An Act Of Obedience

Bonnie, at Faith Barista, picked my word for the year for this weeks prompt. You can read about it here.

Yes!

Yes! (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

The word is “yes”.

True, I did make a post on this a couple of weeks ago but, there is still much that I can say about this particular word. A short, yet powerful word.

Yes comes easy, when it is in response to something I want to do.  Can’t we all say that? Wouldn’t it be great if life was always the easy yes? The “Oh, sure”, “I’d love to”, or “It would be my pleasure” and really mean it.

But, I’m going to be real here. Pour it all out.

Sometimes I bleed the yes. It is painful and hard. I’m scared and unsure. Every fiber of my being wants to shout “NO”, but because I’ve been practicing the yes for years now, I whisper it anyway.

The whisper can come, small and quiet. Only God and I hear it. He knows my heart. He knows my struggles. He knows the yes is an act of faith and a word of worship.

Although it can be, most of the time the yes isn’t a response to a certain thing. It is instead, a response to God, Himself. It is trust in the One who I know is Sovereign, in control, has a plan and a future for me, loves me, and will allow me to glorify Him, through this choice, this yes, that I offer.

I think about Abraham. Many, many years ago, he said “yes” to God. It could not have been easy.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  Hebrew 11: 8 NIV
Yes, is always an act of obedience.
Even when I’m not sure of the outcome, or the task ahead is daunting, I can rest in Him.
The One who hears the heart.

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Real Treasure

Sacred Heart Church of Gibraltar

This week at A Holy Experience: The Practice of Radical.  What does it mean to live IN Jesus, WITH Christ in the center of our lives?

This prompt for today actually reminds me of something I’ve been thinking about for awhile.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21 NIV

We all realize, even if we don’t like to spend time thinking about it, that we are going to die. It is inevitable. We came into this world with nothing and we will leave that same way. With nothing. There is a reason that people call death the “great equalizer”.

With this in mind, what did Jesus mean when He talked about treasures? How can we store up treasures in Heaven if we can’t take anything with us when we go? I think I know what the treasures are.

Jesus loves people, with a love that is beyond anything we’ve ever known or experienced.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

The treasures are other people. We can’t take things with us, but we can take people. Relationships are what make us rich. The most important relationship that one can ever have, is relationship with Christ.  The things that we do for Christ, are never wasted. He never forgets. He sees it all.
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…” A heart for people.

Jesus has always had a heart for people. Why else would He leave the splendor of Heaven to take on the body of man, in a sin cursed and broken world? Because His heart was for people.

To the woman caught in adultery, condemned to death for her actions…Jesus stood between her and her accusers–  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”“No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:9-11 NLT

Even in her guilt and sin, He saw a treasure.

The people wanted for Jesus to bless their children, the disciples were not so sure, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 NIV

Even in the youngest of children, Jesus saw treasures.

Zacchaeus was the IRS guy of his time, hated by the people because he was a crook. Jesus saw through that and, When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.  All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” This meeting with Jesus changed Zacchaeus, it changed his life forever.  Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Luke 19 NIV

Even in the face of a tax collector, Jesus saw a second chance. A treasure.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34 NIV

Lost and far from God, Jesus loved us. Sinners. Unrepentant. Unworthy. He died in our place, took the punishment that should have been ours, and later rose again, conquering death. The nail spikes did not hold Him on that cross, we did. He died in our place because of His great love….for us, His treasured, and beloved.

We as Christ followers, are called to live for Jesus. We need to have Him in the center of our daily lives….not just at Christmas or Easter. Since He loved others so much, should we not also?

Everyone we look at should be considered a treasure, someone we want to take with us to Heaven one day.






The Wonders Of His Love

The ceramic ornament slipped off the counter and hit the floor hard. Cracked. Broken. In pieces.102_4811

A cry escaped, as I stared at the crumbles and bits of what was left on the floor.

I had just gotten the decoration that day, from Day Spring…and I was disappointed at where my gift had ended up.

My kids helped me pick up the pieces. Super glued it back together. Fixed it.

But, the cracks are still visible. The heart is broken.

A reminder…

For the words on the ornament read, “Wonders of His Love”.

Oh yes, the wonders of His love. The words sink into my own heart.

His body was broken for me. His heart leaked for me, the sinner. The blood. His blood poured out.

All because of His great love.

I flipped the ornament over and looked at the spidery crack that ran through the printed verse on back.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9 NIV

Grrr…attitude

How many of the moments in this life of mine, do I fill with gratitude? Or is it more grrrr….attitude? It’s easy to wear blinders to all the good and instead focus on all the irritating, ugly, and frustrating things of the day. You know what I

English: Pineapple on its plant, Costa Rica De...

mean. The empty toilet paper roll, the dirty towels that need washed, the crumbs all over the counter, left over from a child’s midnight snack, rushed schedules, and running out of toothpaste, short words, short fuses and sensory overload. That is where the gratitude takes a nosedive straight into “grrr…..attitude”. Attitude. Ugh.

