29 January 2012

Free indeed

So if the Son liberates you
[makes you free men],
then you are really
and unquestionably free.


Stopping this morning to rejoice in Who He Is

 

25 January 2012

Ordered steps

Day begins
a slice of light
mornings wake earlier now
time not just rolling on
no, but spinning
faster than breath can catch

In the quiet dawn
He speaks truth, promises

Ask of Me and I will order your days.  Those things that weight heavy in your estimation may be totally unnecessary to Me. Let me show you how to choose the better part as you linger with Me - more will be accomplished than you can comprehend.

My usually quiet week has filled with lunch dates and other things to do I had not expected.
But I listened.
And I asked.
And I will allow Him to order my days.
I will go where He sends me, do what He requests.
And I will come back to His feet.
The better part indeed.
Grace runs wild. Free.

The very steps we take come from God; otherwise how would we know where we're going? Proverbs 20:24 The Message 

 
Joining Jennifer and others as we cherish His presence.

and sharing also with Emily and the broken beloved ones.

 

24 January 2012

The Emancipation of Robert Sadler, Chapian & Sadler

I was intrigued when I read the following description of The Emancipation of Robert Sadler The Powerful True Story of a Twentieth-Century Plantation Slave by Marie Chapian and Robert Sadler.
Over fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Robert Sadler was sold into slavery at the age of five--by his own father. Originally published in 1975, this is the no-holds-barred tale of those dark days, his quest for freedom, and the determination to serve others borne out of his experience. You won't forget this poignant true story of good triumphing over evil, of God's grace, and of an extraordinary life of ministry.
I knew this would not be an easy read.  My heart was torn as I read these powerful words about man's inhumanity to his fellow man writen from a very personal perspective.  I admit to having a bit of trouble reading the conversations written in the regional dialect, but I am glad that I pressed through.

This story is a testimony to God's faithfulness to save and protect those who choose to surrender their lives into His hands.

My favourite tales were those of Sadler's ministry adventures, how God blessed his obedience by showing Him wonderous example of His power in miracles of healings and salvation.  We could all learn a lesson here about both listening and really hearing God's voice.

Marie Chapian is a Christian counselor and author or coauthor of more than thirty books, including the bestsellers Telling Yourself the Truth and Free to Be Thin. She founded Marie Chapian Ministries in 1982 to teach and equip the body of Christ. She lives in Southern California.

Robert Sadler (1911–1986) was born near Anderson, South Carolina, in 1911. He was sold into slavery at the age of five and escaped at fourteen. Eventually he moved to Ohio but traveled extensively sharing the gospel and ministering to others at every opportunity.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The opinions I have shared are my own.
 

20 January 2012

Feet

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger
bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all's well,
proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
telling Zion, "Your God reigns!"
  
Sharing with Claire, Kelly, Sarah and others as we look at anatomy

 

Talking about Faith at Internet Cafe

With acres of space and no neighbors in close proximity, it was time to add a canine member to our family. Enter a three month old border collie crossed with husky or malamute and who knows what else.

Was it love at first sight? You bet! I knew that I was to name her Faith. Young and small as she was, the joke became "Oh, you of little Faith."
 
click here to read the rest of the story...

 

19 January 2012

Compiling joy

It is the stillness of fresh fallen snow when the wind calms at last
Steam fogging windows that speak of warmth within
A welcome
The gentle laughter that sparks love
The touch transforming spark to flame
Eyes whispering "I know you" without a word
Prayers that praise, protect
connecting us to Him Who created one from two
The keeping of promises
The slogging through when light seems yet far off
In all that is contained in not only keeping a house
but a home
not only "making a living"
but the building of a life.

Did I ever once imagine I could hold this kind of joy?

Jamming with Bonnie to the tune of joy

and linking with Emily and others loved in their imperfection

 

18 January 2012

Extreme



January cold presses in
warnings abound
wind chills are extreme they say

so I snuggle in
resting under mighty wings
the warmth of the One
Who exemplifies
extreme

extreme mercy
extreme grace
extreme love

Please join me in prayer for those who do not have shelter tonight and for those who do not know that He Is always there to care for them.

