Wild Goose Chase








May 30-31
Glancing out our bedroom window, I thought I saw our beloved blue heron on the dock.  Grabbing my camera, I slithered down the hill, hiding behind trees as I went.  By the time I was halfway down I realized it was a goose, not my long legged friend.  This goose started honking at me, as if I was intruding on his territory, then he lifted his leg and pooped right on our dock.  Really?

How often in our lives have we chased the wrong "thing" or person, to end up in a poopy scenario?

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise." 
Psalm 111:10

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
Psalm 105:4 

God is There in Miscarriage

May 29
A week after she had humbled herself and asked for prayer, she began spotting.  The verse on one of my devotionals was Acts 17:28.    In Him we live and move and have our being. 

We both remained hopeful that she would see this baby live and thrive, but a day later a miscarriage took place.  Early that morning I received an email devotional by author, Tracie Miles, written in relationship to Romans 8:28, and it gave examples of women who had endured painful experiences.
"You see, each one had allowed God to transform her pain into purpose, and as a result, their lives now shine as a living testament to the power of a Holy God.  Each one had watched God turn something difficult into something that would glorify Him."

Our daughter wrote to me and said,  "All these emails and scriptures helped this morning.  I feel like I cannot digest enough of Gods word.  I am eating it up like a starving woman."  She also explained her grief had led her to her harp and she allowed God to produce a beautiful new melody on the harp.

God Has Not Forgotten You by Tracie Miles.
And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday."
Psalm 37:6
"A preacher was in a church where he felt God had led him. But nothing seemed to be working out, so he wanted to go to another church.  He told a friend, 'I know where God put me, and I know God put me here, but I just wonder if He remembers where He put me.' 
Yes, God remembers! He has not forgotten. He is never late. Don't rush God. Don't think He has abandoned you because your prayers are not answered.  He will turn your midnight into a sunrise and  your mourning into dancing."

He has gone before us. Deuteronomy 31:8
He loves (you and this baby more than we possibly could.  1 John 3:1
He has brought us through a lot of tough days.  Isaiah 46:4
He knows every fiber of (your and this baby's) bodies.  Psalm 139:13
He has plans for us.  Jeremiah 29:11
His love is greater than anything we can comprehend.  Romans 8:38-39
He knows all the unknown.  Psalm 147:5

Often, we don't know how to handle the grief of another. We want to say something to bring comfort, but at times just the opposite occurs.  Comments like, "At least you have a child" or "Miscarriages occur so often," don't bring comfort to the woman who believes life begins at conception and longs to hold that baby.  This email from a friend was so sincere, heart felt and pointed us in the right direction.

"I cannot know your grief, Boo, but I'm praying for safety, comfort and a Higher joy."
In our grief, it is a comfort to know others care.

A week later our daughter received an envelope in the mail full of letters from a 4th grade class, at the Christian School where my husband is the head.  She emailed us about the experience.

"The students in her class each drew me pictures and wrote scriptures and prayers for me. I am absolutely blown away.  Tears are streaming down my face at how loved I feel.  One, that you (Pop) asked your school to pray for me, and two because of the thoughtfulness of these fourth graders and their teacher.  Will you please tell the how impacted I was by their letters?  This is one of the sweetest things I have ever received and I will treasure each letter."

God is There- Pregnancy

May 28
The next two days I want to share a journey, which for some we have learned is a taboo topic.  Our daughter has struggled with infertility issues and recently had her third miscarriage. While the journey is incredibly painful God is faithful to walk with us in that pain. My hope is that the verses God supplied for us, will bless you or someone you know.

Upon learning that once again our daughter was pregnant, these first two verses are what popped up on Biblegateway.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before they came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts God!  How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 139:13-17

Just as you'll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, 
so you'll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does.   Ecclesiastes 11:5

Reading these verses,  I was certain our daughter would be able to carry this baby.

