Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Never Too Old . . .

I'll never outgrow Vacation Bible School!!

This week the boys and girls of our church/community are visiting Nazareth where Jesus grew up. And it has been so much fun! Along with the fun and because of the fun, God's Word has come alive - through the songs, which you see on the screen above; through drama, games and crafts; through amazing decorations and props. His Word has been the focus of it all . . . simple yet profound words . . . timeless truths that children of all ages can grasp and hide away in their hearts . . . words to live by.

My heart has been touched and encouraged each night as these key verses have been highlighted:
For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)
I have called you by name; you are mine.
(Isaiah 43:1)
There is more than enough room in my Father's house.
(John 14:2)

I sometimes wonder why we big kids make living for Jesus so complicated. I think that's one reason I love VBS so much! For a few hours each night I see firsthand simple, child-like faith . . . eyes filled with wonder . . . ears open to hear more . . . expectant excitement. I don't want to ever get too old for that kind of experience and lifestyle!

VBS . . . a Very Bright Spot in my summer - one that I don't plan to outgrow!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In spite of the storms . . .
In spite of the extreme heat . . .

It blooms . . . beautifully!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Other Side

I opened my Bible this morning and turned to the passage for today's devotional, but instead my eyes fell on these verses . . . and not "by accident," I'm sure!

23And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

24And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

25And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

26And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

27But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

28And when he was come to the other side. . .

Matthew 8:23-28b (KJV)

We can be sure we'll get to the "other side" if Jesus is in the boat with us. No matter how violent the storm. No matter how terrified we may be . . . and even when it seems that He's asleep or unconcerned. Sometimes we have no idea where the other side is. But if He says, "Let's go to the other side," as is recorded in Luke 8:22, in His time we'll step out of the boat and onto the shore. Not just sometimes . . . but every time.

And one day, after we've safely crossed our last storm-tossed lake, we'll be Home - on the other side!!

This old song that we sang in years past comes to my mind:

Master, the tempest is raging; the billows are tossing high.
The sky is o'er shadowed with blackness; no shelter or help is nigh.
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep, when each moment so madly is threatening
a grave in the angry deep?

The winds and the waves shall obey my will.
Peace be still; peace be still.
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
or demons, or men, or whatever it be.
No water can swallow the ship where lies
the Master of ocean and earth and skies.
They shall sweetly obey my will.
Peace be still, peace be still.
They all shall sweetly obey my will.
Peace, peace be still.

Master, the terror is over, the elements sweetly rest.
Earth's sun in the calm lake is mirrored, and heaven's within my breast.
Linger, O blessed Redeemer; leave me alone no more.
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor
and rest on the blissful shore.
~Mary Baker~

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sing Along . . .

Today John David hung this reminder over the door of the new portable building . . . the one that replaces the one the storm demolished. It was His amazing grace that protected our house - and us - as the tornado raged around us a few months ago. And that's just one of countless times His grace has protected and kept and guided. Even in the bad times . . . when our lives seem to be turned upside down, His grace has been sufficient. He said it would be. It is. Not that we've deserved it or earned it or been "good" enough. He's poured His grace on us - and you - because He loves us . . . unconditionally. I can't wrap my mind around that kind of love, but I'm so glad He wraps His everlasting arms around me! That's what makes it so amazing! Add to that the fact that His supply of grace never runs out; it's always enough! Well . . . the old hymn says it best! Sing along!
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come.
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
~John Newton~

Grace, grace, God's grace -
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe . . .
~Julia M. Johnston~

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hang On!

Sometimes life gets a little complicated - or a lot complicated . . .
and requires us to sacrifice ease and comfort.
Some solutions demand that we think outside the box . . .
and forget how everybody else is doing it.
But if we keep our eyes on The Prize . . .
no matter how far we must strain our necks -
we'll be rewarded.

Persevere . . . hang on!

(I took this pic of the beautiful red-headed woodpecker through my window looking at the feeder that hangs a few feet away on the front porch.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Ever watched a child try to get a knot untangled in his or her shoelaces . . . and give up? Then without a second thought, pull the tied shoe on and run off to play until Mama or Daddy - or someone who can - gets the shoelace untangled.

I thought of that this morning as I read these words in Streams in the Desert: Much of the life of faith consists of letting things alone. . . . It is such a comfort to drop the tangles of life into God's hands and leave them there.

Why would I want to resist that comfort?

I hear the answer and I don't like it.

Lord, help my unbelief.

God will make a way
where there seems to be no way.
He works in ways we cannot see;
He will make a way for me.
~Lyrics by Don Moen~

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lead Me, Lord . . .

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost~

Your plans for me are perfect;
I never need to fear,
For though at times I feel alone
I know that you are near.
My heart just longs to follow;
I'm willing to obey.
Take my hand and lead me;
I will follow all the way.
~Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir~