28 April 2012

Come away...

My beloved speaks and says to me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one,
and come away.
For, behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing [of birds] has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land

Soaking in His peace this weekend with Sandy and Deidra

 

27 April 2012

Late April Friday


Cats wander in and out of the barn, exploring,
pounce on anything that moves, grass, dried leaves in the wind

They find positions best suited for soaking in whatever sun appears

meander down the road, not in any particular hurry

there is always time to do nothing at all

They seem to enjoy slivers of Spring breaking through
and I too rejoice knowing seasons will change
cleaning away excess clutter, seeking order from chaos
clearing away so that new may come.

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it?


 

26 April 2012

Unashamed to Bear His Name by R. T. Kendall


I have appreciated the words and wisdom of R. T. Kendall since I watched him on my tiny computer screen as I caught a live transmission of a pastor's conference at the Toronto Airport Church.   He was speaking on forgiveness in a way that I know changed many lives.  When the opportunity arose to read and review his latest work Unashamed to Bear His Name Embracing the Stigma of Being a Christian, I couldn't refuse.

The publisher's page speaks of the book with these words:
In our increasingly secular society, being a Christian carries a cost. Whether through public criticism or the quiet loss of respect, it is hard--and becoming harder--to be known as a Christian. Even as believers try to follow the will of God, they are often misunderstood and left to deal with the awkward, sometimes painful results of feeling disconnected from their fellow man--or even stigmatized.
This past year the Lord has been speaking to me about "counting the cost" and choosing to stand for Him, and Kendall's words breathed confirmation into what I have been sensing.

The things we must avoid is destigmatizing the Gospel, that is taking the stigma out and still calling it the Gospel.  This I fear is what the Church at the present time, speaking generally, has done.  With the destigmatizing process has come a loss of the Church's power. I call upon every reader of these lines to be bold and uphold the pure, unembellished Gospel of Jesus Christ - precisely as it is taught in the New Testament. 
This book embraces the truth of scripture and engaged my mind and my spirit.  If you're seeking a closer walk with Christ and a life that will impact others, this book will encourage you to be both brave and bold.

If you are content with a pale and lukewarm Christian walk, these words may indeed sting, but I believe they will spur you on to higher ground!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The opinions I have shared are my own.
 

25 April 2012

Not quite Spring

It is again a time of waiting
Spring drifts in skittish
her fragrance lingers
only brief moments
before taking flight

taste and see
taste and see
sweet mingles spice
yet He Is good

rain chills the air
refusing to fall
new growth awaits
the water
and the warm

each page I turn
speaks of surrender
letting go
letting Him

while the April winds sing

patience is a lesson that takes a lifetime to learn...

Noticing Him everywhere with Jennifer




and Emily



 

24 April 2012

Creative call...

At lunch last week, a friend asked if I get involved in other art forms.

My reply was quick, well practiced. 

"My abilities are verbal, not visual.  I paint with the camera lens, but my talent is with words."

Yet I am feeling pulled, teased, drawn to new expressions. 

I want to paint quilt blocks to hang on the outside walls of the barn, the house, other out buildings.

I want to splash, and shape and sing.

His creative nature rises strong in me.  I will surrender my hands, my eyes, my ears.

May anything that results be to His glory.


 

22 April 2012

Eyes fixed

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.   Hebrews 12:2 The Message

 
Joining Diedra and the whispering worshippers this morning....


21 April 2012

New life

For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD
will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations.

 
Taking time, with Sandy, to simply be

 

19 April 2012

Not yet?

I have felt ready
impatient
tired of the tight, dark spaces
of hiding

I am something,
someone new
shaped by His hand
and His will
the old has passed away

and yet
and yet

there is more to be done
He whispers

and shields me
holds me
His cover of protection
at once both
chains
and comfort

wings stretch forth
drying only as quickly
as He will allow

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new  2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV



Joining the broken but loved with Brian at Emily's today


 

Blue Moon Bay by Lisa Wingate


Not long ago I was charmed by Lisa Wingate's first novel about Moses Lake, Larkspur Cove, so when Blue Moon Bay, set in the same location became available I was eager to dive in.

Even with the following promo on the back cover I was still surprised by how much mystery and suspense filled the pages.
For Seattle architect Heather Hampton, a trip back to tiny Moses Lake, Texas, is hardly in the plan. Yet because a promotion hinges on the sale of the family farmland, Heather heads to the last place she ever wanted to go. She's determined to return home, signed contract in hand, the next day.

But the currents of Moses Lake take visitors on unexpected journeys. As Heather's stay lengthens, she discovers a family steeped in secrets and an unexpected connection to local banker Blaine Underhill, despite his opposition to Heather's project. With each new revelation and question, Heather can't help but wonder if the handsome banker--and the family she has come to know again--are crooks or crusaders. Somehow she must find out the truth before she loses everything she has worked for and everything she's found on the shores of Moses Lake.
Once again I was captivated by the sights, sounds and movements in Moses Lake, turning page after page, trying to make sense of the riddle Heather was pondering:
The future is a blank page, but not a mystery.
Heather finds her answers and deepens her faith in ways she never expected.

If like me, you love a good story, come on down to Moses Lake and get lost in the tale of Blue Moon Bay.  You won't be disappointed.

Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, A Month of Summer, and The Summer Kitchen. Lisa and her family live in central Texas.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Bethany House

The opinions I have expressed are my own.
 

18 April 2012

Too serious to be serious

Writing is an art
and a craft
a gift
and a responsibility
When I surrender
I am a pen in His hands

We have work to do
says my Lord
There are words to be shared
my God insists

Yes, it is work
that He calls me to
but often I believe what He wants
is for me to take all the words
toss them up in the air
and mark where they land
keeping my hands off
allowing Him to play

This is too serious to be serious
Holy Spirit whispers


Joining Lyla today as we continue to discuss L. L. Barkat's
Rumors of Water at Tweetspeak Poetry



 

17 April 2012

Approved

Just tell me that you love me, okay?
Just tell me that I make you happy.

