Friday, December 23, 2011

In His Hands

Joseph. The betrothed of Mary. The step dad of Jesus. The man who chose to follow God and his heart.  Joseph the carpenter. The man who walked miles leading a small donkey and caring for his very pregnant wife. This man showed such faith. 

Matthew 1:24
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  We are thinking of the Christ child. We are thinking of His mother Mary. We are thinking of the stable, shepherds and the manger. What about Joseph?

New Dad's know this - new babies are frightening!  They are so small, they need their Mama for their very life.  They are also so amazing.  New Dad's know this - every Dad looks for his face in the face of his newborn child.  Who did Joseph see when he looked down upon his first child?  The child not of his body but from God?  Did he wonder how he was going to teach this baby how to be a man?  Was he looking for God in his eyes?

Joseph never got to see his wife's first born fulfill His promise. But that promise was fulfilled because of the father he was!  God could have chosen a king, a merchant, an artist, a priestly family but he chose a carpenter from a small town.

Carpenters know the value of the work of their hands.  Didn't Jesus in His Ministry use his hands so much? With such care and love?  Carpenters know how important it is to make all things work together, visible and invisible, to create a solid whole.  Didn't Jesus minister to what was easily seen (disease) and what was invisible (the heart)? 

Carpenters know about where things come from, they respect the tree that gives them the wood. They value their tools. They craft with their hands, they know intimately what they are creating.

God knows each hair of our heads. Each sparrow's wing beat is heard.  Who better than a carpenter to raise His son in His human form? 

Joseph helped Mary deliver their baby. His calloused hands lovingly wrapped that child, and held him close.  He looked into the face of a miracle, and I wonder if God whispered into his heart right then and promised him the tools he'd need for this job?  I'm sure He did!

In his hands God put the baby Jesus.  In the hands of a carpenter Jesus took His first human breath.  I find it so fitting to think of Joseph today. He has done all he can for his beloved Mary.  He knows good craftsmanship and this stable is well built. Built with love. The animals are cared for.  The hay clean and fresh smelling.

Breathe it in. Breathe in those moments before Jesus came into the world.

Angels held their breath.
Shepherds listened for the song.
Wisemen walked following His star.

A young father, his dreams forever changed, watches in awe at what God has wrought and he knows it is so very good.  He holds Mary tight, and helps wipe the baby clean.  The three of them rest.  

You've done your rushing.  I pray you are done and ready to rest.  Rest with us and consider the tasks ahead of this young couple.  Rest with us and consider the miracle that was wrought that night.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mary's Faith

Luke 1:38
 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” 
Then the angel left her.

Mary, in a show of complete obedience to God, speaks her faith and then lives it.  It could not have been easy. Young, unmarried, pregnant, a Jewish country girl. None of these things proclaimed her as the mother of a king.  And yet she willingly and openly accepted God's will for her.  Granted she was told by an angel.  And that is a pretty persuasive personage I'm sure!  And yet...after the glow of angelic presence left, she stayed true. 

Read Luke 1:38 again. Mary accepts God's will. She also states clearly that she holds an expectation of that fulfillment.  She wasn't leaving it open, "uh okay Lord, if you still think this is a good idea..." She stated firmly, and with conviction, May YOUR WORD to me be fulfilled

What a wonderful expectation!  Not only does Mary model acceptance for us, but also expectation.  God promises and keeps His word. We can count on it. Now, then and forever!  The promise in her belly, that grew beneath her heart, was the greatest gift this world ever saw.  It came from free will in all directions.

God had to will, freely, the salvation of His creation.  Jesus had to will, freely, the sacrifice He would make.  Mary had to will, freely, the use of her body, her youth, her love, energy and life, for His growing, birthing, nurturing, loving and entry into adulthood.

