Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Treasure Asked For

God knows the longings of our heart, when it is God focused, He placed it there, and has every desire to see it come to pass. One of our ladies bible studies is studying the Tabernacle of Moses. It has been my desire to find a menorah, a Jewish candelabra.

How inviting to enter the room with the candle sticks burning as they were in the Holy Place, kind of ‘takes you there’ doesn’t it. This morning as I dropped my youngest off at school, I stopped in at the Goodwill. I prayed, “Lord, what a wonderful treasure it would be to find a menorah HERE!” As I meandered around the isles I got to the brass section, and YES, there it was. Shining silver in all it’s glory! A small 6 branch, single stemmed beauty of a thing! On the bottom it says, ‘silver plated, Jerusalem’. Oh it’s a dandy! The one in the Tabernacle was pure gold, but hey with today's economy, I can not ask for more. What a treasure. I asked for it and God had it waiting for me.

Now all I needed was the small tapered candles. Alrighty then… another prayer, “Lord, thank You for the menorah, now all we need are the candles’. Sure enough a few isles away, lying on the bottom shelf of the candles, was a box of 44 traditionally dipped deluxe tapered Hanuka candles. God LOVES me!

I actually laughed out loud. THAT is so our God! A treasure asked for, a treasure given. NOW, I am asking for the Ark of the Covenant, ok… so I am asking BIG!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Beauty Found in Lavender



Not long ago, I went to the library looking for a particular book, after rummaging around, I FINALLY went to the librarian and she helped me find the book, at another library. So I loaded myself up, and headed over to the other side of town. Once there I found my book, but then thought I would take a glance at the movies they had to offer.

I came across a title that truly intrigued me, Ladies in Lavender. It was a heart warming story of two elderly sisters who lived in a small cottage off the English sea. Caught in the daily routine, that filled them for years, until one day a young man was washed up on shore from a ship wreck. He had no memory of his past or who he was, and he spoke a different language.

As the story unfolds, the sister’s nurse the young man back to health, as they do they begin to teach him their language. In the process they uncover that he has an incredible gift of music, soon a violin is brought and the boy plays beautifully. His love is expressed by bringing them lavender from a near by field, that the sisters enjoy to stroll through. A bond is strongly formed, as they pour their life, love and commitment into the boy. He eventually leaves the seashore and becomes a renowned violinist.

I thought of how we too can pour our own life, love into another and help them discover the beauty inside just waiting to come out. Regardless of who they once were, a new and current defining, full of gifting, promise and identity. It may take us learning another language, and alot of commitment, and perhaps a sharing of lavender in the process.
Jesus says, "Love one another as I have loved you!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Present Presence


We live in the present, that is just how the time line is designed. God in His infinite wisdom, created it so we can not go back… can't jump forward, we are forced to be here … in the NOW.

In Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus shares 'how' to seek the Lord in prayer. He covers praise, provision, pardon and protection. But there is one place where He says ‘when’ …‘Give us today our daily bread’ (v.11) . We can't live on yesterdays, even tomorrows Presence, His word. God is for TODAY. Present Presence, present praise, provision, pardon and protection. He is the God of our NOW and now is DAILY. How can we invite Jesus into our NOW? Hm ...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ya Gott'a Dance


Yesterday my teenage son and I were in a store shopping for wrapping paper. As I strolled up the isles they had music playing on the loud speaker. I tend to move a bit when I hear music, before I knew it I was dancing up the isle. Joshua was ‘horrified’ to see his mom doing such a thing, (although he should expect it by now) He quickly dashed into the next row. You would think, with the youth freedom of expression these days, there would be a little more acceptance of a pre-pre middle aged woman dancing in a store.

