Monday, April 28, 2014

SWEET WHISPERING IN MY EAR

The world seductively whispers in my ear--I have to be careful and not listen---it becomes distracting from why I am here.



The Deceiver knows my weak spots---understands what I long to hear--and sends someone, unknowingly, my way.
You are very attractive, you are intelligent, you have a warm personality, you are so inclusive
Whispering in my ear--magnetically pulling me into the deception--wooing me in my web of need.
Enticing--seducing--the alluring pull of charm and deceit with his slow smile and twinkle in his eye.






Stop---step back---do not listen---it is all a front---there are no good intentions-
it will not end well.
Consider the motives--consider the origin--consider the advantage he will gain by having my ear.
The distraction of the moment and the gain for a season will only serve to take me off His path.
Yield not to temptation--keep my eye upon the prize---send the deceiver packing and continue to follow His lead.



Instead--yield to the seduction to the only One Who is faithful---the only true love of my life.
Cherish His promise---understand His deep abiding provision for my every need and desire.
Look away from the world---Look only to the source of satisfaction and soak in His revelation
Of His Deep---Deep Love---Abiding--Faithful  &  True


"For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."
Psalm 100:5

Sunday, April 27, 2014

DEEP---DEEP LOVE

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OH HOW I LOVE JESUS


BLESSED SABBATH, DEAR FRIENDS!


Saturday, April 26, 2014

QUIET IN THE HOOD

It has been relatively quiet here in the hood this week.  SO I thought I would resurrect an old "dillo" story.  My new Fort Worth friends seem to doubt all my dillo adventures.  Here is an Oldie-but Goodie!



~ ~ ~ ~ ~

HOW MANY LIVES DOES A DILLO HAVE?

The NEVER ENDING dillo saga--took another turn last night. I have promised the new queen of the "Old Wire Road Manor" that I would get the latest devil that has been shredding not only my garden and flower beds, but even the this year's planted sod. Bess is such a little Southern Belle---who comes from a long line of Southern Belles---I'm thinking she is a little intimidated with the idea of the "Dillo Games"--but that's alright she has a house full of "men folk" to come to her rescue.

As I made my 1:30 AM patrol looking for Mr. Dillo---LOW AND BEHOLD --there he is in the front yard with his snout about six inches into the centipede sod. RUN GET YOUR GUN AND FLASHLIGHT, Annie! NOW--is there One ---I mean even ONE flashlight in the entire closet that works---WHY OF COURSE NOT! So I head back outside in my flip flops with my loaded rifle. Side note-I live in the woods---it is very hot---the snakes come out at night to eat---they only bite if you step on them---I can't see where I am stepping. I Diverge!

Notorious for their poor eyesight--you can walk right up to the dillo---BUT I learned they have very good hearing. As I take careful aim-about 4 feet away and slowly squeeze the trigger--I discover the safety is on--unlike the time I shot the house. OK--so I take the safety off and once again take careful aim and squeeze---Nothing happens---OH YEAH--you've got to put a bullet in the chamber. The sound that the lever makes to put that bullet in the right place and perhaps me muttering under my breath alert the dillo. He has removed his snout and his ears are up. As I take careful aim once again and begin to squeeze the trigger ----the automatic sprinkler system cuts on in that part of the yard at that precise moment. He is alerted and takes off running and I shoot. I pretty sure I missed him and hopefully missed my brand new car-will have to check that out after daylight.

I think he is in the thick bushes in the flower bed, so for the next 15 minutes, I shake, prod, and explore to see if I can get him out. I finally move enough branches and prod enough to be convinced that he got away. DRAT!

BUT WAIT---I am really sure God put this thought in my head--He needed a good laugh with the condition of the world--I think "Check the back". Ok--I go open the garage door to look out back and immediately hear something. Once again--no flashlight and it is pitch black in the woods. I run inside to turn on all the deck lights---thinking he will be gone. As I go back out the sliding door---LOW AND BEHOLD---there is that devil 2 feet away.

