Monday, October 27, 2008

"Moving On"

Philippians 3:7-14
But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ's sake. Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One), and that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law's demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith. [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] that if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

I dreamed I was walking down a hallway
seeing the present and past
Familiar and unfamiliar faces
and those that have now gone to black.
A religious man talked to the dying
empty words he spoke
Oh, how it grieved my spirit
for it seemed that he offered no hope.
I continued walking forward
looking for one I once knew
But she occupied no seat in this gallery
then I came to a door that was new.
I awoke and I saw the sun shining
I arose and I stood to my feet
Words of life were spoken
words of Christ went deep.
Not the same old empty tradition
but where true love is expressed
When the hand of God breaks through to earth
and gives you life for death.
I pray that I may know Him
the depths of Him to grasp
Continually pressing onward
forgetting what has passed.
For those things that once seemed so important
quickly fade away
In the face of God Almighty
in the brightness of the light of the Day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Fearfully & Wonderfully Made"

Psalm 139:13-14 For You formed my inward parts;You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.
Psalm 139:17-18 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.

What a wonderful thought - God thinks you're absolutely terrific and can't get you off of His mind. He's thinking so many precious and wonderful thoughts of you all the time that they couldn't even be numbered if you tried. He has created a masterpiece in you. You are a classic; you are His jewel. You are unique, amazing, astonishing, incredible, worthy of admiration, fine, enjoyable, excellent, pleasant, awesome, beautiful, fabulous, fantastic and very good. That's the definition of the word wonderful and God has said it, so it is true.

And not only that, He says you're fearfully and wonderfully made. Fearful here means "very", and that means in the fullest sense, wonderful. It also speaks of being complete, complete in Him. You are indispensable and certainly, positively, truly, exceptionally, exceedingly, extraordinarily and decidedly wonderful to Him. And that's not it! He also says you are greatly valued, greatly desired and one He holds in great esteem. You are beloved and dear to Him, over-refined, cherished, unable to calculate in worth, prized and rare. This is the definition of the word precious.

You are beyond compare in the eyes of God. He sees you as no other but made you for Himself. You are the only one like you; you're in a class by yourself. No one can replace you and only you can accomplish what God has predestined for your life. For you see, He has fully equipped you and made you who you are to accomplish His purpose as you walk with Him.

In Christ Jesus you are of a royal lineage for you are His descendent, birthed into His family by the blood of Jesus where you are seated in heavenly places in Him. There is no higher rank. You have been inducted into the Lion of the tribe of Judah, made a king and a priest where His estate is yours and all pertaining to life and godliness; He paid the price. What was once owned by satan through sin has been bought back; you have been redeemed. Your position is secure because it is in Him you are found when Christ Jesus you have made your own. You need not question your standing, status, position or place for you are His sons and daughters, perfect in Him and lacking no good thing.

I think you're pretty special too and I pray you are blessed today and see yourself as the Father sees you through the Lord, Jesus Christ, PERFECT!

I will praise You
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made
Through Your Son, Jesus Christ
and the life that He gave
And for the grace You have given
that You see me the same
As Him who now fills me
I am seen without blame.
For I am forgiven
because He paid the price
Shedding His own blood
that I might have life.
Life that's eternal
never to end
An eternity given
that I might apprehend
Your thoughts toward me, Father
and to give You my praise
For You who have made me
and for the life that You saved.
Thanking You for the Perfect One
dwelling inside
Ever reaching forward
toward the goal for the prize
Of the call in Christ Jesus
all else left behind
Until perfection in Him
at last I would find.
I feel Your delight, Lord
just as I am
Hearing the beat
of Your heart that You send.
Marvelous are Your works, Lord
I know in my soul
That precious You find me
but it is hard to take hold.
For Your thoughts are without number
more than the sand
Your love is so great
complete and so grand.
To know without ceasing
You're thinking of me
Lord, in my mind
I cannot conceive.
But Your Word You have spoken
unto me You impart
You take hold and ravish
captivating my heart.
Such love I've not known
such joy and delight
Carried away
and seized by the Light
That opens my eyes
and makes me to see
Touching and changing
and setting me free.
Free, Lord, to love You
because You've loved me
First and so purely
I reach out and receive.
Blessing the name
of my Savior and Lord
Whom I worship and honor,
love and adore.
No, I'll not wait till Heaven
but I must sing His song
I must tell of His greatness
all the day long.
For you see, I had nothing
until He took hold
And made warm a heart
that once was so cold.
He filled me up
making love to abound
His love, everlasting
in the heart He gave, found.
May the love of the Father
through the Lord, Jesus Christ
Light your way on the path
and may you soar to new heights
Through a love that sustains you
and strengthens each day
As you see yourself through His eyes
so wonderfully made.

