“Eliashib the high priest and
his fellow priests went to work and
rebuilt the Sheep Gate.
They dedicated it and set its doors in place.”
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
We have been trying to eat healthier the last few months. These habits ebb and flow around here. I stand making sweet potato waffles. Earlier this morning I was reading Kelly Minter’s book, In the Fitting Room. Grappling with the truth ebbs and flows. I dip batter onto the heated waffle iron and text a friend while waiting.
“Why does it seem I reject these concepts? That I cannot see who I am in Christ – chosen, holy, dearly loved. My heart betrays the truth. I feel like Judas kissing Jesus on the cheek – I can’t believe he can do all he claims and am overwhelmed by the depth of my unbelief.”
Kelly’s book is based on Colossians 3:9-12. From June 2010 to December 2010 weekly I posted Scriptures from the book of Colossians. January 2011 I attempt Ann’s challenge to memorize Colossians (I fail). I am drawn back to the book of Colossians through Kelly’s book.
Maybe it is just so my heart can grasp this Truth…
I am chosen ~ holy ~ dearly loved
Past rejections, sins, unanswered prayers, hurts, disappointments play across the screen of my heart. My emotions get in the way. When confronted with my own wretchedness it is difficult to hold on the the truth. That could be a good thing.
I slowly eat the waffle. The taste and texture are slightly different than the regular waffles I make. I lay down, crucify, how life feels. With open hands and heart I receive truth. The one who rose from the dead bends down and speaks the truth to my heart.
I am chosen ~ holy ~ dearly loved
This waffle is sweeter than our regular ones. Adding just a bit of honey the sweetness satisfies. I swallow the truth’s loving words from Colossians letting them fill my heart.
I am chosen ~ holy ~ dearly loved
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Pastor teaches from Acts 2:42-47 and a question arises – How Do I Live? The words from Acts leap off the page and line up in my journal like soldiers ready for action. They stand at attention while I ponder…
How Do I Live?
I AM here
”God wants my now”
Here I am
Filled with awe
Could I live this way? In awe of God,
everyday? How do I live this way?
Today I begin putting these soldiers to action. The first being devoted to God’s teaching. I open His Word letting the truth fill me with awe.
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39
The next soldier in line waits for orders – so I pray. Praying for my children. Today is Monday so I pray for our oldest child, Darling daughter, Dear son-in-love, and Little One. Daughter and son leave at the end of May on a mission on Thailand. Daughter will be gone 24 days and son 10 days.
God of Heaven – surround your children, mine, with wisdom and peace. Guide their hearts and minds as they follow you to Thailand. Holy Spirit set their feet on the paths you have mapped for them. Paths that will bring glory to the Father. Jesus, for those who need your salvation – grant them open, receptive souls. Father, your kingdom come, your will be done in and through this journey.
If God would lay it on your heart you could help them on their journey to Thailand. First pray and then consider giving. You can read more about their vision here.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ
for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness –
a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie,
promised before the beginning of time,” Titus 1:1-2
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
We saw a church sign this morning that asked, “What does love look like?” Images from the previous week came flooding into my mind. Memories of Precious husband and children with eyes gleaming from a shared secret, an airplane, instructor, and headphones, my hands on the control yoke, and the wide open sky.
Quickly on the heels come lambs sacrificed and blood placed on the sides and tops of doorframes as a sign for the Lord to Passover, Jesus entering Jerusalem to the cries of “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” only to be leaving Jerusalem bearing a cross just a few days later, nails, a crown of thorns, spices, linen, a heavy stone, and an empty tomb.
Quotes that ministered to me during Holy Week rise as well…
“The laid down life, the poured-out blood were the supreme symbols of total selflessness.” 1
“Sacrifice was about giving honor, about giving to something bigger than yourself in the trust that blessings will come when you
don’t put “me” first all the time” 2
God led me into this season seeking to be changed. I have spent the weeks living life differently – changing a few things in my environment. Little things like what we are eating and big things like what I spend my time doing and thinking.
Love changes me.
Resurrection morning I awake feeling changed. Changed because of the loving sacrifice by an amazing God. The gift of an only Son who made himself nothing to become obedient to death on a cross. For a Father who gave life to His Son who gave life to me His adopted child.
Changed because Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the lamb who laid down His life for the sheep. Changed because after laying down His life He took it up again – resurrecting from death. Changed by Jesus who came that I may have life; and have it to the full.
Changed by the gift of a Precious husband. A child of God who sacrifices on my behalf. Who spends time and energy caring for me and our family. Who is thoughtful enough to give me flying lessons for our anniversary. Who sees and discerns who I am even when I sometimes only see faults and failures. He speaks words of encouragement, seeing me as full of grace, courage, and strength.
What does love look like?
“The very best things come out of sacrifice.” 2
Sunday, April 8, 2012
“This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
God raised him from the dead, freeing him
from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”
Saturday, April 7, 2012
When this tribute was first posted here a commenter said it reminded her of the verse from Song of Solomon “I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine…”. With each passing year I feel that more and more with this Precious husband.
So today on our 28th wedding anniversary as I reflect on the gift of Jesus, the cross and resurrection, I also reflect on the goodness of God for the gift of this precious man!
