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Posts Tagged ‘psalm 34’

parasailing33_edited-1

We were at the beach a few weeks ago. Two of our sons and our new daughter-in-law went parasailing. As I stood there watching, taking photos, God and I had a moment – a heads-leaning together, He understanding my humor when I said, “Parenting looks just like that, especially at the independence-with-training-wheels point and the full-blown independence point.”

Without faith, I couldn’t do it with an iota of grace. Without faith, I’d be scared, hollering at them to come back where it’s safe (like, really, where I am is safer at all?), crying, and asking everyone and their brother to help, to step in, to do something, to make. them. come. back.

I might be saying things like “They could break something. . . . something I cannot fix – you know – those unfixable things that once broken can’t be fixed. . . .They’re going to hell in a handbasket. . . . . Oh, my – they’ve really done it now!” You know – those out of control, only the-negative-outcome-wins kind of thoughts.

I might have even started out this parenting gig 29 years ago with a few moments like that – because I didn’t understand faith and hope – and tied together with God’s mighty, very interested, very hands-on, I-got-the-plan-and-understand-why-this-is-happening kind of love.

I sat there, camera in hand, watching these people I love soar – beyond my control – but under God’s.

How I can feel as a parent and how I can feel as a citizen of American right now have some commonalities. I can feel fear, disappointment, lack of control over a lot of decisions, both in the leadership of our country and on our streets. I can run around trying to fix everything, bemoan the state of everything, speak failure, downfall, going-to-hell-in-a-handbasket kind of faithless prophecy. I could do that. I hear it all the time, as if God isn’t big enough to save America. It would be so easy . . . . or I can do what I’ve done these last 29 years- ask God to handle the plan. . . . believe He is bigger than any challenge.

I can “Cry out”(ask God) like the angel instructed Zechariah – and “Cry out, again”(ask God, again), per the angel’s same instructions – so that God will intercede where man cannot (Zechariah 1:14, 17).

There are many who love our Lord. If the population in America is 318,881,992 (million) and the Christian population is 223,217,394.4 – and God was willing to save Sodom if 50 righteous men – I think we’ve got that, friends. I think out of 223,217, 394.4 Christians – there are many righteous children of God for whom He would save our country. There are many in our country who have not forgotten. We need to take our eyes off those who have no faith in Him, and place our eyes on Him. I believe he is bigger than those who do not believe Him or heed His ways.

He says, “he who touches you touches the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8).

Cry out, – and, then, after we’ve cried out, we need to take a deep breath and trust – and show that trust by praising God, loving on Him with our praises. There’s a lot in our country that needs intercessory prayer – but let’s start first by seeing God’s goodness around us, praising Him in the hard rain of a summer storm, worms from a mother bird whose baby fell out of the nest and scampered to safety, sweet peaches in cream on a summer Sunday morning, the grace in a sit long and talk much opportunity of a relationship restoration, the cool break in a summer hot, 4 stools filled with boys at the kitchen counter talking big and little thing and barbecue, faith that God is bigger than men chipping away at our country’s foundation, kitchen hugs that show love never fails, God’s faithfullness in the seed-time and harvest of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, dill, lavender – and rain trees, how the smell of home-grown Spanish onions never fails to make me close my eyes, inhale deeply and smile – every summer, and that over the course of our beach holiday, one son emerged a new creation, one learned the value of sun screen – and that a parasailing adventure read, to this mother’s heart, like Miracle/Mystery faith play – a God message of encouragement.

No battle has been lost, friends. The battle is God’s – and His victory is assured. Praise Him in faith for it!

