Category Archives: Christmas

April 27, 2019 excellence

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I wonder about people’s MO sometimes. The “mode of operation”. And, I can get all tangled up in analyzing what might be going on in THEIR tangled up heart to make them deliver all cold and heartless… because, if you can’t deliver your message with love, then you should be questioning why you are taking the time to deliver it at all. God heals. He hears in ways others can’t. He sees deeper and as the apple of His eye, He appreciates you. Take that in the next time you face one who comes to bully you. When they turn around what you say and what you do and use it as ammunition. Narcissism prevents a genuine two way conversation. It twists something sinister into the purest motives.

Strike a nerve of one so arrogant, and they’ll strike back to annihilate you. Lots of healthy people are sick with poor judgement and they poison every single interaction. See the exchange for what it is. See the person as another beloved child of The Most High God. Choose your reaction to the enemy’s work through them, but don’t let it get to you … I want you to blaze brightly with His Holiness dripping from you in this world.

Liv had a kite out yesterday and I thought, “little girl fly like that … with all your

colors,

sounds,

and light.

Leverage that light … protect your value … even when facing the adversary, be filled with Christ so we can give more of Him to this world.

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11 NIV

Wake up.

Respond with excellence.

Go.

February 5, 2018 life

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I’m sitting in my big tan chair in the corner pondering prayer things as they rise from my reading this morning. There’s a tricycle in my living room and a weenie dog curled up next to me. Here’s a rundown on my family these days:

Dales is recovering from back surgery from which he is still having uncommon burning/stabbing pain that we hoped the surgery would eliminate.

Levi and Holly are working through the tedious process of financing for their new home. They will begin building very soon.

Bryan is learning a new job as a measurement tech, and Dani is drawing and painting and loving those stories that her art brings in.

Luke is red-shirting this year in green shirts and getting stronger.

Liv is making her mark on two-year-old milestones her way. In my eyes, and I know her other grandmother would agree … the girl has leadership and communication skills. Her parents don’t call it like that yet.

Mom and Dad are going through their days scouting out the next soul who might need their service, then serving them. Profoundly simple. Profoundly effective.

We are all just trying to do the next right thing.

The more I walk this life of ‘serving where I land’, the more I realize our purpose in life (Jesus) is the very meaning of our existence. And … without knowing this we often suffer … ignorant of our own significance.

You are significant.

We fall prey to the illusion that our lives don’t matter and we have no connection or impact on the world around us. Especially when barriers get thrown around and land awkwardly and others try to inject their insecurities and doubts into God’s mission in us.

God’s Word sheds light – offering many insights into your purpose and my purpose on earth and living our days within meaningful mission – simply taking care of each other … simply doing the next right thing.

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Prov 20:5 NIV

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”Eph 2:10 NIV

Wake up.

Press on.

Go.

January 22, 2019

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Good morning, DearHeart.

You know, it takes dogged courage to be really alive and let ourselves be called. Crossing the battle-line of my way or His way is always laced with a riot of amplified senses and heart hammering pounding. The interesting thing is that once your press through; your growth outweighs any regret. When we cross over into eternity, there will be no regret for choosing the walk through the fire with and for God Most High.

But, here is the deal – we must move into newness where we feel weak. It nourishes us to get in over our head. It is good for you. And, for me. That is where His Spirit will take over in our desperation. Getting in too deep makes us sweat.

Pray.

Climb.

Put our hands up.

And, finally slosh our way in through the foggy haze to discover more of His potential in us.

It is an installation.

It’s a birth.

This is where the moments of acute awe and a shiver course all around us, pushing through us, and pour out of us.

You know what you need to do, Dearheart. Cherish that part of you that is timid. Stop saying “I shouldn’t feel this.” Know that you know that you are

growing;

closing in on the edge,

daring to move into the unknown, because that is where God’s best is waiting.

“I know all the things you do. I have seen your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things.” Revelation 2:19 NLT

Wake up.

Keep moving.

Go.

January 17, 2019 yes

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DearHeart …

What are you keeping yourself from by working so hard to fit in?

So perfectly predictable, so trying to stay under-the-radar to make yourself blend in, going along, instead of

gutsy and

bold and

spear-to-the-heart-ish?

This is my question to you: if you were “wild-yes” to the Holy Spirit, instead of careful … how would static-predictable behavior change to action that’s living with really RED pulsing blood … not merely pulsing, but spraying Christ – fountain-like, nourishing even souls and wildlife and the deepest water on earth?

Didn’t we agree…we are here to do the real work?

Didn’t we promise to take the heat in order to do it?

What is right is not always what is protocol.

What is memorable in troubled cultures such as ours is stunning soulfulness, your soul on FIRE. And, if it happens to leave us with singe around the edges, so be it. If you get your wings clipped by an ego or a lost soul here and there, let it be. But first things first.

‘But let your word ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one.’ (Matthew 5:37 HCSB)

Full tilt.

All in.

Wake up.

Act a wild yes.

Bolder still.

Go

January 16, 2019 suffering’s end

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Good morning DearHeart.

