Friday, April 30, 2010

The Ball Is Not "Dead"!

Q: You know why the disciples did not like to play football with Lazarus?

A: Every time they told him the ball had been whistled "dead," he said, "No big deal!" and kept running!

Situations and circumstances in our lives may seem "dead" (and they may indeed be a "big deal" to us), but we must keep running with the ball.

Knowing that The One Who Conquered Death is running with us gives us courage to run on!

. . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith . . .
Hebrews 12:1-2

Dare to run in the power of His Spirit,
Called to be victors in a race already won;
Dare to run.
~Harlan Moore & Joel W. Smith~

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Open Door Policy

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest."

What welcoming words!
Jesus' words. Words with no strings attached.

His door is always open. Just come!

No need to dress up or fix up.
Come just as you are!

No need to try to make an appointment . . or ring the doorbell and wait.
He's always available!

Nothing . . . not one thing . . . is too small or too big to talk
to Him about.
He cares about every part of your life!

No need to come to Him cringing in insignificance and fearing
that you aren't "good enough."
It's not about your goodness; it's all about His.

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Hebrews 4:16

He's waiting . . . and He always leaves His light on for you!

He says come unto me
All who are weary
And I will give you rest
Bring what hurts
Bring your scars
Bring the load that you carry
And I will give you rest
~Nicole C. Mullen~

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Fly Swatter

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed Francine Rivers' latest book, Her Mother's Hope! What a powerful story! And what a God-inspired author!

So many lines spoke to me, but today this one jumped off the page: Concerns buzzed like flies in her head, and she swatted them with prayers.

Concerns buzzed like flies in my head . . .
and I didn't always use my fly swatter. Even though it's always, always within my reach - and it always changes things. Sometimes it changes the situation. Sometimes it changes my attitude.

Why do I wait until one fly becomes a swarm and the noise is deafening?

Lord, help me to remember what I know to be true . . . that prayer is my most powerful weapon against anxious thinking and fretting.
Thank You for reminding me today!

And thanks, Francine Rivers, for allowing God to use your amazing talent!

All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat - leave it there.
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus.
~Edward Henry Joy~

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Sweet Aroma

Broken in pieces,
Bruised and crushed, yet not destroyed -
Fragrance grows sweeter.

It can happen.
But only if we've stayed close to Him . . .
close enough that His fragrance spills over into our lives.
And during the "bruising and crushing" times, there's no better place to be
than clinging to Him.

Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God . . .
II Cor. 2:15 The Message

Friday, April 23, 2010

Journey On!

. . . even when I don't know what's around the bend
and the road is rough
and the way is narrow.

The One who always travels with me
never promised me an easy journey.
He just promises to stay by my side.

He knows The Way.
He is The Way.

The Lord has been so good to me;
I feel like traveling on.
Until that blessed home I see,
I feel like traveling on.
~William Hunter~

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Simple Beauty

If you get simple beauty and nought else,
you get about the best thing God invents.
~Robert Browning~

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It Says What??

Maybe at one time this sign far, far back in the Kisatchie Forest was accurate! Now it stands amongst brambles alongside the scenic drive below!

Scenic drive?? Four-wheel drive, maybe!

Those sandy ruts were about a foot deep, and the "road" only got worse as we drove! It would be impassable with a little rain! And trying to turn around at the "end of the trail" was awfully difficult. We did find some rock formations that apparently once drew visitors, who had carved names and initials into the rock. But the area was overgrown and hardly fit into the "scenic drive" category! We got a good laugh about the sign . . . that led to nowhere.

I'm reminded that we can't believe everything we read or hear. Doing so just might get us caught in "ruts" too deep to navigate . . . and lead us to nowhere!

Monday, April 19, 2010


As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man.
Proverbs 27:19

What does my life reflect . . . in the good times . . . and in the bad times? The reflection shouldn't change if I really believe that He is Lord of both.

As the song says: Life is easy when you're up on the mountain . . . . But life isn't a perpetual mountaintop experience; instead bad things happen and trials come in so many forms. So, does my reflection change when I'm in the valley? Does it get muddy and distorted? I know that what's in my heart determines what God and others see in me.

Much of our growth takes place because of what we learn in the difficult times . . . the dark times. If we allow Him, He uses those times to make our reflections sharper and clearer, and His glory can shine through.