I once again---take careful aim---now I have all the rifle issues solved-so should be a sure thing. I SHOOT! GOT HIM!!! You know you've hit them when they jump straight up in the air and do an acrobatic move that any high diver would envy. For a creature with legs 2 inches long--it is amazing to see him go straight up and then do a back flip with a slight twist and take off running.

I on for the chase! He then runs into the lattice work under the deck and I line up another shot. GOT HIM AGAIN! This time he does a full round off with a complete twist. He heads for the woods. He doesn't get very far before he keels over on his side in a mound of leaves and is still. I think he's dead---but maybe I'll shoot him once more to make sure. I am on the tall part of the deck-8 feet off the ground, but I take careful aim and squeeze the trigger. NOTHING HAPPENS--I am out of ammo!

The devil then lifts his head and looks right up at me. Lifts his wounded body and starts for the creek with two extra holes in him.

Does anyone have an elephant gun I can borrow? 

Friday, April 25, 2014

NO MORE GAMES

I love to play games---since my earliest memories---"Red Rover", "London Bridge", "Hide and Seek", "Chase"---remembering the laughter and fun on the playground.  Then those wonderful teenage games---"Musical Chairs", "Tug of War", "Charades", and perhaps even "Spin The Bottle" a time or two.  Finally as an adult, card games galore, "Trivial Pursuit", "Word With Friends"---it has always been more about playing together than the competition for me.  Last summer above 10,000 feet we played a card game on top of a huge rock in the freezing wind and with damp clothes clinging to my body.  I cannot tell you the name of the game--I can tell you who I played with and how much fun it was.































We find ourselves playing emotional and psychological games with those around us, if we are not careful.  "I Got You", "One Up Manship", "Mine's Better Than Yours", "I'll Scratch Your Back If You Scratch Mine" and on and on.  Then there are the masks we wear as we play those games---masks to disguise who we really are, masks to pretend who we wish we were, all in an  effort to come out on the top of the heap.

I stopped playing those emotional games---I am who I am and while I hope you like me--I will not pretend to be someone I am not. What drives us to play games with each other?  The need for acceptance, our low self esteem, the psychological damage done over our lifetime---or some of all the above and more.  Who teaches us how to play these games?  Our kin, our friends, the world, or perhaps even Satan whispering in our ear leads us to a life of pretending and pretension.


God is NOT playing.  We do not have to chase Him, He wears no masks, there is no hiding from Him, and He does not have to guess---HE KNOWS WHO WE ARE.  He is stripped of pretense - an open book---no guessing games---He is who He is-The Great I AM.  Never fooled for a moment by the games we play--He is simply waiting for our cry---"YOU"RE IT!"


"Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 23:24

Thursday, April 24, 2014

THE NAKED TRUTH

One of the half dozen or so books I am currently reading (A Little ADD going on) is Beth Moore's, Why Godly People Do Ungodly Things.  She is such a gifted teacher and more important a profound truth teller.  I was hit squarely between the eyes with a few of those truths.  Truths which my head knows--but my heart forgets--conveniently.

 It stands to reason if you guys are not here, then you have no idea how many cookies I am scarfing down. Why in the privacy of my own home---none of you know what books I am reading, or shows I am watching. In the anonymity of the city, who knows what I am wearing and how I am acting?  Under the veil of aloneness, I lead a secret life.




 Watching these little grands, it did not take long to figure out if they went into another room and it got quiet--THEY WERE UP TO SOMETHING!  They seem to believe a wall separating them from my sight gives them license to meddle, snack, or even wreck havoc.  The wall will keep me from ever knowing what was done and who did it.


What state of delusion must I be in to think God does not know each and every thing I do, say, or think?  The child in me comes bubbling to the surface, and I begin to believe  I am out of His sight if I am sneaky enough. I am effectively burying me head in the sand.   "Sometimes we harbor an unexpressed suspicion that He cannot handle all that goes on in our minds and hearts.  The deep resistance to making ourselves so vulnerable, so naked, so totally unprotected is our implicit way of saying, 'Jesus, I trust you, but there are limits.' "  As I love to say, "Now you're meddling!"



