mini portion

Thursday, November 9, 2017

So many things cloud my mind about food, and mercy, and hospitality.  In my desire to share my gift of hospitality through baking, I often find myself asking what my Heavenly Father desires of me…  Does he care about food, or cake, or nourishment?

The answer, of course, I’m finding is YES…

Yes, he cares.  Yes, he wants me to love others by working in the way he’s gifted me.  Yes, it will bring glory to Him, if I bake for others less fortunate – it may even be as though I’m baking for Him.

I read this just this morning…

Psalm 107 reads:

1 O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

4 They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.

5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.

6 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

 

Thank you Lord, for your deliverance, your goodness, and your provision.  May you find me a worthy vessel of provision for those in need.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015-

Those who know me,  know I’m a “do-er”. So, when struggles pop up, as they are known to, I come undone when I can’t figure out what to do.   I read these words this morning from John 15 and I’m encouraged.

“I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. ” 

Abide.  typically not my go-to word.

His Word is clear.  Through each complicated or even frustrating life circumstance, I’m required only to abide in Him.  As He abides in me, He may even choose to grow more fruit in me and change my very existence.

The work is not mine.  It is His.  And through each season,  I can rest.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015 –

This is the day the LORD has made!  I will rejoice and be glad in it!

After a lot of prayer and discussion and more prayer and even more discussion, followed by waiting and home searches and house selling, then many, many, many miles, packing  and packing and packing – My folks are moving in to their new house, just 4.5 miles from my house.   Today, even this morning while I’m typing, the movers have arrived and are unloading the truck!

In the truest of senses, I’ve been waiting and praying for a very long time that the Heavenly Father would orchestrate these circumstances:  that I would live close to my parents.  He has made this day.

My heart is very, very grateful and glad.

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Monday, June 8, 2015 –

Over the weekend we were on a quick vacation in the Smokey Mountains – where we took a ride on  Giant Ferris Wheel.  As we glided above, higher and higher into the sky, I was reminded of the words in Psalm 57:

I will praise you, O Lord, among the peoples;  I will sing to You among the nations.

For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,  And Your truth unto the clouds

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;  Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Our view was an incredible example of His glory, right there in the heart of the very mountains He created, it was a picture of His vast and endless mercy –  and my heart was grateful!

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I’m not sure when I forgot about writing on the mini portion!  But, it happened.  I forgot.

Anyway, here I am, sharing this verse.  Its one that is close to my heart and gives me courage when I hear it – every time, without fail.   And, who doesn’t need a little courage these days?

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But, take heart!  I have overcome the world!  John 16:33 

With these words, I find my heart calmed enough to bloom, right here where I’m planted; and the strength to continue my part in His Big Story.

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September 8, 2014

All summer I have spent dwelling on these words.  Because I need them.  every. single. day.

From the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians: 

3:3  For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. 

No confidence in myself. or any thing.  Only in Christ – and in His work.

3: 7-9  But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.

Only confidence, by faith, in His righteousness.

Thank you Lord for this assurance I have in YOU.

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It is day 13 of Lent…

Monday morning is waiting for me just outside my bedroom door.  I have just read the best words for starting the week out right.  It is this:

from 2Corinthians 5:

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

What freedom for my heart!  Because of Christ, the old has passed.  I am new in Christ.  I can walk away from last week’s failures and mistakes.    Fresh beginnings abound, and I am reconciled to God.

amen.

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It is day 8 of Lent.

I took  a quiet look at my heart this afternoon, after reading James chapter one.  It is a hard one to think about, at least for me.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

The truth is, I deceive myself.  a lot.  I am the one who looks into the glass of God’s Word, sees myself for what I am, and then promptly walks away and forgets.  That is me, to a “t.”     All the things James talks about not doing, I do.   I’m impatient, I’m doubtful, I’m proud – all in all an unstable mess.

However hard all of this is, I’m reminded that Jesus didn’t die to save the people who are “perfect.”  James penned these words for someone just like me…

But, I long for verse 25.  My heart truly desires to be a believer and a doer.    I am thankful for the places of divine providence, where my heart is beginning to change and where He is teaching me how to believe and do.

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All of this snow, from just days ago, has melted.

