Tag Archives: Jesus

Remembrance and Maundy Thursday 

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Remembrance and Maundy Thursday 

Maundy Thursday we remember the last supper. As evening rests on the setting of the sun this day, I am mindful of grace. A ready and underserved favor that cost Jesus everything. 

Among those He loved so faithfully, even facing the cross, He so unselfishly cared for every heart reclined at that table.

Humility- as recorded in John’s gospel, on His last night before His betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as He had loved them (John 13:34) 


For our Lord and Savior to take up the position of servant overwhelms me and in heart I truly long to never let him down. 

Yet in brokenness, I am that sinner. This small life born broken cannot comprehend HIS body broken for me. HIS blood shed for me. The precious lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world for me. 


1 Corinthians 11 has played over and over in my heart today with verses 23-26 taking me into that very room with His beloved. I find myself with a hovering view peering into the sacred place where grace will be known so very real.

As I imagine the depths from which Paul writes, my heart bows low and although this sinners heart has been brought back into a right relationship with God, my it aches as I remember afresh my faith walk and wish there had been another way. 

“Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said,

This is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me. After supper, he did the same thing with the cup: This cup is my blood, my new covenant with you. Each time you drink this cup, remember me. What you must solemnly realize is that every time you eat this bread and every time you drink this cup, you reenact in your words and actions the death of the Master. You will be drawn back to this meal again and again until the Master returns. You must never let familiarity breed contempt.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Familiarity. This day set aside for a focused remembrance casts a shadow on ever becoming so familiar with what lie ahead for Jesus.

Paul continues and leaves no doubt in our hearts that we……


Maundy Thursday was a night most pressing on the heart of God that we NEVER forget what Jesus has done for us.

In closing, Paul continues in 1 Corinthians full well knowing the divisions among the people and without holding back he writes.

“Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.”
                             Holy Awe

It is quiet now on this beautiful spring evening. Life is alive all around me from my porch swing view. Bird’s singing. Flowers are popping up from the winter’s ground and somehow the leaves on the tree unfurled almost overnight. The fragrance of spring onions, hyacinths and tulips fill my head with spring joy and the promise of all things new.

So as with God, Easter is coming. 
The cross. The horrible death between two thieves. The burial. The resurrection. Rejoicing.

Jesus will not stay in the grave but will rise and bring hope and beauty to a broken people. 

We remember this Maundy Thursday and we hold on to the promise of the resurrection and to our God and King who never gave up on His beloved creation. 


At this day’s end…..

I give thanks for the sacred pause of remembering today. Thank you Jesus for making all things well with my soul.

Grace: A Stained Glass Impersonal Word Until It Happens To You

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Grace: A Stained Glass Impersonal Word Until It Happens To You

I have temporarily relocated from my prayer chair to the heating pad in my bed for my quiet time. (Just a little unhappy back UGH) 
I walked by my prayer chair just as the phone rang. So I put down my quiet time books and Bible on my prayer chair as I went to answer the phone. There was a pause in time before I walked back by the chair again. 
As I re-entered the room, I was struck by how the sun was at just the right angle and highlighted the word “grace” in the title of a book that In recently finished re-reading. It is my go-to book when grace grabs me so real or on the day when grace seems so very far away. #nofilter
Captured By Grace, No One Is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God by Dr. David Jeremiah is a book that describes “grace” as “a stained glass, impersonal word until it happens to you! 
I gathered the stack of books that I had left on the chair, smiled as the light of the World illuminated the moment and arranged the books in a way to represent what grace has meant to me lately along with a couple books that I am reading right now.
The enlightened “grace” word has moved in and with me so powerfully throughout this day. 
So I thought to myself…..Maybe someone else might be cared for by the shelter of grace and the light it casts when we give grace or the warmth of grace received.
So I just tucked my “grace” book into the nightstand by my bed and the truth of God’s mercy and grace is so large in my heart. 
So, I pray, beloved of God, just as I have received , that you as well will know, receive and walk in God’s extravagant love and grace in every moment today.
#allisgrace
Some say pay it forward……
God says……
“Freely you have received. Freely give.” Matthew 10:8

Jesus Meets Me In The Morning

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Thunderstorms all around, yet a most quiet silence hovers in the darkness as I met with the Lord this morning. Love time alone in the stillness “before the day”. The Holy Spirit in worship held my heart. Reflective. Encouraged. Passions renewed! Gratitude so very deep that my words fail to adequately express my thanks to a most gracious God. A challenging and yet good year with such joy-filled moments.
  

