31 March 2010

Word Filled Wednesday - The Cross

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 NIV




is hosted this week by Amydeanne at The 160 Acre Woods



27 March 2010

Ephesians 6:18 Saturdays - Adoration

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people). Ephesians 6:18 Amplified

As I promised back in February, I am back to devoting the next few months of Saturdays to the study of different types of prayer.

This week let's turn our attention to prayers of adoration.

The offering of our praise and adoration is closely linked to the prayers of thanksgiving we looked at last time. This is a time we can give to God to rejoice in His greatness, not for what He has done, but simply for Who He Is.

The Psalms help us as we attempt to glorify and magnify the Name of our Lord.

Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 106:1 NLT

Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people! His love has taken over our lives; God's faithful ways are eternal. Hallelujah! Psalm 117:1-2 The Message

Mary sets an example for us after her visitation from the Lord's angel.

And Mary said: “ My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. Luke 1:46-47

When we magnify the Lord in prayer and worship, the things of the world that once loomed large begin to take on a new perspective. If your prayer time seems dry or difficult, begin to speak out your love and adoration and feel how He begins to pour His love upon you. Allow joy to rise in your spirit as you turn your eyes upon His majesty.

Helen Lemmel's words lyrics in 1918 still have much to teach us:

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of his glory and grace."



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26 March 2010

Places I'd love to be...

Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama posted about some of her favourite places in the world and challenged us to link-up with places of our own.

Here's a few places that are dearest to my heart --

Rapids on the Nile River in Jinja, Uganda

Rainbow over Murchison Falls, Uganda

Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba

Cabin at Barrier Bay Resort, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba


Sunrise in my own backyard
Why not visit Lisa-Jo and add some favourite places of your own?

25 March 2010

Too many words?

WORDSImage by Feuillu via Flickr

I like to imagine that I am a writer. I use words to share my thoughts and my heart. I scratch words on paper or allow my fingers to fly on the keyboard. I cherish the look of words, the sound of words, the way they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle to create a picture I hadn't expected to see.

I use words, written or spoken as a way to process what I am seeing and feeling. I talk my way into understanding. In this time of change in our church, I have found myself involved in too many conversations. This morning, I brought the issue before my Lord in my morning journaling time.

Today Lord God, I ask for Your help to know when to speak and when to remain silent.

Peace. Wait for My peace. That may mean slowing down, even stopping at times - to wait, simply wait.

If you are angry - wait. Be still.
If you are hurting - wait.
If you sense danger - wait - bring Me your fear. I can help you discern.

No one is too gifted to be beyond needing My assistance. For he who believes he can understand the world on his own is already walking a very slippery trail.

How many times have you spoken first - then come to Me to ask if your words were correct? Is it not easier My child to consult Me first?

I gave you the gift of words and speech and ask you to steward that gift wisely.

Lord, I was just realizing yesterday that I process things as I talk through them.

Yes, indeed you do - so come and talk with Me. Talk first with Me.

There has been too much talk and too little prayer. Everyone is hearing from themselves and others, words, words and endless words. I want you to stop and listen. If I am silent - wait, for I am creating a hunger for My words. I need you to know that you are desperate for My opinion.

This is not a time for isolation, that is what the enemy desires, but it is also not a time for endless chattering.

You are wise to seek My wisdom. Trust Me to guide you in the way you should go.

I am praying about whether I am to set apart a time to fast from words. I am not sure if this will be only spoken words or if written words will be included as well. If you feel so moved, please pray that I will hear the Lord's clear directions.

That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Joel 2:12 NLT

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24 March 2010

Apologizing - Re-rant

slow-sign-tpImage by nimbu via Flickr

In January I posted the following words as part of the post A Rant - An Apology . Nothing has changed as far as connection speed, and I feel progressively worse about my inability to leave comments on many of your blogs. So I offer these words of apology again as my way of asking for your patience and forgiveness.

I seem to waste ridiculous amounts of time waiting for my computer to respond to simple requests. I get frustrated. I get impatient. I get angry at our lack of options. It's not that we refuse to pay for high-speed, or wireless, or satellite or cable, there is none available.

"I love my life here in the country" I tell myself again and again. And I do.

But....

When I try to reach out and connect with many of you I find that your pages won't load. I can't view your videos, never mind enter into the new realm of vlogging. The connection is just too slow.

Most painful of all is my inability to leave as many comments as I'd like. As a blogger, I know how those words of encouragement and understanding, those "amens" spur us on. I don't enjoy being a lurker when I truly do have things to share with you.

