Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Traveling Shoes

My shoes have been in Israel. They were on the feet of a friend and they walked the streets of Jerusalem! I think that since I did not personally get to go to Israel, the next best thing was to send my shoes.  Now, I can say, my shoes have walked the streets that Jesus walked!
I have shoes that have traveled to other countries on the feet of a friend, and it has become a fond habit of mine. Traveling shoes take on new meaning as they walk with a friend, and then come back to me and I hear the stories through the eyes of someone else.
As I walk my journey of every day life, I want to wear the shoes of Jesus. I want to travel where He goes, see what He sees, and do what He does. I want to hear His perspective on everything. I want Him to take my shoes, and be in complete control of me, so truth reigns in my life.
Jesus, Say That Again to me. Enable me to wear Your shoes and travel with You, and give me the ability to give you my shoes. I'm Yours today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Stinky Stuff

Fur Ball had a bit of an issue Sunday so he ended up back in the bath tub. He needed a major scrubbing, and he has become so accustomed to the bath tub or shower that it's just routine now. Like I've said before, he thinks he lives at the spa.
Yesterday, my husband and I took Fur Ball for another walk up the hill. He was pretty excited about the adventure. He took his time to sniff every branch and blade of grass, and did his little deer hop through the long weeds. And, then he discovered the stinky stuff. I didn't catch him before he was down on the ground and happily rolling around. I know, he was in scent heaven!
"Fur Ball!" I commanded. He jumped in surprise. "Get over here, you are going to end up in the bath tub AGAIN!"  I went into my stories about Stinky Dog and triedto explain to him that she was not named Stinky Dog because she rolled in stinky stuff. But, once again, Fur Ball wan't interested in my stories. He hopped off in search of more grass and stinky roll stuff. Ah, life is good on top of the hill!
I know how Fur Ball feels. Sometimes I keep going back to the same stinky stuff and I have to talk to God about it over and over and over again. I'm the one that keeps bringing it up, God cleans me up and reminds me that the enemy is full of accusations and lies, and He has bathed me in His light. Off I go again to face life!
This morning God led me to Psalms 62, again. He and I have spent numerous mornings here. My eyes rested on this verse this morning:

"God, the one and only--
I'll wait as long as he says.
Everything I hope for comes from him,
so why not?
He's solid rock under my feet,
breathing room for my soul."

There are a few things I am waiting for, He is asking me to wait and to rest. Some days, in the midst of the rest, there's stinky stuff. But, hope comes from Him, and He is solid rock under my feet, and with Him my soul will breathe.
Say That Again, Sweet Jesus, in the wait, there is hope, solidity, and breath.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Sticky Situation

My son purchased some stickers at the mall, and in his enthusiasm he pasted them on his door. So, now, every time I walk down the hallway past his room, this is what I see! Lovely.  My husband talked to him about it and told him it would have been better for him to discuss the stickers with us before he put them on his door, but he said he just assumed that it would be okay. After all, he draws on his walls, so why shouldn't he be able to put stickers on his door?
As I was laying with him in his bed last night and we were discussing the sticky situation, he could not understand why I was not excited about seeing his stickers every day as I come out of my bedroom and start my day! To him, it seemed like the perfect way to start the day. To him, he simply wanted to share his beauty!
As I read in Psalms this morning I turned to chapter 27 and verse 4 says this: "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple."
This was my prayer this morning, and will continue to be my prayer through out the day, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. I want Him to open my eyes to all of His beauty and fix my gaze on Him and Him alone. I won't see the stickers on the door, or the circumstances in my day, or the unpredictable future, or the gaze will be fixed on the beauty of the Lord.
Say That Again, dear Jesus, You have brought me to the place of Your dwelling to gaze upon Your beauty!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Piggyback Ride

My son is growing faster than a weed. His feet are now much bigger than mine, and he thinks its the greatest that his shoes make my feet look tiny! When I pick him up after school, the first thing he wants to do is lift me up and show me how much stronger he is ! Now, he wants to give me piggy back rides, and much to my surprise, he gets pretty far!
My heart is all tangled up in this little boy! He brings me so much joy, and I have been blessed with ten years of watching God grow him. His eyes sparkle when he laughs, and when he teases his sister he is full of mischief. He loves to cuddle and wrestle and hang out with his older brothers.  He has taught me a lot about relationship. Each day with him is a new adventure.
Today, I am soaking in the blessings of family. The joy of all my children, the richness of piggy back rides, the warmth of grandchildren, the love of daughter in laws, the circle of everyone together. Today I am feeling overwhelmed with the blessing of what God has given me, because I know it is a richness that cannot be purchased or replaced. He has touched my soul with piggy back rides, they are the hand of God!
Jesus, Say That Again, Your blessings are so abundant, I cannot begin to count them. You have showered me with them!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Lump in my Throat