The warmth is rolling in this morning, pushing away the wintry bleak. It is a mid-winter reprieve and it is glorious.  There is much hope at the thought of spring-time bursting on the scene…

Good words from Matthew are moving in my heart this morning.  In the same way spring breezes whisk away the harshness of winter, Jesus’ Words are doing the same thing for my mind and soul.

Matthew 5:1-12, but specifically verses 8 -12.  In the winter of hard places, there is Hope in the goodness of the Lord – the spring of a heart’s revival is near.  Praise God for how He continually warms my heart with good news.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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(in honor of all the snow that is on its way to the valley, here are my kiddos sledding at Nanny and Papa’s… maybe I’ll get a few good snow photos here tomorrow! )

February 11, 2014

from John’s gospel:

11 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

Whenever I read these words from this story of Lazarus’ death this is what sticks out to me:   “that Mary”

That.  Mary.

Lazarus’ sister was known for one thing:  anointing the Lord with oil.  expensive, whole life-savings kind of oil.  She worshiped him with everything she had.

I don’t have to wonder if I’m like her; I know I’m not.  Hers was a sacrificial, lay it all down kind of love.  Everyone knew her for one thing, and that’s how they defined her.  She loved Jesus.

Lord, let me be consumed by your love today.  Help me to return it to You with all of my strength.

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Would you mind if I shared these words with you this morning?

The very last words in the four gospels are these:

And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.  Amen.

My Savior, Jesus Christ was bigger than life itself.  I can not comprehend this statement from John- JESUS is completely and utterly unfathomable.

I am awestruck.

Now, I am working at understanding and believing this reality:  He is still at work in our world today, in all of His glorious, miraculous power, doing more than our hearts and minds can imagine, preparing for the day when He returns!  And we will have the whole expanse of ETERNITY to worship Him for all that He is and all that He has done!  AMEN!!!

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photo 1I snapped this photo on my phone one night while I was driving home.  I’m not sure that it does the sunset justice.  It was hot, fiery and jaw-dropping.  And I remember thinking, “What kind of Artist can do this every night?”  The God of the Universe, that’s who.  With a few strokes of his brush, he illuminates the night sky with His color.  And not just any old color; vibrant hues – revealing to us a tiny sneak-peak of who He is.  And his handiwork boldly describes how He loves us: with a  hot, fiery, jaw-dropping love….  And I’m left completely shocked and undone.

from Psalm 8:

O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,[b]
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

from John 1:

16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

I read these words yesterday and they hit me between the eyes.  I couldn’t stop thinking of them.  I have been given the gift of grace – extravagantly, again and again and again.  In my need, He is faithful, regardless of how often, or how much…

Oh Heavenly Father, help me to extend this same grace I’ve come to know to those who cross my path, especially my loved ones, my friends and my family.   amen and amen.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

In the early verses of Romans 15, Paul reflects on Isaiah’s prophecy – and the promise of Christ being fulfilled: in short, we know He lived as a servant, through His birth, life, death and resurrection – and now lives, offering mercy to all.

And then He says these words, mid chapter…

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. romans 15:13

And it strikes me, what he’s saying : There is significant evidence that we are serving a promise keeping God.  And thus there is more than sufficient peace that comes from believing in this Jesus.  Isaiah believed enough to speak of things that had not happened yet; with his words eventually God made history.  Miracle upon miracle, fulfilled prophecies, all in God’s timing.

and because of all of this, In Him I can claim all of the hope and strength that I need.

Praise God, from whom these blessings flow!

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Friday, February 22, 2013…

Every once in a while something comes up.  It may seem that life has a way of dishing out unfavorable circumstances.  But Isaiah 43 declares that’s not true.  Nothing that happens is outside the safety of His secure hands.  All that is allowed along the way, is carried out to prove He is the Lord, to show His all-encompassing, unchangeable reign of love over all who belong to Him and to bring glory to Himself.  You heard me right – that is every circumstance.   And in spite of how contrary that may feel in the moment, His promises remain true:

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

I take heart with these very specific words and my mental course for the day is changed from disbelief to strength and courage.  May it be so for others who read as well…

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Its a morning of regret for me…  wishing I’d held my tongue yesterday.   When, oh when will I learn this hard lesson?  I’m so hard headed!  so….  sinful.

ugh.

