Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IOW: Healing Soul Wounds

Esthermay is hosting In Other Words at her blog The Heart of a Pastor's Wife. Visit her to read more posts for today's quote and to post your own.
For most of this century we have wrongly defined soul wounds as psychological disorders and delegated their treatment to trained specialties. Damaged psyches aren't the problem. The problem is the disconnected souls."
~Larry Crabb
Connecting: Healing Ourselves and Our Relationships
I love Larry Crabb's phrase "soul wounds." It so completely defines the hurts that influence and/or change a person ~ those wounds that penetrate so deeply as to have the power to cripple a life: an abused child who has been hurt by one who should have been protecting her and by the ones who should have stepped in to help her heal; a parent of a child who has turned away into darkness and misery; an abandoned, frightened woman on her own for the first time in her adult life; a widow struggling to live a life without her dearest earthly companion; a church member so terribly torn down by those in the Body supposedly placed there to build her up. These are wounds not caused by physical illness such as a chemical imbalance, but by heart-rending, breath-taking spiritual pain.

These wounds can never be truly healed by anyone other than a soul "Physician."

Popular psychology bases some of its philosophy on the proverb: "As he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). It is true that our thought patterns affect our emotions and our perspective of our lives, but positive thinking in and of itself is self-delusion.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned that in whatever state I am, to be content. (Philippians 4:11)
The only way the apostle Paul was able to say those words and mean them was through his intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. His ability to face horrendous circumstances was directly connected to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
All believers have the same ability to deal with the deep soul wounds and be healed by the Great Physician. Sometimes we need the assistance of a Godly counselor ~ but only if that counselor points to God as the Source of healing and not to some positive thinking mumbo-jumbo. That counselor should encourage deep meditation on the Scripture, God's love letter to His Beloved. That counselor must ask the question Jesus asked the man at the Pool of Bethesda:
Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"

The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming another steps down before me."

Jesus said to him, "Rise, take your bed and walk." And immediately the man was made well, took his bed, and walked. (John 5:5-9)
This man answered Jesus with self-pity...but his own pity was not what healed him. It was the compassion of the Lord. The Woman's Study Bible, © 1995 Thomas Nelson, Inc., shares this insight:
Because Jesus is gracious and knows your deepest desires, He often cuts through your weeping and self-martydom and puts you to the test. "Get up," He says. "Take your problem and move on. Do not wait for other people to pity you. Get up."

If you are in need of a touch from the Lord, ask yourself if you are so eager to be changed that you are willing to do something about your situation. When you let God know you are obedient to His will and eager to do whatever it takes for you to be whole, He will send Jesus in the form of a person, a verse from His Word, or a new thought in your mind. Act upon what God tells you to do. He made you, and He knows how to fix precisely what is broken within you.

Finally, when you feel God's power bring about positive changes in your life, do not let doubters convince you these changes are only coincidence. Walk firmly away as did the man with his mat under his arm and say simply, "Jesus healed me."
Like the man suffering his infirmity for thirty-eight years, many soul wounds are not quickly healed. But the fact is they can be healed. Jesus will work to make the wounded whole again when we submit to Him. If God indicates His chooses to use an individual to help you through your particular circumstances, seek counsel from wise, mature Christians.
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. (Proverbs 11:8)
Christian counseling provides the individual with healing, balance, and wholeness through a variety of methods...but is always marked by reliance on the Lord as the Great Physician. ~ The Woman's Study Bible, © 1995 Thomas Nelson, Inc.

But ultimately, every believer's resident Counselor is the Holy Spirit. We must reconnect our souls to Him to heal our wounds and our relationships. Trust Him, Jesus sent Him for that very purpose.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell yo things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take care of what is Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-14)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Selah: I Am Important to the Body of Christ

Saturday SelahToday I am going to share the weekend devotion I am reading from the Women's Devotional Bible, © 1990 Zondervan Publishing. It starts with a beautiful quote from Madeleine L`Engle.

My moments of being most complete, most integrated, have come either in complete solitude or when I am being part of a body made up of many people going in the same direction.

A vivid example is a great symphony orchestra, where each instrument is completely necessary for the whole; a violin cannot take the place of a trombone, nor cymbals of the harp; and there are even times when the lowly triangle is the focus of the music.
Take a bit of time to examine yourself. When are you "most complete, most integrated"? Return to that place, that situation, to regain the healthy sense of self that is so easily lost n our world's clamor and activity.

