31 December 2010

Mountains to climb

Another year is ending and I am looking forward to taking some time to sit at the feet of my Master, seeking His heart and His will for the year to come.

I have asked Him for a word for 2011 and so far I have received both persevere and expectation.  As He puts meat on these bare bones for me to chew I shall share more.

I also sense Him telling me there will be mountains on the road ahead.  I can take the long way and go around them.  I can steel and harden myself and with all my natural might attempt to blast through them.  But He seems to be urging me on and upward, whispering that His best plan involves climbing and that He, as always, will provide all that I require for the journey.

2011 will be a year of drawing closer to His heart.  Will you come along with me?

30 December 2010

Sharing one heartbeat

God has called me to live my faith out loud, and that living takes place in a variety of layers, levels and ways.

We live in flesh even while we walk in step with the Spirit.

There is a small group of people that I can “do life” with in a visible, real-life, day to day manner. I can hold on to their hands when we pray and look into their eyes.
A woman typing on a laptopImage via Wikipedia

But these touchable ones are not the only people who know me. Connections have been forged in the past year with people I have only seen in photographs, with voices I have never heard, yet our hearts seem to share the same rhythm as we all seek to hear and move to the heartbeat of our Father.

I wish to honor and thank these precious ones who have taken the time to speak truth and life into my spirit, both directly in comments and emails and indirectly through the words they blog describing their own journeys. Their words of encouragement have kept me focused on the eyes of my Lord and His call for me to pour forth the words He places in my heart.

Here, in no order of importance but alphabet are these special ones.  Take some time to visit their blogs where you will find them living their faith out loud for the world to see!

Billy @ Billy Coffey
Bonnie @ Faith Barista
Emily @ In the Hush of the Moon
Glynn @ Faith, Fiction, Friends
Jason @ Connecting to Impact
Jay @ Soulfari
Sandy @ Sandra Heska King

There are more, so many others I can not name them all now, but shall continue to point you in their direction in the year ahead.

29 December 2010

Life thrives

At first glance, our yard is quiet, empty in winter's depth.
Flowers are but a memory and a promise to come. 

The cat stays in the barn, finding warmth in the stacks of straw bales in the loft.

At first glance, one wouldn't think to linger in the chill of the day.

Yet our God is the Master of surprises and hidden delight.

Stop, watch and wait He teaches me.

I hear the snapping of twigs as snow falls softly from disturbed branches.

A downy woodpecker finds momentary rest and again there is reason to praise.

Word Filled Wednesday - Light

The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:45-46 NIV

Join us at Internet Cafe Devotions for more Word Filled Wednesday

28 December 2010

Road map in the mirror

A mirror, reflecting a vase.Image via Wikipedia

I'm not sure
what to look for
in the mirror anymore

Once a mosaic
of the stories
only years can build
written in my eyes

Now wiped clean
by tears
that flow
with joy and wonder
leaving a glow

A mark of peace
A seal of love

Let my face serve
as a road-map
that leads
to the doorway
of my Lord
so those who see me
might find Him

I'm taking part in Peter Pollock's One Word Blog Carnival where today's word is reflection

and also submitting this as my Wednesday One Shot at One Stop Poetry

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27 December 2010

I'm pouring at Internet Cafe Devotions today

  • Is there one new thing you have learned about your spouse?
  • Is the Lord asking you to leave some things behind as the year ends, not carrying them forward into the future? 
  • Are there any changes you feel the Lord prompting you to make in the new year?

Come on over to Internet Cafe Devotions where I'm talking about ringing in the new while reviewing the year that's ending. 

I have suggestions for questions you can ask yourself and your spouse as together you rejoice in all that has come before and seek the Lord for His plans for 2011.

25 December 2010

Christmas Blessings

From the manger

to the cross

May you be filled today with wonder and awe at all that He Was, Is and Will Be.

Merry Christmas†

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
Isaiah 9:6 NKJV

24 December 2010

Waiting in faith

As I sat in quiet stillness this Christmas Eve morning, this is what the Lord chose to share with me:

Behold - I Am coming.
As you celebrate My birth, My first coming to you
rest in the peace of knowing
I will yet come again
and the joy of My first birth
shall be eclipsed by My returning.

While you live in the hope of My promise
do not be afraid.

When things do not happen according to your plans - do not presume to think that My plans have been thwarted.

Am I not big enough to overcome any obstacles your mind can conceive to accomplish My purposes?

So rest, little one, in faith, in hope and in the peace that only I provide.

And I, humbled by His great love, can only stumble over a simple prayer.

Come, Lord Jesus. 

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!  Revelation 22:20 NKJV

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23 December 2010

Sit & listen - Go & see

Winter has settled around us, snow a reality that will last till the warm winds of Spring decide to blow.  But for me there is beauty here and the promise of time, not structured, unscheduled, leaving me free to sit at the feet of the One Who called me to swap American for Canadian soil, suburban sprawl for rural expanse.

