Thursday, September 30, 2010

Watching the Sky

By Maxfield Parrish
"Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:" Amos 5:8

Last night I stepped outside and was greeted with a "Maxfield Parrish" sky. Ever since I saw some of his art long ago, I think of him when the sky is that certain shade of inky blue.....that not quite dark cobalt, still lit from underneath by the sun's last trace of light. I took a deep breath, thanking God for the night sky, His sky.....for the stars, the moon and placing me here at just this moment in time.

I always make it a point to go out at dusk and look for the moonrise. God's mysterious night light. I love that particular time of the evening. There is a resigned peacefulness in the twilight when the evening sounds start to rise and everything calms down. Once again, stars appear just like they did the night before, there is security in that.The evening bird closes out the day and ushers in the night with one last song.......This one day has closed out..... and we did the best we could with it, and it is enough.

The other night it was a harvest moon. As I saw the glow of it rising over the Superstition mountain ridge, it almost took my breath away...it was huge and otherworldly, like it was too big for the horizon. I was in the car and I wanted to pull over so I could watch the whole performance, but I had to be content with watching it the best I could while driving down the freeway.

In ancient Israel it was common for people to sleep on the rooftops. Maybe because it was cooler outside, and probably there was more room. They spent a lot of time watching the sky......watching, and waiting too. For a Messiah that would be preceded by a strange star.....If there was some new star there they would have known it immediately.

They read the book of Numbers, they had read the Prophecy
"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.......Numbers 24:17
 
I don't know who taught me to be a sky watcher and I'm not sure when it started.....


When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! Psalm 8:3-5

Now my brother is teaching my Niece to watch the sky too, I think it's great. Every evening they are together they go out and look for the moon......and everytime the moon is a very small crescent, my Mom thinks of me from California.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What is faith?

Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

My definition of faith: "Faith is the absolute certainty that what we believe will come to pass."

Websters definition of faith: b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust

Ever tried to explain your faith to someone? It is like explaining the concept of eternity. Our finite minds just can't get a grip on it. It is a good exercise though to think about why you believe a certain way and how you came to those beliefs.  Trying to articulate it is not easy. People say, "How can you be so sure?" Here are a few reasons why I have faith in God.

God has proven Himself over and over through circumstances and changes in me and other people...He is faithful, even when I am not.

Because the Bible says so and I believe the Bible to be God's inspired word. "So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ." Romans 19:17 NLT 

Through answered prayer and miracles that can be explained no other way.

Because of everything I see in the world around me.  

The Holy Spirit within me verifies that it is true.

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you." John 16:13

Many people take issue with the fact that Christians seem so dogmatic in their beliefs, that we refuse to entertain the possibility that we may be wrong. The question then becomes, why would I want to devote my whole life to a belief system that I really wasn't sure of? 

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

If we have evidence of things not seen, that would mean that there is evidence that we can see, hear and touch. Something that is tangible. What it takes is opening up our hearts as well as our eyes.  I came to the conclusion that the odds of all of this just happening on its own were a statistical  impossibility.

And I had praying parents......

To me, this question of faith is fascinating. I found myself going down a rabbit-trail that wouldn't end. I couldn't find a place to end this post, I kept thinking of more verses, more questions. The simplest way to put it is, I once was lost but now as found, was blind but now I see!

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin Luther
Photo Mark Wilson, Globe Photo

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We are God's offspring.....

Entrance to village church in South Warnborough, Hampshire, England. Image courtesy of flicker
A.W Toser....."What I believe about God is the most important thing about me."

"We are what we love. If we love God, in whose image we were created, we discover ourselves in Him and we cannot help being happy; we have already achieved something of the fullness of being for which we were destined in our creation. If we love everything else but God, we contradict the image born in our very essence, and we cannot help being unhappy, because we are living a caricature of what we are meant to be." Thomas Merton, The Waters of Siloe

 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Acts 17:24-28

Not much time to post today, but I will leave you to quiet meditation with these selections, which say it much better than I ever could anyway......blessings for the day! Lori

Monday, September 27, 2010

Desert Prayers......


"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1

From my prayer journal: The heat has returned, it was fooling us before. We got a few days of cool breezes and thought the relentless stifling breath of heat was over. Should have known better, still, it is cooler in the mornings and evenings and for that I am grateful. Relief is coming soon.

It seems God has taken away my mourning doves. I haven't heard them for a few weeks as I usually do during morning prayer. This morning all I heard was the warm wind in the chimes and the gunning engines of a few speeding cars on their way to the freeway. Not very conducive to silent prayer and meditation......but then I heard the Spirit ask my heart.....Is it the birds you come out to hear or My voice? Then I thought: maybe He sent the doves away for a purpose. Maybe He sent them away to teach me that life, like prayer, is sometimes as dry as toast. It can't always be cool breezes, comfort, and cooing doves.

"Yes, Lord, I get it......You got me again." Once again I learn the lesson, Jesus plus nothing. I settled into prayer with a new purpose. I drew Him into everything I was hearing, and not hearing. Every neighborhood sound represented something God wanted me to hear. I was warm, and uncomfortable, I heard speeding cars, the wind was drying out my plants, and it was okay. It became very okay.

I started to be conscious of every car I heard. For in each car there was a life, a family represented there. So I started to pray for those lives, that today they would somehow, somewhere, feel God's presence. That if they don't know Him, that today they would run into someone who did.

