Category Archives: Rural

December 1, 2020 anticipation

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Good morning, DearHeart.

It is December. I’m caught between ‘where did the year go’ and ‘2021 can’t get here soon enough’ and ‘let’s give 2020 the boot’.

In my head I hear Dale’s voice of reason “be careful what you ask for, Ang. It can always be worse.”

So, in the waiting for the new year, we get to experience anticipation. Do you remember Simeon?

He’s an interesting person in the story of Christmas. We don’t know much about him. Maybe he was a priest although this is not clearly to us. We are told, however, two things about him:

1. He was righteous and devout and eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel” (Luke 2:25b, NLT), and

2. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple” (Luke 2:27a, NLT).

That day. It was the day Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the Law required all parents to do.

And, Simeon just happened to be present. It was an ordinary day much like all of our days. People going about their business, and putting out fires, and keeping an eye on the sheep, and drawing water to wash the dishes later. A day like any other.

There were probably many others who had also come to the Temple. But, only Simeon saw Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus fully and clearly.

Because Simeon, had been

waiting,

looking,

and anticipating the Messiah’s coming … he was the one who recognized the Messiah.

He saw not the babe in Mary’s arms,

but the Savior,

the salvation prepared for all people,

the Light of the World.

In his devotional, ‘Because of Bethlehem’, Max Lucado reminds us of the day the young couple came knocking at the door of the inn. Nothing signaled to the innkeeper that this couple was different, or that the world was about to change for all time.

He turned them away saying there was no room at the inn and missed the opportunity.

“Many still do.

They miss the chance to open the door.

They let the birth of Jesus pass them by.

The miracle of Bethlehem still happens …

He sings to us through Christmas carols.

He calls to us through Christmas sermons.

He reaches out through the Christmas story.”

Here we are – December; now Advent begins and we begin to read about it all month. Jesus pursues us through the simplicity and majesty of the Christmas story.

Simeon was

E. X. P. E. C. T. I. N. G

the Messiah – Jesus – to burst onto the scene in his lifetime. He would not give up hope because he knew the promise.

Oh, DearHeart, do not give up hope.

Jesus comes knocking at our hearts in the midst of the

pandemic,

the fear,

the lights,

the shopping,

the wrapping,

the baking,

and the stress.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock, if you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20, NLT)

Both actions are required.

We must hear and open our hearts.

And Jesus will come.

Wake up.

Anticipate.

Look for the Savior of the World.

Every minute.

You will find Him when you look for Him.

Go.

October 27, 2020 ice storm

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Life gets tricky. So do words. I was asked if we have a whole house generator yesterday, I said “yes”; then realized later that I misspoke. We weren’t talking about the same type. We have a generator that runs the freezers, or the range, or the heater, but – not at the same time. Dale rotates them. And, gases it up occasionally.

The kind she was talking about was one that keeps everything running at the same time. I’ve heard of those. Lol. I think you flip a switch or something. Oh, well.

Safe and warm. One way or another.

I think this is the first time Dale and I have had to do an ice storm without at least one of our sons. So, there’s that. 😳

Ice storm.

Life.

A left hook sneaks in.

Stakeholders move on.

The unexpected checks in.

So, what is there to do when the next 2020 unthinkable drops in?

Fear rises, grief rises; then the stages play out . . .

-brutal,

-searching,

-just breathe,

-sucker-punch,

-acceptance,

-baby steps,

… they all overlap and rare-up, and replay and settle down again, but always present.

As a child of the Most High, there is a tickling reminder that an always present God is still in control.

‘And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

So, wonder – ask, “Father, what is this here to teach me? You’ve promised me another degree of glory, even here. I believe you. What’s the gift in this unexpected season?

Show me each one.

Stay with me.

Grow me.

Let me invite you, DearOne, to consider this: the unexpected is to be celebrated. If life was exactly the same ten years from today as it is now, you’d be a puddle. It would not be pretty.

The unexpected gives us juice.

Adventure.

Discovery.

Even when it hurts.

Even when unwelcome.

It is not comfortable. But, the Holy in us is always, ALWAYS, working for our highest good. Always moving us, you and me, into His next degree of Glory.

How about if we simply trust Him a little more today, and doubt a little less . . . of life, of others, of yourself? How about if you and I allow our Creator room to make us uncomfortable so that He can deliver sweet gems of insight that are right there, waiting, just beyond the fear, … ahhh, yes, there they are . . . waiting to be seen?

His ways are right.

Trust Him in this moment.

Add another blanket.

Trust His ways.

Wake up.

Allow room for the next degree of Glory.

Go.

September 14, 2020 mirror

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Good morning, DearHeart.

It has happened before; I have been redirected.

Many times, actually.

I’ve been going a certain direction, with momentum, minding my own business, glad to be on the “right track” when a left hook comes out of nowhere and suddenly, I find myself, through blurry focus, trying to find the ropes to help me up off the mat.

Life is always changing.

