30 April 2011

April ends

Rick has seedlings growing in his basement planting room.  The yard was beginning to turn a welcome shade of green.  The mornings dawn fast and evening light lingers long.  Tomorrow we welcome in the month of May.  And just when we thought it might be safe to think about Spring...

Who says our God has no sense of humour?

We lost power in the storm at 3 this morning as did most of the towns surrounding us. I Recalled that many have been moved out of their houses due to floods, and more lost everything in storms down South.  So as I sat missing coffee and heat, assuming we might not be restored for days, I chose to thank God for our home.

I also remind myself, again and again - I chose to live here.

The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.  Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT


29 April 2011

Wedding thoughts

Before I turned on the television this morning to see what was happening with the wedding of Prince William and Kate, I spent time seeking the heart of my Lord.  This is what He shared:

Yes, this is a day when a woman becomes a princess and I thank you, little one, for stopping to recall the moment you became Mine.

You chose the highest King and bow before no other.

This woman had months to prepare - party plans, hairstyles and the dress - all must be perfect for the bride.

I have given My bride years.  Year after year after year and I Am waiting still for she is not yet ready.  Her garments are soiled.  She bickers with others in the wedding party.  She wants to write the guest list instead of relinquishing it into My hands.

How long?  How long must I wait?  I have long been ready...

Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.  Jeremiah 2:32 NIV

28 April 2011

Snaps of joy

This week Bonnie asked us to share a photo journey of joy.  There is so much.  Yes, everything that surrounds me.  For are we not exhorted:

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NLT

So for the road He sets before me

and the one He chose to walk beside me

for the generations that will follow
there is joy!

For expressions of His unconditional love

the softness of His touch

His glory both fragile

and majestic
I give thanks and rejoice.

For time to meditate on Who He Is

in scenes of silent beauty

that lead me back to all that is important
I rejoice.  Joy, indeed.  Unspeakable joy!



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Jamming with Bonnie today - come join us HERE


Mom's china

Floral on ivory
crafted in Bohemia
edged in gold
plates, salad dishes
cups and saucers
serving platters
bowls large for soup
small for fruit
stashed unused for years
on shelves
in my mother's kitchen
cherished because
they belonged
to her mother
before her
these find a way
to my table
to honour both
where hearts gather
to find their joy
in the love and provision
of the Lord
here, where I feel
almost as fragile
as the fine china
moving my past
into my future.

for Random Acts of Poetry - Mother's Day

27 April 2011

Expectation

Today the hope of Spring floats warm on the breeze as I take time to taste time.  Days have lengthened and the light so tangible that the clouds, though gray, seem somehow less substantial.

So is the light that dwells in me, seeds ready to burst and bring forth new life.  I do not know the shape or size or sound, but surely something of Him is being born.  Not without stretching, pain, the rupturing of old beliefs will the new thing arrive.  Not without trial, trembling, thoughts of turning away will it come gasping fresh into the light.

I have surrendered my heart, my spirit, to be womb for His creative work.  I water with prayer, soak in His Word, and swell with the expectation of joy.



Join Emily for more words imperfect but redeemed.

Finding light


This week, as Jason and Sarah continue to lead us, we are looking at Mere Christianity Book II What Christians Believe; Chapter 1. The Rival Conceptions of God.  Here C. L. Lewis concludes:
If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning; just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. 

I chose to seek the light
hungry for sense in the nonsense
wanting to taste meaning, purpose
something deeper
than the random scattering
of life's events.

Yes, if I could notice
the darkness growing darker
than surely I had eyes to see.

Grace, it was, and grace it is,
yes grace indeed
that keeps those same eyes open now
to drink in light and life and love
blinking in tune
with His heartbeat.

Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see." Luke 10:23 NIV 


Come on over to Jason's Connecting to Impact to join this week's discussion.


