Category Archives: musings

May 3, 2019 rain

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Good morning, DearHeart.

My dad always says, “let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.” … Pop Coon, his dad, always said the same thing … the same way … same pleased expression … standing at the back door, looking out over his wheat field by the house – they both saw too many drought years to ever complain about cloudy skies. Maybe their response is why rain always makes me a little giddy.

Even on the mornings where big plans are supposed to transpire, deep inside a steady rhythm of “let it rain” plays.

The cleansing and rebirth that rain brings to nature absorbs into the soles of our feet …

muddy with rich soil,

hair smelling like pond water;

where freshly laundered creation is cause for celebration.

Much like the third day from the cross.

Transforming power.

Renewal power.

It is from this place that we step into our day clothes, into our ‘busy’ from that wildish place … to be present to the customer,

or the hammer,

or the stove,

or the child,

or the data screens.

We reset.

We breathe in the Wild of the freshly poured Holy Spirit into our decisions,

into the work of our heart,

and our hands,

our plans,

our classes,

our industry,

our responsibilities …

into our little victories and into those pains and losses we carry … always carry … this side of eternity.

He sustains all worlds.

He whispers His ways to us in and out of our minutes. His Spirit courses and calls us and His called ones follow. Our River of Life rushes in, then slows to make sure we are coming, He pauses in still waters to allow us to catch up – and sets the flow again. He has something to show us.

Many things.

He renews so He can reveal new gifts.

“Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.” James 1:17-18 MSG

Wake up.

Let it rain.

Renewal.

Go.

May 1, 2019 rulers

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I’ve been watching the heartbreaking atrocities unfolding in Venezuela. I wonder how a ruler can become so filled with hatred and desire to oppress, harm, kill others … to kill their own. Opening fire, running over them with tanks. How can we overlook that these are actual persons, someone’s sons and daughters? And how can we then turn on one another?

I am having a hard struggle with it all…I turn to the only place I can, the place where God shows up … in His Word, and speaks to my heart – deeply ….

I have been reading from the book of Jonah, a story so familiar to us all. We know about the great fish and how it swallows Jonah then vomits Jonah up on the shore.

Yet … hidden in this short book this morning is a revelation of Who He is and how He truly feels towards each one of us drawing breath this very minute.

Jonah had finally obeyed God and gone to Ninevah with the message God had given him to deliver. The result was repentance of a people for whom Jonah did not want spared.

Jonah was mad as all get out at God. Seriously. And he complains and rants to God …

“Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord?” (Jonah 4:2, NLT)

Umm, that would be an affirmative, Jonah, for God always does exactly as He says.

“That is why I ran away to Tarshish!” (vs 2)

Did Jonah really think his running away was going to stop God from bringing His Word and salvation to Ninevah?

And then Jonah states what he knew all along (and please don’t miss it!) …

“I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people.” (the rest of verse 2)

Jonah knew his God. He knew God was about saving people. He knew God would do whatever it takes and go to whatever lengths are necessary to bring people to Himself. Jonah knew people are of the utmost importance to our God.

Today my prayer is for us, God’s people, to be more like Him. Towards all people.

Towards those in foreign countries. And those within our borders.

To those outside of Christ, and inside of Christ.

To those we agree with. And to those we disagree with.

Let’s be like Him.

Merciful.

Compassionate.

Eager to turn from destroying people.

Filled with love.

His love.

Wake up.

Turn our hearts to You, Father.

Mercy.

Compassion.

Unfailing love.

Go.

 

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.

April 24, 2019 matters

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Good morning, DearHeart.

It all matters.

Every act of love,

and kindness,

every word offered to encourage,

each time we listen to the heart cries of the wounded,

each time we pick them up and help them back on their feet,

each minute we spend teaching children about the Savior,

or help our neighbor,

or visit the weak in hospital beds …

it all is noticed by our God and it all matters.

