Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ringing in the Season

As most of us can agree when yesterday, we flipped the calendar over to a new month, we couldn't believe December was upon us so quickly once again! I just don't know how the time can possibly fly by so quickly! But here we are closing in on the end of the year. The beautiful part about coming to this place in time, is the fact that our hearts turn to the event that rocked the world. The most beautiful event that time would ever record. Our God turned His Love into a person and sent Him to earth to become what we could never attain...a sinless, spotless Lamb, willing to sacrifice Himself for the likes of us! How beautiful is that?

As we pause and switch gears to reflect and celebrate this lovely Advent Season, in preparation for His coming, I'd like to offer this moving tribute to my Lord and Savior found in the hustle and bustle of the ordinary shopping mall...a few chosen people took time to express themselves in front of the world, expressing in no uncertain terms, their joy over the fact that the Lord has come! HALLELUJAH!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Think God Is a Quilter

I Think God is a Quilter
(Author Unknown)
I think God is a quilter Who takes His needle and His thread
To piece our world from nothingness and give it form, instead.
I think God is a quilter ‘cause everything I see
Are pieces from His careful Hand from tree to bumblebee.
I think we see God's stitches, His texture everywhere;
The velvet moss, the grainy sand, the silky strands of hair.
I think God is a quilter; stitching tight and tiny rows,
Adding to my scraps and pieces, seaming everything He knows.
I think He cuts the patterns from what I'd throw away.
He shows me how to use each scrap in His redeeming way.
I think God quilts a pattern from everything I live;
But He can only stitch the quilt from what I choose to give.
I think God is a quilter stitching strength where I am weak.
Showing me that life He touches, embraces everything I seek.
I think God is a quilter from the patience in each thread;
Proving length of time no barrier; treating time a gift, instead.
I think quilts are the lessons God uses just to teach
That our pieces and our remnants have kaleidoscopic reach.
So, in the life I'm living with pieces everywhere
I'll give them to The Quilter to stitch with loving care.
I'll give them to The Quilter, unwanted though they be
And with His work of quilting,

He'll make a quilt of me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Never Too Downcast

Whenever I might be tempted to think or experience a day that's not been the best, I just need to be reminded of a few essential truths that I believe. After hearing and experiencing this song, I have to ask myself..."How could you possibly be downcast, O my soul? Look to your living hope, your future is secure. All that concerns you today will someday be as dust...but you, o Soul, will live forever in eternity with Him! Hallelujah! Keep your eyes on the prize.The REAL DEAL..."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Through It All

This song has carried me through the Summer of 2010. It is so precious to me and personal as well. I just thought I would share it today.

Monday, July 19, 2010

His Provision

I love the scripture in Matthew about how we are to look at the birds of the air...they do not sow nor reap, yet our heavenly Father feeds them...Yes, He is the Great Provider. Not only of our physical needs, but our emotional ones as well. I've needed some emotional strength in the past few days and though I did not directly ask Him for it, He knew of the need and abundantly provided it. I realized that this morning. When I took the time to look. I became aware that His provisions to fill my need came in many and various ways...

  • from the love of my daughter who had casually mentioned she was "homesick" for a visit and a chat from me; (We spent hours talking late into the night--what a joy!)
  • from my soon-to-be 5 year old granddaughter who told me that when she "grows up she wants to be a grandma" like me; ( I must be doing something good to attract her to that!)
  • from attending church and being surrounded in a new way with voices on either side of me singing songs of praise and worship to the Lord I love so much; (A slice of Heaven for me!)
  • from making a choice to take advantage of the opportunity I'd been given to share the Lord I've come to know with young middle schoolers; (His gift of teaching to me-it's so natural)
  • from having one of those kids reveal the most awesome truth...out of the mouths of babes...(the young boy stated in the most serious, sincere voice, his definition of the void of life before Christ--"it was like always wanting, always looking, for something inside and never receiving it, always hoping I could get rid of that feeling. I finally did when I gave my life to Jesus last year"); (A truth that filled me with joy as I heard him share--and know inside that he has been touched by Him)
  • from sitting in an auditorium yesterday afternoon and hearing 30+ women give individual testimonies of the reality of God in their lives. . . fresh from the experience, weeping tears of joy-filled, overflowing hearts beating with new knowledge of how deep, and deeper still, flows the love of God for each one who takes the time to focus on Him and His care, His Love, for us; 
  • and then today--in the words of one, an author I have just recently been reacquainted with, as she spoke of fighting the battle within to have things, circumstances, life, go "her way" and not His, reasoning with Him, asking the "why" question over and over, and finally, weary from the war,  relinquishing her will to His and the joy that is inexpressible and fills the soul that becomes the result of that relinquishment; 
  • and then, before sitting down to write, stepping out on the balcony of my room and being overwhelmed at the life of His created things...a chipmunk scampering across the beam of the pasture-field fence, a mockingbird and its loyal mate singing love songs to one another, a cardinal peeping its head out from among the leaves of the forsythia, and a gorgeous red-headed woodpecker chipping away at tasty morsels at the top of the telephone pole. Who taught them how to seek their sustenance? Who filled them with the knowledge? Only You. Lord. 
Reminders each one to me and evidence of the great and awesome Lord who cares for us all even to the least of  His creation! Thank you, Father for feeding my soul.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Surprised by Alfie...