My Grandson was born today. His mother is strong and courageous. His father brave, compassionate, and trustworthy. This little boy is blessed. I know that he coming into a family that will love him with such a passion, he will never doubt  it for a moment. I know that his parents will raise him in such a way that he will know his God, he will know his identity, he will be able to dance with the Spirit of God, and his heart will sing!
As I watched my daughter in law push her way through labor, I was challenged with a lot of emotions. As I gazed upon my own son, I was especially met with a roller coaster of emotions. My son, now a man, having his very own son, is facing a whole new adventure in life. He is about to open his heart to a different kind of love, a new kind of hurt, a bigger joy, and an unbelievable willingness to give of self for this little life. How can one little person change life so much?
My children have tugged, pulled, and ripped at my heart everyday! Just being in the room with this experience was an amazing experience for me, a tugging, a pulling, sometimes a ripping. My heart wanted to rescue my daughter in law from her pain, I wanted to hurry things up and spare my son from the wait. I wanted to know that everything would be okay, and not have to wait on God in faith. The lump in my throat was often so big it felt as if it would never go away. Yet, I'm just the mom, the onlooker, for them it was far more intense.
Jesus, You have brought a new life into our lives. You have given my son and daughter in law a wonderful son, thank you. You are good, You provide in amazing ways. You have blessed me with the opportunity to be a witness to all of this. Say That Again to me, Jesus, I am blessed to be witness to all that You have done. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Hair Cut

So, Fur Ball got his hair cut. My husband insisted that he couldn't see anything and decided he must be completly miserable. We cut his bangs, now not only can he see, but we can see his eyes! Fur Ball was not impressed with the addition of hair cuts to our spa. He tried very hard to wiggle out of the deal and it took both my husband and my son to hold onto him while I used a rather dull pair of scissors to snip away at his bangs. I just have this feeling he was thinking this: "You said this was going to be a no hair cut house!!" While we had him in the bathroom nicely secure in the arms of my son and husband and scissors in my hand, I decided it would be a good idea to cut some hair off the other end so as to prevent more poop balls from forming in the future. This too did not make Fur Ball happy in the least, he was slightly embarrassed, I do believe.
But, now that the trauma of the scissors is over and he has experienced sight and poop ball free days, he is pretty happy. In fact, he is doing better everyday.  Yesterday, he went on his longest walk ever and saw his reflection in a window for the first time. He considered himself very interesting, and couldn't stop looking. He also saw a man on a bike and stopped to consider the situation for a long time. When we encountered the cement truck, it was a little more than he could handle and he stopped dead in his tracks! It was a big Fur Ball adventure, and by the time we made it home he was ready for a nap, and wished for longer hair over his eyes for he had seen way too much!
I know exactly how he feels. There are days that I want to dig a hole and jump in head first. If I can't see it; it's not there! But, that doesn't exactly match up with my prayer of speaking and searching and knowing truth, does it?
So, Jesus, keep the hair out of my eyes, and I will abide in You. Say That Again, Lord Jesus,  You are here to open my eyes!

The Abiding Presence

God has been sending me to John 15 rather frequently lately, the Vine chapter. I read from there again this morning. As I read the verses, I could hear Him gently whispering, "rest Bethany, you need to rest in Me."
With summer coming, my schedule has eased, my kids will be with me, and I will be resting. But I have a sneaky feeling that is not what God is talking about. "Rest, what exactly are we looking at here?"
"Abide in Me and I will equip you for the road ahead, I am Your Companion the entire way." He said to me.
I remember a few years back when I realized it was God speaking to me about  the need to pray or read my bible,  so I made the commitment to Him that whenever I had the thought to pray or read my bible I would stop whatever I was doing and I would spend time with Him. We were just going into summer that year too, and my schedule was clearing, and now that I look back I picture God with a smirk on His face and little chuckle in His voice. That summer I spent hours a day praying and reading my bible, because He constantly brought it to my mind, and I kept my promise to Him. It was an amazing summer with God. It was restful.
He is calling me back to that much rest, at least for now. As I continue to walk the road He has laid out before me, His abiding Presence will be the best road map I could ever have. It's a peaceful and safe one. And, I will continue to enter there with my family and with friends in fellowship.
Jesus, Say That Again, You are the Vine and in Your Presence You equip me with all that I need today.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Big Man and the Little Swing

