Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Someday God

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. 
Charles Spurgeon 

Matthew 6:34
English Standard Version (ESV)
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:27
New International Version (NIV)
27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

Proverbs 12:25
New International Version (NIV)
25 Anxiety weighs down the heart,
    but a kind word cheers it up.

Psalm 27:13-14
New International Version (NIV)
13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

It may not be a kind word but here's a drawing of a cat.  It cheered me and I hope it will cheer anyone wondering if they will yet see redemption on this side of Heaven.  That day will come someday. In the meantime we can trust that God is as work in our lives.

Philippians 2:13
New International Version (NIV)
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

"Someday" - JJ Heller

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My God, My Milliner

This image so speaks to my inner princess and her desire to be the center of attention.  It's my inner princess that keeps a stash of tiaras collected from Disneyland that I tell my husband are simply souvenirs.   I once had a collection of old church hats that I loved even though my head was too big to wear them. Most were sold during our foreclosure moving sale but I still have a couple of them saved.  There will be a day when my Jesus will crown me, and I hope on that day I'll have the good sense to cast my crown before Him; but in the meantime my inner princess can dream.   

Abel's Field

Genesis 4:6-7
New International Version (NIV)
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

My husband rented  Abel's field for us to watch.   I don't always appreciate my husband's movie choices but I liked this one.   It's not perfect but I found it better than some of the other faith based movies I've seen.  It was pleasantly surprised by the quality and content.  It wasn't all about Texas high school football, which I do appreciate having lived in Texas, but as the movie art says, "Sometimes the heroes are on the sidelines."   That's good to remember, especially when you're feeling sidelined.
"Abel's Field Trailer"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Closed For Repairs

Some days are like this, especially with rheumatoid arthritis, but there's always tomorrow.  God remains good.

Lamentations 3:22-23
English Standard Version (ESV)
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Monday, January 28, 2013

My God Who Stands By Me

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
New International Version (NIV)
9 Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.

Philippians 2:1-2
New International Version (NIV)
Imitating Christ’s Humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

John 13:34-35
New International Version (NIV)
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I always have trouble when a nurse or health specialist holds up a pain chart and asks me to select which face best describes my pain.  It's hard to measure pain when I always hurt.  Unfortunately, it's also hard to measure another's pain when I always hurt.  Still I should try, because everybody hurts.  God never intended us to live in isolation, but pain isolates us.  It's also a choice. I draw my blanket of pain around me and call it self-preservation.  We're the sweet jam to spread, the honey to soothe.  Today I was bothered when a mentally impaired man crowed my personal space.  Uncomfortable, I surrendered the space to him, and quietly hoped to never share the same waters again.  I'm so glad Jesus doesn't see me that way. 

Isaiah 43:2
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.

"Stand By Me" - Tenth Avenue North

Carl and Ellie, A Most Tender Love Story

You may need a tissue for this one...

"Up: Love Story"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Nuff Saud

2 Corinthians 12:9
New International Version (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

My Surely Good God

I learned the hymn, "Surely Goodness and Mercy," when I was still so young that my legs barely dangled over the wooden church pew and I only knew Surely was a girl's name.  God's mercy and goodness has truly followed me and will still follow me all the days of my life, even on those days when I'd like them to follow me closer.  Tonight I find myself thankful for all the truths that were sung into my heart.   Surely, our God is good.

"Surely Goodness and Mercy" - Buddy Greene

Friday, January 25, 2013

My God, My Place Holder

1 Peter 2:24
New International Version (NIV)
24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

1 John 3:1-2
New International Version (NIV)
3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Dear Dad,
Do you remember how many times you told me to not stand so close to the TV or I'd ruin my eyes?  Does that explain why you and Mom went out and bought a TV so big that it could be seen from space???  Mom's still enjoying that TV, by the way.   I remember that I'd watch just about anything that came on the three, or was it four, stations that we got.  I also remember that you didn't need a remote because you had enough daughters to sweet talk into turning the station for you.  Do you have a great mansion home theater in Heaven?   I hope so.  I also hope you have complete control of the remote.  I know that you knew how I'd read the TV listings ahead of time and then give you my edited version when you asked what was on TV.  You were so kind about my choices.  Thank you.  

