PLEASE do not feed the . . .

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We are so good at it too. . .My regular three month check ups at Houston’s ALS Clinic are prime feeding ground for every nook and cranny of my thought life to grow fear. We go this Friday for a full day of testing, and doctor appointments   It’s taste test time again. fork in hand: what shall we dine on today?

Feeding Our Fears:

~ vain imaginings lead us to conclude
~ childhood experiences speak lies as to who we are and who we could be
~ it’s not going to get any better
~ minimize the power of prayer
~ well-meaning friends offer “advice”
~ assumptions because we are sure what other people are thinking
~ we know how “this” ends right?
~ one fear leads to the next and soon we are riding a snowball picking up speed and size, ready to crash smack into the tree at the bottom of the hill
~ leave God out of the “equation”
~ abandon praise
~ the sacrifice of thanksgiving gets lost in frigid feelings
~ we fall into a false sense of fighting with fear wins, when faith fights to victory
~ we deny the experience of fear because our pride will not recognize fear’s icy grip on our shoulder

We can become so satisfied on the junk food of a fearful existence,
there is no healthy hunger for faith, hope and love.

Image Found: indulgy.com

Image Found:
indulgy.com

Monday’s Manna Moment: It’s More Than A Pie Crust Promise. . .

This is a very special day.

Our Manna sampler is going to take place in my back yard in my scared imagination. I’ve added the lovely patio I’ve always wanted 🙂 It’s landscaped to perfection with Fall mums of every rich color and hue. I’ve set out bales of hay to sit on and happy orange pumpkins are peeking out every which way. .There is a fountain of trickling water and birds chattering happily at the full feeders. Plump outdoor cushions invite you to sit and rest in quiet conversations. It’s just chilly enough for a small fire in the center fireplace and lap blankets to warm you!!!

It’s just the way I love to do things: Inviting, Intentional, and Intimate. It’s how I think God would want to love on you. So, we are pretending to have a conversational Bible Study with Sheila Walsh on Promises. Not pie crust promises, easily made, easily broken, but the standing promises of God. We’ve all been served our hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick stirrer and we are ready to get into God’s Word on Promises.

This is the first session in a series. . . I’m tempting you to pursue the restt on your own or host your own promises Bible Study. I am so glad you’ve accepted the invitation to join our conversation. I’ve listened to it in full and put some of my: comments/thoughts/quotes/questions out here for you. . .Snuggle up and lets warm up to the Truth, God’s goodness and the gift of each other.

And just for fun, we are going to. . . drum roll please have a pie throwing contest. . .at the lies that try to overshadow His Truth!!! Here goes our “virtual party of promises!!!” The best celebrations are sharing laughter and tears: the stuff life is made of: The reality of the heart the that reflects our love.

In The Shelter of God’s Promises with Sheila Walsh

Psalm 91

(I LOVE SCOTTISH ACCENTS!)

Psalm 121: A Song of Ascent

When I heard the word promise. . . I think:  easily made ~ easily broken.

(I LOVE FALL!)

What makes it hard for you to press into His promises for you?

I confess my doubts about His promises, but I proclaim their Truth into my darkness.

That is one of my greatest comforts to think of us journeying  back to the garden.

(I LOVE LAUGHTER AT HIS TABLE, LIKE LAST NIGHT ON OUR BACK PORCH WITH THE WEEDS TRYING TO OVERTAKE MY ROSES!!!)

I do believe and claim His promises as true for me and you. It is just so hard, without His grace I can’t imagine me functioning on any level to love.

( I LOVE RED UMBRELLAS!)

“Crawl into the cleft of The Rock. Jesus is the Promise made flesh.” ~ Sheila Walsh

“The Father is truly the only promise maker that is a promise keeper.” ~ Sheila Walsh

BONUS:

No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Recipe inspired by this pie.

15 oz pureed pumpkin (or 1 can)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 tsp cocoa powder
level 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
optional: sweetener (Taste first. I thought it was sweet enough without additional sweetener.)
Melt the chocolate (either on the stove or in the microwave), then throw everything into a food processor and blend until it is super-smooth. Pour into a pie crust and fridge until chilled. This pie gets firmer and firmer, the longer it sits.

Highly recommended: top with Homemade Cool Whip.

Perhaps you could try baking this, too. If anyone does, I’d love to hear how it works. I was too lazy (read: too greedy and hungry) to take the time to bake mine, so I was happy it worked as a no-bake pie!

Please visit: www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com

When My Heart is Full with Thoughts

Please meet my new blog friend Laurin, an English teacher in Thailand. She loves her pet hedgehog more than her Doritos and mangoes 🙂

Her wisdom and literary style is wonderful for a “young one.” She is “fierce with joy” for her Jesus!!! I like her already!

Enjoy!!! twe

Powerfully Quiet

IMG_20130208_200830

Sometimes when my heart is full, I write poetry and read it aloud and aloud. Sometimes it’s like an exhale, as my friend Sarah said.

