Love…It’s The Fabric of Our Lives

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IMG_9764Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about what to wear?  A perfect world (for most women, me included) would be to just get up every morning, put your clothes on and go out the door, without having another thought about what you had on. Wait, I guess we do need to worry, some choices may not be too flattering…right?  And, those pants went out of style 2 years ago!  Oh shoot, that blouse is not the right color!  Those shoes do not match my outfit! Yeah, this scenario could go on and on.

I was listening to a friend of mine the other night, cutting up about being in her nursing scrubs.  She made the comment about not having to worry about what to wear.  I knew she probably came straight from the hospital to choir.  A few of us were standing in the parking lot, after choir practice, just shooting the breeze.  I thought…”Yeah, that would be nice not having to worry about that!”

We all can’t be a Princess Diana. No, she didn’t have to worry about what to wear did she! To me, she has always been the epitome of fashion.  Her grace, and elegance still lives through her beautiful pictures. That’s why I chose the picture above, she was beautiful in everything she wore.

Guess what?  We don’t have to worry anymore about what to wear!  And get this, God has already picked out this new, yes, I did say NEW wardrobe for you!

“Chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Colossians 3:15-17

Several years ago, cotton material was making a come back.  The very basic of materials was promoting itself as the desirable garment for everyone!  And did you know that cotton in itself is incorporated?

This is Cotton Incorporated’s mission statement:

“To promote the use of and desire for all things cotton, to get people like you to care about what’s in the clothes, sheets and towels you buy.  We know amazing things about cotton, and our job is to help you see cotton is The Fabric of Our Lives.”

God knows amazing things about love! It’s our job to promote it!

Cotton’s statement reminds me of God telling us to wear love!  Regardless of what you put on, wear love.  It’s your basic, all-purpose garment.  Never be without it!

Love…It’s The Fabric of Our Lives!

 

 

 

Make A Run For It

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IMG_7736The phrase “make a run for it” means…to suddenly start running in order to escape from somewhere.

I often picture God and or Jesus, standing at the end of a road, or a beautiful pathway with arms wide open.

When I know I’ve let go of His hand at one time or another, the Holy Spirit directs my eyes to that pathway where I see myself running into His arms.

“God charts the road you take.” Psalm 1:6 MSG

Without Him to guide me, I’d truly be lost. I have no idea where I am going half the time!

Jesus loves us…period.  He loves us today, He loved us yesterday, and He will love us tomorrow!

No matter how bad we mess things up, or become a mess ourselves, He loves us!

He is standing on that beautiful pathway with arms wide open for you and for me.

If we “make a run for it”, it simply means we have realized the world’s ways are not for us!

When we make a run for Him, we will not regret it!

“If you make a run for God ~ you won’t regret it!” Psalm 2:12 MSG

 

Not Just One Word…

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I’ve sought after the “one” word for a New Year before.  I’ve even had an “unword” one year.  But this year, I have a verse for 2016.  Not just one word, but many!

Let me share my verse with you…

“For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior; faith expressed in love.” Galatians 5:6 The Message

I have been praying and asking God what verse he had for me in 2016.  As I would skim through pages of the bible, (The Message version) the Lord slowed me down from skimming through His word, to a search and study of what He wanted me to adopt as my very own.

In my slowing down and searching, I kept going back to this one verse in Galatians that I had highlighted a couple of years ago. Knowing this was the verse to claim, the one I truly believe my Papa God led me to, had me looking at specific words within the verse.

I kept coming back to the word interior…I know what that word means, but wanted to look it up and write down the definition for it.

The very first definition that came up on my Google search was from dictionary.reference.com.

interior: being within; inside of anything; internal; inner; further toward a center: the interior rooms of a house.

I confess right now, I’m not always a loving person…and to be perfectly honest, there are those that I just don’t want to love, or even know how to love?  Am I a lone wolf here, or can you relate!