What would cause me to pretend God is smaller than His true identity?  The All Knowing--All Seeing---Omnipotent---Omniscient God of the Universe---knows me better than I know myself.  My refusal to share my all with Him, "limits God's lordship over my life and makes clear that there are parts of me that I do not wish to submit to divine conversation."   BAM!!!!---GOT ME!




Not ONE THING is hidden from Him---He knows it all---my obstinate refusal to bring it before Him does not make it go away.  Hiding behind the mask of grace does not change the fact that I MUST bring it to Him---before slipping into that robe of grace.  I forget He is NEVER surprised by my admissions--my failures--my sins-----He is just waiting---for me to trust Him with it all ---and recognize His Lordship over every part of me.


"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."
Hebrews 4:13

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WORRY NOT

I do not spend a great deal of time worrying---but when I do drop off into that deep black hole----it is difficult to locate the way back into the light.  Why do I spend time worrying about things which I have little if any control over?  Past experiences push me into the deep chasm of obsessiveness.  I worry about my future financial security----we have all seen the stock market free fall into a deep bottom---my past experience dredges this worry to the surface.  I have no control over the stock market---I do have control over my investments--so I am ultra conservative knowing at my age I do not have enough time remaining to recover.  Yet I still worry.

I worry about future health challenges.  I take care of the body I have been given and enjoy good health, but what does the future hold?  What happens if I suffer serious health problems---who will take care of me---how much will the care cost?  There is not ONE thing I can do about this, beyond what I am doing, but still I worry.

I worry about my children and grandchildren.  This world is a mess--more of a mess than ever.  It frightens me to consider the obstacles in their paths.  My children are all grown---my grandchildren are their parent's responsibility.  Cleaning up the mess this world is in is a bigger job than I can tackle alone.  Why do I worry about them--when God's Book is full of promises concerning their futures?

I just finished a great and inspiring book with a good deal of wise insight.  One of the quotes I took to heart, "Worrying is praying for what you don't want."  The scriptures instruct us to not worry for God is our provider.  Jehovah Jireh who knows the number of hairs on our heads and  provides food for even the birds of the air is our Great Provider.  What does it say of whom our God is when we spend one moment worrying about tomorrow?

The book is an amazing travel commentary of walking the 500 miles of "Camino de Santiago".  OH--- WOULD I LOVE TO DO THIS WALK!  The path is marked with yellow arrows ---all you have to do is follow the arrows.  "By letting go of the worry and placing trust in the arrows, I became confident that I would eventually arrive in Santiago."  Five hundred miles---no map--foreign country--dependent upon yellow arrows---faith and trust in the arrows.

We are given a set of arrows--a book full of arrows----all we need do is follow the path marked by the arrows.  Faith in the map maker and trust in the directions--will lead us to the goal.  "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself."    Worry not--He is here and He has the path all marked out.


"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 14:27 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CARING FOR THE DEAD

The Deep South is filled with tradition---traditions carried from one generation to the next.  It is a common thread which binds the past with the present - while some things change--others remain the same.  Care for the resting place for those whom have gone on before us is one of those time honored traditions.  I have friends who still attend "Graveyard Work Days".   In rural churches with cemeteries in the side yard or perhaps across the road, a day is set aside every year to spruce up the final resting place of those dearly departed.  Usually a day close to "Memorial Day" families and friends gather together---pull the weeds, mow the grass and place flowers to visibly honor these loved ones.  Dinner on the grounds follows the tiding up for all those left behind to remember and catch up.  It is a sweet tradition--filled with deep love and great fondness while wonderful memories bubble to the surface in the activity of the day.  A day to show great respect for those who have gone before.



There was a time when contact with those who had passed away was strictly banned.  Read the Old Testament---Numbers tells us contact with a dead body resulted in being unclean for seven days.  Being unclean resulted in being banned from contact with those who were clean for those seven days.  The contact resulted in being ostracized from society for a week.  The chore of embalming loved ones often fell to the women---since they were ostracized on a regular basis already---the sting was not so deep.

