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Friday, May 15, 2015

OH GOD YOU ARE MY GOD

Oh God You are my God earnestly I seek you.
My soul thirst for You.
My body longs for You in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 63 penned by King David. When I studied this Psalm years ago my eyes were glued to the page. I read over and over these first verse and I just declared with David "Me too!" A dry and weary land. Think back to a time you saw crackling dry ground causing dust to fly up in the air and get in your nose, hair, face. Or flowers vegetation dried up and on the verge of dying. You know when there is a drought. My life can be like that too, dried up, void of connection. I can be in a room and feel empty.

My desperation to seek and find God started with a deep need for meaning in my life. As time went on and questions like "Who is God? Who is Jesus? Who is the Holy Spirit? Why did Jesus have to die? Why was I even born? Do I have a have a purpose?" and I was getting answers my need became a want. I wanted to know God more and understand the power of His resurrection. It was a treasure to find answers it was like I found silver and gold. I found the scripture to be true, seek the Lord like you would seek silver and gold then you will know the wisdom and understanding of God. My life began to have meaning. The living water of Jesus filled me up. Kind of like like the women at the well. The women at the well like me had a sin sick soul. She snuck out to go to the well not wanting to be confronted or seen. She was dry and weary, and scared from her past. Her life was meaningless and empty. But something in the eyes of the man she met at the well was inviting. Not in a sinful way but in an a compassionate empathetic way. He explained that he can give her living water. That day her mind, body and soul was filled with His living water. Her sin sick parched soul was satisfied for the first time ever. Life had meaning. So much meaning that she ran to tell others. She went to the others that had all along made her feel dry and weary. But her courage like Davids caused her to see the land of living. A fresh touch of perspective.

I love the next verses in Psalm 63 "I see You in the sanctuary with all Your power and glory." I wanted to know what David saw in the sanctuary (a sacred place). Daily I began to read these words over and over. I longed and asked "Can I go there God? Can I too see this place? Where is it?" I knew that David went to temple probably as a boy but then his life did not permit him to go. He was being hunted down and hiding.

I reread some of David's triumphs over the years. As a boy he protected his sheep from dangerous animals like lions and bears. Scripture says he was a man after God's own heart. A man after God's heart would not talk to God every once in a while. He would talk to God all day ever day. His relationship grew to such a point that nothing could satisfy him. Not even the best meat he consumed. David said he loved God better than life. David had courage. Courage to fight a nine foot giant, Goliath. Goliath's tip of his sword was fifteen pounds. That's like three big bags of flour.

I wondered and asked "Where did David meet with God?" I want to believe that God gave him a sanctuary in his mind. Other scriptures supports this when God says he is our rampart, our fortress. These are all places that God wants us to picture in our mind where he takes us to protect us. He knew life would throw us lions and bears. Meaning toxic people. Difficult circumstances.

In fact Jesus teaches us by saying "In this world you will have troubles but take heart I have overcome the world."

Perhaps David is given a dream of this sacred place after all he says "I think of you through the night, because you help me." He was given a gift, a place, to see God's power and glory.

I asked God could I see what David saw? Time passed with no answer. I could only continue to pray and reread this Psalm.

Until...

One night God must have figured I was ready and I awoke with an urgency to get to my computer. My groggy, crusty eyes were closed I placed my fingers on the keyboard and I began to type with great persistence and perseverance.

I went to the place the sanctuary. the breathtaking, awe inspiring and refreshing place.
I can't put into words how I was truly renewed.
It was a place of soul care and love. A taste of Heaven and the sanctuary.
What a miracle it was.
I sensed I am being sent out. A delightful taste to give to others. A piece of heaven. My script was written.

This happened in 2008 and today I heard a song written by Fernando Ortega singing Psalm 63. My heart is renewed just remembering this special moment.

I am hoping by writing this that I inspire you to find your refuge, rampart or fortress to have a deep sense that God protects and guides you.

"For in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28 NIV). Not only had I thought about this verse but divinely I have been brought there twice through different writings. When that happens I feel stirred to go to the verse and read it over and over. The before and after. To get a sense of what is being said and I like it. It resonates with my soul and excites me to be want to be able to share with others. "God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us" (Acts. 17:27 NIV). As Paul described what God wants for all has happened to me.

I have been asking myself how I can get RENEWED to gain back my energy and sense of clarity. Other words that come to mind REFUELED, REFOCUSED and RESURGED, I began to think hard how will I get it. Like dah, can I conjure this up? Of course finally I prayed. Slowly God began to show me nature on my bike rides in a new way. Gazing at a panoramic scene of a lake with all it's beauty and I began to write what I saw. Every movement of nature my senses were stimulated and heightened with awareness. I REALIZED this is where I can get "Renewed".

