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Archive for January, 2012

7 The LORD is my strength and shield.
      I trust him with all my heart.
   He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
      I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.   Psalm 28:7 (NLT)

I have the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  This song sung in childhood made us smile and squirm with glee at the prospect of being occupied by Jesus. http://youtu.be/t9wc8IFparU

As I have gotten older I realize that joy, given a chance –  spills out!  Especially when we are filled to capacity, that joy oozes and spills out for all the world to see. Sometimes my joy is obvious.  It manifests in the brightness of the colors I wear or the excited giddy tone and melodical musical notes of my prise songs.  The Holy Spirit translated notes not the off ones. The joy of Jesus makes me happy. Receiving grace and mercy are reasons to smile! Knowing I am abundantly and unconditionally loved by God makes my eyes dance. Daily I open the door of my heart to welcome the life affirming resident!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

Jesus on the wall of the senior Home

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The Holy Spirit depicted as a dove, surrounded...

What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Matthew 10:27 (NIV)

There have been no words from my Dad during the last four weeks as he lay in ICU fighting for his life. The only sounds heard were the beeps, chirps and occasional alarms of the machines connected to and sustaining him. While I was at the hospital, I held, kissed and rubbed his hands.  In the wee, still and dark hours of the morning I babbled on about how much I love him, reading devotionals and the Bible to him. In that cold hospital room I sang, prayed and worshipped God with my Daddy. I chuckle now as I recall reading to him  using voices much like he had done when reading “Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories” to us when we were little.

Believing and claiming again the promises of God read during my life, the news of Dad being more alert and trying to talk did not come as a surprise, a miracle, yes but not a surprise. I delighted in the relaying of his whispered responses to questions. The Holy Spirit does not scream at us. It is that still small voice that confirms, comforts and guides us, so to me whispers are wonderful. Today I am quietly rejoicing for the whispered words of a man who I know is fighting to get better so that he can once again give the glory of his healing to God!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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17 Whatever you say or do, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Give thanks to God the Father through the Lord Jesus.  Colossians 3:17 (NLV)

I have no doubt that a great deal of thought went into the most recent “Dave” commercial for Staples. Dave is everyone in his office, from receptionist, copy repairman, assistant and CEO every person is Dave.  Dave wears many hats, and is very cheerfully busy and in every instance shares a word and a smile.

http://youtu.be/c1efxG2ak_k (Staples Commercial)

Throughout my life I have worn a variety of hats, not titles, but hats. Granted, unlike Dave, I may have groused and grumbled when a particular hat landed on my head. I mean, really who wants to gleefully carry buckets of mail in sweltering heat not wearing a postal uniform or the act of pouring vinegar into the office coffeemaker to clean it after the painfully slowest dripping pot before a large meeting? Professing to dedicate each day and each activity to the Lord means, I am to take pride in even the most menial tasks. I do not have to wait for housekeeping to pick up that piece of paper I see on the ground or take a second to push in a chair, just because.  Each act is an opportunity to serve, not only God but those around me. Lord, help me this and everyday to be cheerful in my service to You and others.

Making His praise glorious!

Renee

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 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight,
         O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14 (KJV)

Tree Silhouettes

Image by John-Morgan via Flickr

There is a tree we pass every morning on the drive to work that I have watched through different seasons.  This tree was my inspired muse for this morning.  Currently she is experiencing an ugly period. Stripped bare of leaves, naked, feeling no sunlight or showing signs of life she appears dead, lifeless and without purpose.

Yet with the coming of spring she will bloom anew, this is still not her pretty season.  Not with the butterflies lighting on her limbs, not with the young squirrels scampering through the leaves, not her pretty season.  Come the Fall, the seeming promise of death dawns her most dazzling pretty season.  Limbs bejeweled in colors of green, gold and red, sprinkled with sunlight, this is her pretty season.   So like this tree the is life of some Christians.  Often believing that life while we are young is the best it will ever be.  Learning later that maturity, seasoning and age provide the foundation that shows our lives to be living, dying witnesses.   My prayer for today is that through each coming season, my life is a witness to the goodness of God!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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A little dexterity is helpful in working with ...

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6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.It  has been a little over a year since I picked up knitting needles and began this journey of knitting with God.  As I was reading Jeremiah and re-reading the story of the piece misshapen in the Potter’ hand I thought back on my year of projects.  Jeremiah 18:6 (NIV)

I, an acknowledged, novice somehow neglected to check my gauge in the early days, ok it is still a problem, and as a result there was more than one odd-shaped, twisted, gaped piece that should have never seen the light of day.  In the beginning the idea of taking it apart, after hours and days of diligent work was unimaginable.  What a difference mere months made.

