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Posts Tagged ‘Bradford Pear Blossoms’

If anyone’s ever tried to trick you out of your redemption, tried to throw you back under the curse, made you feel like you’re not good enough to sit at God’s table – read this, friend. Read it and live redeemed.

God doesn’t half redeem us, partially save us, find us one quart short of worthiness. He is a God who loves abundantly, whose love overflows into us until we overflow His love to others.

His son covered our sin completely, not partially, so we could enter the Father’s throne room as favored children. Live favored. Live redeemed. Live loved!

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With God’s arrival comes love

love came helpless in a manger, with only an earthly father’s wisdom and a new mother’s arms, probably shaking under just the shawl of this new mother-hood responsibility alone

and love one day was unexpectedly left behind on family trip – and love showed itself to strangers, teaching them, hardly yet a man(10 or 12) but still God’s love offering, teaching them about the God who sent him until found by chagrined parents not quite what to do with such a love child.

and love sent a message to a man with a donkey and colt, who answered by sending along his donkey and colt for love to enter Jerusalem. Love worked his way to Jerusalem – and the people saw, the people who had waited and watched threw coats and olive branches to pave loves way. Love entered Jerusalem amidst welcome, song and recognition:”“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”(Matthew 21:9)

with God’s arrival comes generous redemption

God’s love walked the love offering walk, like a perfect lamb chosen and led, the final sacrifice, the final atonement for humanity gone wrong in sin. Love arrived to pay the unpayable debt in full, redeeming each of us from a debtor’s prison soul-deep in sin,
so that you and me could come home with Him,
returning a runaway humanity, a prodigal people
home to a loving Father, Brother and a Holy Spirit.

wait and watch no more, friends,
He’s come
He’s redeemed
grab hold of his hand
and let him pull you out
of hurt, pain, exclusion,
rejection, that not-good-enough
feeling, brokenness

let Him pull you out with his unfailing love
unfailing love that didn’t sell you and me out
on mountain-top temptations
and cross-top death torture
He didn’t let us down by coming
down
so much was His love and determination
to free us
and take us home,
to the front porch steps where the Father doesn’t just wait
but will run out to welcome us
to pull us into a
a God-sized bear-hug
. . . love didn’t just tells us so
love showed us so

“Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption” (Psalm 130:7, NIV)
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Springbloom_edited-1“Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?” (Isaiah 43:19).

Shaddai promised a new thing – something that would burst out! However, His children couldn’t see this new thing. They could only see barren branches like a tree at the winter’s end. Sometimes we can’t even see this new thing. We can’t take our eyes off the empty branches of a broken winter of ourselves.

Shaddai, though,  promised a new thing:

The God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
They lie down and then can’t get up;
they’re snuffed out like so many candles: (Isaiah 43:16-17)

That’s what Israel expected – God delivering them like He did Israel out of slavery – God saving Israel and destroying their enemies, those who kept them in bondage, treated them poorly. They expected God to do something grande like the parting of the Red Sea, the swallowing destruction of Egypt’s power and glory. They would be insiders to the world’s success.

They expected a king like Solomon, like King David to lead them into prosperity and security – grande chariots, rich vineyards, wealth and security, power and glory. God would still be in the temple, behind the curtain, the law still the only way to Him.

“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history” (Isaiah 43: 18)

Oh, this is hard. The hardest lesson in letting go of me and letting God is the realization that my expectations of what God can do, how He can lift me out, or even be present in my life are limited by my knowledge – by what I know, by even what the experts know.

Shaddai, the great I Am, the creator, the God who sees us, who provides, –  said He was going to do a new thing –

. . . and, He did – He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to make a way for us – every you and me – straight into the throne room as children of God – and the temple veil was rent in half – God was no longer contained in the Ark of the Covenant – but was released to be with us right where we are.

The God who walked with Adam and Eve in the evenings, the same God who sat outside Abraham’s tent and star-gazed with Him, the God who loved Jacob enough to wrestle with him made a way for us to have that same intimacy.

Springtime reminds us of this new thing, year after year – in the death of winter and resurrection of life in Spring. Look around and rejoice – at the new thing God did – for you and for me!

This week as we walk the story of Christ’s death and resurrection look around you – this redemption story was designed before even man was created. The story itself is imprinted in nature.
“Be alert, be present.
I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out!
Don’t you see it?” (Isaiah 43:19).

Don’t you?

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Bradford Pear Blossoms

Bradford Pear Blossoms

“How are you doing?” a neighbor asked.

“Right this very minute I’m doing great,” I answered, laughing, “In 15 minutes, who knows?”

Robin’s egg blue sky, happy Sadie walking beside me not running crazy, laundry almost caught up – chaos wasn’t walking with me in that moment.

Sunday morning church, a savory beef and mushroom stew in the crock pot, a blustery soccer game, lemon-yellow buttercups that I’d planted swaying – and an impromptu date with my husband. I’d wanted to take photos of the Bradford Pear trees and a patch of crocuses around town. I knew if I waited – the impending snow might delete that opportunity

“Now?” he asked, watching a little March Madness but he drove me, walked with me, patient with my photo-taking – and then we grabbed a bite at our favorite restaurant, a little Cajun place where we could watch a little of basketball madness while trying to figure out the artist singing 70s songs piped in for ambiance.

A day of joy-catching –  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced 24 hours of straight joy. To count it joy only if it’s in a long stretch is to diminish joy – and to diminish my life through review – and, well, really impossible – for me, at least.

If  Joy-Catching moments could be stitched into a story-quilt, I would want the pieces to create comfort, warmth.

If Joy-Catching catching is the sight, sound, taste, touch and smell of my word story, I want my story to be joy-filled.

If my story were a glass, I would want it to be half-full to over-flowing – not half empty.

corcusc_edited-1Every daily has a winter moment in the midst of blooming and budding things.

In the middle of my dog-walk, the leash broke. I met a Redbud Winter.

Everyone dressed, walking out the door to church, the littlest remembered he couldn’t find his soccer jersey, which he needed right after church. A Dogwood Winter in the last-minute turned a Sunday morning calm upside to find the errant jersey.

Friday, I was driving home from work, feeling joy just rise up inside me – that wonderful feeling of anticipating good things – and I held on to it, savored it, let it just burst into bloom – because I realized that maybe in 5 minutes a Blackberry Winter might roll through – a house full of children promises a crop of chaos.

Tomorrow morning’s forecast  suggests a Whippoorwill Winter might be in the making if I don’t stick to the time schedule chocked full of before and after school activities.

I remember a few years ago, our house selling – oh, what a high. After work, I drove by the house we were going to put a bid on that evening. A Pending sign covered the sales sign.

Dr. James Dobson in his book, What Women Wish their Husband’s  knew about Women, said that for every high, there is an equal-measured low. That pending sign took me to the lowest low.

The joy is there for the catching, in the face of the storm, in the storm’s midst – and in the aftermath: joy – just there for the catching. If I don’t catch it, the tenor, the texture, the words, the fullness of my story changes.

Sunday, I pulled out my camera to joy-catch Bradford Pear Blossoms. These 23 years I’ve lived in Tennessee, when the Bradford Pear blossoms burst out under a strengthening, the mercury climbs into the seventies only to back down in the face of unexpected frosts, ices and snows. A Bradford Pear Winter has the potential to steal away the blossoms.

“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

 A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
 A right time to wage war and another to make peace (Ecc 3:1-8).

. . . . and on the eve of a Bradford Pear Winter, there is a right time to Joy-Catch.

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