Sunday, December 29, 2013

Feeling Restless?


 
Sunday Scripture

and a

Song


"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28 NIV  

----------------


My Lord, take from me

My restless thoughts

My restless dreams

My restless life

And fill me

With peace

As only

You

can 


*** 




If you're feeling restless, know that you can rest your cares
 in the God who loves you. 
It doesn't matter what you've done, who you are
 or where you've been.
You only have to call on His name; and rest assured that
 He will hear your call.


Please Enjoy "Restless" by Audrey Assad


Subscribers please click on Hope to find to view this video on my blog site.
Mobile users can view this video on youtube by clicking here.


May all your restlessness be calmed in the arms of Jesus.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

God's Great Grace and Love


The snowy view from my window this morning
Sunday Scripture

and a

Song

"The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing."

Zephaniah 3:17

There is no thought more beautiful to me than that of God singing over me with His love.

God's great grace, the gift of His unmerited favor as manifested in the salvation of sinners and bestowal of His blessings,
is given freely to all who call on His name.
Glory to God
and praise and thanksgiving
for this undeserved gift.

To know our Almighty Savior is always with us, and that He will never leave us, is a comfort and an inexplicable joy.



Here is a song for you by Citizen Way, "How Sweet the Sound" that reminds us of God's great love and the beauty of knowing we are never alone. God is always with us, and He will always love us. No matter what. Praise be to God!



Subscribers please click on Hope to find to view this video on my blog site.
Mobile viewers may click here to view this video on youtube.


Thanks for visiting today. I pray God's blessings of love, joy and peace to all of you.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lord, I need You



Sunday Scripture

and a

Song


"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else,
 and he will give you everything you need."
Luke 12:31 (NLT)





Too many times we find ourselves racing around, trying to "do it all" and probably failing (in our own opinion) because we have such high expectations of what we should accomplish.

Have you ever paused long enough to ask, "God, what should I be doing right now? What is most important, and what can I let go?"

Sometimes we tend to put our mind ahead of our heart; kind of like putting the cart before the horse. 

If we do not pause to find our center to discern what direction we should be going, then we are going forward on our own agenda. Or perhaps in our attempt to try to please everyone, we forget to first figure out what is best for our own selves. 

If we have not first "checked-in" with our inner source of strength, how will we ever get to where we need to be going?

The result of going forward without our inward direction is often frustration and negativity, or blame and anger. Sometimes we just feel lost.

Other times, sorrow engulfs us in our weakness, and we feel so all alone. 

Each and every time, we must reach out for help. And God alone is always there for us. 

If we can maintain a mind-set to always consult God first, we would find we have a better chance of finding success from our efforts.

Remember where your Source is, and what feeds your soul. Take care of yourself from the inside out, and the items on your to-do list that need to be accomplished will get done.

What is left over will be done tomorrow. 

Take time to find your center, and to ask God, your source of strength, to guide you in the direction He would have you follow.

I know I can't do this life alone. God, I Need You.


Please enjoy Chris Tomlin perform Lord, I Need You
a heartfelt worship song written by
 Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, and Matt Maher. 



Subscribers please click on Hope to find to view this video on my web site.
Mobile users, here's a link to youtube to watch the video.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Embracing Change - A Rude Awakening




I was rudely awakened from the sweet slumber of my Sabbath nap by the roar of the lawn tractor outside my window. I sprang from my bed and ran outside and stood there with my bare feet in the cool, damp grass. The panicked look on my face made my husband stop and kill the engine on the mower.

“You don’t want me to mow the leaves?” “No! I want to enjoy them for awhile.” “Well, they’ve been down for a couple of days.” “Yes, I know. Two days. They were all on the tree two days ago and they just fell. And I like how they look against the green grass. Soon all this color will be gone. I want to enjoy it!”


My poor husband. He had only one day to get his outdoor chores done, and he has to deal with his crazy wife attempting to 'Save the Leaves'. My heart wasn’t yet ready to embrace the change of seasons.

I moved reluctantly into autumn this year. For a northern girl who loves cooler outdoor temperatures, this was a surprise, even to me. Usually I welcome Fall in all its glory and enjoy the break from hot summer weather.


But this year felt different. It felt cold. Period. And for some reason, the trees didn’t seem to display the intensity of color that usually comes with fall in Wisconsin. It was still pretty, just somewhat muted. Except for my red maple, the one that had just shed its scarlet leaves in a matter of two days, carpeting the ground with its lost crowning glory.


