Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sowing Seeds

'A Simpler Time' photo (c) 2008, Marcy Kellar - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/



It’s only when the top stops spinning that it lays idle and of little interest; spent like a dormant heart with nothing to give. Where’s the grace in idle hands or hope held tight behind silent lips?

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness,

how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything,

except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

(Matthew 5:13) NIV

It’s the spinning, the dance that stirs the love and brings the joy…movement of mind and spirit that rains blessings abundant. It’s the scattering of heart seeds tossed to the wind only to land in a random pattern and take root as the Lord wills and not of our own discretion.

Though we may walk through seasons of valleys with no end with breath of the enemy on our back or beneath darkened skies believing that even God Himself has forgotten our name, the job of the seed sowing remains from first steps to final breath. The supply is never ending. From the highest peaks to the lowest, darkest caverns of life, we’re to give and give and then give some more, for it’s out of our giving from a pure heart to others that we ourselves receive.

One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

(Proverbs 11:24-25) NIV

Monday, July 25, 2011

Consider the Story


She’s the one who takes up the center of the grocery store aisle shuffling and slumped over her shopping cart. You try to pass by with the cell phone to your ear as precious minutes tick away from your busy day.

Perhaps they’re the one whose tail lights flash proof of a driver indecisive about which road to take and your frustration builds to nearly honking them out of your way.

Or maybe you see her each afternoon when you pick up the kids. She doesn’t stand with the other parents in front of the school; but rather far off in the shadows…alone with eyes downcast and deep in her world.

Lately, it’s they who are content to live life on the sidelines whose story speaks loudest to my heart. The Lord casts light on their faces as they pass in the crowd, and He magnifies each one. He shows me how none are to be minimized nor have they been created less than awesome. I’m striving to see each one as the Father sees them…just as He sees me. Each with a story to tell. A reason for their now.

There IS a story in their eyes - so much more to the faces we see. So much more hidden in their words – often rehearsed, safely tucked away behind the smile.

How easily I, too, can be that woman shuffling along in the way of others. Indecisive about which road to take. Scoffed at. Not given a second glance or a second thought to my now. Perhaps even owning the shadows for a time.

Knowing all it would take is one genuine heart reaching out to another, not stepping over or going around…but lifting up. One who cared about the story that lies beneath…waiting to be told…to be heard.

We each have one.

What’s yours?

“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

(Phil. 2:1-4) NIV

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Running TO or FROM (re-post)



Streaks of dappled light spilled like warm honey across the seat cushions luring me to enjoy a moment or two at my favorite spot on the back patio. I sat drinking in the warmth of sunlight watching my goldfish in the little patio “pond” darting in and out of leaf shadows.

I closed my eyes truly thankful, savoring the moment; this very moment, a pause in the rush, a wonderful break in the hurry of things to enjoy the gift of true peace.

It seems, for so many of us, life easily becomes all about the running. The hurry up, let’s go. Running late. Running behind.Running here and there.

Have you ever wondered….

I mean really considered….

Just what you’re running TO….or FROM?

Reading In The Sunlightphoto © 2008 Garry Knight | more info(via: Wylio)

Are we really pursuing God’s heart if we tangle up our days with so many commitments and burdens? Could we be adding to the chaos sometimes, maybe purposely running from the quiet, because when it all stops spinning and we’re left with our own sin staring us in the face…the silence of it all would be too much to bear?

Or, can we honestly say we’re running to the throne of grace; to the Father ready to embrace our past, present and future - the One who wants us to stop the running and find true rest in Him?

What are you running from or to today?

-*-

Slow me down, Lord!
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind.
Steady my harried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, dmidst the confusions of my day,
The calmness of the everlasting hills.

Break the tensions of my nerves
With the soothing music of the sighing streams
That live in my memory.
Help me to know
The magical restoring power of sleep.

Teach me the art
Of taking minute vacations of slowing down to look at a flower;
To chat with an old friend or to make a new one;
To pat a stray dog,
To watch a spider build a web;
To smile at a child;
Or to read a few lines from a good book.

Remind me each day
That the race is not always to the swift;
That there is more to life than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward
Into the branches of the towering oak
And know that it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down, Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots deep
Into the soil of life’s enduring values
That I may grow toward the stars
Of my great destiny.

—– prayer by Wilferd A. Peterson

Thank you for allowing me to share this once again. Seems so fitting for many of us these days.