Is it just me or has this year already dealt hard blows everywhere? So many of my friends and family and friends who are like family are taking hit after hit. And, with pain comes regret. What if’s? And, what now?

I woke up thinking about a woman who was absolutely desperate. She was done. She had been suffering with illness for so long that it became the only life she knew and it took its toll. Yet, she knew if she could just get to the Christ …

Instead of feeling regret over the “what if’s”, what would happen if we were to respond like this woman? Her “what IF” drove her to desperate measures. She was fresh out of

answers,

resources,

effort,

power

& ideas.

She was done.

Her “what IF” drove her to the Only One that could change her situation. She only wanted to touch the clothes of Jesus & believed she would then be healed.

Healed, as in

safe;

delivered;

made

whole;

preserved from danger,

loss or destruction.

Those things we all want.

Her situation caused her the loss of her everyday life. She was shamed out of society because she was unclean.

She could not socialize.

She could not be with family.

She could not have a husband

or children.

She was alone.

Lonely.

Desperate.

Physical and mental pain.

And, an amazing thing happened that day….

“Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” (Mark 5:29 NIV84).

Not only did she receive healing in her body (her bleeding stopped) but she was freed from her SUFFERING. For you see, sometimes our situations cause us to feel like we are held captive. We feel hopeless. We don’t see a way out. We are in inner turmoil. We feel that our circumstances will never change or be any different. May we remember that she received a freedom that day. A relief from both the physical ailment & the mental & emotional pain she had endured. She was free.

May we be desperate for Him in the midst of our situations.

May we be driven to get out of our heads and with everything in us be pulled in and held by spirit knowing

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6 ESV)

“Out of the depths I cry out to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” (Psalm 130:1 NIV84).

Wake up.

The end to your suffering is near.

Look for Him.

Touch Him.

Go.

January 15, 2018 healing

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Good morning, DearHeart.

When I was growing up there was a song about an attitude adjustment that always made my dad laugh all

over (except when he was after Russ to give him an attitude adjustment. I don’t remember Steve or I having that effect on him – grin).

Maybe it was a Hank Williams, Jr song (?).

Sometimes our sickness comes from an attitude. Sometimes physical ailments take us out.

It is known that the first step to overcoming a problem or situation is to simply admit you have a problem.

One day, Jesus went to the pool area where crowds of sick people gathered. This Bethesda pool, had a reputation for its healing qualities. It was said that an angel would stir the waters and the first one into the pool would receive their healing.

There He talked to a man, who had been an invalid for thirty eight years.

Long years of waiting.

Failure, again and again.

Thirty eight years of doing the same thing every day. Approximately 13,870 days stuck in the same condition.

Then Jesus shows up and asks:

“Would you like to get well?” (John 5:6, NLT)

Excuse me, Jesus, I mean no disrespect … but isn’t it obvious that this man would desperately desire to be healed?

I find the man’s response interesting. He didn’t jump on the chance … no pun intended … and yell,

“YES!! please help me get well!!!!”

Instead, he tells Jesus why he has not yet received his healing …

“I have no one to help me”;

“Everyone gets there before me”;

“I’m never the first one”;

“My timing is off”;

“Poor me”.

The man’s response displayed his hopelessness, as 38 years must have felt like an eternity. But it also revealed his despair,

discouragement,

depression,

and even perhaps, a victim mentality.

He had lost all determination to do what was necessary to change his situation.

In reading of this man, I cannot help but wonder if the greater healing was not so much the physical healing, but a healing of the way he viewed his situation.

Could it be in asking the question, Jesus needed to confirm the man wanted change? After thirty eight years, had this man come to accept, maybe enjoy even, sitting by the pool each day with the others. He surely had accepted the idea that it was a “first come, first serve” kind of atmosphere by the pool.

Jesus came to defy that mentality, for He came to serve all.

Could it be that Jesus was asking this man about his desire to change? Was He asking the man if he was willing to do something to change his situation?

Rather than discuss the man’s response,  Jesus tells the man, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

Jesus does not touch the man, nor lend him a hand to get up.

Jesus simply tells him what to do.

The man’s healing lay in his willingness to do what he was told.

He had to help himself up.

He had to obey.

Change may require action on our part. Even when it is hard, it is so worth it.

Wake up.

Examine your stuff.

Change your thoughts.

Go.

January 9, 2018 set your mind

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‘Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.’ (Colossians 3:2 HCSB)

Mornin’ DearHeart.

We can not stop our longing for for a deeper experience with God. It is with us always. A quest from which no one can hide. Even the emptiest and coldest heart longs for relationship with Christ. The pull on you and me – the pull by God Almighty is far more potent than

any fear,

any dire need,

any situation,

and, that is why the Most High has led you here now, to be reminded.

We have a serious task ahead: to face challenges at odds with

human reason,

logic,

order,

justice,

fairness,

common sense.

We will face trials.

We will be falsely accused.

We will need walk-away strength.

And, stand your ground courage.

(My sis-in-law doesn’t sugar-coat what I need to hear. She gives me a “suck it up Buttercup” pep talk pretty often. Thank you, Pen).

