Thankful Thursday! February 22, 2018

Thank you, Lord, for:

My dear friends Michelle, Donna, Dustin and Arianna coming out to visit!

Peaceful drive listening to an audio book.

Linda and Judi always bringing me the newspaper clippings of Whitty.

Shopping, lunch and a movie with Whitty

Lunch with Park, Pres and Whitt.

Making breakfast for the boys on a Saturday morning. 

 

Good but Not Safe

“You’ll understand when you see him.”

“But shall we see him?” asked Susan.

“Why, Daughter of Eve, that’s what I brought you here for. I’m to lead you where you shall meet him,” said Mr. Beaver.

“Is—is he a man?” asked Lucy.

“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”

“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

—The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Thankful Thursday! February 15, 2018

Thank you, dear Lord, for:

Chatting with Gil and Whitt after his game.

Climbing “the stairs” with Karen -hard to say which is more beneficial, the exercise or the conversation 🤗

Pres picking me up at the car place.

Walking with Kerri and Piper

Team lunch on Fridays❤️ And the fabulous moms whose company I enjoy so much!!

Going to a Biola basketball game with Whitt☺️

 

“UNDER HIS WINGS O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Matthew 23: 37

In this passage, Christ gives us a beautiful illustration of faith. The Lord tenderly says to the Israelites that he gladly would have been their mother hen if only they had been willing to be his chicks. Note carefully his words and illustration. Christ pours this out with his whole heart and with great seriousness. In this picture, we see how we should act toward Christ. It shows us how he can help us, how we should make use of him and enjoy him. If we watch how a hen behaves with her chicks, then we will see Christ and ourselves depicted better than any artist can paint.

Our souls are the chicks, and the devil and evil spirits are the hawks in the air. Except, we aren’t as clever as the chicks who flee under their mother hen. Also, demons are more skillful in attacking us than are the hawks in grabbing chicks. I previously taught how it isn’t enough to be devout, do good works, and live in grace. For not even our righteousness, let alone our unrighteousness, will endure before God’s eyes and his judgment. I have said that faith, if it is genuine faith, doesn’t rely on its own ability to believe but holds on to Christ and places itself under his righteousness. Just as chicks don’t rely on themselves and their own quickness but simply flee under the hen’s body and wings, so we must run to Christ and let him be our shield and protection.“

Martin Luther, “Faith Alone” 

Thankful Thursday! February 8, 2018

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord!

Taking a walk with Park!

Taking photos for Winter Formal

Spring weather in February 

New tires and an alignment

New tires on Quinny’s car as well...sets my mind at ease!

Fresh baked zucchini carrot bread! Mmmmm!

Hearing Quinny sing in the shower!🎶

 

“Emptiness is covered by distraction. Loneliness is numbed with sociability. Futility is denied in activity. Premature and superficial satisfaction with the good things of life prevents My people from grasping the incredible news that My reality of joy, community, and meaning has invaded theirs.”

 

“God, what are the questions Solomon asked but couldn’t answer?”

“Solomon had the courage to ask why there is something rather than nothing, what is life all about, where is it headed, what is the ultimate good that, when discovered, wholly heals and fully satisfies. Many churches declare the truth that living for My glory answers those questions, but they repeat it glibly with all the depth of a sales clerk wishing you a good day as you exit the store.”

“So what are You saying to me in Ecclesiastes? I know the right answer to Solomon’s questions—it’s what You just said: living for Your glory by depending entirely on You for my acceptance and satisfaction is the answer Jesus taught me to believe. And I do believe it. I believe Him. I believe You. But the truth of that answer hasn’t reached me as deeply as I wish it would....”

“It is the narrow road to life that most people avoid with distractions, sociability, and busyness. Hear what I am saying to all who have ears to hear. It is the message of My twenty-first love letter, a message that can only be heard in silence:

I lower you into the depths of despair to lift you into the heights of joy. The way up is the way down. There is no other way. You will not hear My song of love until you hear no other music.”

 

Excerpt From

66 Love Letters

Larry Crabb

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/66-love-letters/id615117281?mt=11

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday! February 1, 2018

Thank you, Lord, for Your lavish love!!

Breakfast with Whitt

Rendon stopping by and visiting 

Cycle class with Gil

Parker changing my oil

All 5 of my dear kids over for dinner on Sunday!  Lex helping in the kitchen, Parker on the grill.   What a treasure

Laughing together!

 

OH, YES! Tell us about Aslan!” said several voices at once; for once again that strange feeling—like the first signs of spring, like good news, had come over them.

“Who is Aslan?” asked Susan. “

Aslan?” said Mr. Beaver. “Why, don’t you know? He’s the King. He’s the Lord of the whole wood, but not often here, you understand. Never in my time or my father’s time. But the word has reached us that he has come back. He is in Narnia at this moment. He’ll settle the White Queen all right. It is he, not you, that will save Mr. Tumnus.”

“She won’t turn him into stone too?” said Edmund.

“Lord love you, Son of Adam, what a simple thing to say!” answered Mr. Beaver with a great laugh. “Turn him into stone? If she can stand on her two feet and look him in the face it’ll be the most she can do and more than I expect of her. No, no. He’ll put all to rights as it says in an old rhyme in these parts:

Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,

At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,

When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,

And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.