God Bless!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Days of Life and Laughter

Childhood Secretsphoto © 2008 Lisa | more info (via: Wylio)

I’m thankful for those precious few “best” friends who so easily close the gap on time with a simple "Hello..." in my inbox. It’s the bond of the heart that somehow bridges the distance when the years and the miles play upon our memories.

Sad how time paints splashes of watercolor over moments once vivid with life and hushes the laughter...but oh, to have lived them at all!

Giving sincerest thanks today for the friendships held closest to the heart; for those who rode the waves of adolescence with me, who've watched me rise and fall, dried my tears, shared my hopes and dreams...for those who have loved me back. Thank you for the blessing of you.

childhood memoriesphoto © 2010 Terence S. Jones | more info (via: Wylio)


Friday, July 15, 2011

If Minutes Were Dollars...

We have something in common, you and I.

Friendsphoto © 2010 Hartwig HKD | more info (via: Wylio)

In fact…1,440 of them, to be exact.

We share 1,440 minutes in each day to spend however we choose.

Freely given – freely spent.

A recent sermon brought this to mind; shed light on the truth of it and led me to examine the various ways in which I spend those minutes…just how they would add up in dollars. How high I hold the value of $1,440; yet the minutes, they slip through my fingers as grains of sand scattered on the wind – no investment – no return.

Sand Dollarphoto © 2004 Bart Everson | more info (via: Wylio)

But what if those minutes were hugs or I love yous, words spoken of peace, a caring smile that offers comfort, a listening ear, where one penny equals a moment, my moment surrendered for another…grace overflowing?

How many of those 1,440 are truly spent planting seeds for the harvest?

How many are given over to idleness while the Kingdom awaits growth?

While the lost remain searching, stumbling down their dark path hungry for direction…salvation

And I have to ask myself just what the minutes mean to me. How precious is each one I receive and am I living each one like the gift it truly is?

I wish you the blessing of a wonderful weekend, and may you invest wisely with the minutes you’re afforded.

Sea shells macrophoto © 2009 i a walsh | more info (via: Wylio)

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

(Col. 4:5-6) ESV

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

(Eph. 5:15-16) ESV

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Safe Place to Land

Even when you can't see what we're holding, our body language tells you that we're talking on a cellphonephoto © 2009 Ed Yourdon | more info (via: Wylio)
It’s that perfect scripture shared by a friend just when I need it most. It’s the song or hymn felt and heard from somewhere down deep inside. It’s that sigh when I’m found nestled among pillows on my favorite seat in the house. It’s that great cup of coffee that soothes away the tension and strife of the day.

Pillows detail (application)photo © 2010 Suzette Pauwels | more info (via: Wylio)

When it’s fear and uncertainty that have me alert and jumping, it’s only the Lord who, with one steady wave of His hand, sweeps away all that has me on edge….all that rattles me. He speaks peace to my weary self and breathes comfort and security that claims me as His own.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

(Psalm 4:8) NIV

~~~

I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

(Psalm 16:8) NIV

Flowers and Fruitphoto © 2009 aplart | more info (via: Wylio)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Precious Breath of Him

Ocean Beach Cliff Housephoto © 2008 nicolas will | more info (via: Wylio)

My soul grumbles loud today. It’s a foul mood that knots me inside and races each breath. My frustration that keeps all else at bay and I pull the covers up tight over my heart blocking out the peace He offers.

Seems a shorter, easier trek sometimes to venture inside for consolation, to sink inward for comfort…rather than grasp the hand before me. Rather than grasp the Word that promises hope.

When I’m thick in the middle of the grumbling and the fine lines that speak tension, beauty of the day escapes on the wind never to be recaptured. My heavy sigh resounds above it all and the whisper of God’s voice grows more distant, clouded.

But it’s there.

Even now.

Even as I fumble with words and emotions…He’s still there and the blessings await.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:9-10) NIV

He’s not distant or out of reach. His Word, His promises and His love for us will never recede with the tide – will never weaken in strength, will never shatter against jagged rocks. Will never waver with my ever-changing view of things.

Ocean Breachphoto © 2009 Erik Charlton | more info (via: Wylio)

He allows us our struggle, and when the shadows fade and we fill our soul with the precious breath of Him, it only sweetens the blessing.

The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.

(Psalm 145:18-19) NIV

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