Saturday, January 30, 2010

A revelation...

It was a team building exercise when I was working at the school.  It was a test to reveal our personality type.  The goal, I assume, was to help us to understand not just ourselves a bit better, but the group of people we worked with.  I was fairly confident of the results I was going to get...something about me being highly relational, emotional, sensitive.  It was quite a shock when my results showed that I am predominantely analytical...and I mean predominantly, not slightly.

Synonyms for analytical include:  cogent, conclusive, detailed, diagnostic, discrete, dissecting, explanatory, expository, inquiring, inquisitive, interpretive, investigative, judicious, logical, organized, penetrating, perceptive, perspicuous, precise, problem-solving, questioning, ratiocinative, rational, reasonably, scientific, searching, solid, sound, studious, subtle, systematic, testing, thorough, valid

My husband and daughters were not surprised at all.  Especially not my husband.  Do you see the word questioning in amongst that list above?  Oh, I am a man's worst nightmare...  A conversation between us might go something like this.

Me: "How was so and so when you met with them today?"
Him: "Fine."
Me: "Did you talk to them about ______?"
Him: "Uh huh."
Me: "And how did they respond?"
Him: "Good."
Me: "Did they seem _____?"  This is where I want him to explain in me detail exactly what they said, tone of voice, facial expression, so I can analyze the situation.

So, due to this highly analytical nature of mine, I want to know what lies before me on the path of life so that I can be adequately prepared.  This plan must make logical sense to me. (Which, I am finding out, is not always what makes logical sense to someone else.)  Enter FEAR, when I don't see what something is going to look like, when the path before me is not clearly marked, when I am not sure of the variables in a situation...and of course, other people, are a big variable!  Ann's blog today hit me where I live.  I have been living in fear.  I need to go to the One who alone sees the beginning and the end.  The One whose footsteps need to mark the path I carefully follow. (see Psalms 85:13) The One who has kept me in the past, Who will keep me today, and Who is the safe place for all of my tomorrows.

Make Your path clear before me God.  In all the unknowns of today and tomorrow, and all of the tomorrows to come, shine a light on Your footprints before me.  Keep me on the right path at all times, the trail You have blazed for me to follow.  You are the Great Constant in all the unknown variables that make up this life.  You are The Rock that cannot be shaken.  You are The Stronghold in which I trust.  You are the same yesterday, today and forever.  You are always Faithful and True.  I renounce fear and embrace trust in You.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wresting with God...

After being gone for four days I have bills to pay, places to go, people to see...but here I sit at almost 11a.m. still in my fuzzy, white robe, wasting time reading my favorite blogs.  On my behalf, I have been up since 5:30 a.m.....not by choice, just wrestling with God about something.  Don't you just love and hate that all at the same that He is relentless about us dealing with things, hate that He is relentless about us dealing with things. :)  Anyway, hubby is saying, "Come on we have things to do!"...and I'm just tuckered out from the early morning wrestling match, and would prefer to stay right here in my fuzzy, white robe. And that's the truth...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I love, love, love our little miracle!

She's almost a year old!  How can this be?  This little miracle grandbaby that we, (meaning our family and hundreds of people all over the world!), prayed for for almost nine years.  She's such a gift from God, and this week, it was just her and I in a hotel room in California, while mama and daddy spent long days at a conference. 
Wow, Nana, look at that cute baby!
Note to Nana...keep bathroom door shut, I am now mobile.  That bite out of the bar of soap was nasty.
Let's go for a walk Nana, this hotel room is getting to me....
"Binkie", check, "Bun-Bun", check, ready for my nap now...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Experiencing God in my real life...

holy experience

Ann at Holy Experience asked us to share on this Walk with Him Wednesday how we have recently experienced God.  And so I rack my brain and search my heart, for some earth shattering, "I will never be the same" moment.  But the truth of the matter is, while I have had a few such experiences with God, more often than not His presence and intervention in my life is a lot more "everyday" than that.  Like manna*, faithfully given to the children of Israel as their daily sustenance, so is God's presence in my life.  I simply don't live, breathe, function, without Him.  And like manna, I must live on today's manna-His presence, His love, and His work in my life today.  While the memories of the ways I have experienced Him in my life in the past are to be cherished and rememembered, they are not adequate sustenance for today.  I need fresh Bread from Heaven in my life each day.