He takes the children roller skating
Leaves me to read, to write
Desire rises because he plays
He calls during his 24 hour shift away
Cracking a joke our laughter erupts
Desire ignites because he provides
He cuts boards and hammers nails
Creating living space for others, for us
Desire builds because he is talented
He listens, lets me vent frustrations
Lends his caring, wise words
Desire comes gently because he is thoughtful
We have history together. Through twenty-eight years, six children, now one grandchild, the desire only grows stronger. Through better and worse, in sickness and health.
Every act of kindness,
Every minute of patience,
Every word of encouragement,
Work together to cause me to desire him more.
head on his chest
his heart beats strong
his breath ruffles my hair
my arm rests gently
across his waist
his arms surround
embrace form fully
legs entwined, my toes
stretch to touch
caress tops of his feet
silent, still the darkness
side by side
a deep sigh escapes
wistful smile plays
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Counting the moments with gratitude, because “each moment is a revelation of God.”
March’s Joy Dare
Counting Gifts from #1530-1621
1. 3 gifts at 3 pm...
Sensitive son helps catch male goats,
Precious husband calls it a "goat rodeo",
ride down from pasture with Precious husband
2. 3 gifts green…
Joy Dare journal, winter rye grass, Precious husband's eyes
3. 3 gifts wore…
Soft pajamas, fuzzy house slippers, warm jacket
4. 3 gifts hard to give thanks for…
Vehicles breaking down,
Precious husband's replacement late for shift change -no life group today, motor in food processor burns up -but after we finish making the black bean dip
5. 3 gifts found…
Sugar free banana bread recipe, black bean burgers, new education apps for ipod
6. A gift bent, broken, beautiful…
Nails to hold fencing in place, fencing broken by goats -fixed by Sensitive Son, Horses running across pasture -manes and tails flying
7. 3 gifts in the kitchen…
Dishwasher Precious husband found for $20, microwave gift from dear friends, Sensitive son and Princess daughter doing Math on the computer at the table
8. 3 gifts loud…
Kids playing video games together or even board games -loud laughter,Praise music in the morning, goats morning greeting
9. 3 gifts carved…
Ironwood keychains from Gold-hearted Mom to boys, Isaiah 49:16 "I have engraved you on the palms of my hands",Lines and curves in my hands
10. 3 gifts in Christ…
Redemption through His blood, Eternal life, Shepherd's voice
11. 3 gifts read…
Uncle's obituary -a life well lived, Job -first 18 chapters,
"Faith gives the whole earth a celestial aspect -Each moment is a revelation of God."
The Sacrament of the Present Moment by Jean-Pierre de Caussade
12. A gift in wind, in water, in white…
Wind -carrying birds song across the field,Water -washing vegetables, clothes, dishes, meWhite -blank canvas
13. 3 gifts round…
Granny smith apples, red-ripe tomatoes, canning jars and lids
14. 3 gifts found in silence…
God's presence, thump of red dog's tail on deck, peace
15. 3 gifts given away…
Smiles between new friends, time with family, clothes to a local charity
16. 3 hard eucharisteos…
Discord and offence -reconciliation, Helpful son quitting job and moving to farm, Death of loved ones
17. A gift turned, folded, hung…
Library books turned in on time, Dry and wet ingredients folded together to make banana bread, American flag hung in library in honor of 9/11 responders
18. 3 gifts red…
Folding chair on cabin porch, tarp keeping water out of cabin, Precious husband & Fun son wearing red shirts while working on cabin
19. 3 gifts eaten…
Pizza shared with new friends, shepherd's pie, frozen bananas
20. 3 gifts that made you laugh…
Little One's laughter, new puppy antics, Princess daughter thinking because I stopped reading aloud I could not pronounce the word "billowing"
21. A gift salty, sweet, just right…
Cashews, chocolate cake for Gold-hearted Mom's Birthday, Steak & Salad -Gold-hearted Mom's birthday dinner
22. 3 gifts found in His Word…
Creations amazement is but a whisper, "how faint the whisper we hear of Him." Job 26:14;
Encouragement to "lead a quiet life" 1 Thess. 4:11;
God's joy is my strength-Nehemiah 8:10
23. 3 gifts found in women today…
Text from A -how to cook cabbage & prayer request for youth mission trip, Texts with M -sharing life, borrowing paprika from Mrs. D (neighbor)
24. 3 gifts spoken…
Let's go out to eat -Just the two of us,
husband & wife dinner date conversation,
You are a good wife
25. A gift sung, written, painted…
Corporate worship, "
The moon takes the light You give -fills to empty, empties to fill, over and over, sky at sunset painted by the Creator
26. 3(2) gifts almost gone…
Extra weight, children growing to adulthood
27. 3(2) gifts redeemed…
"Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb",
land now officially in our name (purchasing rather than leasing)
28. 3 gifts entwined…
Precious husband's fingers laced with mine,
our lives for almost 30 years,
branches overhead now full of leaves
29. 3 gifts of His promises…
Covenant of love -legacy -Exodus 7:9,
"His love endures forever"
30. 3 gifts uncovered…
Flowers popping heads above clover, soil turned for planting, earthworms
31. A gift heard, held, hoped for…
Sensitive Son is a hard worker (From leaders on mission trip),
Little One at zoo,
Cabin to be finished
Sunday, April 1, 2012
“O Lord, save us;
O Lord, grant us success.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
From the house of the Lord we bless you.
The Lord is God,
and he has made his light shine upon us.
With boughs in hand, join the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.”
Psalm 118:25-27, 29