Monday, March 31, 2008

Carrying a Heavy Load?

Cares of Life Weighting You Down?

Why Not Place All Your Cares on Him
for He Cares for You.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Who Am I?

While listening to my music today, I kept playing this song over and over - its words are so touching. Truly, Who Am I?, that the God of Glory would love someone like me? I'd like to share this beautiful Sign rendition that my daughter Kellee emailed me a few months ago.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Living in the Stone(ng) Age?

While blog reading today, I visited two sites that really touched me. Both acted as cautions as to the use of words - our words! Visit their sites firsthand, Jana and Carissa. Thanks to both of you for your honest, thought-provoking writings.

Unfortunately, there's way too much ugliness in our world - way too much - and we, as God's people, must be careful not to add to it. We need to guard our lips from bringing forth hurtful, hateful words. Remember our words set the climate for our self-worth - and we are not worth much if we let our lips speak unkindnesses and falsehoods (i.e., the nice word for lies). My poem sums up my feelings today, although I wrote it years ago (in 1993) when my family was the target of a verbal attack after our oldest son died. To tell you the truth, the persons might as well lined us up and stoned us to death because the untruths in their words brought great hurt and pain.

Gather not stones
For stones of hate cannot love

Defeat cannot savor victory
Despair cannot possess joy
Disobedience cannot breed respect
Evil cannot comprehend virtue.

Gather not stones
For your compassion will conquer all

Your accomplishments will reverse failure
Your happiness will heal pain
Your wisdom will subdue folly
Your goodness will merit excellence.

PS: Please forgive me if you find my words offensive. That wasn't intended. It is just so important that we are careful, too many have been wounded (some fatally) by an unbridled tongue. My prayer is: Dear Lord, thank you for awakening in me the desire to let my words speak of You and your holiness - and reminding me to speak only goodness regarding your people.

Keep Building

In War
...or Peace
the Wrens
build their nests

Crocus in the Snow Book of Poems
Joan Walsh Anglund

Monday, March 24, 2008

Little is Much


Be Assured
Little is MUCH, IF GOD is in it.

"O love the Lord, all ye His saints:
for the Lord preserveth the faithful..." Psa 31:23

PS: He knows better what we need than we ourselves.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Because He Lives

Today, we Celebrate Jesus because of His Resurrection. I love the words found in the song, Because He Lives. It is what Easter is all about.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.

Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living, just because He lives.

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Easter filled with an abundance of goodness, mercy and grace.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Calvary's Message

Calvary’s Message
by K.J. Hopper

Not a simple cross, nor an ordinary man,
Calvary was more than we'll ever understand.

Not a crime committed, nor a common thief,
Calvary was submitting grounds for our belief.

Not a site of beauty, nor He dressed in finest clothes,
Calvary was an act of love that continually flows.

Not happening by chance, nor set as a ploy,
Calvary was desiring majesty and honor to employ.

Not the nails, nor the shedding of His blood,
Calvary was the making for Salvation’s gates to flood.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Remove Not

What a wonderful youth conference we were able to attend for a few days (hubby had doctor appointment this morning so had to return home early).

It was wonderful to hear the preaching, be a part of the worship, and visit with those we love and have held so dear through the years. It was also a time of restirring my responsibility to protect the landmarks that the Lord has set before me, and hold fast to that which is true and that which is pure.

My heart's cry is, Lord, Remove Not (the ancient landmarks).

Remove not the ancient landmarks,
for the roads need no resurfacing,
and the trails, no removing of debris.

Keep in place the nest of the songbird,
permit the ant hill to remain boldly aloft,
and let each burrow retain its challenge.

May the hare dwell in its resting place,
the cliff remain a shelter for the eagle’s nest,
and the sea urchin unharmed in tide pools.

Remove not the chronicles of truth,
continue to cultivate the land’s integrity,
nurturing it with water from rain’s tears.

Let all inborn comeliness be preserved,
the earth unwrapped by a small voice,
Remove not the ancient landmarks.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

On the Road

Me and hubby are on the road, headed for District Youth Conference. Since my new laptop didn't get here in time to take with me, I will be Internet Poor for the next few days. Well, that is, unless I find the time to hit the hotel's lobby for some valued time with my blogging friends. If it is impossible to do so, I'll catch up with you all upon my return home. Love, and keep on penning.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Arrived? Not Yet!