 —The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Thankful Thursday! January 25, 2018

 Thank you, Lord, for:

Chatting with sweet Jade!

Beautiful clear, perfect temp, SoCal winter day!!

Taking lunch to these dear boys on Fridays!❤️🏀

Praying with friends!

Ren and Whitt walking out of the locker room together

I hate loosing, but the sweet moments of conversation and growth that follow are, dare I say, worth it!

 

“But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she

returned unto him. . . . And the dove came in to him in the

evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf (Gen. 8:9–11).

 

God knows just when to withhold from us any visible sign of encouragement, and when to grant us such a sign. How good it is that we may trust Him anyway! When all visible evidences that He is remembering us are withheld, that is best; He wants us to realize that His Word, His promise of remembrance, is more substantial and dependable than any evidence of our senses. When He sends the visible evidence, that is well also; we appreciate it all the more after we have trusted Him without it. Those who are readiest to trust God without other evidence than His Word always receive the greatest number of visible evidences of His love. C. G. TRUMBULL

 

Believing Him; if storm-clouds gather darkly ’round,

And even if the heavens seem brass, without a sound?

He hears each prayer and even notes the sparrow’s fall.

 

And praising Him; when sorrow, grief, and pain are near,

And even when we lose the thing that seems most dear?

Our loss is gain. Praise Him; in Him we have our All.

“Our hand in His; e’en though the path seems long and drear

We scarcely see a step ahead, and almost fear?

He guides aright. He has it thus to keep us near.

 

And satisfied; when every path is blocked and bare,

And worldly things are gone and dead which were so fair?

Believe and rest and trust in Him, He comes to stay.

 

Delays are not refusals; many a prayer is registered, and underneath it the words: “My time is not yet come.” God has a set time as well as a set purpose, and He who orders the bounds of our habitation orders also the time of our deliverance. SELECTED”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

Thankful Thursday! January 18, 2018

Thank you, Lord, for:

Lunch with Lex and Whitt

Lexi hanging out!

Making Thieves Vinegar and elderberry syrup with these great girls!

Park came home while we were making it and he held the babies and played with Abe and Meadow.  So sweet!❤️❤️

Sitting outside writing Thankful Thursday! 😜

 

 “Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face   Now we know in part, then we will know fully, even as we are fully known” 1 Corinthians 13:12

 “knowing that God’s on your side even when the prayer is unanswered. Perhaps we can think of it this way. Let’s say there was a little house inhabited by American allies on Normandy beach when D-day broke out. In fact, let’s suppose that the family in this unfortunate beach cottage consisted of the son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren of the head captain of the invading American fleet. There they were, caught in the cross fire of this terrible battle. Let’s say they had a radio line with this captain and could radio their requests to him during the battle. They told him they were being hit both with enemy fire and with American fire. They told him they were wounded and needed supplies, hungry and needed food, etc.

Now the captain cares a great deal about his son and his family and would like to answer every one of their requests. But, at the same time, there is a larger battle to fight, thousands of other lives to consider, and the outcome of this important battle which must be of preeminent importance. So sometimes this captain can meet his son’s requests. But other times, given the strategic warfare of the enemy, he cannot. And perhaps sometimes their requests are not even to their own advantage given the course the battle is taking.

But the unfortunate family in the beach cottage doesn’t have this broader perspective. They only know that the captain is on their side, that their requests are heard and are taken into account, and that sometimes their requests are granted and sometimes not. But they, lacking his strategic perspective, have no idea why this is the case. They don’t have a purview of the whole battle. Their perspective is limited to the tiny windows in their cottage....

In truth, we only can know this one thing: Our Captain is in love with us. He wants the best for us, He’s on our side, He hears and is influenced by our petitions, and when it is possible to promote the good and avoid pain, He does it. But in warfare this is simply not always possible—even for God—so long as He sticks to His highest agenda, which is love and therefore freedom.“

”Letters From a Sceptic” 

Thankful Thursday! January 11, 2018

Thank you, Lord, for: 

Having dinner and hanging out with these 4 sweet sons one mine!  They bring me such joy! 

Being with Gil!

Ice cream on Saturday nights.

Christmas decorations put away and the house all clean!

Gil laughing and talking with our sons;

 

 “May you awaken to the divine power of a grateful heart.

May you know there’s victory in praise and breakthrough in thanksgiving!

When you stomp your feet, raise your hands, and sing a song of praise, the enemy scurries away, covers his ears, and his plans come to nothing.

With God on your side, you have all you need to win your battles and grow in love.

Sing a song of praise today even while you wait for your breakthrough!

A blessed day to you.

 

 

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;

let us shout aloud

to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him

with thanksgiving and extol him

with music and song”

Psalm 95:1 & 2

 

Excerpt From

Blessings for the Morning

Susie Larson

 

Thankful Thursday! January 4, 2018

Happy New Year, y’all!!

Thank you, Lord for:

A new year, a fresh start!

Whitty finally playing again! 

Lexi coming to pilates with me and then to Coffee Bean with the girlfriends. 

Taking care of Ren while he was sick. 

Lex is such a comfort and strength to my Rendon!

Great little Pilates class at YW Sat morning!

Cycle class with Gil.

