Thursday, March 31, 2011

He Can Be Trusted


"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

  "...if Jesus did rise again from the dead, then there is nothing ultimately to be afraid of.     When we grasp at that which is not ours, it is because we are afraid that if we don't we won't have enough. Lust itself is nurtured in fear, fear of rejection, far of loneliness. When we lie, we do so because we are afraid that the truth will be embarrassing.
     And if we believe in the God who raised Jesus, then, as our fears are dealt with at a deeper and deeper level, as they are met by the astonishing love of the surpassing God, we will be able to leave behind the image of a bossy, bullying God who wants us to keep His laws in order to control us, to squash our individuality.
     If then, we recognize the truth about the surpassing God, the God who raises the dead, we can trust Him with every lesser task that may come our way. He can be trusted with jobs, even when they don't necessarily work out the way we thought they should. He can be trusted with marriage. He can be trusted with money, even when it seems as though there is even less of it available than we thought. He can be trusted with old age. He can be trusted with death itself. Of course He can; He is the God who raises the dead, who takes precisely the situation where there seems no hope in human terms, and brings new life exactly there."
                                                    N.T. Wright  from: Following Jesus

                                        WILL YOU TRUST HIM?
 


Monday, March 28, 2011

A Continual Feast

PD Photo.org
     
    It was one of those days for both of us, little tow head laddie and I. 
I was wondering how I was going to drag through the day, feeling as sick as I was, he was shedding tears and feeling "left behind" by older siblings who were starting their state achievement tests and had sent him away for need of quiet. So I invited him to help me in the kitchen, hoping to somehow lift his spirits a bit. He enthusiastically agreed and ran off to wash his hands.
    Within seconds he was back with a cheerful grin and a "how can I help you" attitude, (one of his most disarming traits.) Pulling his stool over to the stove I told him he could start by emptying jars of tomatoes into the soup kettle. His enthusiasm is infectious and as I handed him a quart of water to add to the tomatoes he excitedly announced. 'That will just rush in." The tomatoes had not been so easy to get out of the jar and he was anticipating the easy flow of the water.
     I started hot water in the sink and squirted in a generous amount of dish soap. Turning to my little helper I suggested. "Why don't we play the "I'm thankful for" game." He agreed.
     "Okay I'll start." I told him. "I'm thankful for hot water to wash dishes in."
      I glanced at him wondering how he would begin his verbal list of thanks as I had never played the game with him before. He thought for a moment then turned to me with one of those steal your heart grins he's so common for and replied. "I'm thankful for big sisters!" Talk about making my day! :) 
     "Awww..." I couldn't resist hugging him. "And I'm grateful for little brothers."
     We went on to list a number of other things we were grateful for until a phone call interrupted our game and he went off to play. But his sweet words lingered on in my mind. Later as I sat in the afternoon sunshine after spring cleaning and thought back over my day a phrase from Proverbs came to mind "a cheerful heart hath a continual feast."  
      Circumstances don't always make it easy to be cheerful. More often than not we are going to face  something in our day that could turn it sour. But if we choose to focus on Christ and the needs of others, and cultivate a grateful spirit, though our troubles may not go away, our hearts can be lifted above them into a cheerful state of continual feasting on the goodness of our God who has given SO MANY GOOD GIFTS.  Among which one of the sweetest is little brothers. :) 


Thursday, March 24, 2011

When there are no answers

 
 
~ When There Are No Answers~
 
Life will bring us questions without answers;
To live is to encounter silent seasons of the soul
When every prayer will seem to go unanswered,
And we face events beyond our understanding or control.
 
Yet in the quiet darkness Christ is working!
His silence doesn't mean He doesn't care;
A part of faith is trusting without reason,
Believing when He can't be seen or heard, that He still is there!
 
So when answers fail to come, don't be discouraged.
Keep leaning on His steadfast love and trusting in His will.
For knowing why won't really make a difference,
But growing close and knowing Jesus will!
 
 -Author Uknown
 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Whiskers On Kittens" (A few of my favorite things.)

SPRINGTIME!
Sunrises and sunsets
Daddies with their babies


OLD BOOKS

Summer Thunderstorms

Solitary Paths and long walks


HOT COFFEE AND CAPPICHINO

Pink and White Roses

Laughing with Sisters


The Moon 

WORDS
The song of spring Peepers
CHOCOLATE
Journaling

FALLING ASLEEP TO RAIN ON THE ROOF


CHILDREN AT PLAY

Fall Colors

                                                                                                  (Some Photos taken from PD. Photo.org)


Monday, March 21, 2011

So Send I You



Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.                                                       -John 20:21

So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing-
So send I you to toil for me alone.

So send I you to bind the bruised and broken,
O'er wand'ring souls to work, to weep, to wake,
To bear the burdens of a world aweary-
So send I you to suffer for My sake.

So send I you to loneliness and longing,
With heart ahung'ring for the loved and known,
Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one-
So send I you to know My love alone.

So send I you to leave your life's ambition,
To die to dear desire, self-will resign,
To labor long, and love where men revile you-
So send I you to lose your life in Mine.

So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho' it be blood, to spend and spare not-
So send I you to taste of Calvary.
 
 

So send I you by grace made strong to triumph
O’er hosts of hell, o’er darkness, death and sin,
My name to bear, and in that name to conquer-
So send I you, my victory to win.

So send I you to take to souls in bondage
the Word of Truth that sets the captives free,
to break the bonds of sin, to loose death’s fetters,
So send I you to bring the lost to me.

So send I you My strength to know in weakness,
My joy in grief, My perfect peace in pain,
To prove My power, My Grace, My promised presence,
So send I you, eternal fruit to gain.

