Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hope in exile....

Jeremiah 31:1-6

Jeremiah 31
1 "At that time," declares the LORD, "I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people."

2 This is what the LORD says:
"The people who survive the sword
will find favor in the desert;
I will come to give rest to Israel."

3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, [a] saying:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

4 I will build you up again
and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.
Again you will take up your tambourines
and go out to dance with the joyful.

5 Again you will plant vineyards
on the hills of Samaria;
the farmers will plant them
and enjoy their fruit.

6 There will be a day when watchmen cry out
on the hills of Ephraim,
'Come, let us go up to Zion,
to the LORD our God.' "

When I read Jeremiah 30-33 the compassion of God seemed to leap from the page this morning as I was reading in my "prayer closet" I selected just a portion above....when I think of how many times Israel turned their backs on God and yet, He reached out to them with hope and healing, longing for their restoration.

What are you exiled from today? A child, a church, God, a marriage, a friendship? It seems in life there are many forms of exile we face, but God seeks to restore us; always there is hope. Cling to His word, there is promise there.

I close with this verse, again from Jeremiah, 33:3...."Call to Me, and I will answer you, and i will tell you great and mighty things,which you do not know."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lion of Judah....

(Rev. 5:5:) "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and the seven seals"

"Majesty", sung by Michael W. Smith

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"A Better Resurrection"

I HAVE no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb'd too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm'd with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.

My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall--the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.

My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish'd thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

"I have prayed for you...."

Is there anything we can't go through when we realize that Jesus is interceding for us even now?

Art by Ron DiCianni, you can see his work at:
www.tapestry productions.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finders keepers.....

"Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day." Psalm 139:16 The Message

I was talking to my best friend, Elaine the other night, one of our many discussions, about how we were raised. She commented, "I don't remember being taught anything about right or wrong except that it was wrong to kill, other than that, everything was pretty much subjective." She laughingly added, "and even that might have been okay depending on the circumstance." She remembers one time her Dad switched the tags on a Christmas tree that he thought was too expensive and she remembers thinking as a child it was not right; the next day she secretly rejoiced when all the needles fell off.

But there were other things....her Uncle's little church where she would flounce down the aisle in Sunday ruffles and sit in the front pew where her Aunt played "I'll Fly Away" every time she asked. And another praying Aunt and Uncle who showed her the love she was missing at home. A praying Grandmother. All God's grace.

Her home life and mine were as different as night and day. Hers, a desperate "flight or fight" situation at all times. Most days she rounded a corner to meet the fist of her mean brother, so she learned to run very fast. Thankfully there was also a "good" brother who came to her aid. Allys in a family war together, they remain close today.

Growing up her home was a loud, angry place. Mine was a haven of safety and rest; a white picket fence upbringing, we went to church and Mom stayed home to raise us. We came home from school to cookies baking and Mom asking how our day was. In her home no parent asked what happened at school; and God seemed very far away. In mine, He always seemed very near. And yet.....God's mercy reached her where she was and kept me from wandering too far.

Two lives in very different places, but God's sunset grace finding both.

Many years ago I stood on the banks of the river the day my best friend was baptized, and so did her folks; no doubt they were mystified by the whole thing, but happy about it just the same. God saw a little girl heart of gold, with a conscience like a sunbeam and never let go.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Dads, we salute you! There is a wonderful place in a family that only a (good) Dad can fill.(That goes for Grampa's too!) I am so thankful I had one of those good Dads. There is a unique bank of memories that I treasure reserved for Dad alone....For instance, I knew when he went into the store, he would always bring me a bag of planters peanuts, or a hershey bar. I remember many times, he would head out the door on some errand, he would ask, "You want to go?" And then the light in his eyes when I said, "Yes!"

I remember him stopping the car at a little store in the county and bringing back "grab bag" prizes, and making me wonderful beds by the fire on a cold winter's night, tucking the blankets all around. When I got older, we shared a passion for reading, the same love of jazz and John Denver. We loved discovering magical secret places, walking down little alleyways, and haiku. After he came to know God, we shared Him too. My Dad introduced me to so many different things without even knowing it. He never turned away someone who needed help moving, or doing anything else for that matter. He was a champion who would always take my side, to my Mother's chagrin!