Oh Lord!  Give me a wise heart, and mouth that speaks life-giving words!  Let me be gracious to everyone on my path today.

The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.
The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
(from Proverbs 16)

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November 29, 2012.

I’ve been reading these words for some time, thinking them over…     Its easy to talk about and think about, but am I doing it?

from (the Message) 1Peter 4:7-11

Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

I can’t exist in this world, with my eyes wide open, and not feel these words from Scripture very keenly.  If ever, now is the time to be praying more, loving one another more, serving those in need more.

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

This afternoon I’ve been looking over photos from our project and I came across a shot I took, which I thought I would call (if anyone ever asked) “Ladders.”  And briefly, I was reminded of all the ways I try to bridge the impossible gap between me and my Savior.  No matter what I do, I cannot create my own redemption.  It is not possible.  I am so grateful for these words from Scripture, that remind me again – I can put all of my ladders away.  He has already made the way and it is enough.

from Ephesians 1:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both[a] which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

I’ve been thinking of these words this morning, from Romans 8.  In the middle of this life, with all of its chaos – the frustrations and disappointments there is this:  a promise of glory; after the groaning, redemption in full.   With this knowledge is a hope that comes only from Him.

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Begin this Monday with HOPE!

This was the scene outside my front door yesterday evening…  Breathtaking beauty.

As the sun was setting, I couldn’t help but think of the God of the Universe- whose bright colors are mercy and truth.  I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who paints His love in bold strokes across the sky, so that I am reminded of who He is.

from Psalm 8:

3 I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples,
And I will sing praises to You among the nations.
For Your mercy is great above the heavens,
And Your truth reaches to the clouds.

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July 19, 2012

A little trust goes a long way… This morning these words have reminded me to delight in Him, and  that I can trust that He will work on my behalf; trust is what is required on my part.   Some days it is just harder than others…

from Psalm 37 this morning:

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5Commit your way to the Lord,  trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,  and your justice as the noonday.
7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Here is the promise that I’m considering this morning:  I’ve been called by the same God who created the Heavens and Earth.  He’s promised that He intends to fulfill the calling thru me – As I walk where He leads, He’ll be holding my hand.  HE WILL BE PRESENT.  Wow!  It is a covenant that builds my confidence, more than any other spiritual self-help book or encouragement from fellow believers.

Take heart and read these words from Isaiah 42:

5 Thus says God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
And spirit to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images.
Behold, the former things have come to pass,
And new things I declare;
Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

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July 4, 2012 –

Today is a day for celebrating freedom, here, in our country.  There are times that it seems those freedoms are slowly being taken from our hands.  And there is a helpless feeling that settles around me when I think about it for long.

But!  There is a freedom that is eternal – that cannot be taken by physical circumstances.  It is the freedom in Christ that I have as a believer!  Be encouraged by these words, HIS words today!

from John 8:

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

This summer has been getting to me…I feel like I’m melting in this heat, my dahlias wilting, almost laying down in their bed.  And my soul is withering in disappointment, worry coming to a rolling boil when I hear  current events on the news.  My heart is soft and bruised by sadness over a family situation that has no earthly remedy.  Temperatures continue to rise and it could be I’m feeling what it’s like to be in a pressure cooker.

One of the only thing that helps this summer trifecta (other than going to the pool) is this reading from Psalm 103:13-19.  Now, I know I’ve had all of Psalm 103 on mini portion recently, but I can’t help but refocus here again.  It has been so refreshing and encouraging for my heart this afternoon!

My God, my Heavenly Father, promises to deal with me and those who love Him tenderly.  And HE is the one ruling over it all from Heaven.

Feel the cool breezes of His word blowing:

13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18     of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!

19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.

June 21, 2012

from Psalm 5:

2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

Heavenly Father, Let me begin this day, and everyday, with my focus on you – with my gaze heavenward.  I can’t fully live without You at the center of each hour.  This is my desire – to cast my heart towards You. And with every move throughout the day, my eyes looking upward for your direction and your will.  amen.  

This morning I am absorbed in this Psalm- Psalm 103.  My whole being has reason to bless His name today!   I will not forget all of His benefits!