DearOne, answering the call to follow in the footsteps Jesus Christ requires that we are sometimes reduced. to. ashes.

Once that happens, the gains will yield growth:

Releasing old wounds.

Letting go of grudges.

Replacing hurt places with forgiveness.

Rising out of grief into new life with The Most High.

Starting over.

When your soul is called out, drive erupts that will will take charge of your life.

Uncommon drive.

Supernatural drive.

Holy drive.

Set your mind there.

Go.

January 8, 2019 gifts

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Good morning, DearHeart.

My girl, Liv, has a unique style. I see it developing every time we are together. I giggled the other day as she started taking the paper off her crayons. I did the same thing in my 1st grade class. It is about the only thing I remember about 1st grade, other than my teacher didn’t smile. She had been in the military and her first job outside of her military duties was my class. I’m guessing first graders must’ve been a shock to her rigid norm. Taking the paper off crayons was not acceptable. It was not normal. Apparently, to her, it was the mark of a deviant or something horrendous and awful.

When I watch my girl and her friends play, if feel a rising in me … an eager expectation and hope that they will each be encouraged in their own unique style and be lifted into their God-given gifts. That their uniqueness lands them where they can love well. I pray that people ‘in charge’ never suck the life out of them by smashing them into their rote and ‘proper’ and ways. And, when it happens that those littles respect those in charge enough to simply abide and move to find fertile ground where they can continue to grow deeper into their Savior. Where they can grow into their next level.

‘My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.’ Philippians 1:20

You know, when you pray to go to the next level, Satan always schedules an enemy … have you noticed? Oh, yes, you have. Obstacles come flying at us like we are a dartboard.

God doesn’t deal in problems; He deals in promises. When your gifts are dissed and belittled and misunderstood, when you and your uniqueness get looked down upon, start praying His promises … by doing so, we ask Him to step up our circle of influence,

inspire boldness,

inspire laser beam focus,

inspire creativity,

allow us to share the Gospel in new ways.

Sometimes faith will make you look silly … claim faith anyway. Because, no matter what obstacles come, here’s the deal:

when you go to Father with mustard seed faith, walls fall in His perfect timing.

The bigger blessing awaits.

Going deeper is worth it. Wildest dream blessings = worth it.

My second grade teacher, Mrs. Coombes, smiled constantly. 🥰

Wake up.

Step into your God-given self.

Go.

January 4, 2019 faith

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Step outside and take a deep breath.

Did you smell it?

It’s kind of like that new car smell. Or perhaps it was like when you light a new Yankee Candle for the first time. Or, maybe like a new bottle of perfume.

Or, like breathing in the sweetness of a baby’s head.

You know the smell well……the smell of something new. Something fresh.

I love the smell of a new year. Especially coated it a fresh blanket of snow.

No matter what 2018 held for you –

good,

bad,

sad,

happy,

funny,

serious, a

failure

or a success – it is done.

It is behind us.

But now 2019 lies before each of us. Breathe it in. A beginning. A new start. Let today be the first day of experiencing life anew.

Let change begin.

• Break an old habit.

• Form a new habit.

• Read Scripture more

• Pray often

• Seek Him above all else

• Forgive

• Love

• Laugh

• Encourage others

• Be kind

The year 2019 is before us like a clean slate. We face uncharted territory. May we find ourselves like the Israelites waiting to cross the Jordan River. God knew the people would feel apprehensive crossing. He understood that, at times, the unknown can be frightening. So He instructs the people to watch the priests & when they move with the Ark of Covenant, follow them. I absolutely LOVE the reasoning God gives them. It actually is one of my favorite verses in all the Bible….

“Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.“ (Joshua 3:4 NIV).

And that is us with the new year before us. We have never been this way before. But if we keep our eyes on Him, our hearts in tuned with His & follow His lead, well…..

there is no telling what the new year will hold for us!

So take a deep breath. Did you smell it?

Use this first weekend of this new year to lay out an attitude plan. Come what may.

My choice will be to live on FAITH.

It is the smell of hope.

FAITH for ALL that will unfold in the next twelve months. May God be with us all & bless each of us as we pursue Him & His ways.

Wake up.

Breathe it in.

Go.

January 3, 2019 praise

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Good mornin’ DearHeart. This prayer is worth sharing. It stuck with me and I kept going back to read it one more time.

‘O Lord Most High, You rule over the heavens and the earth, for You made all things by Your great power, and You keep them existing and working by Your mighty Word. You are exalted above every star and galaxy in the cosmos…yet You are also “the God of all mankind”,

the great,

personally present,

personally involved God who loves, rescues, and takes care of all who trust You.

I praise You for Your sovereignty over the broad events of my life and over the details. With You,

nothing is accidental,

nothing is incidental

and no experience is wasted.

You hold in Your own power my breath of life and my destiny.

And every trial that You allow to happen is a platform on which You reveal Yourself, showing Your love and power, both to me and to others. Thank You that I can move into the future nondefensively, with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead, for You hold the future and You will always be with me, even to my old age….and through all eternity.

Amen.’

(from “31 Days of Praise” by Ruth Myers, pg 47).