Horizon Hit: The Creative Mind and God’s Hand

This post is dedicated to the Artists that share God’s Glory! Amen

Good Day Dear Readers!

We’ve a new Horizon Hit and a new friend to meet. Vickie Wade. www.vickiewade.com I’m promoting God here, but I cannot resist, with Christmas coming and art makes a life-giving gift under the Christmas tree, just a whisper of suggestion!!! In my internet search for Glory, I just “stumbled” upon her creative renderings and I’m spell bound.

Here is where I want to go with this. . .I’ve never met Vickie. Only communicated briefly through her Blog and website. She has, with gracious generosity, given me permission (my new heading is from one of her paintings!) to share some of her giftings with you, so you will be seeing more of her on my Blog.

In case you have not noticed, I am very visual in how I perceive and receive God’s Glory. Today, I sit in bed, stunned at how Glory connects “strangers.” The reality of GOD’s Goodness gives license for a sharing of: What I see as real in His colors, Vickie brushes into being, Where I hear His soft touches, Vickie envisions and carries it to a canvas, How I experience the Light of His Glory, Vickie reflects in with strikes of illumination. We do not know each other yet, but we live under the same canopy of God’s Glory. . .And it all makes our Lord a richer reality in the sharings and shadings of His sightings.

Our God uses our sacred imaginings to make His presence a more present part of our reality. He uses people like Vickie to draw us into His goodness. The divine is as close to you as it is to Vickie when she picks up her brush and touches a canvas with a stroke of God’s creation.

My family does not know it, but we are “moving.” Yes, today, into more of the goodness of God’s reality. I’ve chosen the Creekside Cottage as our new residence. Notice the birds, :), and notice the neighboring cottages. We could be neighbors and share a cup of coffee or tea! We could marvel at how good our Lord is and talk about the colors of life. (Today my color for God is yellow!) How can any of us look at this and not know more of our God? I am convinced, more and more each day, things are not as they appear. There is more Glory, more Goodness, more Grace from God around us than we can we can possibly hold.

Spend some quiet time browsing Vickie’s giftings. You will be better for it. You will know more about the heart of God, invest in your sacred imagination, and bring color to your senses. Or bring you to your senses! LOL! Maybe, it’s me that needs God to bring me back to my senses! Either way, Vickie’s giftings will bless you in the time you spend with her.

Come to our “house warming”. . .”Corner Cottage, 4444 Divine Crossings, Veil, Skyward 00000″ We’ll leave the light on for you 🙂 Hope, Ashlyn, Sean, Constance,. . .Coming home anytime soon? You might want to use your map quest!

Seeking The Stroke of His Goodness for our family, twe

Creekside Cottage

What’s In A Sprinkle?

This Post is dedicated to the friend that God granted this verse within. . .May God grace our conversations with salt! Amen!

I’ve been pondering this verse lately. I’ve someone in my life God defined with this verse. What a blessing she is for me! I love blueletterbible.org to do my study of the Strong’s Interpretations of our Bible Verses. Here, we are looking at New Testament, so it is Greek translations.

Grace. . .English transliteration. . .”charis” from the Greek Word. Meaning of “grace” in this context is that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, good will, loving-kindness, favour, gift of grace.

Salt. . .English transliteration. . .”halas” from the Greek Word. Meaning of “salt” in this context salt is a symbol of lasting concord, because it protects food from putrefaction and preserves it unchanged. Accordingly, in the solemn ratifications of compacts, the orientals were and are to this day, accustomed to partake of salt together, wisdom and grace exhibited in speech.

Now we’ve got ourselves a challenge. Our speech is to be with joy, delight, favour and a gift of grace. Our speech is to be a symbol of a lasting concord that protects. Our speech is to be filled with wisdom and grace so that we know how to respond to each person.

Now let’s go back to the post title. Speech and the way and the words and the how of our speakings, well we don’t give it much thought. It just comes out of our mouths. Uh, Oh. I’m talking about me too. The calling is a high one, but not impossible. What I heard God speaking through this verse to me, and perhaps to all of us is. . .Let’s consider the concept of a sprinkle. . .Can you sprinkle into your conversations as a seasoning? Can you focus on just one flavor of salt each day? Sprinkle joy into one conversation? The next day sprinkle delight into another? The following day good will and so on. Can we season our conversations so it preserves and gives lasting concords (agreement, peace, union of opinion)?

Sprinkles are the spice of life. Sprinkles give flavor to our words. Sprinkles effuse aromas to the essence of our presence. Just a sprinkle may make the difference between conversations that are edible and nourishing and those that are inedible junk food with no nutritional value.

The choice is yours. . .Maybe we all need to keep a salt shaker in our bathrooms as we prepare for the day. . .You and me? We are the salt of the earth! (Matthew 5:13).

You? Me? Today? Sprinkle liberally pleasure, sweetness, wisdom and make a Kingdom of Difference in your relationships 😉

Proverbs 31:25: A frown is a smile upside down. . .

