Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shades Of Spring

Here are some pics of our early, early spring. I even saw a tulip tree (yellow poplar) blooming today. That is usually a June Event!
 Blue bells at the Convent.


The maple leaves are still tender and the early morning light makes them shimmer.

Our honey locust and the neighbor's red leaved red bud tree. Both young with tender new leaves.
 Pink Trillium at the Convent.

 Lenten roses gone to seed.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

This is My Story

I changed the background of the blog to try to reflect more about the building blocks of my faith and my life. When the children were growing up I used the book shelves in our dining room to display Bible verses, truths about God and things I needed to remember spelled out with wooden building blocks. The simple things in life often speak to me more profoundly than the elaborate.

When the ability to send e-cards came along one of my favorites became the photo of crayon tips of various hues in the box. I would use a sentiment like "In the crayon box of life, a broken arm is just one color" changing the underlined incident as the needs changed.

All sorts of things have been object lessons for me in my faith journey. The pony bit I showed on April 10 is a perfect example.


The Lord has given me so many object lessons it gets humorous after a while. Perhaps I will blog the rest of my life just about the common, everyday things He has used to guide and direct my path! That is, if I can tease them out. You see, often they become part of the fabric of my life so it is difficult to remember when they were not a part of me and how they became a part of me!

Part of Luke 19:17 (TLB) says
"You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you"

I pray you will be blessed as I continue to share the small things with you.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Creation

I tried to post this while at the Convent and I only got the www.address. This was read at the last retreat I attended and it was wonderful! I had never heard it before, yet Lisa was sitting next to me and she was QUOTING it!! I hope you enjoy this refreshing glance at Genesis. 

















The Creation
 
James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938)
 
 
(A Negro Sermon)
 
 
AND God stepped out on space,
And He looked around and said,
“I’m lonely—
I’ll make me a world.”
 
And far as the eye of God could see        5
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.
 
Then God smiled,
And the light broke,        10
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said, “That’s good!”
 
Then God reached out and took the light in His hands,
And God rolled the light around in His hands        15
Until He made the sun;
And He set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,        20
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said, “That’s good!”        25
 
Then God himself stepped down—
And the sun was on His right hand,
And the moon was on His left;
The stars were clustered about His head,
And the earth was under His feet.        30
And God walked, and where He trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.
 
Then He stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.        35
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And He spat out the seven seas;
He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed;
He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled;
And the waters above the earth came down,        40
The cooling waters came down.
 
Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,        45
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around His shoulder.        50
 
Then God raised His arm and He waved His hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And He said, “Bring forth! Bring forth!”
And quicker than God could drop His hand.
Fishes and fowls        55
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said, “That’s good!”        60
 
Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that He had made.
He looked at His sun,
And He looked at His moon,        65
And He looked at His little stars;
He looked on His world
With all its living things,
And God said, “I’m lonely still.”
 
Then God sat down        70
On the side of a hill where He could think;
By a deep, wide river He sat down;
With His head in His hands,
God thought and thought,
Till He thought, “I’ll make me a man!”        75
 
Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled Him down;
And there the great God Almighty        80
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand;
This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,        85
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till He shaped it in His own image;
 
Then into it He blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.        90
Amen. Amen.
 
May you be hold in His arms "like a mammy bending over her baby" today and always.
"That's good!"

Thursday, April 26, 2012

White Flag Discussion

Enjoy this conversation with Chris Tomlin explaining the creation of "White Flag." Then an acoustic version! Great stuff! He also includes HOW to play the guitar chords and keyboard accompaniment which is Way beyond me, but you might enjoy it!

 The first time I heard this song on the radio I saw a stream of white flags, similar to the buddhist? flags, flapping in the wind. Perhaps I will need to make a string for my front porch?


The battle rages on 
A storm in tempest roar  
We cannot win this fight 
Inside our rebel hearts 
We’re laying down our weapons now
 
We raise our white flags  

We surrender all to you 
All for you  
We raise our white flag  
The war is over 
Love has come 
Your love has won
Here on this holy ground  
You made a way for peace  
Laying your body down  
You took our rightful place 
This freedom song is marching on
 
(Repeat Chorus) 

 
Bridge: We lift the cross  

Lift it high Lift it high (x8)
(Repeat Chorus)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ask 'Why' or Become a Y

SURRENDER: to relinquish possession or control to another, to give up in favor of another, to give back,

YIELD: to give forth by or as if by a natural process, especially cultivation, to furnish as return for effort or investment, be productive of, to give over possession of, as in derfernce, surrender. to give up to another, concede.

And so through the years I have clung in my soul to Yield signs. I ws glad to see this sign in Ireland. Written in Gaelic it means Yield or Give Way.

Another worldwide symbol is the white flag. Recently a new song came from the Passion conference. For years I have enjoyed their music but never explored what they stand for until now. From their facebook page they explain:

"At the heart of it all, Passion exists to see a generation stake their lives on what matters most. For us, that is the fame of the One who rescues and restores, and our opportunity to amplify His name in everything we do.