I know when the Lord talks to me about my attitude. It goes something like this:
“Dawn, I know your thoughts. You can’t hide them from Me.”

“I can try.”

“How’s that working?”

“Not very well.”

“But, it is all really getting on my last nerve. I want to scream. I feel like a hamster on the wheel, Lord!

Nobody understands!”

“I understand. I’m always here.”

“You know, you complain a lot and that doesn’t make Me happy.”

I know, and I’m sorry about that. Really, I am. I just can’t seem to help myself.”

“I’ve blessed you in so many ways, you need to open your eyes to all that I AM. Really, see.”

“Yes, Lord.”

No, I’ve never heard the Lord talk to me in an audible voice. But, He is here, in the midst. In the midst of the laundry, and the crumbs. He is here in the flurry of schedules and the hum of daily grind. He moves in the snow covered fields and His majesty is in the star filled night. I hear Him on the wind and see Him as He molds my family members lives. He gives such good things, and it is my responsibility to slow down and see Him. Abide in Him. Know Him more.

Today I am thankful for:

* words of wisdom

* books whose words change me

* the Bible, God’s letter to me

* a real love story

* safety in travel

* beautiful scenes from nature

* time together

* friendships

* a to do list that is getting done…slowly but surely

* anticipation of a trip to Costa Rica

* excitement over classes I will be able to take on autism

* having a husband to snuggle with on cold winter nights

* kids that are growing up, tugging at a mother’s heart

* God who knows all, and sees all…and loves me still

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4  NIV

Snowing Again

The Gypsy Mama

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::

Again…

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It’s snowing again.

White, fluffy flakes floating down to the earth.

Winter is here, and I can feel it give birth….

to crisp, cold air. Drifting snow…

and bundling up, with no place to go.

Blankets of white fold into the ground

The hush of snow, a quiet sound.

Snowed trees on mount Brocken, Harz, Germany

Time To Get Rid Of The Junk

Typical advertising mail

 

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Today at Faith Barista Jam, we are discussing the word, clutter. When I first saw that word, I wondered what I would write about? The past week or two we’ve been getting back “into” the Thursday Jam sessions.

Clutter is almost always seen as negative. It makes me think of stacks of papers, scattered books, empty coffee cups, and junk mail. Stacks of dirty dishes, piles of shoes at the door, and wet towels on the bathroom floor. Clutter….sigh. It can drive me nuts.

Cluttered minds, cluttered lives. Much like the junk mail laying on the kitchen counter…junk thoughts can also clutter our minds. Thoughts that keep us from what is important.

Negative thoughts that pile up, much like the overflowing inbox full of junk.

“I’m so stupid! How could I have let this happen?”

“Oh, great. I’m sure I’ll get the Mom of the Year award for this.”

“I could never do that. I’d just fail. Again.”

“If only I were thinner, prettier, smarter….”

“I used to want to do that…but, now it is too late. I’ve waited too long.”

“I’m such a klutz.”

“God, are you really sure about this? Maybe this is a mistake?”

If clutter is not sorted through…it can become overwhelming. Debilitating. Excruciating.

Clutter is not God’s plan for His children.

It is not His desire for us to be filled with junk. His plan for us is better.

His plan is perfect and right.

Always.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8 NIV


Great Men and Women

You know how people are sometimes asked the question, “If you could have dinner with anyone– past, present, or future,

C. S. Lewis' house (The Kilns)

C. S. Lewis’ house (The Kilns) (Photo credit: MikeBlyth)

who would it be, and why?”

I already know.

Clive Staples Lewis.

I find his words and his works interesting, thought provoking, and insightful. I can just imagine sitting in his classroom when he was a professor at Oxford. I would have been the student raising her hand saying things like, “Yes sir, and what about this or that?”, while I scribbled furiously as I took notes.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” –C.S Lewis

I’m thankful for those whose words ring true.

Thankful for the great men and women that came before me and for those that are in my life right now.

Thankful for those who aren’t scared to stand, when it would be so much easier to take a seat. Those that have faith, even when others laugh, those that know, it is not the seen, but the unseen that is truly real.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 NIV

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Today I am thankful for:

* winter wind that takes the breath away

* steel gray sky filled with snowflakes

* dogs that walk by my side, I love all my pets

* cozy mittens with thermal lining

* funny stories that make me laugh out loud

* hugs and kisses

* chocolate icing on warm brownies

* a swept floor and a vacuumed rug

* warm blankets and fluffy socks

* strong opinions and good points

* wisdom and insight

* dog-earred books and highlighted passages

* fun catalogs and magazine to read

* a day off work

* people that love me

* people that I love

* the little things that seem like big things