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Archive for the ‘What Love Has Done’ Category

Family Pic1 Corinthians 13:6-7(NIV)

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

For many years I absolutely detested the fact that my birthday was the day after Valentines’ Day.  That dislike stemmed from the fact that my special day was surrounded by commercialized, annual protestations and outpourings of love as dictated by many businesses.  The onslaught of commercials, posters and floral come hither’s often left me bereft, especially when more often than not there was no special someone in my life.

With the continuous sprinkling of life seasonings, I learned to celebrate not just a special day but many times the entire month.   Living in Houston, I was blessed to be enveloped by friends, family and business associates who could, with their offers of lunch, drinks or dinner, stretch a birth day into a much longer life celebration.

Embracing the love of I Corinthians 13 I am moved yet again to a place of absolute higher gratitude.  I am with breath in my lungs thankful for the love of family!  I have the most wonderful loving mother and father, who through trials bumps and life have loved me completely and unconditionally through these many years.

I am blessed to have a loving little sister and brother who I am able to cheer on through life with glowing unashamed pride.

I am grateful that God blessed me with my daughter who has been the joy and delight in my life, who when I could not seem to love myself enough God allowed me to pour every ounce of love into her.

The gratitude of these days overwhelms and warms me!  The unconditional Love of God permeates and inhabits the Love Vessels I call my beloved family!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Spring-Flowers-Wallpapers-4[1]

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Today begins my birthday week.  Every day that I awake, I have a reason to be thankful.  With each breath taken, with or without difficulty, I am grateful.  In the grand scheme of things, God cares about me so much that He touches and wakes me up everyday, for these 50+ years.

Grateful I am to serve in His vineyard, delighted to do as He bids. With joy, I thank God for this hour, this day and this week in which He gave me life!

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

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Matthew 25:44-45 (NIV)

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

With each passing year, words to songs heard as children keep resurfacing and becoming meaningful and relevant to my own life.  Life experiences cause us to understand the stories behind those songs.  Songs of overcoming, rejoicing and making a difference.   The lyrics  to this particular song caused me to search my own heart and question if my life has meaning and question, if my life is vain.

When Christ returns, I do not want to have, “I coulda, shoulda , woulda” on my lips.  It is my desire to maintain a sense of urgency so that I am able to hear the words “Well done…”

Making His praise glorious!

Ree

Lyrics to If I Can Help Somebody :

If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song,
If I can show somebody, how they’re travelling wrong,
Then my living shall not be in vain.Chorus:
My living shall not be in vain,
Then my living shall not be in vain
If I can help somebody, as I pass along,
Then my living shall not be in vain.If I can do my duty, as a good man ought,
If I can bring back beauty, to a world up wrought,
If I can spread love’s message, as the Master taught,
Then my living shall not be in vain.

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Rear-view mirror showing cars parked behind th...

Rear-view mirror showing cars parked behind the vehicle containing the mirror (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaiah 43:18 (NIV)

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

 

There is a malady that causes people to live their lives eyes fixed and staring through the rear view mirrors.

Hearing and being a witness to this caused me to ponder, what really is the purpose of a rear-view mirror?

Wikipedia states, “A rear-view mirror is a mirror in automobiles and other vehicles, designed to allow the driver to see rearward through the vehicle’s backlight (rear windshield or windscreen).” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rear-view_mirror)”

Hmmmm, so this tool is in place to give a quick backward glance to the rear while moving forward.  In this  lifetime I have seen cars driving along that contained side mirrors but clearly the spot where the rear-view mirror was supposed to be affixed was absolutely vacant.

Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)  17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

Once we surrender our lives to the Lord we become new creatures, all of our sins, secret and confessed lovingly covered by the blood if Jesus!  This new creation is free to move ahead! Rear view mirror living should only provide a brief look back so there is a reference point to enable us to see where God has brought us from and not hinder us from rolling forward and toward His purpose for our lives!

Today let us vow to only glance in those mirrors gain perspective and focus our eyes on God!

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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