However ~ the layout of the store caused us both to end up in the same isle AGAIN. Yes, I was still dancing… the poor lad. He could only say the words, with exhausted breath, “Mom do you HAVE to do that?” I told him, “ah, ya gotta dance now and then.” I continued on.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace …” (Ro. 15:13). There is calm delight, and there is get MOVING from the depths of your soul delight! Joy! Let it loose now and then and ... DANCE!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Step into Revelation


This last weekend our pastor said "may this year, 2008 be the year you become what God is calling you to be", well that is what 'I' heard him say. There are times, we can get our own little sermon within the sermon. This stirred something strong in me. I feel I have been standing at the door of God's calling at best and not truely entering in.
I have discerned the need to get things in order (literally) to help me accept the thrust of the calling. Organize, file, clean, throw away. These mainly to help clear my head. It helps to study with a clean desk. I am learning also that a gift from God is not yours to keep. It is designed to give away and pass on, share. In addition, positioning is important to me, as I position myself to hear from God and others, I am well positioned, supported and ready to move and operate in God.
So this year, I do not make a New Years resolution, I step into ... 'revelation'. Revelation of what He has for me, knowing it is good, and comes in a package filled with enabling, empowerment, most importantly unlimited grace and love. 2008 may hold a very scary looking door for me, but I am ready to step in and through, clutching tightly HIS package, I not only cling to it, I strap it on! What freedom!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Though I Fall ...


Today was a very, let's say, paining day. My youngest son was invited to a party, he and 2 other 2nd graders were celebrating birthdays. It was assumed that a time of 'skating' would benefit one and all, ALL the second grade BOYS! So, our family, plus an additional teenager loaded up for Skate World.

I knew I was headed for trouble, when I dismounted from the truck failing to seek the covering of the Holy Spirit in every endeavor for the day. As I laced up those (pardon me) UGLY high top bowling shoes with wheels super glues to the bottoms, I cringed in panic of what I had gotten myself into. In my youthful years, I was quite good at skating, even backwards. BUT, (again, BUT) that was YEARS ago.

I had forgotten that the slick blue floor was indeed waxed at night by some devious maintenance man... (just kidding) I worked my way around the rink as the 2nd graders whipped by me with glee. Then it happened! It only took one time for those rock solid words of faith, etched in scripture to burst forth from my lips 'Though I have fallen, I will rise' (Micah 7:8, yes, I confess I have taken this completely out of context - but then again, God's word does NOT return void! HA! )

I KNOW tomorrow morning when I attempt to roll out of bed, and my feet hit the floor, I may begin to plead the blood of Jesus in great anguish at the soreness of my body. As I expressed today, I am too old to 'fall', I learned also, that even in my caution and alertness, there are times that I will indeed fall, but I get up, dust myself off and keep on rolling!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Writing Deeply


We often write most deeply and happily on those areas closest to our heart", a quote by Julia Cameron. I find this to be oh so true. When I write a devotion, study or even a blog, it is my way of journeling, expressing what God is currently speaking to me, and this is 'closest to my heart' ~ God's word.

There is a phrase I am meditating on, and have memorized (from the Greek) 'Hagios, Hagios, Hagios, Kyros Theos Pantukrator Opsewneon' ~ 'Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come' (Rev. 4:8) This is ALL encompassing, includes time and demionsion. Holy is being 'apart, other'. God is SO 'other'. The otherness of God, 'Holy' (times 3!) Knowing that ALL that is good is God, and flows freely from His throne. This is ... comforting.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Joy and Peace Our Reward


A friend and I were talking today about 'life' and how the choices we make can set the tone for the ups and downs. Frustrations and stress can be a result of these choices, stealing our joy. I was taken to Phil. 4:4 'Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!' We are to rejoice ---> in the Lord, not in our achievements, not in what and how much we accomplished today. Our joy being made complete ~ full ... really has nothing to do with ... US! It is God.

Paul goes on to say 'think on these things ...' we are to take an inventory of the situation, in what I am thinking, is it -- true, honorable, right, pure, lovely admirable, excellent and worthy of praise...? Literally, we are to 'occupy oneself' with such thoughts. Think on God things ~ joy and peace our reward! Go God!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Got'er DONE!


