Sunday, December 30, 2012

A New Year, A New Season

Another year comes to an end. Already.


I think this past year has been a year of waiting; sometimes not even knowing what I was waiting for. Sometimes waiting for a break from caring for my father-in-law, some of the time waiting for new grandbabies to be born and yes, another is due in a couple of weeks!


But here lately I’ve been feeling more thankful to God than ever, for all the wonderful blessings in my life.


On a good hair day, when you’re on time for your appointments and the perfect parking space opens up everywhere you go and people actually smile at you – it’s so easy to be thankful for your life.


But on those days when you have to hide your hair under a hat, do your best to cover a gigantic pimple, sit carefully all day because your jeans are too tight and you’ve got a case of the clumsies and everything you touch falls apart – it’s too easy to forget about all we have to be grateful for.


Why is that?


My friend Stacy Voss has the perfect reminder for me – the beautiful coffee mug (pictured above) that bears the tag line, Seize the Gratimoment! (Contact her here to get your own.)


Sometimes we need to purposefully look for gratitude in the moment. We need to focus on what we do have; we need to take our focus off the things that are bringing us down or “ruining our day” – and seize the opportunity to turn things around with our attitude by finding something to be grateful for.


This year, I promise myself to be more thankful and to discover what it means to “live in the moment”!


See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19 NIV

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Some of us love the feel of moist, rich soil crumbling in our hands, pulling at it with our fingers, knowing what can grow there. Even the smell of it tickles our senses.
While praying this morning for someone I love dearly, I began to pull away at the roots of bitterness and anger. I’ve had issues with anger myself, so I began praying for myself, as well. In my mind, I could see the roots being lifted out of the dark, rich soil. The fact that the soil was so fertile blessed me, knowing good things can grow and are growing here, too! Like when I was a child, weeding the garden back home on the farm, I shook off the dirt from the large and tiny roots, alike. But instead of tossing the weed into a weed pile, I threw it over a cliff, into a fiery abyss was completely destroyed, never to grow here again.
My fingers dug deep into the ground, breaking up the soil as I prayed over it and asked God to bless it and fertilize it and plant His seeds there, the seeds of the fruit of the spirit, seeds of love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance… (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV). Then I realized that these seeds have already been planted here and I excitedly began to look around for the fruit of those seeds.
All of us who love plants, love watching them grow and produce. Scientists love to watch their projects progress, artists love to see their masterpieces morph all the way to their unveiling. So, too with God, as He watches us learn to love Him and trust Him with everything He’s given us. He’s watching us grow up to conform to His image, the image in which He created us in the first place.
God has given us the authority to pull up the snares (Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like… Galatians 5:19-21 KJV), to make room for the fruit of His Spirit to grow abundantly in our lives.
Time to do some gardening?


Thursday, December 6, 2012


God is holy. Be ye holy as He is holy.
Last night in church the question came to mind, Can one be very holy? Or super holy? Or exceptionally holy? Or just a little bit holy?
Then the response, No, you’re either holy or you’re not.
It’s like salvation. Either you’re saved by grace, or you’re not. You can’t be a little bit saved; born-again. You can’t be 99% saved. You’re either saved or you’re lost, no gray area. If you believe you’ve given 99% of your heart to God, in reality, you’re clinging to 100% of your heart, trying desperately to figure out what to do with it.
There’s only one safe place for your heart and that’s in Christ. There’s only One Who can fill the voids in your heart, that’s Jesus Christ. To continue to refuse Him entrance there commands that you continue to live life without meaning and purpose; searching. And it’s great that we search, but too often we run around the world looking for the treasure that’s found in our own backyard.
At we find one definition of holy that reads:  specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated.
When we give our whole heart to Jesus, we become holy. Not just a little bit holy, simply holy. Consecrated (set apart)  for Christ, by Christ. We are recognized as holy by God’s authority; not because we live good lives or say good things, but because God Himself declares us to be holy, because He declares us to be His.
When I go out and purchase something for myself, it becomes mine. When Jesus suffered and died on the cross, He paid the price for our sin, He bought us with His love and with His blood. We belong to Him. But He doesn’t lay claim to our love until we give it to Him. He gives us the right to withhold that love from Him, to try to fend for ourselves in a life He created to be lived in His power. Without Him, we are lost; we are unholy.
What holds you captive? What holds you back from giving your heart to the One Who created you and loves you and provides all the power you need to live abundantly?
Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. (KJV)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Focus and Magnify

Magnification becomes more important to me the older I get. I need to magnify the words I read through the glasses on my face, now more than ever. Without the help of these magnificent image enhancers, I’d miss out on so much, especially words. The lenses clear up my misconceptions about what I see without them.


Magnification doesn’t actually make anything bigger, accept the appearance of what we’re looking at. Through a microscope, we can more clearly see microbes found in a drop of water, they appear larger so they’re more easily focused on, and seen as they truly are.


So make sense with me, of the cry of the psalmist, “O magnify the Lord with me, let’s exalt His Name together.” (Psalm 34:3)


My experience and ponderings lead me to believe that the more I focus on God, thus magnifying Him, the more clearly I see Him and what He’s doing in my life. The more I focus on my problems, the more magnified they become. So I can either play up my problems to the point where I can’t see anything else, or I can praise God, lifting up His Name in my home and in the marketplace and see Him move on my behalf.


When I magnify the Lord, as the psalmist invites, His presence appears larger to me, His image enhanced and His blessings more recognized; my purpose becomes more focused and aggravations that assail me fall to the blurrier parts of the picture, often falling off into oblivion.


Since I began wearing glasses some years ago, I notice more and more when driving down the street, how little I actually look at along the way. My car can take my mindless self to where I intended to go, occasionally, I admit, with some minor backtracking, almost as if I engage some sort of autopilot feature. What else do I miss out on when I’m not looking at it, or for it?


Come focus on the Lord with me, let’s lift up His Name everywhere!