 

 “Don’t you love being around children who are wiggling, squirming, jumping up and down, and shouting for you? I do! I believe God does too.

In fact, I believe God wants us to exhibit that same childlike joy as we worship and enjoy Him. I’m not talking about “feel-good” emotionalism that fluctuates with circumstances. I’m talking about deep-down joy that bubbles up out of a grateful heart that knows and loves Jesus. That is the kind of heart that is instructed to rejoice in the Lord.

Happiness depends on something. Joy depends on Someone”

by Sarah Trollinger, “Women of Faith Devotional Bible” 

 

 “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous;

And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”

PSALM 32:11

 

“Rejoice always.”

1 THESSALONIANS 5:16

 

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,

My soul shall be joyful in my God;

For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation

He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.”

ISAIAH 61:10

 

“This is the day the LORD has made;

We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

PSALM 118:24”

 

Excerpt From

Joy for the Journey: Morning and Evening

Thomas Nelson

  

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday! December 28, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for:

Sending Your beloved son for each one of us! 

My beloved son!  27 years old!   What a dear gift he is!! 

Cindy’s thoughtful gift of pears!🤗

Helping Lex make food for her soccer girls Christmas party.  So blessed to be a part of my kids’ lives!

Rubbing DeepBlue and arnica into Whitty’s calf

Gil rented “Father of the Bride 2” and made us popcorn!  SO funny!  I love to laugh!!

No wind.    Still and quiet outside.

 

Job

 “I love those I’ve invited to My party by permitting suffering that draws them to concentrate on Me as their only source of life”

“Learn, too, what My Jewish servant Abraham Heschel discovered: ‘God is not nice. God is not an uncle. God is an earthquake.’ The world of Christendom, so far removed from Christianity, does not believe that. It does not want to believe that.”

“I don’t either. Why can’t You be nice? Isn’t it loving to be nice, to relieve suffering and restore pleasure?”

“Love seeks the deepest well-being of another. If that requires suffering, then love permits and, sometimes, brings about suffering. But love never allows more suffering than is necessary to achieve the well-being of the beloved.”

“God, is this what I’m to learn from Your eighteenth love letter?”

“I wrote Job to reveal who I AM, not who you imagine Me to be. I permit suffering but never more, always less, than I experience. Gaze on Calvary. Look at My Son. We are committed to your well-being, to your eternal joy, to getting you to the party. We suffered then in ways you will never experience, and We suffer with you now until the party begins, until the banquet is ready.

“Job’s friends reduced Me to a traffic cop. Obey the speed limit, and I let you drive on to the beach. Drive too fast, and I interfere with your plans. That false image of Me gives rise to the cry I hear from many: ‘I don’t deserve this. I lived well. You owe me a better life.’ That cry drowns out the music of heaven; it prevents the one who cries from learning to dance.

“Job knew his friends were wrong. He knew his suffering was not punishment for sin that he could end by living better. But he did not realize the opportunity that his suffering presented for him to see Me. Job was terrified that I might be powerful but not good. A universe in the hands of an almighty but unloving God is a terrible place to be. Job was compelled to ask deep, hard questions.

“I removed all sources of encouragement but one. I extinguished all the lights that had been guiding Job on a pleasant path through life, not to prove a point to Satan—I owe him nothing but hell—but to gain entrance into Job’s heart with the light of My Presence. It was in the darkness of unexplained suffering that Job learned he was not the prosecuting attorney nor I the defendant. My message to him is My message to you: I remain all-powerful and all-good in your darkest night. Trust Me. You don’t know enough not to.”

 

Excerpt From

66 Love Letters

Larry Crabb

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/66-love-letters/id615117281?mt=11

 

 

Thankful Thursday! December 21, 2017

 Thank you, Lord, for the hope we have in You!!!  And:

IMG_3395.JPG

Talking to my mom, crying about the heavy things in life  

Talking with Sandy (my mom in-law)   She gets it.  I’m thankful for her experience! 

Got all my counters and floors cleaned!!!

Lexi Loo coming over and hanging out with me and Whitty for a couple hours!💜

Whitty going to church and lunch with us.

A lovely Christmas brunch with my Wed morning strength class.  Thank you, Vicki!   I’m so blessed to have these beautiful, loving and experienced women in my life!   They’re so dear to me!💜💜

“There was also a prophet, Anna,...” Luke 2:36

Anna was not worn out by her years of waiting for God to show his face. No, instead she was strengthened by them, her hope so clear and so pure that she had no doubt about what she was seeing the moment she walked into the scene of Simeon holding out a tiny baby—who by all accounts looked just like all the other tiny babies he held in the Temple. Anna’s was a hope refined by prayer and by letting go of her own expectations so as to do the work of the Lord. Anna was a woman with the vision to know the difference between expectant hope and hope in her own expectations.

Are you that kind of woman, friend? 

To be a woman who recognizes God because she has learned to hope only in him, I first have to be a woman like Anna, a woman of prayer and fasting, a woman from whom thanksgiving flows, a woman who speaks of the Lord with great joy to those waiting to know him. Anna doesn’t just recognize Jesus at that moment in the Temple, but she is transformed by the recognition. She lets the unexpected blessing of the babe in Simeon’s arms and the glory glowing on his face turn her heart to rejoicing. Her hope blossoms into joy and thanksgiving in the presence of the Messiah, and she shares it with those who are waiting with uncertainty, unsure of what they are looking for.