So I ask for your forgiveness. I'm with you. I'm reading and loving your words and hearts. I'm sending you my prayers. I'm leaving my responses where and when I can.

Will you join me in prayers that internet options here will soon change? And please be patient with me until that time comes.

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Word Filled Wednesday - Released

But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. Malachi 4:2 NLT

Late winter into early spring is one of my favourite seasons of farming. I never tire of seeing the calves (actually, I like to call them "baby cows", but farmers constantly correct me) running about in the fields.

May we live in that same joy as day by day we receive more revelation that we are walking in the freedom and release of Christ.


is hosted this week by Susan at Forever His





23 March 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped - New Life

There is a family we have joined into a covenant with; to walk together, sharing our struggles and our victories, our rejoicing and our mourning, to hold each other accountable to the life God has called us to. This is both the hardest and yet the most rewarding type of relationship.

Yesterday we were blessed to gather, for prayer, fellowship, support, food, encouragement and time to simply love each other.

We blessed new land they have purchased as their farm continues to expand. This ten year transplant from the big city loved every moment of visiting with this year's calves and their mamas as they came jogging over to savour a treat of chopped grain and minerals.

I had the chance to inhale the scent of new life and thawing ground. In that moment, the Lord reminded me that even in the midst of change, turmoil and uncertainty I can rejoice in the truth that some things just are.

Cows are cows. Land is land. Friends are friends. And God is God.

Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9 The Message

What special moment are you unwrapping today? Join Emily at Chatting at the Sky and share.


19 March 2010

Flashback Friday - Rite of Passage

This week Jo said:

This week's prompt is ALL GROWN UP. You can take any direction you like with it, but here are a couple of ideas:

The time it dawned on you that you were one of the grown ups
The moment you first felt like a mother (or a father)
A personal rite of passage

As a girl just growing into womanhood, I carried my mother's disappointment. I was the youngest of three children and the only girl and I knew I was not the pretty little thing my mother had hoped for when she dreamed and waited for a female child. I wasn't a popular, social insect, fluttering about. I was smart. My mother gave me credit for that, and urged me to continue to excel in my studies. Smart indeed, but smart girls didn't have boys knocking on their doors, not the cute ones anyway. So smart, and fat and ashamed, I made friends with others who didn't fit the mold which was deemed correct at the time.

One day in an attempt to appear normal (where normal meant being like the majority of other girls at school) I put on makeup and a necklace that I had just found while out shopping with a friend. My mother came home to find me in front of a mirror, looking at myself from various angles, trying to find some pleasure in what I saw.

Maybe it had been a particularly rough day at work for my mother. Maybe she had just seen some pretty little girls my age gathered happily somewhere. Whatever the reason, the sight of her obese daughter trying to look better triggered an explosion that may have been building for years. All of the bitterness and disappointment erupted in a few violent moments. She grabbed the string of beads around my neck and pulled, hard enough to break the strand. Beads flew about the room. Using the fingers of one hand she attempted to wipe the makeup off of my eyes.

“You don't need this stuff” she said, her voice loud and harsh. “Why bother with jewelry or makeup? Why bother?”

I was trembling as she grabbed hold of my tee shirt and continued in this new, frantic voice. “What difference will it make?”

She slapped me across the cheek. I hardly felt the blow as I spun wildly in the sting of my mother's next words.

“No one will ever want you anyway!”

This was a rite of passage that lead me to many years of searching for the very thing my mother said I would never have, the approval of man.

Thankfully I discovered a loving heavenly Father who is teaching me that His approval is all that I need. Part of growing up is realizing we do not have to allow things from the past to continue to shape our lives.

Stop by at Mylestones to read more of our stories and share one of your own.



18 March 2010

Listening to the Lord

A photo of a cup of coffee.Image via Wikipedia

We all have morning routines, right?

I have been used to staying beneath the covers while Rick showers, dresses, eats his breakfast and checks news, weather and email online. Then he would bring me a cup of coffee and read our morning devotional.

This time snuggled into the warm used to be a time of prayer and communion with the Lord, but I must confess that lately, more often than not, I would drift back to sleep until devo time. Then I would begin my time online as Rick left for work.

I felt as God was asking for "intimacy before internet" and I have chosen to obey. I now have Rick wake me after his shower when he comes back in the bedroom to dress. I move into the living room, with a cup of coffee and my journal and begin the day in conversation with my Lord. My time with Him challenges me, encourages me and sets my course for the day ahead.

This is from a journaling session last week. The Lord was welcoming me back to our time of communion. 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.

