Category Archives: Faith

April 1, 2020 mask

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Mother made a mask for each of us. This little one is for our baby Rush. Mine has butterflies, one of my most favorite things.

I went to my office the other day. Pulling into the empty parking lot, I prepared to enter. Usually there is an energetic hustle all-around as students are going to class and familiar “good-mornings” echo through our buildings.

Our buildings have been thoroughly sanitized, and empty since the shelter at home order came. So, I put on my mask, pulled on disposable gloves, I pulled clorox wipes from the dispenser and armed my self with sanitizing spray. Sprayed and wiped each door knob and light switch going in and going out.

Closed each door behind me, each making an unusually lonely sound as it closed.

Luke and I went to the store mid-March, when already the shelves were mostly empty. The aisles became a sad commentary of the time we now find ourselves as a virus has forever changed the face of our days.

Even as the empty shelves speak of the fear and greed found in man. But, even then I began to notice something else among my fellow shoppers – a concern for the safety of others, and a desire to help one another.

Food shopping had become common ground, the place where we were all even. The store was the place where we were all on level ground.

There were no differences – all ages, all races, political parties were unmentioned. We were all there to buy basic daily needs of milk, eggs, cheese, bread, and meat.

In these days of constant hand washing, it is recommended to wash with soap and water for twenty seconds – sing the happy birthday song while washing, and you’re good. You know, saying the Lord’s Prayer provides the twenty seconds needed to rid hands of bacteria, while doing the more important work of praying.

“Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.”

God is our Father, who calls us Himself to an intimate and loving relationship. His reign and purposes will be achieved in this world for our good and His glory.

“Give us this day our daily bread.“

We so like to have our cupboards, pantries, and freezers full. We must trust Him for our daily needs as it all comes from His hands. And may we notice that He provides for our needs and not our greed.

“And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.“

May we never lose sight of the forgiveness we have been given and offer the same to those who have hurt and wounded us.

“And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

(Matthew 6:9-13, NKJV)

In these trying days, there is no need at all to fall into the temptation to be

fearful,

or angry,

or resentful of the circumstances surrounding us. God will deliver us from the strategies of the enemy of our souls.

It is days like we are living which bring the powerful reminder

of the sovereignty and power of God –

“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen

Psalm 23

Wake up.

Wash your hands.

Go.

March 31, 2020 ammo

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Luke was loading ammo in the middle of the week (yes, we are 2nd Amendment people, don’t hate, get over it). Our friends have a toilet paper stash to the ceiling. I’m buying powdered milk. These days are not normal. Unusual activities.

Fear or preparedness? Maybe a little of both. It doesn’t really matter.

There is a heightened awareness of threats that surround us. We take extra precautions that are unusual to our norm. The numbers of victims, day by day, continue to rise. In masks and gloves, we sanitize going in, and again going out. And, several times in between.

Such a strange adventure.

When it is over, we will all be living a ‘new-normal’.

When disasters like this virus strike, or any world event comes, we often feel like we have no control over the impact of what is happening, it creates fear, stress, and overwhelm.  It’s so easy to go into that space of feeling like the world is coming to an end and there’s nothing we can do about it.  But we have a choice.  We can flip that perspective and come from a place of

strength,

of empowerment,

and contribution.

It seems to me that our hearts are softer in the quiet of the morning or evening. Especially during times of crisis. Those are times for prayer. Here is one you may want to say, or use, or add to, to make it your own.

‘God of Wonder,

God of Glory,

we come before you with uncertainty

and fear

as we see this disease riddling our towns

and our families

and our care-givers.

We pray that Your presence would be felt by those who are grieving,

who are sick,

who are jobless

and those whose worlds have been

and will be rocked.

We pray for wisdom

and safety for those who are responding to the people in need

and the many challenges left in the wake of this disease.

We pray for our church,

that through us,

we may be a witness to Your compassion

and care for all who suffer.

God, you are our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble (Ps 46:1). 

You will not leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5).

You are for us, so who (or what) can be against us? (Rom 8:31).

For this we give You thanks

and ask that You hear our prayers for Your people.