 So, to answer Ann's question, I experienced God this week...
-when I prayed with some of His people at our church's weekly night of prayer
-when I was reading His Word and journaling and out of my heart and onto the paper came the words,
"God, mark me as a Lover of God. Set Your mark on my heart."

-when I read the words in Matthew 14:36 that all who touched Jesus were healed and so in prayer alone, as well as with others, I reached out and asked for Him to heal the muscle spasms in my neck.
My neck has been much, much better this week.

-when I asked God to bring His order to a day that had overwhelmingly too much to do in it,
 and everything I needed to do got done
-when I gathered with others at church on Sunday and I felt His heart for people...overwhelming love
-when the church shed tears and prayed together on Sanctity of Life Sunday,
 and asked God to help us make a difference for more young mamas and save more babies
-when I spent time with my grandbabies- all three miraculous answers from heaven
-when I took a walk on a blessedly sunny January day and once again saw and gave thanks for
the beauty He has created just for us to enjoy


-when, like the layers of an onion, He dealt with another layer of darkness in my soul

When I really look, really take notice, I am experiencing God everyday, right here in my real life.


*see Exodus 16

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

God even cares about "binkies"...

Nana and I are spending quality time together while mama and daddy are attending a conference.  Nana bundled me up and put me in the stroller and we took a nice walk.  Together, we explored  the area and shops within walking distance of the hotel. We went to T.J. Maxx...I love shopping just like Nana!  Then Nana got hungry so we grabbed a bite to eat.  I thought the mashed potatoes were delicious.  Sometime during the meal Nana noticed that my "binkie" was M.I.A.  And of course, I have discriminating tastes when it comes to binkies- no cheap substitutes allowed.  Nana had no idea when or where I ditched binkie overboard.  So Nana prayed that Jesus would help us find binkie.  The waitress helped us look around the restaurant, but no binkie.  We paid the bill and left, backtracking the way we came for a bit, hoping to find it. Suddenly, Nana remembered she didn't get her debit card back from the waitress.  Back into the restaurant we go, and the hostess goes to retrieve the card from the waitress, when suddenly....underneath the hostess desk Nana sees something pink and rubbery.  Praise Jesus it's the binkie!  Now all is right with the world once again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Ain't got no satisfaction..."

holy experience

It's a Holy Dissatisfaction...   I'm content.  I know I am blessed.  I know that I am blessed infinitely beyond what I deserve.  I'm content. I'm filled with gratitude. But I'm not satisfied.

"Nothing in this life, can ever truly satisfy, the desires of your heart." Justin Rizzo

Not a bigger house...
Nor redecorating the house I have...
Not another lovely handbag, or pair of fabulous shoes...
Not a wonderful vacation...
Not a perfectly attentive, romantic husband...
Not children or grandchildren who rise up and call me blessed...

I shall be fully satisfied, when I awake [to find myself] beholding Your form [and having sweet communion with You]. Psalm 17:15 

Yes, I am content.  I am grateful.  But only Jesus satisfies.                    

Thank You God for...

231) Sleepovers with the grandbabies

232) An unexpectedly relaxing M.L.K. day

233) A young handyman in our church who knew what was wrong with my washer and was able to fix it

234) God's financial provision

235) A phone call from youngest daughter, excited about what God is doing in her life

236) Friday...our day off together

237) A good meeting with our church's wonderful children's workers

238) Spending time with a friend

239) Stove top popcorn (Grandson, "Nana, I thought popcorn always came in bags!")

