Facelift

For me, the best sunrise and the best facelift =

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Cor 4:6

God lifts our weary faces in His hands and gives us more than we could ask or think! He does not give us a superficial knowledge, but one that is deep and penetrating and glorious.

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(emphasis mine)

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Quotes ~ W. Nee

I read this this morning and thought it to be so good and so needed. Maybe, we can all pray this with the heart of His Spirit today. Fervent prayer accomplishes much:

Hands put over another, palms down.

Hands put over another, palms down. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Christian continually ought to ask God to purify his mental life and keep it fresh. He should request God to root out every evil thought towards Him and all excessive notions as well so that what he believes is completely of God. Pray that you may not only think of Him but in addition think rightly. Pray that no thought will issue forth from your evil nature, but that if it does it will be exposed and disposed of by God’s light immediately. Ask God to keep you away from your old pattern of thinking in order that the church of God may not be divided by special doctrines. Ask Him too to check you from accepting any special teaching with your mind which would separate you from His other children. Entreat Him to make you of one mind with the others; and if in any matter this one mind is lacking, then wait earnestly and patiently for it. Beseech Him not to permit you to hold any erroneous idea or teaching in your new life. Implore Him to render you dead not only to this evil nature of yours but also to your evil mentality. Plead with Him that your thought may not in any way be the cause of division in the body of Christ. Beg Him not to allow you to be deceived again. Supplicate on behalf of other children of God that they too may live by Him, no further provoking and no further scattering each other, that all may truly enjoy one life and one mind.” (Emphasis mine)
Amen…..a thousand times!

Rain and Pain

The other morning my brain defaulted. It was the 7th day of rain, gray skies, and wet ground; and as I looked outside the weather seemed like it was IN my brain and body.

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I shuffled to the kitchen to get breakfast going for my kids and some familiar thunder in my brain wakes up my senses. “At least I CAN make breakfast for my kids this morning.” I recall that some are not so fortunate in Oklahoma. Some mothers may be wondering if their precious child is laying somewhere under mounds of school rubble, surrounded by concrete, still alive and waiting for mom to come rescue them.

Mine are still tucked safely in bed under their soft covers.
I give thanks and my heart goes out to those who are instead grieving and worried. I pray. I imagine, as best I can, what they must be feeling. I remember the pain my own mother felt when she lost her own son when he was 33.
I have watched what she has gone through……

Some scriptures come to mind:

“Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears”

“Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed.”

It is hard make sense of things sometimes. It really is. I know that the heart of God understands our questions and this knowledge releases inner fears that keep us from accepting Him INTO our pain.
He knows our weakness, and has provided so much strength.
The heart of Jesus is always wide open to our grief, to any of our pains, for His love is weighted with compassion – like a heavy cloud ready to burst down our needed moisture.
He feels. He knows.
One scripture that has been very important to me is John 11. I love that He knows what pain feels like on the inside before the tears even fall, just as He did with Mary and the Jews when her brother and their dear friend died:

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping,

he groaned in spirit and was troubled……”

That is where the pain really sits and hurts – IN our spirits. I know what that feels like, so likely do you, and so does He. He also knows that after that groaning…….when our inner organs cannot hold it in any longer……often comes the weeping.
And He also wept with those who wept.

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His compassions never fail though all else around seems like it has. I know that is a huge part of rainy days.
It is a time to draw in, draw close, and soak in His heart which He is wanting to show us. It is a time to draw in His life and allow our roots to sink in – to soak in all that He is to us.

Pain makes me/us thirsty, and He is the water of life.
So when there is much rain, the clouds are thick, and we cannot see, may we drink fully and freely of Him.
May we know deeply of His great love.
And then, as we have gathered from Him, may we overflow His comforts.
May we “weep with those who weep.”

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
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(Jeremiah 9:1; Lamentations 3:48; John 11:33,35; Romans 12:15; Ephesians 3:16-20 )

More Than Jars of Clay

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. ~ 2 Cor. 4:6,7

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Finding Green

When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.
~ Ps 104:28

It is a misty spring morning, and I am enjoying watching the fog move through the trees like an airy, swaying scarf. The buds on the branches stand out against the grays and their bright greens are pushing forth the life that forces them outward. Birds, some skinny and some plump with the weight of their babies, flit back and forth to our feeder for nourishment. I have prepared some nourishment for my own young, pancakes on the griddle and strawberries in the pot.