My son wanted to push my husband on the tire swing, so my husband jumped in for the ride. I think my son enjoyed pushing him, more than being pushed. My husband was pretty sure the entire swing set was going to fall down!
It made my sons day though and they created a memory together that will last. They created friendship. My husband is very good at that.
I'm thankful today for the blessing of family, for the ability to create good memories, and for the love God has given me with them.
Jesus, You continually show me Your love in so many ways and shower me with blessings! Say That Again, today!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Love of God

"So, What do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If  God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us--who was raised to life for us!--is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing--nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable--absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."
Romans 8:37-39

Say That Again, Loving Father, Nothing, Nothing, Nothing, will ever come between You and me. Your love endures forever!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Mysterious God

I read a quote today: "Prayer is not logical, it is a mysterious moral working of the Holy Spirit."
It's true too, He comes upon me, and He takes my very thoughts, He moves within me, then He tells my Father exactly what I need. It is a mystery. The more I pray, the closer I am to the heart of my Savior, the fuller I become, and the more power I have, the lesser I am , the bigger HE is. He shields me, He heals me, He comforts me, He provides for me all that I need deep within my soul. It is a mystery, it is the Spirit of God.
We all have journeys, and many of us have no idea the journey of another. It is a mystery.  But God knows. He walks beside me, and He walks in faith and blessing. And, I pray in Spirit and truth, knowing that He will continue to touch my soul and keep it exactly where it needs to be today.
Say That Again, Lord Jesus, You are not logical to me, You are a mystery sometimes, but Your Spirit breathes depth and life within me and I will praise Your name!

The Crown Video

Crowned By The King worked on a video and this is what they came up with, I'm thanking Jesus that He has crowned all His daughters with Crowns, and we are loved. I'm resting in Him today, because He is wrapping me in His glory.
Say That Again, Jesus. Your Glory is wrapped around me, and Your Crown is placed upon me. I am chosen and complete in You.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Investigation

Last evening we met with our group for dinner and some discussion time. One of the questions asked was: "Would your life change if you prayed Psalms 139: 23 everyday?"  My thought inside was "It will turn upside down!" This is Psalms 139: 23 in the Message:

"Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about;
See for yourself whether I've  done anything wrong-
then guide me on the road to eternal life."

I've been praying Psalms 139:23 for several months now, and I am here to say it works. I have felt investigated, cross-examined, tested, and guided!  My journey of God searching my heart has been a faith walk for me, a true learning experience.
 He has shown me how at times when I think my motives are in the right place, they are actually selfish and need some adjusting. He has continually assured me that He is with me, never to forsake me, abandon me, or allow harm to come to my soul. He has daily reminded me of the value of focusing on Him and truth. He has brought people into my life to speak truth and to gently bring me to places of trust and love, while at the same time examining with me the processes of my own journey. He has reassured me with lasting relationships here on earth, even when I am difficult to be with. His walk, His example to me, through this life journey, this investigation, is something I think is worth the ride.
Jesus, Thank you for loving me so much that You are investigating me. Thank you for guiding me on the road to eternal life. Say That Again to me today and every day!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Good Advice

A couple weeks ago I was at the lake with a friend and we were sharing with each other. I shared my sense of urgency to just move on, my need to be done with where I am now and get on to the next stage. I was feeling uncomfortable with the place God had me in and I really was done!
She simply suggested that I not concern myself with time. She reminded me that I am not a citizen of this world, but of heaven, and time here means nothing. I have eternity! FOREVER! Today is nothing to God, to Him my time on earth is but a puff of smoke, and if I can think in the same manner and live for eternity, it changes everything.  It was a welcome reminder, and I'm thinking about it again today. Living in Jesus today, for eternity.
He has already set me in the heavenly realm, right? He has transferred me right there beside His throne to be with Him forever, so why do I fret over time? I have eternity.
I do not have to accomplish everything or anything, only what He puts upon my heart today. Time with Him.
Jesus, Say That Again, I need You, I seek You, I have eternity with You. Thank You.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Example

