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Preview: Hallelujah Anyhow!

Hallelujah Anyhow!





Updated: 2018-01-23T13:14:40.906-05:00

 



Are You Wearing Crimson Pearls this Easter?

2017-04-15T14:23:34.544-04:00


This Easter

in the middle of the pastel sea

of baby boys in palest blues...

toddler girls in pinks and lavenders...

moms in pale yellows and soft teals...

and dads in matching ties (or not)...

let's recall the

Colors of our Redemption -


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For some reason the video does not show up in certain platforms.  The direct link is here

  This video was originally posted here in 2011 and created for my church's Easter program using the theme of Black, Red, White.  The message is still relevant today and I hope it blesses you!
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The Night the Dimpled Guy Won My Heart

2016-12-03T11:15:50.191-05:00

Imagine if you will - a first date with your grade school crush...During the "most wonderful time of the year"...Wearing a custom made "fancy" dress created by your mom specifically for this special occasion that would never have happened without her prodding and prayers.When he arrives to pick you up, you are amazed at "how grown up" he is and your heart is all a flutter...his dimples have only gotten cuter!!So you arrive with your crush at a crowded fellowship hall for a district wide church youth Christmas banquet...The buffet style meal so lovingly prepared by sweet southern mamas and grandmas requires you to leave your seat and help yourself to ham and sides...you pray all the while that you don't spill anything on yourself...or on him.You and Mr. Dimple Man return to your table to feast and make merry, when, what to your wondering eyes should appear,but your perpetually late sister with friends who just happen to be parked in your seats!Thriving on order and predictability, your slightly type A personality freaks out as you pan the room over the sea of teenagers and see no...empty...chairs.While ham juice soaks into your chinet and sweet tea threatens to spill down your perfect dress, Mr. Tall and Handsome quietly points to two empty seats on the far side of the room.Gallantry and smooth moves abound as he guides you to the new table and helps you into the chair...but then...without a word...he turns and walks away!!What!Your eyes follow him as he heads to the other side of the room...goes over to your sister, leans down for a sec, then raises up with a smile.Huh?  What is this? A conspiracy?You watch as he saunters back to your table...all the while his lips smiling and dimples dimpling...Then your knight in shining armor extends his hand and gives you the little black handbag you left on the other side of the room.Your heart explodes...In the midst of the noise and joyful chaos, you only see him...The meal is eaten, games are played, and carols are sung...but nothing outshines the glimpses of his face...the sweetness of his smiles...and the depth of his dimples...And as the saying goes...the rest is history!Happy 40th December 3rd, my Ricky dear...I love You![...]



How To Make Yourself at Home

2016-11-16T11:17:10.912-05:00

Where is home?  Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart's tears can dry at their own pace. ~Vernon Baker“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love."John 15:9-10 MSGI have loved you just as my Father has loved you. So let me love you always.John 15:9 WEI have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love[and do not doubt My love for you].John 15:9 AMPI have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you.John 15:9 CEVAs the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.John 15:9 NKJVWhen pain comes, home offers healing.When fear overtakes, home is the safe place.When despair consumes, home brings hope.When life overwhelms, home is peace.Home is not.. between wallsat an addressor a temporary shelter.Home is.. where your heart is heldby the One who is love in the flesh - who welcomes all with arms stretched wide -mercy saturated and grace multiplied The door is ALWAYS open Make your self at home in Jesus'LOVE[...]



Unbound Love

2016-11-03T08:19:02.691-04:00

I have loved you from the start I have seen your hurting heart And you feel so lonely But you keep on hiding Cause you feel so guilty For what you've done but There's no distance too far That I can't reach you There's no place that's so dark That I can't find you Anywhere that you are If you need proof Take a look at these scars And know I love you Doesn't matter what you've done You are never too far gone You can never outrun my love ~Jordan Feliz~I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.Hosea 14:4 NIVThe Lord says, “I will bring my people back to me. I will love them with all my heart; no longer am I angry with them.Hosea 14:4 GNTI will bring My people back to Me. I will not hold back My love from them, for I am no longer angry with them.Hosea 14:4 NLVThen I will cure you of idolatry and faithlessness, and my love will know no bounds, for my anger will be forever gone!Hosea 14:4 TLBWe are Loved freely...even when we don't love backTotal heart loved...even though we break HisLove that is Unbridled...unconditional...unrelentingUnboundSacrificialFull of grace and never endingAble to heal, restore, renew, and revive what was once deadLoved FreelyLOVEDFREE  Hearts blowing in the wind [...]



