Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In the Forefront


It was time to change out the old screen saver; the one with the Christmas tree loaded with gifts, the cozy fire, the candle light and the cookies and milk on the coffee table.

The season has passed and the year ahead looks bright.

So I browsed through my photo selection on my computer to find the one which best defines my current state of mind.

Too early for light and airy spring-type stuff with our rainy season just around the corner.

Not really in the mood for the deep and abstract.

Animal pics? Nah.

Hey! The coffee cup and Bible – that’s it! I’m all about a great cup of coffee, especially when paired with the Word of God.

But wait…the coffee cup is in the forefront and the Bible is blurred out behind it.

What does this really mean? Does one screen-saver photo really matter all that much when the Lord knows my heart better than anyone?

The picture’s cute, but I wanted to reverse it – put the Bible in front and blur out the coffee cup.

Hmmmhow many times have I done this very thing in real life?

How many times have I sat down and opened a dusty Bible searching for the answers when it suits me? Seeking to be fed and deciding when to be led down the divine path? When I’ve fallen into that rut of exhausting all other resources FIRST only to finally flop down as if to say, “OK, Lord. I’ve done all I can with this – now it’s your turn!”

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

(Matthew 6:33) NIV

We’ve all heard it before: “God doesn’t want our leftovers.” But isn’t that exactly what we’re doing if we’re living with other things in the forefront and in clear view keeping God’s Word just out of reach to be used as a last resort?

I have to ask myself: what am I putting in the forefront today? There is nothing bigger or more important than the Word of God except God himself. But is that how I’m living?

Is that HOW you’re living?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Glory to God in the highest..."


8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!"

(Luke 2:8-14) KJV

Wishing you the indescribable peace of Christ. May he forever dwell in your heart. Many blessings, Debbie

Monday, December 19, 2011

What I Really Signed Up for 23 Years Ago



It’s been 23 years since I agreed to unconditionally love, honor, cherish and yes, obey my husband. We’ve come a long way since our "deep-fried days" before I learned to cook. Wow – 23 years! Who really knows what you’re signing up for when you’re young and in love? In reality, I should have said, “I vow to…”

· look for something cute about the way you snore and keep me awake

· keep your sock drawer full (most of the time)

· listen to you “practice” your trumpet each day at the stroke of 7:30am

· keep your dinner warm until you stumble in late from work

· smile from the inside out when you play guitar and sing mariachi songs…to the dogs

· not complain when you leave the toilet seat up and I find out the hard way at 2am

· learn to pack a travel bag for your 5-day business trips at a moment’s notice

· be your partner through life’s rainy days…and walk with you in the sun

· appreciate your drive and ambition

· appreciate your passion

· appreciate your heart

· learn when to hold back…and when to let go

I agreed to compromise, overcome, accept and adapt, to understand, to forgive, to see straight through to the heart of the man my God and savior chose for me – and to be truly thankful for him. I agreed to grow old and gray together with my best friend, to trust and believe in forever.

Still looking forward to spending my forever with you, Matthew. I love you and thank God for you always. Happy Anniversary!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Driven

'Ocean Breach' photo (c) 2009, Erik Charlton - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I’m thinking this morning about the word,

About what it means,

About the force behind it.

What drives me?

What drives you?

Is it self motivation? Determination? Fear?

Fear of sinking into nothingness and never achieving OR if you’re driven to stagnation, the fear of failure?

Are you driven by the prodding of others? Driven away?

A constant chastising or pressure to move forward?

There’s a force which propels us if we’re driven at all.

Do you allow yourself to be “driven”? Are you even open to the possibility? We’re all headed in one direction or another…aren’t we?

'Walk on the Beach' photo (c) 2005, Bruno Girin - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Driven is how we’re to get there.

Either kicking and screaming at the Father’s Will,

Or “driven” by the very breath of it.

So, what drives you today?

What propels you?

What forces you to move from your reluctance…to forge ahead with eyes open and arms outstretched?

Why not grasp the hand of the One who calls you to move forward on His behalf?

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4) NIV

Friday, December 9, 2011

Matters of the Heart (re-visited)


My hands worked over a mound of honey-colored dough kneading with my palms across a board awash in warm sunlight of a fall afternoon. The enticing aroma of focaccia hung heavy, and in the quiet hum of tradition I connected somehow with countless others who've smiled deep within their souls the same satisfaction of such a moment. The traditions, the matters of the heart, are what bind us together in prayer and in praise...those who marvel at simple blessings. I think of all the long-stemmed roses I've gathered throughout the years; those cleverly disguised as mothers, grandmothers, aunts and precious lady friends who have unfurled their strength of character and fragrance of love upon my life. They have exuded grace and humility in passing down traditions born of hard work, sacrifice, love of family and a desire to best equip those fortunate enough to have received the blessings of hearth and home. Lord, thank you for holidays past that still bring a tear. Thank you for lessons learned from the tattered hem of every apron, and for the love that still remains in each memory. Thank you for the many hands at work this season preparing and nurturing...blessing those who gather with thankful hearts. In Jesus' name. Amen. "Likewise teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind; and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." (Titus 2:3-5) NIV

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Guest Posting at Robin's Nest

Well, you caught me away from the cafe today...I wandered off to visit a sweet friend.
I'm guest posting/visiting with Robin Prater of the Robin's Nest blog! I invite you to grab your coffee and join us
'Mugs' photo (c) 2008, Alan Cleaver - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Mess We Leave Behind

'Maximus' photo (c) 2009, Matt Bateman - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

I couldn’t believe the mess! One big, fluffy dog ~ one tiny puddle of motor oil. I wish we’d known that he’d slept all night with his whole back end in the slight remnants of a recent oil change in the garage BEFORE letting him in the house this morning. It looked like a crime scene! The more he wagged his tail and jumped around, the more brown splatters freckled walls, cabinets, floor tile and rugs…everything from dog level on down!

There’s nothing quite like breaking out the mop and cleaning supplies at 6am! Ugghh!

Actually, it makes me think of how quickly our words of negativity and our bad attitudes can spread. It takes just the slightest murky “puddle” to fling around and make the biggest mess. Sometimes our lack of faith or less-than-holy behavior is bigger and takes on more presence in our lives than the One who can clean up the mess.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

(Ephesians 4:29) NIV

Lord Jesus,

Help me to consider my words and my actions before they’re spilled and splattered on the hearts of those I love. Amen!

I want to invite you all over to Robin’s Nest (http://robinsnest66.blogspot.com) tomorrow! She’s so sweet to have asked me to share a guest post at her blog, so I hope you’ll grab your cup of coffee and join me over at Robin’s. I’ll see you there!

'Mugs' photo (c) 2008, Alan Cleaver - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

His Perfect, Powerful Word

'Nothing better' photo (c) 2007, Jeff Noble - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I walk around with it. Go through my day with it. The thoughts, responsibilities and demands rain down hard, breathe a heavy whisper across the back of my neck. So much yet to do. So much I haven’t done. So many “things” pulling, tugging for my time and attention.

And He knows every single one…

He hears them too; how they sound off in my sleep and call to me like faint whispers through cracks of a rickety fence. They build and grow until they stand between me and my time with the Lord. And the only thing that topples the fence…..is the Word…

His beautiful, powerful Word!

When I push it all aside and carve out the moments spent just with Him settled and still, He brings me to exactly what speaks to my heart ~ speaks to my worry and inadequacies. I haven’t even asked for it or spoken the words, but He knows!

“For your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) NIV

And the weight of it all falls away. Peace comes in its place. Peace comes to stay! The chains are gone and I’m free to be His. Freely and completely…His!

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