My Life

person-371015_1280My life is borrowed, ‘tis not mine

I cannot hold it selfishly

But give it to the One above

Who gave His all, His life, His love

That I might one day see

 

lanternI see with light that is not mine

I cannot make one star shine bright

Yet through the holes God makes in me

His Spirit shines, so I can be

A lantern, glowing Holy light

 

adventure-1868255_640This light alone will light my path

It is a course I do not choose

My way, my will I give to Him

Who walked this earth and knew no sin

With Him I cannot lose

 

And so, my life, my light, my path

Are not for me, but God alone

No pain or sorrow come to me

That I am not assured will be

Exchanged for glory – at His throne

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A CHRISTMAS Prayer for you

C – Christ

It is my prayer that Christ would be the focus of your Christmas. May you not be waylaid by all the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, baking, doing; but have moments of simply acknowledging the sacrifice of the King and Creator of the Universe, who came to earth in the fragile, vulnerable package of a tiny baby to live on earth and make the supreme sacrifice for us to have the option to spend our eternity with Him.

He is The Christ – The Messiah, The Savior, The Deliverer, The Wonderful Counselor, The Prince of Peace. May He be these things for you all year.

When all the presents have been unwrapped, the food is all eaten, the relatives have all returned home, may you take the generous gift of Christ’s love with you into the new year. May you be mindful of how very much He loves you each day of this next year. May your eyes be opened to the tangible ways He shows you that love every day. May you praise God, each day, from whom all blessings flow; keeping Christ in every day of your year.

 

H – Hearing

It is my prayer that you would hear God; that your ears would be opened and attuned to God’s voice speaking to you. Perhaps not in a real-world audible kind of way – but that you would, nevertheless, have the experience of knowing what He is saying to you. God speaks through His Word, the Bible, through the Holy Spirit in prayer, through the circumstances in your life and through godly people.

May you hear His voice clearly, without the distractions of the world around you or the flesh within you. These voices speak so loudly we often allow them to drown out the spiritual guidance Jesus would give, if we would but listen. I pray that when you hear, you will listen with an open mind and heart. I ask that God would give you clarity and understanding of all He shares with you. May our Lord remove whatever ‘cotton’ has been stuffed into your spiritual ears.

It is hard to love a God you do not know. And it is hard to know Him when there is no communication. May this be a year of growing to know Him more deeply by hearing His voice as He teaches You, leads you, guides and directs you, encourages you, and rejoices over you with singing!

 

R – Revelation

May you receive from God a revelation of how to use your gifts and talents this year. May He tell you and show you how to spend your energy and time this year in ways that will satisfy you immensely and bring honor and glory to Him.  God made you unique and special – He puts it ‘fearfully and wonderfully’. You have very specific gifts and talents wrapped up with a personality and passions, and having had personal experiences that create a one-of-a-kind You! May our Lord reveal to you how to unwrap that gift that is uniquely you. And show you how to share the gift that you are with the world.  And may that Revelation inspire and direct your path.

He has placed something in you that is meant to be shared! Tell Him that you are ready to listen, and ask Him to reveal to you how to do it step by step.

 

I – Invigoration

I pray God will invigorate you in following the Revelation you Hear from Him. That means placing ‘vigor’ in you! ‘Vigor’ is robustness, potency, strength! May He fill you with the energy and power you need to follow through everywhere He leads you. May God give you the invigoration and inspiration to excel at all the opportunities He brings your way this year.

May He also give you the ‘vigor’ to meet any challenge He allows into your life this year. Some days will flow easily, almost effortlessly, and you may not be aware that He is the One empowering you to be able to accomplish all you do. Other days, you may have to audibly call on Him to muster the energy and strength you need. May He always answer your call with strength equal to the task. May you rest in the knowledge that God has prepared you for whatever happens. Nothing ever takes Him by surprise! May He help you and guide you through whatever comes along.

May He invigorate you: body, mind and spirit.

 

S – Someone

May God bring Someone alongside you who will be a godly presence. One who will be like iron sharpening iron in your life. One who will help you keep Christ the focus of your life. One who will remind you to listen to God’s voice, hold you accountable to be obedient to Him, and joyfully give thanks to Him with you. It may be someone you already know, or it may not. It may be someone you expect, or it may not. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. May you be open to His choice of a helper for you, for this time and for His purpose.

 

T – Time

May God show you, teach you, how to take authority over your time. Ask Him where to set limits, what to make priorities, and how to stay disciplined in those areas. May God show you how you are currently spending your time, and where you need to make changes. Ask Him what to let go of so you can make room for what He is showing you is important. May you not be a slave to the ‘tyranny of the urgent’, but make time to do what is important, not just what seems ‘urgent’ at that moment.

