Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday word prompt

Five minute Friday word prompt.
Notice.
dictionary.com says it is an announcement or something pending.
"as in a days notice."
It is observation, perception, attention, information or warning.
It is to be aware of something.
I am moved to the thought of when my husband and I are out 'shopping' or walking around together I tend to 'notice' more things then he does.
I will say to him, "did you see that person over in the corner?"
and he will have no clue as to what I am talking about.
We are made differently.
I notice facial expressions or voice inflections.
I watch body languages.
He notices other things.
That is not wrong it is just the way we are made and why we are different than each other.
I will see a child and 'notice' the smile or the fear or the tiredness.
It is ingrained in us as women I think to notice things differently.
That is not bad it is just the way we are made.
On this season of Thanksgiving and heading in to the holidays.
I pray we 'learn' to notice something different, perhaps differently than our normal way of looking at life.
When we talk to someone, notice not just their words but what they are not saying within those words.
When we spend time with them, notice the body language
or the lack of it.
Children always show you how they really feel
if one pays attention and notices.
It is called listening from a place of 'how do I learn' rather than
'what can I share'.
I see the definition a bit different then what the dictionary says.
I see it as Jesus did, when he saw Zacchaeus up in the tree.
(Luke 19:1-10)
Or the women at the well needing more
than just a drink of water. (John 4:28)
Or the leper pleading for healing. (Matthew 8:2)
Others walked by but Jesus observed and noticed those around him.
May we be like that more and more.
To see with eyes that are searching and the willingness to be bold.
Jesus said, "Zacchaeus come down from the tree
for I am coming to your house today."
He noticed, and observed, and then gave information.
Lord help us to open our eyes and truly notice 'those' around us.
It is in the noticing where relationship can begin.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanks giving

This time next week many will be settling in to warm homes
filled with a variety of baked goods,
perhaps a fire in the fireplace and good conversation
with family and friends.
Our turkey is ordered and soon to arrive.
A fresh one this time from a local farm.
The menu is being planned and shopping lists are made.
It is a time for reflection and giving thanks.
We have so much to be thankful for even if we don't feel it.
Thanks giving is a heart condition.
Learning to give thanks for everything.
The good moments and the not so good ones.
We grow and come out stronger during the hard times.
Thanks giving is a holiday yes but not really for one day of the year.
It is learning to give thanks with a grateful heart every day.
It is learning to say 'for this I am thankful'.
Realizing how very blessed we are to be in the situation we are in.
I so remember the traditional dinner my grandmother used to cook.
It is not about fine crystal and beautiful china.
It is about relationships.
It is family and learning to truly appreciate each one who enters
our space and chooses to spend time with us.
This time next week there will also be many alone without family.
I pray we stop to remember them too.
In our moment of giving thanks.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Five minute word Still

The word for the Friday writing prompt is Still.
Dictionary.com says it means to remain in place or at rest.
"to stand still."
Also it is to be free from noise or sound, silent.
"to keep still about a matter."
Also it is to be subdued or hushed sound.
"a still small voice."
Also it is to be free from turbulence, peaceful, calm or tranquil.
"the still air."
Mark 4:39 there is the story of Jesus and his disciples.
The water was rough and scaring everyone and Jesus stood
and told the waves to stop.
"He woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea,
Peace! be still!
The wind ceased and there was a dead calm."
Psalm 46:10 tells us to,
"Be still, and know that I am God!"
He has the power to create stillness over any situation.
I think He is telling us over and over,
to quiet our restless hearts and be calm.
Be still... that is a profound difficult task for us sometimes.
We often feel we must do, we must keep busy,
we must not have idle moments.
Yet Jesus said, "Be Still."
I think I like the remaining in place definition as it goes with my last two blog posts.
Be still and know.... remain in place
with no turbulence surrounding you.
Only the quiet peaceful knowing that He is God
He alone is the one who can give us 'quietness of soul'.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The promise

