A Prayer for Calm

1 Jul

Oh my dearest and amazing Lord, what is happening? Our world continues to be in a tailspin. Violence, terror, war, pain, suffering and sadness.

Where do I turn? What shall I do? I turn, God, to YOU!

I want your peace and perfection in this world of unrest and imperfection.

Help me to be a listener, not just a talker.

Help me to be open to ideas in opposition to mine.

Help me to perpetuate an old school style of discourse where we simply AGREE TO DISAGREE.

Teach me to love those who are difficult to understand.

Teach me to hear their words even as we cannot fully appreciate each differing idea.

Teach me to pray for my enemy that YOU might in fact intervene as called by me to do.

Better yet, teach me to not have enemies, only people whom you love and who happen to differ from me.

I want your wisdom, inspiration and love, just as your Word describes:

“I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another” (John 13:34). The apostle Paul goes on to tell us “Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:10).

My Father and Me

29 Jun

Today would have been my father’s 98th birthday. He only made it to 97. I say “only” somewhat in jest as we all know when the quality of life of an elder is compromised, then it seems okay to bid farewell.

I was a lucky girl. My parents loved each other and they loved us kids. I never doubted that I was special in their lives. As the only daughter, I certainly felt some extra love and care from my earthly father. Knowing a loving father on earth makes it easy to comprehend a loving father in Heaven.

People have said I have features like my dad’s and mannerisms like my mom’s. If I think about my father’s features I may think about his cheek bones and his nose and possibly his eyes.

As I consider my Heavenly Father, I want HIS eyes, too.

Some of the lyrics of a beautiful song that came to me in my writing today are captured below. It’s an Amy Grant vocal written by Gary Winthur Chapman about the kind of eyes she wants, hopes and prays to have. They are not a unique color, or shape and may not be the best feature of her face, but indeed they would be the best feature of her life.

My own father taught me many things and I miss his presence in my life.

My Heavenly father teaches me every day how to live and love if I am open to his ways.

For God’s care and the words below I say Amen!

Partial lyrics and a brief video clip are captured below for your inspiration!

Enjoy!

I may not be every mother’s dream for her little girl
And my face may not grace the mind of everyone in the world
But that’s all right, as long as I can have one wish I pray
When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say

She’s got her Father’s Eyes
Her Father’s Eyes
Eyes that find the good in thing
s
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help
When help just can’t be found
Eyes full of compassion
Seeing every pain
Knowing what you’re going through

And feeling it the same

Just like my Father’s Eyes


Escape

27 Jun

When we first think of the word, ESCAPE, images of danger, exhaustion, fear, urgency may come to mind. We often think of “escaping” to get to a place of safety and peace.

I am asking today for you to ESCAPE from whatever it is that wears you out–young children, world news, political rantings, a long to-do list, family worries, work issues, illness and so on.

Your escape plan includes 3 things:

–breathing

–praying

–presence

Take a deep breath when challenged by events of the day. Just take in freshness and breathe out staleness. Breathe in fresh thoughts and blow out old, restless ones.

Pray! When burdened, overwhelmed and unsettled, a chat with God may be just what you need! Toss your cares to the heavens and God will grab them and handle them with more skill and care than you or I may ever dream of.

Find a spirit of presence, a focus on the moment when feelings of retreat slip in. It is surely something to be embraced– that feeling of Ahhhh!

When finally, a separation from the bad comes to you, embrace it and be present in it. Be thankful for the prayers uttered, the deep breaths taken and the presence of peace…even if it may seem fleeting.


1 Peter 5:7 – Cast all your cares upon him; for he careth for you.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

(Words from 1878 Edwin Hatch)

Refuge–a safe place

24 Jun

R est

E very

F ret or woe

U nder

G od’s

E verlasting care.

New Living Translation
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

By His Design

22 Jun

I have mentioned before that I have a daily quote calendar and I am fairly faithful about turning the page each day to see what wisdom may be revealed. Today I saw these words:

“THE LORD DESIGNED EVERY DETAIL OF WHO YOU ARE.”

And who am I to argue with God? It’s okay that I don’t like onions or coffee. It’s okay that I am not very athletic and I can be somewhat clumsy at times. It’s okay that I like dessert–it’s by his design! It’s okay to not be perfect…no one is.

But we all have moments when we wish we were different. Sometimes I wish I didn’t like dessert so much! (I say that in fun.)