Given the fact that the University landscape changes every fall with a rush of new freshman faces, our mission with Passion is to continue to engage the “university-moment” with the compelling message of Jesus...… and the challenge to make life all about His fame.

To that end, Passion 2012 is more than simply another event. Rather, it is another step in a journey that is all about finding true meaning as we take our places in a story that is so much bigger than ourselves. It's about trading in small dreams for a role in a grand epic that is shaping history and has no end. And it's a rare chance for tens of thousands of university-aged young people to gather from across the US and around the world to celebrate their common faith and purpose."


So on the topic of yielding and suurender to the Lord, here is another great song!




 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Testing the Photos

Bought the 2 plugs for iPad camera uploads. Here are a few samples!

No, Rowan does not want to pose with his cousins.

 

Jeff baked the twins' birthday cupcake.

 

Guess they did not like our singing!!

Yes, they are identical. Thank goodness they have chosen different hairdos for now!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

"In Stillness Yield to His Working"

Early in my walk with the Lord I read this quote from the writings of William Law and made it my rule:

"First duty of the day is to get in the right place of dependence before God,

in meek patient, humble resignation to Him.

IN STILLNESS YIELD TO HIS WORKING

and expect deliverance nowhere but from God Himself."

Concerning several aspects of my life, I had been asking God, "Why?" His reply was "You may ask 'Why?' or you may become a "Y," arms lifted in praise and surrender, face lifted to heaven, looking up for the return of Your King." What a contrast! So I chose His way and even today I am blessed when He shows me another image in nature or signage that reminds me to yield to Him.

While we visited in Corrales, New Mexico recently I went for a walk and found this vine.




The seed pods were clattering in the wind.




Upon examinaiton I found this curious pod. I know the photo is out of focus, but I think you will get the idea.




Even now, He calls me to lift my arms to Him, be it as a child in need of holding, or an adult in worship.

How might you yield to Him today in your everyday life? In what ways is He asking you to hold still and praise Him when all around you is clattering in the wind of life? In stillness YIELD to His working and watch His power unfold around you.

I went back to this vine later to find another seed pod as this one had gotten crushed. Do you know there was not one other pod on that vine that looked like this one? The Lord works in miraculous ways His wonders to perform!

 

Show Your Soul

Gratefulness WORD FOR THE DAY Wednesday, Apr. 4
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world
is to stand up and show your soul.
Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. 
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs



Recently a retreat leader stated that what the world thirsts for is a truly rested soul. If we would keep the Sabbath rest and let the Lord refresh us we would bless the world around us.


I think the world also longs for truly authentic people .If only we are willing to be our true selves, our best self through the power of the Holy Spirit,  there is no end to good we might do.

Oh Lord, fill our lives with the light of Your glory. Let us reflect Your love and power on this troubled earth. Make us instruments of Your peace. Have Your own will and way in us. Amen.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let Devotions

Several years ago I self-published a booklet focusing on the Bible verses that tell us to "Let". Here is the introduction and first meditation.

   Webster's Dictionary defines let with 20 entries and a huge list of synonyms. The very first definition is to allow or permit, and that is the definition we will use in this booklet on the word Let.
  Jesus accomplished all of our salvation through his work on earth and upon the cross. It is remarkable though that God does hold us accountable for our own behavior and cooperation within this salvation. Over and over we are told by Jesus and the Scripture writers that we are to let certain things happen and not to let other things happen.
  Too often today the focus of modern Christianity has been either upon too rigid legalistic do's and don'ts or a cheap grace where we just float along and God does all the work. Jesus taught that we are responsible in many areas for what happens to us and/or, at minimum, how we react to events or respond in those areas. Let's look at some of these Scriptures in an effort to walk worthy of the Kingdom. Perhaps going back to the very words of Jesus and the Scriptures is the only way to regain a balanced view of our responsibility within salvation.
  He set forth many incredible promises and almost all of them are conditional upon our receptivity and the choices we make in each situation we face. I pray these meditations will help you to choose His Life.
 Philippians 4:6-7 (NRSV) Reads:  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This passage is full of responsibility and promise for us. The peace of God can be hindered or cultivated by our charge over our own hearts.  Paul cautions us to rule over our hearts and not allow the  to run rampant in anxiety or fear. Paul notes we are to 'have no anxiety about anything." The promised peace of God is dependent upon our discipline over our own heart.
  Self-control is a promised fruit of the Holy Spirit., Surely this is because God knew how greatly we would need help with self-control. Letting your requests be made known to God demands transparency and trust in the relationship. No masks, shunning mental clutter, and wordy noise; but cultivating anxiety-less honesty and love. This means when anxiety begins to infect our hearts we are to run to God with the situation.
  As we follow these explicit and thorough instructions, thanksgiving is to be part of the discipline. There is something about giving thanks that anchors our heart and mind with the assurance of God's mighty power and love for us ... His ability in any situation to work things together for good.
  Lord, teach us to let You be part of each area of our lives.  Amen.