The thunder reverberates and as the house rumbles I feel it in the depths of my heart. You. ARE. God. #thereisnoneaboveyou #bestill #thelordisnear I pray that you are encouraged to walk in power today.

So many hearts in need that are on my heart this morning! Praying that you will be cared for in ways that your best words cannot express! Ended my time alone with this beautiful reminder to settle in close to the Lord. Pssssttt….. It is not too late for you right where you are to breathe a whispered prayer. You are wonderfully made to be the authentic YOU today. Never forget that beloved of God. Come quietly. He is there. Right there. You are His beloved and exceeding great joy! Walk in it!! Before The Day by Newsong http://youtu.be/rYFcEwDCjik

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

Ten Ways to Pray for Moore, Oklahoma and Send a Prayer Online!

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What do we do when our world is shaken? Life’s consequences that our beyond our control remind us to stop, reflect and pray. The questions arise and leave us wondering how can we help? Who would respond if but for God‘s grace this could have been me or you? The realization sinks in when we search deeper into our hearts, we truly know that there is nothing random with God and I am reminded of how we are to live and pray.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Ephesians 4:6

How do we start the next day knowing the pain and loss that have affected so many people? How do we tell our children? lead them? help them find hope? prepare them for life’s difficulties? We cannot just forget.  How must it feel to the ones involved in such devastation~ the despair as the isolation of natures wrath-filled captivity quickly launches a heart to be shocked, feel lost, alone, angry, overwhelmed, learning to breathe again and living only one small step at a time, one day at a time.

“Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God and a scourge for Satan.” ~John Bunyon

God’s Word leads us to do what we know TO DO: We will let our requests be made know to God! We have the gift of the Holy Spirit and direct access to the very throne of God……And yes, He is very near.

Ten Ways to Pray for Moore, Oklahoma

1. Keep Asking:

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:6-8

2. Pray Specifically:

And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers……..” 2 Corinthians 1:11

3. Pray in Faith:

And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22

4. Pray aware:

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18

5. Pray About Everything:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

6. Pray in truth:

“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

7. Pray Continually:

“….pray continually;” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

8. Pray in the Spirit:
Well then, what shall I do? I will pray in the spirit,and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.” 1 Corinthians 14:15
9. Pray and Praise
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:13-14
10. Pray seeking:
“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11
Pray for Moore, Oklahoma

Pray for Moore, Oklahoma
Children’s Ministry Deals

Never Give Up…

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1
We are praying Oklahoma and are reminded once again of the many devastating storms over the last 10 years of pain and loss in so many places around the United States. May our hearts continue to pray for all….always.
You can send a direct prayer to the children of Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary Schools by clicking on this link.

Send an online prayer to the kids of Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary Schools in Moore, Oklahoma.

Rhythm Church @ River Street Park

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The 2013 Joy Journey River Street Park

The 2013 Joy Journey
http://www.go2mro.com
Motor Racing Outreach
River Street Park

At this days’ end….
Hearts bent low, enlarged and filled with gratitude……
Every small gift glimpsed, this side of heaven today, culminates in fullness of joy!! When we fail to find the right words, Ann Voskamp’s daily journal entry captures thoughts, conversations, wonderings and the tenet of our collective hearts find definition.
Dump Harper

Dump Harper

“Something grows in me and it doesn’t have words and it doesn’t ask for words. Asks only witnessing. Only gratitude. Only the living that lets the everyday dirt become the sacred everyday. There are times it seems wrong to keep your shoes on, to do anything less than stand bare-heeled and bowed and broken wide open. Them bent. The way a soul can grow any way it chooses.” @AnnVoskamp One Thousand Gifts A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are http://www.aholyexperience.com/

Gwen Howard and Karen Clark

Gwen Howard and Karen Clark

Tonight our hearts thank God for freedom’s voice captured on this warm, sunny day in May. The freedom to thoughtfully pursue life as God speaks, to find hope in the cumulative, simple graces of seasoned friendships with like hearts alongside together. For this life to have a reason to get up each day, to breathe and for hearts that beat to faithfully serve God out of His great love for us!