SO powerful.
"I didn't marry you because you were perfect.
I didn't even marry you because I loved you.
I married you because you gave me a promise.
That promise made up for your faults.
And the promise I gave you made up for mine.
Two imperfect people got married and it was
the promise that made the marriage.
And when our children were growing up 
it wasn't a house that protected them;
and it wasn't our love that protected them -
it was that promise." ~ Thornton Wilder ~
I really like this simple little comment.
Today it was found in a group of quotes and
It makes so much sense to me.
I had no concept of this kind of love when we got married.
Oh as a teen I watched the young and restless or 
One life to live soap opera.
Those were all pretend not real in your face relationships. 
I hear my 15 year old grand daughter say to me, 
"grandma he knows I love him and he loves me."
And I pause and choose to not say to her,
"you really have no concept of that love." 
The power of a promise means from year to year,
in good times and in bad, in happy times and in sad,
I will stay with you and only you.
You are the one who fills me with joy and contentment.
You are the one I am comfortable with and who
has challenged me to walk this journey with...together.
We promise to continue this path we began till we 
no longer can walk it.
Our journey and our promise continues.
Till the promise is over and we are too old to walk it together.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Remembering

We were so young.
So naive about life and love and what it meant to say yes
for a lifetime.
We planned a wedding.
I made the announcements in my high school graphics class and
your mom made our cake.
A family friend made the 'bridesmaids' dresses
and my grandmother made mine.
Forty one years ago on this day, November 3rd 1973.
We stood before friends and family and promised to stay together.
Till death parted us.
We listened to our 'pastor friend' say a prayer of blessing over us.
We listened to the yearning of our 'young hearts cry' to belong
to someone.
And we said yes.
We promised to love each other through sickness and health.
Oh my were we tested on that one.
I was sick for nearly ten years, not only physically but emotionally.
And you stayed.
As you watched me struggle with internal memories and depression that nearly tore us apart
and we struggled through relationship ups and downs
and we stayed.
Our babies came and grew into children and we watched
in amazement and wonder how we raised them together.
For richer or poorer
and we stayed.
Yes we had those times of living paycheck to paycheck.
Sometimes I felt very poor when opening the cupboard or refrigerator but we made it and we never went hungry our bills were not always on time but they were paid and
we were rich in experiences and friendships who encouraged us.
We chose on this day to be a family.
It meant a lot as my own was pretty fragmented and broken.
I didn't really understand the concept
other than from watching assorted TV shows that showed a family.
We have strengthened each other, challenged each other and
in seasons we grew apart in different directions
but always returning to our commitment to each other and
the promises we made on this day forty one years ago
we would stay.
Later as the 'grown children' became adults and were married.
Challenges came along with each tiny new grand child
some were preemies and we learned to pray differently
for we were now new grand parents rekindling the need
for us to stay.
We have been on our knees over and over in a posture of prayer.
The grand children are growing and we are still praying
for protection and love and for them to love and know the Lord.
We are heading into our sixties and it is called our sunset years.
We promised to stay till death parts us and we do stay.
Retirement and plans to travel are in our future.
We have learned to give and let go.
We have learned to understand and forgive.
We have learned that life is not often easy.
But that is a part of the joy of choosing.
1st Corinthians 13 says:
love is patient; love is kind. 
Love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, 
endures all things.
Love never ends.  
It is the process of walking together that makes it comfortable.
Today I am remembering so many things about our forty one years.
Our love has been tested but never ends and as we are growing old together
may our love grow stronger and our testimony
be an example to those who watch and observe and pray with us.
Today I am remembering the many reasons we choose to stay.
silly man in my photo

