Tag Archives: faith

Reflection: Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear

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“With Jesus, preemptive declarations of grace and love and no-condemnation establish the environment for conversations about truth, morality, and ethics. It can be no other way.” 
Author Scott Saul Befriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation, and Fear

I love a quiet afternoon with Ann VosKamp and her front porch guests. 
Today’s post by Pastor Saul stopped me in my tracks for a bit of soul-searching of my own. 
Ann VosKamp is wise. How do I know? She has learned to sit at the feet of those who know the transforming love and grace of God so very well that they are compelled to proclaim the good and glory of God. 
Shoutin’ glory as it relates to their very own honest view of the not so pretty, imperfect, real and messy business of life. You know the life that faces the world head-on in pursuit of the real meaning to it all? 
The truth of it is that some of us find the real Jesus for life sooner rather than later and that is a blessing. For others, it takes years of pain, heartache and struggle until they know the surrender of the arms of an all loving God.
The following excerpt toward the end of the powerfully convicting post by Pastor Scott Saul caused me to consider how many times I may have inadvertently offered my judgement in word and action far more quickly than love and grace. 
Grace, a ready favor. Love so undeserved. The free gift of eternal life. I know more now why my grandmother spent her days living, breathing and singing sweet hymns of the promise of heaven. 

“After eighteen years of pastoral ministry, I have never met a person who fell in love with Jesus because a Christian scolded them about their morality or their ethics. Have you?”

In the end, the following words of Anne Lamott hang hauntingly over me and I have mulled them over and over for hours.
“It’s okay to realize that you’re crazy and very damaged. All the best people are.
Grace and love must come before ethics.
No-condemnation must come before the morality discussion.

Because it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance, not our repentance that leads God to be kind.

Love – the broad embrace of the narrow path – will trigger some of the most life-giving experiences you’ll ever be part of.

I have known my own life-giving experiences and have been so grateful for love in action, grace expressed among the people of God who held me, never uttered a word and cried WITH me.
There is so much pain in this world. Pain that makes your heart feel as if it could explode at any moment and is only diffused when the eyes of compassion that look right back at you. Truth. Inthat very  moment of need, the eyes of love  and grace knows! There is no more peaceful place than the soul deep affirmation that you are loved and in that breath no words are needed. 
Not. One. Word. 
So where does that kind of love begin and grace abound?

“We must first realize that LOVE is the environment that we ourselves are already living inside of. 

Love has to be a Person to us before it can become a verb.” Scott Saul

At this day’s end…….. 
This small heart is overcome by God’s love that wraps me all up tight and swells over my life such palpable grace. 
Where DOES that kind of love begin and grace extend?
In and through me….
In and through you…..
Grace and love speak louder than words. ALWAYS!
Lord, keep me mindful of the your extreme love and grace extended to me. May my habit of love and grace’s response be exponentially the same on even the hardest days. 
When I am wrangling my own demons write love and grace in my heart. For all of my days; the good, challenging, when I don’t feel well, knees are swollen, head is aching, have worked hard on the sweatiest, coldest, draining, did not sleep well last night, aggravated, in need of heart rest and self care, backbreaking and enduring days.
And yes Lord, may we walk humbly in the love and grace that responds because of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. May our heavenly minded action respond as an outpouring of love and grace extended… 
May all that we know intellectually be true, honest and authentic as our lives speak of who God is- 
We love because God first loved us!
May our anthem cry be that of our view toward heaven and the level ground at the foot of the cross…..

Come ye sinners, poor and needy. 

Weak and wounded, sick and sore. 

Jesus, ready, stands to save you. 

Full of pity,  joined with power…

Let not conscience make you linger

 Nor of fitness fondly dream.

Check out the entire guest post @ 

http://annvoskamp.com/2017/02/its-okay-to-be-damaged-all-the-best-people-are/

Treasured Friend Through The Years

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Treasured Friend Through The Years

Love this treasured friend for loving me so very real! Thanks for always supporting, sharing and believing in my crazy dreams. We have seen the kingdom of God work in power as we have co-labored together. Grateful to the Lord for you!! #friendsforlife

That’s Important To Me Joey and Rory Feek

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Lord, thank you for reminding us to live fully in the moments that we are given. To hold on tight to what is important to us. Hold us close Lord with tender love and help us to slow the crazy pace for moments of refreshing and to be in all the together places that we cherish. Our souls need each others attention and time committed for no television, no phones, no laptop, no commitments but to that which has been our covenant before God.