So send I you to bear My cross with patience,
and then one day with joy to lay it down,
to hear My voice, “Well done my faithful servant
Come share My throne, My kingdom and My crown.
                                            
Margret Clarkson


                                                                                             (Picture from PD Photo.org)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Though the Earth Be Removed

PD Photo.org
 
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. 
                                                                                            Psalm 46:1-11

PD Photo.org

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What is our Dust?

What is man that You, Oh God,
Are mindful of our dust?
Lord, why Your Love that stoops to bless?
Or earth to us entrusts?

We are as grass that withereth;
As flowers fade away,
So mortals pass from life to death,
Fade from their youth to gray.

Compare to us the universe,
A speck and nothing more;
Our earth so small, a speck itself,
Nearly invisible.

What arrogance! What putrid pride!
That we should still refuse,
To bow before the King of kings. 
Oh soul will you abuse?

The grace that brought such life to you?

The Love that gave His all,
That you might live eternally,
Despite the wretched fall?

The Love that walked our streets of dust,
That bore humanity;
He bore the cross and was despised,
To ransom you and me.

Oh let us bow, surrendered here,
In worship and in awe.
What is our dust? Yet we are loved,
By God, without a flaw.

When I survey My Jesus' Love,

My heart bows low, sings praise;
I worship, small, yet loved by Him,
How infinite His ways!
                 Rachael Lofgren

Monday, March 14, 2011

Trust His heart


When unexpected comes to us,
Of ill or pain unplanned;
And sorrow's rain falls thick and fast,
Things we don't understand.

When circumstances are a blur,
Of tangled mystery.
And all about us night has come,
So dark we cannot see.
When strength is spent and tears still flow,
And hearts ache on and on;
When we feel shattered, all alone;
With none to count upon.
When we don't understand His ways,
When we can't see His plan;
We trust His heart, we Know He sees,
Though we can't see His hand.
And when from Heaven's portals bright,
Our journey is reviewed;
We'll see 'twas Perfect Love that planned,
Grace thus our lives endued,
For higher, better, purposes,
Than we can comprehend;
For He who weaves our story here,
Can see from start to end.
And from the fire, gold shines forth;
And from the pain, His face,
Is stamped upon His children's lives;
The outflow of His grace.

                                                                     Rachael Lofgren (All pictures from PD Photo.org)

You Shall Not Want!

 

You Shall Not Want

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

To the lost sheep, He is the seeking Shepherd;
To the needy sheep, He is the providing Shepherd;
To the hurting sheep, He is the comforting Shepherd;
To the bruised sheep, He is the healing Shepherd;
To the anxious sheep, He is the peaceful Shepherd;
To the wandering sheep, He is the guiding Shepherd;
To the fearful sheep, He is the protecting Shepherd;
To the lame sheep, He is the carrying Shepherd;
To the discontented sheep, He is the fulfilling Shepherd;
To the parched sheep, He is the anointing Shepherd;
To the timid sheep, He is the reassuring Shepherd;
To the fallen sheep, He is the merciful Shepherd;
To the nervous sheep, He is the quieting Shepherd;
To the heavy laden sheep, He is the restful Shepherd;
To the lonely sheep, He is the ever-present Shepherd;
To the weary sheep, He is the restoring Shepherd;
To all His sheep, He is the Good Shepherd.
-Roy Lessin
         From Roy's blog, Meet Me in the Meadow


                                                                                       Painting by Jean Ferdinand Chaigneau

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Heralds of Spring

  The barking trumpet of a trumpeter swan breaks through the misty gray fog of the March morning. I listen with rapt attention, peering past the tree lined river bank to catch a better view of the stately white birds that swim beyond. The silver rippling of the open river corresponds with ripples of hope in my heart. Open flow means spring time's nearing.

 

  For months now the North has been locked in cold. The gray world of winter, season of night, cradles the sleeping earth in icy arms, blanket of snow tucked snugly round her. We too, tuck away in our cozy houses while the winds and wolves howl wild.Then it comes. In early March. That trumpet call of the Heralds of spring, sounding through the gray fog. Giving us a glimpse into the world beyond. The world awaking into spring.


 
They stand in shallows, looking sure. They are sure. For the One who created them will not fail them. He never has. Springtime always arrives in due season.


   

They celebrate, grouped together in choirs of praise. Trumpeting the good news.

      
Riding the ripples of silver they dream again of love and of family.


The stirring of renewal reverberates in their feathered breasts. 



I smile as the Trumpet comes again on the morning air. Long and strange and hopeful. The song of the awaking earth and the Herald of Spring.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Evidence of things not seen



"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." 
                                            Hebrews 11:1



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hope's Return

PD Photo.org
"Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy!
...There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage 
those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, 
“Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. 
He is coming to save you.” Isaiah 35:1-4 NLT

HOPE'S RETURN

As a blossom in the desert,
So we find hope's return;
As the gentle rain of springtime,
Mellows winter's traces stern;

So we find that hope's returning,
Mellows sorrows burdens sore.
And the seasons of refreshing,
Blow around our hearts closed door.

And the sunshine of His smile,
Rests once more with gracious touch,
Upon our wounded spirits,
Giving balm we need so much.

We find that we are living,
Once more with light ahead;
Where before, weary, defeated,
We faced a wall instead.

We find we dream of future,
We know His hope has come;
And though we face unknowns,
We will not to defeat succumb.

For Jesus knows the future,
This blossom in our hearts,
Of hope and joy in knowing Him,
Through His love He doth impart.
                               
                                -Rachael Lofgren


Courtesy of Farmsoft Studios