Saturday - Psalm 131:1-3 [NIV]
My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.

Sunday - 1 Corinthians 12:14-27 [MSG]
I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn't just a single part blown up into something huge. It's all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, "I'm not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don't belong to this body," would that make it so? If Ear said, "I'm not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don't deserve a place on the head," would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn't be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, "Get lost; I don't need you"? Or, Head telling Foot, "You're fired; your job has been phased out"? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the "lower" the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it's a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn't you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don't, the parts we see and the parts we don't. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

You are Christ's body—that's who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your "part" mean anything.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WFW: Living in the Light

Seems like spring was a long time in coming this year. The gray, cold days of winter just lingered on and on… Even once the days started turning warmer, a stretch of chilling weather worked into the midst of the sunny days as a reminder not to take the warmth for granted.

Our lives as believers tend to mimic the seasonal changes. Sometimes pain and trouble seem to be endless, leaving us shivering, discouraged, and desperate. Once relief comes, it is often sporadic as we deal with the causes of the troubles – from our own actions or those of others.

Those darker, colder times are there to remind us to take care of the root causes of our pain and not hide away from them because we feel better for a time. If we don’t take care of the problem completely, especially if it is something we ourselves have caused, it will shoot back up to trouble us again.

God’s perfect plan for us is to live in His light, His Holiness…allowing it to penetrate even our deepest, hidden pain. Total exposure all at once to His Holiness would be unbearable, like stepping from extreme darkness into bright, hot sunshine – and being temporarily blinded. That’s why we end up dealing with our pain and, yes, our sins, in small doses.

Our loving Father knows we need to feel His warmth and love as we deal with our troubles. He also knows that to grow into the people He created us to be, we must take small steps into living holy lives. It would be wonderful if asking Jesus to be our Savior was all it took to live happy, productive Christian lives. But part of the redemption process includes not only walking into the light…but purposely stepping out of the darkness in which we have been living.

Thankfully, He doesn’t expect us to go it alone! Our first step is to allow Him to gently point His light into the hidden places. Then we either: 1) confront the pain, forgive the perpetrator of it, and allow God to heal us… Or, 2) we confront the sin His Holiness exposes, confess our guilt from a heart full of sorrow at the pain we have caused God, ask His forgiveness, and allow Him to help us turn away from the desire run back into the dark.

The unfortunate part of living in a fallen world is that we will continue to live in this cycle of seasons… People will let us down and cause us pain. We will let God down and cause Him pain. But just as spring follows winter, joy follows sorrow if we let God into our lives daily. We can deal more quickly with our pain and troubles if we are daily in fellowship with Him. No longer will it be like winter is creeping back into our lives…

We will still have stormy spring days…possibly dark and miserable for a time… But warm, glorious summer is just around the corner. Living in God’s light means that although we are not care-free, our storms can be more like sun showers – rain while the sun is shining. The most amazing thing about sun showers is the rainbow clearly visible in the midst of the storm… God’s promise is to be with us and not let us be pulled back into the darkness.

Now may the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 [NKJV]

For more Word-Filled Wednesday posts, visit AmyDeanne @ The 160 Acre Woods.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Selah: Trust Him and Stand

Saturday SelahThe times we live in seem precarious at best, downright terrifying at worst. Our country's leadership seems intent on securing their own political power regardless of the damage their policies are doing to the country. Our children and grandchildren will be paying the bill for these power plays as money is continually being siphoned to bail-out or by-pass the natural selection of companies that are nearing bankruptcy (no, I'm not an evolutionist--I'm just hijacking a popular Darwinian idea as it applies to capitalism.)

Some of the most frightening changes include abortion regulation making it freer for women to "choose" to end pregnancy at any stage and using any method, no matter how barbaric. The changes that lifted the ban on new embryonic stem cell lines for research seem destined to make destroying life at its most fragile stage a money-making endeavor, even in the face of facts that adult human stem cells produce successful results without taking life. And the rights of doctors who conscientiously object personally performing abortions are in danger of being stripped away...on the narrow chance that one would also deny a woman the right to birth control pills.

For more information read: Why Fight FOCA Now?
Obama Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ignores Science,
No choice: Doctors forced to perform abortions or else?

With all this swirling around believers, it is easy to become discouraged and want to withdraw from participating in public life. After all, we don't want ourselves, our families, or our churches to become targets for the extreme liberal left, do we? It is so very important we resist the urge to retreat into our safe, comfortable lives.

