November 13, 2019 increments

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Good morning, DearHeart.

We are all wounded, aren’t we? Sometimes, we earthlings have trouble with forgiveness. We think of it as a all or nothing venture, the way God forgives us – completely, and done.

Over.

Gone.

Totally free.

And, thank you, Father, for that miracle! For Your total forgiveness.

To me, due to our human wiring, forgiveness is a process, not a singular act to be completed in one sitting. The act of forgiveness has many layers that are revealed through time. The important part is simply that we begin the process. We open our hurt heart to a willingness to forgive. Once there is an opening, the rest will come. It may be in small and slow increments. The finishing of the process is a life work. It is alright. We have the Healer, so we have the patience to see it through to the end. Peace begins when we choose to engage our heart in the process.

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

Colossians 3:12-15 NLT

Wake up.

Forgive.

Begin and continue.

Go.

November 12, 2019 grace and gratitude

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God morning, DearHeart. “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.” ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭33:3‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

Your Creator, the One who knows the hairs on your head, He has primed your heart and my heart to hear from Him.

Bow low in expectation.

Bend with eager anticipation.

His words will fill you as you take the posture of gratitude. Your mind stills to calm as you control your heart and mind to hear Him. He knows your road’s rough places. He hears the smooth places in the voice of your praise.

Sweet times of prayer are the inventor of new holy places – prayer is the very breath of our spiritual life. Will you choose to allow the space? Gratitude grows when you allow a fresh line for His great and mighty wisdom to soulfully call into you. Allow His wisdom to fall … yes, my Lord, come.

Wake up.

Feel His breath pour in.

Oh, the grace that gratitude brings! Mmm

Go

November 11, 2019 Luke

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Happy Birthday, Luke Lewis!

“The LORD your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The LORD will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you,”

‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭GNB‬‬

Amazing soul. Love you, son.

November 8, 2019 cookies

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Good morning, DearHeart.

It’s been a hard week for some of my friends. They shared of painful life events, asking for prayer that God would move and comfort. I found myself wishing I could somehow show up on their doorstep with a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies to visit for a few minutes. But, miles separated us.

That’s where God steps in. He fills the gaps. His Word spanned the distance as I read the words in front of me, “If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God.” (Isaiah 50:10, NLT)

When we are walking through dark times, may we trust and rely:

TRUST in the Lord.

RELY on your God.

Trust. God is calling us “to attach ourselves” to Him with a firmness that is unshakable. Need help with this? Picture your toddler, hanging onto your leg while you try to wash dishes. Remember the fierce grip? Yeah that … hold onto, attach yourself to God in just that way.

Rely. “It denotes an attitude of supporting oneself upon something.” Again, an image … It is similar to an older person needing the assistance of a cane or walker.

Wait on God.

Hang onto Him, letting Him lead and direct your paths.

Ask Him for wisdom and understanding.

Lean on Him with all your might, for waiting takes strength and courage.

Trust and rely.

He’s calling us to live just like this.

Wake up.

Trust and rely.

Go.

October 31, 2019 look for Him

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Good morning, DearHeart.

What do people do who have no hope? Who get so caught up in the ails of their struggles and guilt and shame that they cannot see the light? Or, fail to know, even as they see death and despair and depression all around, that this is temporary and He is coming again?

A-ha moments are priceless.

Gifts.

Tools.

God makes us ask ourselves questions when He intends to unravel them. He gives us needs that He alone can quench, and awakens spaces and empty places that He alone will fulfill. Any state of haze that rises up in you and me is always fertile ground for a spiritual ripening, leading to a new revelation – a place of an ‘a-ha’ moment. Lightening flashes.

His Holy sparks expand from the east to the west; and God suddenly shows up in the middle of your mess.

Right there, in that spark-filled place, we get a glimpse of His coming.

Eternity is coming.

“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

Matthew 24:27 HCSB

Wake up.

Watch for Him to show up today.

Go

October 30, 2019 courage

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Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He won’t leave you or forsake you.’ 1 Chronicles 28:20

Good morning StrongOne.

Listen. Do you hear the calm voice in your panicked heart? Overwhelmed, and confused, and scared, and pulled into the breath of a windstorm – can you hear the Voice of Holy Thunder in the distance?

The job seems agonizing and the work too huge for someone like you.

You do not know why, but you are back again, at that place that calls for your help, your hands, your feet, your heart — for the rest of your life. Your bones whisper with His Spirit. You know how He moves. You and I know we try to take our spiritual understandings with both, a dose of serious and a dose of good humor – that He would assign someone like you or me to such a task. Ha. That He would gift us in such a way as to do the work. Really? Yes, really. He has. He did. He expects. Begin.

October 29, 2019 grouping

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Every newly formed group-relationship is quirky.

Have you noticed?

No matter how alike or diverse, it takes on a personality of its own as a whole. Yet within? Well, there are still individuals – with individual strengths – with individual thoughts. God must have a quirky side to Him, when He puts groups together…

Committees.

