29 March 2012

Living water

Waterfall in the Friendship Gardens - La Crosse, Wisconsin

Back on the road
winding along the Mississippi
breathing deep
drinking in freedom
no need to be anything but His
living water never ceases


Fresh bread at Internet Cafe

My thoughts were as scattered as the leaves tossed on the ground. I decide it was best to give up control and allow them to wander. Perhaps God had a reason for the drifting.

While the swirling continued I chose the task of bread baking.

To read more, find me here at Internet Cafe Devotions today...


23 March 2012

Seeking balance

Away from the fields
that surround my daily dreams
I breathe to a rhythm
yet still ordered by my Lord

I do His bidding
move as His feet
and hands
pray for His words
to trip my tongue

It is both dark
and light
as I seek a balance
I've not yet found


19 March 2012

The road

Miles pass
fields wet but snow free
remnants of last year's crops shift in the wind
rain threatens all around
but our way has been clear

I know He goes before us
ever Is behind us

I choose again
no other road
but His


16 March 2012

Be brave and fear less

I used to imagine
that to be brave
meant to run into fear straight on
racing directly into the fire
But time teaches
and slowly, I learn

To be brave is to
fear – less
walk away from fear
one step
at a time

Fear does not diminish, no
there is never less to fear
the world spins on
a pace dizzying to most
hazards seeming to rise at every turn

But there is a hand
always ready to lead me
if I reach, grasp, hold on
then brave in His presence
I shed fear

Jamming with Bonnie where the topic is fearless

and joining Lisa-Jo where today's word is brave


14 March 2012

Mid March happy

I don't care
that it is only March
that this is Manitoba
and snows can return
full force and fierce
turning the land back to winter
in April and May

For today
I will rejoice in the thaw
the promise of Spring
the scent of melting carried
by the warm, howling winds
Lifting my hands to dance
as the sun streams
hot on my bare feet

This is all His design
as I am His
as He Is mine

mid-March happy
drunk on His love

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies. Song of Songs 6:3 NIV

Joining Jennifer in noticing the God-Bumps today...


13 March 2012

Heroes and Monsters - J.J. Riebock

I had not heard of Josh James Riebock or his first book mY Generation but when I read the description of his new book Heroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle within All of Us I was intrigued:
In this stunningly honest, thoroughly unconventional, and ultimately hopeful book, Josh James Riebock explores issues that form us into the people we are--issues of family, love, intimacy, dreams, grief, purpose, and the unexpected stops along the journey. With artful prose and vivid storytelling, he shows that pain and beauty are so inextricably linked that to lose the former costs us the latter.
Honesty and hope are what I find myself hungry for and Riebock delivers hefty helpings of both as he steps into spaces in his soul that few choose to share.

The transparency in the words one who has learned that life in Christ is not simple kept me turning page after page, laughing, weeping and nodding my head with an "amen" on my lips. This story shows us that life makes more sense to us when we can look back and trace the journey.
We exchange vows, and in doing so, I break an old one. Sure, I swore I’d never get married. But I guess life is a matter of knowing which vows matter most and which ones you’re better off without. Sometimes it’s the broken vows that let us know how far we’ve come.
Riebock has come far indeed and I am grateful that he allows us to come along for the ride.

If you are looking for an easy story, I suggest you leave this book on the shelf. If however, you desire to be challenged and changed as well as entertained don't miss this well written tale.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.


10 March 2012

Seeing the seeds

You will notice that the variety of bodies is stunning.
Just as there are different kinds of seeds,
there are different kinds of bodies—
humans, animals, birds, fish—
each unprecedented in its form.
You get a hint at the diversity of resurrection glory
by looking at the diversity of bodies
not only on earth but in the skies—
sun, moon, stars—
all these varieties of beauty and brightness.
And we're only looking at pre-resurrection "seeds"—
who can imagine what the resurrection "plants" will be like!

Savoring the stillness with Sandy today


09 March 2012

My life is His music

Often, if it were up to me, life would settle into a predictable pattern, but this life is not my own.

Here are the words the Lord shared with me as we sat together in the early morning:

Surely I tell you that another transition is coming, for indeed life remains in motion and I need you fluid, not static.

Do not remain stuck in what you think you know.  Allow Me to move you based on what I know.  Yes, I, the One with thoughts much higher than your thoughts.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9 NLT

As you surrender, change becomes more organic as you live in a continual state of letting go.

I Am the writer, the orchestrator and the conductor, and you, little one, an instrument that will release beautiful music in My hands.


08 March 2012

Healing a heart

Yesterday I received Bonnie’s email informing me that the topic for this week Faith Jam was to share a heart healing moment and before I had even a moment to ponder what I would write about I received another message in my inbox from Compassion International with the subject line Blogger assignment - 6 year old boy needs heart surgery

I don’t believe God could have spoken more clearly than this seeming coincidence.

There have been countless occasions when God has reached into my heart to touch exactly the spot that hurt most, healing in ways not possible for anyone but Him. These were places of raw emotion, aching areas in my mind and spirit. In all of my pain and distress, however, my physical heart remained sound.

In southwest Burkina Faso, Abdoul Fatao Kone is living a different story. Six year old Fatao has a ventricular septal defect, a hole in his heart. His parents have known about his condition since he was one year old but have never been able to afford the proper medical care. They attempted to heal little Fatao with traditional methods which left him with scars and small holes where healing herbs were placed in his body.

In December 2010 Fatao was registered with Compassion’s Sponsorship program and was seen by a physician and a cardiologist who confirmed that he requires surgery. For this surgery, Fatao needs to travel to India. The total cost of his surgery, including passport, visa, travel, the surgery itself and follow-up care, is $23,000.