Nicodemus braved it all---he came in broad daylight--carrying seventy five pounds of an embalming mixture.  He anointed the body of our Savior--knowing the risk.  The sure stigma of being unclean was part of the cost, but it could have cost much more--even his life.  Nicodemus crept through the streets in the dark the first time he sought Jesus---a pharisee--he feared reprisal for contact with Jesus.  His time with Jesus was so moving--so life changing---he publicly acknowledged who Jesus was by this final act of respect.  He tended the dead body of the Master without regard for personal cost. 

What have I done to show my respect?  There is no body---the grave is empty--He is alive.  How can I serve Him with no regard for the cost?  By serving "The Least Of These"---I serve Him---it is the very least I can do. 


"Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.  They took Jesus' body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices.
John 19:39-41


Monday, April 21, 2014

AND NOW IT IS MONDAY-

The day dawned with a beautiful brilliant sky---the same sky that dawned all those years ago over an empty tomb.
The birds sang their morning songs and the gentle breezes stirred the new leaves exploding open on every tree.
 The light gave birth to the celebration of victory over death and the promise of eternal life.
Where was His body they all sang out, only to be answered by his reply "Peace be to you, I am here."


The church was filled with row upon row, all dressed in their best with smiles on their faces.
Families assembled and friends united all joining in joyous worship with voices raised in celebratory praise.
The story was told and the events explained which lead to this holiest of days long ago. 
All were gathered in one accord, to give thanks for His sacrifice which lead to eternal life.



The day has ended, the food was put away, the eggs were all discovered and everyone has gone their way.
Monday has dawned-another day after Easter has begun-back to the sameness of living this life.
What keeps us from bringing the joy of Sunday over to Monday and Tuesday and
each day thereafter?
Has anything changed during the night?  Did he still not die and raise from the dead?



The day  of the week nor the day of the year nor the year we are in changes what
He has done.
Everyday is a reminder--each dawn a notation -of the promise we were blessed with when we turned to Him.
Easter is not a day- Easter is more than a season---Easter is a promise we carry in our hearts.
We celebrate Easter each and every day---with each new dawn--as long as Jesus rules in our hearts.





"I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior."
Isaiah 43:11

Sunday, April 20, 2014

IT'S SUNDAY---"HALLELUJAH"

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NEW WORDS TO A POPULAR SONG---THE NEW LYRICS HAVE REDEEMED A SONG
THAT ALWAYS CAUSED ME GREAT PAIN
A REMINDER OF HIS REDEMPTION OF ME


BLESSED EASTER--DEAR FRIENDS!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

WHERE IS THE PEACE?

What happened to the old saying, "Live and let live"?  Following two batches of Hood email blizzards during the past few days---I have determined
There is NO peace in the Hood!

Due to the recent road diet-


The heavy traffic has found a short cut through the hood---on the street a block away from the local elementary school.  More traffic--going TOO fast---leads to hood outrage.

Some favor speed bumps to slow the traffic down--


Others scream---NO!  We do have many speed bumps in the hood already--in fact all over Cowtown

Some favor chicanes 


Well as you can imagine--others NOT!

And the small minority wanted both

That went over well!

About the time that flurry died down the next one started -
It seems someone has the NERVE to build a McMansion in the hood (Their words not mine)
This lead to some not so kind words about committee members in charge of historic overlay and went downhill from there.  Not sure how I would feel moving into a neighborhood where I bought a house to tear it down and then build on the lot in anticipation of living in my dream home.  Expensive construction to know your neighbors hate you before you even get the brick on the building.  


The good news this week in The Hood---the Easter Bunny is coming---a HUGE Easter Egg Hunt at the park just down the street with over 100 children and all their kin in tow tomorrow.

And there are definite signs of Spring all over 













And finally four new friends this week---

A Messianic Jew-----
a native of Jordan----
#2 Ranked Ballroom Dancer in the Nation----
a local Director for Habitat for Humanity

MANY interesting and varied people and stories in the city--
soaking in life in the city.

