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Archive for July, 2013

 

Sunset at Lake Success

Sunset at Lake Success (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Hebrews 11:1 (ASV)

 

11  Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.

 

suc·cess  (sk-ss)  (Free Dictionary.com)

 

n.

1. The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted: attributed their success in business to hard work.

2.

a. The gaining of fame or prosperity: an artist spoiled by success.
b. The extent of such gain.
3. One that is successful: The plan was a success.
4. Obsolete A result or an outcome.
A popular interview question.   How do you define success?  What makes you feel successful? Then we are tasked with making it personal,  meaningful, relevant and relatable.   The response reminded me of who I am in God and the purpose and renewed aim of my life.
I do not consider myself successful!  There are far too many things I have not seen and just as many that remain undone.  Success for me clearly  hinges upon things that I cannot predict , plot or plan.  Any idea of Earthly success bears little or no weight.  Faithful success for me means doing as directed by God with the understanding that there will be future rewards.   Rewards that have little to do with what is eaten, worn,  held or visible right now.
Tangible visible victories  appear  in the smiles on faces where recent tear tracks are still evidenced.  A hat warmed  head where moments before cold air raised bumps and a neck now wrapped in warmth.   Proud grins on the faces of  young people who have exceeded what they believe they could do encouraged by a kind word and  interested spirit.

Each and every one of us is able to define success in ways that either appease the world or that please God!  As for me, Lord I await my heavenly jewel encrusted crown and the words “Well done!”

Making His praise glorious!
Ree

 

 

 

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19 Now therefore, ye are strangers and foreigners no more, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

English: First_Japanese_passport_1866

English: First_Japanese_passport_1866 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On any given day, we carry at least several forms of  identification proving who we are. Driver’s licenses provided by various states acknowledging a rudimentary ability to operate vehicles on the dangerous roads.

Individuals proud of their new countries, or those required by governing agencies, carry passports everywhere signifying their rights of citizenship.

Fingers encircled by rings of gold, platinum, silver or stainless steel given by loved ones as  tangible witness of eternal fidelity and love.  To belong and be loved, honored and cherished.  These unions produce children who are able to claim all rights and privileges family membership affords.

This snap-shot view does not include many dropped into fractured, dysfunctional or toxic familial relationships.  Cast adrift battered and bouncing through life unaffiliated and unloved.

Reading Ephesians 2:19-22 (MSG) I got excited because by faith and believing the truth is that you are not alone!  19-22  “That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.”

Every family member has assigned duties and purposes!  Christian’s this is not our permanent home and we are to be about our Father’s business and welcoming our brothers and sisters!  Let there be no doubt, your birth certificate and how-to for life is the Holy Bible!  Within those pages are found the rich stories of our heritage, history and legacies as promised by God, Our Father.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

 

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Lord Howe

Lord Howe (Photo credit: Roberta W.B.)

 

Psalm 150 (NIV)

 

1 Praise the Lord.[a]

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord!

 

God has been so good all  I can do is have a praise party in His honor!  Glory to God for His goodness!  Everyone is invited and welcome!

Making His praise glorious!!!!

Ree

 

 

 

 

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100_0535.jpg

James 1:21 (MSG)

 

Act on What You Hear

 

19-21 Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow-up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

 

In truth, the verdict was not totally unexpected, yet there was still a moment of disappointment.  Watching and listening my heart continues to cry out to the Lord.  Comfort came as I read James 1:21.  God’s righteousness will prevail.  In every situation, for every child lost or harmed, family broken and disasters, God has the final say.  Like many in this country, I paid attention to the Trayvon Martin case.

 

I  am humbly grateful for the freedoms that I enjoy, said freedoms that have been paid for on the backs, bones and efforts of others.  My heart aches for every family that will never again wrap their arms around their loved ones.  I weep because the world seems to be careening so horribly out of kilter and I pray.    Prayers  for the peace of God to move this country and world forward.  I pray for hearts to open and recognize that God has the final say and that  He is always just.    There is solace in repeating and meditating on Psalm 30:5  (KJ21) 5 For His anger endureth but a moment, and in His favor is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

 

Making His praise glorious!

