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Tattered & Torn

I turn the envelope over and over in my hand and I cannot bring myself to toss it away and move on to the cherished contents.  I set it aside for later and wipe away tears.

Today I come across it again, it's been moved several time over the last week or so.  Again, I cannot bring myself to toss it.  Standing in the middle of the room, holding this tattered and torn envelope it hits me why I cannot let go.

This represents a life, lives actually.  Lives that have been through the proverbial wringer this year.  Lives that have been tattered by life. Torn.  I am not privy to all their suffering, it's not my place.  But Oh, how my heart breaks for them.  Aches for them.  Longs for their release from the insanity that life has heaped upon them, the grief.


As I smooth the envelope, taking in its tears and creases, I can't help but ask our Father to likewise, caress their lives with His GRACE.  To fill every gap, smooth every crease over with it.

I return to the precious contents.  A…

Sounds of Christmas

The house is quiet 'cept for the slow rattle of the toy train rounding the Christmas tree that's topped with a silent blinking angel.  The radio softly plays in the background - Christmas music of all kinds.  Then, you say, it's not quiet.  Ah, but it is.  There is a thick quietness, a quietness of spirit that fills the house today - it's peace.  It has settled into every nook & cranny and it feels quiet.  And full.  Funny that you can actually feel it. 

This is a very special gift to me from my beloved Savior.  He knew how empty our nest would be this year and He knew, that with all my heart, I wanted to walk with grace though this season.  He, in His tender & intimate love, filled my home today, just because He loves me.  And today, celebrating His birth - and He, still the Giver of the gifts.  Good gifts.  

Oh, oh... what a beautiful sound when the King of Kings and LORD of Lords bends close and silently whispers His Peace into your heart and into your space, …

Banner of Mercy

I see it.  Like a finish line ensign rising in the distance, beckoning us onward.  Calling us with hope.  Each step forth the only act of faith exerted - face lifted toward the radiant Son, arms stretched high - fingertips brushing the promised victory.  Passing under Mercy's standard, under its anchored banner - the promise of God fulfilled - freed. Freed from debt we owe, freed from our selves, freed from the sin that entangles, freed from death -  Mercy reigns.

Mercy reigns.  Mercy reigning over us. Mercy raining on us.  Mercy reigning in us. Hands uplifted, cupped to catch its refreshment, face to the heavens, washed in its cleansing flow. Arms outstretched  in worship of the One who Reigns, Who rains His Mercy down upon us, Who sets His Banner of Mercy over us.

I see it.  The promise of God, rising in the distance, beckoning us onward, calling us with hope.  Each step forward the only act of faith exerted - face lifted toward the radiant Son.

Belief

So, if one proclaims to believe something, yet his actions contradict this belief, is he a hypocrite or is he really displaying a true "disbelief"?

In Luke 18 a rich young man of influence asks what he must "do" in order to be saved.  Jesus lists the commandments which guard the flesh.  The man responded favorably, he in fact, had kept all these since childhood.  Jesus saw into his heart & challenged a lack - give away what was precious and follow Him.  At this the man became disheartened...

This passage would not let go of me this morning.  It required my full attention and birthed the exploration of belief.

One could read the passage in Luke and quickly decide that our eternal lives are hinged on works.  Likewise, one could, balanced in the whole of scripture see how the heart attitude was exposed and there lie the key.

All i know is that as i read this passage over, another kept settling over my mind. "believe and be saved" "all who call upon the …

Insignificant

Have you ever felt like a nobody?  That you're just not "enough" or have nothing to offer?  For many years that was me.  That is until I came to understand an eternal truth - it's WHOSE we are that counts.

Last night, while walking in the depths with a dear friend, she shared something powerful. Something you need to hear.

"When you are insignificant then you are IN significance" ( !!!! - emphasis mine)

Oh, what a deep truth this is if you let it settle in!  Jesus Christ is our "Significance" and when we are "in" Him, we are more than enough!  We are wonderfully, humbly, powerfully, in Significance.

So, rejoice in who you are    IN!!!!

Begin with failing

So here I am, finally being obedient to the direction to go back to school and I am humbled before I even begin...

I registered for school!  (kinda anticlimactic as I type it...) While I wait for the administrative things to take place I am supposed to test on my biblical knowledge.  I wasn't "I've got this" but I thought I might pass well enough to test out of a few of the classes.  Well, I'm going to be very transparent here - I failed.  In reviewing the first test on the Pentateuch, I tanked, bad...  I had a moment of sheer panic!  It hit me like a brick wall. "who do you think you are?" "There is no way you'll ever get this done"  "You'll never remember all this!"  I am pretty sure my heart stopped for a moment.  I had failed.  "F" - failed, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  Oh, did I mention I am thinking of majoring in Biblical Studies???? LOL!

  I had to take hold of myself and give me a pretty stern talkin…

Songs & Storms

Music is powerful, it reaches to deep places, invokes deep emotion.  Songs reflect what our own voice would cry if it could.  But can a simple song change your life?  It can.  If that song settles in your soul and it is birthed into prayer, rising like a fragrant offering before the LORD, then it can...

I remember the moment my life was changed and I didn't even know it until after it had come...  It was on an early morning in 2007.  As was my ritual I had the radio on as I got ready for the day. An unfamiliar tune was playing and I was casually listening until these words stuck deep chords "...so I pray bring me joy, bring me peace, bring the chance to be free, bring me anything that brings You glory, and I know there'll be days when this life brings me pain but if that's what it takes to praise You, Jesus bring the rain.."   I had never heard the song before, yet recognized it immediately and time stood still in a moment of deep worship and I sang out the words …

Perseverance

Sleepy, humbled, deeply touched...

Under bitter circumstances I met her.  Life as she knew it was being drained away yet she had what I like to call the "freaky peace" - Philippians 4 peace, the peace that surpasses all human understanding.  The fact that she was barely into adulthood only spoke more loudly of God's grace in her.  This is  so rare and God set us on the path to walk awhile together in this life - for this I will be eternally grateful.

Even in the midst of tragedy she brings forth beauty, captures moments and blesses others.  God has gifted her exceedingly abundantly and in her humbleness she shares it generously.

Last night we got together for coffee & visit (which lasted until almost midnight) and she blew me away.  She had recently entered a beautiful memorial piece in the fair and, via funny story, found out she placed second overall!!! I  was so proud of her and had gone to the fair specifically to see her work & especially to see this piece.  I…

The Mantle

I awoke trying to capture the second image, for the first was burned into my mind so clearly that joy filled my heart.  I lay for an hour trying to take it all in before searching for paper & watercolor to capture it, none was to be found.  Pencil & paper would have to suffice.  I asked the Holy Spirit to enable these hands to convey what I saw and a sketch came forth.  I struggled with my limited ability to convey the simplest of features and it greatly lacked understanding.  It was then that I realized that I could only capture it rightly with words....   As I endeavor to "paint" this scene, I take no liberty, but am in fact writing with the overarching knowledge of Truth and so offer insight as it was made known to me.  Mere human words constrain and minimize its intensity and grandeur.

There were two hand cut stone staircases rising upward in a straight, gentle slope.  The steps were large silvery grey multilayered slabs with rounded edges that hinted at the prese…

The Embrace - a Word Color

In a desire to find new avenues of expression, and that God called me an artist (though I have no understanding of His perspective!!!!) the concept of "Word Color" was birthed.  In my mind's eye, I envision a canvas and endeavor to word paint an expression or capture an impression.  

In moments of great spiritual angst for another, I've oft wished I could take the heart from my chest & set it in theirs so that they could know what it's like to cross through the waters, to be freed, to know God's love as I have...  This is as close as I can fathom.  It is my hope that you partake of these words and let them build for you an expression in your own life.  May the Holy Spirit convey unto you all my heart desires to share.


The Embrace

Joyous rays of sunlight reach from the fringe, inward...
Purest white rises, swirling from the center
embracing the sunlight in a single upward movement.
At the edges of white, blood orange is released and seeps gently, 
dissolving as t…

The Temple

Today I'm pondering the temple, the holy place.  Not the Temple on the Mount, not the Tabernacle, not the Tent of Meeting, but the dwelling place of God's Holy Spirit - our physical bodies.

There is a lifetime of pondering in this one single truth, like trying to stand under the greatest of falls, keeping your balance, not being crushed by the power and magnitude of its greatness, while merely attempting to quench a simple thirst, a single mouthful...  

This is, in fact impossible in the flesh, but we, mere flesh, have residing in us a portion of the Almighty God.  So we take heart and steady ourselves today for the single facet upon which we gaze.

When was the last time you stopped and let the full weight of the truth that your body is the temple of the Most High God?  Not just the spiritual dwelling place but the physical dwelling of His Holy Spirit.  Not a metaphor or religious mystery to grand-that we might disbelieve...  

God's Word says He has taken up residence IN us, i…

She

She refuses to give up, even when she wants to. Hopeless fixer? Maybe, but maybe she sees beyond the way things seem. She longs for an eternal perspective.  She is stubborn, refusing to accept that things will not change, even when she's faced with the "facts". God is Redeemer, she must remember to get out of the way of  The Holy Spirit and allow Him to do the work. She must not rely on her own knowledge, strength or effort.  How do you change old habits? Only The Holy Spirit can evoke turning to God in ALL things, to ask before engaging! Remind her O'God that she can trust you.

She desires to love like Christ.  Daily desires to walk in step with The HolySpirit. Seeks God's way in the midst of chaos. Questioning not His will, but rather how does His grace look in the daily things. Willing to obediently submit, even when circumstance cause concern! God is friend, how does she reflect that into the lives of those she cares for?  Only through The Holy Spirit of the A…