Life is so unpredictable. Just about the time we think we have most of the answers, a situation comes to say, "You've not yet arrived." The trick to understanding what is happening to us is in observing the absolutes of nature. God, in His plan, created many variations for us to observe and learn from - lowly valleys, towering mountains, powerful rivers, and meager streams. Each is set as an example. I enjoy observing nature and its creations and try to tie it to my life. The Lord truly made no mistakes in His creation. Often our days start in solitude and peace high on the mountain top, only to end in sorrow and pain deep within the valley.

Unfortunately, opposing experiences are not necessarily ones we go through once to never appear again. Sometimes, a lowly valley makes its way into our hearts a dozen times or more. You…me…have no guarantee of what will happen, when it will happen, and how many times. We are nothing more than a lesson of life.

Take the mountains with peaks rising endlessly into the heavens. A wonderful place, the mountain top - high above every care; but we can't stay there, for excessive days on the mountain top cause us to take our eyes off what's truly above and we start looking downward toward the valley. Ah, those valley experiences. Not an enjoyable place; but at our low points scouring the valley floor, we note every tiny bit of greenery, the small delicate flowers hidden behind the towering plants and bushes, and we delight in the chatty little brooks listening to their every chirp. Sometimes the valley floor is covered in fog and so damp and cold that we are numb; however, just about the time we think we'll perish, the sun peeks through, just enough to give us warmth to keep going. The valley is where our eyes behold hidden beauty, and our ears listen to every sound. Here, we create a friendship that will move our mountains and soothe our broken hearts. The valley rescues our souls from unknown harm - and unknown shame.

Believe it or not, the valley makes us better people. Strangely, at the end of our valley experience, a peace is often found - a peace not known to all, but gifted by an understanding God. It is here that we never walk alone for the God of Heaven walks beside us; and sometimes when the devastation settles, He is the only one there. Right? I am today what I am because of my valley walks. No, I don’t mean I am anything special, for I am not. However, because of the valley I know His voice and have a personal relationship with Him.

Have I arrived? No, Not Yet! - but I have a pretty good feel for the territory.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What's In A Book?

If we are always looking in the back of the Book,
we will never know what happened to get us there.

Book of Books
Inspired of God
Beautiful in Expression
Light of Life
Enduring Eternally

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Is My "House" Built to Code?

"For every house is built by some man;

but He that built all things is God." Hebrews 3:4

A friend sent me this picture via email. Crazy as it seems, it immediately reminded me of how easy it would be to let my spiritual house get out of control by not following the building codes found in the Creator's Book. Think I'll take another look at my "house" to make sure it is securely built to code. Don't want to be found in violation of the Lord's Master Plan for my life.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hidden Treasures

Hidden Treasures
by K.J. Hopper

An old, battered chest lies undisturbed among life's discards.
From the natural eye, it seems to have lost all significant worth.
The tides of weather have all but destroyed its outer beauty,
while inside trinkets gathered long ago, await their destiny.
Could this be their final resting place?

I muse that the contents do not compare to today's opulent riches,
however, curiosity draws me closer and closer to the chest.
It is then that an inner voice speaks, "Open up your heart, my child,
for inside the tattered chest you will find riches beyond measure.
Its array, one of priceless gems whose eternal value is irreplaceable.

I thought, could this old chest possibly hold precious resources?
Slowly, I lift the lid, encrusted with pain and sorrow.
The cares of life having corroded its protective hinges,
while etchings of disgrace and sin marred its appearance.
Amazingly, once inside, its contents sparkle majestically.

Lying on top are the most cherished of jewels, Rubies
Beauties which speak of Love and devotion beyond self.
Their red tones vividly portraying the crimson blood of Calvary,
making announcement to the world that through their beauty
Redemption's price was paid - you can be set free.

A string of pearls graciously tarries in a small velvet case.
What a wonderful reward for those diligently searching.
Pearls corded with praise and clasped firmly by Truth,
giving way to a refreshing design of Hope.
How could one overlook such a pearl of great price?