The High Price of Peace

2016-10-26T08:10:47.774-04:00

"Peace isn't a concept. 
Peace is a person."
~Elaine Olsen

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But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.
But he was being punished for what we did. He was crushed because of our guilt. He took the punishment we deserved, and this brought us peace. We were healed because of his pain. 
But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.
But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed—and we were healed!
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 
But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so. Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him. He endured the breaking that made us whole. The injuries he suffered became our healing. 

Politicians promise it

Choirs sing about it

Nations covet it

People fake it

but only those who acknowledge the Lord

will ever attain it...

It can't be bought, sold, bartered, or explained

It goes beyond what our minds can imagine and surpasses what our hearts can understand  

Yet it is freely given to all who ask

True peace

from the

Prince of Peace

Jesus is our peace
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The Right Time to Stay Close

2016-10-21T21:25:17.667-04:00

Hold everything earthly with a loose hand.— Charles H. SpurgeonLove the Lord your God. Obey him. Stay close to him. He is your life. Deuteronomy 30:20 ICBChoose to love the Lord your God and to obey him and to cling to him, for he is your life and the length of your days.Deuteronomy 30:20 TLBAnd love God, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embracing him.Deuteronomy 30:20 MSG..and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.Deuteronomy 30:20 NIVLove the Lord your God and obey His voice. Hold on to Him.Deuteronomy 30:20 NLVThe Teacher wrote: For everything that happens in life - there is a season, a right time for everything under heaven...During this season of changes -  in our personal lives,in our cities/churches/nation and world, let's hold fast to what is unchanging and everlasting, and stay close to the One whose love never fails. [...]



Waves of Rest

2016-10-19T20:38:07.312-04:00

"We should never attempt to bear more than one kind of trouble at once. Some people bear three kinds - all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have."— Edward Everett HaleNo matter the burden..“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation]. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me[following Me as My disciple], for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy [to bear] and My burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30(AMP)No matter the weariness..“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”Matthew 11:28-30(MSG)No matter the weight of the load.."Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Put My yoke upon your shoulders — it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."Matthew 11:28-30 VOICE)the Lordgives REST..Wade out into the waters of blessed quiet...walk in unforced rhythms of grace..and find ripples of respiteflowing into waves of restas far as your eyes can see.[...]



Remembering the Promises

2016-08-09T19:01:06.079-04:00

You asked me around 9 am this morning if I remembered what I was doing 39 years ago at this time...and I couldn’t answer your question.I remember I had been awake for hours already and was getting ready to “go get married” later that afternoon but the details of that last unwed morning elude me.Ah, dear husband, how sweet to grow old with you and be forgiven for memory lapses...but while my mind can’t hold on to every little thing...what’s important is stored in my heart forever."You cannot return to a time, but you can return to a place where promises were made."~Robert BaultWhile standing before God as He blessed us with the words of that little preacher man, we promised to have and to hold, from that day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both lived.We have kept those promises...and more...these 39 years…We have shared:Perfect harmony and intense debates over our opinions Joy at welcoming our 3 boys into our lives Thankfulness for the daughters those boys chose Amazement at how smart and hilarious our grandkids are Laughter at the antics of your bothers Grief when we couldn’t hear their voices anymore Tears as we said goodbye to loved ones who left empty chairs around the table Pain in our bodies and bewilderment in our minds as so called perfect plans failed  and so much more...to fulfill those promises...  We have seen each other sink into sand up to our knees and then climb up onto that Solid Rock...I had to see you thrown into the lion’s den, and while it nearly broke your body, you came out stronger in spirit than ever...So now there is a storm...with thunder rumbles and lightening bursts...and wind so strong our umbrellas turn inside out...We can no longer rely on our own understanding for anything and everythingBUT 3 things remain always:FAITHin the One who knows us best and knows what is best to bring about His will for our livesHOPEthat things will turn out alright in the end because what the Lord created on August 9, 1977 will always be in His hands and we can trust that the next chapter in His story for us will be so much more than we can ever imagine...and especially  LOVEfor Him and you and me and us and we and forever and ever, amen!And that's a promise!Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.1 Corinthians 13:13[...]