Then the calling continued:

Go to Africa to see how people can live with less yet find more joy than those who drown in their abundance.

Stop seeking to define your life by what you do. Do not find your identity in career or position, but in Me alone.  After more than 35 years of working, in obedience, I chose not to be employed outside our home.

Sit and listen or go and see, both whispered by the same Spirit. 

He said go and learn what a missions based life of faith might look like, taste like, how you might fit inside its skin.  That life intrigues and challenges and beckons.  We know what we have heard is the sound of His voice and we wait for His timing, His perfect plan.

His promises pile up like this snow outside my door.  I will not put them on the shelf, but like the gifts beneath our Christmas tree I wait with great anticipation for the moment He asks me to open each.  Until then, I savour the time He has asked me to breathe in His fragrance, that is itself perhaps the greatest gift, the highest call.

But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her Luke 10:42 NKJV


I'm joining in with Bonnie and others at her Faith Barista Jam as we continue to Unwrap Jesus this Christmas.

22 December 2010

Winter glory

The hoarfrost of morning is only a digitally trapped memory and the afternoon sky screams blue in the shine of the sun.

Woodpeckers find the food we provide during these harsh months.

A blue jay finds bare braches a place for rest, his belly full of dog food stolen from Faith's dish, his feathers fluffed, trapping warmth.

My heart rejoices at the visible display of the glory of the One Who created all things for His pleasure while we are blessed to benefit from the beauty.

And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely.  Genesis 1:31a Amplified

21 December 2010

Break out

Days wrapped in snow
roads impassable
cradled in the arms
of the One and the one
who love me
content in stillness
silence waiting.

An itch grew
ever more insistent
to break
in clear spaces
breath, motion
thin air
even the company
of strangers.

A giddy sense of freedom
came with my break
from captivity
laughter, joy, release.

Just as on this
the year's darkest
shortest day
the light
when it does shine
is sweeter
than we had imagined.

As I spent time with the Lord journaling this morning, He reminded me that even on the darkest day, He Is and ever shall Be our light.

On In Around button
Sharing this as part of L.L. Barkat's On, In and Around Mondays


One Stop Poetry's One Shot Wednesday

18 December 2010

Prayer on a mid-December afternoon

It's a mid-December Saturday afternoon, the week before Christmas, with the sun hiding golden amid the bleak clouds of winter.

Snow stranded and home bound I have been blessed, having time to ponder the glory of His coming, into a world as stark as this --

Yet come He did, and come again He will, not as a child but as our King.  Yes, I rejoice in the wonder of His promises and the completeness of His gift, indeed my praises rise.

Still today my heart is troubled for those who do not recognize His birth or hope for His return; those who cannot see the light behind the clouds.  Tears flow as my spirit aches, a groaning deep, an exhalation of sighs, every breath a prayer.

Lord, may they know You.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. John 1:9-10 NIV

17 December 2010

Caroling praise in 55

The words spill out
as voices sing
uneven rhyme
in melodies
that rise and fall
ascending praise
to Him Who calls
us to be light
in darkening days

Proclaim the glory
truth and grace
the story that recalls
His sacred birth
a mystery
love complex
in simplicity.

Of Him we shout
the words spill out.

G-Man for Friday Flash 55

16 December 2010

Jesus in every day of my life

As I allow the awe of this season of Advent to surround and fill me I look back at Christmas pasts, all of the years I opened gifts but in ignorance did not unwrap Jesus.

Heaven was a place that other people talked about, the same people that celebrated Christmas. I wanted Christmas, with it's lights and trees and angels. What about a tree? We could decorate a Hanukkah bush? One year I was allowed to hang a stocking on Christmas eve and by morning, it had turned into a pair of tights, filled with a stuffed hippo that wouldn't fit into the original sock. Something about being too big to fit didn't comfort me at all, but I did love that hippo. My mother tried to convince me that I was much luckier to celebrate Hanukkah and get presents for eight nights in a row instead of only one morning. I wasn't buying it. It wasn't about the presents; I knew that even then, but about the whole sense of Christmas, and family and love. I couldn't have put my finger on it, and I didn't know anything at all about Jesus except for the Christmas carols that played all through the season. I loved to sing those beautiful songs, but when it came to the name Jesus I couldn't make myself sing it out. Perhaps something deep in my spirit knew and refused to speak the name of the Lord in vain. I sang about herald angels, I sang about glory, I sang about a baby in a manger without a crib. I sang without an ounce of understanding for my family didn't believe. Sometimes it wasn't any easier to be Jewish than it was to be fat. My eyes displayed the sorrow of carrying the shame of both.

