Monday, December 31, 2012

Thoughts on Snootiness and Snippiness

Something has been bothering me
as I read around blogland...

It's the snootiness and snippiness of some people;
often people with a large audience~
snipping at,
 or about 
other people. 

I pray it stops.

I pray they will read some of Jesus' most profound words in
John 17:20-22

and get a fresh understanding of this:

John 13:35 says, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 

and Galatians 6:10 says, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." {ESPECIALLY}

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Au revoir 2012

For the past three days I've been reviewing 2012 via my three journals. It really takes my breath away!

I would never have imagined in a million years that because of my husband's job taking him to Florida for five months and then Montana for three, I would have six round trip flights. All but one were ten-day trips. And then two one-way flights so I could drive home with him to Wisconsin. All within nine months of 2012. Would you believe that I had my very first ever flight in 2003! {I am perhaps making up for lost time?}

We visited relatives in Kentucky, we met new friends from Missouri, saw old Presidents in South Dakota...and survived a tire blow-out on our car-hauler the busy interstate. My cousin drove us up Bear Tooth Pass from Red Lodge, MT  {I was forced to face down my fear of rolling off the edge of a mountain on the switchbacks!} And... I'm quite sure we experienced angels pushing us up the mountains when our truck was over-heating in North Carolina!

I also never imagined riding my bike on ocean beaches in the winter or in the Montana mountains in the summer. And today as I have been back to life-as-usual (mostly) since the end of August, it is hard to comprehend that it all really happened...

I never imagined either, that I would find myself on live radio sitting next to one of my favorite people, Susie Larson talking about being a recovering Pharisee. (with my friends Tami, Lauren and Bridgett)

Or on Live radio a second time praying with my friend Tami on Praise FM on the National Day of Prayer.

Then there is the wild and crazy story of selling our farm and dealing with the let-down of our buyers backing out five months later. And that right after announcing the closing of my little gift shop.

{Now. Who am I and what am I doing??? Though I know that I am not what I do...I still found my identity had wrapped itself up in my career as a gift-shop owner.} I am still working on closing my shop... and finding contentment in waiting on God to direct my steps.

After three years of my husband living away from home for work, he's been back at home since mid-August. That has been an adjustment!!!...him calling me at 4:30 asking me where I was and I was out 'doing my thing' as I had been free to do for those three years...and making meals? Oh that's right! We had to re-merge our lives.

 Who would have known that by years end we would be blessed with another grandson!?!
And a future daughter-in-love with an end-of-year engagement?
Today I was reading a blog about having a five-year-plan. I laughed a little thinking of how I could never have planned our 2012. Not in a million years. I do like the idea of a five year plan. I sent the link to hubby. I said, "We should do this separate and then come together and see how we converge." It will be fun to dream about what God might be up to in our lives in 2013 and beyond. {And our farm is still for sale...}

These are just highlights. There were also many challenges woven through our 2012 story. Challenges that had me reeling...
Our son and his girl were involved in a high-speed chase by drug dealers who believed he was someone else with the same car who owed money for drugs. The car was stolen from the driveway when they finally landed and jumped out. I got a call after the event while they were still waiting for the police...I waited at home alone. Wondering. Praying. The story was a nightmare. I prayed A LOT. The car was recovered two days later. Two of the three criminals were apprehended. Our families....and my heart is intact. Praise God!

There have been financial challenges, relational challenges and health challenges in the lives of my closest friends and relatives. And God has been faithful to answer my prayers, though I still wait on Him for some of the answers, I am confident that I will see His hand and beauty in every story. He is so very good!

It's true, it is true: God has a wild imagination. What a journey its been to walk with Him in 2012!!!

Are you recapping your year? Please leave a link so I can hear what God has been up to in your life!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Life is a Battle, Be Offensive.

Life is a battle. And if we lay down our swords and just play...we lose. We lose ground and allow the enemy to take ground.

The good news is that wherever we find ourselves...the MINUTE we turn to God we start winning again!

Put on your armor {Ephesians 6:10-20}, pick up your sword (God's Word) and shield (faith) and press on Mighty Warrior! In Jesus' Name!

Hover over these:

Hebrews 12:1

1 Timothy 1:18

2 Corinthians 10:4

1 Timothy 6:12

James 4:7

1 Peter 5:9

Then check out this old song:


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

O How I Love My King!

He stoops down to lift us up. 
How can I not love such a wondrous King?
Oh make Him yours if you haven't already!!!
He is the Gift of CHRISTmas! 
...and when you kissed the face of Jesus, 
you kissed the face of God...
Mary, did you know?

Snow Covering the Lifeless Grey and Beauty After the Fall

There is a certain quietness about a snowfall. A call to slow down. 

As I drove into town today to get some blue painter's tape for my girlfriend who
is teaching worship dance classes in our church, (while she awaits her facility)
I heard a song.
The song said Jesus washes our sins white as snow.
As I pass by rows of white, snow-covered pines, and brown branches 
heavy with their new shimmery-white accumulation,
the lyrics are like sunbeams, and my soul understands. 
The covering of the radiant snow on the bleak grey and brown left after the fall.
 fresh white life after barren death
...after the fall...
grey and brown and lifeless limbs
 and then new life!!!
...then resurrection-delight from this glorious glittery fresh showfall...
he washes me white as snow
He resurrects my heart after the fall.

Since dancing on carpet is a bit problematic, my friend purchased
4x8 sheets of thin hardboard and lays them on the carpet using blue painter's tape to
secure the edges. Every week she does this on Tuesdays so her students have a
 smooth surface to practice on.
It is a beautiful expression of her love for Jesus, 
her willingness to move forward in faith in her dream to 
magnify God with her art. 
Even though conditions are not ideal.
Whatever it takes, whatever God opens for her, she walks through and offers herself. 
She does the work with joy, and blesses the socks right off of those little girls.
And right  into ballet slippers every Tuesday afternoon. 
And instructs them that their bodies are gifts from God to be given back to Him.
For He has given this gift of new life after the fall.

The gift of Christmas is 
the freedom to cease from our striving
and allow the Prince of Peace to rule in our hearts.
He washes us white as snow.
And then we shine! 
Let every heart prepare Him room.
Let every sin be covered by His blood, that we become white as snow...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Know Peace

The angel announced to the shepherds,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
  and on earth peace to those 
on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:14

The strife of life is healed when we accept
the gift of Christmas
Who brings into our hearts the truth that
sets us free.
He establishes the peace we long for...
When He enables us to

~love our enemies~
~humble ourselves~
~serve when we are busy~
~rejoice in His love and promises in hard times~
~face down our fears with courage~
~make decisions based on truth and not people's expectations~
~cease striving...and know that He is God~

Isaiah 9:6-7

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,

    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.