Tuesday, October 6, 2015

From My Thinkin' Spot

From the disposition of the cross..... He rose from "surrender".  As the shadow of evil engulfed  Him He did not blame, did not complain, did not reject those inhumane circumstances.  What circumstances has He called us to do likewise in?  What trials and sorrows can we throw open our hearts in surrender to and allow Him to do His work in us?

Do we think we do not belong in trials?  He did not belong there.  He did not deserve disrespect, cruelty, torture, judgment, and the sentence of death was not right for Him.  His surrender was paramount.  And I notice His surrender was so quiet, so un-regarded and missed while his friends plunged into grief and confusion. His friends thought they should fight off the attack, but His surrender to this plan that poured freedom through blood-- loosed joy through the shriek of death, and hope through the turning away from rescue........  has rescued me.  His "choosing" enabled me to choose.  His barter enabled me to ponder the riches of His sold-rock promises that I am covered up in;  covered rich, like the roots in my garden beds.

Today I came out to my garden to meet with Him, but instead I soar with Him.  I sit in the old metal lawn chair, but the heart floats buoyantly in this swell of knowledge too high for me!  And in it's vastness I know abundance so great that I can't find the end of it in any direction.  Like a happy swimmer in the middle of a vast ocean, my feet will never find the bottom, nor limits of His love will ever bear in on me. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Gift that Can Fly: Thoughts From my Room by the Window

I found the gift that Christmas.  It wasn’t wrapped because it was not something my mother could easily cover with green and red paper and tape.  She decided to give me what I had asked for. She couldn't know how deeply my heart had desired it and maybe even needed it.   I see now that because of her love for me she gave to me what I wanted,  a good gift.  

I named him Chucky.  He was blue and white with some black and he sang a bird's song in a cage hanging from the hook near the patio door.  I think we were all smitten with him and all took turns singing and talking to him.  My mom, I think, did it the most because he learned to say what she said to him.  And we all learned to say her words to him; “Pretty Bird!”  And she would make a smoochy sound to him and we all learned to smooch.  And Chucky learned too. 

After I had had him for a while I wanted to let him out of the cage.  My Uncle, Jim Stevens, suggested I tie a little string to his ankle the first time so that I could take Chucky’s freedom back at my own will.  Chucky did not feel free with the string on his leg and he would only crash and awkwardly waddle around with the string on his ankle.  He would not fly with the string.

Sometime later my mother just opened the door.  She opened the door, no strings attached and Chucky flew.  He flew in the big family room and sang his “Pretty Bird” song and smooched at us all.  I think he smooched more having been set free.  After he flew around and around he landed atop his cage and sang most of the day. He sat up there telling us all that he was “pretty”.  And he certainly was as pretty as he said he was.  That is what he did best after all.   And when evening came he put himself to bed, going into his cage.  Mom would close the door and put a towel over the cage to help him rest and to see that he didn’t start his singing too early in the morning.

Freedom must be intoxicating because before long Chucky acted intoxicated.  When I would wear a ball cap, he would fly to me and land on the cap’s bill.  Turning upside down like a bat he would speak into my laughing face, “Pretty Bird!” and “Smooch, Smooch!”   Sometimes he took it too far and would land next to my plate of food thinking he might help himself.  The farther Chucky flew with his new freedom, the more my family and me delighted in him. 

Luke 11:13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” 

How can I fully absorb the magnitude of THIS gift given, not on a Christmas morning.  This gift I read about and know in my spirit recorded in Luke 11:13.   How do I absorb it just sitting here in my room by the window? 

Luke 11:13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” 

 The gift that is far too much to wrap up in red and green paper and tape. The gift that is given on any day we ask, not just at Christmas.  

Luke 11:13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” 

 My heart knows that I always need this gift far more than even I can realize.  I think it is a living gift that should not be contained.   And  for it to do its complete work of delight in me and you it must be free to set us free.  

 Will you join me in a state of wonder today?  Will you stay awhile to think this out for a time with me; the implications, intoxications, the filling up of our heart's desires?  How about our life time in holy contemplation? 

