Dear Papa, January 30, 2013

Love Letter to Papa

Dearest Papa,

It’s a cloudy, rainy day today. (I guess you know that ;)). I’m grateful to be awake and writing to you this morning. What do YOU think about us sharing our sacred space with our readers? “Are you up for the challenge, little one?” “It feels scary. . .But then most of our ventures feel risky to my heart.” “Up to you,” as He shrugs His shoulders. (I could feel the my concept of risk and His differs, just a wee bit :))

Women’s Conference Workings has been a struggle this year. I’m so much more of who I was, yet I cannot serve as I did. (Crocodile tears) I am not the same fit and it hurts in ways I cannot even begin to place into words. You know. . .In the growing pains, you still come through for me with “I will make all things new.”

I can’t wait to tell you about our newest Conference venture. You know already, so why do I feel such sense of anticipation in sharing them with you? “That’s how I feel about your heart for our work, so. . . talk to me. I can’t wait to hear from you. . .”

Papa, guess what?! Last night, I learned a new craft that reflects Your hand. My friend, Janet, taught me how to make wonderful, full wreaths with netting and flowers. They are the colors of our Women’s Conference, to come, at our church. . Conference Wreath.It was precious moments with our Design Team, smiles and desires to reflect your Hand of Masterpieces. Your love warmed my hands and my heart in creating for You. After I relaxed just past the learning curve. . .I could feel the energy of the Holy Spirit flowing from You to me. Does it get any better here than that mysterious dynamic?

Here comes the tender part Papa. . . with legs sluggish to move and a heart full of desire to serve and design Kingdom workings with You and my hands more than willing to create with you: Now, the tears of gratitude for hands and arms that can love and move and serve in small ways that renovate your Kingdom Workings in my heart. I feel closer to you because of this opportunity you offered through Janet and our Design Team. I’ve never taken these Conference offerings for granted, but now, Papa, the richness of You rises to the top like the cream rises to the top of milk. The awareness of privileges in You are BIGGER, BRIGHTER and BETTER than they have ever, ever, ever been.

I imagine Your Hands lifting my words off the page, giving them Your life and cradling then near your heart, to give them the warm intimacy of your love. Papa, I love you. Thank you for Janet and a Design Team for Your Heart and our Body of Christ.

love, your t-bird

Sunday’s Show Case of Truth: January 27, 2013, late

The Door in the Air, The Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian, Harrison Gregory-Wiliams Click for music link!

I wake up Sunday Morning, and I hear God say, one image/one thought/one Truth. “But they will be disappointed, they expect a treasury of your riches.” He raised, only one eyebrow at me. He has never used that expression with me! It was laden with humor only He can get by with on me, but it also had that omnipotent air of. . .”YOU question me?” A few minutes later, I received confirmation. I got a text from our partner in Truth. Her eye of beauty that selects images and matches them with His Truth for you and for me. The text read. . .”So, He gave me some beautiful pics that I worked in this weekend. Several He said, “you are going to send only one at a time.” I explained that wasn’t part of our arrangement. LOL. But there are a few that after I stared at them for a while I realized they were better as stand alines. 🙂 I guess HE knows better than me. ;)” This post is a dynamic duo. Four hands work the keyboards and work with Him on your behalf. She gives me ideas, He forms the text, I share feedback, she seeks more. . .And so here you have it.

Your ONE offering with the greatest of love. . .It is HIS Sunday Postcard in the mail for you. Don’t forget to “pin it to your bulletin board” up high, as a reminder. . .where do you and I lift our eyes? This is one huge door, let your eyes take in the massive structure of it’s weight of Glory. Look up to even find the key hole that invites the key, He placed mysteriously in your hand the other day. (God loves a great mystery!) If you don’t open the door, and push through the thick, boundary of it’s frame, how will you ever know what is on the inside. . .