It's funny how your mind works, isn't  it? You can have yourself going in a certain direction,getting on with your agenda for the day, and what seems like "out of the blue" something pops in your head, and wham-o--you're changing course.
That happened to me a while ago. I was just getting into the day's activities and a  song from way, way back entered my mind and I couldn't let go of it...For you old-timers, maybe you remember a song from the 60's or maybe 70's called Alfie. It was the title song  of a movie starring Michael Caine as Alfie. It was big the summer that I was working as a waitress at a hotel on the coast of Maine. I didn't understand much back then about how deep those lyrics could embed themselves in the recesses of my brain. But, they wriggled their way out of the crevasse this morning! The first line of the song just popped into my head and I had to follow it along (the thought that is) to see where it was taking me. . .
What's it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?

I've been juggling that very thing myself the past month or so, wondering what is it all about? You spend a good part of the beginning of your adult life working on figuring out who you'll spend it with, what your job will be (career, motherhood, or both), what you believe about life, and walking, running, sometimes crawling through it. Along the way, you make and lose friends, you move to other locations, your family changes because new little ones enter and consume you, and your heart learns to embrace, to fill up, to empty out, to get scarred, and to break, only to start the cycle all over again. And somewhere along the way you learn and begin to know that with Help, you and your heart have grown strong. To see and experience the Truth  that when we are weak, then we are strong...and to walk that very hard and arduous path. . . one step at a time.

The next lines of the song are this:

Are we meant to take more than we give
or are we meant to be kind?
And if only fools are kind, Alfie,
then I guess it's wise to be cruel.
And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie,
what will you lend on an old golden rule?

Ah-h. the Golden Rule. One of the first things I ever remember from my childhood days of Sunday School. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Instilled into my being from a very young age, and, though I've often failed, I have tried to live up to that command uttered by the Lord. What my Sunday School teachers failed to teach me back then was that I couldn't live up to that command! It was impossible in my own strength. It took years of living and many hard and hurtful experiences to come to that understanding. I am weak. But with Him, I am strong. When I've felt the sting of hurtful words, or the ache of a soul I love going through the pain of life's realities, I hurt, too....badly. I need something to soothe the pain, too. Where do I find it? It took a long time to find the answer to the hurts that life inflicts. However, it's not a what thats the answer, it's a Who. The balm is found in the everlasting Palm of the Healer, Who through His love and His strength pours it out on the wounded heart. Not just so we can no longer feel the pain, but so that we can be healed from it, to see its purpose, that we can remember how it felt to have it and to be healed from it, and now to move on in our lives so that we can show compassion for that one who now sorely needs that same touch from the healing balm. 
The song concludes:

As sure as I believe there's a heaven above, Alfie,
I know there's something much more,
something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie.
Without true love we just exist, Alfie.
Until you find the love you've missed you're nothing, Alfie.
When you walk let your heart lead the way
and you'll find love any day, Alfie, Alfie.

In my opinion, the songwriter missed one important beat in his conclusion. That heart that you let lead the way...needs to  be a changed heart. A heart that has submitted to , belongs to, and is lovingly held by,  the Master Healer. The Love you find "Alfie" is only true and lasting when it's now become His. 
Well. That was an unexpected reminder to myself today. Isn't it interesting where your mind will take you when you least expect it? 