(Please read all of Psalm 139 and see yourself through God's eyes-
"Fearfully & Wonderfully Made")

"Formed into His Image"

Romans 5:3-5 - ...we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Bang, bang, bang
going off in my head
As motionless I lay
on the MRI bed.
Taking image after image
I briefly wonder if I'm dead
But quickly I dismiss it
and sing songs of God instead.
It's a song of how He is my source
and how He is my strength
And how I Iift my hands in praise
and He fills me with faith.
It is Christ I am believing
as each step He'd have me take
With total trust in Father
even as I wait.
My Father brings me comfort
He lifts me when I despair
He's my consolation
so later I might care
For someome else in trouble
that a shoulder I might lend
Strong, that is in Jesus
in Him to be a friend.

"Out of the Ball Park!"

Hebrews 11:29 - By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

I may not be the brightest

I may not be the best
Perhaps I'm not the prettiest
and some days I'm just a mess.
At times I'm lacking courage
and I feel I've lost my nerve
Pulling the covers over my head
for life's just thrown a curve.
Then I find myself imagining
that I've just hit the ball
It's going long, the crowd's going wild
it's gone beyond the wall.
The cheers from the stands are deafening
as I run and round each base
They're from those who've gone before me
they're shouts from the fathers of faith.
And so I keep on going
encouraged by the roar
From the Lion of the tribe of Judah
that helps my feet to soar.
Ever leading homeward
headed toward the plate
For the treasure I will find there
my reward, in Christ by faith.
(Read all of Hebrews, chapter 11 to be bountifully blessed)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Good Morning?, Yes!"

Psalm 118:24 - This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

I wake up in the morning and there's my puppy, Gideon right there beside me in bed content as can be. I reach over to pet him and he's so glad to see me, rolling over for his belly rubs and back scratches and then kisses my face all over. He's excited to be alive from the moment he wakes up. When Lucy Lu, one of our cats comes in and jumps up on the bed he can't wait to give her a great big "Good Morning." As she rubs up against him, Gideon kisses her all over her face too and it's just the cutest thing. They love each other to pieces and it's the same little ritual every morning.

They then follow me as I head to the kitchen. Gideon dashes down the stairs charging toward his other kitty pal, Elijah so he can be sure to greet him and give him licks, and morning playtime then begins. Full of energy and enthusiasm they race through the house, tackling one another and playing tug of war with their toys. They're so happy and just seem to be rejoicing in the day and in each other. It's as if they were saying, "Life is great"! They look for and expect good things each day and they find them.

Lord, I pray You would help me to awake each day excited to be alive, full of energy and enthusiasm in You, ready to embrace the day and to be glad in it and all it may have to offer. May I be expectant that I would find good things and may I share them with others, rejoicing always in You that all may know Your love. And like my happy Gideon, may I always have a smile on my face. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"Twists & Turns"