Proverbs 31:25

New International Version (©1984)
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

New Living Translation (©2007)
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

English Standard Version (©2001)
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

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This post is dedicated to my director of Women’s Ministry, Sherry Fox.

“WOW/Women of Wisdom,” Speak even when we don’t “get it.” Several years ago, I was struggling with. . .today doesn’t look like I want it to. It’s not even close!!! She listened to my today. . .And a couple of weeks later, in the same struggles (yes, they were more intense). . .Sherry said, “I’ve been thinking about this verse for you.” My ears perked up, hoping for something that would help fix my “today.” (We are so into quick fix!!! Fix it now. Fix me now. Fix him now.)

She said simply, Proverbs 31:25, Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. Now I have tremendous respect and I am under her authority, so I only thought. . .Do I look like I’m smiling? 😦 But I asked a question with respect for her wisdom. . .And she basically told me, it was about the future and my faith. The “old” circumstances have waxed and waned and now we have this new challenge that knows nothing about waning, it just waxes along, picking up weakness like a huge ball of snow rolling down a mountain!

A couple of nights ago, a friend read about the Proverbs 31 women and when he got to that verse, Sherry and I made eye contact. I told her later, Sherry I get it. She “smiled” at me and said, “I know you do, I see it.” It’s odd and only God would give me a future to smile at when my very future is threatened every day. I told her in a text (I use text for odd things, like conversations, people that know me are not surprised if they get a thesis from me ;). . .I can be sobbing or ragging at this circumstance, and there is no smile visible on my face. Yet, I experience and I hope those around catch rays of my faith smiling through it. It does not matter whether I feel like smiling or not. . .God has the future, and my faith responds, regardless of my current “feelings.” (Oh, what a mess things are when I rely on my feelings in discernment!)

It is not me, that I need to take seriously, so a sense of humor moves laughter and smiles when I cannot move my legs where I want them and I resemble a pretzel. A sense of irony prompts giggles in the midst of slurred speech with a speech pathologist. (Yes, I am!) A hand of faith reaches far beyond my strained press into the future and it smiles into it. . .Faith that smiles. . .

We are not meant to be satisfied with today, but God’s future. . .now that is where faith reaches beyond and smiles. Thank you, God for tomorrow. We are meant for faith that smiles through the tears. . .Through faith, God has a way of turning my frown in my flesh, upside down into a smile in the spirit!!!

So you WOWs out there, dare to speak it, even when we don’t get it. . .yet. . .Thank you, Sherry. I love you! What an impact you have had in every aspect of my life, marriage, parenting, ministry and friendship! I’ve grown in the Lord, thanks to you! A little bit! I’m toddling along now 🙂

Sunday’s Showcase of Truth X

Just how many times have you heard, now don’t take this personally, but. . .And you are offended before the words come? It is Truth, that spoken in love, we are CALLED not to be offended as someone speaks with concern and care for us, our relationships, our growth in Christ.

This calling looks different, in that we are made to “take things personally!” The issue is that we take the wrong things personally (such as offense/pride/fear/hurt). May I ask you a question? May I challenge all of us with. . .are we taking life-giving dynamics personally or allowing the “little things” to get under or skin?

What we are created to take personally, to the point that it changes us and the relationships around us, is God’s love language to us. Look at today’s Truth from a personal perspective. God created a word, an image to capture you today. There is life-giving, life changing Truth here, right now for you. . .He is waiting for you to take it “personally.” God had YOU in mind, when he grew the acorn, or painted the boat or filled the balloon to float, lighter than air! Will you take time to find yourself here? God is waiting for you to catch the glimpse of glory of who you are in Him? Seek and ye shall find. . .

This post is dedicated to my first adult Methodist (I was raised Catholic, married Lutheran/Catholic, attended Lutheran and then Methodist for a while) Bible Study Teacher, Ken Carroll, “Disciple I.” It was the deep loss of my mother’s sudden death that lead me there in 1991. I engaged with two friends, in an older group of wiser, seasoned Christian women in a year long commitment. I went looking for answers. We read over 80 percent of the Bible, most of which I could not understand with this first in-depth immersion. We emerged, for the better, with wonderful rich questions from which to grow. And so my journey began, to let my house go just a little, and take His word to me personally.

Let’s Go to CC’s For Coffee!

Just a thought to stir into your coffee today. . .

“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.”
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/

Twenty-Eight Years and Counting. . .

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Fun Facts:
*The height of the Eiffel Tower tops out at over 1,000 feet and was the tallest structure in the world until New York’s Chrysler building surpassed it.
*Every five years, men labor with fifty tons of paint to furbish it.
*A year round display of lights goes off every hour in the evenings.

