would have thought of this.
 But of course He did.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Castle Building

Castle building” that’s what Fenelon calls it. 

You’re living in a log cabin, but you’re building a castle in your mind. It is dangerous. It might not feel dangerous, but there is one major problem with those seemingly harmless imaginations….they mostly benefit me, they put me in a good light, arrange a nice future for me.
And then there are those imaginary dialougues in which you always seem to come up with the wisest, wittiest things to say, leaving the other person somewhat in awe…of you

We are blinded to the Enemy’s bait.

It is not just effecting you alone, thoughts detained in our minds leak out through our actions.

But there is Hope and a very effective cure!
It is possible to have a mind set on Jesus alone, where Reality reigns and the Spirit directs what is permitted in your mind and what is not.  

What to do then, when you sense your mind beginning to wonder away to fantasies near or far? 
" try and stop them forcefully and you might as well try to stop a torrent... "

Simply begin to change the way your mind views such imaginings. Don’t voluntarily except them.
 Turn your mind to Jesus. And drop off castle building and become useful in another way. 

No, the above picture is not mine! As of yet I have never seen a 'real' castle, but thanks to National Geographic I had a wide selection to choose from. Quotations are from Fenelon's Spiritual Letters to Women

Friday, October 14, 2011

Beauty Revealed

He placed the color inside each leaf... in dying they were revealed. 

In our dying HE is revealed. The Master Artist, the Beautiful One. His colors IN US are exposed...the ones that take their breath away.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall's Flowers

Sitting crossed legged on the picnic table and spread out on the fading grass a friend and I notice…fall has its flowers

The brightness of the changing foliage captures the 
eye first but on second glance you’ll see them tucked away here and there.

 Each season creates an environment that causes some flowers to flourish and thrive. 

It’s a good reminder to me.  
There is potential in my life that only this season can unwrap. The 'weather' of this season is perfectly designed to cause maturity to come to certain areas in my life.

The environment that God has me in; is the environment He wants me in.

If my eyes are wistfully turned towards summers fading light, I would miss it all. Miss all the beauty He desires to create in me today.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wear Him

I walked past a mailbox, lid unhinged and rusted. I looked down at the road my feet were traveling, cracked and broken. And then the leaves...they were drying up, falling down...
 wearing out.

This week I am asked the question.

Will it last? This burst of Life, this second wind?
Does faith wear out like that mailbox? Does hope crack like a road? Does purpose dry up like an Autumn leaf....over time with all the elements braking them down?

He was so quick to reply.

"Look up at the sky!  Look at the earth below!  For the sky will dissipate like smoke,  and the earth will wear out like clothes;   But the deliverance I give is permanent;  the vindication I provide will not disappear."-Isa 51:6

Something NEVER does wear out. Something is always new and full of life; active and powerful. 

Jesus Christ.
Wear Him and you will never wear out. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Waiting Expectantly

The rain today reminded me of this post... with the Father in control of our lives we can always expect GREAT things! 

As soon as Elisha and Naomi heard of the possibility of rain they were ready-long before it even began.
They weren’t just ready, they were waiting expectantly for it! 
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When the soft drops began to fall we ran to find cover while they watched in wonder and listened to the drops hit the umbrella. 
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We were designed by God to wait, and watch, and long for His goodness.
It doesn’t always need to catch us by surprise. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

just Copy Christ

We all have a tendency to copy. 
 We copy those around us and those around us copy us.
 People will copy you. Deny it in your mind but that will not change the fact.
 ...even my dog was copied today!

We are made to copy Christ.
How enjoyable and easy life becomes when we learn to just do that...copy Christ.
Do what he does...Go where He goes.
Look where He looks.
Rest where He rests. 
Only when we are genuinely copying Christ do we give others a perfect Master copy to follow. 

"Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,Christ on my right, Christ on my left,Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me,Christ in every eye that sees me,Christ in every ear that hears me."-St.Patrick 
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