Romans 8:5  If you live your life animated by the flesh—namely, your fallen, corrupt nature—then your mind is focused on the matters of the flesh. But if you live your life animated by the Spirit—namely, God’s indwelling presence—then your focus is on the work of the Spirit.      

Monday, April 20, 2015

Garden Words

From the shade of my arbor this garden lends me words.  The other day, when the spring sun was having it's "de-LIGHT-ful" way overhead, I saw some weeds that had seemingly snuck up through the heavy mulch and were greedy, reaching for the sun.   These that were seeded before the covering was laid are the hardest to remove as their root is down deep and established.  How had I missed them before? Now some are a few inches tall.   Maybe it was all of those recent clouds dimming my light.

I reach deep into the mulch to pull them, knowing from experience that if left to grow they would take over and ruin my garden. They would steal from all I had planted, it has happened to me before. I tug for the root but it snaps at the stem and I know that soon it will be back again.  I will keep pulling them, but they will return until they are pulled from the root.

Hebrews 12:15  See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

It rained all day yesterday, the old folks would call it a gully washer. That means I, too, am getting older since I think it was one.  This ground of ours is soaked and saturated.  Like a deep drink that is more than enough, this place overflows into a running brook right in front of my garden.  By the kale, carrots and lilies I can hear its flowing waters.  It empties into the little pond out back;  that little pond that really does nothing more than gives a home to frogs and frog songs, which is plenty enough for me.

Psalms 23:2  He provides me rest in rich, green fields beside streams of refreshing water...........

Oh yes, back to the weeds.  The next day I found them growing right next to, and among the new seedlings that I had planted. I didn't notice those because I hadn't yet recognized which were those I'd sown. Pulling one by one, I found there were many.   Using my hand so carefully, the seedlings were not disturbed, even those whose stems were touching weeds.  It seemed almost kind how the rain made soft and easy the ground to give them up.

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

My hand is worn some with age and as I pulled the little weeds, I noticed them.  It reminds me of my Dad's hands which were known to be giant, sure and strong.  Because of his I can so well imagine a Poppa in Heaven whose hands exact His care over me-- even when His "care" is correction for me.  And I have felt that tugging of "heart weeds" like the tugging of the weeds in my deep mulch.  And when He has finished pulling them out  I'm like one who's been cleaned free of those invading, choking greens.  And once cleaned and free of them,  a clear path is opened up before me to walk and grow in, except it is very hard to walk;  I want to run.  

Romans 2:4 
....His kindness is guiding our hearts to turn away from distractions and habitual sin to walk a new path....

It rained hard yesterday and today I did a bit more weeding and thinking, too; grateful that my Great Gardener so surely cares.

Psalms 23:3  He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name. 

Later today, in the safety of my deep garden mulch I planted tomatoes, fennel and onions.  In ready soil plants and joy will spring up!  We need not dwell on just the weeds.

Psalms 92:13   For they are transplanted to the LORD's own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.

And as my eye is keen to watch over my garden, I marvel at HIS over me (and you ♥).  As if I am the only one with needs or weeds, and as if He has no greater duties or desires than to carefully tend to all of them that I so easily and constantly generate.  I bet the forest and the hills quite down to watch Him and the winds soften their blows as the Master comes with purposeful love to my garden gates.

Psalms 103:12 .........as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.


Your will done your way

Your will done your way

Your will done your way

I will not fight You

Take me past the line that my heart draws

I will not fight You

Take me beyond the laziness of my thoughts

I will not fight 

Lead me further than I've gone before

I will not fight You

I'm abandoned to Your call

Do not let there be, any part of me

That’s untouchable, unreachable

Let my delight be, living out Your dreams

Washing dirty feet, and kissing yours

 “Those I love I also correct and discipline. Therefore, be shamelessly committed to Me, and turn back. I am standing at the door and knocking.  If any of you hear My Voice and open the door, then I will come in and visit with you and share a meal at your table, and you will be with Me.  --Revelations 3:19-20 

Friday, April 10, 2015

I Planted a Garden

I’m looking out the window into the south field where I have planted a garden.  I covered it with old hay and wood chips when I learned that the perfect balance and protection would only exist with a covering of all the soil.  I put a fence around it when I realized that the dogs would not see, nor respect the tiny, precious, seedlings emerging. 