Things my heart and life will never take lightly or for grated…

God first. Time for you, my beloved for life and me. To deeply love and care for my family. To let them go to be the amazing man and woman, husband and wife, helpmate, provider and parent that they have been created for. The beauty of our ministry together for almost all of these 35 years. The conversations about the tomorrows and hope.To never miss one sunset together even if it means driving 30 minutes to do so or to be okay with just rocking quietly in the chairs on our front porch.

And honey, did I mention I’d like a treehouse in our backyard?? Please??

Hang tight…..the potatoes are ready to be mashed and the meatloaf smells divine…… And my man is sweetly calling…… “Are the potatoes ready yet dear?”

My heart always turns to him because I love doing the things for him that make him happy. We ate dinner together. Nothing else in this moment mattered. God would speak later if this was His time to whisper something beautiful to my heart. We chat and all the while my spirit is listening. Monty Self promises to clean up the kitchen so that I could get back to that thing that God is giving birth to. He sees it in my eyes and how I smile when words flow from my communion with the Father. Suddenly in my distraction he taps my leg and smiles that smile that still makes me love him all over again. I quietly move back to the computer with grateful heart.

God you speak so softly, sometimes so carefully that if our heart is not devotedly attuned to You we walk right over our Savior’s breathing message so alive. Once again my heart is schooled in learning to live even in death. I cannot quiet His voice. Truths worthy to be held and considered.

The Lord brought this verse to mind tonight.

As we remember those who are experiencing pain and loss, we see it also described in Isaiah 66:9.

The promised delivery of God’s only son would be painful but would be necessary for the new covenant to be born. Prophesy. The gift of a baby- God’s only son. Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb of God who would bear the sin of all mankind. God knew the pain of loss. Don’t you know if He could have made it happen any other way He would have? We are made to rescue and protect. The heart of God, our defender, His heart knew it necessary because of His great love for His creation and the only way to restore the love relationship that was broken at the fall of Adam and Eve.

Prophecy spoken. Promises kept. The enduring hope for all of mankind. For Rory Feek. For Joey. For their family. For you. For me.

Redeeming love was their love story too…….until death do us part..

Joey & Rory

“I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9

Death and Life

craftsbydaniellelee

My life has been far from perfect, even still sin’s nature in me will win when I drop my arms in battle. A scared little girl way too grown up for the time when this small heart came to know such great love.It still overwhelms me in all of the right and surrendered ways that God created me for this moment and has plans that are uniquely for me to live out. The beauty of my heavenly Father to trust me enough to speak to others about His love, mercy, grace and goodness. To serve Him with my life, a privilege to represent and bring honor to His name. The joy it brings when He places in my heart words that have always been my art. (well, not really art. Truthfully I CAN draw flowers and…. oh yes. Stick people. No lie I can even draw clothes on stick people. Did I mention that I am verbose? This lover of words is ALWAYS in need of an editor!

Monty and I have known what it is like to have much and to have little One thing I know is true in this very moment of our marriage is that we know what it means to be content. Our resolve to lose no more ground to the enemy who has been persistent in the fight for our hearts is foundational and steadfast. Our love has endured and God has been faithful and true.

Yes, we have known our own sufferings but we sincerely pray for opportunities to share our story raw, honest and so very real. My connection in heart was immediate when I first read something written Joey and Rory last Fall. It is a beautiful thing to read words that cut in all of the right ways and make you better for time spent alongside of their lives.

There was no glittering up the truth. Joey wrote and the powerful nature of God was alive even in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death. There was comfort as their lives encouraged others in the daily.

Joey and Rory wrote words that were born in their hearts. We will remember that love tucked sweetly away in moments that we need the reminder. To watch God ever redeeming their love for each other as the whole world watched. The sunset tonight filled my heart with gratitude all in the middle of sadness for the precious little one who albeit tragic WILL know her mama because those who loved Jesus became invested in her journey. Out of love, her husband lived the words he wrote to tell her grace-filled story.

Collective hearts agree tonight that life is short even when you get to live for many, many years. We the broken, frail and surrendered lives want to do it differently in measuring the loss of another life and spirit gone too soon. It is so easy to move along and forget. Lord give us the days to tell of Your love as You will.