I said the Lord's prayer, and I became conscious of the beauty of other voices around the world saying the same prayer, so I prayed for unity in the church. I heard people rising in worship, I heard the hushed echo of kneelers pulled down in quiet sanctuaries, and the whispered prayers of the persecuted church. Prayers said by the bedside of the sick. One faith lifted in hope and joy that we believe in a God who hears the prayers of His people.

Does it matter what you or I pray here in our small corners of the world? Absolutely it does. The Bible says......."Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." Who makes us righteous but Jesus? I stand today in the cloak of His righteousness, for He is the only one who is qualified to do that. Praise His name.

Thank you Lord, for answered prayer and for always bringing us new lessons. For turning our dry toast into a full coarse meal, and our deserts into springs of water that never fail....."Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." Psalm 23:5
Join Ann and me today as we continue to offer our thanks for His gifts.......#484 prayer lessons, #485 assurance of cooler weather to come, #486 safe return home for loved ones, #487 community of believers offering up faithful prayers, #488 the innocence of children, #489 appliances that work, #490 clean water, #491 cars that run, #492 honest work and the strength to do it, #493 the ability to laugh, #494 good samaritans, #495 means to help those who have nothing....

holy experience



Saturday, September 25, 2010

Windows of hope

Mount Angel Abbey, St. Benedict Oregon

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is
to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone
with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and
that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple
beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace
in all troubles.  Anne Frank

When I read this my heart aches for little Anne, how much strength and wisdom she had. I wish I she could have lived to walk out of her attic and sit at peace under her beloved chestnut tree. Not too long ago the 180 year old tree that Anne gazed at from her window fell over in a storm. I believe she clung to that tree because it represented life. To me it says a lot about her character, that she could hope in anything at all in her situation.

“Our chestnut tree is in full blossom,” Anne wrote in her diary in May 1944. “It is covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year.”

I think we are creatures of hope by nature. It's grafted into us by God as part of our blueprint. It is the only thing that explains why people don't give up, why we continually strive for survival, for life, to persevere in even the most dire circumstances.

There was a time in my life where I was swimming in grief.......I would drive around aimlessly at night, not knowing where to go because everywhere I went my sorrow went with me. My family was dealing with their own sadness so I didn't want to heap anymore on them. There were friends that welcomed me into their homes and I never forgot them for it.

On one particularly foggy night around Christmastime I was out for one of my drives that went nowhere when I rounded the corner and saw a little house that I had always admired because the people who owned it loved it and decorated it for every holiday. It wasn't big, it wasn't modern or luxurious, it was an older home on a corner lot, just a little cottage duplex.......but that night as I rounded the corner, it was resplendant, a jeweled princess ready for the ball!

It sparkled with white twinkling lights all around, and each window lit from within by the glow of a candle. At that moment it was my little port in the storm, my own personal lighthouse of hope. A small candle was lit in my heart that night, God whispered:  "I am with you and I have given you this little gift to let you know that sorrow doesn't last forever; on the other side of it is joy".......I clung to that hope like Anne to her chestnut tree.

Since that time many years ago, I have kept candles in the window of just about every home I have had.....to remember. 

" May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:22

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jesus, the original people person

 "Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." Luke 5: 15,16

Crowds followed Jesus everywhere He went. He was the original people person. He wasn't a people pleaser though. He wasn't afraid to say what was unpopular, but He didn't grandstand. He didn't bring up controversial subjects to draw attention to Himself, although controversy followed Him because He spoke the truth, and the truth wasn't always what they wanted to hear. But He always spoke the truth in perfect love. 

Jesus always had time for people. Maybe you feel as if you are in demand now, from your work, your friends, your family? Just try producing a few miracles and see how in demand you would feel then....remember the Calgon commercial? Take me away........I think Jesus must have felt like that because the Bible says He went often to lonely places to pray. 

People like people who are people persons, not people who are people pleasers. With people pleasers you never really know if they are just giving you lip service. If they are really going to follow through. Do they mean what they say or are they just saying what you want to hear? This is just my humble opinion, mind you. I can say this because I have been a people pleaser at times, and I don't like that about myself. I want to be more like Jesus and be a people person.

Ever been to a funeral and everyone gets up to speak and says how so and so "always had time for me." We all know those special people who, no matter what is going on in their lives, they always treat you as if you are the most important person at that moment. They don't look away, distracted by every little thing when you are pouring your heart out to them. I once knew a very special Pastor like that. People would line up out the door just to hug him. He always had time. He looked in your eyes and made you feel like you mattered....like he was so glad you waited so he could see you!

That is how Jesus was. I want to be more like that. It doesn't come naturally for me. I think I would have been well suited to the cloister with a stack of books. But God wants us to invest in the lives of people. When I go to Heaven He will not ask me how many books I read. Darn.

When I look at Jesus, I see how far I have to go.......but He is happy when I try. He is happy when He nudges me and I pay attention.

Okay I am closing my book now......
 "One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,  with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat." Luke 5:1-3

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Thoughts

God does not exist to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God.

- Oswald Chambers

"When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash - at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the "newness," the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance." — Thomas Merton
I have always loved fall.....the expectation, the whisper of cool breezes, the closing out of summer with one bright blaze of glory. I wonder, is it summer throwing a tantrum or fall announcing its presence? All the same it is like no other time of year. It is joy mingled with a bit of melancholy thrown in, like you want to sit at a window all day and watch the leaves twirl down, lost in thought, tea having long grown cold, book open but untouched......It is hope of good things to come, quiet moments by the fireside, bundled up walks, breath blowing frost, stacking wood and burning leaves.