She decided even though people say you shouldn't share about your pregnancy until you get through your first trimester, she wanted people praying for this baby.  A close friend of mine and powerful prayer warrior sent this verse:

"For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."
Zephaniah 3:17 

Another emailed…"the joy of the Lord is my strength" (Nehemiah 8:10) and said, "I'm praying that His joy will rise up in her and as it does she and the baby will feel His mighty strength."

By this time we were confident God was going to see this pregnancy through!
To be continued...

Please Our Neighbors


May 27
God makes me laugh.  Being in the Word everyday affords us the opportunity to see Him at work in our lives; to realize how personally involved and totally aware of our activity He is.  Over Memorial Day weekend we hosted a "back of the cove" pot luck.  No one has done this for several years and there are several homes with new neighbors and "seasonal" people who have not met one another.

Up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep the night before, I decided to go to Biblegateway and read for awhile.  Staring me in the face was the verse for the day.

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good,
build them up. 
Romans 15:2


I"m telling you, God is a know it all!

Splaining



I shot these photos of this amazing sea creature at the Gatlinburg Aquarium.
God was having a very creative day when he created this fellow.
The color and shape changes, which occur in seconds, were beyond belief.
God's got some splaining to do for this one.
May 26

Merriam Webster has a category on their website titled "Words We're Watching." Topping the list last weekend was mansplaining.  "It's what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he's talking to does."

I had to laugh. First of all, it mentioned that you can put most any prefix in front of splaining, which was coined as an appropriate word by Ricky Ricardo, on the  I Love Lucy show years ago. 
"Lucy, you got some splaining to do."  

Secondly, God must have his own version of mansplaining for when we earthlings try to explain the ways of God.

How great is God-beyond our understanding! 
The number of his years is past finding out.
Job 35:26

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, 
so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
Isaiah 40:28 

Empower and Mature Me


May 25
Mike Norten wrote the book, Unlocking the Secrets of the Feast.  In this book was an excerpt on two of the jobs of the Holy Spirit.  Recently, I've been stuck in ruts and trying to get out of them in my own strength versus calling on the power of the Spirit.  I gobbled up the part that our Spirit filled lives are a continual process towards maturity!  In the second context of empowerment, I don't think we come near  to tapping into the power God intends for us to experience.
Norten writes:
"The concept of the filling of the Spirit has always evoked different opinions regarding its meaning.  One thing I observed about filling was that in the Greek there are two different words for the process. In Ephesians 5:18 the word for filling is pleroo, which conveys the idea of growth to maturity or being molded by the Word of God.  If we compare Ephesians 5:18 to Colossians 3:16, which discusses the same subject, we can see that "be filled with the Spirit" is the same as "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you."  Since this command in Ephesians 5:18 is in the present tense, this indicates a continual experience or process.  Both phrases have the same result:  praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.

On the other hand, pimplemi in Acts 2:4 is in the aorist tense, which indicates a single event or happening.  In context, the word implies an empowering for a work of service.  Today, since the Spirit indwells us as believers, we can be empowered by the Holy Spirit in our respective ministries.  So the Holy Spirit is doing two major things for us: empowering and maturing us."

Let's stop and just imagine what it would have been like that day when the Holy Spirit inhabited those early believers! Whew!  I want to let the Spirit take control!

"When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force-no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.   Acts 2:1-4

Pioneer and Perfecter

May 23-24
Was there a product that was advertised as the never ending candy bar?  Maybe Sugar Daddies?  Do you remember how those things stuck in your teeth?  The Bible is the never ending source of goodness, wisdom and truth for me.  I hear people say they don't have time to read it, but I have a hard time putting it down.  The very same passage comes to light in new ways again and again.

Hebrews 12 put a sparkle in my day, as my eyes landed on where it described Jesus as the PIONEER and PERFECTER of faith.  For some reason that word pioneer had never sunk in.
The dictionary definition, which excited me, related to Jesus is: "A person who is the first to research or develop a new area of knowledge or activity." This second definition made me think of the disciples as the preparatory infantry group; and we are part of the main body of troops!  "A member of an infantry group preparing roads or terrain for the main body of troops."