God has been pulling a lot of things together for me in some interesting ways. Much of it in the things that people say to me, or things that I read. This morning I read a lot in James again, chapter 3 and 4.  It's back to that verse on wisdom: "Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of  getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor."
I like the last line, "treating each other with dignity and honor." I think when Jesus walked this earth this is what He did best, He treated everyone with dignity and honor, therefore He walked out love.  And, now, because of the path that He walked and because of the Cross, He is asking me to do the same. He wants me to treat everyone with dignity and honor, He wants me to remember that the ground at the Cross is level ground. We are all the same.
Sometimes, my choices impact the lives of others in a negative way, that is an example I don't want to be. Sometimes, I think I have the right to control, speak, put up walls, or take them down, when in reality, Jesus is asking me to let go and let Him work His will in me. He is the fierce lover of my soul, and He is the One that wants to be my One and Only Example, to me and through me. Sometimes, I think the normal ways of the world are the right way, forgetting that He has a greater grace in store for me with a knowledge  and an understanding richer than anyone else can offer.
Because He is my Only Example today and every day I take my stand against the enemy! As it says in James, "Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time."
Jesus, Say That Again, You are my Example, and You bless with wisdom. I will continue to come before You at the foot of the Cross and listen to You and You alone.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Outstanding Mother's Day

Say That Again, Jesus, You have blessed me. I thank you and I praise You.

The Fishing Day

The warm weather has finally come and we have been able to go to the lake and fish. It's very relaxing.  We spent some time at the lake yesterday, and both my son and daughter had their poles in the lake.  My husband and I had our chairs on the dock and enjoyed watching them. The sun was warm. The kids were excited. The fish were not biting. 
An older couple came up in their boat and my husband helped them tie up on the dock. The gentleman threw my son a fish. My son was thrilled! He went to task right away with my husbands pocket knife. My daughter stood watch, diligently speaking her opinion as my son cut the fish open. "That must be the fish brain, and that must be his heart, and I bet that is his poop..."  She, of course held nothing back. My son, did all the scooping and could hardly wait to get home and grill his fish on our barbecue. His sister, on the other hand had no interest in grilling his fish.
It was another one of those simple days with simple pleasures. And, as I watched my two children delight in the joy of fishing and the curiosity of a fish, I was thankful.  It reminded me of Jesus and all the time He spent with fishermen, and His love for fishermen. I thought of the story of Jesus on the beach cooking fish for His friends for breakfast and His desire to have fellowship with them. It was simple, friendly, loving, inviting, accepting, helpful, kind, and true. That's who Jesus is, and that is who I follow. He brings a certain lightness even to the complicated. When His disciples couldn't catch anything, and life seemed exhausting and complicated to them, He simply said, "cast your net on the other side of your boat." When they did they caught numerous fish! It was simple!
Jesus, Say That Again, You desire me, and all Your children to fellowship with You, in simplicity, truth, and love. Thank you for this gift.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Simple and The Complex

My husband told me yesterday that he was a simple man, and it's true. He loves a simple life and simple pleasures, with simple joys.  It's his ability to be simple that makes him so genius. It's his love for the simple that attracted me, and that gives me trust and safety. He is kind, wise, tender, loving. and manages to keep all those traits simple.
Me? Not so much. I live a more complex format. I take all the simple and turn it into puzzles, mazes, twists and turns. Because I'm complex and I like to look at all the angles, and, well, there's always a deeper issue, right? I have questions, about everything, my brain continually likes to wonder, figure, investigate, and check....that is complex, which is why God gave me someone like my husband, he knows how to be simple. He's an example of rest.
I am learning that Jesus is more simple, He really has a single focus which is relationship. He wants to be in relationship with me, to love me and know me. He is asking me to come to Him and be with Him. Its rather simple. The steps to get to Him all involve relating to Him, actively talking, confessing, spending time with Him.  Pretty simple, really. Trusting Him, another big relationship step. It's a dance with Him, a simple daily dance.  Yet, maybe, there are those days that it is more complex, because there is an enemy involved and  I have to know how to navigate the puzzles, the mazes, the corners, etc...with Him.
The Simple and The Complex, Say That Again, Jesus, it's really all about You, and Your leading.