If we don't stand up for what God clearly tells us is right, we are as responsible as those who laugh in His face and proceed to do wrong.
Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. ~Isaiah 1:17
As scary as it seems to put ourselves in the line of fire, God will be there for us. We can rely on Him, even if we ourselves come under attack. He promises to take care of us.
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore.

The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil.

Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart.

But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers.

Peace be upon Israel. ~Psalm 125
Even though we were not born in Israel...we are His people, adopted into His chosen family, therefore we can claim Psalm 125 because it was written for us!
For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. ~Romans 8:29

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. ~John 141-4
So...when we stand up to protect the innocent, God is standing there with us. We can trust in Him and rest in His sheltering arms. Our strong God will take care of us regardless of the circumstances.
In the late 1800's Mrs. Louisa M.R. Stead watched as her husband died while trying to save a drowning boy. She wrote these words as a response to her struggle with the "why?" questions she asked God.

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word,
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."

I'm so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou are with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!
Though she had to watch her husband give his life to try to protect the innocent, Mrs. Stead was able to cling to God and praise Him in the midst of the sorrow. Do you believe He will be there for us as we step onto the battlefield to protect the innocent of our times?

Just a note of fact: 50 million children have been lost in the abortion holocaust since abortion became legal. A whole generation...who knows what God would have done with those precious lives had they been spared.

If you need to be awakened from your apathy concerning the innocent unborn being destroyed, watch The Silent Scream. Please, please, please be cautious about who is in the room with you when you watch. It is devastating and graphic. Children should not watch it!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In Other Words: Regaining Control

Note for participants: Mr. Linky is a funny little guy this week! If you are unable to see where to add your blog, click on the comments section at the end: There are 2 links that say comments...use the first one. At the bottom of the other comments is the form.

What would happen if we stopped lamenting about the fifty things we can't control and focused our attention on the fifty thousand things we can control? What would happen if we stopped whining about things we have the power to change and finally took charge of our lives and changed them? What would happen if we stopped borrowing sorrow from tomorrow? If we got in the habit of asking ourselves, "What's on my plate today?"
~Karen Scalf Linamen
Chocolatherapy: Satisfying the Deepest Cravings of Your Inner Chick

"What if, instead of reaching for chocolate at the end of a long day, women reached for God to satisfy their cravings? This book [Chocolatherapy] helps women gain a deeper understanding of their emotions and what it is they really need. " ~Lifeway Christian Stores

Fear seems to be a dominant characteristic of many lives. We all know women who have been believers for many decades who should by now be considered "dear old saints of God." But fear and worry are so prominent in their lives that it dominates their conversation and robs them of their joy.

The Scripture is very specific about the difference between cares (concerns) and fear (anxiety).

"Fear is right when it is reverence toward God because of His holiness." (The Woman's Study Bible, 1995 Thomas Nelson Publishers)
The Lord of hosts, Him shall you hallow; let Him be your fear and let Him be your dread. ~Isaiah 8:13 [NKJV]
Worry is always wrong because it strangles active faith.

We live in financially precarious times. People are loosing life savings that they expected to see them through their retirement years. This seems like it would be a good excuse to worry.
...focus on the fifty thousand things we can control.
As believers we have a responsibility to face difficult circumstances with faith in Almighty God - Jehovah Jireh: The Lord Who Provides.

What practical ways can we focus on the things we can control?
  1. Shop responsibly - This is a time to make meal plans and shop for sale items. Just shopping for two weeks' worth of meals at a time could save a family of four at least $100 a month (that's $1200 in a year).

  2. Play responsibly - That $5 cup of coffee with the atmosphere of fun and funky music in the background might need to be saved for very special occasions. My husband overheard a manager talking to an employee while he was in the drive-thru at McD's. She told the employee to empty the coffee pot every 10 minutes since each pot only costs 37 cents to make. The sale of one cup of coffee pays for three pots to be made. (P.S. Our 100% Columbian whole bean coffee from 8 O'Clock costs less than 4 cents per cup -- and it beat all the major fru-fru coffees in a national taste test. Since I have lots of great music CDs available, maybe I should focus on making a little atmosphere at home!)
Little deliberate steps go a long way toward helping us regain a sense of control in this fragile economy... Even more so in our fragile spiritual lives.