We didn't have many choices when it came to seating, such a big family and only so many places to sit!  We used to have to loudly announce, "Dibs!  This seat is saved!" whenever we stepped away or else we risked losing it when we got back.  (I'm not talking about that one sister, though, who always managed a seat on your lap! She knows who she is.) 

You and Mom taught us, when you turned the TV off for family devotions, about Jesus who took willingly and with great love our place on the cross.  He stayed there too holding the place that should have been ours, should have been mine.  Our Savior took the one place we didn't want saved and by doing so saved us for Himself.  It was His choice and His sacrifice of love, a little like what you did when you let me be your TV guide.  

"Children of God" Official Music Video - Third Day

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My God, My Commander In Chief

1 Corinthians 16:13
English Standard Version (ESV)
13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

1 John 2:28
English Standard Version (ESV)
Children of God

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

Luke 18:8
English Standard Version (ESV)
8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

My prayer is that when Jesus comes for me either in the clouds or by way of death that He will find me faithful, battle-scarred but still standing, ready for His   next charge, prepared for His orders, and proud to be in His army.  I certainly hope he doesn't find me doing something so inane as watching "Say Yes to the Dress."  
"The Battle Field" - Sonya Issacs

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My God, My Mechanic

Psalm 71:20-21
English Standard Version (ESV)
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
    will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
    you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my greatness
    and comfort me again.

2 Corinthians 5:17
English Standard Version (ESV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Joel 2:22-26
English Standard Version (ESV)
22 Fear not, you beasts of the field,
    for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit;
    the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
23 “Be glad, O children of Zion,
    and rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
    he has poured down for you abundant rain,
    the early and the latter rain, as before.
24 “The threshing floors shall be full of grain;
    the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 I will restore[a] to you the years
    that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
    my great army, which I sent among you.
26 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
    and praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Isaiah 61:3
New International Version (NIV)
3     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

At first I was just amused by this photo of "Jesus is Lord, Garage and Salvage." sign but then it seemed very right.  I'm familiar with garage and salvage yards because of all the cars my husband has tried to keep going over the years.  We've enjoyed many miles in cars that were just hanging on.  We've pulled loads too big to pull, run on too little gas, and have gone off the road in all the wrong places.  It's been adventurous motoring with a man who wants to get the most bang for his buck.  I'm glad he's not my God.  I'm glad I'm not my own God too.  It's just not in our skill sets.

Thankfully God is my lead mechanic; and when it seems as if I'll forever be a broken down wreck in His garage, He moves and acts.  Even if it seems as if He's had to send out for new parts from the farthest corner of the universe, he does restore, repair, and salvage my life for His glory and purpose.  At least, He does, if I don't roar out of his garage at the first spark of life, my impatience causing me only trouble further down the road.  Still, His tow truck arrives once again for me.  The good Christian in me wants to write, let the locusts swarm and the fires rage because my God will make me better than ever; but I'm a little afraid He'll do just that!  It looks like He'll be working on a few more trust issues with me.  Sigh.  

"I Knew What I Was Getting Into" - Misty Edwards

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My God, My Rescuer

Psalm 82:3-4 ESV

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Psalm 42:4
English Standard Version (ESV)
4 These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
    and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
    a multitude keeping festival.

I've still been thinking about my day at the ocean yesterday and about how grateful I am that I didn't get stuck among the driftwood logs and to have to then get lifted out by the Coast Guard.  Am I ever thankful for that! I'm also thankful for all the Rheumatoid Arthritis medications that fortified me for the day.   When I was young, clambering around driftwood logs was fun, but now it's really, really scary!  It would be ever so embarrassing to make the news as the old lady who fell down the log and couldn't get up.  It's all too easy to bemoan what I used to do.  Today the young man who lives in our house but doesn't want to be blogged about was rescued by answered prayer.  The relief was great, giving me a chance to remind him that God had his back.  Then I found myself singing an old hymn off key but with great gusto, "It is No Secret What God Can Do!"  Now that was a song learned in childhood that I can still sing with praise.  

