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Archive for September, 2012

Smith's later theology described Jesus and God...

Smith’s later theology described Jesus and God the Father as two distinct physical beings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romans 6:4 (NIV)

 

We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

 

I woke up this morning with a happy prayer on my lips!  Joyfully thanking God for the breath flowing through my lungs.  Brushing  my teeth and washing my face I was able to see the gray hairs and etching of life thereon and what a blessing, I have sight.

 

By all accounts I am healthy, yet I know that without the steady life-sustaining presence of God in my life I would surely perish. I am on life support.

 

My life support team works on me daily, providing necessary infusions to keep me going!  The Holy Spirit whispers to direct me on the right path and causes me to prayerfully and patiently think about the choices I make each moment of every day.

 

Jesus, my friend and example provides an active model of living a supported life.  Our Father, God carries me when it seems I just cannot move one inch more and bids me to ” Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV).   Humbly and gratefully, I chose to remain on life support!

 

Making His praise glorious!

 

Ree

 

 

 

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The Return of the Prodigal Son

The Return of the Prodigal Son (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luke 15:19-20 (NIV)

19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.  “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

The prodigal son returned home with more than a small measure of apprehension. After all he had taken his inheritance and squandered it on what amounted to a whole lot of nothing. Yet upon his return his father ran to greet him, enveloping his filthy, pig pen stench wafting son in the most welcoming embrace as tears flowed from his eyes.   I was dressed in a dress, face made up and smelling good but the hug and tears from my mother reminded me of this story.  As I was wrapped in her arms listening to her tears of joy I imagined how unworthy but how truly loved that prodigal son must have felt.   To be welcomed with unquestioned,  undiminished unconditional love after the shameful way he had behaved was humbling.

This experience and picture for me is a glimpse of our homecoming with God. He already knows our stories, our failures, triumphs, missteps, and wrongs yet His arms are wide open excitedly waiting to wrap us in His all-consuming love and forgiveness.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Psalm 116:16 (NIV)

16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;  I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.

I had the pleasure of being the “surprise” gift at my Mom’s 70th birthday dinner.   Understand this, I speak with my mother and daughter every single day and keeping a secret of this magnitude from both of them was incredibly difficult.

My sister, an incredible planner, had everything planned to the minute but as is often the case, things did not go exactly according to plan.  As so often happens in life, we plan and arrange and orchestrate everything down to the smallest detail, yet God often steps in and with a slight nudge changes our simple plan into something extraordinary.

I planned to take pictures to capture the faces of my mother and daughter but it was difficult to do so when all I wanted to do was hold and hug all of the loved ones I had not seen in many months.  That entire weekend was all about celebrating the life of our wonderful mother, grandmother and friend.  Mommy, a true giver,  was able to listen and receive as the attendees showered her with flowery bouquets of words typically reserved for the end of a life, when the impact hits the hearts of the remaining family members.  I was awed hearing the many ways she continually touches lives. The hugs shared, advice given but most of all the elegance and grace exhibited as a woman who loves the Lord quietly, gently and consistently.

Striving to be a woman of God I am honored to have been raised by such and awesome, grace-filled woman.  Lord, I thank you for the precious gift of celebrating my mother’s life and having her as an example of a life lived for You!
Making His praise glorious!

Ree

 

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Mahalia Jackson, 16 April. 1962

Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)

Psalm 121

A song of ascents. 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—    where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the Lord,  the Maker of heaven and earth.

Recently I enjoyed a Facebook conversation with some family members.  We were reminiscing about the blessing and healing of hearing and singing old hymns.   I admit to almost daily spending countless hours basking in the upbeat praise and power of contemporary songs.  But on some days when no other song will do these old hymns are the songs that my soul yearns and hungers to hear.  Songs of climbing, reaching and striving for “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and wanting to be “In the Upper Room” and understanding in this walk through life that “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” is not merely a song but a plea for God to lead.

There are so many times when only a gut-wrenching fervor will reach that aching part of my heart and remind me that everything is going to be alright.  Days when “I Love to Tell the Story” promises me that Heaven is my goal and I desire to do as God commands!

How I Got Over – Mahalia Jackson – http://youtu.be/PRVzOV5ZaLs

Steal Away to Jesus – Mahalia Jackson/Nat King Cole – http://youtu.be/-O5hz5KnSdc

Precious Lord – Mahalia Jackson – http://youtu.be/-O5hz5KnSdc

 

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

 

I  we love and are blessed and able to praise with the contemporary by the new songs  those songs we sang that we didn’t understand at the time

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2 woodless graphite pencils in plastic sheaths...

 

Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

On my desk at work is a delicate looking mug stuffed with pens and pencils.  My “Love”  mug has been on my desk since shortly after I began in this position, mostly because I don’t like digging for pens.

But oh, how the purpose has changed! It used to be kept to the side and hidden, not in a position to invite a borrowing eye or request. Yet moved a few inches over and a not so amazing thing happened, it turned into bait for the unprepared!

One borrowed pencil was a life, someone’s child asking for help. So what if the child towers over me and outweighs me, they need something I can provide.  Over time I realized that borrowing  pen or a pencil became the excuse but more often than not eventually the hug became the reward.

We are to provide help to the helpless and mother the motherless. The cup is stuffed because an empty vessel is unable to share a pencil or pour out the Love of God!  A borrowed or given pen is merely a way to let others feel small measure of God’s Love.  Today I am thankful for the pens and pencils that have touched my hands no matter how briefly.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Jeremiah 23:24 (NIV)

24 Who can hide in secret places     so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord.     “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.


For many years  I have maintained my own fingernails.  It was a consistent weekly Sunday night ritual, until I started knitting. Pushing back cuticles, cutting and filing followed by slow patient polishing.  Ok maybe not so patient during polishing, as evidenced by errant brush strokes that will peel off with soap and water.

A very rare and special treat was a trip to a nail salon for an infamous mani-pedi. Rare because I am blessed with an aunt,  who happens to be a top of the line nail technician, who  always ensured that I have enough professional polishes, emery boards and oil to keep my nails in perfect condition from home.

That rare treat and my slacking due to knitting almost destroyed my nails. I like many other innocent women, I contracted a fungus. My always strong nails clouded and were slowly dying, from the inside.  Due to my less than fastidious care and keeping them covered in polish I was unaware of the damage.

My unsaved life was the same, all spit and polish on the outside, yet crumbling and dying underneath. A life specialist Named Jesus had to be called upon, He alone could fix my life.   From the inside out He worked to clear out the damaged parts and replace them with pockets of His Love until my life was so full the damage became a memory from which others could be served.  My nails also needed a professional, so I texted my aunt and she told me what to do to bring back the health of my fingertips.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

 

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