Caring for our families can lead to us being consumed by fear. So many influences threaten a believer's life of faith. These also can be handled practically.
  1. Worship responsibly - Openly praying to the Lord daily sets a wonderful example for those we love. Praising Him in the midst of our daily comings and goings is more precious to God than us dragging ourselves to church because we feel we have to. Relationships are not built in a group. They are built in one-on-one communication. We talk to God through prayer and praise. He speaks to us first through His inspired Scriptures and then through our ministers and other believers.

  2. Love responsibly - It should be evident to our family and friends that our relationship to God is the most important relationship in our lives. For married believers, our spouses should come next, above children, parents, careers.
I have at least 10 books on organization. The writers are all wonderful Christian women with great ideas. But unless I actually apply the ideas, those books are just useless dust collectors cluttering my bookshelves. The number one thing each of these books teaches is prioritizing. First our spiritual lives, then our earthly lives.
What's on my plate today?
I struggle with this even though my children are nearly all grown. Each door of opportunity that opens for me just adds to the list of things I want to get done. It is helpful to make actual lists of tasks. I got this format from a little book I picked up early in my marriage called Meditations for Messies:

Make a list of no more than 10 tasks you want to accomplish today. Next put the items in order of importance (most important to least important). Now try to do the first three things. After that if you have more time and energy, tackle a couple more.

In the evening after you've done all you are going to do, check off the things you got done. Add what you want to do tomorrow, keeping the list at 10 items. Again prioritize the list. Each time an item is checked off, a victory is won over worry, fear, and complaining.

Hint: The number one item on your list each day should be time alone with God. Even 10 minutes of Bible study and prayer will equip you for what lies ahead. And if you list it as priority one...you will always get it done!

If we have fallen into the trap of lamenting things out of our control to the point we can't take charge of our lives, whining instead of getting busy, all hope is not lost. The worry and fear can disappear.

From The Woman's Study Bible:

Linking worry with unbelief, Scripture gives direction for a return to full faith. The road from worry to faith begins with recognition that worry is sin and confession of lack of faith
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties. ~Psalm 139:23
continues with deliverance
I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. ~Psalm 34:4
and finally ends with the assurance that absolutely nothing can separate you from the love of God who is the great I AM
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors though Him who loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8: 35, 37-39
In place of anxious thoughts you then freely offer thanksgiving from a heart established with trust in God as all sufficient
[She] will not be afraid of evil tidings; [her] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. [Her] heart is established; [she will not be afraid. ~Psalm 112:7-8

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7
Dear friends, our lives can never be out of control if we are under His control!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WFW: Red Envelope Project - Take a Stand for Life

Red Envelope Day is 20 days away.

I was searching my emails for one from Loni at Writing Canvas and saw one she sent me through Facebook asking me to join The Red Envelope Project. The Facebook group has a link to an eBay store where you can purchase pre-printed envelopes. The shipping is free and should arrive in 3-8 days. I've just ordered 200 for $19.90. I will be giving some to my daughters who have joined and to my mother and mother-in-law. We all believe life begins when God breathes that spark into a fertilized egg:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ~Jeremiah 1:5
Immediately upon fertilization your little one is set as a boy or a girl. The cells contain all of the genetic information (DNA) necessary to become a child.

4 weeks from conception: The heart also forms, and it begins to beat on the 25th day after conception (about 6 weeks after the last menstrual period), and a heart beat can already be detected.

5 weeks from conception: The baby's eyes and inner ears are starting to develop. The following organs are being formed: the lungs, the liver, the pancreas and the thyroid gland.

6 weeks from conception: Teeth begin to develop under the gums. The heart has divided into the right and left chambers and is beating about 150 beats a minute which is about twice the rate of an adult. The baby's facial features are visible, including a mouth and tongue. The eyes have a retina and lens. The major muscle system is developed, and the baby starts to practice moving. The baby has its own blood type and the blood cells are produced by the liver now instead of the yolk sac.

7 weeks from conception: Brain waves can now be measured. The main construction of the heart is complete. Through its parchment thin skin, the baby's veins are clearly visible. During this week the ears, the teeth and the palate are continuing to form.

8 weeks after conception: The feet are 2mm long (one tenth of an inch). The neck is beginning to take shape. The body muscles are almost developed. Baby has begun movement. While still too small for you to feel, your little one is wriggling and shifting. The jaws are in place. The mouth cavity and the nose are joined. The ears and nose can now be seen clearly. Fingerprints are already evident in the skin. Nipples and hair follicles begin to form. All of the organs, muscles, and nerves are in place and beginning to function.
~from Baby2See.com
You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, You eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. ~Psalm 139:13-16
It's really not enough to say you support Life...you must stand and be counted:
Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!