Then one day I stepped out into the brisk chill of an autumn morning, and I was brought to my senses. No longer was the encroaching change of seasons a rude awakening. I felt the vitality of fresh, cold air on my face, awakening my senses, making me feel alive. I remembered how much I love this refreshing feeling; but there is one caveat: there can be no wind. No bitter wind blowing the cold into the seams of my jacket or up my sleeves. 


And now, we’ve had our first snowfall. And like a young child, I felt the excitement in the change of seasons. Well, truthfully, I was resting. Or trying to. But the big, fat fluffy flakes called me from my blankets to bundle up in a warm coat, hat and mittens, and go out to experience the new season. I walked around the yard as the silent snow fell and remembered last year’s bounty of snow, and I thought about the long, cold winter that lies ahead.


Embracing change. Now that’s not always easy to do. But change is always good. Somehow we adapt, and often when we look back, we realize the change wasn’t so hard after all. Perhaps it is the thought of change that sends us into a tailspin, when the act of change will actually bring us a momentum we could never have imagined on our own. 




Although it may be a rude awakening, embracing change can open our lives to possibilities we could never dream of. Love the season you are in, for most certainly it will soon change. And when it does, embrace the change. Keep your heart open for a new beginning. We never know what joy could be waiting right around the corner.


Blessings, my friends.





Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks


I am thankful for:

My relationship with God
which brings me comfort,
peace, and unending love

My family 
who love me unconditionally

Nature
With songs in the trees,
music in rushing water,
and the awe-inspiring
 beauty of flowers

My girlfriends
Who share our lives
in long heart-talks, laughter
and the precious gift of time

Music
Which fills my life
with the melody of love

My kitties
who know just when 
we need to cuddle

Life
and the beauty
in every breath

You
who come to read my thoughts
and look for encouragement,
and share in this life with me


Happy Thanksgiving!
May you know many blessings
and know
that you are beloved


I would love for you to share what you are thankful for. Please leave a comment below. You may post anonymously if you prefer.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Growing Through the Seasons



Frost had been predicted. I went into my garden to gather the last of summer’s bounty. As I plucked unripe tomatoes and loaded them into the cradle of my arm, I wondered once again, why did I not remember to bring a bowl or a basket with me to the garden?



When the final harvest was completed, I surveyed the garden plot and decided that a fall clean up was necessary. So I began by pulling out the tomato cages and stakes that had been anchored deeply into the earth to support the growing vines.

Then I pulled out the plants, rooted firmly in the soil. Some had roots spreading out horizontally where they had reached out for nourishment from their surroundings. All had flourished, some more than others, and each root pattern was different.

It got me to thinking how our lives are like those plants. In our early summer gardens, we sow seeds or transplant seedlings with care, envisioning a bountiful life and a fruitful harvest in the season ahead.


We can begin anew in our own lives during any season.

Each day is an opportunity to grow in a new way; to start again and to envision the life in which we will prosper.



As summer stretches her long days into warm nights, we watch our gardens grow. We make certain they are watered faithfully, so that the plants can receive their nutrients from the soil. Roots reach out underground to sustain the rapid growth of the plant; and as the plant grows, it reaches to the sky seeking sunlight to nurture its growing abundance.

Are we so very different?

Our feet are firmly planted in this life, and our faith can nurture our growth, but we must reach out to sustain that growth. Our roots are where we are planted, our families and our communities. We can keep pretty much to ourselves, and maintain our lives just as they are.


Photo Courtesy Ed & Bunny Cooke


Or, we can reach out to others nearby and share in their lives, too, intertwining our “roots” with shared experiences and personal growth. We can nurture each other by sharing our faith journey and helping each other to navigate this challenging life, day by day.






Where do you reach out for personal growth? Like the plants reaching for the sunshine, we need to reach out to the unknown to try new challenges and new adventures. We will be sustained by the foundation of our roots, our families and our familiar lives. But we will be challenged to find new footing as we grow, to sustain a broader base of interest.

Plants need sunlight, water and soil to grow.

People need faith, hope, and love to grow.  

The One who makes all life possible is the One we need to turn to every day to sustain our growth, and indeed, sometimes to simply make it through each day.

All of nature is one, and we are a part of the whole. God created nature to work in harmony with itself, enduring through the ebb and flow of life; through vibrant, new growth, sustained life, and finally decomposition of the plant material that will feed the soil and future generations.

So must we be ready for the give and take of life; opportunities for new growth and times when we must cast away that which no longer serves us. We must sustain a willingness to explore new ideas to offer our minds new avenues of growth, and we must share our knowledge with those who are younger to encourage a new generation of thinkers and caretakers of this planet.



