Sunday’s Showcase: My Favorite Bible Verses and Why #1

God did not highlight verses for me. (My relationship with the Lord began as a child with Psalm 123) I began my first Bible study after my mom died at the age of thirty. “Disciple,” a year long commitment in our Methodist Church. After a year of intense study, I left with more questions than answers. All in God’s time. He exposed me to the Truth and blessed me with seasoned authentic Christians 🙂 Yet, through continuous Bible Studies, nothing seemed to stand out personally. There will be verses I will share over the next weeks, that all have significance to me, but I start here, because this is my life verse. I was reading on my back porch, spinning with this ALS diagnosis, and this verse entered my next life-moment and grace grew like seeds in the wind. I’ve since seen power being perfected through weaknesses in my character, my marriage, my parenting, “my ministry,” my friendships and my life workings through the circumstance of this disease. The cost of this disease is incomprehensible. It is not a sweet, soft grace that falls gently like a new-fallen snow. It is a grace that grits its teeth through the fierce hunger that comes in the dark of the night on an empty stomach.

Extravagant Grace

  • Intimacy of my faith. I was private with how and when I expressed it. I wasn’t hiding it. God was teaching me good stewardship. This experience has exposed those seeds to the winds. My four daughters have learned more about my faith in the last two years than perhaps all the years prior in our “normal mother-daughter  moments.” It is the power perfected in the intimacy of grace that grows sufficiency. 
  • Legacy of life. I was full speed ahead with family in tow, creativity and passion for our Lord oozing out of every crack and crevice and en-joying every minute of my “Kingdom Play.” I never would have slowed enough to craft this Blog or play with a book. Both small endeavors, they do vest some thing tangible for my family. It is the power perfected in the silliness of grace in which life launches big.
  • Love reaches beyond. I have never felt loved with such intentional devotion.  God has brought new friends with which I would never have crossed paths. Current friends God placed in new places. Old friends God brought to new heights. It’s the kind of love I anticipated in heaven but never expected to experience here on earth. My understanding, as is my family’s, of the limitless potential with the heart for love, is forever challenged. It is the power perfected in the grace from loss that opens into possibilities.

graceissufficient

Shane and Shane    Grace is Sufficient

Tea Time: March 11, 2014: The Wall of Fear: Part II

I experience the worldly, “fleshly” side of self in it’s full blown intensity. It’s just how I’m made. I’m passionate about life, so I feel things deeply. Maybe some of you can relate. Regardless of how your feelings fall on our continuum, we’ve all got flesh/feelings to process through to discover emotional maturity and our greater spiritual selves. I refuse to minimize our heart lives and I refuse to minimize our spirit-filled identity. I might add here our  own Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. We are some imperfect mix. . .”messy glory”. . .made to reflect Him through a glass darkly:

1 Corinthians 13:12

King James Version (KJV)

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

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That girl curled up in a ball of misery? The intensity of the darkness?  The thick wall of fear holding us on the inside of our journey. Things are not as they appear. Break through that intimidating wall of fear into more of our destiny. From a Kingdom perspective. . .

Doing Faith afraid can be stepping through and beyond the wall into. . .

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Image Found:
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Before I Opened My Mouth I Wish. . .

I had known. All my wasted spoken words. The ease to just let them fly out of my mouth. Those opportunities, as I knew them are gone now. There is no self-pity here within me. How upside down and inside out is our sovereign God. Listen to the one who is speechless??? Maybe??? Even I can see the ironic humor in it!!! But a strong conviction rises high (Like my red balloon) to inspire you. . .Your opportunities to speak with grace, listen more and make peace in conflict are still rising up in your days. . .

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Click on the link below.

This young women is a power house of Godly wisdom!!!

http://lysaterkeurst.com/2014/01/3-questions-you-must-ask-before-reacting/

Hitherto: Part Three, I’m a Wannabe Walton

Yes, I’m still camped right there. On that Hitherto Devotional from Streams in the Desert.

Today, I’m referencing the “evening farewells” of The Alpine Shepherds.  They sing goodnight to each other in singing of the Lord’s goodness.

