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Monday, February 19, 2018

THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE THINKING

Put Your Thoughts on a Shelf

Scripture Verses[1]
Phil. 1:6.  [B]eing confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

2 Cor. 10:5. (MSG) We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. 

Phil. 4:6-7.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 2 Tim. 1:7.  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 
Ps. 139:14. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it!

1 Pet. 1:13.  Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

1 Pet. 4:7.  Therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

Prov. 3:5-6.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.

2 Cor. 1:4.  [He] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
James 1:13-`5 When tempted…
Col. 3:13 Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
1.      Awareness- Think about what you are thinking.
2.      Accept- What needs improvement.
3.      Action- My project worksheet.
4.      Available- Walk humbly, freely. Help others.
Key to mind: When you look at Paul’s life; Paul’s sanity was protected by his CERTAINTY (God’s words.) Believe it! Let’s do life with Christ!





[1] All scripture verses are taken from the NIV unless otherwise indicated.



Monday, February 12, 2018

NATURE CALLS! STUPENDOUS!

My happy place, the Morton Aboretum. I remember for years I didn't go there. Many people said it was the place to go. I would tell myself, why should I pay money to enjoy nature. How can it be any better in there then the forest preserve down the block? On a whim I went two years ago and found it nice. I started only enjoying the bike path and not endeavoring any deeper into the park. Well, oh yeah I did lunch. Until one day I really looked at their website and started to consider if this place makes me so peaceful why not learn more. Thus began my whole new out look. The more I got educated about the woodlands, prairie and the rich history, Ding! Ding! Ding! - a light bulb alarmingly went off in my head.  Are you crazy, look what you have been missing! What God created I hadn't been paying attention. Nature calls! It never let's me down! This is stupendous!

Friends: I liken this to my relationship with Christ. I drifted through life on my own, in my twenties I was feeling empty and desperate. Significant transformation came when I was introduced to Christ and His ginormous love for me. It was great in the beginning even tho I did not know much about Jesus, but the more I picked up the bible and read about His life, way and truth, I marveled and wanted more and more. It was bliss. The more I learn, which is never ending, the more I appreciate the Father's love for me. It really is a love story. 

If we walk around life and do not dig deeper. We miss out! Diving in enriching! It is stupendous! 

I ask?
Have you asked Jesus to take your hand? Will you walk, talk, learn from Him? I had my favorite dinner the other night, a big juicy piece of Filet Mignon. The memory of eating it is there, but it kind of was a quick fix to gratification. Jesus is sufficient. He is better than that steak. 

All my days, I want to praise the wonders of His mighty hands. Every breath that I take is a reminder that He created me and He gave me breath in my lungs. 
Prayer: Father thank you for your stupendous love of Jesus! Amen. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

FROLICKING IN FREEDOM

I’m sitting in a spot at the Arboretum. I hear the tweeting of the different birds. I hear the voice of two moms walking by, babies in tow in their strollers. Quiet now. I hear children on foot approaching. Children walking. One yelping for a sandwich. One just eats contently her sandwich contentedly. The third girl pointing, quietly. They move along the path. One suddenly chooses to lay day down on the grass. They other two follow and do the same. All frolicking, giggling and content. Two get restless and get up. Wait! Oh, the third is up too! Now they are all up and walking down the path. One mother speaks up, “Why not keep walking?” “Yes”, one girl says and they all agree.”

I am sitting by a lake. A duck lands on the water. It approaches for landing on the water. I hear a stream of water part as the bird lands. Floating the bird quacks. It stays a while then drifts. Drifts away toward a rock. The duck is able to maneuver itself up the rock. Waddling his way along It pecks at itself. Perhaps to clean itself. Not sure. It just stands, looks around and pecks at itself, every few seconds, repeats, pecks.
The girls did not get very far. They have stopped to sit on a patch of grass along the path. On the other side of the path is that lake where I just observed the duck. Each girl proceeds to get up and down. One girls stands out to me, she lays for a bit speaks a bit. The mothers deep in their own conversation, appear to be ignoring the girls.
The one girl approaches her mom and sits on her lap for a moment. Wanting and loving the touch of a mom that only a mom can give. Now another girl observes this and sits on her mother’s lap too! The third girl who is bigger than the other two, not by much though, sits between the two moms. The one in the middle grabs her foot and straightens her leg. Then the girl on the right sees this and does the same thing. A minute and half lapses and the middle girl gets up, walks around them all then proceeds to grab the back pack they brought. She looks through it closes it up and swings it on her shoulder. It appears to be heavy. But as she gets it to properly rest on her shoulders it gets easier to carry.
I gaze out at the lake. The duck now sits on the rock resting not moving. Now two of the girls sit to the left of the moms. But suddenly the mom on the right gets up and then the other mom. She proceeds a few feet down the path gazes, all jump up and continue walking on the path. Mothers intently talking again and begin to walk ahead of the girls. One is sticking by the moms. She is the smallest. The one mom has the backpack on properly now. They are walking at a steady pace on the other side of the lake from me. They started right in front of me, but now they are completely in front of me across the lake. They are walking in the distance. Like the sun going down in the sunset getting smaller, smaller and then I see them no longer.
I am wearing a tank top. I realize I’m on a park bench that only one side of my arm is getting sun, so I proceed to another location where my other side will be exposed to sun. There is beauty all around me.
That Spring sun.  It was May 2015.  To my left was white tulips, seven in a cluster bunch down horizontally in a row, two more, five inches break then one more, about five inches more a cluster of four. Straight across from me is a lady dressed completely in black even black flat shoes, socks, black slacks, and black cotton blouse. Black purse sits on the table. She has those big black sunglasses you wear after cataract surgery. She has chin length sandy color hair with a hint of ginger. She places her glasses down low on her nose so she can look at her black smartphone. She is trying to look at the prompts on the phone to set it.  Then she places her glasses up right, lifts her phone to take pictures or possibly video nature. She makes a comment to a passerbyer, “Have a nice day”. The sun is bright, 70 degrees. Earlier it showed no rain today, but no sun either. So, this is a bonus.
She grabs into her black satchel and retrieves an apple. That reminds me I brought an apple, but left it in the car. She munches on the apple and looks around. I notice her shirt has a logo of the Arboretum on it and a lanyard with a badge on it. She either works or volunteers here. She takes her black strap and places it around her head. It is a cross body hand bag. Her break is over. She tosses the apple in the trash picks up a forest green cloth bag. (I didn’t see that before.) She proceeds to walk toward the indoors. She glances back as if she is making sure she has everything.