I know its not a “mini” portion but it is well worth the read!

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
21 Bless the Lord, all you His hosts,
You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
22 Bless the Lord, all His works,
In all places of His dominion.

Bless the Lord, O my soul!

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Isn’t she lovely?  The newest beauty in my garden.  And I am enthralled by the fact that the God of the universe created her.  Gorgeous, creamy and yellow, like butter – standing tall and strong, bringing a bright splash of joy to my little patch of heaven.

And so, He has made me too…  unique in my very own special ways… He loves and cares for me more than these flowers.   I am His design – and this knowledge is humbling and amazing.

from Psalm 139:13-14

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

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One of the first fruits of my garden, this Spring- a fiery orange dahlia; A symbol of God’s faithfulness.

Wednesday, May 9.

This is Psalm 65.  I had never read it in full before…  My heart is moved this morning:  When my heart, my flesh fail – I have a confidence in this God, who is my Savior.  His providence reaches far beyond earthly understanding.  Hallelujah!  and Amen!

1Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion;
And to You the vow shall be performed.
O You who hear prayer,
To You all flesh will come.
Iniquities prevail against me;
As for our transgressions,
You will provide atonement for them.

Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.

By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us,
O God of our salvation,
You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
And of the far-off seas;
Who established the mountains by His strength,
Being clothed with power;
You who still the noise of the seas,
The noise of their waves,
And the tumult of the peoples.
They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs;
You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice.

You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;
The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it.
10 You water its ridges abundantly,
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth.

11 You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
12 They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
And the little hills rejoice on every side.
13 The pastures are clothed with flocks;
The valleys also are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, they also sing.

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April 25, 2012

Galatians 5 is a breath of fresh air this morning, reminding me that there is liberty thru faith, worked out in love…  It is His grace that makes the difference, and NOT my actions.    And at the end of the chapter are these words, words I need to live by:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And thosewho are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

thank you Lord, for this beautiful freedom!!!

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April 17, 2012

I’m reminded this morning that there may be things I’m allowing to hold me hostage : past actions, thoughts, ideals. But it is not necessary.   I am no longer a slave to any of it!  In Christ I am free of sin, flesh, death – their chains are broken by the work of Christ on the cross.  And those are words I need to hear today, and every day.  Thank you Heavenly Father for this beautiful gift of freedom.

from Romans 8:

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

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Three of my precious blessings.  I could not ask for more….

My heart is still so full after a wonderful weekend of worship and celebration. In fact the beauty is lingering, making my ordinary week extraordinary.   Its unusual for me, but I can’t seem to focus on any of my *little* problems, my heart is so fixed on His goodness and grace.

Thank you Heavenly Father for all of the gifts in my life.  I do not deserve any of it!

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  (from James 1)

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TODAY is the day!  It’s true!  I can live with authentic joy and peace because the Lord has created this day, moment by moment, each one crafted by hand – He knows intimately the beginning and the end.  So, I can live and move thru the day with confidence.   My mind can relax and my heart can sing:

This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!  Psalm 118:24

*************************************************

Our Dogwood tree is blooming in the back yard.  I look at its beautiful flowers and I am reminded to believe.  God’s promises are sure, and He made all of creation just to help me remember.  There isn’t a blade of grass that comes up that He doesn’t know – not a blue jay taking wing that He doesn’t see – or a dogwood blossom that He doesn’t enjoy.  Likewise, He sees this day, He knows my heart and its longings, and He will provide every need, even if it seems inconsequential.

Thank you Heavenly Father for this amazing world You’ve created and for all of the ways that You use it to show me your unconditional love.  amen.

***************************************************

March 20, 2012

On this Tuesday, that really feel like a Monday to me, I need a bit of help and a bit of hope for pleasant survival… for gentleness, peace and patience in my household.   And these words in Philippians 4 seem to hold the key.  Today I will point my thoughts towards joy, towards good and lovely things…  and set my heart on what is positive and righteous.   Thank you Lord for the hope you give  on this Tuesday…

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 8 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. 

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March 14, 2012

The seasons are changing, from winter to spring.  As I let go of the past, and look at the future, wondering what it holds, I find great encouragement in the words below.  Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

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