If You Are Looking for a Hero

2016-06-19T18:08:20.638-04:00

“Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes ,  they just don't know where to look.”RONALD REAGAN, First Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1981~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~All dads are not heroes...All heroes are not dads...Blessed are those who have both!According to the dictionary, “dad” is the informal version of “father” and a “father” is a man who has begotten a child.A hero is defined as a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.Let me share a story...Once upon a time there was a good man.One day the Lord chose him to be the daddy of a little girl. God entrusted this good man - and now great daddy - to raise his daughter to recognize the attributes of the Lord, so she would know from the very start that unconditional love, mercy and grace were the foundations of life.And so the daddy obeyedand watched and loved this apple of his eye..He became her protector, her guardian, and her defender.Nothing escaped his watchful eye and the little girl grew up knowing love that would lay down its life for her. The daddy was delighted...but sometimes saddened...to see his daughter venture out and spread her wings. Sometimes he allowed her to wander knowing struggles would send her back into his arms and that hard lessons learned would help her grow strong.And then there were times she thought she knew more than him... and after he had lovingly corrected her, he endured moments of heartache as the mercy he so desperately wanted to freely give was ignored and then only half-heartedly accepted.Those were the times the daddy didn’t know- that even thru her tears -his daughterrespected him for the disciplineadmired him for his principlesand loved him more than ever.In her eyes - he was her hero.She always felt safe...whether sleeping in his arms as a baby...living under his roof as a teenager...or taking another man’s name as her own and moving away. Her daddy remained her hero...And because of this daddy’s great love and sacrifice, she readily accepted that the Creator of everythingthe God of angel armiesthe Rock of AgesEl ShaddaiJehovahwas truly a merciful and loving Heavenly Father...and that any time day or night she could run to Him calling out Abba, Abbaand as His cherished child be welcomed home in a loving embrace that would never let go.creditSo as the daughter blessed to be given the treasure of a God-fearing and obedient daddy, let me say:Thank you for your love and never ending support.Thank you for all the advice...the many rescues...and even the sarcastic jokes that made me groan and roll my eyes.Thank you for being my rock and keeping me steady on this adventure called life.He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay. With a gentle hand, He pulled me out To set me down safely on a warm rock; He held me until I was steady enoughto continue the journey again.Psalm 40:2  Happy Father’s DayDaddy!You are...and always will be...my hero![...]



What the FTD Florist Doesn't Offer

2016-05-08T14:00:06.432-04:00

I considered sending you flowers, but we both know that delivered bouquets don't always look like the online pictures...and although you are ever gracious about the scrawny ones...you don't deserve such a feeble expression of thanks. I considered a plaque or picture (we all know how much you love pictures), but we both know there is just so much room to park doodads and whatnots....and although you have beautifully arranged your keepsakes....you don't deserve the chore of finding just one more spot for something else. I considered taking you out to one of your favorite restaurants, but we both know that such plans don't always work...and since we are years behind on some of our other special event outings...you don't deserve another promise for another day. I considered writing a blog post, but we both know that has already been done, here and here....and while they don't do you justice, my hope was to offer a little praise and a lot of love that would last longer than lilies and take up no amount of space in your home... but live on in your heart. So why do it again this year?I guess, because...just because of unspoken words and gratitude that fill the very core of my being for the gift of....YOU!  How could I ever give you anything even remotely as wonderful as you deserve? I read two "mother's day quotes" this week that really stayed with me: "Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you're the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside." ~Rachel Wolchin What an amazing blessing to have been given the honor and privilege of hearing the rhythm of your beating heartfrom such an innermost place...if that were the only thing the Lord had ever done for me, I would consider myself favored for eternity. You carried me close for 9 months and carried me closer the next 57 years, and knowing the cadence of your inner heart gives me the authority to say...that the outward expressions of your heart...the unconditional love,the compassionate acts of mercy,the constant support and encouragement,and the countless prayers are treasured as blessings I can never repayif I lived another 57 years. Which leads into quote #2: If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. ~Robert Brault  While this can not be said about every mom unfortunately, it has been your way since God knitted me in your womb.    Where would I be today without the prayers and petitions lifted up  on my behalfevery single day of my life?   How many times have your prayers placed me in the middle of divine enclosures that kept me safe from roaring lions and my own rashness and stupidity?   How many times have I felt strengthened during moments of trial because of my praying mama? Or been able to sleep soundly thru the night after months of exhausting tossing and turning? Does FTD have a flower for that? This blog post may be lengthier than some but it doesn't matter.If the few regular readers need to click out due to time restraints I understand...because I do that myself many days as time for long reads and in-depth comments  has become a thing of the past for many of us.This does not concern me, because I know my mama will do as she has always done....continue to the end. The love chapter in Corinthians describes you well, my precious mama:  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about in[...]