Dear Lord Jesus, I choose to begin my day with You, hungry for Your presence and more intimacy with You before I let the world in. What would You like to share with me this morning?

Welcome back, little one, I've missed you. This is a special time for us, when you pick up your pen to listen to Me. I am pleased that have chosen to return and the cry of your heart is sweet music to me.

The road you have been on has had many curves, twists, inclines that have been muddy, slippery and hard to navigate. But, my child, I have been there for every step, and each challenge has had its purpose. As you faced each difficulty head on, you were learning that I can make the crooked places straight.

Yes, you walked through the valley of the shadows of death KNOWING that I Am with you. Perhaps knowing in a deeper way than ever before. Now there is new light illuminating the road ahead. Yes, little one, it is time to celebrate. Rejoice in all you have come through. Well done. Well done.

Set apart for My heart
Set apart from the start
Chosen, selected, beloved you are
To live in a place set apart.

Do not fear, child, for even when you think you are walking away, I make certain that your steps lead you ever closer to Me.

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17 March 2010

Word Filled Wednesday - Call to Me

'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.' Jeremiah 33:3 NIV

I woke Monday in the middle of the night and turned to look at the clock. It read 333.




Christy is hosting us this week at Critty Joy





16 March 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped - Life stirring


I've been writing and praying about transitions, in our church, lives, community and weather. I would not at all mind putting the word transition up on the shelf for a long while.

Looking out my kitchen window this morning I caught of glimpse of what I thought was one of our barn cats, Cream, who has been missing for some time. Grabbing the binoculars to get a closer look I saw ears much too large for any cat.

Life is stirring in our yard. Transitions continue with or without our consent.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1 Amplified

Today I am unwrapping the grace that God provides to stand in the midst of change.

Join Emily at Chatting at the Sky to share what gift you've discovered today.


Talking Marriage at Exemplify Online


I'm over at Exemplify Online today - asking "Who Has Ownership of Your Heart?"

Stop by and look around. Leave your comments here or there.

Back later with a post here as well.


13 March 2010

Transition

As is common to March, the air is growing warmer and the sun is quickly melting the snow that had covered our land. The view that remained constant through the months of winter is now changing with each passing day. More snow is sure to fall in this area, but the signs of Spring's eventual return are everywhere.
A season of change. Transition.

Dictionary.com defines transition as:

movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

Our church fellowship is in a state of transition. Our future plans and dreams as a couple are shifting as we look forward to global service with Operation Mobilization. The very earth around us is being transformed as the seasons change.

My spirit indeed is excited, even as it is also unsettled. When all around us is uncertain, we turn again to our Lord Who Is solid and everlasting.

He promises that things will shake, but for His purposes, to suit His plans. Who am I then to argue or complain about the tremors beneath my feet?

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens."The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Hebrews 12:26-27 NIV

12 March 2010

Flashback Friday - Remembering a sad song

This week on Flashback Friday Jo asks us to offer a musical memory. The following song was popular during my junior high school years and fits right in with today's earlier post Rejection Revisited. The pitiful, overly dramatic lyrics helped many a pre-teen wallow in emotion.

Love Is Blue by Paul Mauriat

Blue, blue, my world is blue
Blue is my world now I'm without you

Gray, gray, my life is gray
Cold is my heart since you went away


Red, red, my eyes are red
Crying for you alone in my bed
Green, green, my jealous heart
I doubted you and now we're apart


When we met how the bright sun shone
Then love died, now the rainbow is gone

Black, black, the nights I've known
Longing for you so lost and alone

Stop by at Mylestones and add a musical memory of your own!

Rejection revisited

Bonnie is doing a link-up on rejection over at Faith Barista today.

Here's a selection from the work in progress (Sticks and Stones and Beach Glass) that I began for the 2009 NaNoWriMo challenge --

Sixth grade was a year of firsts. First time in a new school. First time of not going home for lunches. First time for romances that felt like the biggest love affairs ever, for a day or two. Sixth grade was a year of wanting to grow up. This was the year for most that the kids of the opposite sex were not something to be despised but desired. All the girls could talk about was boys.

The cafeteria at noon is where hearts were set ablaze and also where hearts were broken. After a meal shared across the long dining table alliances were formed, identification bracelets were exchanged and couples were “going steady” in the jargon of the times. Not that they were going anywhere, or that there was anything at all steady about those new roller coasters of romance. To keep track of who was “with” who, one needed to write the names in pencil, for relationships began and ended in a day, in an afternoon, in an hour. Beginnings were exciting and celebrated. Endings were rapid, bitter and wept over. Same sex friendships were shattered along the way as rivalries and jealousies tore apart old alliances. Ugly words were spoken or passed as notes on little scraps of paper. Sticks. Stones. Bruised egos.