Everything we do for others can make life more bearable, more pleasant, more hopeful. Each moment can point to the bigger story within each of our smaller stories. Each one can point to Jesus, Who alone makes this life worth living.

Each of our lives can send a ripple into eternity. Much like that pebble which hits a still lake and the ripples begin to flow outward towards the center of the lake, our lives can send ripples into eternity. Those ripples may continue on long after we are gone.

Each day of our lives, we can point others through our life, our words, our kindnesses to the only One who can fill the longings of their souls. May we remember each and every day ….

It. All. Matters.

“If any man builds on this “But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.” 1 Corinthians 3:13-14

Wake up.

It all matters.

You matter.

Go.

April 23, 2019 goliaths

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Growing up, did you have this Little Golden Book, too? You know the story of David and Goliath, right? And, you can relate to David so easily – because you, too, have giants in your life.

People out to destroy you.

Addictions.

Issues.

Bullies.

Heaviness.

Stupidity.

Read again the familiar story of David and Goliath. Goliath is described as a nine foot champion (1 Samuel 17:4, NLT), a seemingly formidable foe for young David. He had struck fear in the hearts of many a man:

“When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken” (verse 11).

Goliath taunted the Israelites every day and night, for forty days, continually. He knew he could wear them down with his insults and fear would get the better of them sooner or later.

David had to be aware of his age and size, for he was the youngest of his brothers. The day he went to the battlefield to bring his brothers food, David heard the usual taunting of Goliath to the army of Israel.

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul, “I’ll go fight him!” (verse 32)

David displayed courage (verse 32) which contrasted Saul’s fear (verse 11).

Goliath taunted David just the same, if not worse, than he had the army. But David knew whose Name and power had truly armed him for battle. David’s advantage was not his weapons but his God. David stated with confidence,

“You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied.”

“Today the Lord will conquer you.”

“And everyone here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle.” (verses 45-47).

We fight a battle everyday and the enemy will taunt us as well.

There are battles that are not ours to fight. They are won by and through the Name and power of our Lord. We would be wise to let Him fight them for us.

As we faithfully and continually lean on God, we will not topple. We may wobble a bit, but we won’t fall down.

May we stand.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)

Wake up.

Lean in to God.

The battle is His.

He is doing work you can’t see.

Necessary work.

Heart work.

God wins.

Go.

April 22, 2019 engraved

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Good morning, DearHeart.

The need to choose to follow or not follow Father God is imprinted on our very cells. It is a need like breathing. To breathe means life or death to our body. The follow Christ … far more serious … it brings life or death to our spirit.

A call to the Almighty for rescue sets in motion a blast through the thickest walls to a place of knowing Him from the bones outward. A place of togetherness with the Savior where we experience Him cheek to cheek, with Him and within Him. He knows how to rescue – He knows you – He holds you – You are His.

“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16 NLT

Wake up.

Know you belong to Christ.

Go.

April 16, 2019 stones are moving

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I love it when I read the Bible and something new gets noticed – its gift of new ruffles on my heart!

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.” John 20:1

Such a simple sentence & yet it says more than what meets the eye. Go deeper with me.

Mary Magdalene got up early, even on the first day of the week. Every day of the week He waits … “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you & wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3 NLT.

The stone had been removed. The resurrection empowers that same gift to you and me to remove stones that are a hindrance in my life. I am so thankful that Jesus is still removing stones today. Nothing can ever hinder the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” (Romans 8:11 NLT).

God is at work, even in the darkness. I LOVE THIS!!! Mary went to the tomb while it was yet dark. The stone was already removed. Even though it may still look dark or our circumstances are yet clouded,

God.Is.At.Work.

He is always at work.

Jesus, when harassed by the Jewish leaders for breaking the Sabbath rules, tells them: “My Father is always working & so am I.” (John 5:17 NLT).

Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. She went in search of Jesus. Jesus wants us to come to Him with everything that is on our hearts & minds. “Come to me, all of you who are weary & carry heavy burdens, & I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)

It is as we come to Him, in the midst of our struggles, seeking Him, that we will find He has been at work & the stones are moving. They are rolling away. And they give way to new life. New situations. New solutions. New relationships. New connections.

Wake up.

The stones are moving.

Go.

 

April 15, 2019 the day after

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Good Morning, DearHeart.

5,000 ladies and I are waking this morn on the heels of a Falls Creek high. Just like the days of our youth for those of us that had the opportunity to experience the week long camps as teens. And, the timing … so appropriate as yesterday was Palm Sunday. The day of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the city He loved and caused Him to weep. The people hailed Him as King, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had now seen. We saw miracles this weekend. We heard about them. We felt them. We became them. Followed by Palm Sunday.

And, so marked the beginning of Holy Week. Or Jesus’ final week of life on this earth.

I woke this morn with one thought on my mind …

What did Jesus do on Monday?

Seriously, what does one do after a reception and celebration such as He had been given?

My search into scripture … and, this is interesting to me … the next story in both Matthew (chapter 21) and Luke (chapter 19) is of Jesus entering the Temple. Perhaps it was Monday or Tuesday, we don’t know for certain. With as good with details as Dr. Luke was, he does not pinpoint the day for my quizzing mind.

What we do know for certain is Jesus was not happy with the activities being held in the Temple. He turned over the tables of the money changers and those selling doves. To them He said …

The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer’, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46, NLT)

After His triumphal entry, Jesus went right back to His Father’s business.

Monday was a normal day.

No fanfare.

No taking a day off.

He cleansed and restored the Temple to its original purpose – to be a place of worship.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20. NLT)

We may not know for certain which day of the week Jesus restored the Temple to a place of worship. What I do know is that He still restores temples today.

He still restores US today.

Let that sink in a minute.

May we let Him clean our temples, turning every corner of it over so nothing remains hidden and uncleansed.

“But the time is coming – indeed it’s here now – when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24, NLT)

Wake up.

In Spirit and in truth.

Be restored.

Business as usual.

Go.

April 12, 2019 Wonder Woman

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I giggled as this verse happened to be the first I thought of this morn …

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib …” (Genesis 2:22a, NLT)

Here is why: I was in the kitchen last night and heard a commotion coming down the hall. I turned to look and a two year old Wonder Woman was twirling in to see me! Head to toe (with a few princess jewels thrown in) our Liv was totally decked out in full red, blue, and gold regalia. And, let me tell ya, she was spot on and working it!

I watched Wonder Woman once a week growing up and always dreamed of being Linda Carter, too.

Wonder Woman – the founder of The Justice League, a team of superheroes who fight crime and seek to maintain peace and order. In the DC comics, Wonder Woman was sculpted from clay by her mother … much the way God formed the first woman from a rib of man, already formed, and the dust of the earth. She was a character with all the strength of a man yet with all the qualities a good and beautiful woman could possess.

Wonder Woman has been loved by many for her beauty, for her strength, and for her love of humanity. She is strong-willed – knowing what needs to be accomplished and not backing down until it is done. She is a lover of peace but will fight for people, for a cause, for justice. But she was also created to be the nurturer of The Justice League, molding it to be all it could.

She’s a warrior woman yet an ambassador of people.

With that said, Olivia Jo, our own in-house version of the super-hero … may you truly grow up to be a Wonder Woman. A woman who will…

fight for justice,

defend the weak

and the forgotten.

May you be a woman of God-given strength yet have a tender and compassionate heart.

May you be fierce yet a woman who will support and encourage those around you.

May you be a woman who loves God above all else and then His people.

May you ladies be a true Wonder Woman, too … and as my FC First Girls prepare our hearts to leave for our Falls Creek Ladies Retreat this morn … may there be a little of Wonder Woman in us all!

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib …” (Genesis 2:22a, NLT)

Wake up.

You are a wonder, too.

Work it. Go.