31 October 2012

Not my words

The only words
I desire
are His
that my pen 
would move
to the rhythm 
of His Spirit
touching where He wills
breaking and repairing
hearts
once formed
by His hand
stubborn unyielding hearts
like mine



 Sharing a sweet bite with L L Barkat

 

30 October 2012

Forsake me not


Do not cast me away when I am old; 
do not forsake me when my strength is gone.

For the more than six years that I worked as a region coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba I had the above passage from Psalms hanging on my office wall.  It felt like the cry of the spirits of those people I was there to help.

In the constant quest for new we do indeed often cast aside the familiar, the well worn, the old.  Think for a moment of the mad rush around you, the line of people trading in their cell phones for the latest I-Phone 5.  Not that there was anything wrong with the phones they had, but the lure of something newer pulls strong.

I have been spending some time moving in reverse, finding beauty where I had not expected it.  The main character in the novel I am writing learns to know Jesus in a very traditional, liturgical, orthodox church.  I have spent hours exploring the rituals and divine liturgies, and while I know beyond knowing that it is grace that saves me, not ritualistic acts, I have found much to feast upon in the ancient ways.  I am saddened by how much we have forsaken simply because it was old and something more modern caught our attention.

This afternoon, our church fellowship took their turn at presenting the chapel service at both the hospital and the care home.  We led those gathered in singing old songs, words that many sang without needing to scan the pages of the hymn books. Songs that many new believers have never heard for in the midst of our worship wars (and if you haven't noticed worship wars, you are blessed or blind, or simply living in denial) we have left them behind, replaced again and again by new lyrics and melodies.

Can't we bring in the new without casting out the old.  Can we sift and save, blending sweet and rich with the young and fresh, keeping the best of all?




Joining Peter today where the word is old

 

28 October 2012

Deeply rooted

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: 
Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. 
You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. 
You’re deeply rooted in him. 
You’re well constructed upon him. 
You know your way around the faith. 
Now do what you’ve been taught. 
School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! 
And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. 

 
walking with the Sunday singers at Deidra's

 

27 October 2012

Active expectation

Our spiritual life is a life in which we wait, 
actively present to the moment,
 expecting that new things will happen to us, 
new things that are far beyond our own imagination or prediction. 
This, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life 
in a world preoccupied with control. 
Henri Nouwen

I walk slowly, silent 
but for the crackle of leaves underfoot
present in the waiting
active in expectation
surrendering control
radical indeed
and fully His

abiding in the vine with Cheryl

savoring the stillness with Sandy

 

25 October 2012

Grace by Max Lucado

The world we live in is harsh.  It is impossible to measure up, to be good enough.  We fall short again and again.  I need grace. You need grace. Each and every one of us need grace.

In Grace More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine Max Lucado speaks of how grace changes us.

The easy to read style that Lucado is known for betrays the depth of the subject as my heart was tickled, touched and split wide open.  I feel as if I am inside the well known stories he shares:

Within a few moments the courtyard was empty. Jesus, the woman, her critics - they all left. But let's linger. Look at the rocks on the ground, abandoned and unused. And look at the scribbling in the dust. It's the only sermon Jesus ever wrote. Even though we don't know the words, I'm wondering if they read like this:
Grace happens here.
This is a volume that will remain close at hand so I can refer to it often.  I will quote from it's pages to encourage others.  I believe that you will do the same.


Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson.

 

24 October 2012

Sword sharpening


I do not lift
my pen alone
but wait in silent prayer
for His prompting
acknowledging the power
words have to break, to build
to begin a war
or declare victory

All I write
a pale shadow
of His heart

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, 
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; 
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 

Cherishing His ways with Jennifer

WordCandy Wednesday
Sharing a bite of sweet with L. L. Barkat

 

20 October 2012

Spirit of the poets

It is the rhythm of the dancers
That gives the poets life
It is the spirit of the poets
That gives the soldiers strength to fight
from City on the Hill by Casting Crowns
Mark Hall/Matthew West 


May I continue to hold
 rhythm, spirit, strength
Yes.  I am a poet.