Truthfully we do sometimes wish things were different.

We strive toward a form of perfection every day.

“I wish I had not said that.”

I wish I knew what to say.”

“I wish I ________________________.”

(fill in the blank)

No one is perfect, yet, God provides. Perhaps a new view of perfection is what God has for us and his wisdom is always available for our learning and inspiration.

Philippians 3:12–14 — New Living Translation (NLT)

” I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Amazing God, Please do not give up on me when I fail to see the beauty of your design. AMEN.

Wanted!

20 Jun

Remember those old Western movies that featured crooks as “wanted?” It was usually because the officials were on the look out for someone who had broken the law. Signs may have pointed a way to finding the offender.

Today the word “wanted” can be seen next to the word “help” on signs in and around local businesses. In this case, stores, restaurants and other establishments can use some help to order up the work day.

Have you ever thought about being wanted in different aspects of your world? I don’t mean “needed,” but wanted…someone WANTS YOU! It’s not that you are needed to do a task, or needed to fill a team or needed to make dinner, but rather you are wanted because you are you!

I have felt unwanted at times. In younger years I may not have been invited somewhere I saw others going or I may have been rejected by a friend or I may have disappointed a parent and could tell that at that moment I seemed a bit unlovable. But now, looking back on those fleeting events, I know deep down I have always been wanted, by family, friends and God.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

1 Peter 2-9

God’s word declares that I am wanted.

God’s word tells me I am loved.

God’s word expresses that I was created for purposeful living ordained by the heavens.

What does it mean if I feel unwanted?

It may mean I have not looked deeply enough into my soul, my being and my purpose.

It may mean I have missed something.

Time to go look for that link back to being wanted , loved, cherished and cared for.

Because God says it is so.

Hyperlinks

17 Jun

I visited a different church on Sunday and the pastor addressed Biblical messages from a digital perspective which I decided to “borrow” and expand upon.

Early in the sermon he spoke of hyperlinks–you know as you read something online and often certain words and phrases are highlighted in a different color which is an indication if you click on that highlighted word or phrase, you will be connected to a body of information that will detail further what the author of the information thinks you should know.

The pastor’s message suggested that there are hyperlinks all throughout scripture and they are actually available for interpretation. He went on to describe how when we read a passage, certain words will jump off the page at us often provoking deeper thought or bringing inspiration to the reader right from the text. What seems like a key word or phrase for you may in fact be different for me–thus explaining how “Biblical hyperlinks” will vary from person to person.

I think this is a cool concept and and the image of spotting my own hyperlinks in scripture is intriguing to me. Consider the following passages where I have highlighted words that jumped out at me–my own hyperlinks. These are the words I want to consider, think about, ponder.

Let’s explore!

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Genesis)

20 And God spoke all these words: … “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. … “You shall have no other gods before me … (Exodus)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans)

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old. (Luke)

Of course my question back to you is which words or phrases in the passages are hyperlinks for you?

And my challenge for you as you spend time with the Bible from time to time, is to identify the hyperlinks–those words and phrases that mean the most to you.

Patience

15 Jun

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

That reference to the Book of Romans is a fierce reminder of how easy it is to feel impatient. Traffic! Lines at the grocery market! Awaiting test results! Watching the corn pop in the microwave! Many things throughout the day require patience.

There are many Biblical statements about patience. The concept is shared in New Testament and Old Testament alike. God wants us to chill! God wants us to calm down and wait. As we wait we can be expectant of his love, mercy and grace.

It. Is. Hard. To. Be. Patient.

Today I went to a gathering of folks on Buffalo’s East Side. We were at a community center just a few blocks away from the shooting site of May 14. We were gathered to talk, have homemade muffins and coffee and to COLOR! Yes, we were all given adult coloring books with available crayons, markers and colored pencils to make our creations. If you have ever seen adult coloring books, then you know that the pictures you are supposed to color are intricate with small spaces to decorate and adorn with the colors of choice. While I have colored along side my grandchildren, this was different. Each tiny space was to be colored and patience was required as I selected my colors and defined my art work. There were 10 of us coloring and talking and laughing and sharing and some of the participants went deeper and shared grief stories from their friends and neighbors. The purpose of the event was not really to color, but rather to be available to one another–some who knew one another and some who were strangers meant to become friends of sorts on this given morning together.

The thing I noticed in the room was patience. We slowly colored our pictures. We carefully listened to each other tell stories or share comments. We took turns with the crayons and markers and pencils with quiet and thoughtful care.