240) Cooking with my grandkids

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Words of life part two...

So yesterday I blogged about how I'm a one Bible kind of gal.  I do not like breaking in a new Bible.  I like my Bible well used, well loved, familiar.  I like to it to be so familiar that I have a mental picture of just what side of the page the particular verse I am searching for is going to be found.  January 1, 2010 however, presented me with a Bible dilemma.  It has been a few years since I've read through the Bible in a year and I really felt it was time to do that again.  I've certainly read the Bible, and probably read every book, (o.k., maybe not Leviticus), but just haven't done it systematically in a year for a while.  But when your "go to" Bible, the Bible you are currently living in and with, is the Amplified Bible, lets just say they should call it reading through one and a half Bibles in a year. I'm just sayin'!  There's a whole lot of extra reading in the Amplified Bible!  And to add to the dilemma, I wanted a Bible reading plan that was simple to follow, Some of them can get crazy complicated.  So, since we were on our little family coastal getaway on 1/1/10, I headed over to the convienently located near our condo Tree of Life outlet and for $17 bought a One Year Bible in the New Living Translation.  Easy!  Each day I read the pages for that complicated charts or difficult systems to follow.  This Bible I will leave unmarked so that it can be used repeatedly year after year...and like the new year, it will be a fresh, new "clean slate" from which God can speak to me.  As I am reading it, I journal the things God speaks to me from that day's reading.  My much loved Amplified Bible stays by my side if I want to look up a verse in that translation or want to write margin notes, note the date by it, or underline it.  I am really loving the easy reading style of the New Living Translation, and of course reading God's Word, no matter your preferred method or translation, is always life giving and life changing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Words of life...

holy experience

We are Bible rich at our house.  This pastor's home is filled with Bibles of every size, color, translation.  A whole shelf of Bibles lives in my husband's office.  He loves a new Bible like some women love a new pair of shoes!  Me, I'm a one Bible kind of gal. I love and live in that Bible, carry it with me everywhere, mark it up like a journal, and after a decade or so, I may reluctantly get a different one.  So my Bibles tell the story of my life...of my life entwined with His life, His life in me, Him being my life. 

On the shelf in my office a handful of Bibles sit...

...the green hardcovered copy of the Living Bible that was my companion through highschool, college and my first years as a young wife and mama.  Scriptures about God's guidance are underlined as I sought God's will and direction for my life.  Every verse that speaks of how God feels about me is marked with a smiley face beside it as I groped to find my identity in Him. (smiley faces, I was young, remember?)  The margins show the handwriting of a much younger me.

...the New American Standard "Open Bible" that was my first "grown up" Study Bible.  This was my companion through the 80's.  It's back pages have the dates when each of my three daughters gave their lives to Jesus, the dates they were baptized...

...My burgundy leather New King James Bible...This Bible has my color coded highlighting-
red colored pencil for all scriptures about the blood of Jesus and salvation
yellow for all scriptures about the fear of the Lord (a whole study I did about this topic changed my life!)
purple for all the scriptural promises God gave me for my girls
green for all scriptures about grace
blue marked the verses about prayer
orange highlighted the verses about the Holy Spirit
blue marked the verses that spoke of who I am in Christ

...the most expensive Bible I ever had was a small, calf skin New King James Bible given to me as a gift by my husband.  That's when I discovered that some Bibles "just don't fit"...not the words, but the small size and the way the margins had no room for me to write notes or the date when God spoke that word to me personally.  It was just so small and so pretty and so soft and so expensive, that I just couldn't live in that Bible, mark it up, write in it Amplified Bible.  This is my companion now.  It doesn't sit on the shelf in the office.  It is with Bible goes with me everywhere.  I literally wouldn't think of leaving home without it.  It's Words are my life, breath, food.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beautiful day in the neighborhood...

