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Monthly Archives: September 2015

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Smelling The Roses. Literally.

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Literally just stopped to smell these roses. They smelled so sweet. It was worth the two minutes it took.

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Wonderful Wednesday: Don’t Stop Believing

Don’t stop believing!!

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11 NIV

Running low on strength to persevere?

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He trains me for battle, my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me.” Psalm 18:32 & 34-35 NIV

To be still and know that He is God requires you to believe Him not just believe in Him.

Do you believe He will do what He says He will do? Do you believe He is a God of His word? Do you believe  He is faithful.

If you’re struggling with believing Him, I recommend two things. 1. Worship. Nothing reminds me of who God is and His faithfulness more than worship music. 2.  Study the lives of those mentioned in Hebrews 11, their perseverance, their relationship with God, and God’s faithfulness to them.

Something to ponder while you wander…true perseverance means no matter what you see or feel, you don’t stop believing God.

Deep Thought Thursday: Responding to our Enemies

Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best–the sun to warm & the rain to nourish–to everyone.” Matthew 5:44-45 MSG

So many times in my life I’ve let people steal my joy and peace because of the way they’ve treated me. For too long I’ve let my day be darkened by someone else’s attitude. Jesus spoke this for our protection and for our good.

When we respond the way Jesus recommends, we are able to maintain our peace and joy.  We grow in maturity. It’s a bad situation turned for our good. And we are helping someine who is struggling, because that other person clearly needs prayer, a love infusion, and more Jesus.

When we allow people (whether we like, love or loathe them) to color or even ruin our day by their behavior it means we have ceded control of our mind, will, and emotions to someone else. And that someone else probably doesn’t like themselves any more than they like us.

Something to ponder while you wander…a person’s treatment of you is a reflection of them, not you. Your reaction reveals your heart condition, not theirs.

Right Next to You

Yesterday  God reminded me that while He does have ever a throne room in heaven, He is also right next to me. Even though my brain can’t fully wrap around the idea that He’s everywhere  all at the same time, I love that He is right next to me, ready for today’s adventure.

Listen to Me…I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime-until your hair is white with age. I made you & I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:3-4 NLT

Elohim created you with purpose, and that purpose is relationship with Him. He created you so He could love you. He hasn’t forgotten you and He refuses to give up on you.

Even in the worst possible situations.

Even when you’ve created your own mess and others have said “You’ve made your own bed.”

Even if you’ve backslidden or fallen AGAIN.

Turn your attention to Him, because He’s always there. When you focus on Him, you’ll see light in the darkness, and hope will begin to rise.

I’m praying for everyone who reads this to have a fresh revelation of the truth of this word. That you clearly see and know that He’s walking right beside you.

30 Years Later

Mackinac Bridge in Winter.  Photo from Mackinac Bridge Authority's Webcam

Mackinac Bridge in Winter. Photo from Mackinac Bridge Authority’s Webcam.

About 30 years ago, on a blustery, snow-filled winter’s  night, I crossed the Mighty Mac for the first time. Mom was driving; white-knuckling it actually because of the poor visibility and wind gusts.

My five year old inquisitor brother starts grilling with questions, “Whoa, Mom, how deep is that water down there? How far up are we? Is the water cold? Would we…”

My Mom never answered his questions or found the answers for him, as she usually did…due to her intense fear at that moment.

This past Labor Day, half of our family walked the Mighty Mac during the annual Labor Day bridge walk, including the now 35 year old inquisitor. While we were enjoying Mackinac City, Mom finds a paper with Mackinac Bridge fun facts. She smiled and said, “Jeff, I have the answers to your questions. The water under the bridge is  95 feet deep and the bridge is 199 feet above the water.”

We were all laughed, heartily!

But there’s a lesson here too. Sometimes people cannot answer your personal questions. Usually it’s because they don’t know or don’t want to appear foolish or that the truth might embarrass them.

But sometimes it’s because they are flat out terrified. Fear prevents people from being honest with themselves and with you. Fear is the enemy of intimacy and vulnerability. Fear corners people and causes them to behave oh so squirrelly…or mean…or rude.

My mom always tried to help us get answers to our questions, but her fear caused her to be short with my brother & tell him to just shut up.

I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make…other than I love my family and I loathe fear…but this has just been rolling around in my head and I needed to get it out.

PS Random funny..me, my mom and my niece all prefer walking the Mighty Mac to driving over it. We feel safer. Weird but true.

 

 

Fun-Fact Friday

My Nana says my Mom was a tow-head. My Mom says my sister was a tow-head. And now my sister calls my adorable niece a tow-head.

We all know tow-head means a kiddo with light blonde hair, but have you ever wondered where does that expression come from?

Yeah, me too!

Well I discovered two options.

1. Tow comes from an old German word touw. Touw means flax or hemp fiber. The color of flax is very close to blonde, hence tow-head.

2. Back in the day, families grew their own flax to make their own clothing and ropes. The process of turning flax into thread was a tedious process. But since they were without malls and on-line  shopping in Colonial days, what option did they have?

The flax would be harvested, and soaked in water for several days to soften it. Then the inner fibers would need to be removed from the stalk. (Whomever figured out how to make clothes from plants is seriously brilliant.) The flax would be pulled through a bed of nails or combed in a process called towing. The short fibers that were removed were called tow. People who had hair that resembled this tow were called tow-heads.

I think a brother started it, intending to insult his little sister, but eventually it became an endearing way to describe adorable little curly heades, blondies like my niece.

In case you are one of those truly curious people, here’s why most tow-heads end up with dark hair.

Deep Thought Thursday: The Definition of Awesome

“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and assigns each a name. Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what He knows and does.” Psalm 147:3-5 MSG

Yahweh is gentle, and yet the epitome of strength.

He is fully occupied, and yet so faithful that He never misses a single appointed time.

Yahweh is so deep and complex, yet simple enough to be described as simply as good.

There’s so much about Him we won’t fully understand on this side of eternity, and yet He invites us into a relationship with Him so He may reveal His secrets and mysteries to us.

Something to ponder while you wander…I use awesome and fully awesome all the time, but in truth the only one worthy to be called fully awesome is Yahweh. He is the true definition of awesome!