I may never color like that again in that location with folks I was meeting for the first time, but I will remember the calm and soothing feeling of patience in the room. It was not forced or complicated, it just was.

God, please increase my patience and decrease my need to have it now. Help me know that some things just take time. Amen.

Mr. or Ms. Fix It

13 Jun

Do you like to fix things? I recently had an earring that lost the little decorative stone. I found the stone, but the earrings were far and away old and inexpensive at the time of purchase, so taking it to a jeweler seemed unnecessary. A little Gorilla Glue did the trick. I also recently sized up an old and very weathered wood glider I have had on my back patio for years. It was a mess–but nothing that MANY coats of a satin finish outdoor spray paint wouldn’t fix. The completion of both jobs was quite rewarding. I felt like I had taken something old and made it new again. And I did not have to discard either item!

Fixing things is one thing…what about fixing people? We sometimes wish someone were different; even more like we are…maybe. Thinking about this tells me that those thoughts are not fair and not appropriate.

Years ago I recall listening to a call in relationship advice radio show called Dr. Laura. She was controversial, un-swervingly conservative in her values and quite pushy in her advice. I remember a big piece of advice was that we cannot change people if they do not want to change. We cannot have a workaholic work less, nor can we turn our partner into a romantic free spirit if that is not who he/she is. We cannot wish someone to be something they are not, even if our desire to do this is sincere. Changing someone has to be THEIR decision. We cannot “fix” it.

God teaches us this if we open our thoughts to the words:

What Does it Mean to Be Fearfully and Wonderfully Made?

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

I didn’t just evolve into what I am. I was created and designed with a purpose. And the blueprints of me are similar to other human beings but they’re not exactly the same. I am unique—and so are you.” (crosswalk.com)

For those of us who want to fix others, perhaps we could look inward and fix our feelings within and more than that, we could honor those persons we want to fix because they, too, were made in God’s image and fearfully and wonderfully so. If there are changes to be had within me—that will be between God and me. And if there are changes to be had for our fix it prospect…well…that is between them and God.

Take joy in the freedom away from always feeling that you need to fix others.

God may see them as perfect.

Horizontal Love

10 Jun

Recently we shared ideas on vertical love. Now let us consider a side-by-side sort of love–horizontal love.

To be honest, when I first embarked on the terms of vertical and horizontal love, I thought I had invented the ideas and terminology, but after some dallying around in the company of a search engine, I see both are “concepts” with different views shared about each. For our devotion time today, I want you to think about Vertical Love being a God to us and vice versa type of love, and let’s think of Horizontal Love as the love we offer our loved ones, companions, acquaintances and those around us.

Some may feel troubled by horizontal love. Let’s not confuse the words LIKE and LOVE. God calls us to love one another even if we do not like one another. I can love you even if we don’t have things in common, see the world in similar fashion nor have feelings of likeability between us. Despite our differences, we are called to love.


“A positive attitude from you tends to produce a positive attitude toward you.”
― Deborah Day


“No human being should be maltreated under any circumstances. We are all wonderful creations of God. May we affectionately love one another.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita

“I Loved One, Not Many ; Many Loved It, Not One”
― Syed Sharukh

Those secular quotes show us the value of loving each other. God’s word has influence as well.

Philippians 2:3

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

John 13:34

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

1 John 4:7-8

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Wow! The secular world asks us to love each other as does God.

Vertical Love

8 Jun

Back in grade school you likely learned the difference between horizontal and vertical. I recall thinking about the left to right image of the horizon when I thought of the word horizontal and I then knew that the image I had in mind was the opposite of vertical. Something straight up and down to my young mind was vertical; perhaps like a tree.

Fast forward to now, the word vertical has many interpretations. Have you heard of these terms:

–vertical mouse

–vertical angles

–vertical integration

–vertical worship

A vertical mouse is a computer accessory that helps move the cursor around the screen page and it has an upright appendage to hold while moving the mouse as needed. Vertical angles are those formed by two intersecting lines. Vertical integration is a business practice where companies take on varying levels of ownership of production stages and practices per product. And Vertical Worship is the name of a Christian band that has roots in praise music and song.

I would like to introduce the idea of VERTICAL LOVE. The kind of love that goes back and forth between Heaven and Earth. The kind of love first initiated by God Almighty and reciprocated back by some of his people. God would prefer vertical love from ALL of his people, but it simply isn’t so.