What is Certain in Life?

2015-07-31T20:02:53.130-04:00

Many blue moons ago, while Doris Day sang:“The future's not ours to see Que Sera, Sera What will be, will be"my friends and I wondered, hoped, and planned a future ripe with knights in shining armor, picket fences surrounding swing sets, and exciting careers in exotic places...unconcerned that armor conceals the real knight and exotic places rarely sport wooden fences and jungle gyms.Fast forward several decades and the world is a scary place...The jet packs and Rosie the Robot maids that we all assumed would be the norm by now have been replaced by terrors abroad and on home soil...dishonest leadership...nonexistent accountability...and disregard for creation.We never discussed this in home ec class...Hell and damnation were reserved for the vilest of sinners...while the rest of the population would just float along in a sea of tranquility and blow bubbles from wands dipped in the imagined squeaky cleanliness of their noble lives...not a care in the world.But we know that’s just not real...What is certain is - We willhave struggles grow weary feel pain lose loved ones not understand reach a breaking point want to give up That is life in our post-paradise world...BUTthere are promises...more promises than the “might happens”...and “will happens”...and “already happened”...and the “happening right now”...When you have to step off the shore of supposed safety and venture into deep waters...and the buoys and life preservers are hidden behind the darkened clouds of a world gone mad...and arms flail and feet slip and heads threaten to go underneath the unrelenting current...look up...the Father’s strong right arm reaches down,the Savior lifts up,and the tide turns as the Spirit rushes in."Victory is the place where our breaking point becomes our turning point." — L. BurtWhat is certain in life is this - we will...but God doesprovideprotectrestoreforgivecomfortlove andso much more than we can imagine... Victory is certain for a child of God.[...]



When You Just Need a Bluebird

2015-07-20T20:21:49.820-04:00

She had birthed her babies in the safest place possible.Hand-built with love...used for decades of spring and summer seasons...the birdhouse was a haven for bluebird families.Unreachable by cats, snakes, and other predators...her nest was secure.One evening, winds from the north tore down southward...trees bending, snapping, falling...buckets of rain pouring...and the metal pole that supported the birdhouse swayed.She comforted her young ones and assured them they were safe and protected and that she would be right there with them...thru the storm.Suddenly, the wind force was so strong that the top of the birdhouse flew back on the hinge and the nest was exposed to the driving elements...and everything else.Mama bluebird did what she knew she had to do...spreading her wings to completely cover her babies...she became a shield of protection...all...night...long.Morning came and still her tired body and wings lay across her little ones...risking her life for theirs...never forsaking...What sacrificial love from a tiny bluebird of happiness...**Sigh**Such a sweet story...but if you are storm soaked and the night is endless and sometimes the furthest thing from your mind is where happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow...Then remember this...On that day that was darkwith boulders crashinggraves openingand sacred veils ripping from powers unseen...withlife blood dripping from His woundsliving water pouring from His sidearms stretched wide from east to west...He became the impenetrable shieldbetween the childand the storm...His blood covers everything as sacrificial love that never fails...conquers the darknessand brings JOY that can’t be defined with wordsbut must be experienced with the heart... and that outshines the rainbows  stars and sun...That’s where I want to fly, Dorothy... That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” I Corinthians 2:9 NLT[...]



