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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Need A Good Book?

I'm reading a great little book (the book I'm currently reading is ALWAYS my favorite) entitled "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23"  It's written by Phillip Keller (not to be confused with Tim Keller) who at one time worked as a Shepherd.  The book is quite small, less than 150 pages, but is packed with great insights into what sheep deal with in terms of dangers and enemies and how the Good Shepherd will go to great lengths and expense to care for them.  This book is more than just a sweet explanation of this all too familiar Psalm, it is a poignant look at the imagery hidden among the verses and gives insight into how God as our Good Shepherd cares for his stubborn, dumb sheep, in other words, his children.

After a  lengthy explanation as to WHY the Psalmist states certain things (i.e. you anoint my head with oil) the various means and purposes and time of year this is necessary for sheep, the author is careful to explain just what each verse means for the children of God, and how tender and kind our Good Shepherd is to us.

Here's a snippet of what I read this morning with regard to Chapter Ten "Thou Anointest My Head With Oil"

"If He is the One who has all knowledge and wisdom and understanding of my affairs and management; if He is able to cope with every situation, good or bad, that I encourter, then surely I should be satisfied with His care.  
In a wonderful way my cup, or my lot in life, is a happy one that overflows with benefits of all sorts." 

I have no idea what sort of trials or temptations or irritations are present in your life right now, but I know my own circumstance and my thoughts in regard to that quote were like those expressed in the paragraph immediately following:

"The trouble is most of us just don't see it this way.  Especially when troubles or disappointments come along, we are apt to feel forgotten by our Shepherd.  We act as though He had fallen down on the job."

The enemy of my soul has been hounding my mind with lies, continuallly relentless in his pursuit to discourage my heart, to cause me to doubt how God has is and will care for every need I have, and honestly making me quite miserable the past few weeks.  The next paragraph was a great reminder of who my Shepherd is:

"Actually He is never asleep.  He is never lax or careless.  
He is never indifferent to our well-being.  
Our Shepherd always has our best interests in mind."

I am so forgetful, I need reminding every day of WHO my Father is and how he loves.  I need to hear or read the truth because my mind is bombarded with lies from within and without on an hourly basis. "A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23" has helped me do that this week, maybe grabbing a copy would be just the medicine your soul needs as well.  

So today, on this Sunday, I am resting and waiting for God to work all the plans He has for me.  We can trust His heart...He is not holding out on us, as our first mother, Eve believed.  Let us, this Sunday, invite the Spirit to bring rest to our weary souls and confidence to our minds of the love and care of our Good Shepherd!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

As I've looked through pictures the past few days, I've had lots of memories jogging around in my brain...picture that, "jogging"!! :)  My oldest daughter had a birthday this week, which always prompts my rummaging through my disheveled drawers of pictures to see and remember way back this case 26 years of memories and thoughts.  And, of course, today is "Father's Day", the day we remember the men who God picked out to help bring us into this world, and some who "fathered" in other ways. 

And in this world of technology (which I love by the way) it's very easy to hear/see what others are saying about their "hero" Dad or "my best friend dad" and feel "less than" because we believe lies, basically!!  Although many earthly father's have exhibited love and care to their earthly children, they are all flawed, broken, sinful and have sin habits.  Here are some things I KNOW to be true:

1.  There is only ONE good and perfect Father and that is God.  No matter what you read or perceive about someone's earthly father, they are sinful and have sinned against their children in more ways than one...face it folks...this is TRUE, we know this!!  Don't believe that lie...believe the Gospel...ALL have sinned, none is righteous (save Jesus).

2.  We humans are very MAN centered...we honor earthly men and women and forget that IF they have been kind, loving and healed from the wounds they were dealt as children themselves so that they are ABLE to love with abandon, that is God's grace in their lives and ours!!   

3.  We, just as our first parents Adam and Eve, HIDE...all.the.time.  We hide what is wrong in our own hearts, we hide what goes on in our families (out of a sense of I don't know what, pride is my first thought, but figure that our by looking into your own heart).  Our motives seem to be pure, we praise our people (mom, dad, children, grandchildren, husband, wife, brother, whoever) because we LOVE them and want to honor them...and that's good!!  BUT, remember, the people are just people.  Don't ever forget WHY they are able to do anything that resembles good, because of God's grace...grace in them being born to parents who knew how to love and had knowledge and wisdom...or grace in God revealing truth to their hearts so they could learn how to love and care, or God's grace they were never seriously wounded by their people or if they were, God's grace enabling them to heal from those wounds and love you and others well.  God does all those things.  It is of Him that we live and move and have our being...let's not forget that!!

OUR lives and the lives of our family and friends are all of grace.
It all comes from Him.  

So on this day of honoring Father's, let's not forget the ONE Father, God our creator,
who has enabled any human Father who has done well and good, the grace to do so!!
The GIVER of our gifts is worthy of our praise and adoration!!

Happy Father's Day!!  From one blessed daughter!!

Father's Day early '90's

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

God told you to? Really?

A friend asked me one time, "Why do you write a blog?" and I don't think I really knew then.  But the answer to that question is

Because God told me to

That may sound strange to some but it's the truth.  This blogging/writing/calling journey began with my very first post.  It was God's idea for me to "come out of hiding", to be real and transparent about who I was and what He was showing me.  I would have just a soon left my suit of fig leaves in was cozy and comfortable and quite lovely in my opinion.  

Every time I sit down to write, this little voice inside my head whispers, "What are you doing?  You really believe THIS is something you are called to do? You're not a writer, really WHAT"  So in an effort to silence THAT voice, I write.  I write because I want to be brave, courageous even.  You know, courage is not the absence of's the doing in spite of fear. 

"Fear Not for I am with you..."

How many hundreds of times does that phrase appear in the Bible....maybe it's not hundreds but you get the point.  I'm no Bible scholar, but I seem to remember some pretty big name people in the Old and New Testament being told to be courageous or not to fear, remember, guys like Moses, Gideon, Joshua, Joseph and Mary.  They were to be examples to us of how big God is...we make heroes out of the PEOPLE instead of looking to their God as the hero.  They were just fearing, frail humans like us who were given faith to believe in a God who would never leave them, who would fight for them and who heard their prayers and met the needs they had, no matter how difficult their situation looked.

As I write here, I don't want you to see ME...I want you to hear and see and come to know my Father, the lover of my soul, my friend and Shepherd.  My desire is for you to see HIM because I'm just like you, broken and frail and fearing...a real mess!!  I'm very thankful that my Father isn't ashamed of messy or broken...He's fine with it.  In fact, He LOVES making beauty out of ashes.  And the sooner we figure out how broken we really are, the sooner He can make all that mess something beautiful.

Ask the Spirit of Truth to show you where you're may even know already

That's a good thing...don't shy away from it. 

Embrace it!!  Admit it!!
Bring it into the light so the healing can begin. 
Take a listen!!

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