Always trading the old for the new. I was talking with a friend a few days ago and her story reminded me that any “no” from God only comes because there is a greater “YES” at stake. Yet, in the process of getting to that “yes” fear has a way of creeping in. You know, I cannot help but wonder, if at times in life, we aren’t all a little like Joseph’s brothers … remember them? From jealousy-they messed up, then needed mercy from the brother they had wronged. All tangled up in fear over past mistakes. Do we, too, find our thoughts stuck in the sands of the “what if’s” … glancing back at life events …

-relationships we once had

-the people with whom we have parted

-former jobs

-houses we have lived in

-cars we once owned

-opportunities we lost

-bank accounts

-positions once held

You get the point. God brings about change in our lives. He moves us forward & yet we continue to “look back”. He tells us to keep moving, but we keep our gaze, longingly, on the world we once loved, yet … now we are here … where it is not comfortable.

“You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened. You have nothing to fear. I will take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them with kind words that touched their hearts.” Genesis 50:20-21 GNB

Following hard after Christ sometimes means we are placed in the most difficult positions. Joseph comforted his people even though they wronged him, and, to banish all their fears, he spoke kindly to them. Broken spirits must be bound up and encouraged. Will you see a broken spirit, today?

Can you choose to encourage those who are facing fear?

Or, an accuser?

Maybe a lost soul?

From the difficult positions, doing the hard things that we are called to do, we act because it is right. Then, when I look in the mirror, I can “yes, Lord”; knowing He is in control of my yesterdays and my tomorrows. Obedience to Him is my offering. One thing I know for sure is that I don’t want to be out of His will for a single heartbeat. So, I will do the hard things. Even when it is difficult and uncomfortable. There is a greater “yes” at stake. Every time.

Wake up.

Let love flow through your cells.

Embrace the newness of that change.

Go.

September 2, 2020 expectation

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“He lets out all the stops, He holds nothing back. No one can mistake that voice— His word thundering so wondrously, His mighty acts staggering our understanding.” (Job 37:4-5) MSG

Good morning, DearHeart.

Have you been on hold? Have your days grown stale and monotonous? Have you given up on expecting God Most High to do a game-changer shift in your life?

What if you were about to receive news that would be life changing? What would you look like? You would be poised, alert, edge of your seat, receptive, listening.

Take your position, God’s Child. This is my God, and Yours:

The Creator of the Universe has been orchestrating events on your behalf. In the background He’s been aligning paths to cross, humans to be vessels of a clear word, right times, right places. He has set events in motion to emerge into your life … today. Be watchful … just as the watchman waits for the morning.

Your higher listening powers have been activated. The feeling of His vision is rising, in you – notice.

He is subtle.

He speaks and it may not make logical sense just yet, but it will. The growing pains that have seemed like crisis have positioned you into your own evolution. Through signs, and images, and patterns, and repetition, and promises, and others He speaks. Through His people, He works.

Know Him.

Know His ways.

Feel Him.

Expect Him.

Oh, Beloved. Expect Him.

Wake up.

Arrive in expectation.

Go.

August 31, 2020 Endurance

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Good morning, DearHeart.
Endurance. The road gets long.
Stressors come.
The ache and pain stays constant.
Grind doesn’t give a break.
Tired.
Hurt.
Discouraged.
My dear friend, Father God is already there – He has already done the hardest work for you. Think about the source of this tidal wave – in three days everything can totally change. (Surely, this simple thought got Christ thru His greatest torture). In three months you will look back on the multitude of blessings from this time and your heart will overflow. In three years, your journey and your courage will still be growing stronger every day – the daily miracles you experience now are building a firm foundation.
Focus on the vision you have set with your Creator. Meet yourself where you are and find Him there. Then, change your scenery a sec. Step outdoors – notice something lovely … a cloud … a leaf on a tree … a butterfly’s wing. With every sense hightened, like they do in the troubled places, allow yourself that gift of peace perspective – and share your moment with a friend. Let that God-gift lift you so you can carry on.
‘Lord, You will establish peace for us’
(Isaiah 26:12 HCSB)
Wake up.
Little things.
Little victories.
Little blessings.
Take notice.
Go.

August 24, 2020 promise

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I think the more grieved we are about a deal, the more desperately we seek a Word from God. The alertness of our hearing is highly tuned.

That’s why when we pray, we pray til we hear His word, we repeat His promises over and over.

Over and over.

Over and over.

By repeating His promises, they start to settle in, and the promises feel different.

They feel real.

Meaningful.

Personal.

“And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:4 NLT

Through His promises, He unveils His divinity in you and me. We get His opinion because we keep praying until we understand His will in this … thing … this deal … and once we have His Will and His Word ingrained well within from repeating the promises, then we have the final answer.

That is the pivot.

That is where I pray different. Believing ‘on-steroids’ sort of different.

Amped belief.

No-matter-what belief.

Have you been there?

Are you going there?

Feeling His promises instead of merely hoping?

Believing.

Because, when we know His will we don’t pray whiney, shallow prayers, like “Lord, help me, Jesus, help me.” When I know His Will it gives me CONFIDENCE – I pray with CONFIDENCE.

“God, I already know Your opinion on this, and I have come to agree with You. I’ve come to bring Your will from Heaven through me as a channel of faith to the earth.”

Everything changes right there. Everything.

The King of the Universe who has all authority is taking over the behavior of His child.

His will is powering this solution.

No need to budge from believing.

Wake up.

God’s got a plan.

His focus is on you.

Go.