December 25, 2014


Sitting with my tea in the darkened room lit only by the lights of the Christmas tree I find myself standing still with 'light'.

Darkness comes not just as night. 
Illness, conflict, hurt, hatred, sadness, anxiety, stress, poverty, ...
So many live... exist... day to day walking in the darkness of this life.

There are those moments when light shines in the darkness.
The glowing embers of a fire giving warmth.
The beacon of a lighthouse creating  a path across the water.
The illuminating beam of a flashlight guiding your steps.
The magical glow of a lightning bug suddenly appearing in the dark. 
The flash of brightness cracking across a dark sky as lightning flashes.
The beauty of the Milky Way spread across the canvas of night.

By definition - electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the eye; something that makes things visible; an illuminating agent or source.

Looking at the lights on the tree, I wonder how would most define the 'illuminating source' in their lives.
Being successful?
Their beautiful home?
Their children?
The glowing words others use to describe them?
Knowledge or expertise they may have?
the thing is - at some point - each of these sources of illumination do eventually dim.  The finest of silver will tarnish. Things will age, need maintenance, fall apart or go out of style.  People are human and often will not meet our expectations and we certainly will not always meet theirs.  Success can both come at great cost and easily fall prey to failure.  And knowledge can fade but almost always a person's own folly leads to their ruin.

Looking at the lights on the tree my eyes are drawn to the star at the top...
There was once a dark night through which there was an explosion of light - "and the glory of the Lord shone around them".  Words were proclaimed ---" Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

I stand still with two thoughts.
First, I can't even imagine the light which is defined as "the glory of the Lord shone around them". 
Secondly, "the news that will cause great joy for all people" --- THIS is the illuminating source that will never dim.  In this world darkened by sin --- "A light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5) We have the assurance of our Lord's words, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”(John 8;12)
This light will guide us - "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." (Psalm 119:105)
This light gives us strength and is our salvation  - "The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)

 Through this world's darkness; through the dimming commercialism and materialism; through the folly of men there is ONE LIGHT, ONE illuminating source that will never dim... given to us to bring joy and love; to bless us with peace and provide Hope despite the darkness of this world and the darkness within us.  That light came wrapped in clothes and lying in a manager. 

I pray you the joy and peace of This wondrous light.  I pray you discover that Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.  " And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  And I especially pray that you know " neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The light of Christmas's very purpose will shine brightly on this earth - guiding you, strengthening you, loving you.  This light will shine through you to others.  This light will guide you to an everlasting home in where the glory of the LORD will shine about you.
May the light of Christmas bring you joy and shine about you for all eternity!

 Isaiah 9:2 - The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."
Psalm 18:28 - You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
EPH. 5:8 -For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
John 12:36 - Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”



December 20, 2014

Follow My Lead

I started something without realizing it.  Has that ever happened to you? 
That "hold on to your hat here we go!", "You asked for it you got it", "what have I gotten myself into", "Really?", "Are you sure?!?!", "Now what?"  kind of thing.

I had to shake my head and chuckle. 
Answered prayer...  
I glanced upward and said to the Father, "You do have a sense of humor...  I'm not sure I'm ready."
As I stood still with this His whisper came, "Follow My lead".

 Follow my lead...
"I want you to do what I do."
"I am going to lead what happens next."
"Follow My direction."
"Accept My lead."

Follow My lead.
For some the response is a quick wink and a nod indicating they're game.
For some the response is "I'm all in!!"
For some the response is "I'm just along for the ride."
For some the response is "Yikes!"

 Follow My lead.
It may require an adventurous spirit.
It may require a sense of humor.
It definitely requires TRUST, YIELDING and WILLINGNESS. These aren't always my first response and they definitely aren't easy.

 I stood still with my thoughts... my feelings... my spirit as I grasped "Follow My lead."
I had gotten to a level of being comfortable; a place of calm and peace in certain areas of life and now over the course of the past bit I've been nudged, and then shoved to go in a direction different from what had been settled or planned.

I stood still with MY thoughts... MY feelings... MY spirit trying to grasp "Follow My lead."
And realized I needed to stand still with HIS will... HIS words... and HIS plan.

 Deep breath.

 "I'm in.." I meekly whisper the answer.
"I DO trust you. Enable me to yield to YOUR will. Help me be willing".
"I asked - You answered. I'm not sure what's going to happen but I am sure about WHO is happening - so here we go.. me and YOU, LORD."