It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)

The chimes of time ring out the news
Another day is through
Someone slipped and fell
Was that someone you?

You may have longed for added strength
Your courage to renew
Do not be disheartened
For I have news for you

It is no secret what God can do
What He's done for others, He'll do for you
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do

There is no night for in His light
You never walk alone
Always feel at home
Wherever you may go

There is no power can conquer you
While God is on your side
Take Him at His promise
Don't run away and hide

It is no secret what God can do
What He's done for others, He'll do for you
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do

Monday, January 21, 2013

My God, My Soul Restorer

Psalm 23
King James Version (KJV)
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the 
Lord for ever.

It had been a while since my husband took me to the ocean.  I believe the last time was before the house of the level path, before the Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis, before Carpal Tunnel surgery, before the little house under the weeping willow, and before the foreclosure.  I had gotten afraid that I'd never be able to get back my favorite place on the ocean that restored my soul.  I knew it would require a short hike, stepped from a bluff, to the beach, then  a scramble over the latest driftwood logs that had come ashore.  I didn't know if my diseased joints would handle it; but how I've longed to go back!   Today my husband, a faithful weather checker, discovered that sun would be there today and offered to drive me.  Handling both the dogs and me with my iPad he gently guided me down and over the great driftwood logs onto the sweetly wet sand that was so easy on my bones.  It was glorious!  It was as if God has cleared my history, emptied my cache and hit the refresh button on my spirit.  As we drove away, my husband asked, "Was you soul restored?"

Yes, yes, it was.  My Jesus leads me to waters made for me.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Savior, Not Superman

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
-----Proverbs 15:13 (New International Version)

All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
-----Proverbs 15:15 (New International Version)

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
-----Proverbs 15:30 (New International Version)

I admit it.  I haven't been a happy camper this week.   I've likely perceived injustice where none existed.  I've fought for rights that I don't really have.   I've wanted truth, justice, and the American way, when I'm certainly not Superman, not even Lois Lane.   Sigh.   Why do I demand justice in an unjust world?  Why do I believe I deserve better than my Jesus, who suffered the injustice of the cross for me?  It's almost as if I expect Jesus to be an American  John Wayne sort of guy, and am appalled when He leaves the bad guys standing.  I don't need Superman when I have a Savior.  I don't need a cowboy when I have a Shepherd, who lovingly cares for me, his sometimes argumentative, sometimes wandering sheep.  
My grumpy face is not a pretty face, not pretty at all.  I am a daughter of grace, forgiven, redeemed.  Others should be able to look at me what grace looks like.  

 33Miles - "What Grace Looks Like."

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My God, My Biographer

Proverbs 1:5
English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
    and the one who understands obtain guidance,

I loved this old picture of a bright young lady when I came across it today.  She looks like one who is enjoying learning, or at least enjoys wearing what we'd now call "hipster" glasses.  I wish I knew her life story.  I hope she's enjoyed a rich and full life.  I hope she's come to know Jesus as her Savior.  How could you not look at a child and want a future full of hope for them.  Our trustworthy God has written every chapter in the book of her life, as He has for me.  I should be ashamed or at least embarrassed by how often I've tried to rewrite my own chapters.  This reminds me of the song, "Trust and Obey."  Those songs learned in childhood have a way of sticking with me.  

"Trust and Obey" - Big Daddy Weave

I Liked This...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Telling the Story

Acts 20:24
New International Version (NIV)
24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

The older I get, the more important the task of spreading the Good News of Jesus, my Lord, grows.  I wish that I would have found it important when I was blessed with youth and good health, but perhaps that is the reason why God blesses me now with age and illness.  The passage of years has made Heaven closer and dearer.  I'd like to arrive there able to give a good account of how I spent my talents.  I'm in my Master's service and I'm here to serve.