For over ten years I have donned my walking clothes and shoes, headed out my front door and made two loops through my neighborhood.  A brisk walk through every little street and cul-de-sac twice equals over four miles.  If the weather is horrid, or I haven't walked before it has gotten dark, I have an elliptical machine to work out on.  But there's just nothing like a walk outdoors...
Yes, we are big on recycling here in Portland!
O.K. so maybe yesterday's walk wasn't so brisk...but it was just so beautiful out!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ordered steps...

holy experience
For years we lived in a parsonage, church owned housing for us, their minister.  I made those houses our home as much as possible, but I really wanted to own a home of our own.  So, year after year, that request was on my prayer list.  I always added the words, "in Your timing and in Your place, Lord"  because I knew that a home of our own could turn into a hindrance if God wanted us to relocate and we were stuck with a house that we couldn't get rid of.  When we moved to pastor the church here in Portland, there was no parsonage.  Not having the finances to buy a home at that time, we began to look for a rental.  We scanned the local paper and began to make phone inquiries on rentals that seemed a possibility.  One of those was a brand new duplex, owned by a small family run construction company.  We called and asked to see it, explaining our situation and the reason we were moving to Portland. Not long after, we received a return call from the owners, saying that they felt like we were supposed to move into this rental, and in fact, they said they were going to waive the fees and preliminary paperwork in order to get us in.  We happily lived in that little place for two years. One day, something needed repaired, so the owner came by, did the work, and walked back out to his truck to leave.  Suddenly, he turned around, came back to the door, walked in and said to me, "I'm supposed to build you a house!"  He had us pick out the lot, he paid the upfront costs, and arranged the financing, and within the year we were in a home of our own.  That was over ten years ago.  I still love to tell the story of how God ordered our steps and provided for us.  Out of all the rentals in the city of Portland, He leads us to the rental that is owned by the person that He knows He will use to help us to get a home...but the miracle isn't really the reason I'm sharing this story on Multitude Monday.  This house, my miracle house, is small and it has a small kitchen, and the whole living area is rather small. A few years ago I began to forget the miracle, and all I could see was the small.  I stopped enjoying our house.  I began to just "housekeep" and not "homemake"...I just cleaned and maintained it, I stopped decorating, updating, nesting, My focus began to be on bigger.  I wanted bigger.  We even  made an offer on a bigger house and tried to sell, but, well you know what the market is like right now.  But a few months ago, about the same time I started my gratitude list, I started to love our little home again.  I started to homemake again, instead of just housekeep...some paint here, a candle there.  Sure, I still would love a bigger house to make it easier to have larger groups of people over.  In fact, I pray about it.  But now it's with a heart of gratitude and thanks, for what I already have.
"...with thanksgiving, make your wants known to God." Phillippians 4:6

Thank You God for...

221) A great combined service for our church's north and south locations, and a great week of prayer

222) Home!

223) Baby grandaughter is crawling now!

224) Cousins helping our youngest daughter with a car repair

225) That same daughter finding her "niche"...(even if it is in Missouri, and not by her mama)

226) Sons in law who love Jesus and who love my daughters and grandbabies

227) Prayer support for hurting ones in the church

228) A sunny January day and a great walk in my neighborhood

229) My One Year Bible.  I love how easy and uncomplicted it makes reading through the Bible.

230) My husband who loves me and tells me so

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Such love...

"Love me then O Perfect King. Love the poor and dirty.
Love the one who cannot earn nor pay. Love the despised and rejected.
Love the one who can bring You nothing except the tears of a lovesick heart.
Love me. For I cannot turn You away. I cannot deny such love.
Love me then, my Jesus. As You have vowed, love and adore little me..."

Dana Candler

Friday, January 15, 2010

I simply remember my favorite things...Friday's favs

Yesterday was fabulous. 
The weather was so mild for the middle of January. 
The sun was peeking through the trees.
 The birds were singing.
 It seemed as though, already, there are signs of spring.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Relentless love...