How many people in your life are like the ones that Anna proclaimed the presence of Christ to that day? People who are searching, hoping, and waiting for something but unable to define just what it is they are waiting for? Where will you find the courage to tell them with great joy that the one thing that satisfies all their searching, the One to fulfill their hope, has come, is here now, and they can rejoice with you?

The courage to live the call to share Jesus with others comes from a hope that gives way to the discipline of prayer. Prayer inspires a life of joyful dependence on the Lord, which allows us to see and recognize him at work in the most surprising of ways. And from a heart focused on God blossoms the thanksgiving that overflows into sharing Christ with a waiting world. This is the call of the seer, the prophetess.

This is our call, friends. It wasn’t strange for the Jews in the Temple to receive Anna as a woman of vision, because women who had come before her had set the precedent. And we do not have to shy away from being women of vision, because we have Anna as our example and our guide. We, like her, have Mary too to show us what a woman’s heart can look like when it has fully embraced life with Christ. Their examples are rich with fodder for our own transformations, friends. Let us take their stories to heart. Let us allow ourselves to be defined, not by the way we live on the outside, but by who we are on the inside. Let us cultivate lives of prayer and purpose, of grand hopes and humble graces. Let us live fully alive and aware, prepared to see God work and to proclaim his goodness.

Our world is one that is breaking from pain and sin in every direction we look, it seems. But we do not have to give up hope, sister, because we are women who see. If we will set our hearts on the discipline of prayer and give up the things that keep us from living wholly dependent on him, we will see God in action, recognize him at work, and have the courage to go out and proclaim his presence with great rejoicing. Our homes, our towns, and our world need us to be women of vision. They need us to know when God is stirring and to show up to witness his coming. They need us to run out rejoicing because we have hoped in him and seen our hopes confirmed. Our world is waiting for its prophetesses. My sister, let us answer that call.

~ Let Us Pray ~

Dear Jesus, surprising Savior, I want to be a woman of vision, a woman who sees you in action, recognizes your presence, and has the courage to offer the hope you bring to those waiting to know you. Help me, Lord, to become this woman.

Give me the grace to give up the things that cloud my heart and that keep me from a hope wholly dependent on you. Help me to recognize the surprising ways you speak. Teach me to sense with confidence your hand at work. Give me the gift of a disciplined heart, Lord, so that I can have clear vision, know my purpose, and live it fully. Teach me to rejoice with a thanksgiving that becomes a proclamation of your presence to those around me.

Make me, Lord, a prophetess, whose life is spent looking for you to move, listening intently to your voice, and seeing you at work.  Make me a woman who hopes in you above all else and whose hope is forever renewed by seeing you present in my life in the most unexpected ways. Give me a heart that goes out rejoicing and proclaisming your praise to the hearts in my midst who are still waiting to know you.

Make me a woman of vision, God, with a heart that sees and a clear purpose to proclaim you. I am waiting, Lord, with a hope that can be satisfied only in you. Amen.

 

Excerpt from:

“Who Does He Say You Are? “  by Colleen C Mitchell

Thankful Thursday! December 14, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for: 

My mother-in-law who made these cute stockings!🤗

Judy brought gifts to all of us in our strength class!  So thoughtful of her!  Warms my heart!

Christmas decorations

I love the Lights of the Christmas tree in the evenings!

Christmas time in So Cal!!   Low to mid 80’s today!😃

Windows open...fresh air!

 

“the heart of it is this: to make the Lord and his immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. Define yourself radically as one beloved by God; God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.”

We discuss it. The basis of my personal worth is not my possessions, my talents, not esteem of others, reputation . . . not kudos of appreciation from parents and kids, not applause, and everyone telling you how important you are to the place. . . . I stand anchored now in God before whom I stand naked, this God who tells me “You are my son, my beloved one.”[ 5] [emphasis added]

The ordinary self is the extraordinary self—the inconspicuous nobody who shivers in the cold of winter and sweats in the heat of summer, who wakes up unreconciled to the new day, who sits before a stack of pancakes, weaves through traffic, bangs around in the basement, shops in the supermarket, pulls weeds and flies kites, and listens to the sound of rain on the roof.

While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences, but in our simple presence in life.

My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being—‘ You are the Beloved.’”[ 6] Anchored in this reality, our true self needs neither a muted trumpet to herald our arrival nor a gaudy soapbox to rivet attention from others. We give glory to God simply by being ourselves.

God created us for union with Himself: This is the original purpose of our lives. And God is defined as love (1 John 4: 16). Living in awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves. Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence. It is not merely a lofty thought, an inspiring idea, or one name among many. It is the name by which God knows us and the way He relates to us. 

If I must seek an identity outside of myself, then the accumulation of wealth, power, and honors allures me. Or I may find my center of gravity in interpersonal relationships. 

when I draw life and meaning from any source other than my belovedness, I am spiritually dead. When God gets relegated to second place behind any bauble or trinket, I have swapped the pearl of great price for painted fragments of glass.