Keyhole:Eyes

Walk With Me. . .Sonlit Path

Image without lamb:
Sun rays at Morning
cssresources.blogspot.com

Image without lamb:
Sun rays at Morning
cssresources.blogspot.com

It’s a narrow, Sonlit path. . .Beauty calls, sings, whispers into the Kingdom Reality with which we live. We are limited in our experience of it. Our fallen world threatens our communion with the beauty of His Hand. Take it by Faith, we are meant to breathe it in like air. Walk the path of Sonlight and Color and Texture with all you are for His Love of you. Invite a friend into His sacred space. . .You are meant for more. . . . .

Genesis 1:31 And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Women: Let God Chose Your Nesting Twigs

Blog Nest

A Robin’s Nest

Open in Prayer: Father God, Build a Kingdom Nest from the nestlings of our lives worthy of Your Love

Dedicated to Jennie Hilliard, I’ve never see another nest without thinking of you, girlfriend 🙂

It was a busy day. Moving Hope to New Orleans and setting her up in a gracious God space, safe and secure in a one bedroom apartment. I was concerned with relational dynamics as everyone was tired, stressed and in that “tight” place transition so often brings in it’s wake. (You know what I mean? LOL). What stepped forward out of the mess of moving, was the Glory of Nesting. I watched Hope set up her living space with care, love and warmth. I was overcome with gratitude she had learned. Learned to love herself enough to chose her twigs with care. Shell Shadow BoxThe first thing she placed was a shadow box God and I created of seashells. Years ago, we had the privilege of being the virgin feet on His scared beach ground washed over from a hurricane. The squeals of delight as we found treasures of deep, scattered like large jewels everywhere we looked. God and I fixed them in shadow boxes for each of the girls as a reminder of the treasures left from a storm. I witnessed Hope’s young hands place it with care in her new bathroom. A strong twig to build from. . .

A Bama girl, Ashlyn, loaded with treasures from home. I watched her love herself enough to make a home away from home. I was concerned with cleaning/disinfecting this dorm room, top to bottom (I’m not kidding, baseboards too, free of germs for my baby). What stepped forward was the moment she answered her phone and a call to meet a friend, quick hugs and kisses and we collected our cleaning things to leave, and she paused at the door frame of her new life, she looked back with a smile frozen briefly in the step of independence and our eyes held the love that grew to let go. . .And her twig came in a text message. She had set up her bed. . .where she rested her head beneath God’s legacy of His son. Her collection of Crosses hung with a careful eye. A strong twig to build from. . .

And so dear sisters, what twigs do we chose to build our nestings of life for ourselves, for our husbands, for our children? What twigs reflect the Legacy of Christ? What are we speaking into our families and our guests with our nests? Are we weaving life in our nestings that will withstand the winds, the droughts, the heated sun, the storms that will sway our life trees to the roots set deep?

God’s Twigs in Our Nestings. . .Think out of the box: A nest is your dining room table, it’s a house warming gift to someone who has lived in the same house for ten years (why not?), it’s a care package to a college student, it’s a new pillow on your daughter’s bed that has your handwritten note on the back, It’s flowers on the bedside table, it’s a dark corner with a candle, it’s opening the curtain for the sunlight to reflect the prism of His refracted love. . . I call these little actions, “nestlings”  (it’s the little things that have Kingdom Significance as we “nest” our Father’s love into our lives :))

Strong Twigs to Nestle into Nest of Life . . .

1. Prayer, carried so close it’s like a heart prayer pocket
2. Life Lessons: tied to God’s Goodness, make written notes, photographs or a simple craft. Tangible things that we can touch and share.
3. Sacrificial love: If the love “costs” you in a redemptive/positive way, the stretch is good for your heart
4. Beauty: Tucked within spaces to inspire beyond the black and white, into a world, painted with His palate of joy.
5. A Smooth, Sheltered Edge: To make successful launches with wings made to fly.

