Sunday, November 25, 2012

Climb Every Mountain


Photo of Mt. McKinley courtesy of Ed & Bunny Cooke

Sunday Scripture

and a

Song

 "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,
 from whence cometh my help.
 My help cometh from the Lord
which made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121: 1-2 (KJV)

One of my favorite verses, this time quoted from the King James Bible.
In the stage version of The Sound of Music, one of the Sisters quotes this passage before the Von Trapp family flees over the mountains. Though this isn't how the story unfolded in
real life, it does make for a great moment in the play. 
Climb Every Mountain


Subscribers please click on Hope to find to view this video. Thank You!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

An Attitude of Gratitude



It’s beginning to simmer. Do you feel it? The start of the holiday season and its hectic demand on our time. Already feeling pulled in three different directions at once, something has to give. Unfortunately what gives is my peace. I need to find it and get it back.

With so much vying for our time, how can we find a moment to cultivate peace? A moment is really all it takes. Just a moment to say thank you, to realize gratefulness in the simplest of things.

Turn on the faucet, and clear, fresh water streams out. Not everyone in the world has this luxury, so be thankful. The frig is so full of food for the holiday that it’s truly crammed. Oh, so much food to be thankful for!



My sons are home and my house is full, even if only for a couple of days. The two middle boys, now young men, still have the job of peeling potatoes for the holiday meal. What joy to have these six foot plus giants in my kitchen, when I remember them hanging on my legs in the days before they cast such a big shadow .


The pressure to make it all perfect has to give way to the joy of the moment. Savor it, for it will soon be gone to yesterday and the moment is gone. Take the time to look each one in the eye, and find out where they truly are in life today. Laugh and joke, and love.

Each day holds hundreds of opportunities to cultivate a grateful heart. Why is it easy to only see what needs fixing and mope or complain about what we can’t have? The best ‘fix’ may be an attitude of gratitude.

Finding opportunities in the everyday to be thankful, truly grateful, focuses attention on the positive instead of belaboring the negative.

As we gather to share hearth and home, and a feast that could feed a small village, I pray that the moments of gratefulness we share as we indulge in our meal and our fellowship will carry into the days that follow.

My prayer is for God to open my eyes to the littlest of gifts, those that might otherwise go unnoticed, and cause me to pause and give thanks for these moments in life. It really is the little things that make up a life of gratitude. And saying thanks is a prayer of praise worthy of our humble hearts.



Blessings to all, in the spirit of the season. May your lives be blessed with fruitfulness, and may you grow in appreciation for the little things that bring joy and appreciation for the moments in which we live.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Do Not Be Discouraged




Sunday Scripture

and a

Song



The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. 
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV


Listen and believe in this Truth
Sung by Meredith Andrews
Not For a Moment (After All)



Subscribers click on Hope to find to view this video on my blog - thanks!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It’s the Little Things



Do you find God in the little things of life? I believe we need to be mindful of our situation in order to have the awareness to let the Spirit move us. If this sounds confusing, let me share with you what happened to me yesterday morning.

I decided to take the time to go for a walk. It was cold, just below freezing, so I dug out the array of winter scarves, hats and gloves. I brought along some extra clothes, and drove to a nearby park.

Listening to KLOVE while I drove into the park, a woman shared a cute story of how her daughter was outside as the hurricane blew in. She was out there shouting praises to God with all of her little voice. When her mother asked why, the little girl said, “Because the Bible tells us we should praise God in the storm!”

That story made me laugh, and sure enough, right afterward the DJ played Casting Crowns’ “Praise You in this Storm”. So here I am sitting in my SUV in the parking lot at Fox River Park, singing with all my heart, with my hands raised, praising God, and I see a couple walk by on a nearby trail. Hmmm, I wonder if they saw me. Oh, well. I kept right on singing.

It came to the part in the song that contains one of my favorite scriptures: “I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth”.  And just as I am singing and praising God, a beautiful hawk flies into view, rising over the parking area, soaring low, right in front of where I was parked. He soared slowly, almost hovering, it seemed, and I could clearly see his markings as he faced headlong into the morning breeze. The moment seemed frozen in time, just me and this beautiful bird, and God filled my heart so much that I began to weep with joy. Powerful emotions of connectedness to God and all living things poured through me, and in those brief moments, I felt my spirit connected with the hawk and with God, and I felt great comfort.

I went on my walk, pausing at picnic tables and benches to soak up the morning sun and to pray for friends and family and others dealing with difficult situations.  My walk became a meditation, a connection to earth and sky. 

The three-quarter moon hung in the morning sky, though the sun was already bright; and a bank of soft white clouds framed the picture. It felt ethereal, and I gave thanks for this beautiful world that God has given us to live on.  I was filled with a sense of wonder and awe that we should be so blessed to have this beauty while we are yet on this earth.


The truth is, I could just as easily have stayed home on my computer and whiled away the hours. I’m speaking from experience here. But I am so glad that I chose to go for a walk with God in the morning. There are many things vying for our time, and we have to choose to make time for moments like these that nourish our spirit. 



If you’ve ever had an experience like this, a God moment, won't you share your story? If you would like to, you can post in the comments below so others can read it, too (you can even post anonymously if you'd like).

I think what makes a God moment is perhaps not that we were looking for God in that moment, but that He came to us, with a gentle nudge, a whisper in a glorious sunset, or a song to let us know that we are not alone, we are never alone. In that moment we feel a tremendous connection to Spirit, and the after effect is a blessed peacefulness.

Take time, make time, to be alone with your God. Pour out your heart to Him, and then be still. Answers may not come right away, but know that He hears us, and rest in the comfort of His love, for that is ever present.

I'll check back later to read your stories. Right now, I think I'll go take a walk.

  
Here is a link to a 'When We LIft Our Eyes' where I shared the scripture I mentioned above, along with a beautiful song by Bebo Norman. Or go to 'Praise God through the Storm' to hear Casting Crowns' "Praise You in this Storm" and enjoy a beautiful video.