The Best Thing in the World

2013-08-10T12:10:32.383-04:00

Just a few months after the world was introduced to a galaxy far, far, away and Elvis sang “Hound Dog” for the last time, I heard your voice say, “I do” and watched your dimples imply that being a husband was the best thing in the world.Three years later... I heard your voice shout “I have a son!” and watched your strong arms hold him ever so gently and show that being a dad was the best thing in the world.Fast forward 25 years later and... I heard your voice declare, “I have a granddaughter!” and watched your blue eyes hint that she had already stolen your heart and that being a Papa was the best thing in the world.For many years I have heard and watched...I heard your regrets over missing out on so many events while our children were young, while I watched you work so very hard and do anything necessary to make sure we always had what we needed...I heard your complaints (and your laughter) about your brothers and their antics, and I watched your heart break when they were taken so soon...I heard your frustrations voiced every day because of a body that just wouldn’t do what you wanted it to do, as I watched the effects of years of hard work and crippling arthritis take their toll..I heard your cries of pain in the night and watched our snowy white little girl climb up and rest her paws on your chest and stare at your face until you said that you were okay.For 36 years I have heard and watched.And today, my love, I heartwo hearts in rhythm and I watcha lifetime of love grow deeper and sweeter than mere words can describe.You are the best thing in my world!“Love never ends: it wakes up every day determined to do it all over again.”~Lore Ferguson, Sayable~Click HERE for some more beautiful expressions of love based on I Corinthians 13.[...]



When Faith Needs a Face

2013-07-30T08:54:14.743-04:00

The letter was addressed:“Dear Heavenly Father”Dated October 11, 1978, my Grandmother’s handwriting on the faded page closed with:“Your daughter and sonWe are Your children” In that pre-blog era of putting actual pen to paper, she wrote heart words to her Lord and Saviour asking for blessings concerning selling her and Granddaddy’s house.She knew the value of a tangible testimony of her faith in answered prayer…The same envelope housed another such letter dated one year later that began:“Dear Heavenly FatherWe thank you Father for all Your blessings upon us”and ended with:“Thank You Father for answering prayer.We are Your children.Hallelujah”Did my Grandmother know when she wrote these letters that nearly 35 years later they would encourage and edify?Did she know that her precious script would be seen across the globe and that a written prayer goes further than ink on paper by putting a face on faith for all to see?And did she know that her Hallelujah would merge with mine and raise a right holy ruckus of praise? Put a face on your faithWrite the letterBreak the breadHug the wearyReassure the doubtfulMinister to the brokenand go servein whatever way God tells youBecause your faith needs a face, hands, and feet to glorify the One Whom you believe.... A faith that does not do things is a dead faith.James 2:17 NLV[...]



The Seeker of Shards

2013-07-14T21:10:31.728-04:00

Three edged sharp, the shard is almost hidden in the shadows.Just one piece of many, the Seeker carefully places it with the others. All shapes and sizes, the fragments seem to have no rhyme or reason, yet the Seeker knows what the Father can do with broken pieces...Small slivers caused by promises not kept...harsh words...and disappointments...Larger pieces with sharp edges that cut deeply brought on by broken homes...diseased bodies...wayward children...and questions not answered in the here and now...Why, God?Nothing makes sense...What did I do?What didn’t I do?Are You even there?Do You really care?And the shards shatter wild with hope falling to the ground andImmediately,the scarred hands of the Seeker gather them tightly and His blood covers all... The Seeker looks at the newest shard...the one created at a hospital bedside...from a mother’s heart bleeding out every ounce of love she had in the hopes that gushing fountain would heal her boy until it just pumped dry and brittle and was completely broken...The world is full of broken heart shards...This very second, someone’s heart is coming apart...In this imperfect world that offers no hope...hope is offered by perfect love...It is our choice whether to accept it or not...Shepherd, Seeker, RedeemerThe Seeker of the Shards gathers every single piece of brokenness and lays them before His Father...And the Father, with His bottled tears and numbered hairs, takes the countless pieces of the shattered heart and begins to smooth the sharp edges...Healing begins with the Heart MakerGaps between the cracks are filled with His glorious grace that is sufficient to hold the pieces together until the final step of restoration when our eyes see His face and our heart is complete...What was once in pieces, will be restored. I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me?Psalm 6:3 NLTThe 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[...]