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Another new word

I am not writing about the 'basket of words' today but I am writing
about a new word our Pastor challenged us with on Sunday.
It is WORSHIP.
Worship defined is: extravagant love-extreme submission.
I personally have a strong reaction to the word submission
but in this instance it is critical.
Submit is to: give over or yield to the power or authority of another,
or allow oneself to some kind of treatment, as in "to submit to chemotherapy." It is to say 'I know this will help me.'
Dictionary.com says:
Reverent honor and homage (which means, respect, formal acknowledgement or consideration of another) paid to God
or something regarded as sacred.
Formal ceremonious rendering of such honor as in;
"They attended worship this morning." 
When I remember my love for God and submit to His love
I am allowing Him to do a work within my heart and spirit.
I am submitting my will to not fight or push against Him.
Pastor said, Worship is similar to silent listening.
Some definitions he gave of the concept of worship:
Worship is a response of God's faithfulness.
We respond internally to God. (as in submit our spirit or will)
Many times in the old Testament the worshipers
would bow down in honor and worship to the God
who brought them out of difficult circumstances.
Worship is choosing sides. Deuteronomy 29:26
They turned and served other gods, worshiping them whom
they had not known and whom He had not allotted to them.
In other words they made a bad choice.
What do you give your affections to? (Is is good and helpful?)
Worship is medicine for the soul. 2nd Samuel 12:19-20
(When David realized his baby had died), he rose up from the ground,
washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes.
He went into the house of the Lord, and worshiped.
When Job heard his family was killed. Job 1:18-21
Then Job arose, tore his robe and shaved his head and fell to the ground and worshiped.
Worship is emancipation and proclamation.
When Moses asked Pharaoh to let his people go.
It was for the very reason of 'worship'.
Then the Lord said to Moses, (Exodus 8:1)
"Go to Pharaoh and say to him,
'Thus says the Lord: let my people go, so that they may worship me.'
Worship frees and delivers us.
Worship is a spiritual experience.
Worship is private and also communal. Psalm 150: 1-6
Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals; loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Sounds like a group worshiping together.
Worship is inevitable. We will worship something.
When I heard every creature in heaven and on earth (Rev 5:13)
As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God. (Romans 14:11)
Worship is a lifestyle. A spiritual worship (Romans 12:1)
Worship needs to be rekindled and restored in our lives.
Worship gives us hope and strength.
How is your 'worship' these days? What do you worship?
"Worship has been misunderstood as something that arises from a feeling which "comes upon you," 
but it is vital that we understand that it is rooted in a conscious act of the will, to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ."
Graham Kendrick
"Corporate worship is a regular gracious reminder that it's not about you. You've been born into a life that is a celebration of another."
Paul David Tripp

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our challenge

We are almost through with the basket of word lessons.
I have found this experience not only powerful but also challenging.
As a writer it is easy to write about what is familiar to you.
What is comfortable.
What is pressing on your heart for the day or
what the Lord is perhaps sharing with you.
It has stretched me to write about a word that is new.
It takes a lot of preparation, study and motivation to integrate it into a writing that makes sense.
I am finding this to be a wonderful learning process for me.
The next word we are exploring is:
Dictionary.com said:
it is overflowing fullness and benevolence as in
"abundance of the heart."
affluence or wealth as in "the enjoyment of abundance."
an extremely plentiful or over sufficient quantity or supply.
In the bible it is spoken of thirty three times both in the Old and the New testaments.
For the purpose of this writing I am only focusing on a few.
Luke 12:15: Then he (Jesus) said to them, "watch out!"
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; 
life does not consist in an abundance of possessions."
For many of us we have never had to live in a situation of dire need.
We can wake up in our warm comfortable homes.
Then open dresser drawers stuffed with clothing or closets too full of things hanging for us to choose from.
After that we open our full refrigerators or pantries and we can always have choice because of our abundance.
I like it when Jesus said, "Watch out! be on guard".
Discontent breeds wrong thoughts and I often find myself
not satisfied
with the abundance of our stuff and I wish for more.
Rather than walking through the house and thanking God for providing
sometimes I complain.
I can go to the store and find abundant choices to put into my cart.
I can turn my television on and find abundant channels to choose from and still not find what I am wanting to watch.
What will it take for us to become grateful and thankful and even generous?
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much
it is whether we provide enough for those who have little."
Franklin D Roosevelt
"Abundance is not something we acquire.
It is something we tune into." Wayne Dyer
"Doing what you love is the cornerstone
of having abundance in your life" Wayne Dyer
On the spiritual side of this word:
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, 
will enter your house, 
I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you. Psalm 5:7
For their sake he remembered his covenant, and showed 
compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. 
Psalm 106:45
and I end with this prayer:
But as for me, my prayer to you, O Lord.
At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. Psalm 69:13
Our challenge is to realize
the abundance of what we have been given
along with how much we have been forgiven and
the abundance of his powerful almighty love for us.