Sometimes, like during these current days, I learn about “toxic fears” and think about having faith in God instead of in ‘what ifs.’ I find out that my fears are relational. Then I think about my relationships. And then when I pray for others, I find comfort in this: “. . . just trust [their] vulnerable, broken places to birth [them] into the presence of God” (Ann Voskamp). It’s having faith, I s’pose.

Sometimes I read that “acceptance is the ability to communicate value, worth and esteem to another person,” and I realize that that’s why acceptance and approval are two different things. (Thanks, Duane Elmer.)

Sometimes I get really excited about the beauty – wide-open, vast beauty as well as particular beauty…

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A River of Tears

image found: msmeans.wordpress,com

image found:
msmeans.wordpress,com

I once heard a wonderful testimony from a women struggling with cancer. Beautifully articulated but she did not share anything about her emotional pain. I could not but wonder where is her brokenness? She has never been curled up in a fetal ball like I have in despair? Please know, no judgment or condemnation, I appreciated her vulnerability!!! It’s just, I hope to “speak” in such a way it’s authentic to my girls when their heart is broken? Express what is helpful to you? How would “a bowl full of cherries” glorify my God?

It flows on days, unexpected times and places. And sometimes, I think they will not stop. Out of control tears, yes sometimes in public, and feeling like I’ll die any second of a broken heart!!!

I’m a Christian so at any time, any moment, they are tears of ” joy.” A  few friends had a discussion recently about JOY. “Is that our goal?” “Did Jesus feel joy all the time: He cried, He turned tables over???” “What is joy???” “Is it the same thing as happiness???”

I just love questions! Especially the ones without black and white answers! (Yes, I am an educator’s daughter and will always be a teacher at heart! (Do you want to know a secret? When I get to heaven, I want to teach female college students on theology. One of my favorite movies? Mona Lisa Smile. I’m not wild about some of the values:( , but I love how she teaches and cares about her students.)

See, I’m treating you like friend at tea and I may not even know you 🙂 You know how women weave all over the place in their communication? Thank you men for your grace!!! Any way, back to the point . . . I think questions are so “fun!!!” They stir us and those around us to grow!!! In a Godly context, Kingdom Growth. The best kind, because it invests right into God’s Big Hands and it “collects interest there for eternity.” You can’t get a better return.

Tears are an investment. Tears are sacred. Tears are sowing for the harvest (yes, even the red, dripping nose, I can’t breathe, sobbing “ugly” cries). I’m banking in high salty waters, honesty, I did not know I could cry such gut wrenching, heart shattering, staining tears.

Beyond the obvious we all know about happy and sad tears, I have a lifetime with tears. Perhaps they are my closest companion for a testimonial of reasons I won’t pursue here. But today, I’m taking a stand for tears. Tears are shed because: we are created for “happy endings” aka Garden of Eden before The Fall with sin, we are created in His image with a full passion for life, we know our heart lives are meant for more.

It’s the depth of disparity in this fallen place between “what is” and God’s goodness for us that presses us to a breaking point. We know better than this! It’s that knowing that keeps happiness at bay, but introduces an eternal element to our sorrow.

It’s not a “happy” groan by any means.  I don’t feel happy. But, in my deep flow of emotion, they are tears of joy because I seek a Kingdom Perspective into which my river of tears runs straight through the middle of my King’s Throne Room. It does not take the pain away but it grants it creational and eternal insights.

Tears spring from deep groanings:

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22-25 It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realised our full sonship in him. We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got. But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience.

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Tears can make us uncomfortable in others and just plain miserable in ourselves.

But the truth is tears are beautiful, sacred prisms of wet witness in reflection of what is to come.  

(wet witness is my concept God is developing for a new chapter in the book with which I am playing)

God cherishes our prismed jewels of emotion:

Psalm 56:8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

Sorrow and Joy are mysteriously linked in the reality of the spirit realm:

“Pain and joy are arteries of the same heart.” ~ Ann Voskamp

Psalm 30:5 Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

 

Monday’s Manna Moment: How He Loves Us.

I think what really spoke to me. . .

Keep pressing in

He’s gonna finish what He began in me

I do feel like I’m living in a hurricane of love/loss. . . swaying underneath His Grace and Mercy. . .

AFFLICTIONS ECLIPSED BY HIS GLORY

MY HEART TURNS VIOLENTLY INSIDE OF MY CHEST

Oh How He Loves Me So. . . .

Lord, use these moments to feed us. If it doesn’t speak to us today, may we come back as needed. Amen

IT’S VERY IMPORTANT FOR ME TO SAY I HAVE NOT PREVIEWED LINKS THAT FOLLOW THE YOUTUBE I’VE PLACED IN THE POST, I CANNOT RECOMMEND 180 or other LINKS THAT I’VE NOT WATCHED AND TAKEN TO THE THRESHING FLOOR WITH MY LORD BEFORE I POST. SO CHOSE TO VIEW WITH CAREFUL DISCERNMENT.   BE BLESSED AND BATHED IN TRUTH.