31 July 2011

Throwing stones - a guest post

Time and again I have seen God's hand orchestrating online connections that not only nourish and encourage me, but that best serve His purposes.  I believe my "not-quite-by-chance" online meeting of Nikole Hahn is one such example of His work.

Nikole Hahn is a writer, book reviewer, and coffee addict. She blogs and lives 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 at http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com/

Today I'm excited to share her words with you in the guest post below:

Throwing Stones of Self-Righteousness
My perspective on Day 8, To Live is Christ: Day by Day by Beth Moore

Photo by Gail McNeeley (http://elmbeetlehill.blogspot.com/)

"One for Him; one against Him. One covered in blood; the other covered by prayer shawls. One who could not save himself from men; the other who could not save himself from sin. One dead in body but alive in Spirit. One loved by God; and the other loved by God." - Beth Moore, Day 8
This struck me.

I read it before service.

"One covered in blood; the other covered by prayer shawls," wrote Beth Moore on this day. The first being Stephen; the second, Saul.

How awful that someone representing God chose to participate in the stoning of Stephen. It reminds me of the lack of grace I exhibit at times. Here I am wearing my proverbial prayer shawl and throwing stones at people that haven't lived up to my expectations.

God is grace among other things. Most of the time, I give grace, but not always; no, I, too, struggle with unforgiveness. I can recount everyone's flaws and the hurts that I have been dealt, but I am an unwilling recipient of this accounting. I don't want to remember. Unresolved anger is a terrible burden to carry; a thorn in my side.

Unresolved anger means problems that have never found closure, because one party either doesn't know or is unrepentant. I have difficulty accepting what I can't change. Grace in those instances is not always an easy option.

There are days that I find living this Christian life quite challenging. People, not God, make it difficult. But then that is the old nature--expecting perfection like an atheist in someone who wears the Christian label. We're forgiven, not immune to sin. I am not immune to sin.

Forgive me when I wear my proverbial prayer shawl and throw stones of self-righteousness at you. I don't mean it. I, like you, am learning what it means to live as Christ, day by day, filling my mind with His truth and growing in faith.

When have you worn that proverbial prayer shawl and sent those stones of self-righteousness at others?

Make sure you stop by Nikole's blog to read more of her work.  I promise you will be encouraged.

30 July 2011

Thirst quenching

Each breath drawn
slowly, waiting
on the edge
of unexplained tears
for the new thing
He promises

Lake light
as the sun dies
in thirst quenching beauty

Water holding secrets
never to be told.

Joining others at dverse - the poet's pub for Saturday Poetics where today's prompt was water

29 July 2011

Red sort of day

My hands have been immersed in ripe red.
I take time to preserve what this land God has given us produces. 
What can be purchased at the market can not compare with that which grows before our eyes.

These are the days of raspberries and tiny Nanking cherries, bursting with juice, leaving sticky behind.  I fight bees, mosquitos, and birds to pick the choicest fruits. The canner spits steam as jars are sterilized, waiting to be filled. Sugar added chases bitter away.

Preserve the sweet for the days to come.

I remember that this morning, as I sat down with Jesus and my journal, a red pen fell on the floor. I wrote with it instread of my usual black or blue.

Here are the words He shared:

I write My love in your veins as deep as you allow My blood to flow through you.

Walk the road of surrender, the narrowest road of all but the only road that leads to true freedom.

Many are content to know that My blood covers them, accepting My salvation but never going further.

You, little one, have heard My invitation, have responded to My call to step into Me.  In that mingling and merging you have indeed lost your self and found Me.

This is why when our communion is interrupted you feel as if you wander blind.
This, I promise you, is good.  This is good indeed.

Yes I am thankful for the reminder that without Him I can not see.  Without Him I can not breathe.  Without Him I can not be who He created me to be. On this day of red, I am blessed beyond measure to know that my veins run with His presence. 

Preserve the sweet.

My Life and Lesser Catastrophes by Christina Schofield

Have you ever felt that perhaps you are not the Christian you were supposed to be because you had questions about the circumstances in your life? Then, like me, I believe you will enjoy and often see yourself in My Life and Lesser Catastrophes: An Unflinchingly Honest Journey of Faith by Christina Schofield.

Here is how the publisher describes this book:
Just after her thirteenth wedding anniversary, Christina Schofield woke up groggy and disoriented, surrounded by nurses in a hospital. She and her husband had hit a gravel patch while on their motorcycle and crashed into a ditch. With the exception of a concussion, she was fine. But Allen had broken his neck. He was now a quadriplegic. 