The Stinky Fur Ball

As I was working around the house this afternoon I noticed an unpleasant smell. Upon investigation, Fur Ball was the guilty one. All that fur had become a stinky ball of poop. Poor Fur Ball!! He truly thought that walking in Stinky Dogs paw steps meant he had to stink!
For me, I was not impressed. I had already had a stinky morning and even wrote it all out to God and then took it outside and burned it. God and I had some deep and meaningful time together--then Fur Ball decided to add more stink to my day.
I considered my options: I could just put Fur Ball outside and pretend I knew nothing. Then, later when my husband and kids arrived home, and I was at work they would discover the stinky poop Ball. Whoops!
I could just hold my nose and hope for the best!
Or, I could give him a bath. After a firm talking to about what it really means to follow Stinky dogs paw steps, I decided to give Fur Ball a bath. Now, it was his turn to be unimpressed.
I managed to clean him up, and fondly thought of Stinky Dog in the process. Fur Ball prefers showers, but when he makes poop balls he doesn't always get what he prefers.
And so it is with life, filled with joy, and trials, and not always what I want. But, this I know, life here is not my home. Heaven is my home, and I'm living for eternity. Say That Again, Lord Jesus, heaven is my home!

The Light Bulb

So, this morning in my talk with God He sent me to Galatians 4, the chapter is titled "Sonship in Christ". I read it all this morning; prayed about it, recognized that God was talking to me about freedom. As the day progressed and I went to sit in on a group, I continued to think about Galatians. Some of the conversation in the group reminded me of my chapter, in fact it was this verse:
"Doesn't the privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And, if you are a child, you're also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance."
Even though God has said this to me many times, I heard it differently today. I have had many intimate conversations with God, but I have not always grasped what a privilege that is. And, in those conversations, as He is telling me to focus on Him, which is so plain and simple, I sometimes am still a slave to other things. Yet, He is right there saying to me, "You are not a slave anymore, You are my child, just focus on me, I have already given you an inheritance, it's yours!"
Ah, the light bulb went on, this morning.  It's not the typical light bulb. It's not like I didn't already know this, believe this, or even live this. God has blessed my life with freedom.  But, I have work to do, we all have connections to make and areas in life that need surrendered. And, today, He put a light bulb in one of those areas, and he did it through Galatians 4 and through a men's group.
Say That Again, Jesus, the intimate communication with You is a privilege, and You have called me and all Your children out of slavery.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Embrace

I have a friend that has been in my life for many years and we talked this morning on the phone. We have often checked up on each other through the years just to see how the other is doing. Today was a good day for checking, we both needed to be embraced through words.  I needed to be reminded that God embraced me, before I was even born, that He took my sin-dead life and made me alive in Christ. He took me and  set me in the highest heaven in the company of Jesus!
Sometimes, I forget. Sometimes I forget that there really is a battle going on, that the enemy is after my heart. Sometimes I forget that the victory is already won, and Jesus has me in His Embrace. Secure. Sometimes, I panic. I just do, and I need someone to remind me that it's time to sit back and breathe.
My praise today is that God sends people to embrace me, often they do not even realize they are embracing me. He knows. I'm praising Him because His truth is always made known to me. He kindly touches me and loves me. I know He leads me.
So, for right now, I'm embraced. I will praise Him for this lavish gift.
Say That Again, Sweet Jesus, You have gifted me with the embrace of Your love.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Couch

Last evening I was sitting on the grass in town overlooking the lake and I saw two poodles. Both of them were off-white, one of them was nicely trimmed. His hair about one inch in length all over his body, and he walked very proudly on a leash next to his owner. The other one, also on a leash walking rather proudly, was covered in puffs and poms from head to toe!  She had a bit of a prance to her step and I imagined that her toe nails were pink. I thought of Fur Ball and his race to get back to the house from our mountain hike and tried to imagine how he might look in puffs and poms, and I couldn't help but burst out in laughter.
This morning as my husband was reading to our children, Fur Ball helped himself to our son on the couch. It seemed like the most comfortable place to be, and he read the sign on our wall which says "If you want the best chair in the house, move the dog." He didn't bother to move my son, he just sat on top of him, it was softer for him that way.
My daughter told Fur Ball that she missed Stinky Dog. We all do. I think he understands. He's been putting up with a lot of Stinky Dog talk around here and working hard to walk in her paws. Even though he has made some mistakes, like pee on the floor and eat a few socks, I'm thinking Fur Ball is pretty nice. He's taking it all in stride, and even with poodle syndrome and the inability to use a leash, he knows how to cuddle, and he listens well. He reminds me of love, I think he loves me.
This morning I read Ephesians 1:3 and it says this: "Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son."
Wow, like Fur Ball, I can go to the couch of my Father and know that I am loved. I am adopted into His family, accepted. I am the focus of His love and He is making me whole and holy. Isn't it amazing?
Jesus, Say That Again!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The First Hike