“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that He has given you.” Deuteronomy 16:17

We made & welcomed two new friends. Our walk through the River Street Community was so worth the time. The Spirit’s work in our hearts. Our eyes become the window genuine and touch all that God longs for on this day. We see the soil of hearts and seed every eternal truth we can into them. His touch like a fountain flows for the purpose of bearing witness to the something greater that He is within us. We absolutely understanding that we are so small in this world; the lesser things, nothing special except that His Holy Spirit lives in and through us. Blessed that He has purposed His desire, earnest and searing “for such time as this’

River Street Park

River Street Park
“All of this darkness can’t overtake that little tiny light,” Michael “Big Dog” Burris

We, tucked beneath our sturdy roofs, safely protected from the rain, wind, and earthly elements. In the eternal, through life’s storms, promises made, broken and kept, daily bread, living water, provision, a future, a hope, an eternal promise……HIS promises…..oh yes, and the wind at the top of the hill on a very hot day. We commit, search, pursue, and pray in faith believing just as Jesus taught us. Our Father..in Heaven..hallowed be Thy name…Thy will be done….On earth as it is in Heaven….Daily Bread….forgiveness of debt…forgiving our debtors…lead not into temptation….deliver us from evil…Thine is: the Power, the Glory…Forever!!!

946618_564229967217_1434667506_nOn reflection, we share hearts overwhelmed with goodness. Tender hugs, life’s challenges confessed…transparent. No place or need to hide. Life is hard. We are all on this journey of faith together as seekers, dreamers, hopeful hearts, open, guarded and filled with the raw emotion of scars from life’s raging battles….The rhythm of our movement still takes our breath away. We should listen more closely to the children. Their unheard cry for help is simple and their love is without demands. Sweet kisses on our cheeks. A small hand touches a back, just to be close and shares his applesauce as an offering for sharing our kindnesses…..Mother, daughters and grandchildren share this day together.

Mother, daughters and grandchildren share this day together.

It is whimsical, fun, intent as little hearts hug you from behind, beside, from the top of our heads to the very planting of our feet. Paint on noses, fingers, toes and clothing but with concentrated effort. Four small boys try to sit all at once on an open lap. Every person from young to old sits to paint, relax and feel child-like again. Every time our back is to them and upon turning around, another chair, a new face smiling at the simplicity of life’s activity in the neighborhood. Nowhere else to be but just in the here…the now. So far removed from any lingering thoughts of tense moments as they arise or what will be when the sun goes down. The “I love you’s” still linger and haunt us in every good way. Any child there could be loved as our own. No need for explanation or to know any part of the story because of the active heart of God’s Holy Spirit is breathing, seeing, stirring, bringing to life every closed off place in our hearts. His love for humanity surrounds us and is in EVERY touch!!!!

Kristen Yeley, Bobby and Missy deSouza

Kristen Yeley, Bobby and Missy deSouza

We pause, step back and see in every vignette, all hearts smiling. We are forced to take a deep breath and settle our spirits into the fullness of God. The wellspring of life!!!! Tangible. Measurable…Palpable. It is close: in your lap, on your hip, a jump from behind or in front that dares to literally knock you down.. To be reminded that a simple wooden car is the key that has opened this lovely door.Matt Clark
Matt Clark
In the middle of everything that is messy, the square covered shelter becomes a  life-giving place that allows us all  to forget….even if just for one moment!!  And how it stops us, dead in our tracks, with its fullness. Smiles….genuine, momentary, fleeting and there is little time to savor and chew on its richness….a snapshot of life….real life!! And then we consider and wish for one more life to live, to do more, to reach deeper and farther in the promise of seeing God’s Kingdom enlarged and made greater. Sigh.
Gwen Howard

Gwen Howard

Humbled…we slow and savor our heart’s cry. Hoping to capture every second and store the time deep within that place in our hearts that we draw from on the hard days. In recollection, we are posed with a relative question…In OUR day-to-day living, is there really this kind of hard? How God has filled our cups to overflowing. We cry out to God with hands uplifted in praise and pray, Lord,  fill them up again tonight!!
Living Love