“‘ Who am I?’ asked Merton, and he responds, ‘I am one loved by Christ.’”[ 7] This is the foundation of the true self. The indispensable condition for developing and maintaining the awareness of our belovedness is time alone with God. In solitude we tune out the naysaying whispers of our worthlessness and sink down into the mystery of our true self. Our longing to know who we really are—which is the source of all our discontent—will never be satisfied until we confront and accept our solitude. There we discover that the truth of our belovedness is really true. Our identity rests in God’s relentless tenderness for us revealed in Jesus Christ.”

Excerpt from: Abba’s child, by Brennan Manning

Thankful Thursday! December 7, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for:

Visiting Gabe and Owen!💜💜

Parker cleaned and organized the side of the house!  Looks awesome!

Baby shower for April!

Visiting with Gale, Linda and Cynthia at Open House.

Whitty making honey popcorn!  Mmmmmm!😋

Hanging out with Park and Whitt

 

Fix it, Lord—quickly. Take away the uncomfortable, and give me what I want.  

We want it now. We are greedy for relief.

But Jesus is a slow and patient man, just as he is a slow and patient God. He is a God who chooses transformation over quick fixes and full freedom over halfhearted embraces. So he invites this woman into an intimacy that pierces as it purges. He points out the places inside her that will keep her always thirsty, no matter how much water he pours into her. Life cannot spring from death, and our Jesus cares about our slowly dying souls more than he cares about our public appearance. He wants to heal us not only from the outside shame that keeps us baking in the public glare, but from the deep, personal shame that keeps us gingerly sidestepping our real wounds while we wither within.

So he stares down her insistence with love. And he opens the bandages she wears over her sin and shame and looks closely at the wounds. She is revealed—uncomfortably, intimately seen by this man she never meant to meet. “Go, call your husband” is the command with which he rebuts her insistence.

Oh, haven’t we been there? We too have wanted God to do something for us, anything to take away the pain and fix our mess, to be saved and done, when suddenly he stares down the real need and draws it into the light. I wonder how long it took her to respond, to gather herself from the gut punch of his words and the realization that the conversation wasn’t going her way. I wonder how deep the sigh was, and if it felt more like a groan when she finally figured that it was worth telling him the truth.

“I have no husband,” she clips out.  It is a curt answer given to protect herself from the probing, to keep her shame hidden and her wounds bandaged even as they wept and begged for healing.

Jesus is not convinced or put off by easy, first answers, by our cues to go no further. He wants to get to the deepest parts of us. Just as this woman thirsts so desperately that she insists on her relief through living water, he is so thirsty for our freedom that he insists on the whole freeing truth. He is not content to fill us and leave us, slaked but sinful, bandaged but in bondage to shame. So he probes right into the heart of the deepest, darkest places of our souls, and he loves them right into the light. “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” Jesus indicates with knowing patience that what she has said is true, but not the whole truth.

He stands right here in front of you with the same knowing insistence. He longs for your healing, your freedom, but he will not give you only half of what you need. He will not treat just the thirsty symptoms of your sin and leave you to walk in shame. He has fixed his gaze on your heart, and he sees the deepest parts of you that need him. Tell him the truth, the whole truth. Let him see all of you, even the parts that have not seen the light for so long, the parts that you shroud and shelter in secret. He thirsts for you like you thirst for him. There is freedom waiting for you. You do not have to come to this place again. But he can’t heal what you won’t let him touch....

The moment is coming when they (sin and shame) will be remedied all together, when the water will flow that never stops giving us life. And the source of that water is the Spirit and the truth that set us free from sin and shame.

And he is crossing all the boundaries of this day and age too, to draw near to you and me and offer us the same relief: Spirit and truth. When we tell the truth about who we are and who we have been, the Spirit can move in us. The confession of our sin makes space for freedom.”

 

Excert From:   

“Who Does He Say You Are? “  by Colleen C Mitchell

Thankful Thursday! November 29, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for:

Fall candles: pumpkin spice, cinnamon, currant, apple cider,...

Watching my older boys basketball again! 

Workshop with the ladies!

Coffee Bean with Lex and Tay

Fall leaves, so many beautiful colors! 

It’s so light in the morning

 

“And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Heb. 6:15).

 

Abraham was long tried, but he was richly rewarded. The Lord tried him by delaying to fulfill His promise. Satan tried him by temptation; men tried him by jealousy, distrust, and opposition; Sarah tried him by her peevishness. But he patiently endured. He did not question God’s veracity, norlimit His power, nor doubt His faithfulness, nor grieve His love; but he bowed to divine sovereignty, submitted to infinite wisdom, and was silent under delays, waiting the Lord’s time. And so, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

 

God’s promises cannot fail of their accomplishment. Patient waiters cannot be disappointed. Believing expectation shall be realized.

 

Beloved, Abraham’s conduct condemns a hasty spirit, reproves a murmuring one, commends a patient one, and encourages quiet submission to God’s will and way. Remember, Abraham was tried; he patiently waited; he received the promise and was satisfied. Imitate his example, and you will share the same blessing. SELECTED”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

Thankful Thursday! November 16, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for:

Laughing!

Going to the movies with LaMarr for her birthday!

Dinner with my Zumba ladies

Watching Rendon, Parker, Preston and Levi play in the alumni basketball tournament!