This I know at this day’s end……

God is love.
God lavishes grace.
When life seems hopeless, mercy is poured out.
God’s character is to redeem, restore and reconcile.
God prepares hearts for such a time as this.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted..

To be absent from the body it to be present with the Lord.

Hallelujah!!

We rest in truth tonight.

Vicki 2, Cancer 1

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Love you Madi Vincent. Your mom will forever be alive in my heart and the lives of so many others. It feels like yesterday when Mason and your mom stopped by the motor home to tell us the news. We were stunned and my heart ached, our hearts beat together and we cried but still found hope.

I lost another dear friend the very year that cancer brought our family back to North Carolina. Monty’s dad battled Renal Cell cancer for three very short months. My beautiful friend Liz took her last breath on an unassuming Easter morning the same year. From death to life on the day we remember the resurrection.

These things I know:

Our Romans 8 road led us “home” and that had not been our plan. Life was significantly empty for a time and different but as we endured the pain our hearts found new life in relationships rekindled and the immeasurable wealth of God’s lavished love.

The road paved with so many hard things, hard firsts, that life could even go on as if nothing had happened was always awakened by the Spirit of God alive in us. The days grew more bearable where we did not cry with the same fervor but the relinquishing and surrender that came in the beautiful memories and stories sustained our family.

If there had been no cancer, there would have likely been no Motor Racing Outreach connection and our lives would have never been so entwined with such a pure love for each other. Mason and Vicki Vincent would become our greatest support, encouragers and friends. Our sweet Madi-girl and siblings are loved today as if we have shared a lifetime.

Madi, I feel her in your words, I remember her with great fondness for every time she spoke life into this old girls weary bones! Your mom and dad loved us for real and we loved and love them right back. A life of ministry can often isolate you from people and they refused to allow us to give in to such disengagement because their heart was to serve US. Amazing.

Thanks for keeping her passions alive because every seed that she planted in you is the fruit of her labor and that beloved of God remains her gift to us all. Your beautiful heart and words continue to carefully paint the Rembrandt that she remains as her legacy of faith in every life that she touched.

Be blessed today Vincent family. Vicki would be one praoud mama and I would give almost anything for one more conversation to let her know how very grateful I am for her inconditional love and friendship!

Vicki, you are with me always…….. You are loved! Mel

Source: Vicki 2, Cancer 1

2016 One Word by Margaret Feinburg

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2016 One Word by Margaret Feinburg

Sharing a beautiful message from Margaret Feinburg on the dreary Saturday morning. 

For the last 10 years, I have chosen Biblical words to study for the purpose of implanting truths in my heart. My life has been so enriched by this small discipline outside of my regular Bible quiet time. The richness of this very special time alone with the Lord has so inspired my heart to live with an even greater faith as the depth of God’s Word has opened my eyes to many new and lovely characteristics of a God who is intrinsically diverse. Every word study has quietly and richly layered the cornerstone of my faith. And when something amazing is happening on our lives don’t you think you should share it with the people you love and care about? Absolutely!

Not sure what you day looks like but I wanted to share with you a beautiful freebie that only affirms my path and continues to pave a beautiful road that is worthy of traveling! And the truth is, we already have the map!!

Over the last few years my words have included joy, rest, faith, shadow, grace…..

My 2016 One Word is abundance. 

Welcome Margaget Feinburg……… Thanks for sharing out of our blessing this free One Word excercise.

Simply jump over the her website, enter your email address and get your free 2016 One Word mini book!! Meanwhile, enjoy the introduction as you prayerfully consider this good journey!

                   http://margaretfeinberg.com/whats-one-word-2016-free-download/#more-32229              

                       http://margaretfeinberg.com/whats-one-word-2016-free-download/

What’s your one word?

Sweet Friends,

Maybe you’re in a season of abundance. You have favor and delight and more opportunities than you know what to do.
Maybe you’re in a season of grace. You’re learning your limitations, discovering weaknesses, and awakening to God’s provision in the midst.
Maybe you’re in a season of adversity. Your marriage or finances or health or job or relationships are crumbling.

No matter what season you find yourself in, your Heavenly Father wants to speak to you.The beginning of a new year provides an opportunity for reflection and vision casting. This is a season to both look back and press forward in our relationship with God.

Over the past few years, I’ve asked God to give one word for the upcoming year.

One word that I can study.
One word that will perk my ears every time it appears.
One word that can be used to know the depths of God’s heart. One word that will lead me closer to Christ.