Friday, April 18, 2014

IT'S FRIDAY

If moved or provoked to thought--please share by clicking at the bottom of the post one of the social media icons.




Today is Friday---take comfort and know peace---because Sunday is coming.

No matter what pain you have endured--what sorrow has enveloped you-
what loss you are living with-how many pieces your heart is broken into--
Sunday is coming.

No pain is endured, no sorrow unknown, no loss hidden, nor no heart broken 
that He did not suffer the same--and rise to live again for Sunday was coming.

Take heart, grab hold, enjoy the balm of grace He spreads over every wound
and know the healing  He provided---with the dawning of Sunday.

Today is Friday with the reminder of the pain, suffering, abandonment, rejection, 
and unspeakable death endured that we all might know---Sunday is coming.



May each of you, dear friends, enjoy a blessed Easter weekend --
remembering that day---When Sunday Brought The Victory Over Friday's Death.


"By now it was noon.  The whole earth became dark, the darkness lasting three hours-a total blackout.  The Temple curtain split right down the middle.  Jesus called loudly, 'Father, I place my life in your hands!' Then he breathed his last."
Luke 23:44-46----The Message



Thursday, April 17, 2014

MOB PSYCHOLOGY

If you are moved or provoked to thought--please share.

Can you believe after cheering Jesus as he entered the city only a few days ago, the crowd turned on him?  They yelled at Pilate to crucify Him.  After proclaiming Him their king--then they make a complete about face and demanded His death.  I would NEVER do that!

OH---I have heard about mob psychology---being swept along with the intensity of emotion wrapped in a cause by those crowded around ---I am much too strong to ever allow a mob to control my actions.  I am an individual and in charge of my own thoughts and decisions--NO crowd would every influence me.

Well--except for those crowds at sporting events.  It is so easy to get swept up into the emotion of the moment.  We all want to win and those referees are so unfair.  We all knew we were getting the short end of the stick.  We were just united in pulling for our team.

Those times I get carried away watching the news commentators on television--why that really does not have anything to do with being in a mob.  When they begin yelling at each other and those guys on the left are obviously so wrong, I am merely supporting my just cause.  Millions of us gathered before our screens being whipped into a frenzy over political issues--but this is not a mob.  We are all justifiably outraged by the stupidity of those comments.

Those concerts I have attended with a world famous musician---we were an audience not a mob.  When others began swooning and screaming and yelling adoration, why that is part of the concert scene.  I am certainly not influenced by the waves of emotion flowing through the crowd.  It is part of the experience to stand and sway and scream and yell.

Standing in that crowd that day as the rumors begun by the pharisees began to swirl and ebb and sweep through the masses, I would never have been influenced by the ugly rumors flying by.  I would stand firm in my conviction and not listen to the leaders of the day.  The mob would never influence my choice--I would stand firm and yell against the masses for Him to be released.  Knowing I would be risking it all--I would still go against the opinions of all the rest.

I became a part of that crowd during a sentencing a long time ago.  My sin made me a party to the mob that called for His death.  Without the need for a sacrifice to pay the cost of my uncountable sins, He could have walked away that day.  Whether calling for His crucifixion or standing mutely on the side---I road the wave of the mob that called for His death that day.  



" Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”
Complete Text John 19

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

MY SECRET LIFE

Parts of my life are secret--hidden from you all---not for public viewing or perusal--kept behind a great wall. 
 What keeps me from exposing it all---tearing down the curtain---throwing open the door? 
 Guilt---Shame---Knowledge of your sure disapproval ---if you only knew it all. 
 How easy it is to declare---"It really is none of your business"----How simple to skirt the truth by pleading "Privacy". 
Declaring, "This is my life--no one is done any harm" when I seek to hide behind the disguises I wear. 
Denying the waves made by my deceit and those who are swept under as they roll and roll--reaching further than even I could imagine,
Hoping you are fooled by the part I allow you to see.  
If you come close---my thin disguise will prove ineffective in shielding the view
of the plain truth of who lies beneath that veil.