Yes, I love you, good girl.
Can't you tell from the way I stroke you
or the way I scratch behind your ears?

The pleading eyes betray a questioning heart.

Are you sure I'm okay?
Have I done anything to displease you?
I mean I know you tell me over and over again
but.... but...
can you tell me again?
Do you love me?  Do you?

Yes, I love you.
How many times must I tell you?

I think I understand my dog so well because I ask the same questions. Yes, that is hard to admit. Even harder to admit is that while my head knows I need only the nod of my Master I still find myself seeking approval from others.  I look for a scratch behind the ears from my husband, a pat on the head from a friend, comments from blog readers.

And my Father weeps.  And the heart of my Savior breaks again.  And the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit cracks with disappointment.

Are We not enough?

Ouch!

With heart repentant I stand before Him, the One Who stamped my life with His blood, once for all time.

Approved.

Help me to remember Lord, as again you heal this fragile heart in ways that only You can.



Joining Peter and the gang as we share about the word approved.



 

14 April 2012

Grow



It takes a measure of faith
when we don't know
what we will become
to simply release ourselves
into His hands
and grow

 
 
Stopping for a moment to give Him glory with Deidra and the Sunday choir

 

Even in pain...

Words from the Lord as dawn was breaking:

Even pain is temporary, little one. 
For one day I have promised to dry every tear.
For now, simply know that when things seem the darkest,
I Am not far from you.
You can run to Me by simply speaking My name.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,
and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.
God Himself will be with them and be their God.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 



 
Joining Sandy in the quiet of this moment...

 

13 April 2012

The Lion Cubs by Chrissy M. Dennis


I was priviledged to be asked to read and review The Lion Cubs by Chrissy M. Dennis, the 2011 Winner of the Word Alive Press 2011 Free Publishing Contest in the Fiction Category.

The back cover intrigues with the following teaser:
15-year-old loner, Lexi Vogan, has had enough: four foster families in two years is enough to make anybody run away! Alone in the world, she flees to Jacksonville where a group of runaway teens live in abandoned tunnels hidden below the city. It seems like the perfect place for a forgotten face.

Liz Swavier, 36, became a widow two years ago when her husband succumbed to cancer, but she’s doing okay, at least that’s what she tells herself. Working long hours as a doctor in the ER department, Liz's friends and family grow concerned that she’s hurled herself into work to numb her grief.
Then, on a typical Friday afternoon, an appointment with Divine intervention causes these two very different lives to collide beginning a journey towards restoration that only an all-knowing, loving God could weave together.
My heart and mind were engaged from the start as Dennis had me slipping in and out of the lives of her two central characters.  I flipped page after page, not wanting to put the story aside.

Just as He does in real life, God was shown to weave threads together, working things out in ways that only He is able.

If you have a heart for homeless youth, or a heart for hurting women, or simply a heart that beats with the things that move God, this is a novel you shouldn't miss.

Book has been provided courtesy of Word Alive Press and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now from your favourite bookseller.

The opinions I have expressed are my own.


For information about the 2012 Contest click here

 

You're Already Amazing - Holley Gerth

When Holley Gerth's You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be became available I knew I was supposed to read it, certain that God would have something for me between the covers of this new book.

I admit that I'm like most other women I have met.  We never quite believe we measure up, never think we're good enough.  Holly's work here points the way to the truth of how God sees us, a reminder we all need.
What God wants most of all is you.  Just as you are.  Then he'll show you how he wants to use your life to partner with him in fulfilling his purposes.  It won't be a burden, but instead a glorious adventure - with plenty of room for mistakes, growth, and joy along the way.
This is more than mere preaching, more than just words on pages.  Holly offers exercises that help us focus our thoughts and discover what we believe about ourselves and our place in the life God created for us.
Dare to embrace who you are.  Dare to do those weird things you do.  Dare to trust God's whispers into your life more than the demands of the world around you about the "right way." You have the Holy Spirit within you, and he will show you what you need to change in a way that's gentle, life giving, and affirming.
When I first began reading, I was a bit skeptical. I do not like the "self-help" genre. I was happily surprised to find that this volume will not fit into that category, for it is indeed a "God-help" book, reminding all who read that He can do for us what we can not do for ourselves.

I can't think of any woman I know who would not benefit from a journey through this book!

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

The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

12 April 2012

Wandering weary?

How many hours, days
have I wandered weary
not even aware of the deep thirst growing
until that first taste of refreshing
then greedy all at once
seeking more and ever more

This then, is why we take each others hearts in hand
to lead each other to the water...

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.  Revelation 22:17 NIV



Joining Emily and the imperfect loved ones today


 

11 April 2012

Unique spice

Years of sorrow, yes
moments of pure joy
laughter light and shivering
silver chimes adrift
water rushing over jagged rock

all these has He given me
in a voice at once His and mine

Words are a gift
I've snapped up
with hunger
and with greed

Do I write like I speak
or speak like I write?

When you read my words
on pages, or screens
do you also hear your own voice
rattle in your head?

I am all that I have heard
all that I have read
tossed and seasoned
by the hand of the Master
creating a blend of spice
both hot and sweet
and even when I would wish
to taste like someone else
my flavor remains
unique on your tongue.

So much of what you hear
is my "self"
surrendered.



Joining Lyla of A Different Story as she leads us in discussions of L. L. Barkat's Rumors of Water.  This week we're talking about finding our voice.  Join us at TweetSpeak Poetry






 
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