To strengthen our spirit, we need daily contact with our Source. Through prayer, meditation, and conversation with our Creator, we connect with the source of our energy and maintain our ability to grow. God is our sunlight.



When we turn our faces to be warmed by His presence, His peace fills us and becomes our provision. It is the sustenance we need. Like plants that maintain life through sunlight and photosynthesis, we are nurtured through our connection with God.

We can feed our spirit by connecting with the power and peace of the One who is loving, patient and forgiving. We need not fear the unknown when reaching out in new directions. God will always be there to strengthen and nurture us when we seek His guidance.

Photo Courtesy Ed & Bunny Cooke
It’s nearly as simple as turning our faces to the sun. Only instead we need to turn our hearts to God, seeking Him throughout the day, and thank Him for the beauty that surrounds us in the people and places He leads us to.  Gratitude is our fertilizer.

When we build our foundation on fertile soil, we will grow. By offering thanks for all things that touch our spirit and make us happy, we live a life of gratitude that nurtures our spirit. And this is a fertile foundation for continued growth in our lives.

We are sustained by our communities of love and faith as our foundation, and we are nurtured in growth by the love of our gracious God. In this way, providing all of the ingredients for a prosperous life, we can joyously live and grow through any season of our lives. 


Sunday, October 13, 2013

God's Unending Love


Photo Courtesy Ed & Bunny Cooke



Sunday 

Scripture

and a

Song 








"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 
'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. '"
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT


Is it possible to believe that someone would have only our best interest at heart? Or that anyone could be so selfless that they would strive to satisfy the desires of our heart?

There is one, and only one, who loves us so unconditionally that no matter what mistakes we make, no matter what muck we get ourselves stuck in; even though we may wander away from His love, He always loves us. It may be hard to believe, but it is true.

God is the only one who loves unconditionally, who forgives completely, and who yearns for us to seek Him every day, in every situation, and for every need. 

God's love is this complete. 

Open your heart and receive His love. 

He is waiting with open arms.


Mac Powell from Third Day sings of God's unending love for us in their song:
I've Always Loved You

Please enjoy today's video, prepared as a love letter from God to you; 
and believe, with all your heart, that God really does love you.

Subscribers please click on Hope to find to view this video on my blog site.
Mobile users who wish to view this video on youtube may click here.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

You Can Begin Anew



Sunday Scripture

and a

Song


How many times have you wished for a "do-over"? In this life, we mess up. We make mistakes. That is the nature of humanity. 


God foresaw this would happen. He knew our need would be great for Him to pull us out of our despair. He knew our failures would feel like a huge weight around our necks, pulling us down and keeping us from knowing joy.

That's why He died for our sins. So that we can be free. Free to live and love and create new joy in our lives, despite our past and our shame. He takes all that away from us and creates in us a new beginning. Simply by sincerely asking Him to do so, and truly wishing to repent of our ways.

Prayer: Lord, I wish things weren't the way they are. I wish so much that my choices had not brought me to where I am now. I can't change the past, but with your help, I can change who I am going to be. Help me, Lord. Forgive my past mistakes, and lead me into a new beginning. I want to know joy and love, and I want to know You more. Walk with me through this day and always, and lead me.  In Jesus' name. Amen


"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV


"For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?"
Isaiah 43:19 NIV


We can be made new. Every single day. God breathes new life into us and we start again. No matter how many times we fall. He is there, to pick us up, hold us in our brokenness, and give us another chance in this life. Believe it, my friend.

Here's a link to a post I wrote about Leaving the Past Behind. I share my thoughts about how to let go of the past and move forward. We have to make a conscious choice to leave the past behind us, and learn to control our thoughts going forward. 

Tenth Avenue North has a wonderful song to remind us we are not defined by our mistakes. We are Children of the Most High. God loves us and wants only the best for us. We have to let go of our painful past and allow God to work in us to create something new. Many blessings, friend.

Tenth Avenue North - You Are More


Subscribers, please click on Hope to find to view this video on my blog site. 
Mobile readers, here's the link to view this on Youtube

I pray God finds you where you are today, and that you reach out to Him for healing. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. Amen

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lord, I Give You My Heart



Sunday Scripture

and a

Song


 "Take delight in the Lord,
  and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4 NIV


And since I do not know the desires of my ever-changing heart, let my desire be only to worship and honor my Savior.


Please enjoy this video of a favorite song of mine, performed by a choir in Oslo. The harmonies are wonderful, and the prayer is from my heart. 


Subscribers please click on Hope to find to view this video on my blog site.
Mobile viewers click here to view this video on youtube.