26 April 2011

Morning breaks


Dawn arrives quickly now
not slow and gentle
as winter hush

morning light
no longer creeps quiet
but explodes
cracking wide open
possibilities
that await
this side
of the new day
 
 
 
 
Visit One Stop Poetry for more One Shot Wednesday poems

25 April 2011

Midnight praise

I have known
the ticking of the clock
dark that settles
deep
loud the voices
that condemn
and keep me far
from sleep
captive to memories
failures, fear
forgetting in shadows
my Lord is still near
the sound of His name
a whisper of praise
strips the midnight hour
of the enemy's power
peace descends
His presence sweet
I fall into grace
free

But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened.  Acts 16:25-26 Amplified



Visit Jason at Connecting to Impact for more words by warrior poets where today's word is midnight.



24 April 2011

Because...

Hope ------ Joy ------ Peace

because
HE LIVES

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
1 Peter 1:3 NIV

 

23 April 2011

Muffled

Clouds have been gathering and scattering this afternoon.
As my cold rages, sinuses alternately stuffed or leaking, noise roars in my head.
Could I make it into a kind of music, pleasant melody, it might not be bad.
Things are muffled.
We all are waiting.
Knowing what they couldn't have known all those years ago.
Victory will rise with the coming dawn.

22 April 2011

21 April 2011

Imperfect by design

The skies can not decide on sun or clouds. My body tries to choose health over infirmity and wanting air, I step out into a breeze warmer than I expected. I hear the noise of birds just arrived, filling the trees around the yard, but my presence keeps them hidden.

There is new life hidden in ground also.  And life hidden in every heart.

This is the night our Savior struggled in the garden, wanting to chart new course, choose a different road, but always coming back to "Not my will, but Yours be done."

In that surrender, that choice to die, seeds of life scattered, planted for all, planted for one.

Make me fertile ground, Lord God, unworthy of Your sacrifice, but willing...



for more words by those imperfect but blessed stop by Emily's


It would have been enough

I am struggling with a cold and fever, so this is a repost - but we are again gathering tomorrow, as we did last year:  Jesus celebrated a passover meal with His disciples on Thursday night before His time of agony in the garden.

Tomorrow, after our Good Friday worship service, although a bit out of order time wise, a group of us are gathering to celebrate a Passover seder and meal.

One of my favourite parts of the ceremony is the reciting of Dayenu.

The word “Dayenu” means “It would have been enough.” Reciting the “Dayenu” reminds us that we owe unending praise to God. Just as the Lord continually provides for us we should continually give praise to Him. All too often followers of God fail to receive our Lord’s blessings. We become satisfied with “enough,” though our Heavenly Father desires to give us exceedingly more.

Jesus said, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10b NIV

Had God brought us out of Egypt and not supported us in the wilderness - Dayenu!
Had God given us the Sabbath and not the Torah - Dayenu!
Had God given us the Torah and not brought us to the land of Israel - Dayenu!
Had God only sent Messiah to die for our sins and rise, but not sent the Spirit to show us God’s will - Dayenu!
Had God only sent his Spirit, but not promised Messiah’s return- Dayenu!
Had God only promised Messiah’s return and not established His eternal Kingdom - Dayenu!

I pray that His richest blessings fill your homes as the revelation of Who He Was, Is, and will Be fills your hearts this Easter.

I sense that our Lord wants you to know that if He had to go to the cross for you alone and no one else - Dayenu - you would have been enough!


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Jamming with Bonnie as we look at Easter

20 April 2011

Church Diversity - Scott Williams

I am joining Scott Williams and New Leaf Publishing Group as they celebrate the release of Church Diversity: Sunday the Most Segregated Day of the Week.

Church Diversity is more than a book it’s a movement of God, pastors, ministry leaders, volunteers, congregants, and the community. It’s about the Church changing its perspective to become part of a culture-changing and world-changing movement. A new and different future begins with the turning of these pages, taking this journey, and speaking the truth in this vital conversation.



Scott Williams served on staff as a key leader and campus pastor at LifeChurch.tv, one of the largest and most innovative churches in America. He is an effective speaker, strategist, ministry consultant, entrepreneur and popular social media influencer for pastors and ministries around the globe. He is an avid blogger at BigIsTheNewSmall.com. Scott is married, a father of two, and lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In Chapter 2: Confront the Elephant in the Pew, Williams talks about how easy it seems to be for us to completely ignore what is right in front of us. This does not benefit us, or the elephant.