Living Love

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

“We’ll give thanks to You with gratitude. For lessons learned in how to trust in You. That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream. In abundance or in need. And if You never grant us peace. But Jesus, would You please . .” Nicole Nordeman

“When thanks to God becomes a habit – so joy in God becomes your life.” Ann Voskamp

Danielle Bolin, Melanie Self, Faith Yeley, Dump Harper, JJ Yeley

Danielle Bolin, Melanie Self, Faith Yeley, Dump Harper, JJ Yeley

Gratitude by Nicloe Nordeman

River Street Park Love

River Street Park Love

Check out the complete photo album on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201288819965369.1073741827.1318481111&type=1&l=9689e76adb

Memories of Days Gone By

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Love these ladies, Morgan and Jamie Grace. They lead us to a place deep inside the “old souls” they know so very well. I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside of them on several occasions. I love watching them “make music” and somehow the “old” HAS become “new” again. Grateful! I pray that you are blessed by their spirit as much as I am!

This song takes me back to a special place, so very long ago…..

My family: Godly men and women who lived a heritage of faith in service as pastors, teachers, musicians, people of conviction and the example of service that I hold dear in my heart to this day. My great-grandmother was the organist at church. My grandmother, her daughter, was a gifted pianist. The old, upright piano she purchased used so long ago, now has a treasured place in my home. Often asked when someone visits, “Why two pianos?”  My reply, The newer piano has provided opportunities to grow musically and meet the financial needs of my family. The old one…The black giant? A reminder to myself and my family that the work of God continues through His faithfulness and should be passed on to the next generation. Three generations of us have either learned to play on the black giant or continue to lovingly play her today.

Fond memories of life and lessons learned while spending time on my great-grandparent’s 200 acre farm down a long and winding dirt road with only two other neighbors. Family joy. Simple people. Simply Living…..in the boondocks!

Pictured memories flash through my mind:

A dozen folks eager to eat at the simple wooden table in the kitchen. The children were seated on a long wooden bench made out of a rescued, fallen tree. I would fondly run my hand down the grain of the well-worn “provision”. We prayed. Not just at meals or bedtime. We PRAYED!! We thanked God for His goodness throughout our day, for the abundance of the good food we ate, for the rains that came just when they were needed, for the Lord to hold back the rain at the precise moment necessary for a successful harvest, etc… The farmer truly knows what it is to live by faith!! And the meals that were made from scratch in that kitchen, were amazing and meant for royalty. Well, that’s the way I saw it anyway. Stacks of biscuits, gravy, fried chicken, fresh vegetables, tomatoes, collard and turnip greens, numerous pies for dessert and all that your mind can dream…Manna, cherished nourishment that comes because “Our faithful God rewards faithful hands.” A surrender to work hard.  A quote worth remembering and spoken often by both Larry and Emma Fisher, my great-grandparents, as a reminder when someone may lack gratitude in any of life’s important moments and especially around the dinner table. :-)They knew how to trust God for everything. And I mean EVERY THING!!!

The days were filled with…..

playing and rolling around on the ground with my great-grandfather’s Coonhounds, watching the guys head off to hunt, quietly listening as the ‘coon dogs got farther and farther away, standing under the Muscadine and Scuppernong grape vines~eating the fat grapes sweetened by the rain and sun until we had a tummy ache, family reunions, tobacco barns, tractors, busting watermelons in the field to make sure that the crop was ripe. And when we did get a break from work, on a hot day, running down the road to the neighbor’s house to cut a bamboo pole, and head over to the pond to go fishing. For the children, we hoped we didn’t get “caught” swimming more than being concerned about  “catching” fish to eat.

A distant place and simpler time….

My  great-grandparents were likely considered “poor”. They worked hard but I more remember the good times after dinner at the last shades of light led to the day’s end. We would sit quietly on the porch, in the cool of the evening and I never remember things being anything other than good. Life was good. We hoped for a breeze, as we fanned ourselves. I can always remember moments in the quiet, when out of nowhere, someone would start singing. We made up songs. They were simple songs, silly songs, old hymns in harmony. It was music. Strings, improvised percussion with hands and feet and a quiet hum would fill the air as someone made melody from their soul. The stories were intense and remember when. So much so, that the children including myself sat intently hanging on every word. We laughed at each others jokes, hoped someone might drop by for a visit and the fun we kids would have dancing, singing and playing until it was almost dark. The days would always end in togetherness. We were truly grateful when we lay our heads down at night to say our prayers.