What a wonderful agreement!  No wonder the angels sang!  Humans have shown themselves to be either mightily faithful or terribly selfish.  At no time before or since has God been so intimately in an agreement with a person, let alone a woman!  People have been asked to give up their lives, their fortunes, their very breath and yet this woman gave something so precious. 

Mary's faith was the faith that nurtured the baby Jesus, the toddler and the young man.  Mary's heart, her body, fed him and cared for him.  She loved, cherished and nurtured the human baby boy who was the Son of God.  She promised to be obedient and she was. She encouraged Jesus as only a mother could.

What do you think of Mary's faith?  What does she model for you?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Born Son

The baby kicked and moved. He was too big for his Mama.  He needed to be born. She needed to hold him in her arms after all the time he lived under her heart. 

Our friends just had a baby boy today, they are so excited, scared, nervous and will be surrounded by friends, family and strangers offering 'free advice' and gifts.  It is a joyful time for them. For everyone who is happy for them.

I started thinking about Mary and her journey to the stable.  So different for her and Joseph.  Their baby, their baby, was going to come soon.  They had no home, no welcoming friends, no one to celebrate this birth with them...or did they?

Far away Elizabeth and Zechariah were holding their son and praying for his cousin.  They knew there was something very special about both their babies.

That most special baby boy was born in the most humble of place, and yet I believe that the Shepherd of our souls chose that place.  He chose to be surrounded by His Father's creation, to be shone upon by the star, attended by those who knew life and death so intimately in the fields and to be sought, sought out, by the rich, the wise and the holy.

Fresh cold air, warm sweet grass hay, the hot blowing breath of cattle, donkeys and sheep.  Warm bodies keeping them warm. A new born life in a place built for new born life.  No palace for this King, not yet.

Mary had so much to cherish in her heart. All mothers know this feeling.  We hold that baby for the first time, look into their eyes and see eternity.  And Mary saw so much more.  Those tiny hands, those bottomless brown eyes, that newborn toothless smile broke through her exhaustion, and she leaned back after her labour and soaked in the love.  I'm sure the love shone down upon them as God celebrated this first step in realizing our ultimate salvation.

New Mama's hold their babies tight, arms finally holding their heart's desire, and new Daddy's hold baby so gently. Fearing they could break, cry, poop, puke or pee. Fearing they would do something wrong in those first moments. Each one tired from the shared labour of love and each one basking in the angelic starlight.

My friends have a new born son, and this close to Christmas I cannot help but remember Mary. Not as you might expect though, as a new Mama holding the wonder of the world in her hands.  I remember that feeling over six years ago.  I can imagine her tired smile, her aching body and yearning to hold him and never let him go.

What wonder God has wrought that this baby, Jesus, would be the One who ached for us, bled for us, held us and as promised to never let us go.  Thank you Lord for the miracle of Christmas, for this new born son!

Luke 2:19
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Love Colored Glasses

My husband loves me.
He sees me through
love colored glasses.

His eyes do not see
wrinkles or tangled hair.

I love my husband.
I see him through
love colored glasses.

My eyes do not see
wrinkles or frumpy hair.

Our Lord loves us.
He loves us through
Christ colored glasses.

His eyes do not see
sin and shame, all
He sees is us redeemed.

My husband and son
see me through
love colored glasses.

We see each other in love.
We know our faults,
We even know theirs.
We love them anyway.
How could we do less?

God loves us because
He sees us washed clean
and redeemed by His Son.

He sees us in love.
He knows our faults.
He loves us anyway.
He loves us completely.
How can we do any less?

Copyright 2011 Shanyn Silinski

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Undivided Attention

Psalm 135

 1 Praise the LORD.[a]   Praise the name of the LORD;
   praise him, you servants of the LORD,
2 you who minister in the house of the LORD,
   in the courts of the house of our God.

 3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
   sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.

When you look around your home, what do you see?  Are you so busy that the tasks scream for your attention? What gets your undivided attention?  Sometimes, especially for Mama's, it seems there are more things than minutes in a day.  I have learned a very hard lesson lately. 