Tax time. Two dreaded words for the self-employed. My job is to get ALL that paper work somehow into the computer. You would think with the great technology there is today, there would indeed be an innovative way to do so. Don't you think that DELL could come up with a drawer that you simply stack your paper work in, and the computer would scan, categorize the info. and place in the appropriate columns ~ BUT NO! It still has to be hand plunked, key by key, number by number. Oh the pain!
However ~ through much determination and close to tears I might add, I got'er done!
Now my goal is to take ALL this paper work and stuff them in manila folders, who knows I may even be as bold as to label the folders, yep messing with my system. A friend said 'there is nobility in doing this menial task'. At first I thought he was NUTS, but now that I am on the other side of it ... there are 2 words I would like to offer 'hire out!' Just kidding!
Perhaps 2008 would hold my attention alittle closer, I would see the stack of paper mounting, and conquer that puppy before it conquers me ... then again ~ maybe NOT!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Wearing it Proudly


Yesterday my husband and I were out on a date, (yes, remember those?) We had gone to lunch and as we were driving back towards home, I saw two scenarios that really tickled my fancy. At a stop light, a BRITE yellow van passed in front of us, it was not only the van that caught my attention - but the driver. The driver was a clown, in full costume with painted smiling face. He sat straight backed in his seat; the color of his van obviously did not bother him, nor the camouflage on his face. He just went about his business.

THEN, only a few blocks from there on a street corner, we saw … hm … not sure what it was, but a fellow was dressed in a mascot costume for a local pizza parlor. Apparently, trying to catch the eye of potential customers, he danced, waved his arms, and jiggled. He seemed to really be enjoying himself. The funny part was, as he danced, he was on beat with the music in our car.

As we drove away I thought about the things we wear. Are we comfortable in it, do we concern ourselves with how others may perceive us? Do we dance? Do we come across as in beat with those around us? The Lord dropped in my heart, ‘YOU are a daughter of the King, wear it proudly’.

So the crown on my head is what it is, a symbol of who and WHO’s I am. I wear it as I go about my business, I may even wave my arms and dance a little jig ~ on beat of course!

Friday, January 11, 2008

A New Day


I wanted to get up early this morning, but I also wanted to sleep in! (smile) I couldn't get my sorry body out of bed.

Yesterday was an extremely emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining day. To 'love' and love kindly can be such an up hill battle. There are times we love by pure determination, even through gritted teeth at times, at other times ~ it is so easy.

The reward? Is there? I believe just making it to the other side of the day, and knowing that you worked through it and today is a new day.

So begins my day ~ A day of blue, white, red and purple. Color my world Jesus!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Discipline of Meditation


A friend and I have discussed the discipline of meditation. How keeping our minds focused on Jesus can help color our world, from those dark and gray places to the vast wide open canvases of white. What an opportunity, giving Jesus the paint brush of thought, focus and desire. Being a disciple of having the picture painted for us, rather than painting for ourselves, the colors are clear and concise not running together.

This week as I again step on that fast paced treadmill called LIFE, full of family, work and ministry, I set my face toward Jesus, into an intense time of prayer and fasting, may HE paint!

There is a song that I use to help me focus, that was written in the late 1980’s by Tim Smith, I sing it over you and I, (to you and for you) as I type.

Laying down my vain imaginations
Focusing my thoughts upon You Lord,
Mediating in Your loving presence
Not allowing fear in anymore

Capturing my wondering thoughts before You
Casting them before my Lord and King
Standing pure and holy in Your presence
I’m looking through eyes that now are clean

I look to You the Author and the Finisher
I look to You the Lover of my soul
You consume my heart and my vision
And through Your love I am made whole.