The building she is entering is the Arboretum main lodge. Big windows, some cedar siding. It is a low rise structure that is modern looking. Gift shop, cafĂ©, restroom and a patio attached. Guest central is available for questions and membership. 

Did you ever take the time to journal? Slow down to just observe? I did this as a exercise and really enjoyed it. I have done it several times since. Try it. It slows you down and the world is seen differently. It changes me internally, each time I do it. Permanently changes me!

Where is our childlike frolick?
Where did it go?
When did we loose it? Did someone steal it from you with actions or words?
Did someone say we have to be serious now?
When was the last time you stopped to just frolick?
Silly, free like?
I looked at the heart of those little precious girls. So simple. In life will someone take that fragile heart and yell at it or speak negatively to them? Will the trajectory of their life be changed from one tragic voice, tone or incident?
Not one person deserves it!
If you have stopped your frolick in freedom. It is never too late! It does not have to be the end of your story. You can choose the voice of truth, who views you as wonderfully complex!
How do you become connected to that voice?
How do you be driven by that voice?
Do we sometimes get driven by our own voice that has accepted what has happened act on that acceptance by reacting with shame or guilt (negative talk) and we work harder and harder to silence it? Pretty tiring!

Pray:  Lord I need you. I need to hear from you? Transform me! Amen.

Read the greatest story that transforms:
Phil. 2:6-11
The name above all name, seated at the highest honor transforms.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

YOU PULLED ME OUT OF THE DARKNESS

I was on my knees. Rock was all around me. I could barely see anything. No space around me. Just enough room to get through. I had never been in such a small dark place before. My heart was racing. I want to get out.  I was literally crawling around, and then I saw it. The light! The way out! Oh what a relief! I really felt claustrophobic. Let me explain. I was at Ladder & Box Canyon, Indigo, CA. I was at the base of  very high rock formations and it was like walking through cracks where only my body could fit. Frightening! It went on for miles and miles. I love goals, so I asked my daughter, who found this interesting place, "What's the goal?" We went up and down a few ladders through this very very narrow canyon. It's a loop and you will end up back at the main canyon. The goal is to get back? Dangerous. I felt the guy in the movie 127 Hours, James Franco was the actor, you know the one where he was stuck by a rock for 127 hours. I just kept thinking of that movie. Why would I go here? If something happens I pictured others asking, "Why would they have gone in there, it's so dangerous?" I finally asked, "Can we get out of here?" My heart racing! This just seems to dangerous. I'm loosing my adventure to complete fear.  Below you will see the narrow path. Yes, you can walk forward and we did, I just could not capture in a photo. Obviously the dark crawl spaces I could not get on photo. You will just have to trust me that I went there!




Was this an
a. adventure
b. adrenaline rush
c. God moment
d. all of the above

It was D all of the above. Sometimes in life we go places, do things, get stuck, get in dark places. We thought it would make us happy. Maybe for a moment, it did. As I sit here looking out my window in my happy place (you know the ultimate place where I read about Jesus, journal and pray. It is calm, restful, reviving!) I go there to be pulled out of the darkness of any life trials and be with God. He is able to pull me out.
Hey, with out adventure, I don't evolve, learn, realize that Jesus who pulled me out of the darkness many years ago, He is the light of the world, the true north direction, the way!

Be at peace.
Pray today:  God lead me where you need me. Speak into my soul where there needs more healing power, restoration. Help me trust you in areas where I have not been.

God pulls us out of dark! Soul talk,
HOPE, HEALING, FAITH, TRUST