Sara Jayne was content that she had Robbie and didn't even try to compare him to the other guys. They were neighbors and best friends and she just took for granted he would be her “boyfriend” as well. He didn't have time to spend with another girl when they spent so much of their time together.

On the way home from school one afternoon, Robbie seemed nervous. He was walking with his head down, kicking pebbles that were scattered on the sidewalk. Sara Jayne didn't know what was wrong. When Robbie said “Hey, listen, we have to talk. I need to ask you something” her heart jumped.

“This is it” she thought. “He's going to make it official and I can tell everyone that he is my boyfriend”.

When he pulled an id bracelet from his pocket, Sara Jayne know she was right, and almost shouted “Yes, of course!” before he asked.

“You're my very best friend, right?” Robbie asked, looking into Sara Jayne's eyes.

“Yes I think so. Yes I am” she answered.

“That's why I need your advice” Robbie said, holding out the silver bracelet that had his own name engraved upon it. As Sara Jayne looked at it she could almost feel how the metal would be cold against her wrist.

“Do you think” he said

“Oh come on, come on” thought Sara Jayne. “I can't stand it. Just spit it out and ask me.”

“that Jill would wear this? Do you think she'd go steady with me?” Robbie stopped speaking, and in the silence that followed, his eleven year old ego couldn't have heard the explosion of a young girl's heart.

Sara Jayne felt dizzy and hot, the ground beneath her not at all solid anymore. She had been so sure. “Put one foot in front of the other.

"Just keep walking” said a voice inside her head. “Don't cry now. Don't let him know.”

Feeling as if the world itself would end, she struggled to spit the words out. “Yes, I'm sure Jill would be very happy to go steady with you.”

Thankfully, they had arrived home and she ran from him saying “Gotta go start dinner. See ya.”

The scalding tears began in a rush as soon as she was out of his sight.

“Stupid. Stupid. Stupid!” screamed the voice in her head. “What made you think he was going to ask you?” She threw down her keys and her books and lay sobbing on her bed, fists pounding, heart cracking. She was still crying when her mother got home. Her mother tolerated her tears for just a short while before saying “I'm sorry you were hurt, but that's what happens.” So much for comfort and consolation.

Sara Jayne poured herself into her school work, known as one of the “smart kids”.

Like the rest of the sixth grade romances, Robbie and Jill didn't last more than a week or two. Sara Jayne was happy to have him back, all to herself again. She was able to forgive him for wanting someone else for a little while now that it was over. Over homework one afternoon, he took her hand.

“I want you to wear this now” he announced, clasping his id around her wrist “because you're really the one I like to be with”. The bracelet wasn't as loose as fashion would dictate because of all the extra weight on Sara Jayne's bones, but the silver caught the light and sparkled. Like beach glass.

Now things could be the way Sara Jayne had imagined. Thoughts of proudly wearing her new prize to school the next were interrupted when Robbie said “Let's keep this a secret between just us two, okay?”

Sara Jayne wasn't quite sure why he would ask that, but then all at once it seemed mysterious and intriguing, like the secret games they used to play. With her heart beginning to soar, she agreed. “Yes, of course. A secret only we know”.

“Good” Robbie said, clasping his hands together, looking relieved by her reply. “I wouldn't want anyone else to know I was going steady with you, what would they think of me?”

A stick. A stone. Another hard fall.

I was going to allow this post to stand as is .. just a story of a young girl's broken heart, but the Holy Spirit knocked and asked to be heard. He wants to remind us all that when we belong to Him, we are never alone.

And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV

And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20b NLT


10 March 2010

Word Filled Wednesday - Rushing Waters


Look! The LORD is coming from his dwelling place; he comes down and treads the high places of the earth. The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart,like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope. Micah 1:3-4 NIV

While we were in Ontario we were blessed to travel as a group to see Niagara Falls on Saturday evening. God's awesome power displayed left us without words.




Lori is hosting today at All I Have To Give


09 March 2010

Tuesdays Unwrapped - Tender Care

Emily reminds us again today that "One thing we all collectively realize is that what seems everyday today will not be so tomorrow."

Today I celebrate the way my beloved cares for all growing things, realizing each will shift and change through seasons of rest or blooming. His tenderness is always evident and I am blessed.


What are you unwrapping today? Come visit Emily at Chatting at the Sky and share your gifts.


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