I bless GOD every chance I get;
my lungs expand with his praise.
2 I live and breathe GOD;
if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy:
3 Join me in spreading the news;
together let’s get the word out.
4 GOD met me more than halfway,
he freed me from my anxious fears.
5 Look at him; give him your warmest smile.
Never hide your feelings from him.
6 When I was desperate, I called out,
and GOD got me out of a tight spot.
7 GOD’s angel sets up a circle
of protection around us while we pray.
8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good GOD is.
Blessed are you who run to him.
9 Worship GOD if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all his goodness.
10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry,
but GOD-seekers are full of God.
11 Come, children, listen closely;
I’ll give you a lesson in GOD worship.
12 Who out there has a lust for life?
Can’t wait each day to come upon beauty?
13 Guard your tongue from profanity,
and no more lying through your teeth.
14 Turn your back on sin; do something good.
Embrace peace—don’t let it get away!
15 GOD keeps an eye on his friends,
his ears pick up every moan and groan.
16 GOD won’t put up with rebels;
he’ll cull them from the pack.
17 Is anyone crying for help? GOD is listening,
ready to rescue you.
18 If your heart is broken, you’ll find GOD right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.
19 Disciples so often get into trouble;
still, GOD is there every time.
20 He’s your bodyguard, shielding every bone;
not even a finger gets broken.
21 The wicked commit slow suicide;
they waste their lives hating the good.
22 GOD pays for each slave’s freedom;
no one who runs to him loses out.
Psalm 34: 1-22

See To Save a City: Interceding for a Nation

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cat

 “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (Genesis 1: 3-5).

Challenges threatened the potential of my last Monday – like a lion stalks its prey or thunder and lightening shake up your world.

An entrepreneur’s wife is an entrepreneur, too. That means lots of new tasks, organizational needs, doing all sorts of jobs outside of my skill area – and learning new skills – like putting out figurative fires, stepping in to fill a gap – and needing to know the answers to all the questions. Last Monday found me in new situations where I didn’t  have the answers – and people looking at me for them.

Entrepreneur’s are business starters – sometimes that means you both work outside your business until your business grows big enough to sustain you both. Sometimes that outside job uses your skill-set – and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t – well, that’s just one of the things you do when you’re helping someone you love build a dream – a dream that teaches our sons how to work, handle responsibility, time management – and how business works. That’s where you learn about blooming where you’re planted.

Monday was a topsy-turvy, chaos-induced, challenge-filled day. I kept my challenges to myself, but all around, people were putting down  Monday – the “bad” child of the 7 days. “What good can come of a Monday?” people said.

I could have easily fallen into the trap – of speaking hopelessness on my day, beating down its potential and opportunity for grace and over-coming. I had examples enough to beat Monday up a bit. I didn’t, though. I’m not comfortable with cool, hip, in-the-know cliches. I just can’t make myself bash Monday like kids bash an uncool kid to seem popular.

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Mark 11:23)

windowsunrise_edited-1Rise and Shine!

Monday Morning Sunrise is at the window sill.

God didn’t say, “Monday’s are going to be awful days.” No! On the first day – a Monday – God created light – and saw that it was good.

It’s not just one day in a week. It’s 52 Mondays in a year. That’s 2, 704 Mondays in my life or about 7 1/2 years – if you’re 52 years old.

Isn’t how you begin a race the most crucial time of that race? I don’t want to ruin the opportunity for each week on day one by speaking faithful assurance of it’s failure.  I have a choice:

Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose” (Proverbs 18:21)

In the midst of the chaos of my challenge – I spoke faith over last Monday – just like I do every other day and every other challenge.

“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23)

I tell my boys, “What you speak is what you get.”

What you believe about your Monday will come to pass.

Sadly, when Monday is treated like an ill-favored child – the day is thrust back into spiritual darkness.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:18)

reddoorRise and Shine! Monday morning sunrise is on your door-step!

Give thanks because it is not our circumstances that define our lives, but the attitude with which we live those circumstances that define our lives.

The first day God created was a Monday – and it was good! One day does not have an edge over another. One day is not greater than another. There are no throw-away days.

There are 7 days in a week. Each day has equal potential for goodness.

I spoke faith over my Monday, praising God for his blessings and mercy – and my Monday was redeemed. Redeem yours.

Rise and Shine! Monday is upon you! The first day – and God said it was good!

I pray that your Monday be filled with God’s grace and mercy, despite the circumstances each hour brings.

I bless God every chance I get;
my lungs expand with his praise.

 I live and breathe God;
if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy:

 Join me in spreading the news;
together let’s get the word out.

God met me more than halfway,
he freed me from my anxious fears.

Look at him; give him your warmest smile.
Never hide your feelings from him.

When I was desperate, I called out,
and God got me out of a tight spot.

God’s angel sets up a circle
of protection around us while we pray.

Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.

Worship God if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all his goodness.

Young lions on the prowl get hungry,
but God-seekers are full of God.

Come, children, listen closely;
I’ll give you a lesson in God worship.