"I Love to Tell the Story" - Alan Jackson

Friday, January 11, 2013

Enlarging the Tent

I just told my husband that I didn't know what to write about and he said very sincerely, "Write about my dog!"  I could but this picture is just so...just so...his dog... and my cat.  After moving into this house of the level path, I realized, that we had room to spread out his dog's big circular bed, and so I did, at the foot of our bed.  She loved it!  Unfortunately, for her, the cat loves it too.  It's now my cat's very, very large bed.  Thinking I could solve the problem I laid out a small but fluffy and comfortable dog bed next to it just for the cat.  The next morning I woke to find the big dog on the too small bed and my cat still sleeping comfortably on the big dog's bed.  Now I'm reminded of a favorite Bible verse.   It may be my cat's too.

Isaiah 54:2
New International Version (NIV)
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

They That Wait Upon the Lord

From Chariots of Fire

Isaiah 40:29-31
New International Version (NIV)
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

This Image Just Called...

Galatians 6:9 
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

...For a verse about patience.

What I'm Listening To...

Casting Crowns - "Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)" - Live

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I Needed This Today...

Psalm 23
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

I needed to think on these things today.  

"Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" - Casting Crowns

I Kind of Liked This...

So true...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Every Body Dies, But Every Soul Lives

2 Corinthians 5:6-8
English Standard Version (ESV)
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

I Corinthians 15:50-58

New International Version (NIV)

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h]

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?

    Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is said to shorten a person's lifetime; and now that I have that disease, will it shorten mine?   I don't think so, not really.  I expect not to live in this failing body a day longer than God intended me to live, and I expect to live with my God for a glorious eternity.  I am most blessed to know my real home is with my Jesus, who is even now preparing a place for me.   One day, I don't know when, I'll walk from earth into eternity, straight into my Savior's arms.  Every body dies, but every soul lives.   I pray that your soul will have the same hope.  An eternity separated from God is a most terrible destination.

This song is from a young group that I was privileged to hear sing at my company Christmas party.  
"Hold On" - Witherow

The lyrics:
A sweet melody is softly rising from the coast
Faint and ethereal like a ghost
It calls to me and says

Hold on

At the end of the race

Will you say well done you good and faithful?
Because I'm lost and fearful
Of failing you another time
But you call out to me and say

Hold on

Psalm 73:26
New International Version (NIV)
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My God, My Arborist

Psalm 1:1-3
King James Version (KJV)
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

"I Shall Not Be Moved" - Johnny Cash

Dancing As Hard As I Can

Colossians 3:23-24
New International Version (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Galatians 1:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Matthew 6:20
New International Version (NIV)
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Mark 12:33
New International Version (NIV)
33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

When I'm dancing as hard as I can, am I dancing to please God or men?  I would like to say that I'm doing my all for the glory of God but that wouldn't be entirely true.  I do like having my ego stroked.  I really do.  Loving God and His children requires me to lay down my ego at the alter and give myself to Him.  I dance like a princess, when I'm dancing on my Father's feet.

                            "In Your Wind, Take My Life" - Audra Lynn

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Raising My Ebenezer

Isle of Skye, Scotland

1 Samuel 7:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,[a] saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

Near where I live is a spit of land that curves out into the sea.  It's a lovely place.  Often I see small piles of rocks that people have left behind.  I don't know their purpose beyond a small statement from someone who wanted to leave their mark.  It wasn't the thing to do when I was a kid on that same spit. Small beach rocks were meant to send spinning and skipping across the water and the larger ones to climb upon.  One day I should go down and set up my own rock, my Ebenezer, acknowledging, like Samuel, that thus far the Lord has been my help.  He has indeed been my help through every one of life's battles and will continue to be so.  

"Come Thou Fount" - David Crowder Band

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My God of New Beginnings

Isaiah 43:18-19
New International Version (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

Tonight I will give thanks for my God of new beginnings.  I've had to leave many things behind throughout the years, but I've also carried along things that are truly useless to me.  I pray that God will help me discern what to keep and what to let go.  He knows my future; and He will lead me through what has been laid waste into treasures yet unknown.

                            "Whispering Hope" - Hayley Westenra