With an apartment to call my own, I was able to decorate for the Christmas I had always desired. The first year I bought a real tree that was small but filled my home with the scent of fresh pine. Strings of coloured lights came next, and then special ornaments picked out with great care. There were angels and santas and penguins and elves. There was a star for the tree top. Noticeably absent was the reason for the holiday, Jesus Himself. But it was pretty and it was the first time I had Christmas. I had friends come to drink hot cocoa and Irish coffee and played tapes of Christmas music I had purchased on sale. “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” I sang along. Then December 24th and 25th came, all of my friends had places to go and families to share with, and I found myself once again without the Christmas I knew I wanted. I went to visit family, not really knowing what it was I was lacking, yet feeling the ache of its absence.

Moving forward in time, I find myself, a new believer, sharing my first real Christmas with the family who had introduced me to the Lord:

The evening came to decorate the Christmas tree and as I had brought some of my own ornaments along from home I was able to take part in the fun of sharing the task with others. I had always decorated alone in my apartment while wishing I had family that would join in. When the last ornament was hung, the last strand of tinsel draped from the branches, there came my favorite part of all. Kerry turned off all the lights in the house except for the multi-coloured tree lights. There was a hush, then “oohs” and “ahhhs” as the glittering lights reflected in the living room window. I had baked that day, and we had hot tea and cookies as we all sat back, relaxed, and admired the beauty of the tree and the significance of the season.

My Christmas's never had Jesus in them” I told them.

No Jesus in Christmas?” asked Tanya, the youngest child “Then there's no Christmas at all!”

I felt that perhaps I was the youngest of all, at least in the things of God.

We want this to be the best Christmas ever for you” added Brynn “and from now on, all of your days will have Jesus in them.”

You've got a deal” I laughed “Jesus in every day of my life.”

What about you?  Have you unwrapped Jesus?  Join Bonnie at The Faith Barista and share your story.


15 December 2010

I winter here

I never imagined
the arms that would hold me
content and cradled
in love.

Life stripped of frivolities
that once seemed essential,
yet filled to capacity
with joys simple and profound.

Once I dreamed
of shorelines, beaches
days baked
in the heat of the sun.

In the silence
my life surrounded
in heavy layers of snow
I am caught surpised
by the depth of peace
that finds me
as I winter here.

Stop by One Stop Poetry to read more One Shot Wednesday poems.

14 December 2010

Rejoice - yes rejoice!

This year, as the season of miracles is upon us, the Lord draws us close and closer and my spirit resonates and dances to the words that Mary sang:
"My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior"

How can my lips remain silent?  How can this heart not tremble in worship?
I tune my spirit to the chorus of angels, rejoicing with all who have gone before
all who sing this day and all who are yet to come.

Rejoice for the light has overcome the darkness.
Rejoice for He has conquered sin and death.
Rejoice for our Savior reigns now and forever more.

The truth of His being
fills me, thrills me
finds me humble and shivering with joy
tears falling hot and sweet
as in awe and wonder, yes
I rejoice!

And Mary said:
“ My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
Luke 1:46-53 NKJV

Peter Pollock has resumed as the host of One Word Carnival.  Join us there as we ponder the word rejoice.

Also submitted as part of The High Calling Blogs Christmas in Verse group project.

10 December 2010

Sunrise in 55

Layers of colour
hues brilliant, bright
against fresh snow
greeting day
in wave after wave of glory.

fumbling for the camera
to capture more
than my heart can hold
what no man would have
could have

Light overcomes
darkness, slumber
chases away shadows
creating space
for wonder, awe
truth beyond these skies.

stop by Emily's In the Hush of the Moon for more imperfected prose

and stop by and visit Gman for more Flash 55

Christmas shopping for gifts that count

In the poem Memories of Redemption I wrote about shopping:

escalators jammed
with those sweating warm
in winter wools
ascending to
the higher floors
to secure the choicest gifts
and finding more
of nothing

I admit that I enjoy gifting those I love with trinkets that will please, encourage and delight them and our Christmas tree is surrounded with brightly wrapped packages waiting to be given.

But what do any of us really need, who live in the richest of nations?  So again this year, our most important shopping was done prayerfully at our computer keyboard as we honoured our loved ones by purchasing gifts in their names from Compassion's Gift Catalog

These are gifts that help make a difference in the lives of children living in some of the poorest communities of the world. These gifts help provide clean drinking water, medical treatment, disaster relief, food supplies and much, much more. Meet vital needs and bring real joy with a Gift of Compassion.

Gifts include mosquito nets, soccer balls, chickens, goats, water filters, farm equipment, clean water and more. Gift prices range from $10 to $5000.

Why not take a few moments now to check out the assortment of gifts here.

If you are interested in making a long term difference on the life of a child, please consider sponsorship.  For more information visit the Compassion website.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
  James 1:27 NLT