I give thanks for all these small things that enrich my day, things that I often do not take the time to notice in the fog of life.

God always puts things around for me to notice.
He wants me to listen to all He gives,
for what He gives expresses His love.
What He gives expresses His faithfulness.

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I am thankful to be able to sit by a warm fire, with a warm cup of tea, with His warm words to read. My daughter plops down in the seat next to me and sings and sings in between the telling of her plans. This is an exercise of my patience – to not fight what is around me, what “disturbs” my peace. Instead, I am learning to throw my head back, close my eyes and appreciate.
Appreciate now…..
for one day, before I know it, it will be still like winter on that chair next to me and I will recall the life that sat there on this spring day pushing out her bright-green-inner life.

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I am also thankful to not force my son, my sleepy teen, out of bed to “do” church. I am thankful that we will be it when he is more awake. I am thankful to be learning to move with our Father’s rhythms and with the rhythms of our home. To not force life, but to let it come as I notice what He gives in season and in moments.

There is promise in all  – if we look in His open hand, we will not miss.
We will not miss life.
We will not miss His full joy.

“I have come that you might have life, and that more abundantly.” ~ John 10:10

Through Another’s Lens ~ T.A. Sparks

“….The Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.” ~ Colossians 2:19

ImageWhat is the believer? In God’s sight the believer is one in whom Christ is implanted, and God never looks at Christ in a limited way. He always looks at Him in an absolute way, and when Christ is implanted at the beginning of our life it is not as though God implanted Him in a fragmentary way. God’s thought was that the end should be bound up with the beginning, and that Christ should be All and in all. That is why conversion is never an end in itself. It is only the first step toward the full end of God. It defines the nature of the believer in God’s sight, that it is of Christ. You cannot make that. No decision cards can accomplish that. You can never make men and women Christians by inviting them to make certain decisions, to assent mentally to certain propositions of Christian doctrine, though perfectly true as to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus. There has to be something which constitutes in that individual, right at the very center of the being, a living union with Christ, and a deposit of Christ. Anything other than that is a false conversion. It is the depositing of Christ at the very center of the being, with a view to His spreading to the very circumference, that is the nature of a believer….

You see the pathetic hopelessness of trying to propagate anything by organized means and methods which really is all of God. It simply has to grow, it simply has to be. Ah, but when it is so it is mighty, it is indestructible, it is incorruptible. Nothing can stand in the way of Christ. It is that which rouses hell and the energies of the Devil. He does not mind all the other: doctrine, work, profession. That may often serve his ends as a great deception and misrepresentation; but bring Christ in, bring Christ through, realize Christ, and then you meet every force in this universe which is antagonistic to Christ.



A Mother’s Day Prayer

Today I am feeling a little empty. As I try to understand why, I am wondering: Is it because Mother’s Day just passed and I feel like I do not do everything I should with my children? Is it because I was hoping for some extra love shown to me by someone special in my life – but they were too distracted?
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My life seems to be lacking something….so I pray:

Father, Abba, cause me to not look to others for the love I need. Help me to see what they do give and love them just as You do.
Over take my parenting, so that all my shortcomings can be filled with Your plan for my children’s lives. Make up for all my blindness – and cause me to see how full my life is because You are in *ALL* things and You will give wisdom in all things.
Thank You that you are IN my children’s lives no matter what. You are making what is empty on my part into something full.
Thank you for loving me, even now when I lack faith. Thank you for seeing my heart as beautiful – even though it is messy. Thank you there is nothing I can do or not do to escape your presence and love. Thank you that we can work through messes together.
Today, may I – may we all – see You shine through, and past, and over everything that happens. For this is a day that You have made; and we can (blessed privilege!) walk close beside You in it. Thank You for all that You are. Thank you for making us feel full – I know we lack nothing. May you forever increase…Amen.