 

Ree

 

 

 

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Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

 

Isaiah 41:10 (KJ21)

 

10 fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.

 

 

The Holy Spirit has been gently thumping me upside the head for a few days.   A door has been opened, plans percolating and forming and I have been standing  flat-footed, rooted and immobile.

Changes need to be made, new vistas explored yet there has been catatonic  hesitancy, shrouded in fear.   The whisper began, “fear not, for I am with you”.   The Message translation of this text resonated, hitting the nail solidly on the head,

Isaiah 41:10 (MSG)    10 “ ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.  I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you.   There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.  I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.  I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.   Truly my heart has been flooded by comfort and peace and understanding that whatever it is that God desires for you to do, He is right there, supporting and encouraging.

There are moments when the dream or vision is so gigantic and out our normal comfort zones,  yet we must always remember that God provided visions are backed by the knowledge that He will equip us to not only take on the endeavor but to succeed, in the name of Jesus.  So here, I am poised to jump into the unknown, willing to fulfill the destiny God has for me and as always in all ways giving Him Glory.

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

 

 

 

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Mary Magdalene, in a dramatic 19th-century pop...

Mary Magdalene, in a dramatic 19th-century popular image of penitence painted by Ary Scheffer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Ok so it isn’t actually a new word, it is and has been in the dictionary for quite sometime, but the full understanding of it is new enough to earn it a spot in it f my very own vocabulary.  That word is Malaise , for purposes of this note, definition numbers 1 and 2.

malaise

  1. feeling of unease or depression
  2. a mild sickness, not symptomatic of any disease or ailment
  3. a complex of problems affecting a country, economy, etc: Bulgaria’s economic malaise
  4. [C18: from Old French, from mal  bad + aise ease ]

For months I had been wrestling, struggling, weighed down by something I just could not  put a finger on.  On the outside it may have appeared that everything was fine but on the inside there was a malaise.  I was not depressed in a way that should have me trundled off to the closest psychiatrist, therapist or sanitarium, yet something  was just not right for longer than a moment.

As life continued to move forward, carrying me along bobbing and floating among the waves and ripples I prayed to understand what this particular version of plague was assailing me.   I had been praying.  I had been reading but still the murky cloud (this malaise) persisted.

Were my prayers unanswered?  Was there substance lacking from my worship?  What was the reason this malaise continued that felt more like  a cellophane veil?   Then my a-ha moment while reading 2 Corinthians 12:9, in my weakness, blahs, cloudy moments, rely on the strength, will and might of my Lord to carry me through.  Depend on the whispering of the Holy Spirit to inspire and spur me onward  and keep my eyes continually focusted on God.  As I prayed and thanked God for clarity a pin-sized hole grew larger and larger as He reached down to gently clear away the murky haze.

Lay it all on Him, releasing doubts, questions, insecurities and trust Him even more fully.   Take that leap, make that step and fall forward knowing that He will catch me.  Understanding that the path He has for me, is for me and that trusting in Him is never a mistake!  Greater is He that is in me!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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English: Scratching Tree. Unusual tottom pole ...

English: Scratching Tree. Unusual tottom pole type tree worn away at bottom by cattle scratching against it. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romans 5:3 (CEB)

3 But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance,

It may have been about a month or more ago, but for two days during that period I suffered.  Tried to hide it, rubbing my leg on a table edge or my back against the couch, but by the end of the evening it was apparent to anyone around that there was a real problem.

I could not sit still, every couple of seconds I was scratching.  What began the night before was escalating in frequency.  I was an itchy, reaching, scratching  ready to pull off my skin mess.  It woke me during the night and permeated every moment of my days.  Finally, I confessed my distress to my husband.  Like Sherlock Holmes and Watson we began a quest to understand and solve this perplexing itch causing mystery.  What had we eaten?  What did I drink?  What was different?   How long had it really been going on?

Often unconfessed sin can render us so terribly uncomfortable that the only thing we can do is going to God for absolution, forgiveness and comfort.  We know that something is amiss, yet we chug along, dismissing that small thing and pushing it to the next level where it can become such an unbearable burden we must release it to God.  The cause of my uncomfortable  – an innocent change in laundry detergent!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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