God doesn't want my busy. He wants my heart. He wants my attention. My undivided attention.

My son reminded me of this the other day.  He loves to make 'movies' with his toy cars. Hotwheels, Matchbox and CARS become part of elaborate and complex (really!) movies. He delights in having us watch him. He doesn't want our minutes taken from what we are doing. He wants our undivided attention. For a few minutes, for a bit longer. 

He isn't critical of his audience. He just wants us there. No phones, computers, busy hands. Just paying attention. Listening to him. Watching him. Letting him show us what plays in his mind.

Watching him the other day, taking photos, I noticed something important.  He kept looking up, at me, to see if I was watching him.  He wanted to be sure I was giving him what he needed. He needed my undivided attention.

God wants this from His children, just as we wish it from Him. He gives it to us. Without question. But how are we at giving it back?  When we read, pray or share our faith are we giving 100%?  How much of our mind, body and soul is His? At any given moment, are we living and walking with God?

It is hard, I know it to be true. We all have the same minutes in each day. Are we giving them to God or are we tossing them away wasted and empty?

What would happen in the world if we all gave those in front of us our undivided attention?  What would happen in our world if we all gave God our time and attention with a whole heart?  We belong to Him entirely. We don't own one nanosecond. Why should we try to hoard or toss them as if we owned centuries?

Tell me your thoughts...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Your Name Is Safe

Proverbs 16:28 A perverse person stirs up conflict, 
and a gossip separates close friends.

My friend Stephanie posted this on her Facebook wall today, and I made this sign. One for her to add her family name to. (If anyone wants one just message me and I'll email you one).  She and I were talking about it and I said I had to blog it.  Here it is...

Your name is safe in our house.  Think about what that means. Your name, what you leave with us when you are not physically there, is safe when you are not physically there.  No gossip, not judgement, no talking about you behind your back.

Your name. Your reputation. Your life. Your story. Your confidences. Your choices. Nothing will be said about you that would not be said to you.  What kind of commitment would that take for your family? 

Gossip is one of the single most destructive things we believers engage in.  We do it freely and so often without conscious malice but it is gossip all the same.  It is judgmental, it is critical, it is divisive and it is wrong.  

When someone is welcome in your home their name should be safe when they are not there.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Praying in Line

Waiting in line. It can be a test. But I wonder why?  It doesn't have to be. Those moments when we are angry at being behind someone or status-updating in frustration and wondering why other people are in our way are perfect opportunities to take a deep breath, and pray.

Yeah, pray. Pray for that slow clerk - it could be her first day, or her last or her hardest.  Pray for that slow driver - he could be losing his licence, or have lost her husband or losing their life.  Pray for that person who takes 20 items to the 15 or less lane - maybe there is a sick baby at home, or a sick husband or they are so tired they didn't see.

Which of these people deserves grace less than you?  Which of these people are unworthy of a caring word and a prayer? None! Not a single one.

Matthew 25:40 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

What would it take for you to slow down and instead of being angry or frustrated to offer a prayer?  What would it take for you to say thanks, or offer some kindness in your busy day?  Are we more important than our brothers and sisters in Christ? I don't think so.  Actually I know we are not!  God doesn't play favorites, why should we?  Grace is free.  Share some!

1 Timothy 2:1-2 1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Pray for each other. Offer the people you see to the Lord, direct the shower of grace to them.  

It isn't easy, I know. We are encouraged to be first, fastest and best.  We need to be encouraged to slow down and pray. We need to be encouraged to show grace and love, to pray for each other. 

I'm praying for you, as you read this, I've asked God that when you get here that He shower you with grace for your day. Bright blessings, always and in all ways!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And the award goes to...

Debbie, from Writin' 4 Him Cafe, nominated me for three blogger awards. I am just blown away, and humbled that she put me amongst the wonderful bloggers she choose, a number of which I cannot nominate now because she beat me to it! *smiles*.  

