Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rise Up And Call Her Blessed

"Her children rise up and call her blessed…" Proverbs 31:28Tomorrow marks the birthday of a very special woman in my life...the woman I am blessed to call Mom. With that in mind, I write in tribute to Mom...I will rise up and call her blessed!!!

Many women carry, bear, nurture and raise up children, but more crucial than the mechanics of motherhood are the characteristics of a woman who desires to be a good mother. Mom is a good mother!

A Good Mother...Faithful Intercessor
Memories of bedtime are filled with milk and pretzels (to sooth my bedtime hunger) and, my hair in rollers with a shower cap-like hair dryer attached to my head.

Though these are sweet memories, the bedtime discipline that influenced me the most was Mom’s prayers. At that time, I did not recognize the power of blessing and the effectiveness of a praying mother. I am now convinced that it was Mom's prayers, which softened my heart towards Jesus causing me to willingly surrender my life to Him.

A Good Mother...Compassionate

Night terrors filled my childhood and adolescence. Mom was always there for me. She never once scolded me for being frightened of creatures seen in the night as she crawled into my bed to soothe me. Allowing me to bury my face in her chest was the only way I could get back to sleep.

A Good Mother...Servant
If you read my post "What Then Is Love" you will know that I had severe headaches caused by a type of aneurysm called an AVM. There were many days when my head throbbed in pain and Mom was right there with a cool washcloth for my forehead and chicken noodle soup (with pieces of butter bread thrown in) for my tummy. She never once complained about serving me!!!

A Good Mother...Wise Counselor
Entering puberty was not the most pleasant memory in my life. I was convinced that no man would ever love me, and that my dream of motherhood would never be fulfilled.

There was a boy who I met in fourth grade (Can you imagine?) that "I fell in love with." I continued to pine away for him for many years. Yet, Mom never once belittled my "feelings," but repeatedly told me, "God has someone out there for you. You will be with him if it is meant to be." Her wise consul caused hope to stir that maybe there was a man out there who would someday love me.

A Good Mother...Loving
Of all the woman I know, I believe Mom is the most physically affectionate. She always kissed and hugged me (Actually, she hugs and kisses just about everyone). Her love and physical touch carried me through the turmoil of adolescence.

Thank you Mom for revealing motherhood in all of its glory. I am forever thankful for your prayers, compassion, service, consul and love. I bless you in the name of Jesus!!! I love you!!!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Things I am Learning

Prayer really does work!!

Jesus is my dearest friend. He knows everything about me and still loves me passionately!!!!

Tender-heartedness is not weakness; it is a gift. It allows one to identify deeply and love completely.

It is much, much better to give than to receive; God rewards by blessing one's soul with an awareness of His pleasure because of your actions.

Do not mute who God created you to be. You are a unique!!! Why mess with God's masterpiece?

Keep yourself others-focused, and the inward pull of self-pity will not win!!

In all circumstances, give God praise with your whole being. Do not allow others' hang ups to keep you from expressing ALL the praise Jesus is worthy of.

Watch a sunset, listen for singing birds, touch and hold and love. Be thankful, for God has given these things to you as a gift.

Patience precedes fulfillment.

God's beauty far outweighs any circumstances you may find yourself in the midst of!!!

Do not allow the now to be tainted by the past or the future, for it is the now which you inhabit.

True love, holy love manifests itself through prayer.

Beautiful Grace makes us whole, if we are willing.

This world pushes down, tears apart, seeks its own...always respond by lifting up, putting together, giving away.

If we are pleasing to Jesus, what does it matter what others' think?

Obedience releases peace!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Of Bread Baking and Microscopes

A few days ago, I was taking freshly baked whole wheat bread out of the oven as Teddy Bear (our neighbor) and Fire were eating lunch. Teddy Bear remarked how good the bread smelled. I told him it would be cooled enough to try it out after lunch.

The bread had cooled sufficiently in time for dessert, and as I grabbed for my electric knife, my finger scraped the blade cutting it in four places. "Ouch", I cried, as I showed the boys blood dripping from my finger.

I thought, "Why waste all this good blood...let's look at it under the microscope." Teddy Bear and Fire were excited at the thought. As we ran downstairs, I tried not to drip the blood on the floor. The boys grabbed the microscope, slides, and cover slips. I then demonstrated how to prepare a wet mount slide.

