July 1, 2020 new

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“Make Your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I wait for You all day long.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭25:4-5‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
Good morning, DearHeart.
My granddaughter, Liv, believes everything should be celebrated with cupcakes and candles. My prayer is that she never loses that spirit – that through life, every change – even the hardest changes – she can find a reason to celebrate the ‘new’ coming her way. Not knowing is okay, DearOne. We get a soul-summons. We want to follow the call, even when we’ve no idea -where to go, or how to get there, or even what we might need for the journey. But, if you have been led to this place by the Holy Spirit, He will rock you through, even when you feel you are:
stumbling around,
alone in the dark,
unable to get your footing,
unable to control your emotions, – oh,
you are far from alone, Precious Soul.
Some things crumble over time – some things weather the storm and get stronger and sweeter through the process. How do you tell if this track is Spirit-led? If the place and players are still increasingly sacred to you, then, let go of the enemy that is holding you back, the plans, the strategy, the bitterness, the coffee routine, the eye-liner, the habits, the same ole routine. Push them to the edge of the cliff, and then shove them over. Make room for the love of the Holy. Let Him move in, dwell. Let Him guide. Trust Him. Trust His ways. You are fine. Keep breathing. Wake up.Allow the summons of the ‘new’. Go

June 25, 2020 battle

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Good morning, DearHeart.

This life … we face battles that we do not understand. Perhaps we are never truly meant to understand them. Perhaps we are supposed to live this life,

ever aware of the battle,

ever aware that our battle is not against flesh & blood but against the forces of evil in heavenly places. Perhaps the biggest story that our lives are meant to tell is that we wage the war & we do not let it destroy our faith & trust in our God. Perhaps the greatest victory that we ever win is when we remain faithful,

ever loving our Savior,

ever serving Him,

ever trusting Him in spite of the battle.

What if that is the very way God displays Himself & His glory in & through our lives … in the micro-choices …

Win the battle through: reflection

Win the battle through: joy

Win the battle through: stillness

Win the battle through: action

Win the battle through: laughter

Win the battle through: generosity

Win the battle through: asking for help

Win the battle through: blessing strangers

Win the battle through: nourishing your people with attentiveness

Win the battle through: feeling very, very deeply

Win the battle through: loving as you wish to be loved

Win the battle through: being very gentle

Win the battle through: including – inclusion – invite someone in

Win the battle through: walking in their shoes

Win the battle through: forgiving

Win the battle through: heartfelt prayer

Win the battle through: really trusting

Win the battle through: speaking out

Win the battle through: rest.

Win the battle through: creating beauty

Win the battle through: leaving it better than you found it.

Win the battle through: dropping it

Win the battle through: being at ease with your Maker

Win the battle through: allowing God to be our shield

Win the battle through: lifting our head

Win the battle through: listening for the Holy thunder of His answers

“But you, GOD, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high; With all my might I shout up to GOD, His answers thunder from the holy mountain.”

Psalm 3:3-4 MSG

Wake up.

Win the battle.

Just one micro-battle.

Go.

6-24-2020 peace in

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Good morning, DearHeart.

What have you lost your peace over these past days? Corona? Grocery cost? Political wars? Division? Illness?

“Sovereign LORD, You made the earth and the sky by Your great power and might; nothing is too difficult for You.”

“You make wise plans and do mighty things; You see everything that people do, and You reward them according to their actions.”

In our racing minds, if not in the practice of getting still for a moment, we carry the whole burden. Our minds speed up and collect more and more burdens. Heavier, and heavier.

The peace part loses its power simply because we fail to acknowledge it.

There’s not a lot of in between. “Peaceful” doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve gotten to a state of excitement or delight about a situation. Peace is the clarity that brings calm — no matter what’s going on. So… you can be at peace

with risk,

with sorrow,

with the hard work that needs to be done.

Peace doesn’t always dissolve the weightiness of things, but it gives you the resolve to carry what you must and put down the rest. Give your Maker some credit – He is strong enough to carry His part.

You may move in and out of states of peace. On Monday you might feel all cool and at ease with a situation, and that’s real. And then on Tuesday, feelings might arise that disturb your peace. That’s okay. We are all a little shaky these days. Choose the thinking that will get you back to inner peace. If you keep doing that, the peace gets deeper and less shakeable.

Even if it’s just one day at a time, when it comes to being at peace, you’re either in or you’re out.

You’ll know it when you get there.

May we all get there

“I am the LORD, the God of the whole human race. Nothing is too difficult for me.”

Jeremiah 32:17, 19, 27 GNB

When you let the push, push, push, of keeping up unwind from your spine and meander. Peace in. Peace out.

Wake up.

Hand over the weight.

Go.

6-23-2020 Baron

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Good morning, DearHeart.

So much going on in the world.

Where is God in all this? The problem is that we live in a fallen & broken world.