Previous years’ words include—listen, wonder, joy, and love. Each word has drawn me deeper into Scripture, closer to others, and helped me grow in my faith.

This year, I’m inviting you to ask God for your one word.
The word He wants to use to transform you and make you radiant like Christ.

May this One Word Guide awaken you to the work that God will be doing in and through you during the upcoming year.

Blessings, 

Margaret

Sending love from a One Word little ole me: 

Beloved of God. He has led you right here for such time as this!! Find your path and commit to walk in it! 

I would love to hear from you how God sin working in your life!!

Share YOUR #oneword365 with me below!!

 

Better yet! Jump over to http://oneword365.com/#earth and create your very own graphic FREE!

Join the community

Connect with other who share your One Word

Download the FREE graphic

Create your own One Word graphic in a free app life Word Swag

Share

Get going on your journey! Easy Peasy!!

May God continue to lavish His abundant love on you in 2016. #oneword365/abundance

              

                                                         http://oneword365.com/#earth

The Hiding Place Forgiveness and Faith by Corrie Ten Boom

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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%205:21&version=NLT

“It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.

He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.

Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.

As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”

~Corrie ten Boom, the Hiding Place

2015 Dayspring Amazing Christmas Deals

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http://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=799737&u=935099&m=25848&urllink=&afftrack=

Still have a few names on your list? Check out these amazing offers from Dayspring!

Friday December 18

FREE SHIPPING DAY on December 18. For one-day only, free standard shipping with code FREESHIPDAY at checkout

(excluding Hawaii, Alaska & International Orders).

All orders should arrive by Christmas.


SATURDAY
: December 19

2-DAY SHIPPING FOR ONLY $5

Last-minute shopping? Get your  packages in time for Christmas by selecting 2-day expedited shipping at checkout for only $5.

Monday December 21

HUGE ONE-DAY SURPRISE SALE!

For 24-hours on Monday, we will have a “surprise” sale – get 30% off the entire store with code ENJOY30 then select 2-day expedited shipping at checkout for only $5.

(Shipping offer excludes Hawaii, Alaska & International Orders.)

2016 CALENDAR & PLANNER SALE

New 2016 calendars and planners are currently 25% off – stock up today and spread the word! These make perfect gifts.

http://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=794779&u=935099&m=25848&urllink=&afftrack=

DEALS OF THE DAY

Thursday December 17

Loved – Inspirational Magnets, Set of 5 for $4
Friday December 18 – Monday- December 21 

Hope – Insulated Tumbler – Green for $4

Hope – Letterpress Block Set for $26

Wednesday
– December 16-18

Exclusive clearance coupon – take an extra 50% off of clearance  items -use code STOCKUP at checkout.

Wednesday- December 16-17
Kids flash sale -fun, inspirational kids’ items at up to 70% off.

No code necessary.

Thursday– December 17-21

Lyrics for life flash sale – Lyrics for Life Collection will be 50% Off! Use code 50LYRICS at checkout.

Merry Christmas! Happy Shopping Day! I’ll be heading over to the website to STOCKUP and save 50% off of all clearance!!

Blessings All!

http://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=799735&u=935099&m=25848&urllink=&afftrack=

Faith In NASCAR on Dirty Mo Radio with Kelley Earnhardt Miller

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Faith In NASCAR on Dirty Mo Radio with Kelley Earnhardt Miller

http://www.dalejr.com/radio/kelley/default.aspx

Thanks so much Kelley K Earnhardt @earnhardtkelley for the time, love and care that you took in opening your heart to share the unassuming role of this small heart. I love my job. I am passionate about the mission of Motor Racing Outreach and serving NASCAR families but I cringed inside when I left wondering if anything that was recorded would be salvageable. Ugh. Tonight when I listened to the beautiful compilation of our many conversations, I am overwhelmed that you found such beauty in all of my endless ramblings. I am the interviewers worst nightmare for a concise and short sound bite. But oh the stories my heart longs to tell of God’s beauty, grace, love and faithfulness in my life.

Monty and I have spent the entirety of our 34 1/2 years of marriage finding joy in opening our home to serve men, women, children and families. Tonight I am humbled In light of every amazing heart that spends time sharing with you @ Dirty Mo Radio. http://www.dalejr.com The Fast Lane Family show reminds me of how very small I am and how great a God who uses surrendered hearts to give their lives to the Lord’s service for the greater good of the kingdom of God.