I am reading Dana Candler's book Deep Unto Deep again.  I am trying to take it more slowly, look up the scriptures, meditate on the truths.  Tears run down my cheeks as she causes me to look back over my life and to see the relentless love of my God for me.  He has zealously, pursued me for as long as I can remember.  He has hedged in my heart, causing me constantly to feel and to know that there is nothing and no one that compares to Him and His great love. He has allowed me to continually experience a divine loneliness and dissatisfaction that can only be quenched by His love.  He is jealous over my heart and will not share me with other lovers.  I am overwhelmed, overcome, by love so deep, so true, so relentless.  And He is overcome by weak love ravishes His great heart.   Oh the thought, my one drop of love, compared to the bottomless oceans of His love, moves His heart. 

"May Christ through your faith actually dwell, settle down, abide, make His permanent home in your hearts.  May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love.  That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints, God's devoted people, the experience of that love, what is the breadth and length and height of it..." Ephesians 3:17-18 Amplified Bible

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Daddy's arms...

When I was a little girl I was diagnosed with having rheumatic fever. The treatment was daily doses of penicillin and COMPLETE bedrest. The only time I was allowed out of bed was to go to the bathroom. This was my life for over three months. My days consisted of lying on the couch. I can still vividly remember the rough, scratchy, taupeish brown colored brocade fabric, it's swirly pattern being traced by my little fingers, over and over. My entertainment, mountains of books from the library four blocks up our street, sometimes my Barbie doll. I didn't understand this disease. I only knew it had something to do with my heart. No grown-ups took the time to talk to me, to explain that I would get better. So, in my 8 year old mind, I associated anything with the heart with all of the things I had ever heard about people dying from heart attacks. I was terrified each time I would lay my head against the pillow and hear my own heartbeat...terrified that I would actually hear it stop.

My mom, her love language being acts of service, brought me my meals, brought me those piles of library books, and continued doing all of the laundry, cooking and cleaning that it took to keep this household of 7 children functioning. My memories are of her somewhere in the house, or outside at the clothesline, but mostly my memories are of being there on that couch alone, while the noise of life was going on outside, somewhere else. Except for twice a day...first thing in the morning, and last thing every night, my dad carried me. In the morning, he carried me from my bed upstairs down to the couch, and at night, he carried me back up. And out of each 24 hours, those minutes were what I looked forward to, day after long, lonely day...the feeling of being carried in my daddy's arms.

I'm still often at that same place. Often in this world I feel like the noise of life goes on outside, while I am alone with my fears. Often, the love lanquage that other's speak to me, is not the one my heart wants, needs. To this day, books are often my mentors, my company, more than a flesh and blood person. And to this day, the best thing out of each long, and sometimes lonely day, is the time I let God, the Father, carry me.  I am learning to lay aside Bibles, journals, and prayer lists for a few moments, and in His presence, sit quietly and meditate on and recieve His love. In my heart, I just lean my head against Him, and rest, feeling loved, cared for, understood, cherished.   Because, no matter how loved I am by husband, children, grandchildren, family, friends, church's Daddy's arms I have longed for all of my life.

holy experience

Blog reposted and adapted for this Walk with Him Wednesday...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Neighborhood bandits...

Look carefully...yesterday they were stalking our house...this tree is just six feet from our front door...can you see them?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Don't let the precious become common...

holy experience

Our guest speaker at church yesterday shared these quotes by John Maxwell.  I felt it more than appropriate to pass them on as together we train our minds and hearts towards gratitude.

"One of satan's slyest agent is the agent of familiarity.  Take nothing from your victim, cause him only to take everything for granted. His goal is nothing less than to take what is most priceless to us and make it appear as most common... He won't steal your salvation, he will just make you forget what it is like to be lost.  You will grow accustomed to prayer, and thereby not pray. Worship will become common place...He will infiltrate your heart with boredom and cover the cross with dust so that you will be safely out of reach of change. Nor will he steal your home from you.  He will do something far worse.  He will paint it with a coat of drabness...He will scatter the dust of yesterday over the wedding pictures until they become a memory of another couple in another time.  He won't take your children, he will just make you too busy to notice them. He will use the poison of the ordinary to deaden your senses to the magic of the moment."