In keeping with the requirements of the awards I am going to be doing my own nominating and sharing. Thank you to everyone who inspires us, drives us and especially those who link, share and leave their comments. Your time in encouraging us is a blessing you cannot even know the measure of! It overflows in grace. Thank you.
1. Thank and link to the person who nominates you
2. Share seven random facts about you
3. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!
1. Thank and link to the person who nominates you
2. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!
  • (Given to those with fewer than 300 followers) When you receive the award, thank the blogger who gave it to you and link back to them.
  • Copy and paste the award on your blog.
  • Choose three to five blogs that deserve a bigger following, give them the Liebster Award, and let them know you’ve done so by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my seven random fun facts 
  1. I was baptized in a river, in the high plains foothills near the mountains in SW Alberta
  2. When I'm not writing or scrapbooking, I'm taking photographs, playing with my son or the animals on our ranch
  3. I love living in the country and could not handle the city, even town, life. Our road is too busy for me most days
  4. I've dipped my toes in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, I can sing but rarely sing with an audience
  5. I believe we can be blessings and we can be blessed, and that the two are not mutually inclusive
  6. Coffee is a life saving device in my home, don't ask morning questions without making me some unless it is an emergency
  7. My favorite animals are wolves, horses, dogs, frogs, toads, birds and salamanders!
Many of the blogs I wish I could nominate for these awards already have been nominated either on this email or previously on others. Therefore I'm going to combine them, and share some little know blogs with you to explore, experience and some new friends to meet.
And for the Liebster Award:

Monday, September 19, 2011

The people you pass by

3 John 1:5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.

Have you ever prayed for people as you drove? Stood in line? Got passed on the shoulder? Maybe experienced someone honking their horn or washing your windows at a red light?  Have you ever thought about praying for them?

My husband phoned to tell me this story today, "I was driving and I saw a woman, with her life in her car and U-haul. Stuffed animals on the dash, dog on the front seat, and she was on the move.  I thought about her, and said a prayer for her to have a safe journey and that she finds what she needs when she gets to there.  I wonder if someone prayed for you, dear, when you ran away to start your life again? Maybe we need to pray more for the people we pass by in life."

Maybe we need to pray more for the people we pass by in life.

The frustrated bus driver. The horn honking road rager. The slow checker at the express lane. The server who needs to ask again what you ordered. The red faced Mama and the screaming tired babe.  The sad boy watching Daddy go to work. The dog owner putting up posters for their lost friend. The pastor with dwindling flock and confidence. For the police officer on their way to a call. For the farmer in the field.

Who did you pass by today?  Perhaps they were an angel, they could have been a brother or sister in Christ. They could have been at the well looking for water that soothes a soul's thirst.

Instead of watching the world go by, what if we prayed it along the way?  

Radical grace. Loving grace. Children of a loving, living God can we do any thing less?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two Days Later

Ten years ago the face of the world changed.  For many of us it changed in a way that haunts us still.  There are people who only think of the DAY - 9/11 and remember it for all the horror that it was.  For all the hope that withered and the heroism that inspires us.

John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."

For me the days before and the days after have the biggest impact.  They are the ones that bring me to prayer in gratitude and intercession.  They are the ones that I won't forget.

Two days before I was in New York, in Manhattan, with the Fire Marshalls.  We ate lunch, we drove around, we talked about coming together the following spring for a training exchange.  We laughed about family, life and how different it was for a Canadian fire fighter from the prairies and for the high rise smoke eaters of NYC.  It was a meeting of two different worlds. It was a meeting of common ground.  It was the beginning of friendships.

The day after 9/11 I waited to hear who made it out and we mourned who didn't.  We set up chat rooms and we talked long into the night. We all couldn't go to be there and help but we found ways to support each other across the miles.  We found ways to pray and share and stick together.

