Friday, January 29, 2010


Grace rains down into the hurting, dry places in our hearts . . . restoring and healing!

Mercy drops fall . . . soothing our fears and calming our anxious thoughts!

Gentle showers of hope soak into our souls . . . bringing life!

Let them fall!

Let them continually fall on me!

An occasional shower just won't do!

"There shall be showers of blessing; this is the promise of love.
There shall be seasons refreshing, sent from the Savior above."
-Daniel W. Whittle-

Monday, January 25, 2010

Still Waters Run Deep . . .

It's been a noisy day!

No, the grandchildren aren't here . . . John David and I haven't had any "heated discussions" . . . the television hasn't been turned on . . . no visitors! It has actually been quiet here in the house.

But it's been noisy in my mind!

So many noisy situations clamoring for my attention . . . health issues . . . upcoming tests . . . deaths and grieving families . . . questions . . . anxious thoughts. It's so easy to let the mental noise seep into my soul. And I don't want that!

But God knew before I awoke this morning that I would need his soothing Words more than ever. And so He placed these words in my reading this morning: In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. (Isaiah 31:15)

Yesterday I read: The Lord your God is with you . . . He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love . . . (Zeph. 3:17)

And the picture above reminds me that He leads me beside still waters; He restoreth my soul.

Once more, He's proven that He knows just what I need and that He cares about every separate need I have. Noise doesn't disquiet Him; circumstances don't overwhelm Him! Questions don't threaten Him; storms are just opportunities for Him to demonstrate His power! After all, He's in the business of quieting the winds and the waves!

How much more is He able to bring quietness to my mind and soul! As the songwriter says: Oh, what a Savior!

"Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God . . . "

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lesson From a Drama Queen

"My life is a perfect graveyard for buried hopes!"

Quite the statement of disappointment! Especially coming from the mouth of an eight-year-old girl . . . our granddaughter! This was her reply to her mom who told her to turn off the TV.

She's reading the book Anne of Green Gables . . . and apparently is stepping into Anne's character really well. Her timing and the delivery of Anne's line give you a little insight into why she's sometimes called Drama Queen! (By the way, she remembers what she reads in the Bible, too, and can already quote more Scripture than I can.)

Her childish hopes of being able to watch TV were dashed! And it happens to us "big kids," too. Oh, not because we miss a television program . . . I hope! But we each experience disappointments - some minor and others that seem to sweep us off our feet. It's during those confusing, difficult times that we are most tempted to think of our lives as "the perfect graveyard for buried hopes." That's exactly what Satan wants us to think and believe.

But as God's children we know the Giver of Hope! No matter how deeply buried hope seems to be, if we listen closely, we'll hear His gentle whisper: I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11)

If we really believe that . . . and Hope Himself lives in our hearts . . . there'll be no room in our hearts for graveyards of buried hopes!
"Soft as the voice of an angel,
Breathing a lesson unheard,
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers her comforting word:
Wait till the darkness is over,
Wait till the tempest is done,
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow,
After the shower is gone.

Whispering hope . . . "
- Septimus Winner, 1868-

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Under the Circumstances . . .

Under the circumstances . . .

Ever use those words?

Under the circumstances, I can't . . .
Under the circumstances, I did the best I could.
Under the circumstances, we'll have to change our plans.

You know, I don't want to be under any circumstances! And I don't think that's the place God wants me to be.

Under the circumstances it's dark . . . and suffocating . . . and depressing . . . and seemingly hopeless. Under the circumstances is not a productive place to be and can become home to feelings of self-centeredness and self-pity.

How do I know? Because I've been there . . . way too many times. It's easy to get there; just get my eyes off Jesus and focus on my problems, and I'll be there before I know it.

But . . . I have a choice.
When I find my world crumbling around me, I don't have to live under the rubble! The Mountain Mover Himself is as near as a prayer. He waits with an outstretched hand to rescue me.

Sometimes He chooses to remove the circumstances . . . the pain . . . the troubles . . . the bad situation. He is able to do that!

Sometimes He helps me get on my feet and walks with me through the circumstances. Being a Christian certainly doesn't make me immune to life's trials, but He says I can be "more than a conqueror" in the midst of trials!