When His Sheep are Black & Blue

2013-02-09T10:39:03.901-05:00

Your birthday came and went last month.No cake, ice cream, or balloons for you this year...just a harvest of seeds sown...You see yourself as the “black sheep” of the family...But I was there that night The night you pushed up from the altar...planted your hand on your heart...lips curled into a grin...actually you laughed...and said:“Thank you, Jesus!”That black heart was washed white...and momma danced happy...I was there later as the enemy tried to take back what had been redeemed...And watched as detours became the norm...eventually steering you back to the straight path...and then you’d be off again...Another birthday came and went this month.A custom cake by Katie, Kroger ice cream, but no cards...Until the mail lady delivered an envelope with your return address in the corner...Inside was the sweetest custom handmade card...And this blue sheep smiled and thanked God for His grace and love...So black sheep, blue sheep, green or purple - if grazing in the Good Shepherd’s pasture, we are all the same.His blood marks those who belong to the Lamb...He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. After He has gathered His own flock, He walks ahead of them, and they follow Him because they know His voice. John 10:3-4 NLT[...]



Finding Christmas in the Ink Stain

2012-12-05T20:42:05.836-05:00

It was the year before Charlie Brown first asked:”Isn’t there anyone, who knows what Christmas is all about?!””” ””Christmas past...her 6th, and a special gift from paternal grandparents...Black leather, red words, white pages of the King’s story in a king’s version...Many Christmas seasons pass and the book is taken down from the shelf to find the treasures hidden among words sometimes hard to understand...She decides to make a statement by underlining every word she reads in ballpoint ink...Tiny globs splotch the thin sheets...Fast forward to Christmas present, and during an attic search those packed away inked pages and spotted verses are found in the middle of a box of keepsakes.She pauses and opens the book...The naivety of the ink stains...The reminder that underlined words mean nothing...unless penned by a holy hand on a receiving heart.and she sees His handsinnocent hands balled into tiny fists swaddled close under the star of wonder...healing hands that touched lepers, tender hands that held children and broke bread... sacrificial hands inked red... mighty hands that are big enough to hold pieces of broken hearts so hope can mend the cracks and grace repair the irreparable...So the world can know joy andLove...And that, Charlie Brown, is what Christmas is all about...The greatest Love imaginable Love that underlines YOUR NAME with crimsonand then rubs a mercy-filled eraser across all the splotches and smudges we create in our lives...Love like this, onlyJesus [...]



When You Need It Most

2012-09-13T10:37:28.190-04:00

“People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.” John HarriganSee the people?The friend who betrayed your trust and seemingly forgot every promise she ever made to you and deserves forgiveness the least...needs forgiveness the most as she battles alone the demons trying to destroy her family...The pastor who forgot the purpose of his calling amidst numbers and payroll and deserves grace the least...needs grace the most because he is the one God has chosen to lead your loved one to Christ...The addict who lies and steals and cheats and deserves mercy the least...needs mercy the most because he is looking for a Strong Tower, with eyes blind and hands chained...Can you see the people?The man in the deepest pit dug by selfish choices and hateful actions who deserves hope the least...needs hope the most because death waves a ticket of escape in his face stamped with a date that is too early...Can you see?The wretch who stomped thru the puddles of blood flowing from Calvary in indifference...who stepped up in pride instead of kneeling down in humbleness...who turned away from the only One compassionate enough to see through her façade of fear...who shook her fist at the One whose hands were reaching out to save...who deserved love the least...who deserved no love at all...but needed love the most...was given the most love possible in the form of God in the flesh...See the people?They are everywhere and everyone...They are me and they are youand because the most we deserved was death, Jesus Christ became the least so we could have the most wonderful gift of all...a life with HimBut God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us.Romans 5:8 CEB[...]