During this Week of Passion as Jesus was questioned by Pilate, He responded to
the acquisition by declaring He had done nothing in secret.
His life was an open book---all done in public view and hearing
Except for those times he stole away to commune with The Father
Someone was always by His side to bear witness to it all.
He bore no shame--except for ours---at the very end
Not one thing hidden---no secrets held close--no surprises unrevealed
A perfect life-with no cause for privacy or sleuth--an open book for all to see.

I have experienced the freedom living the truth can bring
My admission of my failures and shortcomings allows a sense of release
Knowing I have never hidden one single thing from the all knowing God 
Why not confess to all my  humanness and struggles causing me to fail?
He loves me in spite of my falls---He never turns and never changes no matter how I act or what I do.
My fallen state is a fact---a fact we all bear--no illusion of perfection--only clothed in perfect grace.
I am revealing to you my failures, acknowledging His grace, and claiming sanctification through the only One Who never lived a secret life.


"Everything has been out in the open.
I've said nothing in secret."
Complete Text: John 18: 19-24

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DENYING IT ALL

Learning to recognize God's voice is an important part of my relationship with Him.  He speaks in different ways to me---and over time my awareness of His voice has grown.  There are times--He had to practically hit me over the head---I always laugh as I look up and respond, "Okay---I get it, Lord."

In two short days, I read and heard two poignant references to denial.  When a topic presents itself in rapid fire succession, I know He is telling me something.  Trying to get my attention and grab my thoughts---the Great God of the Universe--takes the time to speak to me and teach me---I am beyond blessed.

I have lived in many states of denial during my years here on this earth.  Denial caused from my unwillingness to admit the truth.  When the truth is not what you want to hear or expect life to look like, it sometimes was easier to bury my head in the sand of delusion than accept the hard reality of truth.  It put off the inevitable moment of honesty and the walk down the hard path of real life.  The postponement did not deter or prevent running into the brick wall of truth.  Today's blog is not about my denial of truth in my life, but much more important my denial of Him.

I daily read this blogger's heart felt opining here.  Julie is a gifted writer and a brave woman bearing her heart and soul for all to see what God has and is doing in her life.  I loved this quote from her blog concerning denial-

" I found that if I catch denial while it is forming a small creek in my heart, then I have more of a chance of drying it up (with the help and support of those around me and through scripture) before it becomes a deep flowing river that drags me under its current and drowns me in a sea of forgetfulness and self-pity." 

Deep wisdom for one still young---a graphic picture of the damage done when living in denial.

A daily devotion I read and listen to also addressed Peter's denial this week.  This brought to light the question of why I am so hesitant to admit my own denial of God.  Why I do not speak up when given the opportunity---why I do not proclaim who He is with every waking breath----why He is not on my lips and in my mind every conscious second.

I look down my nose at Peter for denying Christ--three times---but the question is "What would I have done in the same circumstance?"  Would I risk my life--the life of my family--what I see as my future and proclaim publicly my love for Him?  Or would I save my sorry self and run and hide in fear? How many ways do I deny Him even today--day in -day out----without any fear of death or punishment for proclaiming Him?  

God's wonderful grace covers my denial---my doubts---He understands my human failings---and loves me yet--beyond my wildest dream--He loves me.

I may deny Him--but He has never denied me---He gave His all for me and calls me "His Beloved".


"Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow."
John 18:27



Monday, April 14, 2014

LOOSING DEFINITION

We all need "Truth Tellers" in our lives.  While in Ruston, I took a walk through the trails at the beautiful parish park with one of those special people in my life.  As we walked up and down those North Louisiana clay hills, she said, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but your calves no longer have definition."  I laughed out loud and told her perhaps the fact that I have not run in over a year and am not consistently walking has something to do with it.  Why would I allow my feelings to be hurt--over something which is the truth and I have only myself to blame?