It is the faint promise of Advent settling quietly about your spirit that makes you feel like home.....Softly saying He is coming even though you know He is already here....

Photos from Flagstaff Observatory and Sedona Tourism, Google Images

Any fall thoughts you want to share?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Remembering our Brokenness

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14
Looking back is good sometimes. It reminds us of all that God has brought us through and I think it gives us the courage to keep walking. Remembering where we came from and what God has done for us is humbling. We remember the victories, the parts of us that were mended along the way, all the joys strewn along the path. We collect them like shining treasures, even the heartaches, because He got us through those too.

I broke a figurine the other day when I was dusting a little over-zealously. I heard a sickening thud and distinctly heard pieces break off. I was afraid to look. I already knew what it was, the little angel that I bought my roommate for her Birthday. "Don't worry, she wasn't expensive," I said, "I wanted to go back to that store anyway. I'll buy you a new one."

"I don't want a new one," she said. "I will glue her back together." She gathered the pieces and put them carefully on the shelf in her room. I was still insisting on buying her a new one, when she looked at me pointedly and said softly, "It means more knowing that someone loves her enough to put her back together."

I think when she said that she was thinking of how God puts us all back together, but especially how He put her back together. She was remembering when she was broken. 

Her life was changed one morning in an instant when a truck driver who was thinking of too many other things pulled in front of her and broadsided the cement mixer she was driving. Yes, I said cement mixer. She has never been afraid to tackle anything. She remembers broken glass, and being pulled out of the truck by two good samaritans who happened to be eating their lunch close by and saw the whole thing. She remembers spending six long months in a body cast. Today she tells anyone who will listen that it was the best thing that ever happened to her. That it saved her life.

She fought through the pain of therapy and made a full recovery ahead of time. Then she moved to a strange town, my hometown, and ended up getting a job where I worked. At that time I was still grieving over the death of my husband but I clung to my faith in God and I guess she was watching me, because she started asking me questions about the God I worshipped. "How can you still be so positive?" she would say. "Because of everything He has done for me," I said back.

About a year or two later, the woman who did everything on her own in life because there was no one to do it for her, met Jesus and was baptised in a river with a crowd of witnesses and me, and she has never been the same since.

 She has held that gratefulness fresh like a flower, close to her heart ever since. She remembers being broken. I think that is why she has an unquenchable desire to fix people, things, situations. That is her gift. She is a joy to be around and a strong witness for Jesus by how she lives her everyday life. She is the first to offer help to a neighbor, to sacrifice her time, to go out of her way, all

Because she remembers who healed her.....and who keeps healing her still.
She is a fixer, like He is a fixer. And we are all broken angels sitting on a shelf, just waiting to be picked up and glued back together if we will let Him. As He repairs us, we help to repair others......

Even Jesus was broken so that we could be healed of our brokenness......."so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Hebrews 9:28

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Waiting Game

"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Much of life is spent waiting.......Waiting for something to end or something to start. We have all spent hours waiting in hospital rooms. Hoping for good news.....being prepared for the worst. In the case of old age or terminal illness, everything rests on the edge of one moment. One such moment was related to me yesterday. A close family friend who is also a Pastor was telling my Mom about waiting in the hospital room for his Mother-in-law to pass on.

Much had led up to this moment. Pastor Greg and his wife Ann, who several years ago had a bad stroke, had been caring for both of her parents. Due to Ann's stroke the majority of the burden fell on Greg and it has been taxing to say the least.

Ann's parents went to church, but didn't want to hear anything about having a personal relationship with God. Greg had tried to talk to them before about spiritual things but they had made it clear that was "okay for Greg and Ann", but not how they believed." It was a mutual understanding and they got along fine, that was just how things were.

It was about 4 in the morning and Greg was alone in the room and beyond exhausted. Ann had gone home long before. It was just he and his Mother-in-law who looked like she was already gone from this world. Greg had His Bible and was alternately praying and dosing off. He heard a rustling noise coming from the bed and looked over. She was sitting straight up in bed! In Greg's own words, "It was like a corpse sitting up!" Then she lay back down.

Awhile later he heard the rustling again......again, she was bolt upright in bed. Now he had been fervently praying that he would get another opportunity to talk with her, so he opened his Bible to the book of John. She lay back down again.

Once more the rustling........once more she was sitting up and even looked somewhat coherent. He decided this may be his last opportunity, so he drew the chair to the side of the bed. To make a very long story short, they talked, he read from the book of John....."I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. John 5:24,25

They continued talking and he kept reading from John, explaining salvation and what it means. When he knew that she understood, he asked her if that would be something she would like to do, accept Jesus as savior. She said yes. Shortly thereafter, her waiting was over. She had passed from this life to the next.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 1:12

At her memorial, the Pastor asked Greg to speak. Since this was their own Pastor, Greg was somewhat taken aback. What would he say? The Father-in-law then piped up and said, "Why don't you tell them what happened in the hospital room?" Greg was surprised by this, but he did tell the story, word for word, at the funeral. He told my Mom that you could have heard a pin drop while he was telling the story.....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wrapped in His grace

Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are “patches of Godlight” in the woods of our experience. C.S. Lewis ~ Letters from Malcolm

Whatever task you have placed before you today remember that God's grace is big enough to fill it. It doesn't matter how daunting, how unpleasant, how impossible. You may feel as if you might as well be faced with climbing Mount Everest, but God says, "My Grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

I think we can all boast about this one thing. Our weakness. Ever lose count of how many tears you have cried over one issue? God never loses count. He knows the exact number and He longs to wrap you in His Grace today. Whatever you are facing, His Grace is more than enough. We are abounding in it! We don't even have to do anything to get  it, we all ready have it! All we have to do is rest in it.