We could make a strong argument that we have come a very long way in the area of dealing with race and ethnicity. However, we are far from arriving. Race is just one of those things that people would prefer to ignore and would rather not talk about. The problem with that approach is the fact that ignoring the elephant is not going to make the elephant (insert elephant noise) get up and waddle out of the sanctuary. As a matter of fact, the elephant has been sitting around for so long that he’s lazy and doesn’t want to move. There are pockets of leaders and churches poking and prodding at the elephant, but not enough to get the attention of his elephant siblings around the world. Herding elephants is not an easy thing to do, and herding racial elephants is ten times as hard as herding any other. The first step in herding elephants is acknowledging that they exist. No one wants to be ignored — that includes the racial elephant. Acknowledgment is the first step to getting it out of the room. When there is an elephant in the room, acknowledge it.
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, attended integrated schools and know well the issues between people of colour and those with "white" skin.  We could play together at school, but rarely mixed after the bell rang.  It saddens me to know things haven't changed as much as we'd like to believe.

In the rural area of Manitoba, Canada where I now reside, the problem is the same, but the colour is different.  People will ask "Do you go to a "white church" or a "First Nations" church?  The elephant still sits sluggishly, waiting for the people of God to wake up and throw him out.

You can find more information about this important new book and view chapter videos at http://www.churchdiversity.com/ I urge you to join in the efforts to become the Church that our Lord desires to come back for.

19 April 2011

Look to the empty cross

Even the sun itself will bow
for no power on earth, or hell below
will stand in the presence of The Christ.
Victorious on the those sticks of wood
His blood was shed
and yet remains
ever a reminder of His great love.
But don't look for Him there.
The cross is empty, the tomb vacant.
All He claimed to be, proven.
Risen. Alive. Glorified.
When troubles come
and come they will
look to the empty cross.






for more Wednesday One Shots come to One Stop Poetry

The greatest adventure

This week Peter chose the word adventure for the One Word at a Time Carnival.

Stories of times of stepping out run through my mind.

My hold my breath and jump collision into a love that God arranged when I met my beloved husband Rick.  You can read about our first face to face encounter here and here.

Then there's the journey into the heart of God when we visited Uganda, you can read a taste of it here.

But I know better than to dwell on past experiences, for indeed He has more in store for us than we can yet imagine.

No one's ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him.  
1 Corinthians 2:9 The Message

Even today, as I sat waiting in His presence, He spoke promises of what is to come:

I Am bringing life back to your land, allow the warmth to soak into your spirit.
It is soon time to celebrate My victory, for just as the enemy considers himself a conquerer, truth rises, faith explodes, love wins!

The same power that freed Me from death lives in you.
Release all that I Am in you.
"But what is the key to that release?" you ask.

Surrender - and in your surrender bolted doors will swing wide.
Give up.  Your control only gets in your way.
I Am driving.

What greater adventure can we consider than the fullness of life in Christ?




Stop by Peter Pollock's to read more words about adventure

18 April 2011

Max On Life - Max Lucado


When I opened the cover of Max on Life Answers and Insights to Your Most Important Questions I didn’t quite expect to feel as if I had opened my home to a guest who was willing to spend hours chatting, not only to me, but to all who would come, as if we were all old friends.

We all have questions, and in his years as a pastor and writer Max Lucado has received more than his share. In this new book he sets out to help us find answers.

There is something here for everyone who is searching, both new believers and those who have been walking with the Lord for a lifetime. Here are just a few of the questions Max addresses:

Can God use His followers today as He did His first followers?
The seven year old son of our neighbors died last week. They are devastated. So are we. What can we tell them?
We’re trying to teach our children humility, but at the same time we don’t want to destroy their self esteem. What would you say is a good balance?
Max speaks from years of experience, but more important, He leads us to open our Bibles to read God’s answers.

I also appreciated the addendum The Write Stuff, as this celebrated author shared tips like these on writing:

You’ll never write better than you live. Live with integrity.
Let editors do their job. Release your grip on the manuscript. A little red ink won’t hurt you. A lot of red ink might save you.
These are wise words from a man who lives by Words written in red and who knows well the power of a single drop of red.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


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