 “Let the echoes gather till a very storm of Hallelujahs break in thundering waves around the sapphire throne, and then as the morning breaks we shall find ourselves at the margin of the sea of glass, crying, with the redeemed host, “Blessing and honor and glory be unto him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever!” 

I grew up like an only child because my brother and sister were 16 and 14 years older than me. Much love was poured out on me with two sets of ‘parents” as a little one. My dad died suddenly when I was seven years old, our house felt empty. As, I got older, I was lonely in a house with just my mom and me. I knew I was deeply loved. My mother did the best she could. I don’t know how she managed with so little income and losing her husband, suddenly, in the prime of their dream. 😦 (A brand new home and new position as head of Special Education Department.) I experienced a sense of a second home at my cousin’s house. Praise God they welcomed me there with a wagon load of kids and a boy and girl cousin my age.

Hence was born an awareness and need for community early on in my life.  We are made for community :). Patterned after three best friends: Father – Son/Jesus – Holy Spirit, we are our best selves in community. Our families are our community. Our schools are our community. Our churches are our community. It’s the places designed to gift us with opportunities for intimacy, authenticity and challenge us to grow.

There is no prefect community, except in The Trinity (Father/Son/Holy Spirit). Each and everyone will “let us down” and disappoint us. In that normalcy of our human experience, we live and learn abundant grace and mercy. Let it go. Let the expectations go of a perfect community. If our hands are holding tightly to broken pieces of the picture, it will leave a bloody mess. In the letting go, our hands heal and are open to receive His goodness.

I miss my communities. I had rich, sweet, abundant Christ-Life in all of them. It’s such desperate missings, I keep my heart turned away from the loss. Can anyone relate? It seeps in just enough to process it, but it’s all just too big to swallow. But I must let go of what was, to embrace what is. . .

There is much goodness in the “land of the living.” Callings of goodnights rock our souls in love’s sweet echoes to lure us into the dreams God’s destiny holds. I grew up watching and living through The Waltons. I’m a wannabe Walton 😉 It wasn’t perfection that called to me from the television epic, but the goodness reflected there. I use to marvel at how the mom, Olivia, would open her Bible, without a word, when her face flared with anger.  Enjoy the echoes of goodness here with me.

Okay, so we are not The Waltons. 😉 Hitherto: We are made for community and to experience it’s goodness. Find a way to echo God’s lovingkindness at the close of your day.

  • Light a candle
  • Hold that hug
  • Send a tuck-in text
  • Read a devotional out loud
  • Speak a blessing over someone
  • Leave a love note on a pillow
  • Share a youtube worship song
  • Share a cup of warm tea and cookies: Listen
  • Warm a blanket in the dryer with a Scented dryer sheet

We need it. You need it. I need it.

Let our goodnight echoes gather in His Throne Room.

http://www.focusonthefamily.ca/parenting/school-age/goodnight-blessings-making-the-most-of-bedtime-discussions

See my Pinterest Board: “Goodnight”

Christmas Candy :) Sweeet!

This Post is dedicated to Hope.

There is something healing that stirs in our souls when we experience the joy of another “playing” within their unique Kingdom giftings. We are pre-wired to recognize God’s purpose “played” out through another’s offerings to us!!!

Hope, my oldest daughter, says it makes her happy to see people enjoy their passion. She shared this youtube with me 🙂 It might have something to do with 12 years of piano lessons her dad invested in her heart and head XO I hope you too enjoyed this Christmas offering. Blessings!

Welcome Japan Viewers! You are the highest out-of-country views we’ve ever had 🙂 Just interesting to watch what God is doing! Welcome back India, always good to have you with us! Christmas Blessings!

Holy Bread Crumbs

Do you feel small today? Tiny at the foot of your life? Your circumstance looms LARGE? Maybe you feel like the people around you are feasting at the King’s royal table, and you are eating stale bread crumbs? These are normal human responses to a very human perspective, grounded here.