Whole Foods and ice cream with Gil

Ren & Park came over to eat with us after the games. & watching football with them

 

“He answered her not a word (Matt. 15:23)

He will rest in his love (Zeph. 3:17).

 

It may be a child of God is reading these words who has had some great crushing sorrow, some bitter disappointment, some heartbreaking blow from a totally unexpected quarter. You are longing for your Master’s voice bidding you, “Be of good cheer,” but only silence and a sense of mystery and misery meet you—“He answered her not a word.”

 

God’s tender heart must often ache listening to all the sad, complaining cries which arise from our weak, impatient hearts, because we do not see that for our own sakes He answers not at all or otherwise than seems best to our tear-blinded, shortsighted eyes.

 

The silences of Jesus are as eloquent as His speech and may be a sign, not of His disapproval, but of His approval and of a deep purpose of blessing for you.

 

“Why art thou cast down, O . . . soul?” Thou shalt yet praise Him, yes, even for His silence. Listen to an old and beautiful story of how one Christian dreamed that she saw three others at prayer. As they knelt the Master drew near to them.

 

As He approached the first of the three, He bent over her in tenderness and grace, with smiles full of radiant love and spoke to her in accents of purest, sweetest music.

 

Leaving her, He came to the next, but only placed His hand upon her bowed head, and gave her one look of loving approval.

 

The third woman He passed almost abruptly without stopping for a word or glance. The woman in her dream said to herself, “How greatly He must love the first one, to the second He gave His approval, but none of the special demonstrations of love He gave the first; and the third must have grieved Him deeply, for He gave her no word at all and not even a passing look.

 

“I wonder what she has done, and why He made so much difference between them?” As she tried to account for the action of her Lord, He Himself stood by her and said: “O woman! how wrongly hast thou interpreted Me. The first kneeling woman needs all the weight of My tenderness and care to keep her feet in My narrow way. She needs My love, thought, and help every moment of the day. Without it she would fail and fall.

 

“The second has stronger faith and deeper love, and I can trust her to trust Me however things may go and whatever people do.

 

“The third, whom I seemed not to notice, and even to neglect has faith and love of the finest quality, and her I am training by quick and drastic processes for the highest and holiest service.

 

“She knows Me so intimately, and trusts Me so utterly, that she is independent of words or looks or any outward intimation of My approval. She is not dismayed nor discouraged by any circumstances through which I arrange that she shall pass; she trusts Me when sense and reason and every finer instinct of the natural heart would rebel—because she knows that I am working in her for eternity, and that what I do, though she knows not the explanation now, she will understand hereafter.

 

“I am silent in My love because I love beyond the power of words to express, or of human hearts to understand, and also for your sakes that you may learn to love and trust Me in Spirit-taught, spontaneous response to My love, without the spur of anything outward to call it forth.”

 

He “will do marvels” if you will learn the mystery of His silence, and praise Him, for every time He withdraws His gifts that you may better know and love the Giver. SELECTED”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

Thankful Thursday! November 9, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for: 

Lunch with Pres and Tay!

Breakfast with my Pilates ladies

Answered prayers!

Lunch with Whitty, then visiting with Papa & Poppy

My whole family over for Sunday dinner!💜💜💜

Visiting with Karen

 

“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me (Ps. 138:8).

 

There is a divine mystery in suffering, a strange and supernatural power in it, which has never been fathomed by the human reason. There never has been known great saintliness of soul which did not pass through great suffering. When the suffering soul reaches a calm sweet carelessness, when it can inwardly smile at its own suffering, and does not even ask God to deliver it from suffering, then it has wrought its blessed ministry; then patience has its perfect work; then the crucifixion begins to weave itself into a crown.

 

It is in this state of the perfection of suffering that the Holy Spirit works many marvelous things in our souls. In such a condition, our whole being lies perfectly still under the hand of God; every faculty of the mind and will and heart are at last subdued; a quietness of eternity settles down into the whole being; the tongue grows still and has but few words to say; it stops asking God questions; it stops crying, “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

The imagination stops building air castles, or running off on foolish lines; the reason is tame and gentle; the choices are annihilated; it has no choice in anything but the purpose of God. The affections are weaned from all creatures and all things; it is so dead that nothing can hurt it, nothing can offend it, nothing can hinder it, nothing can get in its way; for let the circumstances be what they may, it seeks only for God and His will, and it feels assured that God is making everything in the universe, good or bad, past or present, work together for its good.

 

Oh, the blessedness of being absolutely conquered! of losing our own strength, and wisdom, and plans, and desires, and being where every atom of our nature is like placid Galilee under the omnipotent feet of our Jesus. FROM SOUL FOOD

 

The great thing is to suffer without being discouraged. FENELON

 

The heart that serves, and loves, and clings,

Hears everywhere the rush of angel wings.”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

 

Thankful Thursday! November 2, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for: 

Dear friends!  - seeing Michelle and Dustin again!🤗💜

Watching the World Series with Gil, Pres, Whitt and Tay...and laughing!!

I love it when Tay comes over!

Running into Karen and Byron in San Clemente! So sweet to run into old friends!😜  Truly!

