29 September 2008
Mrs. Brownstone posted last Saturday “Brainstorming B” about a game where you receive a letter of the alphabet and have to list ten things you love in your life that begin with that letter.
She challenged me with the letter “L”.
Since tomorrow is Tuesday, I am combining this game with “My Ten Things” and listing 10 things I love and am thankful for, all beginning with the letter “L”
Life! Wonderful, precious, God given life! Life in all forms and all stages. To read about how God moved me from “pro-choice” to “no-choice – pro-life” go here.
Light. God made the sun and the moon and the stars, all as lights to guide our way. More than that, He Himself is the real light that shines upon us to direct our steps!
Love. God IS love. Jesus is our example and our model of true love. There is no better teacher.
Lessons. I am always learning. Often I have to learn “the hard way” through tests and trials, but I am thankful that God loves me so much that He is not content for me to remain the way I am, but desires that I grow and move from glory to glory.
Ladies’ Ministry Nights. We have begun what promises to be a powerful and impactful study by Beth Moore on the life of Daniel. Though I may miss several of the session, I am expecting great things. We have a truly awesome group of women involved. Considering that in the past I never enjoyed the company of women, this is a remarkable statement for me.
Land. I was born, raised and lived 43 years as an urbanite. Now I cannot find words to express the joy of living on 20 acres of Canadian prairie land.
Letters! I know that now most communication I receive is by email, but when they are from friends, they are letters none-the-less and a joy to read.
Lentil Soup. Red lentils, onion, garlic, tomatoes, butter and a touch of dill. Slow cooked until transformed into a total body warming pot of deliciousness. If you want the recipe, just ask.
Lilacs. I like the look of them and love the scent of them and plan to plant some near the house eventually.
Lazy days. Sometimes, and more and more often, I enjoy a day of doing nothing but resting in the arms of my Father, worshipping Jesus, learning to abide and receive all that He longs to pour into my life.
Join us at X-Box Wife and add your “Ten Things”
27 September 2008
This week Kim asked us "In what ways have you “conformed to this world” in your own life? Then, share the story of how God worked through you to “renew your mind” in that situation."
For some reason, though I don't often rhyme, this is what got stirred up in me this morning:
The world is quick to panic, to worry and to fret
About things that have happened
Or haven’t happened yet
And I myself would follow, with lack of faith, in fear
Of all those things around the bend
That might never appear
And then the Holy Spirit, with patience, love and grace
Did a great transforming work
That put things in their place
Now when troubles threaten, instead of getting stressed
I simply run to Jesus
And in Him always find rest.
"He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD." Psalm 112:7
Join us at Cafe Chat and share your answer to this weeks question.
26 September 2008
There is something unique and soul stirring about seasons changing. I seem to find myself trying to hang on to the good parts of what is passing away, while at the same time trying to leap into the best of what is to come. I know that God has me in a time of transition as well, and although I do not know what lies ahead I choose to embrace whatever changes He will bring.
Rick is in the middle of his fall cleanup of the gardens, removing the weeds so that the soil will be prepared for next spring's seeding. What a prophetic picture of the work God does in us.
We have already had frost, the leaves are turning colour, drying, falling and piling up, yet the grass is still green and flowers still retain some glorious blooms. I can't help but see His hand in all of this. Creation itself declares His wonder and majesty. Today I want to add my voice to the chorus, saying "Indeed our God is an awesome God"
23 September 2008
This week I thought I would take a moment to thank God for things that I usually seem to take for granted, forgetting that each are a special gift from Him.
- He has given me eyes to see the beauty that surrounds me. "Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun." Ecclesiastes 11:7
- He has given me ears to hear, a cry, a laugh, a whisper, the call of a bird, the beat of a drum, a chorus of praise. "But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear." Matthew 13:16
- He has given me the sense of taste, salty, sweet, bitter, what would food be without this one? "Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste." Proverbs 24:13
- He has given me a nose that smells, and those smells all seem to link up with memories. "If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?" 1 Corinthians 12:17
- He has given me the sense of touch, hard, soft, smooth, hot, cold, all these sensations that connect me to life on this earth. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." John 1:1
- He has given me a tongue to speak and language skills to express myself. "The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just." Psalm 37:30
- He has given me emotions so that I may feel, joy, sorrow, pain and love. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26
- He has given me feet to stand and to walk. "My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD." Psalm 26:12
- He has given me hands that I can lift to Him in worship. "I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands." Psalm 63:4
- He has given me my husband Rick who also has received al the gifts above and shares them with me. "My beloved is mine, and I am his." Song of Solomon 2:16a
Join us at Xbox Wife and share your ten things!