When Briggs was a kitten (cat on left) was very small, he had an overabundance of energy. In fact he played so hard he used to exhaust himself to the point where he would pant like a dog. I literally had to calm him down like you have to do with an overactive kid sometimes. I used to wrap him in a towel like a kitten burrito until he could catch his breath and give the other cat a rest.

God did that for me today. He made me His burrito. Prayer time this morning was not so much prayer, it was more like just being quiet and resting in His grace. I needed calming. I got a clear picture while I was praying of Him coming behind me wearing a cloak made from the pure light of Heaven. As He enfolded me in it, I felt myself calmed with His Presence, wrapped in His Grace. I was God's burrito today.

Let Him wrap you in it today......."And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all suffciency in everything, you may have a abundance for every good deed." 2 Corinthinans 9:8

Thankful for His Grace that covers......#473 circle prayers, #474 clasped hands, #475 words of love aimed toward Heaven's throne, #476 knowing He will never leave us, #477 clean sheets and beds to sleep in, #478 food cooked with love, #479 cats that curl by your side, #480 armloads of books, #481 knowing miracle still happen because you see them in your own life, #482 candles softly flickering in evening light, #483 music that lifts to the heights of Heaven......

holy experience

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Reflections on blogging

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am constantly amazed at all the creative and inspiring blogs there are out there. They are as varied and diverse as the people who have created them. I have some favorites listed on my blog roll, and they all have favorites listed on theirs as well, it goes on and on. I know there are hundreds out there that I have missed.....I know they are out there! Each one represents a life, and other lives attached to it. This is a community. You could even say it is like church. The church started out as a fellowship of believers, gathering together to worship, pray for each other's needs, and then going out into the community to serve others....Hey, sounds a bit like blogging to me!

I really love this blogging thing! I can honestly say it has enriched my faith, my life.  I pray for each follower on my blog because I know that they are not there by accident. God sent them! I realize with every face I see there are needs, heartaches, joys and sorrows. I pray that God might use me to give out the same inspiration, comfort and encouragement that they give me along the way!

So much life leaps off the pages of so many, all these thoughts, prayers going back and forth, all this building each other up is very good.  Not only that, it is Biblical......"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

In so doing we are opening doors, inviting others in that may never have had an invitation otherwise. And the circle is growing......"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:46,47

Each day they continued to meet together at home offices, at desks, steaming cups in hand, birdsong drifting through the windows, at kitchen tables, at Starbucks, Panera.........breaking bread and building each other up.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cure for Anxiety

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ~George Washington Carver

Ever feel like your mind won't stop fluttering? My friend has another word for it, she calls it "Zingin" You can't put the "g" on the end either, it just doesn't sound right. When she says, "I'm zingin" I know exactly what she means. Now I am starting to say it. Today my mind has felt like a hundred butterfies with their wings fluttering all at once. I don't even know why. Some days are just like that.

I am looking for that quiet corner in my mind today and so far it has escaped me. Over at the Moonboat Cafe I learned about a new form of Japanese poetry called Gogyohka. I hope you hop over there and see what it's all about, and enjoy Cassandra's post while you are at it.  You will be inspired and refreshed!

In the meantime, I thought I would try my hand at it. It is amazing that my mind actually did quiet down a bit after I tried it!

Though my mind seems filled
with a hundred tiny butterflies
if I focus on only one
slowly resting on a flower
I am at peace

Dear friend,

You aren't the only one to be distracted from the presence of God; I understand completely. Our minds are so flighty. But remember that our God-given will governs all of our strength. It must recall the mind to God. Otherwise, our spirit may wander, dragging us down to the things of this earth.
Brother Lawrence

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thank the hero in your life today.....

We all know them, they live in our neighborhoods, we see them in our children's schools, we have known them throughout our lives, people who sacrificially go above and beyond the call. We marvel at how they can do the things they do, how they can sacrifice so much. We think of them as everyday heroes. Maybe you are one of them......The thing about these people that defines them so wonderfully is that they don't think of themselves as heroes at all. They see a need, sometimes a big one, and they step in to fill it. They don't sit and think about how it might affect them, how much they might have to sacrifice. They don't ponder, procrastinate, wonder if God wants them to do it, they just do it.

What got me started about all this is that I was thinking of my folks neighbors. They learned that their boss was going to institutionalize their severely handicapped son and they did the unthinkable and volunteered to take him into their home......as their own son. When I am home visiting I see the bus pull up with him in it, a full grown man now. They must care for his every need. This means diapers, feeding, lifting. And yet they do it joyfully.

You never know what someone is going through at any given moment, what burdens they carry. Still they keep on. Maybe they have three jobs but they still go out of their way to help others. I bet we can count off ten people we know right now that do amazing things on a day to day basis. I know two people who take service animals to rest homes and hospitals. Imagine the smiles they are greeted with, shaking hands that reach out, remembering better days.