Proverbs 19:3 - A person's own folly leads to their ruin.
Psalm 25:4-6 - Show me your ways, Lord; teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
John 8:12 -  When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 10:27 - My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Psalm 23:2 - He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.
Proverbs 4:11 - I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.
Proverbs 3:6  - In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

December 11, 2014

Beauty in the Broken

Broken, fragmented, pieces.

Holding all the pieces in hand one would look at this jumbled mess and count it all as loss.
Damaged; flawed; perhaps useless.

My lesson with brokenness continued today when I came across an object that was on a shelf.   It had been a long time since I picked it up.  A bit of nostalgia welled up.  I looked through the viewing end and watched as I turned it.  Tumbling colors,;changing patterns exploding; revealing reflections of beauty. 

Kaleidoscope. A simple concept. A cylinder with angled mirrors containing bits of glass. 
As the tube is turned, the tumbling of the glass bits creates symmetrical colored patterns. 

I stood still with my kaleidoscope for awhile today. 
The broken pieces had jagged edges. They were all mismatched... a jumbled mess.  Similar to the jumble mess life sometimes is felt.

Standing still with my kaleidoscope, I was reminded the word kaleidoscope can also mean " a complicated set of circumstances".  How appropriate is that?

Life is a kaleidoscope.  Always shifting causing the pieces to go tumbling... ever changing.
Yet.. out of the brokenness and jumbled mess there is creation of  a magnificent pattern... something new.... something beautiful.

I considered the kaleidoscope of my life.
Yes, there are broken pieces... and jumbled messes.  I often count them as failures; losses; hurts.
Yet the Creator of this kaleidoscope purposes those broken pieces. Through that  mess something of value is revealed.
A pattern of HOPE.
A pattern of STRENGTH.
The beauty and value of BLESSINGS otherwise not possessed.
INSIGHTS revealed.
New PATHS opened.
LESSONS that never would've been learned without that slight turn of events.
BEAUTY of life revealed, seen and possessed.

Without the broken pieces none of this is possible.

Amazement and appreciation grows, not only for the kaleidoscope of which my life is but for the one who lovingly holds it in HIS hands.  Gently using that jumbled mess to bless!

 My prayer for  you is to view the beautifulness and value that is revealed in your kaleidoscope and know who is lovingly holding it!

Romans 8:28   And we know that  in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Isaiah 64:8  Yet you, LORD, are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the Potter; we are all the work of Your hand.

December 10, 2014


6:12 a.m.
The first text I sent for the day...

"We are going to have to get the side view mirror on the passenger side of the van fixed. Don't ask. This day is starting out quite well..."

The reply came...
"Love you"

I looked at the picture I had sent with the text and one word came to mind..

Sighing, I looked at the picture one more time. Yep-broken...fragmented; hurt; in pieces; cracked; smashed; damaged; defective; not functioning properly; out of working order.

I think I might've actually chuckled to myself as I thought how accurately that description applied to me currently.  This year has been filled with a few too many challenges - especially these last few months.  I'm somewhat exhausted physically, intellectually and emotionally.  And spiritually?!... Well,  It is time to stand still.

 As I've hit the pause button on life, it has occurred to me that I have actually been the cause of a great deal of the exhaustion and brokenness with which I am struggling. While I have no control over many of the events experienced this year  (medical diagnoses, loss, choices life gave, actions of others, and more) I did have control (should've taken control) of my responses to them. 

My responses?  Let's see...
Allowed fear to dwell in my mind; embraced doubt in myself, others and the Father; stubbornly pushed on when I should've paused; thought I had strength in self-reliance (some of that really boils down to pride); got stuck in hurt; dwelt daily in the tyranny of the urgent; practiced avoidance -

No wonder I'm exhausted... overwhelmed...broken...

Being honest with myself, all of this has limited my effectiveness - limited the use of my time and gifts; contributed to unwellness; overshadowed the blessings given daily; burdened or hurt others; and created an unhealthy spiritual distance between me and The Lover of my Soul.

I could've chosen instead to respond in trust; sought help when needed; listened; yielded; or had confidence in knowing that even though I didn't know what the future held- I knew WHO held the future.

I looked at the response to the text I sent...
"Love You"

The exact words, now that I'm listening, which are being whispered to my soul... constantly.

My prayer for you is that no matter your brokenness, may you hear HIS words and know them; may those words bring you restoration; and may you know they are unconditional...
"Love You"

And now I'm going to get a broken mirror fixed and give a broken soul a rest:)

Psalm 34:18 - The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the Lord with all you heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
Matthew 5:2-12 - Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
1 Peter 5:7 -  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Romans 8: 38-39 - Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the LOVE of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.