 Click to Watch the Journey of Three Baby Robins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko8E4b0bYFo

Horizon Hit: Theater Film: The Impossible

movie

The Impossible, based on the true story of the Tsunami that washed over Thailand in 2004. It is a highly graphic movie for PG13. Extremely intense. I am recommending it to strong mined adults for the followings reasons. . . .
1. It gives a realistic account of the sufferings humanity is capable of. . . .It makes you think about the resiliency God created us to endure horrendous physical and emotional suffering and survive well. . .
2. It highlights the gentle care and kindness of perfect strangers in a crisis. Our community is not what we “think” it is. . .community is defined more by circumstance than by where you live. (I hear a Blog forming. . .)
3. It celebrates persevering pain for life. It may hurt so badly, you want to “die” but you do not know what is around the corner.
4. It tenderizes tragedy with a child’s pure love. How precious is a child that been loved and has no fear of reflecting it to a stranger.
5. It illustrates how so often doing the “right thing” can appear with “punishing results” “Things are not as they appear to us.”
6. It will broaden your perspective on “natural disasters.” As in, open it wide open. . .
7. It champions the incredible courage of a child’s heart.

I cannot say enjoy it. . .but it is an eye opening film that will grip your heart and you will never forget! If you see it, let me know what you think.

Wikipedia Link: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake_and_tsunami

Men: Let God Pick Your Battles

Armor of GodBattle At Aslan’s How: Naria (link to song)

This post is dedicated to the men that have had the most profound influences in my life: My Dad: Merle F. Warren, My Brother: Toby Warren, My Friend: Bill Benton, My Biology Teacher: Mr. Ginn, My Husband: Bucky Elofson,My brother-in-law, Don Sherman, My friend: Steve Eagleton, My friend: Curtis Tupper, My Friend: Frank McArdle, My Friend: Herman Soong, My God Son: Sean (In chronological order). Men to be: The Husband’s of my priceless, cherished, beloved, daughters.

Men: This is for you. It is to honor you. Who you were, are and will be created to be in the Lord Jesus.
Women: A note to you: Love them like they are already there. . .Like they have arrived at their God-given destiny because God loves them like He seems them tomorrow, not today.
Tracey: Note to Self: Be vulnerable, honest, true to your calling as a wife and a wordsmith, and above all others, honor/respect your husband.

I am speaking/sharing here from places of weakness and mistakes and misunderstandings on my part. It was not until a few years ago, that I became painfully aware I was afraid of men. Now I understand, I was not afraid of “men,” I was afraid and deeply intimidated by their strength. Men: your strength of voice, words and gestures go much further than you are aware with women. It does not take much to leave a “positive or negative impression.” Take that to heart, please.

My fearful, distant posture was not about the men in my life. So do not jump to any conclusions here :). It was about my gentle nature, my tender sensitivity and the fact that I grew up without any males in the household. Just my mom and me. My first male teacher, terrified me. Men move differently and there is power to their momentum. (Give me abundant grace here!) Mr. Ginn, my first male teacher: Biology. One day he asked me to stay after class. I remember it like it was yesterday, trembling knees, shallow breaths and clinging to the ground I stood on with my toes. He looked me straight in the eyes and said. . .(He it comes, head to ground), “Tracey, young lady you are not working up to your potential.” (I looked up, slightly.) “I’ve been watching you in class, and I believe you could be a great student. Mediocrity is not your thing. I want you to strive to do better on the next test.” (I had made a C.) You are dismissed.” I started making As hence forth, with a few B’s for blessings sprinkled in there. I wonder if Mr. Ginn, knew he went to battle for me that day. He battled against my insecurities and self-doubt and brought my victory of success to the fore front of my life. He believed in my best.

My husband Bucky, the Godly battle against this disease, has armored Him with the armor of God. He battles everyday against my doubts, terrors, insecurities, pains, progression of the disease. I think most of the time, he is not aware of what battle field he is on, but I am. I know well, what the fight is and I see the battle fatigue in his eyes. I see the battle “wounds” inflicted on him for my behalf. I press into prayer for his perseverance. It is my victory he puts first, not his. My victory for life. (We are learning, God defines “victory.”)