22 September 2008
"Have you ever really felt the Lord's presence? Really known for sure that He was nearby?"
I replied in a comment on her original post:
"I have felt His presence on rare occasions, and I belive I will write a post about the same, either here or at Flickers.
But please know also that I believe we need to acknowledge His presence whether we "feel" it or not. That's the faith part. We can't trust our own feelings anyway.
Father God, we choose this day to worship and adore You. We admit Lord God that at times we stumble in the dark, unable to see You or hear You or feel Your presence. But this day, Lord God, we choose to declare that You are here, in all of Your power, Your glory and Your love. Thank You for being You, in Jesus name."
Here is the rest of the post I promised:
One might expect God to speak in an audible, thundering voice, but for most people this doesn’t occur. The voice of God is most often experienced as a fleeting, spontaneous thought, in many ways much less dramatic than one would imagine, but no less powerful.
God also speaks through His written Word when it suddenly seems alive in a new way, speaking His truth into situations in your life. I have had words seem to leap off the page and felt a “YES” in my spirit, amazed that it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. That same “YES” in my spirit accompanies His voice, no matter what form it has taken. Although He will often speak to me in a style similar to my own, He speaks things I know I would not have thought of in my own mind. He doesn’t seem rushed. There is no sense of pressure. In fact, in my experience, if there is a sense of urgency, or pressure to act immediately I am almost always sure it is NOT God speaking, but the enemy.
His voice, whether audible, seen (as in dreams and visions), or sensed, will always line up with His Word, the Bible.
I have only heard His audible voice once. One morning, I was still in bed, in my quiet time of prayer, and my husband was down the hall in the den checking mail on the computer and preparing for work. I heard a male voice speak my name “Karin”. I shouted down the hall “Yes, what do you want”. My husband said “What do you mean?” I said “You called me.” He insisted that he had not spoken. “But I heard my name” I said “and there is no one in the house but you, me and the cats”. He then wisely recalled the story of Eli and Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:9 and said to me “The next time you hear, say “speak Lord, your servant is listening””. All I could do was pause in wonder, thanking the Lord that He would regard me.
I had been praying one night, asking the Lord to show me His love in a tangible way. The next morning, while still in bed, again during my quiet time of prayer, with one of my cats curled up beside me, I could feel God’s arm around me. I remember telling the cat “We’re not going to move, God is holding us.” Some years later I was talking with the Lord and reminded Him about how He put His arm around me. I could sense Him laughing as He replied “My arm? My child, that was just my little finger.” I thought, of course, He is so very big, I would fit in the palm of His hand.
Some years ago, I began to hear a quiet, gentle, metallic tinkling sound like wind chimes. This could happen anywhere, and there were no chimes present. After the chimes I would sense a thought from God, a short word of comfort, encouragement or direction. This happened so often that I began to realize that He had gifted me with the sound of chimes as a sign that He wanted to speak to me, so each time I head them I would become silent and still, waiting in faith for Him to speak. He never disappointed me. I regret that in the busyness of life I often miss hearing and have even totally forgotten the chimes for long periods of time. When I remember and mention to the Lord in prayer that I have not heard the chimes or His voice, I sense Him saying simply “You have not been listening”.
21 September 2008
I have learned that I need not spend my time fretting about how to abide for the long term. All I have is each moment, and in each moment I can choose to abide in Him. Whenever the thought arises “abide in Me” (prompted by the Holy Spirit, no doubt) I can say “Yes Lord”, again and again and again. I can only live each moment for itself and the next moment and the next after will take care of themselves. Much like Jesus taught His disciples, of which I may be counted:
“So never worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 International Standard Version
By meditating on, pondering and absorbing the revelation of truths in this book, I have noticed increasing joy in my spirit. I would also say there is a greater sense of peace than I have previously known. I pray that in time I will be better able to articulate all I have learned. Even so, I will continue to surrender each moment, and continue in faith to declare, “Lord Jesus, I abide in You”.