Let the everyday heroes in your life know that you have noticed! Smile at the woman emptying the trash cans at work, the man trimming the trees, your waitress who looks burdened. Everyday there are people rising out of bed early and instead of spending their golden years at leisure, devoting the rest of their days in service to others, standing in the gap for someone. Doing the work of God.

Maybe they don't even know God, but they are doing His work just the same.

And think about this. Think about all the many issues that divide churches today, divide the world really. This is one thing we can all agree on. Helping one another, serving the poor, the needy, the widow, the orphans among us is right and everyone knows it.

If we could all unite on this one point, forget about the other stuff that doesn't really matter, just do this one thing, think how the world could change. "But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless." Titus 3:9



Lord, today I pray for all these heroes today, and especially on my heart are our soldiers coming home, many of them with life-changing injuries having to go through many months and years of therapy. May there be loving hands to help them, support them, love them, and visit them in their times of loneliness. May they find peace and comfort in Your Spirit, Amen.

"This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone." Titus 3:8

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

God wants to hear from you....

"God is not really silent, we are deaf." St Theresa of Avila

“The whole of our faith is the belief that God loves us; I mean there isn’t anything else. Anything else we say we believe is just a way of saying that God loves us. Any proposition, any article of faith, is only an expression of faith if it is a way of saying that God loves us….Herbert McCabe, British Theologian

We need only look to the cross to see proof of that love......

We have knowledge of that love because of what He has already demonstrated. Since He loves us, we must assume that He wants to hear from us! There is one requirement that will ensure that God will always answer our prayers and Jesus demonstrated it perfectly.
That we bring our desires in line with our Father's will. This kind of prayer can seem more like wrestling sometimes.  
More than anything, God desires an open and honest heart. I like the fact that He encourages simple prayers.....I have great comfort in the fact that I can tell Him absolutely everything, and he loves it when I use my own words...... 
"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." Matthew 6:7

I love that God honored the humble prayer of the tax collector.....
"But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.' Luke 18:13

I also love that God hears my silent prayers in those times when words fail. I just let Him read my heart with His Spirit in the quiet moments found here and there.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Grandma's House

501 South Lee......
I got a text from my brother last night, it said: "Did you see my email about Grandma's house?" I knew immediately that it was up for sale. Last time I was back home it looked just like this picture, pretty rough around the edges.

I always nursed the hidden whisper of a thought close to my heart that when this house went up for sale, it would be my sign to move back to California. I always had a dream to move back in and make it look just like when my Grandpa was alive......You see, when he died of cancer, my Grandmother pulled out every tree, starting with the tree roses that lined the driveway. It must have been her own way of grieving......Imagine two beautiful silver furs nestled in perfect green lawn, tree roses in every color marching along the driveway to the right, and a full garden in back, complete with grape trellis and two cherry trees. And there were always morning glories and hydrangeas.

My brother still calls it Grandma's house too. He remembers spending time in that yard with Grandpa. So many memories attached to this place....... All the family dinners we had there!  The voices roll through my mind like waves when I see these pictures....This was my other home, my second safe place, a place where I was always welcome, secure.

When my Grandmother went to the nursing home, it impacted me greatly, more than I probably knew at the time. I was twenty one and I had taken the reigns of my life back from God and was failing miserably. In the throes of anorexia, I would walk and walk and no one knew where I went. It was here that I came. My Grandmother was no longer there, but all her stuff still was. I would let myself in the door and surround myself with her. We all dealt with our loss differently I guess. I stuffed mine down deep inside.

God knows all about loss.......But I never gave Him the chance to bring me through that one. If I had, He could have taught me how to bring that loss to Him and be healed.  Instead, I left Him outside and tried to deal with things alone, which never works.

As Robert Frost said, "way leads on to way......."life does that.
I can see my books resting on these shelves, can't believe they didn't paint over the knotty pine!
Circumstances being what they are, I can't buy the house. I shed a few tears this morning, letting something go that never really was mine anyway, and it's okay. I can give this to God too. It was fun to think about when it wasn't a reality. Now that the reality is here, I know that the timing is not right. If that was where God wanted me, I would be there now. I have learned one thing in life and that is this: home is ultimately where He is, and He is everywhere I go.

I am glad for one thing, whoever owned it must have loved it. Though the outside looks rough, the inside has been taken care of. They even kept my Grandmother's old stove. I will pray that whoever buys it will keep loving it and senses that once upon a time, love rested there.
Grandma's kitchen where she used to make her homemade kuchen.
What about you, ever had an emotional attachment to a place? Do you now? I would love to hear about it.

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:33

Monday, September 13, 2010

Resurrection in the Desert

Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.....John Muir

September breathes new life into the desert. It is our time of resurrection. Too long hidden under the hum of unnatural air, trapped inside four walls. September finds us able to walk outside, able to take a complete breath of air that is not oppressive heat. The animals feel the joy and relief of it too, as evidenced by their morning frolics, they step a bit lighter along with us. This is a joy that only those who dare to live in this harsh environment can fully know and appreciate.

Ours is an Autumn of resurrection, new beginnings. Annuals appear, bold swatches of color that could never survive the summer, this is a fall of a different kind. No swirling leaves of red yellow or brown, now we have roses. Though I ache for those leaves that I once knew to mark my own special Advent.....I feel it in my heart just the same.