I am working hard in the weight room when I lift three hours a week in the power pump class I attend.  After our warm up, we work each major muscle group doing over 800 reps in an hour.  There is not enough time to zone in on your calves.  I am sure they assume everyone is doing cardio work which should take care of them.  WRONG assumption!  I am slowly but surely getting my major muscle groups firm and strong, but my neglect of the cardio has left me an incomplete package.



You Guys know me---the wheels began turning!  What does my spiritual condition look like?  What is required to maintain peak spiritual condition?

   DAILY TIME IN THE WORD---I confess I slip on this---busyness is a poor excuse.  When writing I am exploring and researching His Word intensely.  On the days I  write, I also read devotionals and other blogs with scriptural references.  I delve into the scripture for Small Group each week.  Unfortunately there are days I am a dismal failure.  I drop into the bed and realize I have failed to drink from The Living Water at the end of a day filled with spinning.



   PRAYER---my days always include mini-prayers thrown up in haste  as God nudges me throughout the day.  Some nights, the entire night seems to be an on-going prayer as need after need comes to mind.  My prayer time begins to look like my life---a flurry of activity.  My major failure in prayer is stopping--being quiet--and listening.  God becomes so frustrated with me over this that He begins waking me at 2 AM when I am finally quiet and still.  Only then can He get my attention.


   SERVICE---this comes in short bursts of intense activity, but then my eyes drop to my navel and I get wrapped up in the day-lies---which are of NO eternal consequence.  There is nothing I like more than being in service to further His kingdom--but sadly I am not consistent.



   FELLOWSHIP---community is slowly developing in Fort Worth, but while home in Ruston I was reminded of the great circle of fellowship I left behind.  Nothing stirs me to growth quicker than the mind stretching sharing with fellow believers.  Too many days and nights I am alone---and out of fellowship.



   TEACHING---I am blessed to hear God inspired--soul stretching---heart stirring teaching every Sunday.  When traveling, I listen to sermons on the radio--I have a few wonderful favorites I look forward to tuning in and hearing.  I occasionally read a sermon on line.  I read and garner wisdom from great teachers such as John Piper, Beth Moore, A.W. Tozer, C.S. Lewis---and many many more.  There are times I get immersed in the World and put all this aside for a favorite secular series---books and television.  I loose my consistency and become distracted by entertainment.

John Piper

These all serve as components of keeping me Spiritually fit.  It takes all to keep the soul healthy and in tip top shape.  How distressing to forget the importance of each part of the regiment to maintain optimum performance.  Fortunately---it is never too late---and when I fall off the training schedule---I can climb back on again.  As long as I do not stray for long---all is not lost---only loosing a little ground.  Putting my eyes back on the path will soon have me headed in the right direction---and striving for peak spiritual condition. 

Stopping and reviewing my inability to maintain focus reminds me once again---HOW GRATEFUL I AM FOR GRACE!


"And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."
Colossians 1:9-10


Sunday, April 13, 2014

FOR ME!

DISENGAGE THE BLOG MUSIC BY CLICKING ON THE DOUBLE BARS ON THE TOP LEFT OF THE PAGE



As we enter this Holy Week---a sweet reminder of Who is always for us and will never forsake us!

Blessed Palm Sabbath, Friends!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

REJECTION

Dear Daniel,

I am sorry, but I will not be able to become your "Friend" on Facebook.  Hopefully this rejection will not be earth shattering for you, but I suspect you have many lines cast in the cyber world looking for fish. 




Recently I suffered a bout of rejection---it began with a comment concerning my slim physique and ended with, perhaps someone will catch my eye someday.  OBVIOUSLY--I am NOT eye-catching!  You should try my remedy---I laughed at the not so subtle "Adios".  Laughter is always much more therapeutic and certainly less painful than tears.




Frankly your comment about "Liking how I looked" immediately caused the whistles to begin blowing.  Since I have a picture of Maggie Smith as my profile picture, you do not have a clue what I look like.  You obviously are attracted to older dowager aristocrats---while I only qualify as older.  This also created some speculation about where you have been for the last few years if you do not recognize Maggie Smith.