Emeralds peek out and twinkle from among other glimmering gems.
Each greeting the weary, proclaiming Peace and contentment.
These flawless jewels soothe the hollow regions deep within the soul.
Inner turbulence is calmed by their unblemished shades of green,
Their message? Smiles can glisten in the midnight hour.

Tiny jewels called Faith are scattered in undefined formations.
In holding but one of these small beauties, Strength appears.
Faith’s radiance touching doubt's dark borders, bringing Courage.
Whatever these wonders lack in size, they contain in substance,
confirming man's worth is not in abundance but in character.

An intertwining of silver and gold reveals Trust and Honesty.
These superior alloys surviving the extreme severity of time,
thus exemplifying the importance of unfailing loyalty to a cause.
No, not caught in the present, nor neglecting the truths of the past,
but allowing the mouth to speak the refined purity of the heart.

Diamonds blaze brightly near the bottom of this magnificent treasury,
holding court with Bravery, thereby coming forth the victor.
Fine gems conquering the counterfeit facades of useless glitter,
creating a magnificent crown embellished in elegant grandeur.
Ah, these jewels acting as a beacon genuinely beckoning the weary.

Yes, opening the heart will unlock many Hidden Treasures.
Treasures not part of the accomplishments applauded by men,
but eternal riches once buried in mire and wrapped about the flesh.
Do I dare explore the many wonders within the cavity of my soul?
Oh yes, I must - for in seeking I will find jewels of everlasting value.

We are a privileged people to have access to the beauty that lies within the pages of His Word. May we humbly search for His Hidden Treasures.

Friendships that Last

Genuine Friendships are
those where you don't tell your friends their faults,
and they don't remind you of yours.

PLEASE NOTE: I am not referring to my friends as being pigs - I just loved the picture.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Which Mark Punctuates Your Life?

Never Put a Question Mark,
Where God Puts a Period

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Kindle Not Strife

An event happening in the last few days reminded me of one of my old poems. It is a reminder of how careful we must be, particularly if we profess to be one of His. It's called, Kindle Not Strife.

Friend, I beg you to kindle not strife,
setting ablaze the core of malice.
For the sin of animosity cannot burn
unless fueled by a wagging tongue.

Therefore, speak no wrong of any man
for by careless words, evil is ignited.
Raging at the character of humanity,
scorching the soul, causing great pain.

Allow no settling of contentious wood,
which may release a fire to consume the flesh.
For in keeping the flames of agony intact,
no one is destroyed by the crime of arson.

Friend, kindle not strife through your words,
give honor and dignity to all creation.
Subjecting yourself to a governed tongue,
reserving your judgment for another day.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Not "I" But "He"

The last little while my soul has been restless, and today I would like to release my thoughts in my little territory of blogging. Our world is reeling, and the events that surround us are troublesome. The scripture speaks of when He returns, "will there be faith?" Those words echo in my mind night and day. Faith! Good old-fashioned believing. No, that could never happen. Why, Faith has been and always will be with us. Right?

Just take a look at our society - most are putting their desires first. It is a place of where humans are becoming special gods within themselves. It is the "I" generation, where being number one is more important than following God's leading. Many want to be the leader, the "star" - oblivious to the sights and sounds that surround them. All desire, hope, and aspiration is in one's self. Take count of those you personally know who have turned away unto themselves, feeling no need of accountable to anyone but self. Their prayers tell God what they plan to do, never asking God what He wants done. Thereby, losing the Faith, because to them, they have the ability to care for their circumstances.

This concerns me; for it is so easy to say with my mouth that I love Him, but those are just words. What about my heart condition? Is my heart saying that I love Him? Oh, may I not be consumed with my own agenda that I lose sight of what the Lord desires. Bible scripture calls those who desire their own ways, "wandering stars" destined for "outer darkness". I must be careful not to elevate myself to shine in this life; for if I do, I could become a "star" wandering in this life but in eternity being placed in outermost obscurity.

My prayer today, and every day, must be that the "I" has no control over me but that "He" is my "I am."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Follow the Leader

Love Will Lead Us

We need not fear. For there is One who will watch over, protect and care for us; that is, if we will but hold onto Him. In His leading, He will take us where we need to go, although it may not necessarily be the path we had chosen for ourselves. But rest assured, His path is the one that will lead us home (someday).