Those waiting days, hours, were accented by the silent skies above.  Heightened security.  Crazy fears. Silent skies. No jet streams. no flights that were not military. It was so frightening to think the world could be suddenly so changed.

Raising money for families, sharing stories, sending love and support. Listening to the darkness of the days when hope withered away.  There is nothing worse for the responder community.  We serve, we protect, we pull life from the wreckage. There was so little to do, everyone was ready and prepared but nothing prepared us for this.

Jesus rose on the third day.  I cannot help but think that His people felt like we did.  The world was changed forever. The curtain ripped, the sky darkened, the Beloved entombed.  No washing of feet, no gentle lessons. Nothing but silent skies and darkness.

Nothing Jesus could do or say was enough preparation for His death.  Nothing Jesus could promise or paint with words could express their amazement at His resurrection. 

Faith sometimes requires us to take the darkest, most silent path and in that journey we find not only the light within, but also the light of God without.  On those dark days we walked around by feel and there were a lot of tears, some dark gallows humor and tons of prayers.  We connected in ways that brought us closer.  It didn't matter where you were from.  It mattered that you knew the smell of smoke and understood the call that brought us all to serve in ways big and small.

Why can't we, as sisters and brothers in Christ, do the same?  We know the stain of sin and the miracle of redemption.  We are His people, living in wonderful grace.  We, who have so much, need to take a few lessons from the open hands of those who had nothing to give but their bodies for people they did not know but loved all the same.

1 John 3:16 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to laydown our lives for our brothers and sisters."

Trust me, the best friend you never knew you had is the one who pulls you from the fire. From the wreckage. From the disaster. From your doom. Everyone who reaches out and finds a hand grasping theirs knows it.  It doesn't matter whose hand it is, it matters that we reach out. That we keep reaching. We keep loving. Praying. Believing. Being.

Where did your hands reach today?  Was it with God's love and grace they were filled?  Fists cannot give or receive anything but pain and fear. Open hands can reach, grasp, pull and hold. They give, and receive. Jesus's hands were open for us. How can ours be anything less?

(Kelty, Bill, Frank, Ron - miss you my friends, praying for your families and you. Proud to call you  and all who responded in every way the could brothers and sisters.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

in real life

Five Minute Friday
Five minutes of writing, no edits, no second thoughts, then you stop. Five minutes. Got it? Go! real life...

In my real life there are no commercial breaks and no one looks like some sort of model.  Unless we are a model for dog hair, muddy faces, wandering cows, or elbow deep in fresh salsa!

In my real life I work, play, love, laugh, freak out, get frustrated, try not to succumb to hate and I pray some more and then I pray.  In real life we miss Daddy and love summer. In real life family and friends are what you have and you make of them what you can because that's what God blessed you with.

In real life I'm a little crazy and that's okay.  In real life I'm so not in control but God is. And that's okay too. That's more thank okay, that's the way it should be!

In real life I should be asleep hours ago and instead I'm sadly wide awake.  In real life I'm just one Mama loving one Daddy and one Boy.  In real life I wish I had five more minutes to tell you how much better real life is than fiction! 

In real life there are real dreams, real poems, real tears and fears, real faith and real miracles. Real blessings and real friends. In real life there is more than a sound bite.  In real life the dogs bark silly and the boy dreams wildly. In real life I leave the dishes on the counter and in real life I'm okay.

Are you linking up at The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Grace abundant

When the daughter turns away grace is abundant.
When she has the babe and shares months later grace is abundant.
When the boundaries for safety and sanity are stepped back from grace is abundant.

Grace is abundant in tears of hurt and frustration.  Grace is abundant in times when it hurts with 'might have beens'.  Grace is abundant when prayers and mercy come hard and the only thing to do is love.

No sense in wasting love in anger nor is there time to be lost feeling the ache of 'what if'.  Grace flows abundant in tears of fear, pain and joy.