This is what Paul tells us about love…

“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t have love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 The Message

We can be so conscientious, (wishing to do what is right, especially to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly) with religion, that we miss the love…We can even disregard religion if we choose to, and miss the love. We are to love others. Period.  Love them as Jesus loves us. The interior deep within in us, where are hearts are, we are to love. If we believe and have faith who Jesus says He is, we are to express His love for others!

What matters is something far more interior; faith expressed in love

Dear Jesus, help me to love others in this new year as you love us!

 

 

There Goes The Neighborhood

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57c8e704fe86522c1849573cdd8c32e9Kevin, Maria and I went to a Christmas dance recital last weekend, and something that the emcee said…well, I just can’t seem to get it off of my mind!

He welcomed us all, but not just any welcome…it came from his heart, and he made no apologies for what he shared with us all.

When he said that Eugene Peterson got it right about the Christmas story, I sat up straight and was very interested in what he had to say.  You see, Peterson is best known for The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language.  The Message just happens to be my favorite version of the bible.

He told us that Christmas was so much more than presents or gifts.  Yes, I knew this…He said that Christmas was about God’s son, Jesus.  Yes, I knew this also…Sharing the passage from John was not what I was expecting to hear about the birth of Jesus…

“The word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.”  John 1:14  The Message

What’s so neat about all of this, is that for a couple weeks before I heard this passage at the recital,  I have been thanking God for sending His son that was born of flesh and blood.  I have been thanking God that Jesus walked on this earth and knows what it’s like for each of us to live this life we are living!  He knows our aches and pains.  He knows our sorrows and joys…He knows how we feel each and every second of each and every day!

Look who else was in the neighborhood…

“There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood.  They had set night watches over their sheep.  Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them….” Luke 2:8 The Message

The neighborhood wasn’t fit for a king, yet…The King of Kings moved right on in!

“So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding.  Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe ~ people and things, animals and atoms ~ get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood poured down from the cross.” Colossians 1:19-20 The Message

I am so thankful that Jesus moved into the neighborhood! He came as a tiny baby and gave His life for each and everyone of us!

Jesus is the reason for the season!  Merry Christmas.

 

 

My Great God Cares For Me

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image As I was going to see my Mother in the nursing home one afternoon, crossing the Hiwassee river, something caught the corner of my eye that was up on one of the tall telephone polls that graced the bridge.

Since no cars were passing me, I did a double take.  Was that a nest? Not only one, but two of them!  If those were nests, they were the biggest bird nests I had ever seen!

On my way back home, I made a mental note to look again.  I slowed down and took a picture.

Things like this fascinate me. Why? I have no idea, except for the fact that I am just marveled by God’s beautiful handy work in nature.

Feathers lying on the ground catch my eye also, and remind me of this verse….

“Look at the birds in the sky. They do not store food for winter. They don’t plant gardens. They do not sow or reap—and yet, they are always fed because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird. If He looks after them, of course He will look after you.” Matthew 6:26 The Voice


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I have this small bird feather on my bathroom mirror at home to remind me that yes, God cares for the birds of the air…but how much more He cares for us!

Sitting here in the hospital with my Mother who is suffering from dementia, I can’t help but question my God with the “why?”….”why God?”…”why is my Mom having to suffer with this horrible disease?”

On my way to see my Mother this morning, a small quiet voice whispered in my heart….

“Your Mother still has work to do here on earth…I have a plan for her, even in her old age, there is still a plan”

Could it be that God is trying to show me and my family that even into my Mother’s old age, He still cares for her…perhaps He is wanting to remind us that by her still being here, shows us He is soverign. He is Lord. He cares for her. He will never leave or forsake her…and by reminding us of this, that He will never leave or forsake us either, when or if He allows us to grow old.

“And you are even more precious to him than a beautiful bird. If he looks after them, of course He will look after you!”

Those of us who are still on this earth, are all a part of God’s plan.  He has a work for us to do.

These are words to a song written by Regi Stone and Jeff Ferguson that I have sang with a choir many times….it’s one of those beautiful songs that God just lays in your heart to rest forever.