20 September 2008
"Now faith is [the] assurance [or, substance] of [things] being hoped for [or, being confidently expected], [the] confident assurance [or, proof] of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) Analytical-Literal Translation
I had to walk into salvation, taking a step into the unknown, with faith that God would catch me. The same is true of abiding. I do abide in Christ because I believe I abide in Christ. The rational mind says it cannot be that simple. Human reasoning makes things much more complicated than they actually are. What joy to learn that it is not in my hands at all, but because Christ calls me. And as for joy, boundless joy, it too is found as I abide. Jesus spoke that truth to me directly as I was journaling:
“Lord, in a dream or vision this morning I saw two brightly wrapped gift boxes. At first, I thought these were gifts I was late in giving to others, but a bit later the thought dropped into my spirit that these were gifts You had given to me but I had forgotten, put aside and had not opened yet. I am so sorry Lord God if I have ignored what You have so freely given. I do not wish to take anything from You for granted, not a single blessing should remain without thanks and praises to You. Can You tell me Lord which gifts I have left unopened? I feel like a child on Christmas morning, expecting great treasures, hungry to learn what I have been given, over anxious with greed, but greedy for You alone, my Lord.
Rightly you saw two boxes, for I say I have given to you new gifts in these days. These have not been sitting ignored or wasted, but freshly given to you, My beloved child. Both of these gifts are meant to be opened again and again. The first is wisdom, new each day as you allow My Spirit to reveal truth to your spirit. Wisdom you cannot obtain from the world. It is My wisdom, given as you need it and as you are prepared to receive it.
The second gift is My daily invitation to come away with Me. Come away in Me. It is the invitation to abide. The invitation to My bride.
Open these with greedy hands, yes, and a greedy heart, for I so long to see the joy they give you. Abide in Me, where Our joy is complete.”
All that Jesus is, I can be also, through Him, as I begin to abide. All that He possesses is then at my disposal as well. As I abide in Christ I will also have His heart for the lost, not because of any striving on my part, but out of the abiding and communion with Him where His heart becomes my heart. This is in fact what I have been praying for; to hear His heartbeat, feel His heartbeat. Without having words for it, I have for a long while been crying out for and aching to abide, but didn’t know I could, and didn’t know how.
I have known there must be less of me and more of Him, but I have learned there must be none of me and ALL of Him! I cannot fully abide in Christ until there is no me, no self left at all. Then all that I am is all that He Is. Is this possible? To my natural mind it seems impossible to die to myself completely, it is not a natural act or process however, it is supernatural and can only be possible because of the Holy Spirit that indwells and guides me. My natural man fears death of self while my spirit man hungers for the same, to be totally lost and then totally found in Jesus.
Kim posed another good question this week:
Colossians 3:23-24 states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
This verse is the inspiration for today’s question.
How would your life look differently if you embraced and believed fully what the verse in Colossians states? If the truth above is something you already believe and actively live out, how does this truth make a difference in your life?
A few years ago, I was so struck by this scripture that I printed it out in a fancy font, framed it and have it hanging behind my desk at work. I truly do believe that my God wants me to know I make a difference in the world. I need not seek man's approval for I already have the approval of my Father. I am working for Jesus, whether I am doing a fund raising project, giving counsel and support to a weary caregiver, speaking about various aspects of dementia, serving in church, or taking care of my home. All things and everything I do, I do for Him.
I need to remember that when I am tired and don't really want to do the job anymore it is God who placed me here. In obedience, I will continue to attempt to bloom where He has planted me. Even when I don't understand, I will trust that He knows exactly what He's doing.
Join us at Cafe Chat and share your answer to this weeks questions.
19 September 2008
When I refer to journaling session, note that the words in regular type are mine and the words in italics are those I sense the Lord saying back to me.
I have been learning to seek the Lord at all times, for all things, so while I was preparing to begin this paper, I had the following journaling session:
“Lord God, I have just finished reading Abide In Christ and now my assignment is to write a paper about the truths I have learned and how they have impacted my life. I ask Lord God which revelations and truths You would have me focus on. How would You like me to write this paper?
I see us sitting together on a leather sofa, like friends who have just completed the same book and want to share their thoughts. Then I see You patting the seat right next to You, calling me to come closer.
Yes, I am saying “Rest”. Come closer, perhaps closer than ever before, closer than what would feel comfortable to natural man. “How close?” you ask. Where skin is no boundary, flesh no barrier. I am calling you to step into Me. There you can and do abide, if only you believe it to be so. Faith is key here, little one, believing it is so. “Against all odds, He still loves me” is what you are thinking, and love you I do. Can you find rest in that? Can you find peace in that? Joy?
Come to a place of belief, even when you do not understand. Just like your earthly parents spoke when you were a child, as My child there are some things you must believe simply because “I said so”
You have the right to abide in Me. My invitation is for you now, not for some future time of perfection. You can’t find perfection without that abiding, no matter how long you struggle. It will only be found in surrender, for in abiding you are who I Am, and I Am perfect.