May He help you appreciate His perspective of time, understanding that He often works behind the scenes in ways that are invisible to us at the time. When you need to be patient, may God show you how to wait patiently, prayerfully. May you let God help you find the right balance in resting and doing, knowing both are important.

 

M – Mirth

May God give you times of laughter, merriment – complete and utter joy – that override your circumstances or attitude. May joy come, renewed, every morning. And may there be laughter in each day that brings strength to your bones and healing to your body! May our Lord God, give you the focus you need to be able to enjoy everyday moments, and see life from His perspective so you can appreciate every blessing He abundantly showers on you. And may He give you the ability to laugh, even in the face of trouble, as you rely on Him, the Author of your faith, to carry you through anything that comes along; knowing that God will never ever leave you or forsake you. As laughter is good medicine, may you be well medicated all throughout the year!

 

A – Attitude of Gratitude

I pray that you would see all the things in your life that are blessings from God. I pray He would open your eyes to understand that even things you take for granted, are gifts. May you be thankful for every morning you wake up and the sun is shining, for every step you take in your own strength and power, for every breath you draw in and exhale. May you appreciate being able to think clearly, and speak audibly, and move freely. May you thank God for the times you live in – not cave man days, or covered wagon days, but right now, when we enjoy so many modern day miracles and life-saving medical advancements and transportation and communication technological wonders. May you appreciate the fact that you live in a country where we are still free to become whatever we want, and purchase what we need for life and comfort, and worship God as we please. May you voice your gratitude for your friends and loved-ones who pour into your life, and allow you to pour into theirs. May you fully acknowledge God’s hand in the seven wonders of the world: to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to think, to laugh, and to love.

May you thank God daily for the beauty you see around you, the blue of the sky, the brightness of the sun, the sparkle of the stars, the glow of the moon, the colors of the sunset (or of the sunrise if you happen to wake before it), the mountains or trees or flowers, the wrinkles of laughter, the smiles of friends, the furry pets who love unconditionally.

May your attitude of gratitude overcome even the difficult days. And when it would be easier to complain, may you be able to rejoice in giving thanks.

 

S – Safety

May you enjoy safety and security in your home, in your travel, at work, at rest, and at play. May God safeguard your health; not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.

To use words from Psalm 121: May your help come from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. May our God not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He will neither slumber nor sleep. Our Lord watches over you and will be your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; He will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Amen.

God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways

When I woke up, my throat was dry and sore. My head was stuffy and my nose was running. I began reorganizing my day so I could get the kids off to school and then snuggle back into my warm bed for several hours of recuperative rest.

There are not many things that would have thwarted this endeavor. But, when I called out to my youngest son to wake up and he responded with a raspy, croupy voice, that was one of them. I got out of bed and ran a tub full of hot water to make a steam room, and got him in there. Silently, I hoped my plans of sweet slumber would only be slightly delayed.

A trip downstairs to look at the calendar revealed that he was not buying the hot lunch selection offered at school, necessitating making him a lunch. AND that it was Band day, meaning an extra heavy load for him to carry. As I started the lunch, his friend and walking buddy phoned to say he was ready to go early. Since Collin was not ready and the steam would take a little while to work, I told his walking buddy to go on without him. Now the prospect of making him walk to school, late, alone, and carrying his trumpet was too much. The obvious solution: I should drive him.

I made his breakfast and took it on a tray upstairs to the steam room. He was sounding much better. After making his lunch and filling his backpack with various permission slips and homework papers, I resigned myself to get dressed.

In 20 minutes, he was looking, feeling, and sounding fine. With one last glance at my now coiffed covers, we were off.

my-lakeRight by the school is the lake I usually walk around for exercise and inspiration. While it had not been my plan for this morning, (remember my dreams of snugly slumber?) the fact that I was up and dressed and all the way to the school left me no acceptable excuse.

Even though walking the lake is something I really enjoy and something I know is good for me. I can come up with a myriad of excuses to avoid actually doing it. But God seems to know when I need it most. And when he wants to teach me something. Being close to nature makes me look and listen more intently to what He might have to say. So forgetting my sore throat, I began walking.

dahlia-2823975_640Not even a quarter of the way around the lake, I stopped to admire a beautiful dahlia. This tall blossom had grown huge and strong and boldly faced the sun. I remembered how many flowers bend to grow towards the sun; some even track the sun as it moves across the sky each day. I began noticing that other plants had oriented themselves towards the sun too. Not only the flowers, but some bushes had obviously sent more branches out in the direction of the sun.

What a lesson!

How often do we stand tall and face the Son? And how often do we shade ourselves a bit? Are we afraid of what His true light would reveal?