March forward into new areas of knowledge and activity with Jesus this weekend!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  Hebrews 12:1-2

Nothing Makes Sense

May 22
Turn on the TV, open a news paper or click on a news link on your computer and often we shake our heads saying "Nothing Makes Sense."  A friend, knowing we are grieving alongside our daughter who has had her third miscarriage,  emailed this poster to me last night. It's a keeper!
Another friend sent a devotional, which was spot on and titled..."Why There and Not Here?"

Paul knew what it meant to face discouragement.  I love how he tells believers in 1 Thessalonians 5:11..."Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in face you are doing."

I thank God for each of you who have once again been such an encouragement to us at a time when several things we are facing just don't make sense.

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.  Proverbs 12:25

Another friend just sent these words she received in a card.
"Even the strongest of us have moments when the burdens of life seem too great.  It's then that the Lord whispers to our hearts-Come to Me, all you shoe are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

Perched


May 21
This stately male cardinal sits outside our front door on our lamp post most morning!  I had to take this picture through the screened window, as to not startle him from his proud perch.  It really isn't convenient for me to take time to write this morning. It's already 9AM and I thought, "So, I miss one day."  Then I thought, "Jesus is always accessible, whether it is convenient or not."  I thank God he doesn't miss one day of knowing our needs.

"Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies."
Psalm 119:98

Whatever we encounter today, there is a way out!  Just say "Jesus!"

A Firm Foundation

Our son is building a home for his family on a firm foundation.

May 20
Wisely, our son who is a professional builder, has waited for the right timing to build a home for his own family.  I'm sure he has gained much knowledge over the years building in his training of this trade.  This Proverb goes on to mention the knowledge needed to even select the furniture and drapes for a home.

It takes wisdom to build a house, and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.
Proverbs 24:2-4 

Beyond this beautiful home they are building, they are parents who have committed to make Christ the foundation for their lives and their decisions.

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it.  But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 3:10-12 

Protective Formation

May 19
Sentimentally, it's more difficult to chase a family with young geese out of your yard than a flock of full grown ones, but it still must be done so your grandchildren don't step in goose poop all day!  I captured this family swimming from our creek into the lake.  Isn't their protective formation amazing.

We can't physically see all the ways God is protecting us, but he has our best interest at heart.  Bask in the confidence of these Psalms.

Psalm 121  The Lord the Keeper of Israel
"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth,
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel, Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever."

Psalm 91
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you sill find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shields and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with you eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.  

If you say, 'The Lord is my refuge,' and you make the Most High your dwelling, 
no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
for he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you ip in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

'Because he loves me,' says the Lord, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, 
for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.'" 



Bloom

May 18
The stories from the earthquake in Nepal certainly stir our emotions.  During that time, I read an article on a "TIME" site by Adam McCauley.  He was writing about three American trekkers who had been stranded in the mountains due to the holders which had fallen from the mountains and blocked their passage out of the area.  The troubling part of the story for me was the fact that Japan sent a rescue helicopter, but only took the five Japanese people in that area.  Then a day later Israel sent a helicopter, but only took Israelis, leaving 27 others behind.  A couple days later a helicopter from Nepal showed up and had US Special Forces onboard. They explained they would take the Americans out first and then come back for EVERYONE!

No matter our nationality, we all have the same opportunity to be rescued by Jesus!  It's our choice whether to get on board the resurrection plane!

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-
the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.

Always Give Thanks

May 16-17
We'd had ten days of issues!  Boats, chain saws, household dilemmas. all seemed to be tumbling down.
A couple family medical situations had us praying without ceasing.  Swiping my finger across my cell phone I opened the Jesus Calling app, containing Sarah Young's beloved book, which is written in the voice of Jesus.

"Do  not resist or run from the difficulties in your life. These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth.  Embrace all the circumstances that I allow in your life, trusting, Me to bring good out of them.  View problems as opportunities to rely more fully on Me.
When you start to feel stressed, let those feelings alert you to your need for Me. Thus, your needs become doorways to deep dependence on Me and increasing intimacy between us.  Althought self-sufficiency is acclaimed in the world, release on Me produces abundant living in My kingdom.  Thank Me for the difficulties in your life, since they provide protection from the idolatry of self-reliance."

Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Ignition of the Vernal Season

Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come…
Song of Songs 2:12

Strolling in the yard last night in the cool air was invigorating.
You know spring is in full gear when the peonies pop out!

May 15th
Playing around on the Merriam-Webster site last month I came across the word "vernal."  It means spring!  The pollen sneaking up our noses is an early clue that spring is in the air, but when the tulips, iris and daffodils spring forth from the ground; and the dogwood, redbud, cherry and pear trees ignite everyone takes notice. April showers do bring May flowers.  When we surrender and allow the Holy Spirit to be ignited in our lives, God takes notice and showers blessings upon us.
Moses listened to the wisdom of the Lord concerning seasonal rains and passed it on to the Israelites. In Leviticus chapter 6:3-4 we hear God's instructions.

"If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit." 

Watching crops yield their fruit is a miracle.  I try to plant some sort of vegetable on the deck each year, where the deer won't eat the bounty, because it's such a God thing to watch a seedling produce a tomato or pepper for our plates!

Listening to a Beth Moore video called Jesus the One and Only, I got very excited when she described  what the disciples saw as they walked with Jesus as someone filled with both security and mystery.  They saw Jesus perform miracle after miracle and when they were with him, they felt his power.  Time and time again though they were amazed at what "else" they learned he could do.  A daily walk with Him meant daily lessons to be learned.  That's how it is for us too when we open ourselves to His teaching.  He's continually growing something new in us every season!

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Oh, Jesus, what will you ignite in us today?  May we be found faithful to carry it through. In Jesus' Name, Amen

"That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever they do prospers.  Psalm 1:3

Be All that We Can Be

We celebrated birthday #4 with this princess!

May 14
An instructor from the exercise program Daily Burn made a statement, which really caught my attention.
"It's really easy to  work on the things that we are good at, 
but if you want to get stronger you need to be working on 
the things that don't come easy."

This pertains to our spiritually lives as well.  Areas of natural giftedness have been bestowed on each believer, but that doesn't mean we neglect the others.
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve, if it is teach, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, to it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."  Romans 12:6-8

Prayer may be a natural passion of ours, yet we are not to neglect feeding on the Word, praising, sharing the gospel with others, or doing work unto the Lord.  We are not to select just one Fruit of the Spirit or refrain from just the vices which hold less temptation.

"The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.  Galatians 5:19-23

Let's be all that we can be for Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us!

Power, Love, Self-Discipline

Ah, the simple joys of a rope tied to a tree!

May 13
Last week I completed a captivating study on 1 and 2 Timothy.  The climax was going on an hour walk and listening to Max McClean read these two books in his booming voice.  The words Paul preached in 2 Timothy 1:7 stayed with me for days.

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline."

Where in life do we feel powerless?  For me, the battles against cancer, infertility and addiction leave me feeling powerless.  The most effective tool we have access  to, in areas which seem overwhelming, is prayer.  It takes desire and discipline to lock ourselves away daily and practicing this powerful process!

Are we loving others well?  Do our hearts break with what is crushing to God?  Funny, The Three Bears, just came to mind and caused me to ponder, who do I love just a little bit, who do I have with a medium size love and who do I love BIG!  Whoa!  Jesus loved us BIG!  Now the follow up challenge…who should we be praying for that needs to feel God's enormous love?

Ah, self-discipline.  How do we balance life, pouring in the Word of God, praying, caring for others, eating well, exercising, earning a living, maintaining our property and having a G.O.O.D Time.  Does our wheel of life look balanced or lopsided?  What role does our cell phone play in our lives? Are there indulgences of time or money to an area that needs to be curbed?  


Accomplishments



May 12
Adrian Rogers pinned the A-B-C's we need to give our children to point them towards being accomplished adults are:
"A-acceptance   B-belonging   C-confidence"

I had the cutest video clip of this little fellow crawling, but could't get it to post.  He was thrilled with his accomplishment and our clapping accolades! 