Flocks.

Schools.

Workplaces.

Rag-tag.

Political parties.

Gangs.

Families.

…all placed together where love is meant to work, each person transforming the other. The strengths and power of each untangled and shared in the process. Each individual giving each other’s heart a drum; and each then receives knowledge of the most complicated rhythms and emotions to run the flow as well.

We question.

God winks.

Time, experience, and trust remind us that through each relationship, He will nourish and grow us into Him to the end of our days.

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.”

Philippians 2:1-2 NLT

Wake up.

Notice your coveys.

Be nourished.

Go.

October 28, 2019 step behind

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I’m a slow walker.

Always trying to get ahead, but tangle when getting caught up.

A half a beat behind.

Behind.

Behind.

Hurry. Stay focused. Catch up.

Get ahead. It seems endless.

I’m over here watching butterflies. And, keep getting trapped in comparing my “comfortable clutter” living to another’s that looks better-homes-and-gardens-picture-perfect.

So, determined, I enter the outer ring with determination to get to the center – go there, get there, another place – not where I am.

Always a half a beat behind.

Beating myself up for not being

further along,

or more together,

or better able.

And, then I hear the sound of the slide.

Movement.

Forward movement punctuating progress.

Realizing the presence of moment. The ‘now-place’ where God Most High has placed me. Not too far behind. Not yet entwined in tomorrow. But, precisely in the midst of His current presence.

Here.

This moment.

Now.

A mid-course correction.

Sliding in step with His beat, not a half-step behind. Just in this place. In His presence.

Not overwhelmed with the

must-dos,

or the need-tos,

or the ought-tos.

I look down at all that I have.

Two feet. Two hands.

Punctuating on the moment…between history and tomorrow.

And, in His presence, He becomes my heartbeat.

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” Psalms 95:6 ESV

This beat chooses moment by moment in the still of her Savior. With the driving force of He-Is-All-I-Need.

His agenda.

Not mine.

And, in this moment, He has made me whole. Again.

His plan.

His progress.

His timing.

He has me right where I need to be.

“So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.” 1 Corinthians 9:26 ESV

Wake up.

Feel your God given heartbeat. Bow down.

You’re in the center of His will.

Go.

October 21, 2019 testimony

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Good morning, DearHeart.

This weekend my kids either moved or helped each other move into new homes. It was crazy. And, it is a new beginning in the stories of their lives.

Growing up in the church, I remember there being a portion of the service dedicated to “testimonies” – when people were given opportunity to share stories about how God was at work in their life.

Testimonies – our stories – they matter.

“And they have defeated him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.” (Revelation 12:11, NLT)

Our testimonies, our stories, become the means by which we overcome and defeat the enemy of our souls. Satan would love for nothing better than to destroy or mar our testimonies.

He works at trying to make our testimonies ineffective because He knows they wield a powerful effect when combined with God’s Word. Our stories can encourage others, infusing them with hope, as they hear of God’s work in our lives.

May our stories tell not of our own achievements but of God’s power at work in, and through, our situations.

“Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the results of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.” (Smith Wigglesworth)

When we share our stories, people unite with each other and with our Maker. You know that tingling feeling you get when you hear a story that resonates within? Your story does the same to others. Start where you are and share your heart and watch Love settle into the cracked places to seal bridges to unity.

“I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”

John 17:23 NLT

Wake up.

Share your story.

Go.

October 16, 2019 Holly

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I post and repost a lot about my artist girl, Dani (Bryan’s wife), but not so much about my Holly. She’s my steady constant and a quieter force of nature. Levi’s little family has been living with us while building their house. They will be moving out this weekend. You know how crazy I am about my sons … God had me wait for the gift of my girls, and oh what a gift! I’m selfish – I don’t want them to go. The moment I met her, I knew my daughter-in-law, Holly, was the one for Levi. And, the one for us. It was a simple introduction at a high school basketball game. When she shook my hand – something clicked, and I knew. This past ten months of living under the same roof has been everything you can imagine. Sometimes awkward, sometimes messy, sometimes side-splitting laughter, lots of knowing glances, and a whole lot of growth for us all.

Holly has a gift of leveling any situation with a practical perspective and common sense. She’s a God-loving wife, mother, 3rd grade teacher … she is raising a precious strong-willed daughter, birthed a precious son in June, she is working on her Master’s, all while building a house and living with her in-laws! She’s a tough warrior. And, using my dad’s terms, “she’s got a head full of brains.” Not only is she beautiful, she has a natural warmth, easy and constant. This season has marked us all for the better. My girls have my heart. And, if my eyes seem swollen and are leaking next week, you’ll know why. I’m so happy for them as this new part of their life begins in their new home. But, I’d be fine if they didn’t go. ❤️

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Wake up.

Love your peeps.

Go.