And so God, we will not be ignorant of satan's devices, but we will choose to notice Your blessings and give You thanks...

210) Thank you God for safe travels to and from Kansas City for us and the team from church

211) Thank You God that baby grandaughter was such a trooper traveling

212) ThankYou that all of our daughters got to be together last week and experience together what You are doing at the International House of Prayer

213) Thank You for beautiful violin music being played in worship

214) Thank You, Thank You for the blood of Jesus

215) Thank You for hot chicken and rice soup in sub zero Kansas City

216) Thank you God for a phone call from a wandering spiritual daughter

217) Thank you for our flight home only being delayed, not cancelled

218) Thank You Father God for Your pure love

219) Thank You for a lesson about being still in Your presence and learning to recieve your love

220) Thank you for my sister coming and staying with my mama while we were out of town, so I could relax and not worry

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Three lessons from the prayer room...

Several people have commented that they are anxious for me to blog about what God spoke to me this week at the International House of Prayer...

Lesson one...I habitually come to God with Amplified Bible, journal, One Year Bible to read the daily entry, Loving God devotional book and separate journal that goes with that, gratitude journal in which I am writing my 1000 thanks, prayer notebook filled with lists and prayer guides...even as I am typing this it sounds so ridiculous and encumbering!  So there I came into the prayer room, dragging my huge bag of stuff...and I look around and many are just sitting there soaking and recieving God's love and being strengthened in the inner man, and cultivating intimacy, and relaxing in His presence...and so I ask my daughter as I watch her just resting like that, and she teaches me...take one verse, close your eyes, meditate on the Word, recieve His love, rest, relax, soak. 

Lesson two...another layer of healing in regards to the Father's love.  Many of you know, my dad left my mom and our family for another woman when I was 9 years old.  Over the years layer upon layer God has done a miraculous work of healing in my heart regarding this.  The testimony of what He did in healing my relationship with my dad before he passed away is very dear to my heart.  But one night in the prayer room, the Father did another layer of ministry to me in this area.  His emphasis to me was the purity of the Father's love.  His love is not tainted in any way with the brokenness that my earthly father's love was.  His love is pure, true, trustworthy.

Lesson three...this one was about how precious my tears are to He keeps each one.  He ministered to me about the tears I have shed over giving my girls to Him, for His purposes even if that means they are far away from me.  He spoke to my heart about what a treasure those particular tears are to Him.

Now I am back home...I love, love, love home.  But it's a challenge to come back to the Martha world of laundry and bills and work, and leave the Mary world of the prayer center.  I so want to live in the Mary world  in my spirit no matter where I am, or what I need to get done.  Please God, teach me how...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

From the prayer room...

Fourteen of us from truelife church are here at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City this week.  For those who have never been here are snippets of prayers and songs going forth from this 24/7 house of prayer now in it's eleventh year...

Apprehend our hearts
Lord Set us apart

Awaken my heart to Your love
Awaken my heart to Your Words of Life

All I want is You
And all I need is found
Only in Your heart

It takes You
To love You
So I ask You
Draw me away, draw me away

Many want the power
 But will you wait one hour
with Me, with Me

Somehow my weak glance has overwhelmed You
Somehow my weak love has stolen Your heart

Send Your wind once again
Like You did at Pentecost

Let Your Word go forth in power God

There is also a great emphasis on the Bride crying out for a return of the Bridegroom

Interspersed throughout with
Intercession for Israel and other nations and cities
Intercession for revival in America
Intercession for the youth in America
Intercession for specific ethnic groups in America
Intercession for the government