In the precious and holy name of Jesus, I pray.

Amen

Wake up.

Pray.

Go.

March 26, 2020 scents

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Good morning, DearHeart,

Dale told me that as he and Liv walked in the back door the other day she took a deep breath and said, “it smells like Nanny’s!”

I’m pretty sure I could pick my grandmothers and my aunts out of a crowd, blindfolded, in a crowd, by their smell.

Last night I went out into the evening air to water my flowers after being indoors too long and the air smelled like the farm my dad owned at one time. We called it “the Verden Place” … because every farm has a name.

Funny how a scent can transport you back to an earlier time and place, playing in a pick up bed, or walking a creek, or gathering eggs. The evening air is calming and thoughtful. Last night felt of the Holy … which made me wonder, at what point did I fall in love with my Creator? Was it running the creek with my brothers and cousins? Catching crawdads with bacon on a string? Maybe making mud pies in the back yard under the Mimosa trees? Maybe playing in my grandmother’s (Coon) high heels and jewelry drawer, feeling all fancy? Maybe at a baseball game or one of our visits to the mountains. I don’t know the exact moment, only that I breathe the air of the Almighty One.

‘When news gets heavy and struggles get real, the One Who is the Wind I Soar On holds me steady, still. He pours new life in us. And, I breathe with my Savior.

Jesus, my Lord…’

‘GOD claims Earth and everything in it, GOD claims World and all who live on it. He built it on Ocean foundations, laid it out on River girders.’ (Psalm 24:1-2 MSG)

Wake up.

Breathe Him in.

Go.

March 24, 2020 Mom, Momma, Liv

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Good morning, DearHeart.
Liv picked up this bible that was by Dale’s chair and put it in my lap. Her mom and dad were ready gathering up to go home. She wasn’t ready, so she was grasping for anything to milk another minute. She opened it, I gave her a 2 sentence briefing on David, she turned some pages, the story of Daniel in the lion’s den, turned some more – Jonah, again – the boy with the loaves and fishes, turned again – Jesus. We went through them all in about 47.3 seconds. And, that was a pretty good run considering her energy level and ability to be still!
These shelter-at-home days have purpose. These will be the days our children (and their parents) will tell stories about forever. Woven into the fabric of who they are individually and as a family. I have sweet memories of both of my grandmothers. They were magnificent creatures – and polar opposites.
My mom’s mom, we called her ‘Mom Reinking’, was quiet, sharp, a cracker-jack entrepreneur. She knew the heavens and the placement of the moon, she organized her days with the Farmer’s Almanac. She was perhaps one of the most deeply spiritual souls to ever move on the planet. She was not a heavy-talker, fewer words were golden with her, contemplative; and her words, like the way she moved, eeked with resilient wisdom.
We are held away from each other, deprived at the moment of being held by her, except by sacred senses of loving and being loved.
Sometimes, I catch a whiff of her familiar smell, of beholding her glow, and her ways in my mom and in my cousins. Sometimes, I hear the honey-timber of her voice as Mother and her sister visit, from Mom’s hug I feel the electricity of her touch that is precious to the skin – that is, the gift of calmness and selfhood that she gave that carries on with the loving touch of her own.
When I think of being “simultaneously caught up” her arms are the first I see.
What do people do who don’t have the hope of eternity?
‘Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.’ (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭4‬:‭17-18‬ AMP)
Wake up.
These are tender times.
Leave a sweet scent that lingers.
Go
(Haven’t been over to get momma-hug in 8 days in case we are carriers of the Covid-19😳. I’m missing my momma ☺️).

March 23, 2020 haMat

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Good morning, DearHeart.

That’s me. When I went through Hazmat – I didn’t think I’d ever really use it! Especially to go to the grocery store – ordinary life for us has changed and from this crisis will come lifelong changes. Hopefully, not so drastic that we have to wear full PPE to public places – but I never really thought I’d be wearing a mask to the grocery store either. Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful, it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living this heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, transforming, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

Especially the parts that change us.

‘You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.’ (1 Peter 1:5 HCSB)

Have you ever seen anything more beautiful than one who has come through the fires and their transformation draws out a certain kind of beauty from the core?