“Autumn breeze starts to dance. Forest trees clap their hands. Eagles cry, oceans roar; worshipping the Lord. I join the praise, yet stand amazed that God, who’s so great, would know what I need. He’s always there. He hears my prayer. My great God cares for me.

Nations rise. Kingdoms fall. God reigns high above them all. Knees will bow, tongues confess to His holiness. I join the praise, yet stand amazed that God, who’s so great, would know what I need. He’s always there. He hears my prayer. My great God cares for me. He’s always there. He hears my prayer. My great God cares for me.”

What a beautiful reminder that our great God cares for us!

“Even when you are old, I will be the same. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you and save you.” Isaiah 46:4 NCV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live A Happy Life

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  The end of the week makes most people happy.  Especially those of us who work Monday through Friday.  We look forward to the weekends! A time to relax, refresh and recharge for the next week coming up.
Circumstances in our life can bring us down though can’t they? And a lot of times how we handle those circumstances is what brings us down! Hey, I’m preaching to the choir here! I don’t always handle things with grace and dignity.

God has a word for us today! He has a word for me!

“Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs, you who seek God. Live a happy life!” Psalm 105:3 The Message


The Calming Effect of A Holy Pasture

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IMG_6008As I walked into the health food store, my eyes started darting from aisle to aisle wondering where the supplements were to calm a person down.  Then I started wondering where the supplements were to give you energy.  And is there anything that they have to pep you up and calm you down at the same time?

Sometimes my anxious fears give way to a feeling of being “plum tuckered out”, as that old saying goes, which means a loss of energy! At those times that I am anxious, I need to be calmed down…yes, a viscous cycle of this I know!

Have you ever felt this way?  Am I even making any sense?

Confession is good for the soul right?  Well here’s mine…I use therapeutic essential oils, yes I am an oiler.  Oiler?  I’m oily?  I sniff therefore I oil?  OK, anyway you say that, you can’t help but snicker just a little.  I may not be as dedicated as a lot of other “oilers”, but those I work with will tell you that on any given day, I have lined up on my desk a variety of oils that I sniff, roll on, or drop on my tongue. I even had a student one day say, “I smell pizza and spaghetti.”  Yep, that was me.  I had just lathered on my throat the oil Oregano for a sore throat.

The essential oils boast of helping with what ever ails a person, much like that of what your local health food store offers.  And I am by no way dissing either one of these helpful venues for supplements, because I do believe that both really have things to offer that truly help with tiredness, and anxieties in a more natural way.

I know what God’s word says about rest;

“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

But a lot of times we forget this don’t we?  Usually for me, what happens is that the enemy beats me down so, that he diverts my attention so that I won’t even think of this beautiful holy promise from the one who loves me more than anything!

Just saying these 4 three words have such a calming effect!

Unforced Rhythms of Grace…Unforced Rhythms of Grace…Unforced Rhythms of Grace!

Unforced rhythms of God’s grace!

Anytime I see a beautiful rolling pasture, a sense of peace just floods my soul! I love to experience God’s handy work in nature, there’s nothing like it is there?

Right after God led Moses and the Israelites right through the middle of the Red sea…”Israel looked at the Egyptian dead, washed up on the shore of the sea, and realized the tremendous power that God brought against the Egyptians. The people were in reverent awe before God and trusted God and his servant Moses.” Exodus 14:31 MSG

What happened next, was a song in which the Israelites praised God with. This small part of the song caught my eye one day…

…”the people you redeemed, you led in merciful love; You guided them under your protection to your holy pasture.”  Exodus 15:13 MSG

I got to thinking, what does a “holy pasture” look like?

Listen, if we are a child of the King, we already know that answer! The enemy can cloud or minds to make us think we don’t know! David knew what that “holy pasture” was, and he wrote it down to remind each of us at times when we are tired and weary.  When we’re looking for ways to calm ourselves down, or even ways to pep ourselves up.

“God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. 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. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.”  Psalm 23 MSG

May the Lord bless you and keep you on your journey. ~ Beth