Facing the sun/Son is saying, “I am ready to receive what you will give me.” The flower receives sunlight that helps it live and grow. We receive life and growth and so much more from the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. God is prepared to send down His grace, forgiveness, love, peace, joy, guidance, direction, protection. We need only turn to face Him.

This flower, looking full into the face of the sun, reminded me of the words to a song I love:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of the world will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace

©1922 Helen Lemmel

As I continued around the lake I realized the truth of the statement in Isaiah 55:8-9 “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways…”. My thought had been to stay in bed, hidden from the sun. But God knew I needed the healing power of facing and focusing on the Son. Being up and out had cleared my head and encouraged me for the day. I am so glad I walked around the lake and saw that dahlia.  So glad I can trust that He knows what I need better than I do.  So can you.

 

You Light My Path

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Recently I found myself walking with a group of friends in the dark. I had a small flashlight that came in handy as the sidewalk had a broken and uneven surface.

 

detective-flashlight-260x300We huddled together and moved forward cautiously. At first, I thought it would be best to shine the light up ahead of us so we could see where the path curved or stopped at a curb or was cut off by bushes.   But it became clear that we could walk with the most certainty and speed when the light shone brightly on the very next step we were to take.

Looking ahead is good for getting a sense of direction, but we needed the close, step by step guidance to be sure our ankles didn’t turn or slip off the narrow path.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Your Word, the Bible, is that light for me. The scriptures come alive in the circumstances of my life.

Pros_and_Cons_of_Tech_Communication_When I am not sure which option is best, Your Word tells me “Trust in the Lord with all Your heart and lean not on Your own understanding.” So while it is wise to make a list of pros and cons and count the cost of decisions, the logic of the world is not the final answer. Trusting in You to lead me through prayer and Scripture helps me make my final choice.

When I feel frustrated with something I had hoped would turn out better, You tell me “Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time [you] will reap a harvest…”. It picks me up and lets me know that instant gratification isn’t always available.   And reiterates that some things take time to see desired results.

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Or when I feel discouraged, alone and depressed, You tell me “I have carried you since your birth…I will continue to be with you and sustain you, even when you have gray hairs. I will always carry you; I will always sustain you; I will always rescue you.” [paraphrased to personalize] Your Word reminds me I am never, ever, no never, not ever alone.

book light on girl

Like the flashlight on the path, Your Word helps me see that next step and take it.

Thank You Father, that You care so much for me that even in the darkness of this world and its ‘wisdom’ You have made a way for me to stay on Your path and keep moving ahead safely.

Click on these to read the scripture again and see what God might be saying to you:

Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 3:5; Galatians 6:9; Isaiah 46:3-4

Be a Pink Flamingo for Christ

There were two Pink Flamingos on my lawn today! Can you imagine?

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Standing so very still, it was hard to believe they were real. What an attention getter these brightly colored birds are! Soon, all the neighbors noticed and commented on their presence. Their long legs and necks, their large bent beaks and the unusual color of their feathers makes them a most noticeable bird. Okay, they were plastic – left as a joke!

I have seen these birds before, but only at the zoo. Usually the beauty of their gorgeous orange/pink color adds to their stateliness as they pose, standing still in the water.

gray flamingo

But once at the zoo, I saw several gawky looking birds. Their long gangly legs looked uneven as they waded in the pool. Their shaggy feathers appeared a dirty white and gave the impression of being uncared for. Surprisingly, these too, were flamingos.

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The color in their feathers comes from their diet. The Pink Flamingos have a diet rich in a kind of shrimp that is filled with a pink that dyes the feathers of the bird that eats them. So, these other flamingos were simply dining on something else.

What a pity, that they miss out on the beauty they were created for! They too, could be transformed by consuming the right nutrients.

Can you imagine being so filled with something that you take on the very appearance in color of it? As Christians, we are given the opportunity to dine on the very Word of God. Doing so will transform our lives.

As we consume His Word and absorb the personality of Jesus Christ, we will begin to look like what we are taking in. We can become “Pink Flamingos” for Christ! We can stand out in a crowd, be noticed, point the way for others.

flamingo-1792211_640Maybe that is what scares us. Maybe we don’t want to be noticed. Maybe we want to be ‘lukewarm’ so as not to call attention to ourselves or offend anyone. We can be so stubborn and refuse God’s Word and eat what we want. Then we become like those dingy, drab, dirty-looking birds: recognized as Christians, but with a note of pity: that we have missed the beauty God created us for.

God’s Word tells us in Revelation 3:16 that lukewarm Christians will be spit out of God’s mouth – He wants nothing to do with them.

Feed yourself on God’s Word! Let the power of his plan be revealed in your life as you become transformed into a “Pink Flamingo” for Christ.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good.” Psalm 34:8

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