 

 Hi y’all!   Sorry this excerpt is kinda long, but it’s such a great take on suffering!  It’s from one of my new favorite books, “66 Love Letters”    

I hope it encourages you, too! 😘

 

 “I was just watching a television report about a little girl in Jerusalem, maybe six or seven years old, who was severely hurt in a recent bombing. She’s going to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, unable to move anything below her neck and incapable of coherent speech. The family’s enormous medical expenses will be covered for a few months and then, as the announcer said, ‘Who knows what will happen to her after that, God?’  I wanted to scream; I think I wanted to scream at You. If I had the power to fix her life, to see her running around a schoolyard and laughing with her playmates, I’d use it. I’d give her back to her parents as a healthy, happy little girl. You have that power, and You do nothing. Would You really tell her brokenhearted parents to think more about worshiping You in the temple than doing all they can to make life better for their daughter? I know that part of worshiping You is taking the best possible care of family and friends, but why should they love You when You could cure their child but don’t?

“God, are You there?

“God, answer me, please. I know I’m out of line, but I don’t know how else to think.”

“My heart breaks as I watch that little girl. I created her to dance.”

“Then do something about it!”

“I have. I AM. I will.”

“God, I just don’t get it. Explain Yourself ! ”

“I owe you nothing. I give you everything. Your desire to fix things, to relieve suffering, to confront injustice, to heal wounds, to end poverty, and to generate joy is commendable. But your desire is too weak and misguided. If I were to fix all you see that is wrong and painful without first destroying evil, no one would dance at My party. No one would want to. In My plan, I must do whatever is necessary to destroy the evil within your depths, where you desire the good life more than you want Me; and I must replace that idolatrous desire with the holy yearning to know Me at any cost in the midst of your worst pain. Only then will eternal joy be possible for that little girl and for you.

“For reasons you have no capacity to understand, I must allow suffering that serves no visible purpose. What I can tell you is this. Listen well. There is an evil greater than bombs, tsunamis, and cancer. Those are natural evils. But when people live to get their own way, when they determine what is good for them and live to get it, all hell breaks loose within and between them. Greed, loveless sex, frenzied grabs for happiness with no concern for how others are impacted, more interest in making one’s point than listening to another’s, an inability to give or receive love, the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival, ugly parodies of community-like courtesy without connection, laughter without love, weeping without worship—these are moral evils, savage beasts that rise out of the evil sea of willfulness, the demand in everyone’s heart to make their lives work [Galatians 5:19–21 MSG; Daniel 7:3].

“Only when you see the moral evil in the human heart will you surrender to the mystery of My plan. In this world, I am destroying moral evil in My people. In the next, I will eliminate natural evil. You are struggling to reconcile the tragedy in that little girl’s life with My love. You must trust that I permit such terrible things, natural evil that grieves My heart far more than yours, as part of the process of destroying the moral evil that offends My heart. Do not assume I am punishing that child. In ways you cannot understand, I have the power and wisdom needed to move My plan forward through the evil of bombs and the injustice of suffering.”

 

Excerpt From

66 Love Letters

Larry Crabb

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/66-love-letters/id615117281?mt=11

 

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Thankful Thursday! October 26, 2017

 Thank you, Lord, for:

Tay got into nursing school!   So proud of her!!   She’s smart, hardworking and so loving!  

Coffee with Lisa☺️

Hiking with Kerri!

Visiting with my sweet parents!

Walking with Gabe & her happy little Owen in her baby frontpack.  He kicks and smiles every time I look at him!💗

 

“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress (Ps. 4:1).

 

This is one of the grandest testimonies ever given by man to the moral government of God. It is not a man’s thanksgiving that he has been set free from suffering. It is a thanksgiving that he has been set free through suf-fering: “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” He declares the sorrows of life to have been themselves the source of life’s enlargement.

 

And have not you and I a thousand times felt this to be true? It is written of Joseph in the dungeon that “the iron entered into his soul.” We all feel that what Joseph needed for his soul was just the iron. He had seen only the glitter of the gold. He had been rejoicing in youthful dreams; and dreaming hardens the heart. He who sheds tears over a romance will not be most apt to help reality; real sorrow will be too unpoetic for him. We need the iron to enlarge our nature. The gold is but a vision; the iron is an experience. The chain which unites me to humanity must be an iron chain. That touch of nature which makes the world akin is not joy, but sorrow; gold is partial, but iron is universal.

My soul, if thou wouldst be enlarged into human sympathy, thou must be narrowed into limits of human suffering. Joseph’s dungeon is the road to Joseph’s throne. Thou canst not lift the iron load of thy brother if the iron hath not entered into thee. It is thy limit that is thine enlargement. It is the shadows of thy life that are the real fulfillment of thy dreams of glory. Murmur not at the shadows; they are better revelations than thy dreams. Say not that the shades of the prison-house have fettered thee; thy fetters are wings—wings of flight into the bosom of humanity. The door of thy prison-house is a door into the heart of the universe. God has enlarged thee by the binding of sorrow’s chain. GEORGE MATHESON

 

If Joseph had not been Egypt’s prisoner, he never would have been Egypt’s governor. The iron chain about his feet ushered in the golden chain about his neck. SELECTED”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

Thankful Thursday!