These past months I have reminded of that I want God to live and move and have my being.

I am not getting a full picture of what will happen in the future. I am just getting a sense of being satisfied with the answers I have today.

Let go of what we expected and embrace what we have.

In this dry and weary land can we still have meaning. Yes! It comes through Jesus love and His life and especially through His suffering in the end which ended with new life.

Finding unconditional love for others is hard. I want to love with out expectations and conditions.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

MOTHER'S DAY

Happy Day to all!

Dear Friend:

It was nice to meet you recently at a Stonecroft meeting. I was your speaker. I hope you enjoy this note.

What a privilege it is to be a mom.

I know many of you know the special role of being a mom.

I love being a mom.

I pray you hug and adore all moms today.
I pray you hug and adore those who are struggling getting pregnant.

I struggle at this point in my life letting go of my adult children and finding my place in their lives. I have to trust God that he will show me the best way to communicate with them. This new role shifts and it can be difficult at times. I pray that I find my way through life with the focus that God gives me for this time.

Maybe you’re in my spot of letting go. I've been praying and asking "What's the right way to talk to them? What's the best words I should use? Lord, should I say anything? Lord, should I get involved? Lord, what should my expectations be? Lord, I want to bless my children how to I do that now? Lord, help me to respond righteously. Lord, help them to all get along, if there is something wrong help us to talk with love. Lord, lead us in this new phase of life always with the best intentions and care for one another." Then I pray for them to have marriages that are God honoring and that they would parent their children with Christ love and their children would respond to them with favor.

He will help us to find purpose in new tasks and everyday life.

I bought this t-shirt and wear it proudly "Don't Let Anyone Ever Dull Your Sparkle." People and circumstances can dull your sparkle.

I have been challenged lately to spark joy. Is everything I am saying and doing sparking joy for God and others.
We also need to have sparks of joy for ourselves to stay strong and healthy inside out. I'm not afraid to ask God to show me joy in the midst of the daily grind. His response to me might not be relief from back pain but a person calling out of the blue and their words are encouraging. Or maybe I have a Dr. appointment and the Dr. says "Well the good thing is...!" I'm always looking for the good so this is especially nice to hear. Or I run into someone who needs my prayer or they pray for me. Or maybe I’m able to share steps to making peace with God with someone. To me that is personal sparks of joy. My problem may not go away but I sense God is lifting me up. Do you know what I mean? 

I have read this book called "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. The bottom line of the book is to  discard items in your home that don't spark joy any longer. The idea is having a house full of items that spark joy then you may feel lighter and happier. She has suggests going through your house hold each item one at a time in your hand and ask "Does this spark joy for me?" She has given helped people with addictions, stress related illness, obesity, anxiety, depression etc... by using this approach of tidying up your home.

There is so much in this world going on. Take the time to rest when possible.

May you find a spark of joy today!
Sparking Joy!
Elaine



She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

MY DISCONNECT DAY

I, ____________, PLEDGE to myself and to my family, for which I stand, that for one day I will unplug it, power it off and shut it down, in order to look up and look around...

This is a advertising ploy put out by Cabelas's store. I use the word ploy because I their name is attached and it is advertisement.

They have a website promoting Disconnect Day you can go to it at www.mydisconnectday.com

The pledge has a sign-up on line and I noticed it is nearing 10,000 people signed up.

If you remember how the schools adopted turn off TV days for the family. Maybe the schools will have a disconnect day for all electronics. If they do already, let me know.

I was talking to a mid-life person recently. They were sharing how they had been betrayed three times in relationships and how they are done. They said  "Life is so hard. They feel empty. They have lost faith in God. How can they just move on? How are they going to be happy in life?"

It's hard I know. I've experienced this empty feeling periodically in life. Most people really feel this void around the Holidays. What I mean the anxiety increases at those times.

It is hard when you don't know where to turn like this person. It is hard when you do know where to turn.

I asked "Have you been carrying this burden on your own?" "Yes" was their response. I love when I am listening and someone says they feel all alone because that gives me a chance to ask "Do you want to hear about someone who loves you and does not want you to carry this burden alone?" In this case this person wanted to hear that what I had to say. It ended with them wanting to pray and give their life over to the one who cares and that is Jesus.

If the person says "No", I ask if I can pray for their journey, continue to listen and then say "Well if you ever want to know call me back and I will explain."

GOD WILL MAKE A WAY

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

God Will Make a Way!

Amen.

Move on.

God is showing His great power!

God doesn't even blink an eye; he will never turn down help to you!


Love the Father!