You've always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, A lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest.  Psalm 61:3 The Message


 
Linking up with Jennifer today.  Stop here to read what others have shared.


 

17 January 2012

Quiet here

I have been quiet here
words have been elusive
and I have chosen the wait
instead of the chase

His love settles around me like
the snow
the falling temperatures
the warmth of this home

I'm in the best of hands...

 

14 January 2012

Empty hands

In my head this morning I was hearing the words of David from the Psalms:

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
Psalm 63:1-4 NKJV

So I sat in the quiet of the new day, seeking for what He would share, and He said:

Come to Me and lay down all that burdens you.  We will sort through things together, you and I.

I saw Him kneeling beside me on the ground, sorting through piles of what I knew was my stuff.  I was embarrassed by all the ragged edges and by just how much was spread out before us.  Often He turned to smile at me as He tossed something aside.

If there is anything in the piles you are meant to keep, I will return it to you and give you the ability to carry it. Things are heavy when you have chosen them on your own without running here to Me and asking.

Don't worry about what you leave with Me, it is well tended in My hands.

I realize now that
there was nothing at all
that He returned to me. 
My hands are empty.
With extraordinary lightness
I lift them in worship.

 

12 January 2012

I delight Him?

I almost feel like it's God-Bumps and God-Incidences Wednesday all over again! I had no idea what Bonnie's word was for today when I sat down this morning with the Lord, but obviously He did!  This is what He shared:

How quickly you learn My lessons, little one.
Turn to Me. Run to Me. Cling to Me.
This doesn't annoy Me - it delights Me

In surrender is your peace.  Often you can't hear My plans while you are busy making your own.  When you stop your ears open, only then do you hear Me.

He knows all things; the end before the beginning, every little detail of our lives, and when I learned that the word Bonnie chose was delight I was delighted indeed!

Do you ever worry that you rely on Him too much?  Does the world shout that you use Him like a crutch?  This is exactly where He wants you.  He delights in our need.  Don't take a step away, move ever closer.

The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. 
Psalm 37:23 NKJV


Jamming with Bonnie today about delight

 

11 January 2012

Where am I looking?

I sat quietly with the Lord early watching the snow falling soft in the dim waking light.

He wanted to know if I would fix my eyes upon Him or upon my troubles.

"Upon You, of course" was my quick reply.  I'm not sure if I heard Him laugh.

The day grew light, snow continued to fall, exceeding the forcasts, and though beautiful, it spoke of potential dangers.

I have found joy in finding myself beginning to form an fitness habit again since we now have a recumbent exercise cycle in the basement that we purchased for an excellent price.  It was reduced due to the fact that the person who first tried to assemble it stripped the threads on the pedal crank.  It was returned to the store in Winnipeg where it was purchased, fixed by welding the pedal on permanently, and sold to another resaler in a town nearby.  This is where we found it.  If the only problem was a pedal that was welded so it couldn't be removed, well, that wasn't a problem at all!

Silly to think that anything is permanent...

Yesterday the pedal began to wiggle.  Today it has broken off.  Problem.

I decided to try some strength training floorwork instead.  Ouch!  The floor is too hard, my body too stiff, the lump on my backside too sore.  Problem.

I'd like to make plans to travel South to spend time with Mom but still await the scheduling of medical tests of my own.  Problem.  Problem.  Problem.

And now I truly do believe I hear His charming snicker and I remember His pre-dawn question, and I'm fixing my eyes, fixing my heart, casting it all upon Him.