Who out there has a lust for life?
Can’t wait each day to come upon beauty?

Guard your tongue from profanity,
and no more lying through your teeth.

Turn your back on sin; do something good.
Embrace peace—don’t let it get away!

God keeps an eye on his friends,
his ears pick up every moan and groan.

God won’t put up with rebels;
he’ll cull them from the pack.

Is anyone crying for help? God is listening,
ready to rescue you.

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

Disciples so often get into trouble;
still, God is there every time.

He’s your bodyguard, shielding every bone;
not even a finger gets broken.

The wicked commit slow suicide;
they waste their lives hating the good.

God pays for each slave’s freedom;
no one who runs to him loses out.

(Psalm 34)

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If you have kept up with me this last week (here and here), you will know it was a week where blessing seeking, finding God’s love letters had to be intentional. Not only sought after, but accepted. Part of me was tempted to push away blessing, to push away His sweet love letters.

329) Wednesday, I almost cancelled lunch with my sweet daughter-in-law and lovely Grandbaby Girl. I thought it traitorous, almost sacrilegious to find an hour of joy when my friends were suffering so, when my boys were grieving so and my heart ached so. I went, inwardly debating all angles.  Immersing in hour of listening to my DIL talk was such a beautiful thing. There was blessing there – because I had little voice for things, I gained greater blessing – hearing my DIL’s voice, her ideas. I needed that .Grandbaby Girl’s smiles, finding happiness in my arms – my heart needed that, too.Yes, sometimes looking for these blessings, accepting these love letters from the Father needs to be intentional- all types of encouragement and lifting up would be missed if we decided they were not appropriate when He leaves them for us. Only heart-ache would remain. God doesn’t want us to shove away blessings, especially in tragedy.“If your heart is broken, you’ll find GOD right there;if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath” (Psalm 34:18, The Message)

330) Stouffers 4 Cheese Lasagna, 2 loaves of wheat bread, blueberries, strawberries and grapes in a lime green bowl, carrots and broccoli in a blue bowl, carried to friends. My heart needed to give comfort or it would burst.“We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive his poured-out life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot

331) Being told how my 11-year-old son, in the midst of tragedy, ran for help with his friend, and then gathered 3 little siblings in the midst of sirens and EMS, comforting his friends big and small, praying for them, ensuring they didn’t see things their hearts weren’t designed for. The knowledge that in crisis, he walked out his faith, well, thank you God!
332) Neighbors standing in a circle praying
333) Bed-time prayers with unprompted inclusion of hurting friends – that they pray like that, believe like that:
As I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my Soul to Keep
God Bless . . . . .(list)
Give me peaceful sleep and restful dreams
That the Angels encamp about us and protect us
That I love you more tomorrow . . .And each added prayers for their friends here“We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part” (2 Cor 1:8-11, The Message)

334) Finally having time to plant 15 burning bush and 3 forsythea rootballs – that in the 3 weeks since the UPS man delivered them, we kept them alive.
335) Boys helping, carrying dirt clods to the mulch pile
336) A scratched up place for zinnia seeds.
337) The Hope of red, purple, pink, yellow zinnia’s cut and placed in mason jars throughout the house.“He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6)

338) Soldier son’s second interview for a job,
339) knowing there are people who care enough to be references
340) a call back for the 3rd interview contingent on reference responses
341) Having children who connect with all age groups to care enough for tears held back or released
342) Teachers who take good care of my son’s hearts
343) A window view at work of blue skies, big trees and shrubs cut back sprouting new growth.
344) A husband who tells our little one, “Life here is just a part of our journey. When we go to heaven, we continue living another part of our journey.”
345) Hot and Spicey Chinese Soup and egg rolls with hot mustard for a cold that keeps threatening
346) Coffee with my husband, outside early Sunday morning watching the red cardinals, mocking birds, doves, blue jays live out their backyard relationships.
347) The Hope of a Volunteer Cherry Tree, pulled out. A weary husband who says, “Maybe we should just let it die” as we hunt for a place to put this last transplant that we didn’t expect. The space available is rocky with Tennessee red clay. “Let’s plant it and give it hope. Otherwise, it won’t have a choice. Maybe it will choose to live,” I answered. He wrestled with the Tennessee red clay mixed with rocks and scraped out a place for it to live if it would.May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13)

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