I Am not too lofty a goal. You can attain Me for I Myself call to you, reach to you and bring you to Myself. Yes, into Myself. And as I absorb you, so you also absorb all that I Am. That is life – spirit to Spirit. Let Me be glorified in you.
There were many truths that touched me and changed me, some in ways I likely do not yet perceive. I felt that so much was being poured into me that I could not contain it all. I had a sense of over fullness, a sense of overflow. I have been trying to relate what I am learning to those around me, praying that God would be glorified through my words, but others are having difficulty understanding what I’m trying to share. It seems that without time spent with the Holy Spirit revealing these truths they are almost impossible to grasp.
Shining For Christ
This award is to recognize bloggers who shine the light of Christ for a watching world.
Beth is an amazing example of not hiding one's light under a bushel. Congratulations Beth, snag this little picture for your blog, give it away to others who are lighting the way with a link back to me, please.
And Beth, keep on, keep on shining!
18 September 2008
17 September 2008
Yes, I know there will yet be some warmer days, but for now, my thoughts are of curling up under a blanket with a cup of hot tea; heating the house with an oven busy baking breads and other tasty treats; pots of soup or stew on the stove; watching the wind take the dying leaves for a dizzying flight outside my window.
This is a time to be thankful for all that God Is and all He has provided for us:
We continue to process the fruits of our garden.
We have a home that can be made fast against the storms of winter.
We know the God that Daniel wrote of:
"He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning." Daniel 2:21
16 September 2008
I am amazed how quickly it is Tuesday again. Time seems to have wings.
I am learning more each day the importance of what Paul taught us "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Here's my list for this week:
- The rains have stopped, the temperatures have moderated and the farmers are back out on the fields trying to complete the harvest before cold and snow close in. Yes, it can happen this early in Manitoba.
- I have been invited to contribute to the new blog started by Sailorcross called The Power of Your Love
- The harvest from our garden has been extravagant. I will have much to give away.
- I was finally able to get the grass cut on Friday. I could probably bale it and have a hay ride with what's lying on the ground now.
- Rick had his regular day off yesterday instead of having to work overtime, and got much done in the garden.
- I finished reading "Abide in Christ" and now can write the paper that completes my current assignment. There is so much to absorb about the truths revealed in Jesus simple invitation "abide in Me"
- I am being taken out for a belated birthday lunch today by a very dear friend.
- God's love endures forever.
- I have food and shelter and love surrounding me when so many must find a way to live without any of these things.
- No matter what tomorrow brings, God is in control
What are you thankful for today? Join us here and add your list.
13 September 2008
Kim’s question this week is one many of us have answered before at various stages in our lives. It would be quite interesting if we had records of previous responses just to see how we have changed over the years.
"If you were deserted on an island for 1 year with absolutely no connection to the outside world (not even one person), what 3 things would you bring with you?"
This question arises at the perfect time for me, as I am busy studying and meditating on “Abiding in Christ”. To be stranded on that island sounds like just what I need to complete my lessons, having no one but my Lord to keep company with and nothing to distract me from His presence.
I can answer quickly, with no doubt or wavering. I would have with me a Bible, a journal and a pen.
I have proven through times of prolonged prayer and fasting that I can survive without eating. His written Word is what I desire to live and feed on, for as it says in Deuteronomy 8:3:
“And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.” Amplified Version
The journal and pen are to record what He speaks, reveals and teaches, and to write down prayers, answers and praises to He Who alone is worthy of such!
What would you bring with you? Join us at Cafe Chat and share your answers.
09 September 2008
This week my 10 things is dedicated to my husband Rick. I am so abundantly blessed that our Lord placed him in my life.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
Let me take a bit of creative license here and say: "Why do I thank God for Rick? Let me count the ways."
- Rick loves God above all else. That keeps his other priorities aligned.
- Rick is not afraid to say "I'm sorry"
- Rick has the same quirky sense of humour I do. We laugh often.
- Rick is a lifelong learner.
- Rick is quick to encourage and support me in whatever I believe God is asking me to do.
- Rick's bag of tricks, his knowledge and abilities fill in the gaps and compliment my own.
- Rick has a heart that has been kneaded, molded and softened by the Lord.
- Rick always finds new ways to surprise me with his kindness.
- Rick handles our finances with skill and Kingdom mindedness.
- Rick is Rick! He is exactly who God created him to be but open to the Lord's ongoing and never ending work in his life. God is taking him from glory to glory, and I get to come along for the ride.
What are you thankful for today? Join us at My Ten Things and share your blessings.
08 September 2008
Here's the challenge :
- For the next 30 days I can not say anything negative about my husband. Neither to my husband directly, nor to anyone else.