Would you take a moment to pray and ask the Lord how He might want you to help.
You can read more about Fatao on Compassion’s blog and you can donate online as well.

Fatao’s parents will not be able to travel with him to India.  I can’t imagine how frightening this will be for such a young boy.  When you give online you will be able to write a letter to Fatao which will be read to him before his surgery. Your words can encourage and strengthen him and breathe the hope and love of Jesus into his spirit.

Together, as the body of Christ we can surely give this young life the heart healing moment he needs.

Jamming with Bonnie today as I pray... for Fatao and all other broken hearts


07 March 2012

The honesty of a friend

I received an email from a friend this morning.  Not an acquaintance, not someone who drifts about the fringes of my life, but someone who is willing to dive in deep with me into the things of God.

She was in the middle of a lenten exercise and wrote:

Today's challenge is to ask a few good friends what it is that they think makes me unique... gifts...talents... strengths... weaknesses
I prayed and I pondered and I emailed her my thoughts.  I also asked if she would answer the same about me.  I share her reply here as a demonstration of true friendship:
What I see is someone who walks in integrity...
Someone who truly loves the Lord her God for who He is, rather than merely for what He does for her... Wanting His fellowship as opposed to merely the gifts that often times come along with it.  
I see someone whose heart is broken by the things that break His... Hungry children for one thing... Hypocricy within the church for another... And who takes seriously the great commission to, "Go and make disciples."

I see someone who also does not take herself too terribly seriously, who knows that while there is a time to be serious, it is a good and Godly thing to be able to laugh, even at herself.
On the other hand, I also see someone who is still reeling a bit from the hurt she has experienced in past church situations, and who, quite honestly, isn't yet past it... Someone from whose's heart still occasionally leaks that odd hurtful word, NOT intentionally, but instead, simply because it is still raw, still in need of healing. And there probably isn't all that much you can do about that either, except to be aware of it, and keep it before the Lord in prayer, waiting for Him to do what He needs to in order to bring that healing about in His perfect way and time
Perhaps many would offer the opening words of support.  I was pleased to see that my love for God and my heart for His hurts were clearly displayed.  It was, however, as I continued reading, down to the "on the other hand" that I felt truly known.

Wounds from a sincere friend  are better than many kisses from an enemy
Proverbs 27:6 NLT

Yes, life among others can be hard. Yes, hearts can be broken and raw. And the walk through healing can seem to take an impossibly long time.

Today I want to celebrate the God Who does the miraculous, the One Who provides us the opportunity to learn to love each other in the same way He loves us.

 Rejoicing today with Jennifer in how extraordinary Is our God.

06 March 2012

Poetic madness?

The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness. 
Christopher Morley

what God not only asks but commands of me
yet how often the pen remains frozen in my hand
fearing what may enter in
as a trickle
only to leave as a flood

But I know He holds my hand
my lifeline
my way back

So I step out
and step in
to hear, see, feel
then allow words
to share those places
many fear to go

Poetry lives in the broken pieces

Joining Peter Pollock and the gang as we look at madness


03 March 2012

Abiding in the vine

I am the Vine, you are the branches.
When you're joined with me and I with you,
the relation intimate and organic,
the harvest is sure to be abundant. 
Separated, you can't produce a thing.

Silent in worship, wonder and awe with Deidra and the Sunday choir


02 March 2012

Accepting the ache

Today I'm joining Lisa-Jo at The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday where she asks to:
Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
The prompt for today is ache --

Too many years of inactivity have left me in a state.
I am stiff and find places that I didn’t know existed until they began to hurt.
But the last few months I have slowly begun working my way back to fitness.
All that I used to know from my past life as a personal trainer and instructor comes flooding back in waves.
Yes, I know that muscle and I even know why the pain is there

My knees are weak, torn-up, and yet I press in and continue on for the moving is what will eventually help them back to health.

Is this any different from the times I subject my heart to the ache of loving
fully aware that the ache itself spurs me on to deeper love?

I am open inside, the way He created me
more raw than these tendons and sinews
the hurts come easy
leaving holes where He pours out.

To read posts by other bloggers or add your own to the mix - stop by Lisa-Jo's


End the waiting

I have never known many things you know
what its like to go to school
or hold a book in my hand
how it would feel
to not have constant hunger
gnawing away inside
or wonder if today is the day that I will die

I have spent all of my days in poverty.
But God loves His children
so He sent Compassion to a church near my home

There are so many benefits Compassion provides:

educational opportunities
health care and health-related instruction
good nutrition
and life-skills training
all this wrapped up in the love of Jesus
and the chance to hear the Good News of His Kingdom.

My parents took me to this church.
They asked lots of questions about me and my family, they even took my picture.
Then they told me I was officially registered.

That was an exciting day, not only would I get to receive all of these blessings
but they told me I would be connected to a special person
a sponsor from far away who has so much love in their heart
that they would want to share it with someone like me.

I was registered, but I had to wait for someone to sponsor me.

So I waited
and I waited
and I waited...
wondering if there is something wrong with me
no sponsor has chosen me yet
so I wait still...

When you see a heart in the lower left-hand corner of a sponsor child's picture, it means that particular child has been waiting for a sponsor for nearly six months - at least 180 days.

You can be the answer to the questions of worthiness that haunt a child like the one I wrote about above.

Compassion International offers you the opportunity to sponsor a child who has been waiting for six months or longer. 
Visit Compassion's website by clicking here to explore this chance to share your heart and your help.

Sponsor a child today and receive a free Compassion scrapbook. This scrapbook will be a great way to organize all the letters and photos you receive from your sponsored child. Just make your first payment today with your credit or debit card to receive this free gift. This offer is only available to citizens of the United States.

But the greatest gift is what you will receive in return, the joy of knowing the impact you have made in the life of a hurting and waiting child.