Motor Racing Outreach has blessed us with the opportunity to live in community, encourage the faint of heart, speak life into broken lives, live alongside of the people we serve, fall in love with every heart, laughing and crying together, celebrating all things glorious and good related to success in NASCAR and hold each other tight in prayer on the hard days..But above all of that which is so wonderful, we have the freedom to openly share our faith in Jesus Christ. Faithfully we offer the same opportunity to hearts prepared to hear the message of the Gospel and receive the free gift of eternal life that was secured for all of mankind through the birth. life, death and resurrection of Christ.

My heart swells with such fullness of joy when I reflect on all the years of life shared with our NASCAR family. We have been honored to share so many beautiful moments as we have witnessed the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in the lives surrendered their to be in a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. Heaven will tell of the work that the Lord continues to so quietly do day in and day out. Thanks to every person that has opened their hearts to love us so real.

My sincere gratitude for creating a glimpse into life at-track. Many blessings sweet friend for your love and support through the years. God has been very good to us!

2015 Better Half Dash

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Motor Racing Outreach

and

Charlotte Motor Speedway

present

The 5th Annual Better Half Dash

Nascar ladies will once again compete on October 8, 2015 in the 5th Annual Running of the Better Half Dash!

Please visit the Better Half Dash website and vote for your favorite driver! The better half that raises the most money gets to choose her starting position. And this we know! Track position is everything!!!

All money collected online will go directly to Motor Racing Outreach, a non-profit that provides care for the at-home and traveling NASCAR community through chaplaincy, trauma response, chapel services, women and children’s ministry, outreach ministry to the fans and much more! Check out more about the MRO Community Center family programming @ http://www.mrocommunitycenter.com

www.betterhalfdash.com #BetterHalfDash

2015 Better Half Dash Entrants

Jordin Fish girlfriend of Denny Hamlin (Cup Series)
Sandra Greenfield wife of Clay Greenfield (Truck Series)
Shannon Koch wife of Blake Koch Xfinity Series
Jenna Robinson wife of Clay Robinson Cup Series
Whitney Scott wife of Brian Scott Xfinity Series
Melanie Self wife of Monty Self MRO
Ashley Stremme wife of David Stremme Winner 3rd Annual BHD
Katelyn Sweet girlfriend of Kyle Larson Cup Series
Wendy Venturini wife of Jarrad Egert Cup Series
Kristen Yeley wife of JJ Yeley Cup Series Winner 4th Annual BHD

Check out a few BHD racing memories from 2014!!

https://player.vimeo.com/video/137944949“>2014 BHD Highlight Video

Behold The Lamb of God

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Day five, six, seven and eight of radiation for my mom complete and the marathon continues. This new community feels a little more like home today which makes me shudder. Yet, I am so grateful for this physical dwelling place, the people who make its heart beat, who love so fully and have spoken life to the written words of my spirit and given them wings. 

On this Thursday evening, my mind and heart continue to resonate with the lingering words of our worship and truths from God’s Word proclaimed this Easter. I wonder how the minds and hearts of Mary, Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ disciples and Christ followers were embracing the resurrection? What pain, defeat and struggle they must have known with His death and Jesus now miraculously made alive.

THEIR marathon toward Jesus death on a cross between two thieves began with:

• The appointed, tender heart of Mary, who fully received with honor, the request to carry the Son of God with these beautiful words, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Matthew 1:38

• Jesus asked common lives to join Him by dropping their nets, leaving their vocations and surrendering their whole lives to follow Christ, their promised Messiah.

• The journey into the city on a donkey, Palm Sunday, Judas betrayal, The Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter’s betrayal, the accusations, trial and crucifixion.

My mind cannot imagine what it must have been like to walk alongside of Him, to be touched by the power of His glory, be swept up in God-breathed scenes of the miraculous and their lives bowed low in honor as He speaks life into those seated at His feet. The work of God and love for His creation would be fulfilled through their obedient lives. Could they really have known fully the magnitude of their days leading up to the cross? 

How humbling to participate in the intimacy of ministry in the midst of prophecies fulfilled. I imagine His presence drawing them close to Him as He cared for each needful place in their lives. In the tender moments when they so organically touched love in a way they had never known. My heart weighs heavy as I consider their treasured Messiah and friend suffering, enduring the cross and dying.

