Thursday, August 30, 2012

Emily's Joy

Sixteen-year-old granddaughter Emily and her family live near the Gulf Coast and have been pounded with rains and winds. Thankfully, they are safe! Yesterday she posted these words on her Facebook:  

Joy (noun)- Dancing and spinning and giggling like a three-year old in the middle of a hurricane, barefoot and sopping wet, with rain pouring down and floodwater up to the scar in the middle of your shin, while your brother and sister are splashing and running and jumping and laughing around you... and realizing you haven't smiled this widely and this long in days. :) ♥

And as I smiled, I thought:  I think there is a sermon or song or two, an analogy, a lesson in those lines!

I think the song has already been written!  Thanks, Deron, for bringing it to my attention again this week:
   And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

Em's definition is a wonderful symbolic picture of dancing in the rain . . . in the storms of life.  And we all have them in varying sizes,
intensities and durations.

I'm reminded that:
 a "dancing-in-the-middle-of-a-hurricane" attitude is a choice
you have to risk getting wet
some will shake their heads at your attitude and actions
having a family "celebrate" with you always helps
you may be reminded of previous storms as the water sloshes 
around your "scars"
"scars are a sign of healing"
feelings of joy run deep and don't depend on weather forecasts and surrounding floodwaters
joy splashes onto others

I also know that I must not be critical of those who have not yet been able to "praise You in this storm."  I'm certainly not the poster child for this kind of faith, but I'm leaning and learning!

I'm thankful that "I know the Master of the winds.  I know the Maker of the rain." And by way, Em knows Him, too - in a very real way!
In spite of anything and everything swirling around me,
I know that He is in control.
And that's where my joy comes from!

Thanks, Emily, for a priceless reminder! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Life's journey is filled with. . . 
Mountains, hills, and valleys, 
On-the-edge roads, winding curves. 

A traveler experiences . . . 
Moments of exhilaration, 
Awe, fear, surprise. 

The trip affords . . . 
Views of where we've been, 
Glimpses of where we are going. 

A Guide is available . . . 
Who IS the Way, 
Who never leaves our sides. 

We can be assured that . . . 
We will reach our destination, 
The Mountaintop will be worth it all! 

(Note:  I took this pic as we drove Bear Tooth Highway, which led us out of Yellowstone and into beautiful South Dakota.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012


An awesome sight . . . an amazing example of "being on time"! 
But I can think of One whose infinite faithfulness cannot be surpassed . . .
One who is always on time . . . 
One who will never fail us! 

I'm glad I know Him and He knows me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm Back!

We followed our son's black Suburban over 4000 miles through 12 states!  It was the best of times!  I took this pic as we were leaving "our home" near Jackson, Wyoming, with our hearts full of gratitude for God's blessings and presence as we enjoyed His incredibly awesome creation.  I'll be sharing more of my photos in the days ahead.


I'd like to share something I read this morning that spoke to me.  It's too good not to share!

A Different Kind of Fast

by Aletha Hinthorn on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 11:28am ·

The Hebrew word "fast" means to cover the mouth.  In fact, a fast of words is one of the fasts in Isaiah 58. Isaiah 58:9b lists not pointing fingers in judgment and not speaking malicious words as conditions of great blessings.

Sylvia Gunter remembers the first time God led her to fast for 40 days of all negative, complaining, critical, and judgmental words. She wrote in a recent devotional, "About two weeks into my fast, I was treated haughtily at a store. As I left the store, I said to myself, 'I'll just take my business elsewhere. That is the second time she has had an attitude with me.'

"Immediately I heard in my spirit, 'No, you are the one with the attitude.' I wanted to fall to my knees on the sidewalk, crying out, 'I am so sick of me!' I know how Isaiah felt when he told God, 'Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips' (Isa. 6:5). O God, take a coal from the altar and purge this wicked heart of mine. God showed me that He was dealing with a root of pride (Isa. 57:15, 1 Peter 5:5-6). I was puffed up, with no sense of my own spiritual need.

"I struggled for a while in this fast of words in what felt like hand-to-hand warfare, but God softened and sweetened my heart. After that season, I felt like a dog in a yard with an invisible electric fence. Every time I opened my mouth to say anything critical, I would get a zap from my loving Father. I reviewed my prayer notebook and was amazed at how many Scriptural insights God gave me during that time. God was being faithful to reveal more of Himself.

"Ask God if He is leading you to do a forty-day fast of critical, judgmental, negative, complaining, gossiping words.  You may be amazed what God will do through it."

Thank You, Jesus, for helping us guard our thoughts so that our words also please You.

"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23).