His riches blessings, DeDe

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Waiting in the Upgrade


There HAS to be a verse in the bible SOMEWHERE, giving the call to … upgrade. Hezekiah 7:3, yes that is it … ‘those of sincere desire to accomplish much, will seek to improve that which is already possessed.’ (Totally kidding! no such verse, sounded good)

Last night, I sat horrified starring at the computer screen; soon my head was in my hands, as tears stung my eyes. It’s GONE! ALL GONE! To upgrade my bible software to the newest – fastest – BETTER program, I had to ‘uninstall’ what I did have. So I began the process. Bible Explorer vaporized, Wordsearch 7 only a memory. ALL the commentaries, dictionaries, 18 bible translations now lost. Oh, the pain!

Confident I had pushed the right buttons, that 5 letter word, that sends chills down even the geekiest neck, flashed across my screen ‘ERROR’. I could NOT install the new version. Mind you, that for some this is a minor event in one’s life, but for a bible teacher, this is my Kitchenaide, (which I have no clue how to use) my industrial vacuum, all the gadgets most swoon over.

I sat starring into the black abyss of the screen. Then it dawned on me, I reached forward and laid my hands on the computer screen – “in JESUS NAME, come out of there!” Obviously I do not have enough faith, the screen did not fall as if under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, or scripture begin to run across my screen in neon lights, NOTHING.

Then I resorted to plan B. CHOCOLATE! That was it; I hadn’t had any in 3 days. So, I drowned my sorrows in a bowl of fat free chocolate frozen yogurt. I felt better, but the program still didn’t work! Being the teacher that I am, thought there IS a lesson in this.

‘Wait on the LORD, be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart, wait I say on the Lord.’ (Psalms 27:14) real verse.

So, I wait ... until Monday morning when I call the tech support for the installation challenged morons ~ that's me.

Is there something you are waiting for? It is NOT all gone, restoration is on the way!

waiting in the upgrade ...

(leave a comment and tell me what YOU are waiting for ~ )

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mountain Climbing


The hills of life often turn into the mountain of challenge. Ever felt that way? One more heap of this or that, and it continues to grow. I have asked the Lord to show me about the mountain. It has consumed my mind these last couple of days. I have found that if we sit at its base and do nothing, nothing is obtained, attained, nothing is conquered.

God showed me in His word, different mountains, and the different aspects of His character met at each mountain. There is first the bowing of head, seeking the covering of His Spirit, grace to endure.

As I journey up, I see Noah. Genesis 8:1 as the flood swirled around him, it says 'God remembered Noah'. God took Noah and placed him on a mountain top, there He made promises and a covenant. As I wipe the tear from my eye, I observe the faithfulness of God, I journey on.

I see Abe, Genesis 22. God calls Abraham to the mountain ~ to sacrifice. There was the laying down of a deep love, yet in obedience ... offered. It says 'God called out to Abraham'. He again, is faithful.

Exodus ~ Moses is taken to the mountian, God gives His word. His word becomes their guidance. Guide LORD!

Now I stand at the Mt. of transfiguration, Matthew 17. Jesus invites. It says He takes Peter, James and John with Him, as He uncloaks His humanity, showing His glory. How powerful to be in such a Presence. Jesus is faithful to show Himself to us in our need. Another tear falls.

I stand now at my own mountain of my own making. Jesus, says... 'I remember YOU, I am calling out to YOU, I give YOU my word, and I invite YOU!' OH, the faithfulness of God.

Matthew 17:20, Jesus tells His followers '... I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you'.

God is faithful ~ He remembers us, calls out to us, gives us His word and invites us... enables us through our belief and trust in Him to tackle the mountian, nothing is impossible!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Continuing Searching


Psalm 139 (verse 1) David begins with 'O LORD, you have searched me and you know me' He then begins to pour out his heart, you can feel the pain as he laments. He ends the Psalm with the desire to again be 'searched'. Verse 23 'Search me, O God and know my heart'. Had his heart changed? No, I believe not. He desired God to keep looking, go deeper, find more, and be known of his God!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Joy comes in the mourning


The bible says 'joy comes in the morning', I am trusting Jesus when He says, 'blessed are they who mourn for they will be comforted'. Does joy ever come in the mourning?

Joy Lord, Joy!