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one.................

whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

I learned, as I was building my garden, and listening to other more knowing gardeners, that pests attack the plants when they are in distress, and not so much when they are thriving in a balance of moisture, nutrition, and sunlight.   It seems that over time, as this mulch covering decays, it becomes nutritious soil from the bottom upwards.  The health and vitality of the soil grows from year to year as it is left under this lovely, protection where seedlings can thrive.  ♥  It is good to keep planting in the covering.

Psalms 91:4   Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers,
    will protect you under His great wings;
    His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you.

My family built an arbor for me for my 48th birthday which has become an entrance to the garden.  It has a double gate that my son, Jack, and I built.  I don’t let in the chickens, nor the dogs.  I wouldn't welcome our cats or goats or any animal through the gate; nothing can come in that does not respect and benefit the garden.  I’m becoming a good gardener.

Psalms 147:13  For His divine power reinforces your city gates, blesses your children in the womb.
14 He establishes peace within your borders, fills your markets with hearty golden wheat.

Once I looked out to find the chickens had flown over the fence and were madly scratching and greedily flinging the covering into the air in search of worms and bugs.  I removed them.  Now my family is building a coop where chickens will have a new home and will soon find that their wing feathers have been clipped.  I've decided to care for my garden well and remove any threats.

 Psalms 3:3 But You, Eternal One, wrap around me like an impenetrable shield. 

The sun is shining on the arbor now as morning grows long.  It glistens off of the fence, and is surely warming the wood chips.  I can see some green plants peeking out from here in my chair by the window.   As I tend this simple patch of ground I'm so perfectly and daily moved by heaven's  kindest metaphors, it's most comforting language.  And in mute remembrance knowing this utterance is heard and seen on every patch of ground, in every imaginable place where there are human eyes and ears who wish to "see" and "hear".

Romans 1:20  From the beginning, creation in its magnificence enlightens us to His nature. Creation itself makes His undying power and divine identity clear, even though they are invisible; and it voids the excuses.....

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

John 16:13 The Spirit of truth will come and guide you in all truth.
Philippians 4:7  And know that the peace of God will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, The Anointed One.

... Under His covering... 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Something for the Restless Heart

Today I read:

Oh restless heart—beating against prison bars of your circumstances and longing for a wider realm of usefulness--allow God to direct all of your days.  Patience and trust, even in the monotony of your daily routine, will be the best preparation to courageously handle the stress and strain of a greater opportunity which God may someday send—taken from the devotional:  Streams in the Desert.

Do you ever hear the Lord say, “Wait.  Wait.  Wait.” ? And you somehow know that you are lingering in some of His discipline for you?  It is h.a.r.d.  You might feel pensive and even confused.  Yet the answer to the struggle seems simply, “Wait............... I am coming.”  And He does.
In His responsive kindness I am transformed into a deep well of gratefulness like so many before me.  Thankfulness takes it’s seat in me.   He connects my intellect to Himself and I imagine He as much as says, 

“Here it is, child!--  See, I understand you and your hidden heart beats.”
“Here it is!-- a bright flag to draw eyes upward and trust onward into this holy mist”.
“Here it is! –the “soul-surrounding” that anchors you to Me.” 
“And here is it! –your deepest of life’s delights—connection with Me.”
“Here it is! –an invitation for hopefulness, and invitation to “see”.
“Here it is! –a chair in my presence and a cup of my peace in your hand.”

And it’s as if He says, “Isn't it great that you, my child, can do nothing outside of me?  (John 15:5)  We will always do your greatest work together?”

If you are waiting in the midst of something hard,  rest assured............. He is coming to you ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Making it Home

A phone call and my life is distinctly changed this morning because my friend made it home.

Should I cry or should I just sit here in awe of the sinking knowledge?  It’s sinking in all around me in that heavy and wondrous way.  It is filling up my consciousness, and once again I go to the place of profound awareness of the “over there land”.   Many just call it home, and my friend made it home. 