Seek justice,

Encourage the oppressed.

Defend the cause of the fatherless,

Plead the case of the widow. ~Isaiah 1:15b-17

"Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor.

Should I not punish them for this?" declares the LORD. "Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?" ~Jeremiah 5:28b-29
Speak out...to the Lord and to the nation:
If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ~2 Chronicles 7:14

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

IOW: Where Eagles Fly

Deborah is hosting In Other Words at Chocolate and Coffee. Visit her to read more IOW posts and to link your own.

Refuse to be average.
Let your heart soar as high as it will.

by Aiden Wilson Tozer

We live in a time where being average is enough to get by. People who do a bit more than average get lauded as heroes. But what is exceptional about just doing what it takes to get a job done? And when did the idea of doing our very best become out of fashion?

My husband spent 22 years in the United States Air Force where he was taught their core values: Integrity First, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. These values were already a part of his life before he joined the USAF because of the examples of his mother and grandparents. For him it was business as usual to do an above average job.

I remember a time when as a young airman he was recognized as the "Airman of the Quarter" and was nominated for "Airman of the Year." His response was a puzzled one. He said, "Why are they giving me an award for just doing my job?" For him soaring above the crowd is just the way he does things. It has nothing to do with politics or getting ahead in his job.

When he became a leader of other airman, he held high expectations for those who worked for him. He even gained a reputation as the "silent assassin" because of his soft words and looks of disappointment when one under his responsibility didn't perform up to what he thought they could. They said it was worse than getting yelled at. His people began to feel those core values as more than just slogans when they saw them in action through his life.

In our home, even with our children who live in their own home, there is the same attitude of not wanting to disappoint Dad. It has shaped who our children are. They have a father who loves them and expects them to do their best at all times. His disappointment is not because their failures may reflect upon him, but because he knows they are not reaching their God-given potential. His joy in their successes is true rejoicing and celebration of them reaching their goals.

All Christians have a Father who expects us to do more than just get by. He equips us for each encounter. He leaves it up to us to decide whether we are going to be average or to soar where eagles fly. Personally, I want to soar!

"But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind." Isaiah 40:31 [The Message]

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Selah: In His Time

Saturday Selah
RECORD - Go outside, whatever the weather. Bundle up if it's cold, take an umbrella for rain, or put on shorts for a sunny summer day. Look around you and take specific notice of five things of beauty created by God for you to enjoy. You may see mist over a pond, red tomatoes on a green vine, sparkles of white snow in the sun, your child's face. Whatever. Just take the time to notice. Beauty is there. Let it refresh and restore you.

RESPOND - While still outside, sing a song of praise to God out loud!

REVIVE - Saturday: Psalm 48; Sunday: Psalm 27

~from Weekending, pg. 337, Women's Devotional Bible, Zondervan
We are getting a sweet taste of spring this weekend. Today may get to 80 degrees. The sun is shining and the air is warm. What a lovely blessing! But... what did I miss during the dreary winter days because I was so focused on just getting through the gray days so I could enjoy the bright ones? Did I forget that each day, each moment, is a gift?

Psalm 48: Within Your temple [I am the temple of the Holy Spirit! 1 Corinthians 6:19], O God, we meditate on Your unfailing love.

Like Your name, O God, Your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is filled with righteousness.

Mount Zion rejoices, the villages of Judah are glad because of Your judgments.

Walk about Zion, go around her, count her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may tell of them to the next generation.

For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. ~9-14 [NIV]
No matter the days, whether dark or light, cold or warm, when have I been without the glory of His love? Why then did I complain?

Psalm 27: The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold my life - of whom shall I be afraid? ~2

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.

My heart says of You, "Seek His face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek. ~4-8

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ~13-14 [NIV]
When the clouds roll in and the darkness covers the bright sunlight, help me remember Father, that You are with me. The weather forecast just proves You have created the seasons and everything is ordered according to Your will. Help me walk close enough to You that I am in stride with Your amazing design. Help me appreciate every detail of it. Amen.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fair & Balanced? Not a chance!

I've been a fan of FoxNews because of its political reporting. But evidently the corporate policy for fairness only extends so far as it stays out of their corporate wallets. This video is the story of two reporters fired because they refused to lie or distort their report of Monsanto's bovine growth hormone. A must watch for any parent concerned with what our children are consuming!