Sharing with Jennifer and feeling the God-Bumps


and sweet loving Emily and the others imperfect but loved

 

Stuck - dvd based study by Jennie Allen


When Stuck was first released I received a sampler version of the book and dvd to review. This was my review of the little bite I received:
As I clicked the play button I was quickly set at ease by the soft music and the tone of Jennie's voice as she humbly presented herself as a woman just like the rest of us, broken, unsure and tired of hiding her "stuff" from those around her. In the introduction Jennie writes:
So my prayer is this study will be a safe place to explore God and your own heart. The state of our hearts and what we believe about God are the two most important things about us.
This study is intended to be shared in small groups that create a safe place for women to openly share the things they may have been hiding for years and allow God to begin to bring healing and wholeness to those places inside that are broken.
The workbook provides opportunities to dig deeper into scripture, pray, spend time pondering with the Lord, even draw pictures.
I feel as if I have been given an appetizer and it has indeed made me hungry for the rest of the meal. I need this study and suspect that most of the women I know need it as well. My mind is busy churning the idea of hosting a small group at my home, seeing a vision of freedom as we break through and become un-stuck!
Thomas Nelson soon made available a limited number of the complete study and my idea of a home study became a reality. The study kit includes:
  • 8 sessions on DVD
  • Study Guide with story-driven teaching, Scripture study, and short five-day-per-week lessons
  • Leader’s Guide for facilitating group study
  • Conversation cards help to facilitate more spontaneous and authentic conversation
  • Promotional resources for churchwide campaign
I am happy to tell you that this study is practical and easy to use. The leader’s guide supplies valuable tips and the box of questions fit into the lessons well and provide great openings for honest sharing.

One of the most valuable tips was to bathe the entire study in prayer.
 
I look forward to using this tool again with other groups of women and celebrating again the joy of freedom as God helps them become “un-stuck”.

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. 

 
 

10 January 2012

Freshness in the ancient ways

Bread rising, baking, cooling on racks
flowers, sweet and vibrant
citrus oil from fresh cut oranges
all fill a house with the warm scent of fresh

and we hunger

We are a people easily bored
seeking new without a moment to absorb old
crying out to the Lord for a fresh word
a change of direction

This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’ Jeremiah 6:16 NLT

May we find our delight in the ways He leads us
as He seasons this new season
with His Spirit
always fresh.




Joining Peter Pollock and the rest where the word is fresh
 

09 January 2012

Obedience's reward


In the middle of work at the computer
I felt a nudge to start dinner heating
It seemed a bit early, but I didn't argue

This is the sight that met my eyes
as I looked out the kitchen window
Day's end streaking the sky

What else might we be missing
in our slowness to hear
reluctance to listen?

This evening's lesson learned -
He always rewards obedience

But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22 NLT

 

07 January 2012

As long as...


As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest,
cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night. 

Breathing in His truth today with Deidra and others

 

A place for everything


Canned Goodness
                                 Image by istorija via Flickr
Spring may be the time we feel drawn to clean our houses, but there is also something about the start of the year that calls out for a new order.

Today was the day to attack the kitchen pantry, sorting, sifting and placing things back on shelves.  There is something so satisfying about stacking beans with beans, grains arranged side by side, cereal boxes pressed close to the back wall, cans placed neatly like with like.

There is a freedom that descends
when chaos departs
the ability to breathe deeper. 

Inhale. 
Exhale. 
Peace.

Now, to sort through my thoughts in like fashion...

 
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06 January 2012

Less of me

Twelve years ago
I surrendered
to the Son of God/Son of Man

The small, hard pebble
that was my heart
softened and swelled as He entered

good, this is good indeed
my spirit heard His approval

Then the flesh
surrounding the pliable heart
softened and swelled also

twelve years on
my spirit has learned to submit
while my flesh has run wild

Yesterday, in exercise and praise
I was singing a familiar chorus
"more of You and less of me"
and my spirit vibrated
a resounding "yes"

I am getting ready
to be ready
to jump when He says jump
seeking lightness
the ability to fly
when He gives me wings

In all ways of the spirit
I have tried to live the words of John
now I resolve, with the strength of Christ
in a tangible, physical sense
"I will decrease"


He must increase, but I must decrease.
[He must grow more prominent;
I must grow less so.]


 
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