November 23, 1984, at Christ the KIng Chapel on Campus, Father Blanchard married Bucky and I after seven, patient years of dating. (Our premarital study, was so similar in our answers, Father Blanchard thought we had done the “quiz” together instead of separately, as instructed. Yes, of course, that means we have “never” had an argument and it’s been perfect marital bliss every moment since we walked out of the church door into “doing life together!” ;))

Bucky’s parents gave us a honeymoon in Paris for our wedding gift and off we went in the cold, drizzle of Christmas. Honestly, we were too young to fully appreciate where and who we were. God was wielding iron work of trials, misunderstandings, great memories, team successes (like birthing 3 of 4 baby girls “naturally!”), managing to build a house without the threat of divorce and staying within our budget (that was Bucky, NOT ME!), cherished traditions, disappointments. . .yet it took 27 years to lean into a score of victory against all odds.

No, I’m not cured, yet, of ALS. But our marriage is, mostly, cured of self-centered expectations, petty skirmishes, and taking for granted what the other does/says/means/tries/hopes. The redemptive goodness of God raised up in my husband in three days, post-diagnosis, to the man of my dreams. (Maybe he won’t read this post, or he might get a big head ;)) God finally gave me Bucky’s Bible Verse and I saw how beginnings in Paris, were turning full circle to grant us “views” of victory.

Psalm 61:3 For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy.
Bucky’s Bible Verse Symbol is the Eiffel Tower

From Bucky’s tower of strength, most days, we work with two hands, not four. We say less, and try to be more present. We know teamwork toward a focused goal that keeps us centered on God, family and friends. How so God to prompt Bucky to say, “I’m the happiest married, I’ve ever been.” I agree, I’m the happiest wife, I’ve ever been. I’ve not examined it, I just accept it as a gift in the midst of the struggle and give daily gratitude. We are meant to live out of marriages that reflect Christ and HIs relationship with the church. I’ve really no words for how hard that is to work. . .within normal day to day circumstances. Oh how we are pulled and misdirected in the smallest and largest of ways.

Today begins the first day of the twenty-ninth year of a stronger, more life-giving marriage for us and for our girls. God, we are so grateful for each other. Praise for the best of marriage. Amen

This post is dedicated to my faithful husband of twenty-eight years. My deepest, heart-felt gratitude. Happy Anniversary, Bucky

From Thankfulness to . . .

A BLESSED THANKSGIVING! This Post is dedicated to our Megan, without whom, we might well starve on Thanksgiving!

I still remember the moment. . .when I heard God say, “Thankfulness is wonderful, when are you going to make gratitude a way of life?” Thankfulness is a heart posture Scripture speaks about with passion. . .

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Psalm 107:1 ESV
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

And then we can grow from thankfulness to gratitude that seeps deep into the essential understanding of life and God’s gifts. . .As I read Ann Voskamp’s Book, One Thousand Gifts, I gained a new understanding. Gratitude was not only a way of life, but in my new circumstances is was necessary for the survival and growth of my faith. I’ll share something I’ve told very few people, it was such an intimate, profound moment. One morning at 3AM, 6 months post-diagnosis. . .God woke me up and told me to read my gratitude list. I was on 1,503 at the time. I steadfastly refused for an hour, knowing I would see all this loss of the goodness of His Giftings each day. He pressed and pressed and pressed and I finally relented. As I read, for a long time, I found comfort and was stunned to “count” there were only 5 listings, I could not enjoy with the challenges of this disease. And I slowly, emerged from fear to gratitude. God created in me what I needed to receive His Glory sightings, even with what this ALS might bring on. . .

A few selections from my gratitude list today. . .
the touch of a daughter’s hand in early morning
birthday cards etched on windows in vibrant colors
a big acorn with larger than life promise
the drip of wax
the chorus of little women voices from my kitchen
a new book wrapped in bright yellow paper
ding dong: Flowers at the threshold of my life
arches in new shower, wood crafted to bless
voice mails to save and listen to over and over
the single, clear flame of a candle
cards with hand written heart inklings
burnt cakes, a new one in the making
the fresh aurora of orange peel grating into sparkling cranberry sauce
new friends, that feel like an old friends
text messages, crafted with thanksgiving
creative ways to quick fix kitchen blunders
new tradition to open Christmas Holidays: Harrods Alley Lighting and Dinner
a new happy sippie cup
a step beyond comfort zone
quiet faithful service, at daughter’s hand
deep voice, so familiar in his young manhood, completes family dynamic
recipes of tradition
Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade
black and white pictures of priceless memories
the wag of puppy dog tail
my blog
handcrafted centerpieces
surprises: canvas and gifted stroke of beach, sunset in flight
eye contact with someone you love, deeply
the strong, strength of husband’s empowered servanthood

Our Family Favorite Cranberry Sauce:
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 (12oz) package fresh cranberries
Fresh Orange Zest

In medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolves the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in cranberries, and cook until they start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, and transfer to bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Best made the day before and add orange zest to taste (about 1 Tblspn) as let set over night. So good with left overs! Enjoy!