Life feels like that, more often than not. As Christians, we do have a royal destiny and we long for our inheritance and to be seated near our Jesus. Even before I had ALS, I often felt like I was crumbling under the weight of things. (Sometimes, I was eating crust off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.)

The bread crumb perspective in compared to our destiny of a royal feast, we are all eating bread crumbs now. God has such a sense of humor, He is only One that can “talk” to me like this and not hurt or offend me in any way. . . .I heard Him chuckle and say,

“At least they are HOLY bread crumbs that fall from MY Table.”

And I thought about communion at the Lord’s table.

“The bread is My body, the wine, My blood, do this in remembrance of me.” We are called to break bread with each other. . .to mark a covenant. . .and I always feel it. The breaking of bread in fellowship with His broken body as we share a meal. It is a holy moment, my heart registers the communion. The life-giving sharing of fellowship called together in the Lord’s name.

Acts 2:42

New American Standard Bible (NASB) 

42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and [a]to prayer.

Holy bread crumbs from the KIng’s Table? Suddenly, I realize a new perspective on the small things in life. I’ll sweep up from dinner and invite you over for a meal. We can have some crumbs with softened pats of butter. I better dust up my mouse hole, set my little corner table for our King, and bring out my thread spool candles, just for you. In the presence of our King, Holy Bread Crumbs are a feast in and of themselves. You are making plans to dash right over?! I know I am tempting you beyond your wildest imagination to dinner in my quaint establishment. I’ll save the biggest crumb for you:) Perhaps, I might find some chocolate brownie crumbs? That’s it, I know I’ve tipped the scale of indecision and the chocolate won you over as my first, church mouse guest! What decadence we will share, in just remember we are only practicing for the real thing. . .Compared to our heavenly destiny, we’ve much in which to look forward 🙂

visit ruemag.com Pinterest Inspired

visit ruemag.com
Pinterest Inspired

Hide and Seek: Kingdom Play

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Oh to be a child again, playing hide and seek. I vividly remember playing hide and seek and squeezing into this very small square cabinet on the bottom of a china cabinet my dad and brother, Toby built. I look at it now and marvel I could ever fit in there! I remember being so worked up and scared when I tried to crawl out and  run for base, I was moving in slow motion! I read it’s called the “slow motion effect.”

I don’t try to squeeze into small places anymore! But, I have a secret to share, I still play. Yes, hide and seek with the kids was so much fun! But I play hide and seek with the Lord. He “hides” treasures for me in my days/nights. . .and I “seek” them out. Sometimes, it a blossom hidden in the ivy, a card nestled in my mailbox, a warm towel after a shower, a cheek to cheek touch from a friend, a comment on a blog post, a sun ray in my eyes, a warm water therapy splash, or a clean happy yellow washcloth to wash my face. (I’ve loved yellow ever since I was a little girl!)

It’s a game I give great weight of glory, but it’s playful. God initiates the play, He hides and the hunt is on. . .It’s a whole different posture for my heart to enter into this game where bits and pieces of His Heart for me are tucked into my movements of routines. I can hear His presence following me. . .

“Ah, she’s close, this is my fav for today, Ugh, she missed it! Rolled right past it, sometimes I wish she would drive the wheelchair speed limit! Wild Woman in that chair. I knew I should have given her the down scaled model!”

“I knew, she’d get that lovie, I placed it right near her chocolate stash! :)”

“Awe, look at her stop and embrace the gift of my presence in the texture of her daughters hair before school! She closes her eyes as she recalls My Truth tucked right there and she thanks me for counting every hair on Megan’s head, Good girl!”

Kingdom Play:

Matthew 18

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Rank in the Kingdom

18 At that [a]time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him [b]before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you [c]are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 

Seek, Seeking, Seeketh in His Name with all our hearts and we will find the child in the seeking and enter into His Kingdom for us by His Hand. A youth worker at church once told me that Kingdom Workings for her was like having Disney World in her backyard!!!

Let’s Play. If you don’t feel like it, probably all the more you need it!  

What has God tucked before your very eyes and is waiting with bated breath for you to discover???