Remember the Parable of the Sower? It tells of a farmer scattering seeds for growth and some fell on the ground and were gobbled up by birds. Some seeds fell on on rocky surfaces and thorny ground and they could not find life and durability in such a shallow place. But the seeds that fell on good, rich and ready soil yielded a grand harvest.

Note…more seeds failed to prosper than those that grew well. Note…this speaks of our world… only some people are open to VERTICAL LOVE; the precious kind of love shared between God and US in a back and forth fashion. We are “us.” We are to love vertically for strength, hope, peace and spiritual growth. When we connect to God vertically our hearts and souls are enriched by a beautiful bond of love with an awesome God.

Scripture tells us we are made in God’s image. What love is this that God would even notice me, much yet love me in an endless and amazing way?

Shouldn’t I reciprocate?

I believe it is so.

What is Prayer?

6 Jun

How do you use prayer? To gripe? To praise? To lament? To analyze? To comfort? To connect?

Is it all of the above?

Prayer in a secular dictionary is defined as this: “an earnest hope or wish, a solemn request for help or an expression of thanks offered to God or an object of worship.”

That last part bothered me a little. It suggests I might pray to an object of worship? What is that? My prayers go straight to God. Period. I feel his presence when I pray. I feel the nuance of conversation when I pray. Prayer brings me comfort and peace. Prayer makes me feel like I can actually DO something when there is often nothing to do, BUT pray because a situation is so dire, frightening or devastating.

I pray for others–even as they are unaware.

I pray for the world–even as that seems daunting.

I pray for myself–even as I do not know what to say at times.

I pray to praise–even as I may sometimes be blind to God’s immeasurable blessings.

I pray to connect to my almighty God who desires me to do so.

AMEN!

What is Your Purpose?

3 Jun

When were you born? What experiences do you like to recall from the past? What dates do you remember for the events that took place on the given day? What are you thinking about as you read this?

Whatever is passing through your mind, it all leads up to your purpose in life. Things we have done in the past shape us and things we remember will be cared for in our minds. There is a purpose for our life, our living and our memories therein.

Purpose as defined by an online dictionary I researched said this: “The reason for which something is done; having intention or an objective.”

Did you know there is also a Biblical purpose? I dug deeper into something new to me–The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology as referenced by a website called Biblestudytools.com.

That definition spoke of the Hebrew interpretation of the root word of purpose meaning deliberate, determined and giving good counsel.

For me, all of the definitions make the word purpose seem important and valuable. Purpose is a plan. You have one. I have one. And God has one for us.

What is my purpose? What is yours? God did not make us as a cast away being, but rather as a being made in his image to have a deliberate and determined and intentional life.

How’s that going for you?

And I will ask, how is that going for me?

Some days are better than others, but being reminded that God has plans for us and our lives every day means I want to be more mindful of that. How about you?

The Sunshine!

1 Jun

We have had several days of rain. And while I think a few more are in the forecast, today was sunny all day! That lifted my spirits! Vitamin D, warmth, light coming in the windows all combined today to make me very happy.

Oh, the day was not perfect…

There are still daily battles to face.

There are things I worry about.

There is pain in the lives of people I know and some I do not know at all.

Powers might clash, harsh words may be exchanged and violence may ensue at any given time.

God’s amazing love might be neglected and ignored all day by some and perhaps by many.

But I still cherished today as I pulled weeds, dug in the dirt and admired God’s greenery.

And there it was — the sunshine!

Let’s let the SON shine!

God Bless America

30 May

(My variation of the song by Irving Berlin with a portion of his lovely lyrics listed below.)

GOD BLESS AMERICA

It’s the land I love.

Stand closely so we know you are near.

Teach us to appreciate our land, its people and places.

Guide us in easy and hard times.

Be our guide, our friend and national leader

When humans fail us.

Lord, we love our country.

Lord, we love you.

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above

From the mountains to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home.

Are There Enough?

27 May

Are there enough good people in the world to cast out hate?

Are there enough loving people to lead by example?

Are there enough peaceful people to counteract violence?

Are there enough believers who trust Jesus and his teachings?

Are there enough people who will choose good over evil?

Are there enough people who wish to spread God’s Good News to a world in pain?

Are there enough?

May it be so!

May I Have a Word with You?

25 May

Some folks feel shivers up their spine upon hearing that question. I want to put a spin on this.