What if she came tomorrow or what if she never comes.  What if we never see or hear more than what we dream of and pray.  Grace stays abundant. Grace stays. Grace.

No one earns it.  Not one is worthy of it. And yet it rains down abundant upon us all.  When the cloak of it all is love and the love is woven in grace then grace is over, under, around and through. 

In the breath that catches.

In the wish that dies upon silent lips.

In the words that never fly spoken.

In the heart that reaches and reaches.

Grace calls us to love. Grace calls us.  Grace calls.  Grace.

She knows who she is, and while she may never read these words God knows they are my prayer for her, for the babe, for them and our families.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


My dear husband gave me the most amazing gift!

An Etch-A-Sketch!  I always wanted one, and finally I have one.  They mezmerize me.  I'm totally intrigued with them.  I could do mazes and paths on them for hours.

The other day I was having trouble.  I couldn't get my mind to settle down so I could really pray and I really wanted to.  So I picked up my Etch-A-Sketch and I started to draw some intricate patterns.  Each line became part of my prayers.

I prayed on the straight lines.

I prayed on the turns.

I prayed on the shapes.

I was so able to focus on my prayers it felt amazing!  I totally understand how people can be so helped with prayer beads and other prayer tools!

Mine is just a red plastic box with two white knobs.  Turn each one alone and you can go up or down and turn the other to go side to side.

We talk to God, we talk about God.

But when we use both knobs we can make so many shapes, we can create images and designs.

We can talk with God, we can walk with God.

When we use the gifts He blessed us with we become more than what we appear.

I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 12 today. Live it today. Be blessed knowing this: 

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men." v. 4, 5

Isn't it wonderful to know that you are exactly who He made you to be, now use those gifts to be a blessing!  Share, serve, love and be filled with grace.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How Do I Really Know?

Trailing After God with Melinda Todd

Philippians 4:8 NIV Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
How do I know?  How does anyone really know?  We know because God took the time to tell us!  Philippians 4:8 as a sample tells us a lot of things we need to know.  That God needs us to understand.

You can read the rest of this post, and join the conversation over at Trailing After God.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Living Waters

We have rather smart cows (for cows, that is).  They know what is good, what is safe and when to seek shelter.  They also know to trust us to take care of them.

We have a few sources of water during the year.  In summer it is the usual automatic waterer, the swimming hole  and the seep water which comes up from the ground near the house.

In winter the automatic waterer is the only game in town.  It stays fresh because they use it every day and sometimes many times during the day.  In summer it is used less and it gets algae and it isn't very fresh after a day in the sun.

The swimming hole in dry years like this one, is sandy, warm and full of frogs, dragonflies and although it is fed by a deep spring the water there is hard to reach.  You have to go further out to get the fresh water and most cows won't do that.

The seep water, which may seem nasty to us, is filtered though sand and peat so it is fresh and clean, it never gets stagnant and it is easy to access.  They drink there most often.  They know where to get the best water to sustain them.

It got me thinking about the water Jesus promised at the well in John 4.  The woman couldn't reach the good, life and soul saving water until Jesus showed her!

She has choices of water from the well of society which was stagnant, confined and easily polluted.  She was married and in relationships. She was offered easy, but not clean water in life.

Samaritan woman she could not access the holy water of Jerusalem.  Being a woman and of a despised group kept her from the fresher water that was hard to get at.

She came to the well, knowing only a bucket could reach deep enough, and wondered at the man who waited there.  (You and I both know Jesus was waiting for her and had been all her life!)  His questions, her answers, His water, her thirst.

Her question - how do we reach this water? And His assurances that the way was right in front of her made an eternal difference in her life.  An eternal difference in the lives of many women since!

Jesus told her, this woman who any sane Jew would reject if not stone, that it was for her that He would bring the living waters! 

" 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

What a promise!  At the well, in the town where everyone not only knew her name but what she was, she was able to bring back to her people the message of living waters, of eternal life.  Of waters within reach. Waters for the soul. Waters to quench hell's fires. Waters to wash anyone clean, even her!