I recognize God's hand in it and that is, after all, the miracle of Advent. I feel His birth, death and resurrection each time I step outside my door these past few mornings......It is sweet relief.  And such  thankfulness at this grace.....that I can share this message of the One behind it all.

I pray today for everyone who has yet to know you Lord. I pray that I might be a humble instrument to be used by You for that solitary purpose. Help me to be a guide, a small gateway to You;  to help them see that they only have to look aside for one moment, to stop and focus on one thing, one aspect of nature and be still in it, and see You in it.

I pray that they might see that Your thoughts are already turned toward them. All it would take is one misstep in the dance of our planets and we would be no more......that is reason enough to believe. Amen

........since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:19,20
Continuing to number my praises today with Ann and company......#461 the sweet breath of open windows once again.....#462 morning prayer free of heat.....#463 the sweet fellowship of other believers.....#464 a once more reasonable electric bill.....#465 the magic of fall however it comes......#466 yellow butterfly outside the window just now....#467 the anticipation of holidays and pumpkin pie.....#468 good neighbors....#469 health to enjoy all this....#470 sending prayers down the river that reaches Heaven....#471 eating outdoors again! #472 not having to water as much.......


holy experience

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Living Psalms

A psalm of Asaph. The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. Psalm 50:1
Ever felt like a living Psalm of praise? When prayer turns to praise that's what happens. I found myself answering a question this morning that I didn't even realize I was asking.....:.."What does having a relationship with a living God mean to you?" This is how I would explain it. It is like going along with life and seeing things one way....thinking one way, living one way. Then, in one spectacular moment, or maybe years of little moments put together, someone comes along and throws the switch on a floodlight. You see things you never thought were there.

The backdrop of your life is lit from behind with Someone whom you know to be the source of all that light.
Your perspective on life, everything you thought you knew.......changed in an instant. Magnified. Every moment becomes a miracle and everything is suddenly colored with meaning. You see the sweep of God's Arm in every spectacular move of nature, you suddenly hear the symphony that has been playing all along. You realize there is a plan to it all, and you are part of it, were wanted, loved into being......not necessarily by your earthly parents, but by your Creator parent, the One who set the whole thing into motion. The One who keeps it all going.

You are struck with amazement that this is a God who wants to know you personally. It is a bit like falling in love, but better because this love will last forever.

You are lifted to the heights of Heaven and you want to tell everyone......You keep walking down the road but now the road looks different. Now you are aware that there is a God who walks beside you. You feel eternity coursing through your veins. You suddenly know how it feels to pass from death to life.

Here is the miracle. You go through the normal sorrows and trials and frustrations of life and you realize He is still there, He hasn't left. As you walk further down the path, you realize that sometimes He allows extremely painful things into your life, and you don't know why. Sometimes you cry out and He is big enough to handle that. For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:14 He knows better than anyone what we are made of. And He also knows that sometimes we need to grow. Growing doesn't happen without pruning........

The miracle continues when we find ourselves praising in the midst of the pruning sometimes, hard as it is. We make it through. We start to see our weakness as His strength. We come to know that God allows certain things in our lives so we can minister to others going through the same thing.

We hold joy like treasure bursting within us. He has made our bodies His sanctuary and we are breathless with thanksgiving at such undeserved Grace. We celebrate the manger and the empty tomb every day. We want to tell everybody, but we don't and we are not sure why, but it leaks because it simply has to. We are living sparks of His greater light but we know we are far from perfect.......We praise Him because He has brought us through so much and we know that He will be there waiting at our last breath.

Out of this world and into the next.......finally Home.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16,17

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weighing in on the side of Love

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:23,24

When Paul was speaking to the Corinthian believers, he was trying to get them to understand that although they had liberty to do certain things, it wasn't necessarily in their best interests or the interests of others to do them. They had issues that were dividing the church and they were squabbling amongst themselves about what was right and what was wrong. Basically they wanted to know what they could "get away with" and "what they couldn't." Paul said that wasn't the issue, love was. Placing stumbling blocks in front of others was the issue.

Anytime we in the church do something, we need to remember it affects the church as a whole. The eyes of the world are watching what we do. Does that Pastor have the right to burn the Koran? Yes, because this is a free country. Should he? Absolutely not. People have been burning Bibles for centuries. What should our response be? I don't care if every Bible on earth is burned, the Word of God will still stand forever, and it will still be in our hearts. No one and nothing will ever change that. There are times to stand up and there are times to "stand down."

Paul said, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33

Here is the difference. If someone told me I could no longer worship publicly in my church and that if I did so, I would be incurring someone's wrath, that now becomes an issue between me and God, because the Bible says not to forsake the "assembling of ourselves together" in worship. So I would have to choose obeying God rather than man.  I think we can agree that burning the Koran will do nothing but harm everyone involved. That is my take on the situation.....Hop on over here to Cliff's to see a view I agree with!

Final thought.....what if Christ had exercised His liberty when the decision was made whether to go to the cross? He had every right to stay in Heaven and write us off. But thankfully that is not how God works....His motive is always and forever, LOVE.

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.


Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:5-8


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Feeling Narnian Today

 "People who have not been to Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time."  Chronicles of Narnia
The Lion was coming on, always singing, with a slow, heavy pace....Though its soft pads made no noise, you could feel the earth shake beneath their weight....The children could not move. There were not even  quite sure that they wanted to. The Lion paid no attention to them.....It passed by them so close that they could have touched his mane. They were terribly afraid it would turn and look at them, yet in some queer way they wished it would. --C.S. Lewis

When Jesus went to the cross, He permanently bridged the gap between a Holy God and a people in desperate need of redemption. We can now freely come to the throne without fear, to boldly approach a previously unapproachable God. There is a point before salvation however, when we must feel the dread and fear that comes with knowing that we are powerless to save ourselves.
Everyone who has ever been shown just a bit of God's glory has been struck dumb with fear, God is simply too overwhelming for us to handle in our present state, and yet this all-powerful, all knowing God, who created everything we see and even what we don't see, willingly gives His Spirit to live within us! It is almost too much to think about for too long......God is so good.

Behold: The Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.........
Jesus the Great High Priest
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:13-16

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Finding God in the Desert

Peace in the midst of thorns
Take a walk, a drive, if you dare, pass the golf greens and the shopping malls, the Walmarts and the Kohls, the Starbucks and the trendy restaurants and you will find something wild and untamed, the desert. But tread carefully with your eyes peeled. Be aware that this is not your home, it is theirs. This is a place where you must pay attention, for it is merciless. But approach and you will find a beauty you didn't expect, but only if you turn your senses up.

There are no bright lights here, no big colorful signs that attract. But if you look closely you will find a desperate beauty that will touch your soul, remind you that even in the midst of a dry thirsty land there is life. The desert speaks to us of death, of what we fear, but it also speaks of courage, of survival. Of a big God.

Go to the edge and look in if you must, but I invite you to take a few steps beyond. You will find God there if you are looking, in the plaintive cry of the quail, the circling shadow of the hawk, the impossibly bright bloom amongst the plant of thorns; the lizard as he scrambles across the rocks, lifting his belly up and down to cool himself. The always industrious cactus wren, impervious to the heat, flitting here and there, always with a job to do.

Hear the unexpected voice of God in an afternoon thunderstorm........and then afterward lift your eyes to the heavens as He paints the sky in sherbet. Stay beyond sunset and hear the silence of the desert that is like no other.....as the relentless heat has a bit of mercy and reluctantly loosens its grip. Wait, and you will see the sky fill up with His diamonds, try to imagine what He has named them.

In my silence, I can hear Jeremiah's lament as he longs for his desert lodging place to flee to......
John the Baptist, crying across the desert wind, preparing the way for the Lord....
Hosea speaking tenderly to Israel there....
And I can see Jesus, walking resolute and strong, as the Holy Spirit carries Him out to His own battle in the desert.....

From a hole in a towering saquaro the face of an owl appears. Joining the crickets evening song, he beckons all who have hid in their dens and holes away from the merciless sun to come out. Stay longer and you will hear the coyotes come out to play, their howls echoing, their wildness touching the edge of our civility, two worlds colliding.

I wonder how we ever thought we could tame the desert?

I wrote this after my morning walk yesterday when I saw the dove nesting in the cactus. I was reminded of  all the many times this desert's beauty has astounded me with its many paradoxes, like the dove resting among the thorns. God has surprised me with this part of His creation, and reminds me that beauty is everwhere if we keep our minds open. The desert will leave its mark on me forever, wherever I go. It has worked its way right into my heart along with the Sierra Nevada and the Pacific Ocean I love so much.....
Scripture readings: Jeremiah 9:2, John 1:23, Hosea 2:14, Luke 4:1

Prayer belongs less to time than to eternity.....Thomas Merton

Monday, September 6, 2010

Good News for anyone with a need....



 "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written...."  Luke 4:17

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor......

Notably, he stopped before He finished the entire verse which ends with …..and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. Isaiah 61:1,2 

Why did He stop there? Because it wasn't the time for judgment yet, it was the time for open arms reconciliation for a people who desperately needed God's love and forgiveness. Although Jesus said that time would surely come, His first coming was to draw us close, back into the loving arms of God.

"Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Luke 4:20,21

I can imagine the stirring and rustling, nervous clearing of throats. They knew Jesus, they knew His family, they knew what they expected of the future Messiah and this wasn't it. It was a huge stumbling block that they just couldn't get around, even though they were amazed at His authoritative teaching. This was not good news for them. Jesus kicked the gate wide open for everyone to be able to receive salvation. They thought God's favor was for themselves alone.

Jesus knew those words spoken in His hometown synagogue would be inflammatory, but He had to speak them anyway. Ever feel led by the Holy Spirit to say something that you knew would cause an unfavorable reaction?

He further incites them when He insinuates that it was because of their hard hearts that they refused to see who was standing right in front of them.....Their Messiah had come, but their own pride refused to let them believe it. "All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove Him out of the town, and took Him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. But He walked right through the crowd and went on His way." Luke 4:28,29

There are many people right up to the present day who refuse to accept who Jesus really was, but the fact is, Jesus is God. Not only that, He is the only way to Heaven. He is God with arms of grace, extended for all who call upon His name. He wants to draw us close. He longs for it more than we can ever know, and all we have to do is reach out and take it. But to some people this is not good news. This kind of thinking is not popular in our politically correct, inclusive world. If we tell people this we will be labeled narrow minded, bigoted, backwards, simple-minded and archaic. If that is true, then I guess Jesus is all those things too!