We were amazed at the tiny little disk-shaped cells coursing through channels of invisible fluid (plasma). The specimen showed cells upon cells proving to us that the tiny microscopic world definitely does have three dimensions.

I then prepared another slide with much less blood. By that time, the blood had begun to clot. It was interesting to note the differences between the first and second slides. (Who says learning has to be boring, anyway?)

Consecrated came downstairs in the midst of all of this unplanned excitement. He encouraged me to take care of my cut, which by that time had already clotted off.

Anyway, Teddy Bear finally did get his bread and he said it was yummy!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Three Amigos

Consecrated and Fire have four friends from our neighborhood; They play video games together, shoot action movies with my digital camera, watch movies together, and in general, "hang out."

This picture was taken during a movie time. From left to right are as follows: Teddy Bear, Baby D and of course, Fire.

You hear many bad reports about today's teens...gang activity, drugs, alcohol, disrespect of authority, etc. I am blessed to report that this group of boys are an example of what God wants kids to be.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Bike Ride

Fire and I went for a bike ride yesterday, because I had never seen the new walking bridge near our home.

Fire lead me down the hill, through forest paths, past the creek, up the mountain and onto the old railroad bed. The ride continued until we veered off to take another steep, windy path down the side of the mountain. Finally, our destination...the beautiful walking bridge.

I had a hard time managing the uphill ride home, and there were times I actually had to stop riding and push my bike...yikes, I didn't have to do that 30 years ago!!!!

We were hot and sweaty when we reached our house, but we cooled down in our air-conditioned home (thank you Strongman for installing it!).

I loved spending the time with Fire.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tribute to My Father Part Two "The Meal"

The Father's Day Meal consisted of :

New York Strip Steak (Grilled to perfection by Strongman)

Twice Baked Potato (One of Dad's favorites)

Rice Pilaf

Green Beans with
REAL BUTTER (REAL absolute necessity when feeding my Dad)

Range Rolls with Garlic and Chive Butter

For Dessert:

Apple Wrapper Pie (Served with French Vanilla Ice Cream and, of course, a mound of Whipped Cream...another necessity when feeding my Dad)

Coffee with Milk and Sugar

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tribute to My Father

Many will celebrate Father's Day tomorrow, which gives me the perfect opportunity to honor my Father in a special way. This post is dedicated to my Dad, “The Seven Trip Plumber,” aka, “The Singing Plumber.”

It was only a few years ago that I realized just how much my earthly Father mirrors my heavenly Father, and this revelation caused me to love my Dad more than ever.

When I was a little girl, my Dad would hold me and sing to me. I have beautiful memories of laying my ear on his chest (my cheek being tickled by his chest hair) as he sang, “She is Daddy’s Biggy Girl” and “Bye, Bye, My Biggy Girl.” Songs composed by a man who loves to sing, made me feel like I was the only one in his world during those precious minutes, and at that moment, I was. In my previous blog, “When Doves Coo,” I referred to Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a mighty One, a Savior (Who saves)! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest (in silent satisfaction) and in His love He will be silent and make no mention (of past sins, or even recall them); He will exult over you with singing." Just as my Heavenly Father sings over me, so did my earthly Father.

Some memories, not so fond, but still mirroring my Heavenly Father in a profound way, were the way my Dad looked at me when I was misbehaving. I could see disapproval in his bushy, eyebrow-framed eyes, and most times would burst into tears just because of his gaze. My Dad was able to guide me with his eyes. God tells us, “I will give you knowledge, teaching you the way to go; My eye will be your guide.” Psalm 32:8

Memories of how I would respond to my Father’s love make me laugh. When my Dad would come home from work, he would whistle. I would run as fast as I could, take a flying leap through the air, and he would catch me up into his arms. As I grew, he stopped whistling, because I was getting to heavy to catch. :) I'll whistle and they'll all come running. I've set them free--oh, how they'll flourish!” Zechariah 10:8

There were times my Father needed to pick up supplies for work. Sometimes, he would take me along with him for the long trek to Lewisburg. This was a special treat for me, because I knew he would buy me either candy or lunch, and most importantly, I was able to spend alone time with my Daddy. Just as I desired to spend time with my Dad, so Jesus instructs us to spend time alone with our Heavenly Father. "When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you." Matthew 6:6

Dad has five children, eleven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren and he sang to, gazed at, whistled for, and spent alone time with each one insuring that each one felt loved, special and like the only one in his world. "And Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:..." Acts 10:34

Thank you, Dad!!! You’re awesome!!!!! I love you!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Recipe Raves, "Stuffed Portabella Mushroom"

I was experimenting the other day with portabella mushrooms and stumbled upon this yummy combination.