Twelve Thousand Days of True Love

2012-08-09T16:33:17.265-04:00

We actually said “I do” on that very first date...Shy girl and shy boy in a crowded room jammed full of people and we didn’t see any of them...Heart all aflutter as the boy/man rescues a lost purse and captures my heart...His dimples were so cute!!Eight months pass with sweet stop sign kisses and plans for the future...We say “I do” again, but this time before God and one of His men as our journey begins...We workWe playWe make memoriesTime passes swiftly as our bond becomes stronger and love grows deeper...I discover my guitar player is also a singer...and a songwriter...who composes melodies about EVERYTHING...Our family tree grows 3 new branches...BOYS...so alike yet completely different and husband and wife also become mom and dad...Blessings abound and joy overflows and it couldn’t possibly get any better...The songs keep coming...Seasons pass and our branches grow and lo and behold they are joined by beautiful new growth and buds bloom and before you know it there are... 1 2 3 4 5little Thompson grandflowersBabies of our babiesAnd we glow in the journey of having daughters and being nanna and poppa and the songs burst forth with no effort at all...And after 35 years we still say “I do”...To have...as many more years together as the Lord allowsTo hold...as tightly as we can to the Rock that is secureFrom this day forward...until He comes or calls us homeFor better...which it is every single dayFor worse...which we overcome by trusting God and leaning on each other For richer...as our blessings are priceless and manyFor poorer...as the sacrifices were not made in vain...In sickness and in health...because that is what you do for someone you love and back rubs and M&M’s can sometimes cure what ails you...Until death do us part...so let’s go out with a song...According to the figures,we have been married for 12,785 days1826 weeks306,840 hours18,410,400 minutesor 1,104,624,000 secondsand I am thankful forevery - single -second -with you...Happy Anniversary my love,Never stop singing....[...]



The Color of Glory

2012-07-21T16:05:29.378-04:00

Listening closely, the child hears the old saints sing about “streets of gold”, “walls of jasper”, and “gates of pearl”...Visions of Dorothy and the Tin Man walking the streets of Oz paint pictures in her mind of a brightly lit and beautiful place...Sparkling jewels and precious stones glow amber, sapphire, and jade but she doesn’t know the color of glory...The wall was jasper, the color of Glory, and the City was pure gold, translucent as glass. Revelation 21:18 MSGTime passes and she catches glimpses...Wrinkled hands holding life in the pages of a leather bound Book...Humble servant hands clasped in prayer...Tender hands reaching out in love to right the wrongs and comfort the hurting...She sees hands...and feet...and faces reflecting theglory of Jesus...by unselfishly placing others first...regardless of the cost...But what is the color of glory?Is it the color of innocent faith?Or unconditional love?Or indescribable joy and absolute freedom? Is Glory the color...Of dust flung wild from the Father’s feet as He runs to greet the child that was once lost but now is found...Of praise sung loud and hearts wide open in worship to The Was, The Is, The Coming.Of the ransom paid at such a great price...The color of glory  has the hue of grace saturated with rainbows of love and sunbeams of hope..It can be seen by the blind...heard by the deaf...and touched by any hand that unloosens its fist...because these colors radiate from theOnewho made heaven and earthand we,as His children,are the reflection of His glory…so let His colors shine through you....Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known.I Corinthians 13:12 CEB[...]