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


holy experience
We had left our position as assistant pastors at a church on the beautiful southern coast of Oregon.  The house was all packed up.  We had completed our farewell service, and checked into a motel for the night.  Our girls, a toddler and two young ones in elementary school, were sound asleep in the bed next to us.  But husband and I were wide awake in our bed...wide awake and crying.  What in the world were we doing, leaving this place we loved, this church we loved, these people we loved?  And for the next four months we wondered and wandered, not understanding God leading us out, without making it clear what He was leading us to.  And that's when Psalm 84 became personal and real to me.  Not just the Word, logos, but the Word, rhema, the Word became a now word for me, to me, personally. 
Psalm 84
 (my thoughts)
1 How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O LORD of hosts!
(For Your dwelling place is my true home O God, and you are the True Love that I long for.)
2 My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
(When I feel empty, when I feel dissatisfied with my life, it is really You that I need. 
 For You alone are the answer to the longings and desires of my heart.)
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
(The cry of  One Thing...that I may dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 27:4)
They will still be praising You. Selah
5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
(Not to a physical place...but a pilgrimage to Your heart.  Your heart is my true home Oh God!)
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
(This is the valley of weeping...God make my place of weeping a place of revelation, a place of spirititual refreshing.  I choose to dig a well in my place of fill it Lord, fill it.)
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
(Strength to strength, daily strength, strength to put one step in front of the other and to keep walking.)
Each one appears before God in Zion.
8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
9 O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.
10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
(So true! No good thing, no beneficial thing, has He withheld from me!)
12 O LORD of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!
(Again today, I place my trust in You.  I believe You God.  I trust You God.)
We spent that whole fall staying with family and friends. And then the holidays came and we still had no open door for a place of ministry or a home. We were not going to have a home of our own for Christmas. But God was so faithful. We saw His miraculous provision in a personal way, and  family and friends made sure our holidays were special. Right after the new year we moved into a little white parsonage,right next to the church that we would pastor for the next several years.  And yet, over 20 years later, my pilgrimage journey to His heart, to knowing Him better, more intimately, my journey to trusting Him more, to really dwelling in Him and He in me.  And all along the path,  His Word has been my song, my sustenance, my strength. (Psalm 119:54)


Monday, January 4, 2010


holy experience

Somehow, someway, a bubbling joy and sense of expectation have replaced December's meltdowns and Martha moments.  Maybe its the new year with its clean fresh journal pages, its empty squares on the calendar, its new beginnings, its fresh start.  Even the very number 2010 is so fat, round, and even!  It seems kind of fat and pregnant...pregnant with possibilities. 
The last week of  '09 until the second day of '10 was spent in a condo by the sea, with my husband, our girls and their families.  (gratitude #195-thank you God for the precious time with our family and with You, in my favorite place by the sea!) Tomorrow, youngest daughter moves to Missouri, and for the first time in quite a while, we won't all be living together in the same city.  While I am absolutely certain she is doing the will of God, I mourned a bit over her leaving.  But again, a bubbling sense of expectation is springing up within. God is going to do something amazing with that girl...with all of my girls...with all my descendants.  I believe that with all of my heart.  And in my heart is bubbling up expectation, joy and gratitude. Thank You God.

197) Sandollars and other assorted beach treasures.

198)Homemade cinnamon cranberry bread

199) Grandkids ringing in the new year with pots and pans

200) Newspaper party hats

201) A walk on the beach with hubby

202) Watching "girl movies" with my daughters

203) Watching baby grandaughter having so much fun in the tub

204) Seeing how much the aunties love their long awaited baby niece

205) Six year old grandaughter and five year old grandson swimming like fishes in the indoor pool

206) Reading books with the grandbabies

207) Grandson and grandaughter looking for constellations in the night sky

208) Finding notes from my five year old grandson tucked into my Bible

209) Getting a notice from the electric company that their rates were increasing, but our bill went DOWN $40 a month