Take a clean and dry portabella mushroom and cut slivers of one clove of fresh garlic over it. I had made oat bran bread a few days ago, and because I didn't use white flour with the oat bran, it was very crumbly and dense. I took a slice of this bread and crumbled it in a bowl. Added a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp. chives and 1 tbsp. olive oil and tossed it. I then put this mixture on top of the mushroom and baked at 350 degrees F. until the mushroom was soft. If you see that the bread crumbs are getting too brown, you can finish the baking in the microwave.

It was absolutely yummy!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Poetry Place, "One Heart Given"

Of all the characters in the Bible, I identify with Mary Magdalene the most. To me, she represents the sum total of all of us...sinners in need, desperate need, of a Savior.

Mary found Jesus, a man who loved her while she was heaped in sin (she was a known prostitute), bound by demons (seven of them) and sicknesses. Jesus called her to Himself, because He wanted to touch her, forgive her, heal her, empower her.

Mary's reaction to this God-love overwhelmed her to the point of entering a home where she knew she was not wanted. She did it because Jesus was there. The love she had for Him had to be expressed. With tears of gratitude and expensive perfume, she lavished her love on Jesus. Opinions of men would not stop her; She would give her life to this Jesus Who saved her.

One Heart Given
Beautiful Grace

Gift given with love and brokenness.
Gift accepted with love and tenderness.
One heart given.

As tears run freely
To wash His feet,
His Spirit washes my soul.
He pours It out unreservedly.

Hair damp from wiping
My precious Jesus.
I hear the whispers,
“Does He know who touches Him?”

My heart melts, my spirit sinks,
Then a gentle touch upon my head.
New strength surges, whispers fade,
Jesus voice secure,
“The world will remember what she does here.”

You, my Jesus, touch and sooth all fears,
Your hand, a hood upon my head,
Still racing thoughts, which remove the peace.

Your love strong, Your voice clear,
“Stand still,” in gentle firmness.
“I will fight this battle for you.”
“Let Me hold you, and you’ll not be moved
In body or in soul,”

“Give Me all your burdens, keep not one alone.”
“Let not the weight of them keep you from Me.”
“I want all your fears, all your restless thoughts,
For I alone can calm.”

I give You all my burdens.
I give You all my cares.
I run to You to hold me when
Uneasy thoughts arise,
Knowing You alone can console,
This anxious heart of mine.

I sing with soul and spirit,
My thankful heart declares,
Jesus, my Peace, my Comfort,
One heart alone prepares.

One heart becomes a throne,
You rule in majesty.
You take my hand and pull me up,
You speak with voice so clear,
“No longer a beggar,
No longer a servant,
I choose you to be My Bride.”

“Dance with Me, My darling,
For in you alone desire filled,
Let Me be your Light,
Let Me be your Guide,
Through life’s dark and winding roads.”

I Am calling you to give Me
Your heart and all that’s there,
Give with love and brokenness,
I will accept with love and tenderness,
One heart given,
Two hearts become as One.

Read about Mary Magdalene in Luke 7:36-50

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Poetry Place, "Unity's Birth"

Unity’s Birth
Beautiful Grace

Creation’s perfection shown
Adam and Eve ruling side by side
Temptation, the fall, sin entered in
The curse pronounced…
Enmity between seeds
In sorrow bring forth children
He shall rule over thee

Tears of desperation, years of weeping
Sin has won!
Yet, hope is found in the judgment
It shall bruise thy heel,
But thou shall crush his head.
The Seed shall prevail!!!

The curse is cancelled
Jesus has won!!!!

The cross restores God’s original intent.
Men and women ruling side by side
Lead us not into temptation,
Deliver us from evil.
The choice is ours,
The power…God’s.

Friday, June 8, 2007

To Know And Be Known

Did you ever consider why the "blogger world" fascinates many of us? This question has been rolling in my mind for several days now. Blogging is a wonderful way to express one's thoughts, feelings, and desires. Posting family updates on a blog is a fantastic way to keep in touch with loved ones, but I believe why we blog is much more profound than all of that. We desire to know and be known.