May I have THE WORD with you? Jesus is referenced in the Bible as THE WORD. It is believed by theologians that Jesus was the personification of the Word of God and God’s wisdom and therefore is referred to as THE WORD.

I want to share that with you. I want to share words about Jesus that come to my mind. (Words about THE WORD)

This will be a quick exercise for me. I will try to share all I can think of in a short amount of time. May I have THE WORD with you? Here goes 30 seconds:

LOVE

STRENGTH

PEACE

GOD

BLESSINGS

POWER

GRACE

FORGIVENESS

WISDOM

Done! I did it!

And now I challenge you. Yes…I want to have THE WORD with you…what comes to your mind when you think of Jesus? What words work for you?

Oh…do tell! Please share on the Comments tab.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

My City Grieves

23 May

I am from Buffalo, NY.

We are home to the Buffalo Sabres hockey team and the Buffalo Bills football team. There are other smaller sports that folks in Buffalo follow, and the community is into museums, music, theater, the waterfront, amazing restaurants and the close proximity to Niagara Falls. I could go on.

We are not a big city and we are not a small town. We are the butt of many a weather joke and people often don’t get our identity as a mid-sized metropolitan area with a neighborhood feel. Some say there is only a degree or two of separation from one Buffalonian to another because we all “know someone who knows someone.” But much of the world had not really known us until now. As of last week we became known as the town with the grocery store massacre.

And the city grieves.

We grieve the loss of innocent people doing their regular old Saturday grocery run being gunned down by a crazed killer.

We grieve the fact that someone had to drive 4 hours to our region to do the dirty deed.

We grieve all the racial interpretations that led to this tragedy and we grieve that the mere color of someone’s face makes them a target.

God grieves, too.

God does not want hatred in this world. God does not want hatred in people, and does not want hatred present in anyone’s heart.

But not everyone knows God and follows a righteous path. Not everyone wants to know God and follow a righteous path.

And so we suffer pain, distrust, anguish, sin and grief.

I have no answers. I have few words, but I utter a prayer to my Lord that his beloved watchful eye will be on my community and his powerful hand will be on the healing.

And for those who believe it is true to hate those who look different, I say look around!

NO ONE looks the same. EVERYONE looks different.

But deep inside we love the same.

My city grieves and I pray for healing to come.


Inadequate?

20 May

NEVER!

I saw a quote in a book recently that said this: “We are never inadequate because we always have a beyond all you can imagine God living in us.” –Holley Gerth

Such an optimistic statement that is! I love the thought of God erasing inadequacies I may feel so I can concentrate on my love for life and for those within it.

Holley Gerth goes on to share a prayer which I have paraphrased:

“God, when our to-do list feels long, and our day feels short remind us that all we have to do is what you would ask. Free us from unrealistic expectations, for taking on more than you would ever ask and for wearing ourselves out to prove our worth. Remind us we are NOT inadequate and whatever we offer day in and day out is more than enough when placed in your hands.”

Yes, God, I AM adequate. In your eyes I am MORE than adequate because I am made in your perfect image. That does not make me perfect, but it makes me blessed.

Thomas Merton was a Trappist Monk , writer and theologian.

He said:

To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that love is the reason for my existence, for God is love.

Father Knows Best

18 May

That was the title of a television show in another century. I only know the show by name but have no real memory of its theme or characters, so I turned to Wikipedia. The show actually began as a radio broadcast then it was reinvented for a television debut in 1954 and ran through 1960. It was described as the story of an idyllic family living somewhere in the Midwest that portrayed family love and values for the viewing audience. One of the early commercial sponsors of the show was Kent cigarettes, ironically. I rather chuckle at the thought.

Perhaps I grew up in the shadow of that TV program as I lived in the Midwest and my dad rather ruled. My mom would sometimes defer to him for family decisions and there I was thinking “Father knows best,” even if I only knew OF the show rather than knowing the show in its full form.

Frankly, my heavenly father knows even more!

He blesses me, he loves me and gives me grace and care at any moment of any day.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

THE FATHER knows best.

Prayer for a Hurt World

16 May

God, your love is amazing and your strength even more grand than can ever be imagined, but I feel I cannot reach you. My eyes are wide open, and I see world pain and I wonder where you are and what I can do. Of course, I believe your love will win. Of course, I believe your watchful eye is on the world, but I sometimes wonder if anyone even notices, appreciates or respects your power.