A few years ago (and for many years before) she was raising a few chickens in her and her husband’s retired, full scale chicken house operation.  The houses are old now and run down, but all the better for her to enjoy her hobby of bringing up new chics of interesting varieties, rabbits, and pigeons.  She raised pure breed dogs in another old chicken house for some time and she tried her hand at raising a few goats from our place, but that never took off for her.  What a kind, generous, and wonderfully interesting friend she was.  I miss her this morning knowing that she’s gone home.  An achy knowing lingers now that I can’t depend that she is over that north hill doing her thing and being who she was. 

Just a few years ago she came by for a reason I can’t remember now, but visits were always involving our love of raising critters.  She shared with me the extraordinary miracle that had happened to her-- and later, after she’d gone, I cried for joy.  She said she had entrusted her life and soul to Him who holds all of our eternal fates in His hands.  She had “believed unto her salvation” and now knew she was going to heaven.  I remember her mentioning that fact;  she was now going to heaven.  Wow, my friend is home.

They say that home is where your heart is, and it is surely true.   Our life here is like the tender flowers in the springtime field;  here for a little while and then faded and gone away so soon.  I never like to see the flowers go.  Now it is right to be glad that  I saw her blooming here, knew her, and enjoyed some of the beautiful ways that she graced the world just being "her".  I'm so grateful to be comforted in these morning hours knowing that she is alive and well beyond this veil of flesh and blood;  she is  home.



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Beautiful Dead

In the quiet of this winter morning I was struck by the thought of "the beautiful dead".  The lonesome corpse laying quiet behind the stone. The whole thing seemed so deeply grim from their view, but to mine it is tenderly different. 

John 19:40
40 Together, they took Jesus’ body and wrapped Him in linens soaked in essential oils and spices, according to Jewish burial customs.

It was a dismal tragedy upon all of their hopes and understanding, and a tragedy of their love for Him!  

His skin torn by a cruelly placed thorn crown, His wounded side now hidden beneath grave clothes, and His hands;  the hands that will forever point the "eyes of the willing to see" to His magnificent and willing surrender.   I hold my face in awe of this.  How can this be?

Romans 5:7-8 Now it is rare to find someone willing to die for an upright person, although it’s possible that someone may give up his life for one who is truly good. But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us.

Yet beyond the tenderly wrapped up arms and legs that did no harm....just beyond that cloth-wrapped head and his once walking feet, He flew into the "mystery-land" to the Father's side.   "It is finished!  Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit!"  Just then, in an exhale, on past His tortured, manly frame, He flew.   

What has He done?!  What has He done?!  It is finished!

And when that magnificent life-swell plunged back into that privileged, lifeless dust again it must have fairly PULSED with "heaven's sweetest" once again!!!!!! Once as the sweetest baby boy in Bethlehem, and now conquering God-man-King in Israel and of ALL.  Hallelujah!  Our God made a way!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Laughing Out Loud

The air is cold out, the cabin is warm and peaceful this morning.  My heart is full listening to Jason Gray's song again (for the "many-eth" time).  I know this is good for me.  The lyrics are kindly on his video..though you don't need lyrics to laugh ......Have a listen! Joy is contagious.  

And some laughing lyrics written by my overflowing heart on this January 14th:    (maybe you'll write some, too!)

Laughing in the light of Him...Standing in the joy-field----surrounded and held tight. 
Laying in layers of unloaded love upon me and you.
Whatever you do, don't miss this
Don't let a day go without standing in these love rays warming your skin
Look up, don't miss this...don't miss this

Loose your control, gain amazing grace
Loose face and gain his integrity
Loose yourself and gain all of Him
Don't miss this, not today

Laughing in the freedom, looking up ahead...nothing but sure steps and all being lead
Turning from the old ways and running with the new
Whatever you do, don't miss this
Not for a day, don't miss standing in these love rays warming your skin
Whatever you do, don't miss this.


And I will leave you with Jason's words:  

"When you find you've been forgiven laughter will arise like a holy kind of praise."   LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!