Uniquely created by God, each one of us has a deep desire to share who we are with others and be validated. According to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, validate means "to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of." It is a beautiful thing to share an idea, (which actually is part of who we are) and have another respond in a way that validates us. As wonderful as it is to be recognized as "worthy and legitimate" by another human being, that's not going to fill up an even deeper need in our souls.

The only way we can truly fill our deepest need is to get to know the One who created us. Spend time with Him, talk to Him, read His Word, listen for His response. He is the only One Who really knows us, everything about us, and loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Jesus knows all of our triumphs, and He knows all of our failures (sins). He knows our dreams, our hopes, our desires, and our motives. He has created us and is fully acquainted with all of our temptations (Hebrews 2:18) and our sufferings (1 Peter 4:12 & 13). He knows us!!

Make it your life's goal know Jesus as much as a human being can, and I promise you, He will reveal Himself to you in ways you have never imagined! This journey will fill the deepest desire of know and be known.

Monday, June 4, 2007

When Doves Coo

This morning I wrote in the margin of my Bible, "Let me hear You sing."

While Strongman and I were relaxing on our deck this evening, we heard a loud cooing sound. Strongman said, "I think it's that dove sitting on top of the shed." He was correct; the loud song came from a beautiful little dove perched atop our shed.

If you know me, you know that I am extremely fond of symbols. God uses types and symbols all throughout His Word...He still speaks symbolically (and literally) today.

My point is, I asked to hear the voice of Jesus singing, and I believe I did hear Him singing. The dove, as most of you know, is symbolic for His Holy Spirit. I have heard the cooing of doves before, but never saw one in the act of cooing (singing). I find this too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence.

I serve a God Who loves me enough to send a dove just to sing to me, reminding me that even if I do not hear Jesus’ voice audibly, He still is singing!

This Jesus loves you and I so much that He sings over us!!!

"The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a mighty One, a Savior (Who saves)! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest (in silent satisfaction) and in His love He will be silent and make no mention (of past sins, or even recall them); He will exult over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

My friend, if You know Jesus as Savior be encouraged, He does not remember your former sins. He loves you so much that He actually sings over you!!! If you do not know Jesus as Savior yet, what are you waiting for? He is the One You have been waiting for!

You, my Jesus, have put a song in my heart, and I will sing to You for all of my days on earth and throughout eternity. I love You!!!

Friday, June 1, 2007

I Love How God Works!

I love how God works!!! He encourages my heart and gives me boldness!!! You see, my "natural" personality is fearful. Understanding the "why" behind the fear is a complex issue. Life experiences affect one's soul in various ways, but one thing is clear. God commands you and I NOT to be afraid.

When we fear, it is like saying to the Lord, "Even though You hold the universe together, even though You empower me to do greater works than Jesus, even though I will spent eternity worshipping You...I don't believe You have the power to redeem this particular relationship or maybe, You are too busy to see what's going on in this situation." No, no, no!!! We (I) must not shrink back no matter how the evil one attempts to muzzle us (me) with his spirit of fear.

Yesterday, I was remembering how the Lord encouraged me the night before my brain surgery. He had poured out the “peace that surpasses all understanding,” (Philipians 4:7) but all of a sudden, fear started to grip my soul. Randomly, I opened my Bible to “Have I not commanded you. Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid or dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” and Mr. Fear fled!!! (Joshua 1:9)

Joshua 1:9 applies today…in relationships, in situations, in all things I have no control over. My Jesus will work out all things for good for those who love Him (that’s me) and are called according to His purpose (that’s me).
(Romans 8:28)

Even this morning, the Joshua verse replayed in my mind just before checking my e-mail. To my delight, I received this prophetic e-mail from Marsha Burns.

Spirit of Prophecy Bulletin
Small Straws In A Soft Wind
by Marsha Burns

June 1, 2007: Now is the time when you can bring resolution to issues that have been unresolved until now. Your efforts to bring these things to a conclusion in the past have gone unrewarded. But, you have entered a window of time in which you can tie up loose ends of various kinds. Be courageous and do not be afraid to settle your accounts in an effort to move ahead, says the Lord. Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

I love how God works!!!!