Life's full of many twists and turns
I pray through each the lesson learned.
Continually to grow by God's great grace
Humbled and strengthened to run the race.
The course He has set both narrow and straight
With eyes fixed on Jesus, filled with His faith.
The Author, the Finisher, the love of my life
He lifts me up to scale new heights.
Unafraid of the darkness for He shines His light
His arms wrapped around me holding me tight.
He reminds me of His promises both faithful and true
He draws me closer, all the more to pursue
The heart of the Father, the gift of His Son
The power of the Spirit, within me, One.
The Kingdom of God, today let it come
Fulfilling Your purpose, let Your will be done.
Content to know that You are near
I give You all my doubts and fears.
Complete surrender, I know Your peace
As willingly, my life, I leave at Your feet.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 - Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Matthew 7:13-14 - "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
Hebrews 12:1-2 - Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
1 Peter 5:6-7 - Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Psalm 18:1-6 - I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. The pangs of death surrounded me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
Psalm 18:28-33 - For You will light my lamp; the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, by my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 - I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Be a Buddy"

Did you know your pets can teach you things? They're so lighthearted and easygoing. Sometimes I can be so uptight and usually have a zillion things on my mind all at the same time. Then my Gideon presses his cold, wet nose into my leg with a toy hanging out of his mouth and makes me stop.

He's asking me, his favorite companion to participate in his playtime. You see, it's more fun when you have a buddy and everyone needs a cheerleader. When we play I'm his cheerleader and that encourages him to have the best time he can and succeed at his game. I get to hootin' and hollerin' and clapping my hands as he chases his toy and I praise him when he brings it back. He just has a blast and so do I.

He always makes me laugh and helps to make me a bit more lighthearted and easygoing myself. I've noticed when I'm down in the dumps and less than enthusiastic in our playtime he's sensitive to that and takes on that same heaviness and almost immediately loses interest in play and takes to his bed; it's just no fun anymore.

So take a break, loosen up, laugh, put self aside, be a buddy to someone who needs encouragement and help put some spring back into their step that they might want to chase their "toys" or pursue their dreams that all alone they might not do. Maybe those "toys" will come back to you.

P.S. Thank you Cathy for being my sister and my buddy and giving me the encouragement I need to continue to stand and chase my "toys". I love you Sis. My eyes are forever fixed on Him. I'm so grateful we can look to the Lord together and share His love through life's adventures and all the daily challenges we face.

Elijah, Such a Handsome Boy!

The Threesome just hanging out.

My Love
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Here's my Elijah with his pal, Gideon. I don't know how
they manage to squeeze into bed together so snuggly.

Gotta be touching.

Gideon's a great ear cleaner!

I brought you a little something.
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Bath Time for my Boy, Gideon
(He's so good!)

Gettin' all warmed up

Gideon with his girlfriend, Molly
(One of my regular petsitting clients)

Gideon still loves his baby bed. And though he has
beds that fit him much better, oftentimes this
is the one he curls up in with his toys.
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My Craft Room 
Jeff got me this craft table, chair and lamp set
a fewyears ago for my birthday. All my cutting
guides, scissors, adhesives, markers,
pens and whatnots are right at hand.

(Notice the "Gid Kid" pictures on the wall to the right -
my Baby!)

Jeff recently hung the shelf for me above the craft table that I purchased @ 40% off - a great deal! I get all my stuff slowly andon sale. It stores my rubber stamps, and most of my large collection of craft punches, which are so much fun.

The ribbon you see on the shelf only reflects perhaps 1/4 of the supply I have. It turns out ribbon is great in scrapbooking too.  It really adds such beauty when framing out a picture or positioning it somewhere on the page. It's also fantastic in card making. Boxes and drawers hold stickers galore and other crafty stuff.

I've gotten rid of so many of my stuffed animals.
This very inexpensive purple bear on top of my paper
rack I had to keep. He's so cute! And he's purple after all.
See the picture behind him? The little girl in bed is praying
over her meal with a kitten on one side and a dog on the other.  So me! But seriously, it helps to keep things in perspective. Looking over at that picture, as I often do when I'm in that room, reminds me Who I always need to keep my heart and mind focused on, and even my act of crafting is to be worshipful toward the King of kings and Lord of lords Who is so worthy of all my praise.

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