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Today

15 Jul

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today!

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,

Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;

And make us happy in the happy bees,

The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird

That suddenly above the bees is heard,

The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,

And off a blossom in mid-air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,

The which it is reserved for God above

To sanctify to what far ends He will,

But which it only needs that we fulfill.

~Robert Frost

To deal with worry and fear, we must purpose to live in the present.

Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  Matthew 6:34

Details, Details

13 Jul

Spiderwort

We recently spent some time in Pennsylvania with dear friends.  Walking through that countryside, I couldn’t help note the variety of wildflowers–down to teeny-tiny ones that lined the roads.  You’d have to be walking to even have a chance of noticing them.  It came to me so clearly (once again) that if God the Father is going to decorate the sides of roads with flowers that few will see, He’ll certainly see to the details of our lives that we may worry are too small for Him to think about.

“This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.”  John 6:39

Best. Women’s. Meeting. Ever #2

1 Jul

Courtesy of bread-water-salt-oil.blogspot.com

LaTasha Brown spoke at the women’s meeting the other day.

In 1 Kings 17, Elijah speaks to a widow and asks her for a drink of water, and while she’s in mid-step he also asks her for something to eat.

She said, “I swear, as surely as your God lives, I don’t have so much as a biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we’ll die.”   Elijah said to her, “Don’t worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you’ve said. But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what’s left for you and your son. This is the word of the God of Israel: ‘The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.'” v. 12-14

Here’s a woman preparing to die and Elijah says, “Don’t worry about a thing?  Go make me a biscuit first??  Then make one for yourself and your son???”  Can you imagine the struggle in her heart?  I can just imagine some of the things she could have said, but she . . .

. . . And she went right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked. And it turned out as he said—daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty: God’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!

Latasha pointed out that in that moment the widow’s capacity was small, but a little oil and obedience was — and is — enough.  It opened her heart.  When you are at your moment of extremity, don’t forget that God is in the heart-stretching business.

How’s Your Thesaurus?

4 May

Let's replace this thesaurus. . .

I downloaded Week One, Me, Myself, & Lies, from Self Talk Soul Talk, a Bible Study by  Jennifer Rothschild. I can’t speak for any more than this week, but it was GOOD.

I love words.  Somehow they speak to me in a special way.

Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.  A good man produces good things from his storeroom of good,  and an evil man produces evil things from his storeroom of evil.  Matthew 12:34,35  HCSB

“ The Greek word for storeroom is thesauros.  The term thesaurus, used to describe a storeroom (collection) of words, is derived from this word.” — Self Talk Soul Talk

So the question I asked myself is, “What state is my thesaurus in?”  Since words make up thoughts, and thoughts bring about emotions, and all of the about lead to our actions—words are important.  This morning, let’s think about what types of words we think and speak most often.  Let’s check out our thesauri and see if some of the words/thoughts need to be replaced by God’s words/thoughts.

. . . with this!

When Thoughts are Buzzing

30 Apr

Your comforts bring joy to my soul.

When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.  Psalm 94:19 HCSB

A literal translation of this verse might be:  In the multitude of my disquieting thoughts, your consolations and comforts delight my inner (wo)man.  (Sue’s Amplified Version cobbled together from the definitions of the words in the verse.)

I’ve become aware lately of the many thoughts that race through my mind every moment.  The glimpse that God has given me is almost cacophonous.  It’s made me very aware of the need to deal with my thoughts on a moment-by-moment basis.  Many of my thoughts are planning thoughts, others are to-do-list thoughts, and still others are interpersonal –relation thoughts,  and then we have the what-if thoughts.  Many of these thoughts are disquieting and lead me to over-riding thoughts of worry and fear.

I’ve spent this week committing my thoughts to Jesus and relying on Him to help me in this mammoth task.  Have I achieved total success??  FAR FROM IT.  Have I made progress?  Oh, yeah.  Each morning I wrote on my hand the word precious.  When I glanced at it, I was reminded how precious His thoughts are to me and would speak that confession to Him.  Oh, how I desire to take my thoughts captive!  Do you have any thoughts on this subject?

Doug’s Birthday

5 Feb

A tired and nervous new mommy and Doug.

Today is my son’s birthday which, of course, takes me back to the first time I saw him, the first time I held him, and the love that instantly began to flow through me toward him.

I’m thinking today about the hopes and dreams we have for our children.  And the fears we have for them.  I remember talking with my mother-in-law about this during a particularly tumultuous time during my sons’ teenage years.  I asked her how she managed her fear, because she has 17 children.  She looked at me with what I swear was confusion on her face and said, “Sue, I gave them to God when they were born.  Why would I be afraid?”

For her it was a done deal.  For me?  I keep giving and taking and giving and taking.  What about you?

When I get really afraid
I come to you in trust.
I’m proud to praise God;
fearless now, I trust in God.
What can mere mortals do?

Psalm 56:3,4 The Message

Worries and Choke-holds

3 Feb

Sarah Bernhardt

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;  but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.  Mark 4:18,19

I rely on the Word of God changing me when I hear it and when I study it.  In these verses I find the reason I have not grown as much as I would have liked despite spending a lot of time in the Word:  I am a worrier.

I feel like we need to start a chapter of WA.  “Hello, my name is Sue and I’m a worrier.”  My mind is adept and practiced at worry.  Do you think I’m being a drama queen?  (Okay, okay, I admit that my parents did used to call me Sarah Bernhardt.)  Let’s read what Edward Welch wrote about the chokehold of worries:

  • Worry is focused inward.
  • It prefers self-protection over trust.
  • It can hear many encouraging words–even God’s words–and stay unmoved.
  • It can be life-dominating.
  • It is connected to your money and desires in that it reveals the things that are valuable to you.
  • It can reveal that you love something more than Jesus.  It crowds Jesus out of your life.

Ouch!  The good news is that I don’t need to know some spiritual jiu-jitsu to get rid of the choke-hold.  I just need to focus on the Lord and switch from worrying to thinking about God.