Father's Day always takes me back to Yosemite, our favorite place. We would always go in June and usually Father's Day was spent there. Each year, I would walk across the meadow in the morning mist and buy a Sunday paper and an Almond Joy candy bar and present it to him. Every year he would act just as thrilled to get it! Well, Dad, I am thankful for you today and I hope the Almond Joys I sent in the box along with the paper survived the merciless Arizona heat! Today you will be celebrating with Mom, along with my brother (happy Dad's day to you too) and your current fave, Granddaughter Lauryn, who never leaves your side.

"The most important thing a father can do
for his children is to love their mother."
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

Friday, June 19, 2009

Come away.....

"Close your eyes as you enter the Green Room of God. Rest awhile in His presence....smell the scent of Heaven and hear the sound of His sighing far up in the trees.... feel the breath of His Holy Spirit as His cloak of peace surrounds you."

God's Green Room

Monday, June 15, 2009



I am thankful today; thankful for belief, such a simple word and yet it makes the difference for all eternity. I am thinking today of what a miracle it is that we come to belief at all, with so many forces around us telling us not to believe in what we can’t see, and yet we do. And yet it is not belief alone, for as the Bible tells us, the demons believe too, and tremble. It is the life-changing belief that makes us put it all on the line for Christ; the belief that leads to repentance and changed ways. Turning from one way of living to another, like Jesus so patiently explained to Nicodemus late at night.
Each day we have so much to rejoice in as believers. The Bible says that this path of belief is narrow, and there are few that find it. I am honored to be part of that few. Sometimes it seems as if the whole world is going against it, people want what sounds good to them, and that is not the way of Christ. The way of Christ goes against our very nature, so the fact that we find Him at all is only because of the Holy Spirit making Himself known to us. Something in us has listened, responded, and we have recognized our maker. The great mystery is why me? That question alone should bring me to my knees each and every day, in gratitude and humility asking, “What can I do to get closer to You?”

The answer is always in His word, our compass and guide. Help me Lord to never stop asking what I can do for You. Help me to love You more, and in loving You more, love people more. And finally, make me a blessing to those around me. Sometimes I forget that in order to truly love You, we must love people. I confess I can lose myself in a stack of books and forget there is world outside my window; but I thank you God that you are the great “changer” of human nature. You have taken my old nature, and replaced it with Your nature. Help me to look more and more like Your Son. And help me not hide my faith under a bushel, but shine it out for all to see like a lighthouse on a foggy shore.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Brooklyn Tabernacle Video

It is a blessed day, as I drove to work this morning I was listening to the Brooklyn Tab in my car and the sun was just coming over the Superstitions, (one of the few good things about going to work so early.) As I listened to their music I was once again lifted to the Heavens. I included one of their videos on the blog today. (Above) Keep in mind when you listen/watch Carol Cymbala directing that choir, that she has had no formal musical training, she can't read music, and yet she has written many songs that have rocketed to the top of the charts and are sung in many churches today. They have perfomed at Madision Square garden and many other places all over the world. Many of the singers and musicians were homeless, living on the streets of New York, many addicted to drugs and alcohol, were illiterate, and many were very successful but on their own collision course of destruction. One a famous hairstylist for many years, one a top model. But they all had one thing in common, they desperately needed the love of Christ. When they sing, their tears flow freely because they remember where they were before. It is apparent they sing not for any worldly glory or success but for God alone. They are a living testament to what God can do in all of our lives if we only let Him. Lori

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


On Hope,

Hope is that thing that starts as a leak of light into the heart…..
A shift, an oh-so-slight change of feeling.
Like the first crack of dawn that comes over the horizon.

And even though the bleakness is still there, you feel that it may not
Always be so.

Sometimes it’s a momentous event that changes everything suddenly,
And sometimes it’s what you read in a book when you realize that
Someone else on earth has felt or is feeling exactly what you feel.

Then you think, well, if they came through it then certainly I can too.


My very first blog

This is my first ever post, and after much procrastination I finally made the first foray into the world of blogging. It is my hope that someone reading my posts will give encouragement to others in their walk of faith.

I chose the name "prayer closet" because of the verse in Matthew 6:6 that says, "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret will reward thee openly. That is the King James version, but I love what Eugene Peterson's message translation does with it, "Here's what I want you to do, find a quiet secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace."

In His Peace, Lori