Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wanna be happy, peaceful, contented?

Rejoice . . . always

Pray . . .  without ceasing

 Give thanks . . . in everything

For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

(I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

The result of rejoicing always?                      I'M HAPPY
The result of praying without ceasing?          I HAVE A SENSE OF PEACE AND SECURITY
The result of giving thanks in everything?    I'M CONTENT

So . . .

The will of God is that I am happy and have a sense of peace and security and contentment.

Isn't that what EVERYONE wants?
The problem is we think we can attain these through our own means. But God gives us the means, the path, the formula:

As Christians we know this intellectually, but I, for one, forget to intentionally do the rejoicing, the praying, the giving thanks;  always, without ceasing, and in everything. Why?  Because I've taken my eyes off of Jesus Christ. It's a moment by moment, day by day, focused, disciplined, decision to keep the focus on HIM, " . . . for in Him we live and move and have our being . . " Acts 17:28

I want to be happy, peaceful, secure and content. God wants me to be happy, peaceful, secure and  content at all times.  He has given me the formula.He's given me the power. I can only conclude that it is my own foolishness that could ever keep me from it.

The "secret" of God's Word is in its simplicity. We always make it harder than it is. Keeping our eyes on Him around the clock requires dedicated prayer, reading of the Word, checking negative thoughts and replacing them with good ones, holding our tongue. Nothing new or earth-shattering, right?   But if we yawn at that, then we've missed it. Period.  We know it, but don't do it.  It's always our choice.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.”
― Emily DickinsonThe Complete Poems

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Highest Compliment

 I read recently that God has paid us,
 His believing children, the highest compliment possible.

Taking a closer look at Romans 8:28-29 I see it:

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
 to those who are called according to His purpose . . .
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined
to be conformed to the image of His Son . .

Isn't God saying here:

It's been my plan all along to work ALL things out in your life;
 the good, the bad, the heartbreak,
 all the things you don't understand why they're happening,
for one reason:
I am conforming you to be like
 my Son Jesus.
 I know you don't understand.
I know it's not easy.
But I'm in control.
I want what is best for you.
I want you to be like Him

Because He's the best.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Fueled by Gratitude

"To be a saint is to be fueled by GRATITUDE,
nothing more and nothing less."
                                                                                         ~Ronald Rolheiser

What fuels me?
When the tank is low, when fears threaten, when discouragement hovers?
When I see mountains in my pathway and darkness all around?
The answer is always the same.
It's so simple though; it sometimes eludes me.

The cross

When I SEE the cross
I am grateful.

When I am grateful
I can do
He asks me.

Monday, February 16, 2015

trust means doing things his way

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart,
 and lean not on thine own understanding. 
In all thy ways acknowledge Him 
                          and He shall direct thy paths"     ~Proverb 3:5

We all know it. Could probably quote it since youth. Written in the flyleaf of many Bibles.
A beautiful verse. A reassuring promise. Proverbial wisdom at its best.

But then ONE DAY
in a moment of great need
the words FLY OFF THE PAGE
and into the UNDERSTANDING.

When GOD tells us HOW to do something
but we question it:
What if they . . .
What about this . . .
Couldn't I just . . .
BUT they might . . .

This line of questioning  just left the TRUST realm and entered the
dark waters of my OWN UNDERSTANDING.
But it's not true! I have no understanding.

So, I choose TRUST.
I don't understand it.
I fear the end result.
I'm not even convinced it's the best way.
But it is GOD'S WAY.
So I  take a deep breath,
Do it exactly HIS way 
Take a step back and SEE:

HE directed my path, just as He promised,
An outcome was achieved that I could not have imagined
 I am engulfed in HIS LOVE and REASSURANCE, 


is the irrepressible song I sing.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

If you look the right way . .

"If  you look the right way you can see  that the whole world is a garden"
                                                             ~Frances H. Barnett

Even though you wouldn't know it if you saw it, I am thinking about my garden quite often.
Especially now. I did take some time off in November and December, and was quite happy to give it almost no thought at all.
But late January and early February it begins again.

Seeing the bulbs emerging out of their winter sleep, the fiddleheads of the ferns fattening up, readying to unfurl, purple peony pips erupting . . .The rumblings of  a silent explosion all around us!

(Sorry, I'm waxing poetic!)  

I can never understand how people don't even notice! How do you trudge along, day after day without experiencing the

I believe a great gift my parents gave to me was the gift of SEEING.
They taught me (yes, I believe it is a skill that is learned) to
what was going on around me.
And it is clearly a skill which the LORD places value on, urging us to be alert, to awaken and to watch. The elders are described in Hebrews as those who "watch over" our souls.


That's what I'm getting out of this.

Because when we pay attention to all that is around us
We SEE GOD all around us.
We see GOD in the spring buds. We see GOD in the sunrise and the sunset.
We hear HIM in the children's laughter as they walk past, on their way home from school.
We smell HIS goodness in the rain and the pines.

And when we begin to SEE
cannot help but flow from us.

                                                             "Praise God from whom all blessings flow . . ."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Keep Looking Up

"Are stress and worry evidence of a soul too lazy, too undisciplined to keep gaze fixed on GOD?
To stay in love?"
                                                                                                    (one thousand gifts, pg. 147)

Ann Voskamp's poignant question convicts.

Keeping the gaze on heaven does, indeed, require work. Daily work. Effort. Discipline.
It seems that our default button is to listen to the world's (Satan's) clamoring; demanding our attention NOW
It must be NOW
It must be THIS
It must be THAT
It must be me

But all the while GOD is close. He is patiently smiling
Waiting to bless me
If I'll just look UP
The clamor will become silent to my ear
PRAISE will arise
THANKS will be offered
driving away stress and worry

Thursday, January 8, 2015

So here I am at my NEW BLOG site!

 I hope those who could not get into the old site will have more success entering this one!


After reading Ann Voskamp's one thousand gifts I wanted to keep the idea of being actively thankful  ever before me, and so . . .  a year of blogging about GRATITUDE!
I really don't have a plan or a direction for this, but one thing I KNOW for sure . . .


Don't worry,this won't be an endless list of things I'm thankful for (that list is ongoing in a notebook!)
Keeping gratitude in the forefront of my thoughts changes my day, my attitude . . . me.
I hope you'll join in and share your thoughts on gratitude. 
Thank you!

"giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"   
                                                                                                                      ~Ephesians 5:20