Presence of God

John 14:21 He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Since God is love, and we all are unique in how we need to be loved, surely He has a unique love language for each of us. Some people report or voice, a whisper, an awareness of a presence. Some people have trustingly told me they have never heard from Him in any way they can describe. Often, this is accompanied by an unspoken. . .Sometimes, bravely asked in a corner after a small group discussion. . .

Is there something wrong with my faith? Does God not love me because I don’t hear Him like that other woman does? What can I “do” to hear him better? Is my faith just immature? And many other honest, vulnerable questions. . .

The first thing I want to say is. . .

Do you  know how pleased God is that you are listening? That you want to hear from Him? Your longings tug at His heart like it would a loving daddy with his daughter, wanting his attention? And nothing is “wrong with you or an immaturity in you or lack of faith!” It’s a personal thing that is experienced very differently. But there is not a right or a wrong, or a higher or lower achievement in hearing from God. If there was a formula, it would not be faith, it would be math class.

Awareness can help you get to know His languages/The Ways He Speaks: Nature, The Bible, Worship Music, Sermons, Books, Godly Conversations, Art, Beauty. . .

In a small book, recommended to me by a dear pastor friend, The Practice of the Presence of God By Brother Lawrence. A conversation is referred to in which Brother Lawrence referenced an experience he had with God:

That in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time the leaves would be renewed and after that the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the Providence and Power of GODm which has never since been effaced from his soul. That this view had perfectly set him loose from the world, and kindled in him such a love for GOD, that he could not tell whether it had increased during the more than forty years he had lived since.

Below is a direct link for you from amazon for this small book. It’s $5.29. You’ll pay too much for shipping unless you qualify for free shipping 🙂 But looking at it on Amazon will allow you to get a feel for the book.

It’s very important to remember He speaks to us in a love language that manifests His presence in infinite ways.

Some of my own personal experiences with God:

God was in the sky and nature as a child, since I was pretty much “unchurched.” After my dad died at seven and my mom went into a serious depression, I found my heavenly Papa in our Bible in the 23rd Psalm. I’ve experienced God through the way my sacred imagination interacts with the character of God:  Slipping into Worship music, peeking out as a little girl from the folds of His robe, through red balloons, where sea meets sky, delight in me from a friend, OLD grape vines in vineyards, a tearful smile, warm bread, Wizard of Oz/The Play in London, Design Team work at conference, the breath of a puppy, prayer on my face in a child’s room, books from authors like Ken Gire, C.S. Lewis, Dallas Willard, and Randy Acorn, the smell of a rose, a cotton-candy sunset, breaking open a large sand dollar to find the doves inside, a plane takes off, the compassion of a resident during grand rounds, a game of hide and seek, an old cathedral in New York City, shopping at my favorite Christian Bookstore, playing tag in my car, the Bible verse that you’ve read over and over but never saw that “word” in it, the light’s on my Christmas Tree, a snow capped mountain, playing Cannon in D on the violin, the births of four baby girls, Beth Moore‘s “Stepping Up” Bible Study, a second marriage to the the same husband 😉 in renewal of vows, a friendship fountain garden, Fourth of July Fireworks at the beach, a hand-written note, meals, yes decadent chocolate cake (thanks Kris Ann), the “swoosh” sound of the robe of Christ, warm water therapy, text messages that come with beauty and God’s Truth, during a quiet prayer time: the “calving” sounds from a glacier, laughter from the dining room table, recognition no one could earn, cold water at a funeral, the first steps of my 8 month old, words “in my head” that could never be my own, holding my husband’s hand, Amazing Grace/The Movie, my first step off the boardwalk at the beach into the sand/as numerous as His thoughts about me. . .

Bottom line is. . .be open. . .

God can show up anywhere, anytime and anyplace to make His Presence known to you. 

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

Tea Time: Walk With Me

An ALS walk was held in our region, this past Saturday. We had a Team Tracey participate to raise awareness of this disease and funds for research. I am overwhelmed by the response of family and friends. There is rare extravagance we are just not meant to grasp!!! It’s beyond our hand, our heart and the response belongs to God. God alone can invest that kind of love, support, compassion and generosity.

So, the posture of my hands are open to splash all of this goodness right back at you God. You used hands and feet to reflect your goodness in the land of the living. And as much as I HATE everything about this disease, I’ve experienced more of God’s goodness and love than I knew could exist here in our earthly home. Each and everyone of you who prayed, who loved, who attended details I know of nothing, who bundled your little ones against the cold, (our youngest walker was 3 months), who walked, showed up early to set up tents, donated coffee, donuts, balloons and ribbons. All of you are amazing!

I cried, I laughed, I struggled to absorb what had a life of it’s own. The walk had a life of it’s own. Each person, each family added it’s unique dimension that created complex glory that reflected the way our Lord loves. . .Beautiful Life in Him. We celebrated life. BIG LIFE in our Lord and in each other!

Special thanks to all of you who participated in any way. Even Kathleen’s friend, Jennifer, from Belgium. My husband, Bucky who ran with it, Bucky’s office staff, Stacy, Lindsay, Marlene: who made it a labor of love, Jane: who made it her “mission” to make it special, Susan and Allyson who took pictures. (You will see a few of Allyson’s pictures here!)

Lastly, Guess what God did? Our Team Tracey won “Most Spirited!” The Holy Spirit showed up in grand style! And that is all of you!!! Thank you is so inadequate!!! My heartfelt gratitude is also not even close! So please accept an investment in God’s Kingdom!!! Today’s total (still growing), FAR beyond our Goal, all by individual donor generosity: $$$12,850. Since some of you have asked: Email contact family and friends will receive a link to see and order pictures from the walk.  Also, we go back to Houston for a medical check up Nov. 7 and 8th. Please pray for encouragement and strength. The trip is always hard. Much love ~

Psalm 27:13-14
I remain 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.


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