I would have to write a thesis to include the battles these other men have fought bravely for on my behalf. On the behalf of my family, they entered battle fields, sometimes, unknowingly. Bill, Steve, Frank, Curtis, Frank, Herman, Sean and son-in-laws to be. . .Know I give great honor to each of you to victories sought for God’s best for me and my family. Know your efforts, did not go unnoticed and are recognized by our Lord and in my life. Each of you, in your own way, taught me lessons of “strength” that moved me past intimidation and fear into respect and honor for the best in you as men of God.

Men: Let God Pick your battles. Fight for life, love and victory for your loved ones, your business partners, your church body, for your ministry. It’s when we think we “fight” for ourselves, that the battle gets dangerously skewed. Your destiny in Christ gets shifted off course when you allow yourself to determine your battles. Do not be deceived on the battle field of life. . .Let God, pick your battles. You will both win, He will get the Glory, and you will shine in His Light. Do you think my husband, ever thought he would have to fight for my life? Yet it is this very battle that has brought the Godly Best out in him. My girls see it, my family sees it, my friends see it. He wears the armor of His destiny on the battlefield against ALS. Fight for love, do not fight a battle that defeats love. Who wins? Not you, not God. If you fight the wrong battle, you leave behind you a bloody field, death, woundings with no victory. Yes, it can be that “bad.” For God’s Glory, Never minimize the potential of a victory for love.

Women: Look for the battle the men in your life fight you may not even “see.” And yes, like in the movies, men do come out of “battle” unaware of the scrapes, the bruises, and cuts. And the wife, in the best sense of who she is created to be, “sees” the woundings and “dresses” them. It’s just what men do, it is the fight for victory for which they are created. “Oh, am I bleeding, I did not notice.” Would you ignore a man trailing blood through the threshold of your home? Yes, neglect is that “bad,” blood trails through your home and you do not see the pulse of life lost in it. Honor their victories, because His wins are your wins. The victories you both claim for Christ build Kingdom hearts in marriages, in partnerships, in families, in ministries, in friendships. Seek to respect how God sees your husband. Seek to honor how God desires honor. Seek and intentionally affirm the small things that build great men of God. Respect in how God defines respect of your husband, respect in how your husband defines his need for respect, respect him for who he is destined to be in Christ. For God’s Glory, Never minimize the battle fought on behalf of love.

Toby, Don, Bill, Steve, Curtis, Frank, Herman, Sean and son-in-laws to be. . .Know I give great honor to each of you, to victories sought for God’s best for me and my family. I press into sincere respect for your destiny in Christ. I trust the influence of your strength in love. (That is beyond huge for me. Honestly, that is one, I’m still growing into. . .Could that be true with other women? I wonder?)

Men, do you know why you need to armor of God? You cannot win a victory for Christ on your own. You cannot protect your heart in battle. You cannot step into a battle for love without His Truth. Kingdom Battles Are Never Won Alone.

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13

I offer this to you with the humility of not doing the whole male/female thing well; my misunderstanding of Godly strength in men;  a slow growth curve of  navigating with the men in my life now with honor and freedom. Thank you, God for forgiving me and giving us new opportunities for Your Best for Each of Us. The lost art of “honor,” may it rise in Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done, On Earth as it is in Heaven, today. Amen

God created magnificence in masculinity when it moves though, with and in HIM.

The “General” commands you step forward into your honored place in His Royal Army. . .

Kingdom of Heaven Movie Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y_LPFSlwi0

Sunday’s Showcase of Truth: January 20, 2013

Today’s Showcase is Dedicated to my Old Sunday School Class: New Horizons! What a cherished beginning we had in one another!

All of us are still exploring new horizons! Amen!

“Fly” by The Michael Gungor Band