I have a bucket full of trust issues I am lugging around and the suggestion we get to know each other better --well it is not going to happen.  To begin with I would need a letter from your pastor, a complete biographical disclosure-back to your great grandparents, a current financial statement, 100 letters of recommendation for intimate family and friends,  a criminal background check, and a certificate of health from a doctor of my choice for us to even have dinner. I am a little paranoid.




The one other cause for concern when you contacted me was the fact that you have one Facebook friend.  It immediately caused me to wonder---if you are who you say you are----whose picture did you post as your profile picture.  You should understand while some are lonely--most are not stupid.




So Daniel, if you are Daniel, lots of luck with finding friends by posting  requests on their Facebook page--even with compliments and suggestive comments about a future relationship.  At times, I am lonely---but there are FAR worse things than being lonely!

Sincerely,
Maggie Smith (You Believe That Don't You?)

NEXT SATURDAY---BACK TO THE HOOD---OH THE NEIGHBORS ARE UPSET!!!








Friday, April 11, 2014

DEEP DARKNESS



While home in Ruston---I was reminded
Of the deep dark stillness in the quiet of the night
When you live in the middle of the woods
Under the umbrella of the trees.

I had grown accustomed in a short time
To the continuous glow of the city
And the din that rings around me
Every hour of the day and night.

At all hours--even the deep of the night
 Helicopters roar directly overhead on flights of mercy
Sirens race down the street on errands of care
To the hospitals just down the street.

The train horns blare from way down the track
Warning as they come and as they go
Leaving a trail of clacking - clacking
As tens upon tens of cars roll by.

Tall buildings full of bright lights
Traffic lights, street lights, warning lights 
All glow in the night
With an aura of brightness permeating the night.

The bright lights and loud noises have all become
A familiar part of my surroundings
The sights and sounds of my day to day life
Offering comfort on the darkest of nights.

Here in the woods, in the wee hours of the night
I toss and tumble unable to sleep
In the deep darkness, in the void of light
As the blackness surrounds me.

The stillness and quiet wraps around me
No sound to be heard except for my thoughts
Racing around my mind in continuous circles
And even that creates no sound.

In this darkest of dark---in this absence of sound
I become aware of His presence filling my heart
Filling the silence and lighting the darkness
The Great I Am--never absent-always here.



"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10








Thursday, April 10, 2014

THE LAST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE

While in Ruston, I sat and talked with a dear friend--one on one--following a group conversation of how forgiveness looks.  We were building off the blog written here explaining my struggle with man's concept of what forgiveness looks like.  He pulled me aside and shared his own struggle and what he is learning.  Another piece of the puzzle was pushed neatly into place.  I am certain God orchestrated this conversation--once again teaching me.




As we sat ---and rocked---in the deep stillness of the night---we agreed on every necessary step in giving and receiving forgiveness.  We shared our journeys and what God was teaching us.  As we peer through the lens of our personal pain, the reflection of the image of grace begins  to draw into focus the beauty of what Jesus did for us.  Our sin and man's sin against us teaches God's forgiveness and the absolute wonder of it all.




He shared the beautiful picture of admitting  his sin, and acknowledging it to God and those who had been harmed naming his offense and asking their forgiveness.  He then completed the necessary step of turning from that sin as God has instructed.  He thought this final step of repentance should have freed him and allowed him to forget---but still the remembrance nagged him. 




A trusted counselor shared with him--perhaps the final, but certainly a needed step--We must forgive ourselves.  God forgives us and yet we are unable to forgive ourselves.  As I posted that day, God is much more lenient with us than we are on ourselves.  Turning this over and over in my thoughts, the question arose----If we do not forgive ourselves after God has forgiven us, are we discounting the grace Jesus lavished upon us?  Are we denying the great price paid for us to walk in freedom?  Are we saying--what He did was not enough?  Another necessary step to complete the image of what forgiveness looks like.

DEEP PONDERING IN THE DEEP OF THE NIGHT-



"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,"
Acts 3:19