- For each of those same 30 days I will say something that I admire or appreciate about my husband, both to my husband directly and to someone else.
So, today, Day 1, I would like to tell you all that I have been blessed with a husband who has a heart to know God more deeply with each passing day. I am not only joined with him in marriage, but we are also best friends. Together we attempt to display to the world the truth of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
"Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken." New King James Version
When God created a woman, He was working late on the 6th day. An angel came by and said, ''Why spend so much time on that one?''
And the Lord answered, ''Have you seen all the specifications I had to meet to shape her? She must be washable, but not made of plastic, have more than 200 moving parts which all must be replaceable and she must function on all kinds of food, she must be able to embrace several kids at the same time, give a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart and she must do all these with only two hands.”
The angel was impressed, ''Just two hands?..impossible! And this is the standard model!?! Too much work for one day..wait until tomorrow and complete her.''
''I will not.'' said the Lord. ''I am so close to complete this creation, which will be the favourite of my heart. She cures herself when sick and she can work 18hrs a day.''
The angel came nearer and touched the woman. ''But my Lord, you have made her soft.''
''She is soft” said the Lord. ''But I've also made her strong. You can imagine what she can endure and overcome''
''Can she think?'' the angel asked.
The Lord answered, ''Not only can she think she can also reason and negotiate.''
The angel touches the woman's cheek... ''Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too much burdens on her.''
''She's not leaking...it's a tear.'' The Lord corrected the angel.'
'What is it for?'' asked the angel.
And the Lord said, ''Tears are her way of expressing grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride.''
This made a very big impression on the angel. ''Lord, you are a genius. You thought of everything. The woman is indeed marvelous!''
Indeed she is!
A woman has strengths that amaze man. She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens. She holds happiness, love and opinions. She smiles when feeling like screaming. She sighs when she feels like crying, cries when she is happy and laughs when she is afraid. She fights for what she believes in. She stands up against injustice. She doesn't take 'no' for an answer. She gives herself so that her family can thrive. She takes her friend to the doctors if she is afraid. Her love is unconditional. She cries when her kids are victorious. She's happy when her friends do well. She's glad when she hears of a birth or a wedding. Her heart is broken when a next of kin or friend dies. But she finds the strength to get on with life. She knows that a kiss and a hug can heal a broken heart.
But there's only one thing wrong with her...
SHE FORGETS WHAT SHE IS WORTH
06 September 2008
My class is called Naturally Supernatural and it is all about learning how to abide in Christ, and in the midst of all the hurry, hurry, Jesus is telling me what He desires is for me to simply rest in Him. What an amazing idea! In fact, it's my heart's desire too. All I have wanted to do is just snuggle up with Jesus in my Father's arms. When I give time to that pursuit, He seems to multiply the remaining time so I can accomplish all that is set before me.
Yesterday I was working on a journaling session for class where I was to ask the Lord what His vision for my life was. One of the things He clearly said was "You will hear My words and you will speak My words, both with your tongue and with your pen. Boldness will be there for you to draw upon when I call you to speak hard truths. Love will be available for you to share when the oil of healing is needed."
Funny thing is, I haven't been able to write since....
I think I'll go rest and listen.
02 September 2008
1) Today I am thankful for the truth of Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Whatever comes, I know that He is in control.
2) Today I am thankful for safe air travel to and from Chicago, favour with customs and immigration staff, and no delays.
3) Today I am thankful for wonderful time spent with family but also for time to spend alone with Rick exploring new locations like the Milwaukee Zoo.
4) Today I am thankful we were able to attend church Sunday morning at my old church and meet people who remember me and are interested in what God has been doing in my life.
5) Today I am thankful for the message preached on Sunday about facing fears. Our mighty God always knows exactly what we need to hear.
6) Today I am thankful that even away on holidays God gave me the time and desire to complete my lessons for the week and stay on schedule.
7) Today I am thankful that I am blessed to have a job, even if I would rather be at home today and not here at work.
8) Today I am thankful for the rain that keeps falling and falling and falling. It's abundance is overwhelming and ill timed for the harvesting farmers, but I know that God must have a plan even if we don't understand it yet.
9) Today I am thankful, joyously thankful, that God has placed me exactly where He wants me, here in rural Manitoba, and that I love to come home.
10) Today I am thankful that in a few hours I can pick up my beloved Faith from the kennel. I have been "Faithless" for more than a week while we were away and need a big dose of her unconditional dog love.
What are you thankful for today? Go to X-Box wife and join us!