You know, I tend to be guarded about sharing my deeper, personal life. Mostly because my thoughts are 99.9% on my family, and I respect their privacy…would not want to hurt them or embarrass them. Ever. I’m a processor – seldom react immediately, take it in, mull it over. It builds. When I’ve lost loved ones, I have delayed grief – when my sweet cousin was in a fatal accident 27 years ago – I went numb. Two months later, Dale and I were at restaurant in Lawton, and the grief began.

You can’t compare a human loss to a pet loss. But, equal emotions have names. Grief. Rage.

I’m raw – that Baron – our Rott was killed on our place.

That hog hunters were on the section-usually armed with night vision scopes and silencers.

I had watched Baron fight before. I know what he was capable of – especially when defending his territory – us.

The grass and weeds and around him showed signs of a massacre. He was shot, and attacked.

And, Luke had to find him like that.

What kind of evil do we live in?

I’m livid. My heart hurts.

It hurts for my son.

It hurts for the evil around us.

This world has gone crazy. It is under the control of Satan.

• Jesus referred to Satan as “the prince of the world” in John 12:31

• Paul referred to Satan as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) who blinds the minds of unbelievers

• Paul described Satan as “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.“         (Ephesians 2:2)

Pray for protection of our families & children from the evil around us.

May the events of our days remind you of the power of our God & that He will, one day, right every wrong. He will return & will banish Satan to eternal torment.

I know that time makes losses bearable – that we are overcomers:

“And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of His people and in accordance with His will. We know that in all things God works for good with those who love Him, those whom He has called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:27-28 GNB

In the pain and the grief of the world – I can fight my pain, I am free to heal, but some can’t…so I can help carry their part, braid myself to those whose bodies are stolen, where mine has always been free; whose ideals can’t even be whispered, where mine have been invited…for those who use privilege like a drug-for the ones so wounded that they wound, for the the ones who squander their influence because it’s too much work to come down and meet the pain of the world… in prayer, we must gift them the Christ who already conquered their pain.

Wake up.

Gift them Christ.

Go.

June 22, 2020 limitless

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Our new group of chickens began laying eggs. Two so far. I’m so proud. How is it that a chicken lays an egg? Or, a creature gives birth? What kind of God stretches His thoughts to make these things up and make them happen? He is limitless.

My Ethics class is stretching my mind across boundaries & limits and freedoms – taking a concept … like care, justice, critique, community, virtue – and turning each inside and out of its boundaries. Thoughts that contradict, yet go hand in hand.

With boundaries, we put up a fence to mark the end of where a child can go. We set the boundary of bed time. We limit how many cookies a child may eat. We let them go to the edge of the yard. As teenagers, we only let them stay out so late. As adults, we put up boundaries in relationships – put up walls. Our cubicles, offices, classrooms and shops at work mark “our space”. Even our homes have fences around our yards. We are constantly living with, setting up, moving them around – our boundaries, our limits.

God has set up boundaries & limits as well:

“When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He divided all mankind, He set up boundaries for the peoples.” Deuteronomy 32:8

“Man’s days are determined; You have decreed the number of his months & have set limits he cannot exceed.” Job 14:5

“He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light & darkness.” Job 26:10

Boundaries are necessary in our lives. They keep us safe. They keep us healthy. But, it is a problem when I put boundaries up with God:

• “You may have this much of my heart & that’s all”.

• “You can only work in this area of my life.”

• “You may change this in my life but nothing more.”

The problem continues when I put God in a box & limit Him:

• “You can do this but surely You are not able to do_________”.

• “This would just be impossible for You to change.”

• “There isn’t anything You can do about______________”.

• “This is too hard for You to do anything (with or about)”.

I have a God that is limitless, that knows no bounds, & does not fit in my box. Or yours.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20

“No guilt in life, no fear in death—

This is the pow’r of Christ in me;

From life’s first cry to final breath,

Jesus commands my destiny.

No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,

Can ever pluck me from His hand;

Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.”

(In Christ Alone, Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend)

Wake up.

Give Limitless God your boundaries.

Go.

June 18, 2020

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Good morning, DearHeart.
I often wonder about the world Livie and Rush will grow up in. The places they might be – when we can’t protect their innocence to the harshness of the world. There have been a lot of memes created about how done we are with 2020. To think, we began January 1st full of hope and expectancy – who could’ve known how different this year would be?
Strange.
Awkward.
Worrisome.
I don’t want to stay in this time forever. I want to move on, and move forward from this season.
I want to grow and
gain understanding,
have greater compassion,
be filled with more knowledge,
so I try to extend gentleness wherever possible.
I want to grow and be a reflection of Jesus in every place and to every one.
“So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:1-3‬ ‭MSG‬‬
Last night – our class watched a video, “The Color of Fear”, one and a half hours of intrigue into the lives of those who see themselves as fighters in this American melting pot.
I’ve been thinking it seems to me (nothing revolutionary here), the real work needed is to realize that when conflict occurs, it is important to truly listen to each other and to learn what it has taken for someone to get to this place. Along with this is our willingness to stay and continue to listen when it hurts or when we are misunderstood.
It is not so much about what is wrong or right here, but rather what causes us to treat each other so differently. What have we learned that causes us to fear or to doubt another’s abilities and intelligence?
How willing are we to learn about each other’s differences? In other words, it is time to get outside of our familiar world and to explore those places we have never been to and with people who look and act and think differently from ourselves.
Jesus was a wanderer. He got out of His comfort zone just so he could learn and love on people. Let’s do that.
Wake up.
Extend gentleness.
Go.