Earth is a dangerous place to live, isn’t it? There are dangers at every corner. Those of us who press through the turbulence into beauty

learn it is Christ, intervening and entwining into our moments that is the transforming force. Protecting us in the process.

Go outside today, hold your arm out and make a fist; now, imagine your earthling life as your fist, and notice the vastness of the universe around it. That expanse, the sky, the heavens, and the entirety of the universe all around, that’s how huge our Creator is. That’s how huge His love and protection is for us. And, eternity is the reason He is protecting and pursuing us.

Wake up.

Notice His protective, yet revealing work in you.

Go.

March 13, 2020 yesterday’s

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I’m glad yesterdays don’t come along often. I suppose it was a first for this generation. As the day spiraled, it was a doomsday type weather event – except – there is no safe place …this is a world event. A progressive, worldwide doomsday. Hour by hour – unprecedented reports. My thought last night was that I have watched too many episodes of the Walking Dead. I stopped on my way home to buy toilet paper because, obviously, that’s the thing to do.

Then, home. Where the familiar happens.

So, when I finally got settled … and quiet, I was gently reminded that wake-up calls have a purpose … they force us to realign – who I am aligned with who He is.

“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.” Isaiah 40:11 NLT

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalms 91:1 NLT

“I pray to GOD —my life a prayer— and wait for what He’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.” Psalm 130:5-6 MSG

When alignment happens, the Holy enters and illuminates from within. As a light-bearer of the Holy, we are powered to shine fully over the enemy in our thoughts. Expose it. There are threats and problems all around. Darkness and negativity that need to be dealt with. Perhaps the powerful question today is this:

“Father, put yourself in my shoes. Now, from my view – in terms I can understand, will You show me how to do life in full confidence with You? Lead my next move?”

I know I’m Yours.

Intimacy.

Beyond being polite,

politically correct,

gullible, or vulnerable

– just simple,

blatant, real honesty.

Because, when that shift happens, and the intimacy is rekindled, He takes on the fullness of our history, our crisis, our adventure, our joys, our questions, then … we slip into a unique romance with our Creator – He takes over.

One on one.

You and me, God.

It’s You and me.

It’s a trust-shift. No more a coddling God. He has now become straight-up powerfully transparent. And, our ability to hear Him over the trouble expounds.

Ask Him to slip in and take over.

“So, Father, what would You do from my shoes.

Your love and protection surrounds me.

I feel You here.

You are still on control.

My fear is falling away.

I trust You, Father.”

Wake up.

Feel His protection.

Go.

January 22, 2020 healing sleep

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Good morning, DearHeart.

This was my lap yesterday. Barbies, baby toys, weenie dog, and grandbaby loves. We are tag-teaming this week – keeping Rush home from his school (child care) to give him more time to heal and to make sure he doesn’t carry any remains of RSV back to his classmates. Yesterday, I had a turn … each day with my grands presents me with experiences vastly different from any other.

The wonder of watching a young life grow and develop never wears thin.

A few days often pass in between seeing Rush and his sister – each time, Dale or I make the same remark, “He/she grew. How can it be? They must grow in their sleep!”

There is a mystery in the growth of a baby. We watch in complete wonder as the transformation occurs over the course of time.

While being asleep may appear as a lack of activity, our bodies are quietly and busily at work restoring and repairing our cells, preparing our bodies for the next day.

I watched Rush sleep (actually, we rocked while he was sleeping ☺️) – his mind calm, his body still. And, I, too, became still.

The Psalmist tells us:

“Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10, NLT)

There is something which occurs as we are still before God, something restorative and repairing.

“The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and restorer of homes” (Isaiah 58:11-12, NLT).

As we are still before God, He imparts life and blessing to us. The imagery in these verses tells us the blessings are not solely for ourselves.

The blessing spreads to those around us who also will find a

vitality,

a joy,

and a hope

from being with us.

We encourage, motivate, and inspire those without hope to also rebuild their lives as their relationship with God is restored.

That residual flow of the Holy comes and flows out when we get still with our Creator and allow His restoration within our own bodies and minds.