He Said His Name was John

2012-06-10T20:08:35.004-04:00

He said his name was John the Baptist...In a hospital wing filled with waiting families and faithful friends, this “John” sits...alone...loudly declaring His appointment by God to be a voice crying in the wilderness...of 21st century Rome, Georgia...Sideways glances and feet shuffled are the responses...as thoughts run the gamut of “is he crazy” to “what is he going to do?”Louder cries and voices change as threats ring out to all nearby...The men in blue arrive...and escort the prophet outside while clenched muscles relax and quiet chatter resumes...as the battle for John’s mind and soul rages on...Never put down your sword*********************He said His name was Jesus...the name above all names...In a small church filled with faithful saints and waiting sinners, she sits in a pew...a battle raging...a decision to be made...THE decision to be made...Her heart beats louder with every second passed as the preacher urges ears to hear and feet to walk...so lips will confess as eternity gets closer and closer...He said His name was Jesus...and with eyes closed she sees Him and knows that this Person...this Name...is the One she has been waiting to meet...Down the aisle and at the foot of the cross, she places her heart on the wounds in His hands...and His heart’s blood washes her white...Anyone can speak a name...but not every name can speak and chains breaksickness healbrokenness repairsins eraseand death run...The name of Jesus - there’s not just something about that Name...That Name is everything...There is no way to be saved from the punishment of sin through anyone else. For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we can be saved.Acts 4:12 NLVBecause of this, God lifted Jesus high above everything else. He gave Him a name that is greater than any other name.Philippians 2:9 NLV[...]



Prayer Request

2012-06-09T19:59:59.200-04:00

Dear blogging sisters,

My mother will be having major surgery tomorrow and I would appreciate prayers for her and my daddy.

Thank you!


UPDATE:

Mom is resting at home after a successful operation.

We are expecting a complete recovery!

Thank you for the prayers and emails.... they made a difference!


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Caged Words

2012-06-01T20:37:08.402-04:00

Birdcages aren’t just for birds...They make a nice spot to house the words of favored writers...But what if our own words are kept in cages?words cagedthoughts hinderedrevelations untoldpraises unspokenAre your words caged?or freeto suggest ponderingsto declare encouragementto worship the One most worthy?Words caged mean blessings lost…Are your words caged?or are they free to soar from head to heart to lips or perhaps to fingertips?Then off they fly to spread the Good News...Are your words caged?and do the stories you live die with the moon and never rise again to spread joy, hope, and love?Even words of humor bring healing to souls scarred and spirits scared...Are your words caged?Open the door and release them...Let the homing instinct of your words fly to the place they long to be, that they need to be, where roosting carriers rest until more words come and complete the testimony only YOU can share...Don’t let your words remain caged.Someone, somewhere needs them...Thanksgiving is our dialect.Ephesians 5:4 MSG[...]



Step Back...and Let Go

2012-05-23T21:52:14.412-04:00

It was called the “Spindletop” here in Georgia. The dark bare walls of this cylindrical room always made me nervous...“Step back with your feet against the wall!”, was the first order from the operator. “Remain in your spot and don’t move!”The room began to spin...faster and faster...up to speeds of 33 revolutions per minute (or so I am told)“Let go!”, my cousin shouts, as I grip his hand tightly...Then, the floor drops about 2 or 3 feet and we are leftHanging...on the wall...By a force so strong we are helpless to stop it...Yeah, I know that thrill ride is considered “old school” to this generation, but back in the day it nearly terrified me...Stuck in one spot...held up by an unseen force...If we had refused to “step back”, things would not have worked correctly...If I had not “let go”, my cousin might have been mad at me the rest of the afternoon...So now during this prelude to summer in Georgia, I find myself on another ride...There are only seconds remaining before the room begins its revolutions...and I hear...Step Back...So I stay,and thenLet Go...(this part is way hard but I know it’s what I have to do)The floor dropsAnd that force so strong I am helpless to stop itRushes in like the wind And I am held upBy His power And His mighty handDon’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.Isaiah 41:10 NLTIs there a situation in your life that the Lord is wanting you to step back and let go?[...]



Labyrinth of Love

2012-05-19T09:30:31.356-04:00

In a room filled with people, she only sees silhouettes and berber carpet stretching for miles...In the ocean of humanity, he floats along...a hollow piece of driftwood...tossed by waves...alone and cast asideThey have scores of friends on Facebook, but in the dark of night, empty hearts and broken dreams flash vacancy signs neon bright... “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.” ― Mother Teresa Wasteland wanderings filled with souls crying out for just one touch of compassion...a small expression of affectionL O V EUnconditionalEverlasting  "I have loved you with a love that lasts forever.    I have kept on loving you with faithful love.”Jeremiah 31:3 NIRVLet’s go get lost in a maze of love...continued at Leaping Over Walls...[...]