With her entire life flipped upside down, she began an astonishing journey of tenacious faith amid increasing doubt. Full of dark, silent hours and a woman's honest questioning of the God she thought she knew, this is also a story full of miraculous answers to prayer and head-scratching, awe-inspiring encounters with her loving Lord.
With candid warmth and transparency, Christina shows readers that even in their darkest hours, God's goodness shines through.
I can not fully imagine what Christina and her family walked through, but her words here allowed me to journey with her, Allen and their daughter Lily, learning about them and learning more about God’s nature and goodness along the way. Christina’s prose style was easy to read and difficult to put down until I reached the final pages. My only disappointment is that I wanted more.

I was provided a free copy of this book to review.  The opinions I express are my own.

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

Celebrating His design at the Cafe today

How many of us have wandered through this life
not sure why God created us in the particular way He did?

I'm sharing a story about carrots and love and God's awesome ability to work all things for good at Internet Cafe Devotions this morning.  Click HERE to read more.

28 July 2011

Beauty as far as the eye can see

This week Bonnie - The Faith Barista asked:
What is it that breathes beauty for you?
and I thought:  All I need do is open my eyes.

There is life, life abundant that unfolds before me.
Explosions of light, colour, peace falling hard.

Tears spill, like the falling of rain as I gaze on the work of His hands.
For who am I that He loves me enough to share all that He has made?

When I view and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained and established, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?  Psalm 8:3-4 Amplified

This life He has given me is vibrant, raw, electric
living nerves exposed, on the surface
sensitive to pain, beauty, joy
wrapped and braided together
each thread woven by His skilled fingers

May my eyes remain open to see and my heart open to feel every bit of it.


Stop over at Bonnie's to share and read what others have written this week.

27 July 2011

Word Filled Wednesday - Trust

Some trust in chariots,
and some in horses;
But we will remember
the name of the LORD our God.

Visit Internet Cafe Devotions for more Word Filled Wednesday posts

26 July 2011

Drinking in...

Yes, I have been away.
It takes such a brief time to grow stale and dry.
But I have roots that go down deep.
If I remain quiet for just a little while longer
know that I am sucking in life
once again unfolding in the Son.

22 July 2011

Early morning moments

These early morning moments
scatter like dust
too fast for me to hold

These early morning moments
are all I have to drink
to quench my thirsty spirit

These early morning moments
when I try so hard to hold Him
I forget that He is always
holding me.

20 July 2011

Visiting - here and there

Keeping home in mind
I'm not only away from home in the flesh, but also flitting about the internet as well.

This morning you can find me posting at Nikole Hahn's Journal where she has graciously left a space for me.

Nikki's words always surprise and delight me, when you stop by, please read more than my post, linger for awhile.

19 July 2011

Here but away...

I am spending this week with Mom back in the rush, the noise, the crush of people everywhere.

I am away from the fresh, the quiet, the peace and the time to soak in His presence.

But yet, I am here, and He is here.  I in Him and He in me.

I may not post as much as usual, or I may post more.  Only He knows, and I will follow as He leads.

16 July 2011

Let me obey

I am speaking about obedience tomorrow morning.  While working on my message I recalled this poem/prayer I wrote some years ago and it still rings true in my spirit. rarely do I feel led to rhyme, but this is exactly how the words came to me.

Let me obey, let me obey,
whatever Your will, whatever You say
let me be true to Your Sprit in me
and walk in Your love and set captives free
open my eyes and my ears and my heart
remove any blinders that sin can impart
let me close any doors that have let evil in
repent for my part, repent from my heart
let my tears wash the feet of the One I adore
I want more. I want more. I want more.

I am Yours, Father God, I belong to Your Son
wash me clean, leave me spotless
the expectant bride
I know He has always been here at my side
it is I who have wandered
and been led astray
when deep in my spirt, I still knew The Way

I will run to Your arms
and there I will stay
and go when You send me and do what You say
it's a vow I have spoken and a vow I will keep
to wait on Your will
and Your will alone
thank You for replacing my heart of stone
for a heart of flesh, as You said in Your Word
and this heart understands
and this heart has heard
and I wait with great wonder for what lies in store
I want more. I want more. I want more!

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

14 July 2011

For each other, by each other

How appropriate that Bonnie, the Faith Barista would choose to have us write about "faith" verses for this week's Faith Jam.  She writes:
Pick a verse that includes the word “faith” and let it inspire you to share a post.
I am drawn often to the words of Paul:

For I am yearning to see you, that I may impart and share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen and establish you; That is, that we may be mutually strengthened and encouraged and comforted by each other's faith, both yours and mine  Romans 1:11-12 Amplified

This is why we gather
to build up what the world wants to tear down
to walk beside, look inside
offer a hand, a word, a touch
a glimpse of holy
and to turn our own eyes
back to the Master

This is why we share our words
our wounds and our victories
for as we allow others to see
how we run to His arms
it opens doors imagined closed
so if I seem to have left my clothing behind
inappropriately bare
and transparent
it is for the sake of us all
that I choose again and again
to stand naked here

We shall be humble, together
and more and more His.