I might bind off to the last stitch, but if it is wrong, it is wrong it is wrong and out comes the ball wonder.  More than once in my life I have been that imperfect work in the Potter’s hands, how thankful I am that He takes the time to make me over and over, and over again.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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 4 Even when the way goes through  Death Valley,   I’m not afraid
      when You walk at my side.   Your trusty shepherd’s crook   makes me feel secure. Psalm 23:4 (MSG)

The 23rd Psalm has been oft-repeated by me in the last four weeks.  Each time I said a prayer or put Dad in God’s hands rather than worry, it would pop to the forefront of my mind.  I woke up today praying and planning to write an incredible blog, but no words came.    Riding in to work I was literally searching the sky for a word, any word.   

Yet, when I received word that the surgery scheduled for today was beginning several hours early, my first knee-jerk, daughter impulse was to panic.  “What, huh, wait it’s early, why??”  these and other valid questions assailed my thoughts as I kept tryng to call my sister.  Finger hovering over the buttons, the Holy Spirit spoke and I was commanded to calm down and pray.   As I closed my eyes and offered up a prayer,  a blanket of c

Psalm 23 is often referred to as the Shepherd'...

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omfort and calm washed over me.   “Yes, even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid of anything, because You are with me. You have a walking stick with which to guide and one with which to help. These comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 (NLV)   God is in control and for that reason alone, I am at peace.  His comforting hands are over every situation and that alone allows my spirit to soar in praise.  Dad is truly in the best possible hands and I also praise God for the skill and talent of his doctors as exhibited over these weeks.  To God be the glory!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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English: The Yarn Market in Dunster, a 17th ce...

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Psalm 45:9 Daughters of kings are among your honored women; at your right hand is the royal bride in gold of Ophir.”

 Who are you?  Where are you from? What do you do?   Many times I have been asked these very questions and had my tongue get stuck in the acrobatics of forming a witty, relevant, on point response.   By reflexive rote, I would state my name, somehow weaving in that I am someone’s daughter, mother sister or spouse.  The reality of me had become so intertwined and enmeshed with others that I could not clearly state who I was.   I neglected to take the time to follow the ball of tangled string in order figure out who I truly am.  That task was something I could not or was unwilling to do until God stepped in and pulled on the string and began the unraveling of the jumbled strings to clarify my discovery.   Only with His hand upon me was that the truth of who I am revealed.  While my life is still tied to others, I can now state with pride that I am a child of God, a writer, knitter,  a daughter, and prayerfully a servant in the service of the same God who calls me daughter!  This same God who freed slave redeemed and remade my seemingly insignificant life by simply claiming me and calling me His own! 
 
Making His praise glorious!

Ree
 

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“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.   Matthew 25:1 (NIV)

Monday night I watched the reality program, “The Bachelor”.  I confess to also watching it last season, when the current gentleman had his hopes of love happily-ever rudely and openly smashed.  I did not enjoy my front row seat to his very public and humiliating heartbreak.   So I was glad to see he was going to be the “one” this year.  I acknowledge more than mild curiosity regarding the senior citizen repeatedly showed getting out of the limo during the teasing pre-show commercials enticed me to watch.  Whew, I relieved to learn she was there to put in for a bid for her grand-daughter and not herself.   Twenty-five young women all vying for the attention of one mortal man of decent pedigree and background, all hoping to spend enough time and garner adequate favor to get that last rose and marriage proposal on the season finale. That young man is not the only bachelor to have his dream of being a bridegroom delayed.

That show made me think of Biblical bridegrooms.  There a total of 22 mentions of the word in the Bible, each time engendering for me a level of regal expectation, purpose and excitement.  The bridegroom in Matthew 25 was late, so late the virgins fell asleep.  I imagine one beyond nervous bride.  I see flower petals torn and strewn as she said “he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me….” The pacing the angst as she wondered if this wedding was ever going to take place.  I see him strolling up, unhurried, confident and excited knowing that now that he had arrived, the wedding would take place.

The church as Christ’s bride has on many levels been pacing and questioning like the bride in the parable.  Often questioning whether everything has been done to help move things along more swiftly.  The Bible clearly states in Matthew 25:13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. We are to be like the virgins with the extra oil, prepared, ready and ready to shout “…Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet Him!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Happy New Year!

15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them.  Acts 14:15 (NIV)

Day three of this brand new year.  Begining with a clean slate, a pristine canvas, or an empty vase waiting to be filled as God sees fit.

Left behind in the old year are unrealized dreams, unintentional hurts, slights and moments of pain.  Continual blessings are those things not left in the old year,  the gift of words, God’s grace, mercy and love.  Absent also is the fear and intimidation of not writing the right words that shackled and silenced me for so long. 

This newly minted year begins with me knowing that each and every word is provided by God.  Each and every word part of my praise and worship.  Each blog a present inspired by the Holy Spirit to reach someone else who needs to know that regardless of where they are, what they have done or secrets harbor, God Loves us!   I surge forward into this year with the sole goal of doing as God commands, fully understanding there may be moments when I fall short, but keeping my eyes ever on Heaven as my ultimate goal. 

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

The Holy Spirit as a dove in the Annunciation ...

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