Unquenchable

Rushing waters can’t quench love;
rivers can’t wash it away.
If someone gave all his estate 
in exchange for love,
        he would be laughed to utter shame.


 
Singing with Deidra and the Sunday chorus

 

What He sees

Remember "your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3:3) 
When he looks at you, he sees Jesus first. 
In the Chinese language 
the word for righteousness 
is a combination of two characters, 
the figure of a lamb and a person. 
The lamb is on top, covering the person. 
Whenever God looks down at you, 
this is what he sees; 
the perfect Lamb of God covering you.
from Grace - More Than We Deserve Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado


seeking that still place with Sandy

 

19 October 2012

Waterfalls

My beloved wed a woman of tears
one who thought she had no heart
until it was well and truly broken
touched by the hand
of the One Who bled
I surrendered
it was then the leaking began
unpredictable
sometimes a trickle thin
more often cataracts

Each night in prayer
my husband covers me
with protection and blessing
and asks that the Lord
would continue to break my heart
for those things that break His

At times the deep ache comes
cascades of pain rushing wild
I want to scream
"when is it enough?"
already knowing His answer

when the hungry are satisfied
when the naked are clothed
when the cold find shelter
when  no man is enslaved to anyone but Me
when the lost come home

and then
only then
will I dry every tear

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever Revelation 21:4 NLT


Abiding with Cheryl today


 

17 October 2012

Hush of awe


Hushed with quiet, hushed with awe, I shut the cover of my journal
always gratefully surprised that my Lord would choose to share His heart with me

How can you shine My light when you are busy polishing your own?
It is not your reflection that the world needs.
Do not worry that a cloak of humility will hide you
for it is only then that I am seen.
This then is why I call you to die
die to all your humanness
die to your self hood
die to your self-ish-ness
so that the Me in you would burst forth
This like the rising sun in Isaiah 60:1

Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! Isaiah 60:1 Amplified

A bit later in the morning, flickering about the internet world, I connect with a friend who says God has been speaking Isaiah 60 into her heart.

The hush falls harder, yes, through and through indeed.

Triple connections today --

believing that nothing is coincidence with Jennifer

WordCandy Wednesday
having a bite of something sweet with L. L. Barkat

joining Emily and the broken yet redeemed

16 October 2012

Pale imitation

My eyes catch glimpses of His handiwork
intricate, well woven
working with a Master's skill
a design all His own
blending light into colours 
we could never have imagined

Our work, no matter how ornate 
fades in comparison


Joining Peter and the gang talking about ornate

 

14 October 2012

Enter His gate


Enter his gates with thanks; 
enter his courtyards with praise!
Thank him! Bless his name! 
Because the Lord is good, 
his loyal love lasts forever; 
his faithfulness lasts generation after generation. 


 
Singing His praises with Deidra and the Sunday choir

 

13 October 2012

Unscratched itch

When stillness is a choice
I settle in
When it is thrust upon me as a command
a deep restlessness surfaces
an unscratched itch
May the waters of healing
wash me clean


 
Still for awhile with Sandy

and abiding with Cheryl

 

12 October 2012

Only one, but one

I blog for Compassion.  My husband and I sponsor a child in Uganda.  We sponsor a family of Canadian missionaries in Kenya. We have hopes, dreams and prayers to one day soon devote our lives to serve with Operation Mobilization wherever God sends us.  Through social networking I promote the ministries and mission trips of others, envious at times, I must confess.

Hunger and brokenness abound in places near and far.  The scope of needs can overwhelm, freeze my thoughts and leave me feeling totally impotent.  Sometimes I seethe, angry.  More often, my eyes fill with tears, my heart broken at my inability to "fix things".

I may be a single drop in the ocean, but I must not allow that truth to stop that drop from watering the seed God designed it for.

If, like me, you find yourself feeling like nothing you can do could possibly be enough, I encourage you to remember these words spoken by Helen Keller:

I am only one, but still I am one. 
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything, 
I will not refuse to do something that I can do. 

May our drops spill out, one by one.  Living water to quench a thirsty world.


 
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