Fur Ball and I went for a hike today behind our house. I told him it use to be one of Stinky Dogs favorite things to do, and it was the last hike she took. He wasn't that impressed, actually. I've determined that Fur Ball has poodle syndrome.  He stayed pretty close to me as we took the trek up the hill and when we made it to the top, I took him to my favorite log bench, so we could take pictures. Once again, he thought it was all a bit of a bore. He kept turning his head towards home, and it seemed to me he was thinking of the chair and the shower! Maybe he really does want to have pom poms!!
I continued to talk to him about all the fun times we have had as a family on top of the hill and how Stinky dog use to run and run on this hill. He did venture out a little bit and explored, then he ventured towards home and I chased after him...."Fur Ball, Fur Ball, come back!" 
It reminded me of how sometimes God brings me to places and He tries to tell me that it is good and He is with me and there is purpose, but my head is turned in another direction. I can't hear Him or see what He is talking about because I want something else or I have another idea. But, He is right there with me, talking to me, calling to me, right on the mountain top or in valley! He has everything to offer me, all that I need right where I am. 
Jesus, Say That Again to me, even with the problems, You are equipping me to live with You on the mountain top and the valley, in your presence. Thank you.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Peace

Someone read to me from their devotional again today and I found it to be a true blessing.  The opening statement was this: "If you learn to trust me with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from My Peace." It went on to say that all things can be put to use in a good way, to be used in a way to learn how to trust Jesus, and to obtain peace in Him.  "Fear no evil."  In all situations, God can bring good.
I have thought about this a lot lately, and realized that even while feeling fearful, there can be a deep sense of peace. That in the midst of turmoil and questions, I can know peace. It is His promise to me, and to all His children.
He has continually asked me to focus on Him, when I listen for His voice, I hear Him say: "focus on me." I am seeing that the more I am able to focus on Him, the more I am able to remain calm in adversity. The more I can see that He has been there, He will stay, He never left. Sometimes, when life has felt evil, it is hard to see that He was there, but His promises are true. He takes all things and turns them into good for those that love Him. He gives me peace and truth, because He is sovereign and He walks before me.
Jesus, Say That Again, You are peace, truth, light, love, hope, and nothing can separate me from You.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Sure Thing

Yesterday was a full day of yard work at our ministry house. We had a team of people show up and we dug out flower beds, we made new flower beds, and we trimmed trees and bushes. Some of us recognized our age as we began to limp around the yard a little sooner than others. Our designer made curves in the flower beds and told of her vision for the yard. She brought flower bulbs to plant, and seeds. In just four hours, we saw a transformation.
I have always loved the yard at this house, its big, and the kids can easily play in it. There's a lot of trees, and there's a big wrap around deck, built by my son and husband. There's a lattice fence also built by my son and husband in the side yard that encloses a sand box, boxed gardens, a pergola, fire pit, and a rock patio. All  of these bring to me special memories of my family and people I care about. It's a place of rest and peace, not just for me but for many people.
This morning I read Isaiah 26, and this is the verse I want to share with you:

"Throw wide the gates so good people can enter.
People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don't quit.
Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing."

Just like the yard work, we had to keep at, and we will continue to keep at it.  Just like the ministry, the gates are wide open so good people can enter, and we will keep at it. And, my mind will be set on HIM. He will continue to keep me and all those who keep their minds on Him completely whole, steady on my feet, because quitting is not an option. Depend on God, He has promised to be a sure thing. Say That Again, God You are a sure thing!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Naughty Dog