May 12, 2020 warning

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Good morning, DearHeart.

The new groups of chickens are warming up. Sometimes it takes a while to warm up when life becomes different. Chickens must be a lot like humans is that respect. Do you ever feel really small?

As if, what you have may not be enough for the task?

“His disciples replied, “How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?” Mark 8:4 NLT

Jesus answers their question with a question of His own: “How much bread do you have?” (verse 5, NLT).

Jesus does not ask them, “How much do you need to feed all the people?”. He does not focus on the lack but solely on what is present.

The crowd was large – about 4,000 – and the number of loaves of bread small in comparison – about 7.

One does not need to be a mathematician to know the numbers do not compute.

As far as I can see, we are told the numbers for one reason and one reason only –To magnify the greatness of what is about to occur.

If the response had been 500 loaves of bread, it probably would not have been as amazing for everyone to be fed as they would have ample supply. But we all know that seven loaves would never feed 4,000 people. No way. No how.

But something happens when we offer the Lord the little we have and let Him do with it as only He can.

He honors our faith in giving and the little becomes sufficient. He takes our lives and uses them in ways we never could imagine. He does not require anything of us that He has not already equipped us to do:

“By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” (2 Peter 1:3, NLT)

“… may He equip you with all you need for doing his will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to Him. All glory to Him forever and ever! Amen.” (Hebrews 13:21, NLT)

Let’s return – so, Jesus took the seven loaves, thanked God for them, and broke them up for the disciples to distribute to the crowd. Now I am not sure how it happened, but the more they dispersed to the crowd, the more there continued to be. The people ate as much as they wanted and there was still leftovers.

When we offer up the little we have,

our little becomes more than enough.

It becomes excess.

Abundance.

And no one goes without.

Wake up.

Offer up the little.

Go.

April 29, 2020 pizza party

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“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.’ (Matthew 6:30-33 MSG)

Mornin’ DearOne,

What “something” do you do that slides across, Spirit-oiled smooth from you? Notice it. The bell will chime, then each time you use the gift, it will grow. You have a super-natural gifting-

Rock the drums.

Give away a smile.

Hear their hurts.

Whisper a new way.

Research a science frontier.

Deliver balanced numbers.

Hold a child.

You exist for a higher calling.

Especially now.

Especially in this environment where answers are few.

Challenge your senses to stand and sway with the Spirit.

When I was a student at West Elementary (it was torn down years ago), we were rewarded on Fridays with a coke party if we had a good week, and … sometimes … the ultimate … a pizza party. It was a big deal. I wonder, in eternity, what’s the equivalent to a pizza party – because I feel sure there is a big one each time you allow your gift to glow.

Wake up.

Take notice.

Do your calling-thing.

Go.

April 27, 2020 linger

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Yesterday morning we sat on the front porch listening to the birds. These days of shielding from the virus have handed over more moments of quiet and reflection than ordinary, normal days. Little moments to notice joy. Psalm 100, shifts our focus towards joy and gratitude. The more I notice of the joys in those moments, the more I find myself lingering just a while longer.

In the dictionary, linger means “to remain or stay longer than usual or expected”.

What would happen if we stayed put – for a few minutes longer than usual and continued to be grateful?

What would happen in each of us, if we lingered and listed a few things we can be grateful for?

Gratefulness flips the switch, turning a negative situation into an opportunity to lean on the Lord and watch Him work.

Being grateful in the middle of the challenge is not easy, and does not come easily … it is a choice.

“Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” Psalms 100:3-5

Wake up.

Linger.

Go.

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Good morning DearHeart,

In isolation,

In shelter,

Are you noticing the ones God selected and placed in your arena for this time?

“This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16 NLT

There’ll always be that thing you want to conquer … overcome … or, have some kind of control. Always a lingering, pressing of more danger on the horizon. These are the days of our lives. No one is spared. But, there’s so much more to our hours than conquering giants and celebrating victoriously in every battle. Along with the tremors of “what-if’s” that hang just below the surface, lift your chin. Let your eyes roam from distant to close. See – really see – the eyes of one who walks near you. Maybe, well, yes … yes, they do … they need to be seen as much as you need to escape your head. The rush will put you back out there – serving … taking the lead in being

His eyes,

His hands,

His feet.

This is the rest in Him that The God of the Ages calls us to. Every once in a while, give away a glance that acknowledges the existence of a lonely soul.

Grin.

Hug.

Speak.

Because, your success in any area of life is meaningless without His joy escaping from you.

Wake up.

Look up. Use your eyes.

See them.

Go.