Are you standing at stagnant waters? Pushing aside algae to drink it stale and warm?

Are you wading in way too deep into waters that are so hard to reach?  Are you losing your footing and falling?

Are you willing to seek the Living Waters? Easy to find, clean and soul quenching!  Are you willing to give up your present self to become what He knows you are in Him?

Surely if some shaggy cows created by His holy Hand can figure out what is the best water, we His children should be able to find it...the Way is written down for us to follow!  There is no deep well, no buckets or ropes. No one counting our sips or gulps. No one measuring our consumption of grace.

Praying that we, you and me, because we all lose our way sometimes, can find our way to the clean, clear waters that wait for us in Jesus!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Six Years Ago

1 Corinthians 2:5 (NIV)

"so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power."

Six years ago tonight, this was my heart's foundation, this was my prayer.  After days of struggling in pain to convince nurses and doctors to listen to me I was drugged up in preparation for what they called an emergency c-section.  This little one inside of me struggling to be born needed help.  I needed help.

God listened and He brought us through.  He provided a wonderful doctor when mine was on his holidays.  He provided an amazing surgeon who saw right away our distress.  He gave me a wonderful husband and supportive friends and family. 

Six years ago tonight I surrendered my life to God and offered to Him the life I carried.  I surrendered my wishes to His power and grace.  I was able to rest.  I was able to face the morning with calm. 

God heard the secret prayer in my heart to be a Mama.  A good Mama.  To show myself, and those who doubted, that I could do it.  God blessed us with an amazing son.

Six years ago tonight, I held my husband's hand and prayed for him.  Prayed for us.  God gave us peace.  God gave us rest.  God must have smiled knowing what lay ahead.  Okay, maybe God laughed out loud!

Tonight, for the first time since he was born my husband isn't here, Daddy isn't here.  Our hearts hurt with that distance and yet again God is giving us peace. God is giving us grace.  God is asking our surrender to His will.  And we are giving it. Freely.

This body, that carried him when I thought it would carry no child, hugs her 'big boy' and realizes that the surrender was more than one night.  It was the surrender of not being a morning person and the surrender of nights  and it was the surrender of so many things I don't even miss!

The tears, the fears, the giggles, and endless questions bless me.  The struggles to learn, the soaring after grasping something, the little helper hands making big messes and the wonder of seeing him grow in his faith.

If there is nothing else I do that matters.  If no one reads another word I type, another poem I share.  If no one sees another photo I take or another page I scrap.  If my voice is silenced except for one thing, that he lives and loves God, then I will have done enough.

His faith encourages and inspires me.  He sees God so personally and loves Him so deeply.  He shows me how to love God as a child and in that love I find my own way to love God that way too!

Six years ago tonight I could have had no understanding of how much that baby, toddler and little boy has brought me closer to God, to my husband and to my faith.

He sleeps, the excited slumber of an 'almost 6 years old boy' and I look back, praises and wonder still, thinking of him, of his Daddy, of our family of three.  I'm awed and amazed and filled with wonder all over again.

Thank you God for this shining light You blessed us with.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Digging Up Seeds

We plant seeds in order to grow something new and in that growing we have to trust.

We have to trust what is happening we cannot see.

In the garden or flowerbed, when you plant a seed do you dig it up to see what it is doing?  No! You'd likely kill it.  We plant seeds and let them grow.  God asks us to plant seeds.  He does not ask us to rip them up to see if He is doing anything!

My life, your life, my testimony or yours - are you digging up your seeds?

Slide on over to Matthew 13 - read about sowing seeds. Read about harvesting.  Read about good soil and poor soil.  Read about weeds.  You won't read about digging up seeds!