Sometimes He gives me the strength and courage to rise above my circumstances. Ever been hurt? Then you know about forgiveness and rising - with His help - above those painful situations. I have to say that I am NOT the poster child for "rising above" or "letting go"! Probably because that involves "laying aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets" me (Heb. 12:1). But words can't describe the peace that comes when - by His grace - I do! The load is lifted, and The Light breaks through, again!!

And there have been times that He has carried me when I had no strength left to climb out from under a heavy burden.

But he never intends for me to live under the circumstances.

So, the next time I find myself headed under, I pray that I remember to look up . . . toward the Son! Even in the darkest of times, His Light can break through the clouds and warm my heart and light my way!

"He's able! He's able! I know my Lord is able to carry me through."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Food for Thought - Part II

In my last post I told you how much I enjoy feeding the birds - especially in the frigid weather we've had . . . and that likewise, I think our Heavenly Father delights in "feeding" His children. The Bible speaks of God's care for the birds. One way He provides for them, I believe, is by putting a love for His little creatures into the hearts of some of us . . . who, like myself, enjoy putting out feed and water for them - even on the coldest and rainiest of days. He uses us to take care of his creations.

Today I've noticed a variety of "takers": cardinals, sparrows, juncos, warblers, titmice, nuthatches, chickadees, blue jays, and even one red-bellied woodpecker. It seemed that the harder it rained the more that came! And, the location of their "table" doesn't seem to matter, I've found.

A wet picnic table works just fine!

My kitchen window ledge is the perfect place! Perfect for a close-up like this one, too!

Hanging feeders seem to be very popular - and often crowded - places to dine!

Even an upside-down bucket makes a nice table for two!

Do you see another truth? You got it, I'm sure! We can "dine" with Jesus anywhere . . . under any circumstances . . . as long as we invite Him!

So . . . on this soggiest, dreariest of January days, I've enjoyed birdwatching from my warm kitchen . . . while a cozy fire burned in the living room fireplace.

Meanwhile . . .

Meanwhile in Haiti . . .

Meanwhile in Haiti . . . precious people are hungry . . . and thirsty . . . and homeless . . . and suffering . . . and hopeless . . . and dying.

And I know in my heart that God wants to use me and you to feed them . . . and clothe them . . . and bring healing and hope. He wants us to be His hands, His feet, His eyes and ears, His voice. He wants to use us to take care of them!

I pray that He will give us a love for the Haitian people - and a desire to be Christ to them - that will result in an overwhelming outpouring of giving . . . and most of all, of prayer.

"Somebody's running out of time
Not too far from here.
Somebody's got nowhere else to go;
Somebody needs a little hope
Not too far from here.
And I may not know their name,
But I'm praying just the same
That You'll use me, Lord,
To wipe away the tears.
'Cause somebody's crying
Not too far from here."
-Michael Crawford-

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Food for Thought

(Photo taken through my kitchen window)

Isn't this little creature the cutest thing? I'm always excited when these colorful warblers come back to my feeders. I love feeding them and watching them flit about from feeder to feeder in the cold weather we've been having. I pull the blind up in my kitchen window so that I can better see . . . and photograph them. Even on the bleakest of winter days, their cheerful appearance and antics brighten my days. Washing dishes even becomes somewhat enjoyable when I can see a flock of birds outside my window!

I'll even venture out in temps in the teens (and still in my bathrobe) to put out feed early on a frosty morning! I'm not a morning person, so normally it takes me quite a while and a leisurely-sipped cup of coffee to get awake in the mornings . . . one of the perks of being retired that I really enjoy! So, when I open the back door and am blasted by the unusually cold air, I'm fully awake! And I've discovered that experiencing the brisk morning air makes my cup of coffee taste even better! Might be because I'm awake while I sip!!

How much more must our Heavenly Father enjoy "feeding" us . . . on sunny days . . . but especially during the cold, dreary days that are a part of all of our lives. I like to think that He delights in watching us fill our hearts and minds with the good things that He places in front of us . . . His Word . . . His listening ear . . . His gentle whispers of peace and hope . . . His creation . . . His Church . . . good literature . . . uplifting music . . . encouragement from fellow Christians . . . and most of all, His Holy Spirit.

Thank you, Father . . . The Bread of Life!

"Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more . . . "