Spirit

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Tether me only to You, Holy Spirit….because in You alone will I fully be alive – only You can bring out Your Triune purpose in me…..and in You alone will I be able to fully allow others that same gracious, fertile ground……AND There, we all *together* (blessed unity!) will have interactions that will be as organic as multiple branches in Your single, Living Vine. 🌿🍇

((Keep me on the other hand, from being dependent on myself or others – detached and in heart, lifeless…..I would rather be free and real and full of Your life.))

Amen.

“Beware of being in bondage to yourself or other people. Oppression and depression never come from the Holy Spirit of God. He never oppresses, He convicts and comforts. The spirit of God is always the Spirit of liberty.” ~ Oswald Chambers

“….the unity in the Spirit in the bond of peace.” ~ Eph. 4:3

May your heart be blessed,

Lori

 

Just Breathe

Breathe in:
Father, you love and accept me,

🍃

Breathe out:
All the time, no matter what.

 

Dear friends, I hope this anchors your souls and lifts your spirits.

~Romans 8~

 

Mind-Numbing Ruminations

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest….”

Several years back, I was standing on the precipice of an immense life change, carrying a weight of confusion and multiple emotions.  Our entire social network was pulled out from under us, and almost everything we believed was henceforth put on the table for questioning.  My thoughts did not know where to stop or start.

During that time we “got away” to a vacation on Banderas Bay, a beautiful alcove surrounded by the Pacific. One morning, I was walking on the beach, picking up rocks, and ruminating on the same heavy thoughts. I was mentally worn.

While in wordless prayer, God brought to my mind this well-known verse and used my surroundings for a perfect word-picture:

“Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you.”

…..So there was little me, at the edge of the big-wide ocean with a rock that I had been looking at intently and carefully massaging in my hand. Casting…….
“What does it mean to cast?,” I thought as I looked at the stone weighing down my hand.
……I wound up a pitch…..Followed through, and released……….

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When I cast it into the ocean, the feel of it leaving my hand
And the sight of it dropping into the vast waters….
The satisfying sound of its fall……
The disappearing……………………
That wonderful disappearing…………
Where I could no longer carry it or feel it anymore….
Where I could no longer SEE its lines and colors…….
helped me then, and in days to come,

to release the actual stones weighing down my mind;

to release them into HIM, where their weight is rightly measured and beautifully hidden;

to release them upon His vast character and consuming love…… for me, for you, and for those we need to forgive.

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May we live the blessing of a life that is light and free.

“….Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Jesus

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Extras:
References: Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG); Psalm 54:22; 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 27:13,14; Philippians 4:6

Definition of “Casting”: from Strong’s 1997 = epiriptĂł:  to throw upon, place upon, to throw away, throw off to cast upon, give up to, God.

 

Fitting quote: “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. Ironically, the church itself [and other relationships] can stroke [the sin nature] by conferring, and withholding honors, offering pride of place based on performance, and creating an illusion of status by rank and pecking order. When belonging to an elite group eclipses the love of God, 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.” – Manning

Relationship Not Rules

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“My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.” 2Cor.12:9 MSG

“Walking with Jesus is not a task to be performed, but a relationship to nurture.” Suzie Eller

Faith uncorks the bottle of your soul and lets God in.

May you filled with all the fullness of God.
Blessings, LÂ đŸ‘„đŸƒ

“Comparison is the Thief of Joy.” T. Roosevelt

This has been my struggle lately.  (Maybe some can relate?) I *too* often compare myself to others and find myself less-than or lacking. I know I shouldn’t do that, but I do. This is what it is like: I picture myself in the large room of His Body where we all occupy, and my head turns from side to side……and then down at me. I am dissappointed. But then  these words fall on my ears:

“Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are.” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:12

After a sigh of “that’s right,” I look up and see His eyes looking INto mine. His look is piercing and yet comforting. He takes my hands, my palms up with His hands under mine and I hear Him say, “I. Know. You. I don’t make mistakes. Don’t look around or down, but turn your eyes upon Me. I always give exactly what is needed.”

I allow His words to seep in and almost literally, feel a weight leave my body.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” ~ Psalm 23:1

Happy Holidays

Sending my love and appreciation to all my friends and wishing you the very Best this Christmas season.

This can be a very difficult time for many – so I send this with thoughts especially toward those empty spaces we all tend to carry inside….with prayers that they would be filled.

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry;

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky. From “The Love of God” by F. Lehman (1868-1953)

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“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Eph 3

Who or What Should I Love?

I am admitting this here because I fail: I want to guard my heart against the mirage of a close relationship with God based on the love of words, the study of ideas, or analysis of doctrine.

“The Holy Spirit is a living Person and should be treated as a person. We must never think of Him as a blind energy nor as an impersonal force. He hears and sees and feels as any person does. He speaks and hears us speak. We can please Him or grieve Him or silence Him as we can any other person. He will respond to our timid effort to know Him and will ever meet us over half the way.” Tozer

Let’s talk with Him as though He is next to us at every moment – loving, guiding, comforting us. Let’s us then hear Him – really listen – so we can share *Him* with others.

When Your Life Has Lost Color

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“Time is the brush of God, as he paints his masterpiece on the heart of humanity.”
~ R. Zacharias

Fall is a beautiful season and {I strongly believe} it should last in full color through November. But it doesn’t. Ever.

Just maybe, however,  it’s quick passage is meant to remind us that we also do “fade as leaf.” That time is very, very precious – and it’s beautiful offerings are to be carefully taken in as though our season is also very short.

How easily I forget this. Yesterday He graciously reminded me to Let. Him. In.
……to let Him into the innermost chamber of His temple and to let Him “search me and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts.” He reminded me to be There, in the Holiest of Holies, *with Him* unafraid, unashamed. 

His call was refreshment. His call brought color to what was beginning to feel –  even without me noticing – a dull black and white, a blur of sorts, instead of a slow thoughtful passage.

Let’s open our doors to Christ – just like we ‘take in” a beautiful scene in nature. Let’s *join Him* in the blessed process of His painting His masterpiece upon our hearts – as we sit at His feet, behold His glory, hear His words, and move at His call.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me.” ~ Rev. 3:20

When You Feel A Bit Shabby

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This morning I was feeling ugly. This is not too uncommon for me because half of my face does not function correctly; I have Bells Palsy.  I have had it for 16 years, but now, well, things are exacerbated with age. So today, when a quote from The Velveteen Rabbit came across my path, I soaked it in like a welcomed beam of light……and immediately felt rooted and grounded.

I hope, friends, it does the same for you:

“‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Let’s remind ourselves today how long, and how far, and how deep the love of Christ comes after us. He is relentless in His care and will never let us go. He will love us, like a favorite, even when worn and falling apart. Now I can find a lot of beauty in that.🍁

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When My Heart Wanders

“If we are children of God, we have a tremendous treasure in Nature. In every wind that blows, in every night and day of the year, in every sign of the sky, in every blossoming and in every withering of the earth, there is a real coming of God to us if we will simply use our starved imagination to realize it.”
~ O. Chambers

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Father, I am sorry I ignore your voice and seek lesser things. Create in me a heart that is always reaching for you.

“Awake, O sleeper, arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:14