When we share the Gospel and live God's grace we are planting seeds.  Our words, our love, our caring nurture those seeds.  The soil, the condition of the listener's heart, is God's domain

Think of it this way - where do seeds grow best?  In darkness, with water, soil, heat and patience.  Does not matter if you are planting oak trees  or seasonal grasses.  Seeds do not grow well when they are disturbed.  Neither do the spirits of people.

Plant the seeds.  Be faithful to those who need encouragement, water them with love, shine on them with grace but don't disturb their growth.  Don't dig in their dark places, where the growing is happening, leave that to God.  

Pray for discernement in your nurturing and love. Be faithful and prayerful.  Don't be high pressure, poking the ground, don't be judgemental, seeing what that seed is doing already and don't expect that just because you helped in the sowing that what you reap will resemble you!  Our witness is to glorify God.  Not us. Not a pastor. Not a faith leader.  God!

The seeds that are sown will grow into what God designed.  God loves the wildness and beauty of His creation.  What do we do?  Grow places, people and learning that looks the same, needs to be the same and rejects much that is not the same.  

We are, when we get caught up in the gotta be more like me or gotta be more like our church, creating a GMO (genetically modified organism in the plant world) version of faith.  It conforms.  It is expected to grow the same, harvest the same.  Look and sound the same.  We start ministering to ourselves because it is safer.

God never asked us to dig up His seeds!  He never promised safe.  He promised abundant, eternal, everlasting, gracefilled and redeemed.  God wants us to plant, and tend but leave the dark growing, budding and bursting through to life in His Holy Hands.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Strands of Three

9Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
10If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
11Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We are a cord of three strands this little family of mine.  We are Mama, Daddy and Lukee.  We stick together even when we are miles apart.  Our faith unites us, our love binds us together and our devotion to each other keeps us strong.  God gave us the blessing of each other. Without Him there would be no us.

We are also each individual a cord of three strands.  We are mind, body and spirit united in God.  He keeps us together, in faith, through grace.  Redeemed.  Beloved.  Cherished. Protected. Strong together in Him.

What happens to a cord when one or two strands are frayed or worn?  What happens when they lose their close connection to each other?  What happens when we stop holding together and start pulling apart?

We become weak, we lose our strength and we lose each other.  When we get pulled apart, those are the times we need to stick together.  When I, or he or all of us feel like we are being ignored or we are not being heard, that is our signal to stop.  Pray. Pull together.  We each have an equally important role to play.   Equal but not the same.

Mind, body and spirit are the very same.  When our bodies and our minds draw away from God and our spirit we can lose that focus, that pull that keeps us together.  When it feels like I'm falling apart I know something is out of balance.  That one of my strands is not holding together with the others. 

Ropes can be fixed. They can be spliced, braided and repaired.   Sometimes when a rope is broken you can weave a new rope into it and create something brand new.  God is the Master weaver, and can bring us into a bigger rope, a stronger place.  He is without limit, if we can let go and give to Him the strands which are His already to weave into His will. 

In a rescue rope or a climbing rope each strand has a special job.  Some strands lend strength, others are the ones who provide unity to the other strands and some surround the entire rope protecting it.  We each have a role to play in the ropes God has woven us into.  What wonderful grace! What a grounding thought!

God wove this rope, He brought these strands together.  Each strand, alone, is weak. It cannot carry much or give much.  Together, however, together we are so much more!

It pains me deeply when I see sisters and brothers in Christ gnawing away, cutting and chopping at the ropes which God weaves.  It hurts my heart when people can't put the false gods of this world behind to stick together as children of the Living God.  I feel so sad when I see people crying for someone to help them and find that they are turned away for not being the right kind.  When the cords of community, the strands of grace are cut in the name of status, celebrity or anything else of this world.

Together we are so much more. Who are your strands?  Who has God woven you together with?  How can you stay strong, become strong again and resist being cut at by the world?  By grace, through prayer and with great love.  It takes more love to stay strong together than it does to fall away and fall apart.  How do you stay strong together?  What strands are in your rope that God has woven?