My prayer is that I'll be included in the "we" in the following Scripture:
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory,
are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory,
which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

II Cor.3:18

As we gaze on Your kingly brightness,
So our faces display Your likeness,
Ever changing from glory to glory;
Mirrored here, may our lives tell Your story;
Shine on me.
Shine on me.
~Graham Kendrick~

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Don't Get in a Hurry!

It . . .

takes . . .

time . . .

to . . .


And it takes time to mature as a Christian!

Time and that often-shunned "C word."


I'm glad that the Master Gardener is patient, loving, and knows just what's best to ensure that I grow. Even the pruning (Ouch!) is done with gentle hands and at just the right time!

I'm thankful that "He's still working on me . . . to make me what I ought to be . . . "

In His time, in His time;
He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Lord, please show me every day
As you're teaching me Your way,
That You do just what You say
In Your time.
~Diane Ball~

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Show and Tell . . .

Just want to show you . . . a few of my rose buds and blooms!

And tell you . . . that as each new bud unfolds, I feel like I'm unwrapping another beautiful and unique gift from the Creator Himself!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Change Can Be Beautiful!

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.
~author unknown~

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone; the new has come.
I Cor. 5:17

Something beautiful, something good;
All my confusion He understood.
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife,
But He made something beautiful of my life.
~Gloria Gaither~

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Kisatchie National Forest

So much noise . . .
So many voices . . .
So many distractions, cares, and concerns.

We need a quiet refuge . . . a place of stillness.
Our bodies, minds, and spirits need renewal and restoration.
And that won't happen unless we intentionally make time for it.

The One who "makes me lie down in green pastures" . . . who "leads me beside quiet waters" . . . and who" restores my soul" needed the stillness of a solitary place during His ministry on earth.

If He needed to be still, then how much more do I need the quiet place?

Come away; come away.
Come and spend some time with Me; come away.
Let your heart and mind be stilled;
Let your empty cup be filled.
Come and spend some time with Me; come away.
~Morris Chapman & Michael Coomes~

Friday, April 9, 2010

Leap of Faith

Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.
~Margaret Shepherd~

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unchanging Grace and Everlasting Arms

"When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace. . ."
and find comfort in knowing that no matter how low I seem to be,
His strong, everlasting arms go lower . . . holding me up!

"The eternal God is thy refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms."
~Deut. 33:27~

Lord, letting go and simply resting in Your arms is not always easy to do.
It should be. It's the best, safest place to be.
Thank You for Your faithfulness to draw us to You.
Thank You for Your unchanging, amazing grace
and arms that are always reaching out to us.
So many people are experiencing dark times today and need our prayers.
Let's not forget them.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Our Place "In the Springing of the Year"

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
~Robert Frost ( A Prayer for Spring)~

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another Attempt at Haiku


Needing their own space
Yet wanting warm acceptance -
Lord, help me give both.

(For those who aren't familiar with haiku poems like the one above: the first line usually has 5 syllables; the second has 7; the third has 5. In just seventeen syllables, a mental picture is created, and nothing has to rhyme! Try one for yourself!)

Springtime in the U.S.A.

This is my Father's world,
And to my list'ning ears,
All nature sings and round me rings,
The music of the spheres.

This is my father's world.
Oh, let me ne'er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
He is the ruler yet.
~Maltbie D. Babcock~

Saturday, April 3, 2010

New Life

'Twas Easter Sunday.
The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy He has give us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
I Peter 1:3 (NIV)

The King of all ages, the Giver of life,
For a moment lies silent and still;
But a power sent from heaven comes breaking the night,
And death must bow to His will.

Then a stone moves, the earth shakes (and) birds start singing,
The sun shines, the earth warms (for) new life it's bringing. . .
For death could not hold their King.

In Between Times

God is at work in the "in between times" in our lives . . . even when we can't see it.

In our Easter celebration, today is the "in between day" . . .

In between "It is finished!" and "He is risen!" . . .

In between despair and victory . . .

In between death and life . . .

And "in between times" don't last forever!

"Hold on, my child,
Joy comes in the morning. . .
The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Like a Rose . . .

Atop a hill called Golgotha . . .
on that dark day we now call Good Friday . . .
His enemies thought they had extinguished The Light . . .
thought they had snuffed out for good the aroma of the Rose of Sharon.

Little did they realize that a crushed rose is even more fragrant.

Crucified, laid behind the stone;
You lived to die, rejected and alone;
Like a rose, trampled on the ground,
You took the fall,
And thought of me
Above all.
~Lennie Leblanc and Paul Baloche