The greatest tragedy is that some will miss out on God's grace and forgiveness only because of the barriers in their own minds and hearts. Jesus removes walls. He removed them then and He removes them now. When He was on this earth, He systematically removed every single barrier the religious system of the day had set up. He took time for anyone with a need. He sat with sinners, the unclean, the broken, the sick, even with the ones who thought they had it all figured out.

He wants to draw you close today. Do you have a need? He stands ready to meet it, whatever it may be.....

I continue the counting of blessings today.....that I can recognize the mark of God in all these moments, #451 encouraging words from other bloggers, #452 the grasp of a hand across a table, #453 prayers that I know are heard, #454 the life in His words, #455 the kindness of strangers, #456 sunrise of pastels that change with each second, #457 the busy cactus wren outside my window, #458 talk of God between friends, #459 music that brings us to the throne #460 all who find rest from their labor today....



holy experience

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Cup that Overflows

Ever felt like the whole earth is praising with you? Welling up and overflowing like a river that has spilled its banks; in the wellspring of your soul you echo His words, "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." That was me yesterday. It was the victory lap at the end of the week, Saturday, my last day of the workweek. Saturdays are usually that way. I get up and there is no traffic, the annoying hum is absent and all is silent, peaceful. I could have driven to work on the fumes of praise alone....He has carried me through another week. I had myself a little victory dance in the car, and it carried me all the way through the doors. It lasted all day!

Like David, I felt my cup overflowing, the cup of praise to a God that has done everything for me, is with me at all times, and at all times, "His praise shall continually be in my mouth," no matter what I am going through, because He is worthy to be praised! David understood that.  His life wasn't easy at times, but he knew where He could find refuge and strength, and he knew how to praise God! David did his own victory dance.

"David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets." 2 Samuel 6:14

Can't you just see him dancing for joy? I understand that craziness......sometimes I want to jump up and down on a street corner and call out, "Do you know what Jesus has done for me? What He can do for you, if you just let Him?"

I used to see a man on the way to church. The locals call him "Izzy." He is somebody you can look at and one glance will easily render a judgement of "crazy." He stands on a street corner with his finger pointing up at the sky, proclaiming Jesus to anyone who will hear. My church even did a segment on him once. When he was interviewed, he came off pretty rational, but it's tough to get passed his exterior. Long beard, unkempt, pushing a shopping cart, he looks like he may have been sleeping on a bench somewhere. 

Some of what he says is not rational at all, but if you pay attention and listen for a moment you will realize the part that is rational is full of praise to God!

Sometimes I wonder, who is the crazy one? We are the ones who have received the Good News, the best news ever to reach mankind, how can we keep from shouting aloud? All of creation sings its praise to their maker. It's only natural we do the same.

Izzy does.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Meditating on His Love


"Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
"In that day," declares the LORD,
"you will call me 'my husband';
you will no longer call me 'my master.
Hosea 2:14-16

This is how much He loves us!

Why is it always easier to anticipate God's wrath than to perceive God's joy? Ever expecting to be shot, we're invariably dumbfounded by a grace we can't conceive. Belden C. Lane, The Solace of Fierce Landscapes

Kind of like finding water in the desert......
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance.
Isaiah 40:12

Sometimes you don't need very many words at all, you just need to sit quietly and and find His love in the stillness of little moments throughout the day....and always, remember to listen to the birds no matter what.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My favorite Bible


I have several Bibles, but there is one that is my favorite. I call it "Big Red." I purchased it as a special edition they had available at church after I attended a "Walk thru the Prophets" seminar back in 1980. When I first got it, I had just re-committed my life to Christ and so I clung to it as a life preserver, devouring its pages. I thought it was the most beautiful Bible I had ever seen. The gilding on the side had a magical sheen to it and I loved the way it looked as the lamplight hit it. I drank it in like the bread of life that it is.

It has many pages of notes taken from many different sermons, Bible studies, and thoughts of my own thrown in. I can page through them and see a bit of my personal history, and it warms me to see all that God has done through the years. I see the year our choir performed Handel's Messiah and my brother gave his life to the Lord, gallantly striding up the aisle in his white shirt, a grown man looking purposeful and humble all at the same time.  Thoughts I wrote that same morning sitting out in my parent's yard on Easter, just before the sun came up. I can still feel the peaceful beauty of that morning like a cloak wrapped around me.  

I see a bit of my church history also, which is rather colorful. There are notes from churches I attended in my hometown of Lodi California, Sacramento, Woodbridge, and Chandler and Mesa, Arizona.

It started out Burgundy red leather, and rather stiff, but now it is faded and supple. I had to glue the spine back together  awhile back, and time has dulled the luster of gold from the edges. The words within, however, burn brighter than ever. They have not faded, but only become more brilliant with time. 

There were also seasons in my life when it collected dust, I thought my own wisdom was better.  

There are yellow highlights all the way through it, although much more in some places than others, and there are places where tears of both sorrow and joy have spilled onto the pages. Everyone who touches it touches a part of me. The words in it have comforted me more times than I can count and it comes along to my "closet" when I pray. It is my faithful companion.

Bibles have always played a special part in many family histories. My Mom has my Grandfather's German Bible, and I have my Mom's special one, which used to be mine. Remember "The Way" version that came out in the seventies? My best friend has her Grandmother's and Grandfather's and I also have my late husband's Bible that he got from an old girlfriend!

My Grandmother thought that all Bibles had to be black (or white for Baptism) and she only recognized the King James version.

How about you? Do you have a favorite? What has it meant to you? I would love to hear about it!

"Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105