 Thank you, Lord, for:

Scholarship offer!🎉

Ren and Lex coming over for dinner

Sitting at the table talking with Parker

My friend, Linda K makes me smile!  I aspire to be a good listener and gentle encourager like her  

Carrot zucchini bread!!

 

“Not much earth”. Matthew 13:5

“Shallow! It would seem from the teaching of this parable that we have something to do with the soil. The fruitful seed fell into “good and honest hearts.” I suppose the shallow people are the soil without much earth—those who have no real purpose, are moved by a tender appeal, a good sermon, a pathetic melody, and at first it looks as if they would amount to something; but not much earth—no depth, no deep, honest purpose, no earnest desire to know duty in order to do it. Let us look after the soil of our hearts.

 

When a Roman soldier was told by his guide that if he insisted on taking a certain journey it would probably be fatal, he answered, “It is necessary for me to go; it is not necessary for me to live.”

 

This was depth. When we are convicted something like that we shall come to something. The shallow nature lives in its impulses, its impressions, its intuitions, its instincts, and very largely its surroundings. The profound character looks beyond all these and moves steadily on, sailing past all storms and clouds into the clear sunshine which is always on the other side, and waiting for the afterwards which always brings the reversion of sorrow, seeming defeat and failure.

 

When God has deepened us, then He can give us His deeper truths, His profoundest secrets, and His mightier trusts. Lord, lead me into the depths of Thy life and save me from a shallow experience!

 

On to broader fields of holy vision;

On to loftier heights of faith and love;

Onward, upward, apprehending wholly,

All for which He calls thee from above.

 

A. B. SIMPSON”

 

Excerpt From

Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert

L. B. E. Cowman

https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=362051033

 

Thankful Thursday! October 12, 2017

 Thank you, Lord, for:

Vacation with girlfriends!

Safe travels and Your protection of my precious family while I’m away (not that it’s any different when I’m close!😜)

Walking and beautiful weather!

Gil picking us up at the airport - he’s so patient!  And he makes me laugh!!!

Lots of laughter!!  Lori and Brenda are so funny!


“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Ps. 46:1).

 

The question often comes, “Why didn’t He help me sooner?” It is not His order. He must first adjust you to the trouble and cause you to learn your lesson from it. His promise is, “I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.” He must be with you in the trouble first all day and all night. Then He will take you out of it. This will not come till you have stopped being restless and fretful about it and become calm and quiet. Then He will say, “It is enough.”

 

God uses trouble to teach His children precious lessons. They are intended to educate us. When their good work is done, a glorious recompense will come to us through them. There is a sweet joy and a real value in them. He does not regard them as difficulties but as opportunities. SELECTED

 

Not always OUT of our troublous times,

And the struggles fierce and grim,

But IN—deeper IN—to our sure rest,

The place of our peace, in Him.

 

ANNIE JOHNSON FLINT

 

We once heard a simple old colored man say something that we have never forgotten: “When God tests you, it is a good time for you to test Him by putting His promises to the proof, and claiming from Him just as much as your trials have rendered necessary.”

 

There are two ways of getting out of a trial. One is to simply try to get rid of the trial, and be thankful when it is over. The other is to recognize the trial as a challenge from God to claim a larger blessing than we have ever had, and to hail it with delight as an opportunity of obtaining a larger measure of divine grace. Thus even the adversary becomes an auxiliary, and the things that seem to be against us turn out to be for the furtherance of our way. Surely, this is to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us. A. B. SIMPSON”

 

Excerpt From: L. B. E. Cowman. “Contemporary Classic/Streams in the Desert.” ZONDERVAN. iBooks.

 

 

 

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Thankful Thursday! October 5, 2017

Thank you, Lord, for: 

They knew how to make shopping with mom fun!😜❤️

Whitty’s last year of high school fall basketball. Two games and lunch at Wahoo’s after!🎉

My sweet son called to share a great sale on pastured eggs and to see how many I wanted him to get me!   So thoughtful!  Warms my heart!💜

Dinner, movie and watching football with my hubby.  I’m so thankful to have him!!

God’s faithful protection and ever watchful eye!

 

 

    There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.

    The Shrouding of His Friendship (see Luke 11:5–8). Jesus gave the illustration here of a man who appears not to care for his friend. He was saying, in effect, that is how the heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think that He is an unkind friend, but remember—He is not. The time will come when everything will be explained. There seems to be a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the blessing of fuller fellowship and oneness. When God appears to be completely shrouded, will you hang on with confidence in Him?

    The Shadow on His Fatherhood (see Luke 11:11–13). Jesus said that there are times when your Father will appear as if He were an unnatural father—as if He were callous and indifferent—but remember, He is not. “Everyone who asks receives . . .” (Luke 11:10). If all you see is a shadow on the face of the Father right now, hang on to the fact that He will ultimately give you clear understanding and will fully justify Himself in everything that He has allowed into your life.

    The Strangeness of His Faithfulness (see Luke 18:1–8). “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Will He find the kind of faith that counts on Him in spite of the confusion? Stand firm in faith, believing that what Jesus said is true, although in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you are asking of Him right now.”

 

Excerpt From

My Utmost for His Highest

Oswald Chambers

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/my-utmost-for-his-highest/id401622889?mt=11