Faith tells me to trust your wisdom and your ways, but my human nature sometimes tells me that I stand on shaky ground and your wisdom is elusive.

Help!

Help me!

Help me see!

Help me see you and know that your ways are better than mine and may my trust increase, and my fears decrease as I navigate a highly uncertain world.

AMEN.

Am I Stuck?

13 May

Did you ever feel you might be locked between a rock and a hard place? That of course suggests being in a place with no easy way out. There you feel pinched in this uncomfortable place and it is frustrating, discouraging and sometimes infuriating.

You may cry out, “Help, is anyone listening?”

You feel alone.

I have had moments like this. It may have been a disagreement that could not be resolved. It may have been an undesirable change at work or a plumbing event that could not repair itself and I have wanted to cry out, “Help!”

I don’t want to be pedestrian or simplistic and say “God will help,” because sometimes we do not turn there first and the reminder of his availability may make us uncomfortable or sad that we did not go there first. Human nature calls us to be dramatic sometimes, prone to hyperbole and distracted at length before we turn to the Lord, but in all reality, isn’t that where we should go first?

The beautiful hymn below says so. It speaks of faithfulness, trust, love and patience from the Almighty.

The lyricist for this great piece was Civilla D. Martin, a pastor’s wife and school teacher in the early 1900’s. It is believed she wrote over 500 pieces of poetry many of which were set to music like the one below.

Be not dismayed whate’er betide
God will take care of you
Beneath His wings of love abide
God will take care of you

God will take care of you
Through every day, o’er all the way
He will take care of you
God will take care of you

No matter what may be the test
God will take care of you
Lean, weary one, upon His breast
God will take care of you

God will take care of you
Through every day, o’er all the way
He will take care of you
God will take care of you

He will take care of you
God will take care of you

After reading those words are you still feeling stuck?

Free!!

11 May

Who loves that word?

“Buy one get one…FREE!”

Freedom!

“Free to a good home.” (We one time got a dog that way.)

The word invokes positive feelings and near excitement at the thought of something coming to us at no cost. Of course the cynics will offer that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” But most of us relish the hopeful feeling that accompanies the word free.

Once again, I reference the Holley Gerth book called WHAT’S TRUE ABOUT YOU.

She writes how freedom means being broken away from that which would hold us back. Her word images show us a space of grace and love instead of feeling confined and defined by outside forces. She then leaps to the freedom we can find in Christ. She speaks of fresh air to breathe in Christ’s world. She shares that our connection to him expands our own small worlds so we don’t feel stuck, immovable and void of possibilities. Instead we have help and hope. She claims we are not meant to walk a tightrope, but rather, we are designed to dance. And we shall not dance alone, but indeed with others!

The book of Galatians tells us this in 5:3:

 “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.”

Don’t be shy about the word slaves in the reference. Rather see the word SERVANT, that indeed our focus of freedom will shift away from our own indulgences and be spread as indulgence over others.

Find your freedom today and share it freely!

Her Story

9 May

She rises early

With much to do on a given day.

Her mind may race

With many ideas flowing

In her busy brain.

She is called to love–

Those in close proximity,

Those in need,

Those she may cherish and

Those who annoy.

Each to be viewed with a careful eye

And a warm heart.

And the day exhausts itself.

She feels the exhaust.

Sliding into bed

After a long day of giving

She weeps a bit, prays much,

Sighs and opens her heart for

A new day that awaits.

That is her story–

Day in, day out.

Sleep and a dream

perhaps will occur overnight,

She is open to both.

May she feel blessed in her quest.

At the dawn of a new day

She begins again.

Is she YOU?

Is she your mom?

Was she your mom?

God gave mothers much to do.

God gave women much to do.

Make the most of your day

Saving some time for YOU!

AMEN!

Take Care

6 May

Thanks for the support!!

spiritandsoul.net

I say that A LOT! Sadly when I say it the feeling of habit may be more present than the actual message that is destined. It is a lovely statement, though, as we wish for others to live carefully, do things throughout the day with thought and intention.

The word care by definition calls up these synonyms:

safe keeping

protection

awareness

I suspect we might also see the word intentional connected to the spirit of the word care.

Is care something you like to give or receive? Has anyone asked you that before? Does it make you hesitant to answer? Does it provoke thought or inspire ideas?

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

That reference is from Philippians 4:19 and it tells us of the care God gives to us. There’s more!

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I…

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