So, Naughty dog hasn't given Fur Ball much notice. I don't think he believes Fur Ball is even alive, I think he has been telling himself all this time that Fur Ball is a new stuffed animal that our noisy children have brought home. But, his world of denial came crashing down around him, last night.  Fur Ball, after intentionally walking into the shower, on his own, for his spa treatment. was rather frisky for the rest of the evening. Naughty dog suddenly realized that he better establish in Fur Balls mind whose in charge, and he better do it right away.
So he started with a growl, and a couple circles around Fur Ball, thinking that should do it. But, Fur Ball didn't even notice this form of intimidation. Fur Ball placed his paw on The Naughty Dog and challenged him for more.  The Naughty Dog showed some teeth and did a little pounce, all of which Fur Ball found very playful, and did a bigger pounce! Around and around they went, each time The Naughty Dog becoming more and more frustrated that Fur Ball simply would not listen to his warnings. The Naughty  Dog, I think was beginning to worry that he had lost his job as top dog in the house. Fur Ball was all about play, and could care less about what obeying his threatening commands. The Naughty Dog even tried to corner Fur Ball in another room and make him stay there, but Fur Ball would have nothing to do with such ideas and simply jumped over The Naughty Dog and continued on with his annoying play, ignoring the growls, the teeth, and the obnoxious threats.
Fur Ball has figured out who he is. He sits in the front seat of the Land Rover now, He lays on the bed. He walks into the shower. He belongs here, and not even The Naughty Dog can tell him otherwise. He is wanted, loved, accepted, and he will behave accordingly.
This morning as Fur Ball followed me down the stairs to sit with me by the fire, I noticed that The Naughty  Dog stayed upstairs. He has a lot to think about today. Maybe he's not in charge anymore.
I know God continually reminds me that I am not in charge. If I want my life to work, He is the One that must be in charge. I read Psalms 139 this morning and I love this part:
"You scrutinize my path and  my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me."
He knows who I am, He is acquainted with all my ways,  and all my words. He has a Hedge around me, His Hand upon me!  The enemy cannot touch me, and just like Fur Ball, I can rest in my identity, because I know  Who I belong to.
Say That Again, Heavenly Father, You are intimately acquainted with all my ways, You have enclosed me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Truck Ride

Fur Ball went in the truck with me last Monday. I put Stinky Dogs bed in the back of the truck and then Fur Ball sat on the bed and we went for a ride. He seemed to think it was okay.  So, today, I put Stinky Dogs bed in the back again and Fur Ball on top of the bed and drove to our ministry house, all went well. I introduced him to the kitchen, the living room and then to my office with the old flowered couch. He was especially fond of the couch, and helped himself to the cushions for a nice long nap. He seems to be adjusting to the pampered lifestyle rather quickly.
After a good snooze, I carried him down our steep stairs and ushered him into the yard. He sat down and stared at me, as I coaxed him to potty. If I could read Fur Balls mind, I think he might be saying "she sure is silly, and entertaining, this must be the part where I am suppose to pretend like I am interested!"
He did finally get up and casually potty, maybe he thought I didn't notice. I snatched him up and proceeded to put him in the back of the truck on Stinky Dogs bed. But, he began to protest and made great efforts to escape. He clearly was not interested in staying in the back on Stinky Dogs bed! He was ready to progress to the front of the truck, next to me! I spread a blanket on the front seat and sat him upright in the passenger seat. He sat there proudly, just like Stinky Dog use to do. I told him he was a good boy and off we went. He seemed rather impressed with himself and for awhile he looked out the window and watched the cars go by, but then he tired of it all and laid down to take another nap.
This brings me to my need to sit next to Jesus! I need Him to be in the drivers seat, and like Fur Ball, I want to be right up next to Him riding along. I want Him to steer the way, lead me, take me, and show me what's going on. Without Him, it's just not going to work. Just like with Fur Ball, without me, he's not going anywhere.
Jesus, Say That Again, You are the driver here, I am the passenger. Speak to me, I will listen! Take me with you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Devotional

Yesterday someone read out of the Sarah Young devotional to me. It's one of my favorite devotionals, and yesterdays reading was especially meaningful. It was like God was speaking just to me.  Later, in the evening, when I was with a group, someone else pulled out her Sarah Young devotional and read the same page to me again! I knew God was really trying to get His point across to me then.
This morning, I was on the phone with someone and she read her Sarah Young devotional to me. Again, it felt very personal and perfect for my day. Then just after we hung up from our call, the phone rang again and it was another friend, she was calling to read to me out of her Sarah Young devotional!! Same book, same page! Okay God, I'm listening.
Today He was saying that the path is not random. He has plans and I don't need to worry about tomorrow. Just this morning I prayed for God to make some things very clear to me as far as direction. It didn't take Him long to do that. He sent two people to speak direction into my life very clearly, and to help me understand His path for my life.
Even when I feel afraid, and that is often, God works through my fear and leads me on His path when I ask Him. He sends His Spirit and His people and covers me in love.  Jesus, Say That Again, You continually speak in numerous ways, every single day.