Some days I wonder why my heart and soul has been filled with so many words? Could those quiet moments in the boondocks have given me a bent for speaking and writing words that build hope, encourage, lead others to trust, to dream, to believe, to know His love by hearing, gathering words, telling a story and faithful living and working hard at it? There are days when I care, share, teach, love, give, serve and reach for someone to love like Jesus would and at day’s end, I am out of words. Then the Lord lovingly and quietly reminds me that He, the author of love, life and promise sent His only Son to this earth with the mission of loving, teaching, leading, inspiring and empowering us with the message of hope and to go, to serve, to tell. Our individual relationships with God have been restored and reconciled with God through the life, death and resurrection of His promise of a Savior. Tell others the good news!! And just as Jesus exampled for us; He spoke of His life, His Heavenly Father, His living, His coming, His dying, His resurrection, ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit, our Helper. We are here to continue the message of hope to all.

Jesus would come in an unassuming way, live simply among ordinary people, not as a king but a servant to all. His story, God’s Word, His message to us still lives on through His children, long after His Ascension and return to His rightful place, at the right hand of God the Father.

Jesus told stories. Parables, short tales that illustrate universal truths, one of the simplest of narratives. Sketching a setting, describing an action and showing the results. It often involved a character facing a moral dilemma or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences. Though the meaning of a parable was often not explicitly stated, the meaning was  not usually intended be hidden or secret but on the contrary quite straightforward and obvious.

We all have a story. We share our lives with every relationship we build. Words that tell our life’s journey paint a picture of the where we have come from. In our relationship with Jesus Christ, His story becomes ours and we spread the joy of our beginnings while He is still writing, loving, leading, honoring our days and endings until our days on earth are done. Will our children become followers of Jesus Christ as modeled by our example? Will their lives tell of His goodness, shout praises, pray always, word hard, laugh, love others, serve everyone and live a loving, surrendered life in service to the Lord?

I am grateful for words. For the author and finisher of my faith and the privilege to serve Him with all of my days. Lord find me  faithful. May I be first and foremost about the things of God, wherever I am, serving with all of my heart the story that You have written for me and made my heart to do……

Lord, leave our families, those we love and serve the LIFE’S legacy and the WORDS to keep painting our world with YOUR story.

“…the details of our days do make a difference in our lives… no experience is ever just for drill…
everything can be a springboard for inspiration if we are willing to be open to the goodness of life.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Simple Abundance

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out…………The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And He will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord…………..And the Lord will make you abound in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands.” Deuteronomy 28:1-12a

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I have lately been involved in looking more closely at the strengths and skills. I am consistently reminded that it is never too late to get your Dream On!!
 What makes heart passion for serving the Lord Jesus Christ happen? For me, it is knowing the anticipation of life’s unwrapped gift!! Walking in faith believing and exclaiming to my Lord….THIS is what makes my heart beat, makes me rise to meet each new day and why I breathe!!
 We all start somewhere….. I enjoy my simple journey as God continues to raise the level of passion in my heart for the “more” yet to come!!
 My consistent prayer for myself and for those that I love is to faithfully live out all that God has, is and will continue to set ablaze in our hearts for building up the Kingdom of God!!

 

“You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.” James 2:22

 

Living Simply~Simply Living!!

 

Mel

The Expert In Anything Was Once A Beginner

The Expert In Anything Was Once A Beginner

You Version Christmas Story Tracker

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Christmas Story Tracker

Check out this phone App that will show you where the Christmas Story is being read all around the world. A great family project and reminder to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. A beautiful thought that hearts are connected all over the world around the Christmas Story!!

The Birth of Jesus

“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the
Roman Empire. This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to
their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David,
he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth
in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there,
the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in
strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no  lodging available for them.
The Shepherds and Angels
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly,
an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They
were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that
will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in
Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped
snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others
—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on
earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven the shepherds
said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord
has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby,
lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what
the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but
Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their
flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
Luke 2: 1-20