Stop by Bonnie's to read what others have shared this week

13 July 2011

Glorious skies

Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel
appeared from the east.
The sound of his coming
was like the roar of rushing waters,
and the whole landscape shone with his glory.

We spent the weekend resting and connecting with friends in one of our nearby Provincial parks where the beauty that is His glory was evident in all that surrounded us.  How can one not praise His name?

Stop by Internet Cafe Devotions to soak in more of His Word

12 July 2011

Unfair trade

Eleven years ago I left city (suburban) lights behind me
moved from the Chicago area
to rural Manitoba
trading concrete for prairies
sidewalks for paths
asphalt for gravel roads
the roar of traffic for silence
broken only by birdsongs or a howling coyote

Yes, things are slower here
as I surrender to God's time
and savour the summer
life lived on porches, backyards
wide cottage decks on lake shores
breathing in fresh
and letting peace flow
time to connect
listen, pray
or simply watch in wonder, content

It was all a trade quite unfair
I gave up my life without God
for the one He chose for me
filling it with Himself
I received everything and more
for nothing at all
all because of His great love

Stop by Peter Pollock's to read more views of the word porch

09 July 2011


For a day or two I am pulling the plug, shutting out electronic noise. the click clack of the keyboard

The world will continue to spin, tweets will sing out even if I can't hear, status updates will scroll on though my screen will be black

I may or may not pick up a pen or choose to let my words be few as I listen instead

I will connect eye to eye, ear to ear, heart to heart, with my beloved and others the Lord has chosen

I will breathe deep, taking in each gift He offers, drinking more than my fill so that I may pour out again

As I run to His arms, know that I am in the safest of all places.

Cleansing garden

I was looking through some old files and found words about a vision of a garden.  It speaks to me as much today as it did then:

I am getting lost in a vision of a garden pool. It is a place of cleansing. It is a place of lush growth. It is warm and cool at the same time. There are many shadows... but the light breaks through on the water and shines brilliantly.

The fragrances are almost overwhelming, so thick it seems like I should be able to touch them, hold them, place them in my own alabaster box.

It is a stone path that leads to the pool. Rocks and stones surround and contain the water. Flowers are floating on the surface.

The water looks so dark and deep. I want to drift, to be engulfed, to be consumed.

There are birds singing. There are angels singing. There are butterflies dancing before their creator.

I need to feel this on my skin. We should need no clothes here. We should have no need to hide before our Father or before the lover of our souls.

Let me wash in His love. Let me drown in His mercies. Let me linger in worship, in awe and in adoration.

08 July 2011

Without wings

I'm joining Brian Miller for Friday Poetically.  This week he shares the art work of his friend Bonnie of Original Art Studio and asks us to choose one of her pictures, allowing it to prompt a poem.

Living in shadow
dreaming of wings
an embrace

Solidly grounded
dreaming of flight
one strong wind
setting free

Gazing in wonder
dreaming a kiss
holding breath

Searching for answers
dreaming of nights
love returned
let it be

Stop by One Stop Poetry to see what others have shared today.

Summer things

I'm singing praise and recounting His goodness in the things of summer over at The Everyday Testimony Project today.  Come join me here

07 July 2011

Deeper still

Perhaps I thought
I have taken a plunge too deep
into spaces wide and white
too much time wasted
chasing after
the One, the Only
He that refreshes, soothes, satisfies

Perhaps I need give away more
of me to the world
and instead I have closed the door
to shut out the noise
stopped up my natural ears
to listen to the Spirit
yet what would I have
to give without Him?
Surely I hear Him call me
to this, again and again
as I pick up my pen:

You have been noticing the aroma of frankincense and myrrh when there no anointing oil and you take it as sign that I Am near. 

And yes, here I Am, beside you, inside you, waiting for you also to step inside Me.  There you will indeed feel the beating of My heart, in your blood, in My veins, under your skin, the two of Us as united as I Am with My Father and the Spirit.  This place of abiding where there are no dividing walls.

There is limitless space - climb in deeper.

So deeper I pray, that deeper I go.  For anything good in me is what comes from my place in Him.  Pouring out to be refilled that I may pour again.


Jamming with Bonnie today - come join us at The Faith Barista as we talk about whitespace

Joining Emily and others imperfect yet beloved here.