What have you accomplished lately?  One friend has tiled two bathrooms in her home. Many around the world are celebrating graduation season, which is quite the accomplishment. Completing a formal Bible study leaves us with a sense of achievement, as does the completion of a marathon!  Here at Shiloh we long for the day we can say, "It is finished," related to the spring chore list.  

Jesus' death on the cross finds him stating, "It is finished," but it is his resurrection from the grave, which completed what he came to earth to accomplish.

Paul, quite eloquently in Ephesians chapter 3:6-12 expresses further explanation of this accomplishment in relationship to those of us who are Gentiles.

This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.  I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given to me through the working of his power.  Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.  His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the  heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 

Hospitality=Caring


Our oldest grandson shared his home and school with us last week.


May 11
Our pastor delivered an excellent message on the elements necessary for the church to be unified.  One of those elements was hospitality. People were thrilled to find out setting an elegant table with a flowery centerpiece was not a requirement for offering hospitality. He described hospitality as caring!

Help needy Christians; be inventive in  hospitality. Romans 12:13

All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.   Acts 4:32

An attitude of hospitality can be instilled in our children at an early age.  Our oldest grandson exuded hospitality in the way he cared for us.  He is always quick to offer his bed and to sleep on the floor.  This trip we were going on a walk and I had not brought tennis shoes. Without hesitation he asked my shoe size and was on the task of solving the problem by borrowing shoes for me!

Being hospitable doesn't require a room. The definition is "being welcoming and friendly to strangers or guests."  We can offer hospitality at church, at school, the workplace, where we volunteer, the gym, or even in the bleachers of a sporting event.

Welcoming someone into your home is certainly a way of showing you care.  To be invited "IN" speaks volumes to an individual of how you feel towards them.  Everything doesn't have to be "in place" and perfect.  Be real!  Offer pizza on a picnic table in the back yard.  Have a pot luck and let others share in the caring by bringing something along.

The simple act of inviting, to have one's presence requested in an activity is a huge way of caring!


Become Servants


May 9-10

In Matthew 20, we find the mother of James and John being a pushy mom.  She is requesting prime seating for her boys (the left and right) when Jesus rules.  The tactic was not pleasing to the other 10 disciples whose mamas weren't around to speak up for them.

"When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.  Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that the rules of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,'"  Mt. 20:24-18

On Revive Our Hearts this past week I heard Jani Ortlund speaking on motherhood.  One day she stated that motherhood is living a life of servitude.   It's true, but it's also living like Jesus.

So, to all you mothers out there, young and old, keep on keeping on, and serve your children with joy.
God appreciates all of our actions, cleaning up boo boos, changing diapers, getting grime out from under fingernails,  shoving in baby food, nursing in the middle of the night and praying without ceasing every day as long as they are on this earth.

For so many of you, who do not have children of your own, I thank you for putting up with our tales of drudgery and for selflessly praying for our children and supporting us when we are overwhelmed.  An additional thanks to those of you who have chosen to work in our schools/Sunday schools/day cares and so tirelessly invest in the lives of children.

Notice Me!

Hunting Easter Eggs 

May 8
Having an egg hunt for youngsters is so much fun.  You want them to succeed and offer hints.  "You're hot!  Not that way! Look down. Where does a bird build it's nest?  Do you see a bush?"  God wants us to succeed in living the life he purposed for us, so he gives clues.
Most often I hear from Him when I'm in the shower.  My assumption is this occurs because there are no distractions there. The cleansing process is a reminder of my need to daily confess my sins, which is an excellent prerequisite for hearing from God.  The other day the phrase "Notice me" came to mind.  I stopped shampooing and repeated the words out loud.

It could mean so many things.
Notice God and what he is up to.
There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work." 
                                                                                                            1 Corinthians 12:6
Notice others, who need to be loved.
"A new command I give you: Love one another, As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
John 13:34
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  Leviticus 19:18

Reject the need to be noticed by the world's standards.
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'"  1 Samuel 16:7

Risk


May 7
Kudos to our daughter in law for stepping up to test ride our new zip line! She was impressive in her courage to take on such a grandiose risk!  Anything for the children, right?  (Notice her heroic husband running behind her with the safety line!  Just in case she picked up too much speed.)