Wake up.

Get still.

Restoration.

Go.

*Rush is doing really well! Thank you for your prayers for him while he was in Children’a – we definitely felt them! ❤️

January 10, 2020 weather panic

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Do you get panicked over the weather or just let it roll? I don’t get as excited about weather changes as the local news people, but I do take notice. The cattle get fed a little differently, gas is handy for the generator; when we know change is coming we prepare.

While we breathe today, tucked safely in the center of our Oklahoma plains, many hearts are bracing themselves for a few days of “predicted” winter weather warfare.

If nothing else, the change sparks conversation.

For some, Chaos. Fear. It is hard to wrap our minds around the chaos of fear…unless we think back to our own days of being unsettled.

I believe God’s ways are right even when the storm comes. And, when we’ve done all that we can do, perhaps the next best way to prepare is to pray for the safety of another.

Give your prayers away freely today. Lift each person your eyes take in …

Family.

Friends.

Teachers.

Authority people.

News anchors.

Wind blown people.

Farmers you pass on the road.

Churches you pass by.

Walmart people.

Sonic car-hops.

Mailman.

The person in the car with you.

Bank people.

Hair stylist people.

Law enforcement people.

People sporting smiles.

People with forehead creases.

Whomever catches your eye today-whisper a prayer for them.

“The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives.” (Matthew 10:1 The Message)

Wake up.

Pray for people.

Really pray for them.

Go.

January 9, 2020 Zeus

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Good morning, DearHeart.

This is Zeus the Beagle. He and his brother, Beau, were rescued by Levi and Holly as pups. The beags love the farm. They would always leave out early-early chasing rabbits. And, they’d usually be back by noon, sleep a while, and go out for their evening hunt. One day, about 3 months ago, Beau didn’t come back and that has been a heartbreaker for all of us, especially Zeus. He no longer hunts. He stays within about 50 feet of the house at all times. He’s getting used to his new life, but nothing for him has been easy since. He has just begun to play with Ellie, the dachshund. And, we get so excited when he does – a glimpse of joy.

We are like that – life events change us. I’ve been searching scripture high and low, and I can’t find a single verse that promises our days on earth are going to get easier.

But, He does promise to protect us on the journey. The space between today and eternity with Him will be rocky. We may fall a few times. We will get hurt in this process of living.

But, my God is faithful.

He will provide exactly what you need to get through each day…this day. And, along the way, He will deliver a joy or two … or overflowing.

‘and while My Glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by.’ (Exodus 33:22 ESV)

Wake up.

Feel His shelter.

Go.

January 8, 2020 God knows us

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I’ve been writing birthdays and dates and “to-do’s” in a new calendar. Sometimes, if I look at the whole month at once, it overwhelms me and I think there is no way I can do this. So, I’ve learned to look at only about a day and a half ahead – to keep it manageable in my brain, and as a reminder that it will turn out alright. We get caught up in the hours and sometimes we forget … as believers, God knows us. Around each one, God Almighty has a cocooned us with a certain shield of His light that is connected directly to His heart. We don’t escape it. He can pick us out anytime, anyplace.

‘God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones:

God knows who belongs to Him’

2 Timothy 2:19 MSG

He knows us. We are written on the palm of His hands. He never leaves us.

As we walk thru a crowd, He knows.

Those serving in the military, He knows.

Families heartbroken with loss, He knows.

Thru the happiest days, He knows.

Running thru a hailstorm, He knows.

Watching a ballgame, He knows.

Sleeping thru the night, He knows.

On important phone calls, He knows.

Shopping, He knows.

Picking out a new puppy, He knows.

Starting the car, He knows.

Showing kindness, He knows.

When we are not appreciated, He knows.

When we get slighted, He knows.

When we get a hug of thanks, He knows.

When we are scraping the ice, He knows.

When we are writing out checks, He knows.

When we are exercising, He knows.

_________ (write in your own), He knows.

He knows all who have confessed, “yes Jesus, you are my Savior, the Son of God-the One who knows me. Thank you, Father.”

Wake up.

Walk with Him.

He knows your steps.

God’s got this.

Go.