After the resurrection, word spread like wildfire. He is risen. As would be their heart, I imagine hope-filled days as Jesus continued to teach and speak life into their calling and the message of salvation once for all! Jesus, their God and King, would tell them that He would return to heaven but assured them that He would not leave them alone. The promise that the Holy Spirit would come in all power to help, comfort and assure their days through His nearness through the indwelling would likely confuse and overwhelm but in Him they had put their trust. That they could be sure of.

So it is in our lives too. We, so small in the shadow of His greatness bring our hearts and every broken place for emotional, physical and spiritual healing. It is there love meets us. Just. As. We. Are. His crucifixion, burial and resurrection remind us that the gift of eternal life came with so great a sacrifice. Yet, this Easter, the deeper treasure that hope has become to my family is the breath of peace and the nearness of God with us when all that is around us spins quickly out of control- Cancer. 

It may be for you that one phone call, one doctor’s visit, one bill you cannot pay, disease that threatens to overcome a future, etc…. There God reveals His love and care for His beloved. Hope when all else seems shattered. In this, the Holy Spirit’s beautiful way, lovingly holds us as we learn anew to find grace, as we too glimpse eternity with a veiled view of the hope, future and the what is to come.

The waiting room talk at CaroMont Cancer Center is light-hearted today. The symbolic “I Survived Radiation Bell” resounds with three rings that represent the restoration of balance, harmony and life energy. We all look up, connecting us once again to hope and to each other. It is in these moments that community is built around a common connection. 

The ringing of the bell hovers over us in a wave of assurance. We then join the celebration and cheer alongside of each other. Every heart reminded that this phase of the journey will have an end. We entrust the brave heart of the ringer to the Lord as it trusts that their final radiation treatment will once and for all put an end to this cancer diagnosis. Many will beat this evil disease and for so many hearts, there will be celebrations and rejoicing just as I imagine Peter running to the tomb to see for Himself that, just as they had said, Jesus was not there and then excitedly running off to share the good news. 

He. Is. Alive.

Celebrate Life

Ring this bell

Three times well

Its toll to clearly say,

 

My treatment’s done

This course is run

And I am on my way!

 You are a survivor! Celebrate Life!

I long for the bell’s ring and celebration to signify the end of radiation for my mom that will allow her (our family) to breathe again, to walk in this new beginning with hard fought joy! For without hope, we lose heart. The cross reminds us that every good and perfect ending often begins with pain and suffering. Yes life. We know the complete full because Jesus “endured” the cross on our behalf.

The power to “endure” is my favorite Greek word in the Bible: 

Hupomeno- to remain, abide, not recede or flee, to persevere: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ, to endure, bear bravely and calmly

“…we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT)

No matter the waiting, lingering and hard trusting, enduring place, our heart’s battle in this world pale in comparison to that which Christ endured. Our joy awaits us as we are carried along, the Holy Spirit’s presence holds us close. In these moments, we hold tight and surrender. Just as God did in sending a savior. Just as Mary did in receiving the Lord’s gift as His will. Just as Jesus endured. We too walk in the power to live out the path before us for His kingdom come, His will be done. 

We sang this song in Easter Sunday. Every word has echoed and drawn my heart to its own wanderings through God’s Word this week. A restless soul finding peace among the stories of God’s beloved who faced their own “valleys of the shadow” and found God’s pure and perfect love wrapped up tight in goodness. God continues to do so much RIGHT and for that I will always give thanks. And while there will be days that we battle, the darkness,  when the hard things try to stifle snd skew our view of the eternal. God’s light refuses not to shine the light of hope when it comes to the faithful care of His children. 

At this day’s end….. I ask you to find the good path where we can collectively walk in His power, sing, give thanks in ALL things and Celebrate this beautiful life that we have been given. So. Be. It.

Behold the lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world. Hallelujah!!! There is no greater love.

http://www.simplelifeheartenings.com

Lamb Of God

You came from heavens throne

Acquainted with our sorrow

To trade the debt we owed

Your suffering for our freedom.

The Lamb of God, in my place

Your blood poured out, my sin erased

It was my death you died

I am raised to life

Hallelujah, the lamb of God

My name upon your heart

My shame upon your shoulders 

The power of sin undone

The cross for my salvation

There is no greater love

There is no greater love

The savior lifted up

There is no greater love

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=uqXzepuJhKs