Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Away from the mire . . .

Moving cows to the back pasture is part of grandson Isaac's weekday routine.  When he cranks up the four-wheeler and heads to the big gate, the cows and calves immediately move toward him.  They've learned to follow him - no prodding, no driving.  As you can see, it's sometimes a messy job, but it's a part of his day that he really enjoys.  The ground gets boggy and muddy and mucky in places.  But he and the cows don't let that stop them from going through the mud then the gate to greener pastures.  Later in the day, he leads them back to the pasture close to the house.

I know all of this because he asked me to go with him one chilly morning while we were visiting, and I cherish those moments together . . . our conversation . . .  the cold wind in our faces . . . speeding through the pasture and all the "stuff" that one finds in a cow pasture!  I wouldn't trade those few minutes for anything - in spite of my outlandish attire and the fact that the four-wheeler was .  . . well, let's just say it had been through the muck and mire and "stuff" a few times!

Away from the mire and away from the clay, God leads His dear children along.  These words from an old hymn have played in my mind this week, and I can really relate to those words.  Life leads us to some messy, mucky places.  We can choose to get bogged down there in the mire, or we can follow our Leader through the muddy mess, then through the gate He opens and move into greener pastures.  He chooses not to drive us but goes ahead of us.  As we learn to identify His voice and learn that He can be trusted, following Him becomes the pattern of our daily lives.  And at the end of the day - whenever that might be - we can trust Him to lead us Home.

Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood.
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song
In the night season and all the day long. 
~God Leads Us Along lyrics - G. A. Young, 19th century~

Monday, February 27, 2012

View From My Backyard

The delicate blooms on our plum tree are beautiful! What could make a more striking background than the breath-taking sunset pictured below?  The colors in the western sky were simply gorgeous one evening last week when I snapped these photos.  This Masterpiece needs no edits or enhancements!  I'm thinking the Master artist must enjoy choosing hues and splashing color across the sky at the end of the day . . .  and I think He enjoys our awe-inspired appreciation of His handiwork.   An incredible sunset . . . blooming fruit trees - just two of the countless gifts I can enjoy in my backyard!  

To God be the glory; great things He hath done!

Saturday, February 25, 2012



Experiencing . . . 

Enduring . . . 

Providing . . . 

Standing tall 
Grounded solidly 
 Rooted deeply

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, 
continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him,
 strengthened in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6 

Therefore, put on the full armor of God . . . 
and after you have done everything, to stand.  
Stand firm then . . . 
Ephesians 6:13-14

(Note:  Each time we visit Cades Cove near Gatlinburg, TN, this lone, spreading tree captures my attention, and I've taken numerous photos of it. )

Friday, February 24, 2012

Splashes of Cheer

Yellow has always been a cheerful color to me.  I love its sunshiny presence inside my house and in blooms outside. These splashes of  cheer popped up throughout the day yesterday.

Today, Grandson Aiden is back at his house, and I may not walk the trail to enjoy the yellow blooms. Those spots of cheer are not permanent; they are here today and gone tomorrow.  But I know One who is always present, always in season, always ready to speak words of cheer. Listen:

In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.
 John 16:33

Son, [daughter], be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Matthew 9:2

Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
Mark 6:50

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fences and Greener Grass

The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. 
No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. 
The grass is greenest where it is watered. 
When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.

~Robert Fulghum~

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Perched atop
barbed wire
spider webs
he adds 
color to the drabness
softness to the stark harshness
and beauty to the ugliness.

Isn't that what
we are called
to do?
Even in the midst
of our weakness
our pain
and our humanity
His beauty can shine.

Lord, I don't always feel that I have much to offer to a hurting world.
I certainly don't "have it all together."
And then you remind me that it's not about ME and MY strengths.
It's about what YOU can do through me, for when I am weak
then your strength and beauty can shine.
Your light can burst through every crack in my life
IF I surrender it to you.  
I can't think of anything more beautiful than that.
Thank You - and please remind me again and again.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just As I Am . . . and Running

Just as I am 
I ran to Him 
And mercy took me in 
Just as I am 
And He forgave my sin 
All the way He’s changing my heart proves 
That He loves me too much 
To leave me
Just as I am

These beautiful words touched my heart as I listened to them on Enlighten XM radio yesterday.  And I wonder why we are so afraid to run to Him, the One who has all the answers, loves us unconditionally and desires to change us into His likeness.  For sure there are many reasons, but the bottom line is that satan wants us to believe that we can't . . . shouldn't . . . because He is too holy and we can't approach Him . . . because He tires of our coming again and again to Him . . . because we really don't matter to Him . . . because we are not good enough . . .because . . . because . . . because . . .

But satan is a liar . . . a deceiver . . . a defeated liar . . . a doomed deceiver.

So, let's run to Jesus . . . run . . . run . . . He's running to us with outstretched arms!

Just as I am . . . O Lamb of God, I come . . . I come!

(Note:  Lyrics below pic - composed by Jim Brady, Barry Weeks, and Tony Wood . . . recorded by Lauren Talley)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Inventory Time


I know it's just birds, and I realize the quality of the pic is not good (it was taken at a distance and through a window).  

But it gave me something to think about:  What is my attitude when someone different invades MY space?

Lord, help me to see others through your eyes.  
Give me a compassionate heart and a gracious spirit.  
Help me to love as You love.
Forgive me when I haven't.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In Process

Being transformed
into His likeness
not what we once were
not what we will be.

raising our eyes
opening our hearts
to the Light.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Bridge

Love built a bridge

indestructibly strong

accessible to all

spanning the ages

from His holiness

to our humanity.

Love stretched out His hands

hammers pounding

nails piercing

blood flowing

until He pronounced

the bridge finished.

Love built a bridge . . .

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


A tiny bud
so full of promise
hardly visible to the eye.

A tiny spark of faith
so full of promise
never overlooked by His all-seeing eye.

Monday, February 6, 2012

He Sees . . . He Cares!

Watching the flurry of birds outside my windows is a blessing to me . . . a simple pleasure that never gets old!  As I watch them, I think of Someone else who's watching them and who sees every one that falls.  (Matt. 10:29)  And more importantly, I'm reminded that He's watching over me. . . that He sees every detail of my life, every need, every tiny step of faith.  He sees . . . and He responds in unconditional love!  I like the comforting words of the following old hymn written by Civilla Martin and published in 1905.  No one can sing it like Ethel Waters did when she sang with the Billy Graham Crusades around the world!

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. 

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

 Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

EDIT 2:30 p.m :  I just added a beautiful version of the song by Selah to my playlist (bottom right sidebar) , so turn up your volume if you'd like to hear it.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Each new sunrise
wrapped in light
and tied with promise
new opportunities
to love
to grow
to serve
and to move closer
to the Son.