Sunday, March 27, 2011


It is good to be fed, to be discipled, to walk and grow in fellowship with other believers.

Sundays are a banquet for me.  The one day out of the week where I can sit still for more than 20 minutes at a time and hear the Word.  I leave church renewed, refreshed, refocused, and ready to take on the challenges of the week.  Seeds of thought are planted, meant to grow into a fruit filled life.  Sometimes, however, these sweet heaven thoughts just stay where they were planted.  My spirit sings and heart swells, but do I live what I have learned?  Am I a hearer or a doer?  He is pleased in the doing.  Meditating on the Word is a wonderful spiritual discipline, but what Christ really wants to see, is His followers doing what He says to do. 

Today's lesson was on giving. . .

"Give and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over."  Luke 6:38

The command is to give.  It is an ever present command, not merely give once, or give when you have an abundance, the command is to give always, presently.  Automatically we see dollar signs when the word give comes to mind, but Christ never mentions money in this passage.  Give love, give kindness, give understanding, give gentleness, give compassion, give joy. . . just give.

So often I find myself seeking my own needs, turning to the cupboard or the bed for a nap or the television for an outlet, but the more I seek my self, the less I see of Him.  The answer is in the giving.  If I am giving, I am not looking inward.  Giving focuses on the needs of others,  giving draws us away from ourselves and draws us to relationship.

Christ is our ultimate example, his entire life was a gift.

His ministry was overflowing with gifts.  His gifts of healing to the blind, deaf, mute, lame, dead.  He gave food when he saw the need, as He fed thousands who followed.  He gave as He taught the disciples diligently about the kingdom of God.  Ultimately, He gave His own life. . . crucified for a lost and dying world.  He was given, so we can receive life.

"for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

God has a promise for us, He promises that if we will give then He will give back to us what we have given and even more.  If we give a cup we will be given back a cup, give a bucket - get a bucket, give a wagon full - get a wagon full.  Our capacity to receive is based upon our willingness to give. 

The paradoxes of Christianity are amazing - be least to be greatest, give to receive, die to live.  It all takes faith.  Do we fully trust Him enough to give?  Are we willing to let go and let God?  Do we believe His promises are true enough to humble ourselves, die to self, and give freely what we have?

I have been challenged and my giving will begin today.

I am grateful. . .

45.  for faithful pastors who preach the Word in love

46.  for healing rain

47.  for mysteries of the Word I have yet to discover

48.  for Sunday afternoon naps full of sweet dreams

49.  for freckles on little girl cheeks

50.  for dimples

51.  for vacations to fun places

52.  for memories relived on old videos of bath taking babies

53.  for being able to comfort my children when they are frightened

54.  for a sweet husband's tenderness

55.  for truth

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Time is so fleeting.  I feel it and see it all around me.  I notice it in the crinkles around my eyes when I smile.  I notice it in creaking floorboards, tired from the trampling of little feet.  It's working its way into my own flesh, as once young smooth skin bears the creases of time along worn fingers.  Weary muscles at the end of playground days.  Dents, smudges, scratches in wooden furniture bearing the marks of accidents or life or both.  Fraying threads on my favorite dress, broken straps on favorite shoes.  Then there's my beautiful children. . . losing their baby pudgy hands, growing tall, changing.

I love how the Creator fashioned the seasons in which time dwells.  Seasons of change, seasons of new birth.  Just when we think we have things figured out, or just when we think we have reached the end. . .things change.  Suddenly there is spring. . .

He breathes new life into the old, tired, weary soul.  The frigid, hard heart of winter is warmed in His love.  We let go of the shivering self-centered thinking and let His Spirit flow freely through us.  Then all we can do is burst forth in praise, in song, in worship, in adoration!  The bursting joy of spring is not silent.  The earth cannot contain His glory and neither should we.  So stop right now and praise our Creator God! 

"Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things."  Isaiah 12:5

-My apologies for not writing in awhile, just back from a much needed vacation. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Abiding Love

For bedtime stories the birthday boy brings me the Word to read, for tender ears to hear before dreams come.  This is the third night in a row he has chosen the Bible as his "bedtime story."  Tonight he says, "Did you know that those words in red are what Jesus said?  He actually said those words, right there!"  Joy and love and excitement fill his voice and his eyes - I love his love for the Lord!  This childlike faith that Christ calls us to have is simply beautiful.  Fully trusting.  Fully loving.  Fully abiding.

So we read the words in red.  The words from THE WORD covered in the red sacrifice of His life.  Words that give life, words given by the author of life.

"Abide in me. . ."  John 15:4

He calls us to abide, to remain, to be in Him.  
He has called us to do many things, but the one thing that is of the greatest importance is abiding.  Ever dwelling in His presence.  Bringing our minds, our hearts, our souls into constant communion with Him.  Living and growing in our Lord.

"I am the vine, ye are the branches."  John 15:5

He is the source of all life.  In Him and Him alone we 'live and move and have our being.'  If we are indeed the branches, then we only grow when we are living in Him.  Being in His Word, praying, knowing Him. . .these are the practices of an abiding life. 

The imagery of the vine is beautiful.  He is the vine - He is the root of all we need.  Just meditate on that a moment.  He is all we need!  Our branch does not need this culture or friendships or self seeking desires.  All we need is found in Him and all we need to do is remain in Him.

"He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit." v. 5

There will be fruit when we remain in our Lord.  I remember a time when we lived in the 'country.'  Our home was surrounded by fields of corn and soybeans and cotton and our nearest neighbor had a long grape vine in his yard.  By late August the vines were heavy with fruit.  The children and I were invited over to pick as many as we could eat - and much to their delight we would pick bowls full and overflowing.  Just imagining those grapes now brings a vivid picture to my mind of what Christ wants our life to be in Him.  He wants us to be full fruit bearing branches.  Branches who produce so much love and joy, peace and gentleness, that others will want to reach out and taste some of that love.  The hopeless will desire to grasp the hope they see in us, the hurting will want the fruit of forgiveness.  

This fruit also means sharing the Good News of Jesus, winning the lost for the kingdom of God.  Is my fruit pleasing to the Lord?  Am I living the abiding life?  Is my branch fully trusting in Him for all I need?  Does my life reflect His glory?  

These are the thoughts and questions I ponder now and hope my little ones who love the Word right now, will learn the life of abiding in Him.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Birthday Blessings

Today was my sweet boy's birthday!  We snuggled close and looked over baby pictures of when he was born and his baby years.  We had birthday cake picnics inside and his favorite pizza for dinner.  We even woke this morning to his sister singing Happy Birthday to him.  As we reflected on his life and his love I came across a few words I had written about my love for my son. . .

How can I resist sundown rings of hair or mahogany eyes that twinkle with love and mischief.  Sweet smiles and butter soft hands that wrap me up in love.  What a joy!  What a gift!  This darling boy who loves his mommy so and never wants to grow up so he will have to leave his family.  This little one who wants to build a house right beside us when he is older so we never have to be apart.  There is only this moment in his mind right now - only rockets to fly, and gray kittens to squeeze, and sisters to kiss or hit.  What a beauty childhood is - pure freedom, pure thought, pure love!  Thank you Father for the wonderful gift of my son, for all his mountains and valleys, joys and fears, loves and labors.

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!