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Everyday I am a little bit more astounded at the realm of technology in our world. A week or so ago, I dug out an old book that had become my friend many years ago when I was going through rocky waters of my life. I pulled it off the shelves, blew the dust off its pages and skimmed through it, wondering why its title had popped up in my mind  practically 30 years later. As I perused its pages, I knew...I had been Directed to it again to help me make sense of a situation that's arisen in the lives of people I love. I thought back to the one who'd written it, whom I had personally met "coincidentally" at a time when I needed to hear that hope still existed. God knew I needed to hear that truth once again working in the lives of ordinary people and so my mind reached back to that lady who spoke so passionately of the Hope that was in her. I wondered if she was still around all these years later...was she still living in that place of hope that she spoke so eloquently about? I did what anyone would have done these days when looking for an answer to a question...I Googled her. And there she was! Popping up, clear as day. Scanning down the page, an inch below I saw a YouTube link with her name...and of course, I had to click it. I was instantly transmitted back, 30 years, to 1980 once again. The year I lost my marriage when my husband walked out leaving me with 2 little children and my mother was killed in a terrible accident... To that night when I sat in the audience and listened to her share her life. Through the magic of YouTube, I sat in the audience again and, although older in body, she's a bit past 60 now, she was the same in spirit... I saw her still speaking, still hoping, still believing, still spreading her story and I rejoiced because she had stayed true to her self and true to her God, Who is also my God. And I found myself full of joy, that I, too, also had stayed true to Him. I watched five 10 minute video segments drinking in her words,  her talk to women today about finding the Source of True Hope. It was such a sweet expression of God's intimate love and care for allow me to, through the instant click of the mouse, to hear someone coming out of my past that had had such a significant impact on my life all those years ago. To be able to once again hear her voice tell of her life's journey, of what had transpired with her and, more significantly, in her,  over the past 30 years, to see the path that He had led her on...It was awesome to me. And near the end of her talk, she said something so rich that it made me stop the tape, back up, grab a pad and pencil and listen to it over and over again as I madly scribbled it down. It goes something like this:
"Through it all I have found that the deepest call of the Gospel 
is to go out (into life)  with the life that we've been given, 
transformed--as well as we have been able to surrender to that transforming Love,
and then, to give back in service to one another ...
(because God knows, this world needs it!)...
so...What do I do with the years left in this life? 
It's the same answer that I found years ago 
when I was so much younger and so broken...
I go deeper...
and deeper still.
And find....LOVE.
Cells of Love that exceed hatred, 
and Hearts of Love that speak louder than hate.
And as we embrace that Love, we begin to lift the world--
in the same way that the dear people in my prayer (group) lifted me...
all those years ago....
They lifted me..."---Paula D'Arcy

Thank you, Paula D'Arcy for following the path, the life that you've been given. It gives me hope to continue on, to trust, to lean, to follow step by step and day by day the path that I've been given, too.

I've found another kindred spirit in Holley Gerth. Here are some thoughts as she contemplated Hope from her inspiring blog, Heart to heart with Holley:

"A Different Kind of Hope says, It’s okay to not be okay....

A different kind of hope... holds on to Who not why.  
And He holds us right back...

Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, 

character; and character, hope. 

Romans 5:3-4

When I first read this verse I thought it had a typo.

Wasn't hope supposed to be first on the list?

After all, that's how the world often portrays it—as a fluffy feeling that lets us float through hard times.

But it turns out that's not the way it works in the Kingdom.
Suffering produces perseverance...
We all know what that's like—those are the days when we simply get up and put one foot in front of the other by faith when feelings are nowhere to be found.
Perseverance, character...
If we do that enough days in a row, it changes who we are because of all we learn about who He is in the middle of our circumstances. 
And character, hope...
When who we are is transformed, hope comes to stay. Because we know in the core of our being that we can face anything with God.
Getting to a different kind of hope is a journey.
It doesn't happen all at once. It's the culmination of our hearts taking a thousand little steps of faith. And along the way choosing to say, "Yes, God, I will stick with you no matter what."
Real hope meets us where we expect it least and need it most.
So if life seems hard right now and you wonder how much longer you can go on,take heart...
Hope is already on the way.

A different kind of hope understands this handy little truth: sometimes you've just got to laugh because life ain't no peach pie after all.  (Sometimes you just have to take time for a pity party. Do it, and then... stop it!)

Do not compare your pain with others. The worst pain you will ever feel is your own. That does not mean you are selfishthat means you are human."

Each heart knows its own bitterness. Proverbs 14:10

Give yourself Permission....

Permission to be honest about what's not so great in your life right now. Not permission to wallow, mind you—but permission to acknowledge, throw the Pity Party and then get on with the real party of life.

 A different kind of hope shares rather than compares

Dr. Gary Oliver had lost a wife and son in the last few years as well as faced cancer. If anyone has the right to say, "My pain is bigger than your pain" it's him. His point was that when it comes to pain—it's far better to share than compare.

Turns out it works a whole lot better for us and everyone else to just say, "Yep, had a stinky day/week/decade." Then we can get on with healing and helping rather then denying ourselves right into exhaustion.

Hope is a flame that's lit inside us and no amount of darkness can overcome it. 

I imagine each of you also have a dream inside your heart that has flickered.

Yes, we know that feeling...the moment when light almost slips into darkness. But then, a divine spark comes and it is our choice to fan it into flame or let it fade.

A different kind of hope keeps shining no matter what.

Think about one of His names...Light of the World...

The candles within our hearts don't bear our own light—they bear His.

He came long ago to a manger in Bethlehem. But He also comes again here, now, when our hearts need Him most.

It is not new light that burns within us, brightening the path. 
No, the only true Light is the One illuminating all of eternity.

This is WHO we joyfully celebrate.

Jesus, Light of the World.

Yes, shine in us again." --Holley Gerth

    "My Hope".....sung by Hillsong.