Remember the story of the hemorrhaging woman, who reached out and touched Jesus' robe.  Her faith was HUGE. From what she had heard and seen of Jesus, she believed that simply touching him would heal her.    
"Jesus said, 'Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you're healed and whole.  Live well, live blessed!'"  Luke 8:48 

Have you been watching the Sunday evening series, "A.D.?" The disciples risked it all to take the gospel to the utter most ends of the earth.  The way they lived is proof enough for me that Jesus is the Messiah.  Some were slower than others to jump in whole heartedly, but seeing the risen Christ packed a pretty powerful punch.

"Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him.  Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally.  Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge:  "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day, right up to the end of the age." 

Will we be found faith to "risk" life with Jesus today?

How Mornings Start in Nashville


May 6
One by one, the pairs of little feet pitter pat into the guest room where I was sleeping and warm little bodies snuggled into the bed beside me awaiting a back tickle and some Mama Boo kisses.  They are usually good for another thirty minutes of "semi-sleep", once this process begins.

My Monday night's sleep was interrupted by a nightmare.  In the dream, I was attending a church service and asked to stand with a man desiring baptism.  I"ll spare you the dream details, but there had been unrest in this town (maybe like Baltimore) and gunmen came into the church to massacre the people.  So unsettling. Then reality set in and I took the challenge to pray at that very moment for protection for the persecuted Body of Christ around the world .
Opening Biblegateway, to search the scriptures of comfort,  Philippians 4:6-7 stared right at me as the verse of the day.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, 
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:10 

Lord, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death.
Psalm 9:13

An hour and a half passed before falling back to sleep, but I believe with all my heart that middle of the night prayers are powerful!

Redeemed


May 5
These "NON-coupon" coupons drive me nuts. Who cares about a coupon which says "Not a Redeemable Coupon."
Praise the Lord we are redeemable, thanks to Jesus' sacrifice!  Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
Luke 1:68

David, challenges us in Psalm 107 to tell our redemption story to others!
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story!
Psalm 107:2

Hillsong has a great song to rock out to called "Let the Redeemed of the Lord say so!"  This morning I've selected a hit from 2000 by Nicole C. Mullen in a very moving video form. Her song:
"My Redeemer Lives"


Making Memories


May 4
While baby sitting in Nashville, I decided we should take the boys to a park in a nearby suburb.  Lunch time was creeping up and I knew there was a Chick Fil A in that town and I thought I could find it, but wasn't certain which direction to head as we departed the park.  Walking to the parking lot another pair of grandparents had just gotten out of their car and they were carrying a Chick Fil A bag!  I approached them,  "Excuse me, from one grandparent to another, would you tell me where the closest Chick Fil A is located?"  Although, visiting from Florida, they obliged with confidence!
We need to make memories while we can.  
My husband started a delightful family tradition for our adult children, who are strewn from coast to coast.  Every Thursday, he tosses out an email with memory or category from the past.  They are to either come up with the correct answer to a question posed or share a memory from a category.  Week before last it was a challenge to see who could remember all the cars we have had over the years and then share any memories they have related to that vehicle.  Last week, in honor of my father's birthday, they all shared hilarious memories of "Life with Davedaddy."  While we are miles apart it is a brilliant way to bring us together in spirit and love!

"I thank God every time I remember you."
Philippians 1:3

The memory of what Jesus did for us should never be forgotten.
"And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 
'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'" 
Luke 22:19  

God of Wonders





May 2-3
It's the weekend and it's going to be a lovely one here on the lake at Shiloh!  There are 48 hours in our weekend.  Will you take 4 minutes and 50 seconds to sing praise to the God of Wonders? The Lord of heaven and earth.  Pick out one lyric from Chris Tomlin's musical creation and carry it into the weekend with you.
I chose: "Precious Lord, reveal your heart to me."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6L0mydGZNo
HMM, I'm not sure why May 1st posted below April 30th. Sorry