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Thursday, December 4, 2014

I IS FOR INTERRUPTION


I prayed today "God I need my own personal sign from you that you're here with me."
I kid you not!
I was driving on a main street suddenly I was interrupted by a gaggle of geese as I hurried to meet my daughter for lunch... irritated as I didn't want to wait for them to saunter across the street. I took a deep breath. Could this be the sign? Ok...how many geese...1.2.3...12. Of course!

A still small voice...twelve followed me closely...they went back and forth asking questions to...in the end they resolved to know that I (Jesus) existed...just like the geese they were out of place at times...they stood out...they felt awkward like they didn't belong...yet they believed and followed me. Take the time. The interruptions...being present...being in the moment they are all worth it!

I'm going on with my day resolved to keep seeking, keep trusting...Christ will interrupt our lives at any moment to show himself to us. As you prepare for Christmas will you allow for the interruption of Jesus.

Father thank you for caring enough to give me a sign. 


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

God Culture vs. Worldview Culture

Question:

God's culture-giving the gift of your presence. Being present is a the best present.

Is it counter culture to be present with others? I mean really taking the time to listen and be available?


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

H IS FOR HOLY

H is for Holy. I invite you into a month of preparation for the birth of our Holy Jesus. If you take the time today to think of December as a sacred Holy time to find ways to cherish and make Holy. Without Jesus we would have never experienced Love at the highest Holy level. Holy, sacred love of Jesus. Put on Christmas worship songs and think of the Holy Messiah.

I will be travelling soon to speak at a Women's connection group. At the event the chair reads my bio.  I have had the same bio for the past 2 1/2 years. This caught my eye and summed up the mixed up year I have been in. As I set out to change the bio I realized most of it needed to be changed. I can't believe this. I will have to rewrite it. I don't want to rewrite it. What do I change it to? Since being in such transition I almost have nothing to write.

My hobbies are bike riding and playing tennis. I have hardly been able to bike ride or play tennis in the last year due to a back problem. Will I get back to these hobbies? An on line e-devotional that I contributed to has closed down in the last year. I have done an annual Christmas Gathering and did not do one this year. I thought redoing the bio would be dreadful. Rather than dread this I began to see that change could be new places God will send me. Is that so bad? If I look at it as bad then it will be horrible. Fear of the future! Will God take me to a bad path? The answer is definitely no! But it is up to me to define what is bad? I looked up quite a bit of scripture on committing, giving over, trusting, asking God and all the responses to doing this is a better path and eventual God answers. "You have not because you ask not" says the Lord.

With all this said I think in order to prepare for the Holy Babe I need to trust God with the future and remember the gift God gave me is the present. Being in the moment will be my task.
How about you? Is there something you have to get a better perspective about in order for you to prepare for Christmas? Is there things you need to give to God so you can see the Holiness of Christmas?

Monday, December 1, 2014

C is for CHERISH

I thought I would write out an acrostic using the word CHRISTMAS as a way to write a message to prepare for Christmas.
C-cherish-I love babies. Oh! The moments I get to adore, hold dear and love on them. When I think of Christmas I think of the Christmas carol "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him". I look forward to celebrating Jesus' birthday. I know Jesus came so he can cherish each of us. Can you imagine what it would be like if you entered the barn and got to cherish a moment with the baby Jesus? After a visit like that your love tank would be filled and ready to pour out to others.
I officiate funerals. When I meet with the family I learn all about the deceased. When I leave that meeting as usual I am reminded that leaving a legacy for my loved ones to remember me by is so important. I think of how important family can be. This Christmas season is the perfect time to have traditions that mark your legacy. What do you impress on others during the Christmas season that they will remember about you and cherish?

Friday, November 21, 2014

THANK FULL



I see the sun shining.
I hear the wind whistle.
I hear the paws of my dogs on the wood surface.
Pitter-patter of them being playful
I hear my praise music and I sway and soak in the words.
My soul is fed with the word.
Wait for the Lord
Be strong and take heart and
Wait for the Lord.
My children and grandchildren
Prosper in the Land God has called them to.
I sit with the confidence that I will see the Lord.
In His unfailing love He will lead me who He redeemed.
I smell the baked cookies
And delight in the thought of those who will eat them.
Keeping my day fresh and new.
I THANK
I AM FULL.


My prayer is that the joy of thankfulness will radiate your home

This Thanksgiving and always.

Blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Elaine

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

RENEW 2

You have a moment where you feel like someone wronged you. You confront them and they get defensive. All that you wanted from them is that they would just say "Oh I didn't even think that I hurt you or made you sad. I'm sorry." Now you are left feeling frustrated. How do you move on?

You can continue to dwell on it or choose to forgive as the verses below state. With God's strength you can do this. It is a way of resolving conflict within you.

Matthew 6:12 "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (NIV).
1 Corinthians 13:5 " It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs (NIV).
Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (NIV).
 
I will not dwell on this incident.
I will not bring this incident up and use it against you.
I will not talk to others about this incident.
I will not allow this incident to stand between us or
hinder our personal relationship.


My choice is grimm if I continue to dwell on things. God gave us renewed hope. I can follow these four promises. I want to restore my inner self. Unforgiveness separate me from God. I just want peace. 

Do you have people in your life that dwell on incidents? They bring things up over and over? Alright, I have been guilty of this. How about you?
I just thought this was a great way to be reminded to let it go...

Pray with me:
Father In heaven I want to forgive.....help me to practice these promises and truly let it go with your help. Renew my mind with more constructive things. I am tempted to keep bringing this incident back up, help me to stop it! Amen.

Letting it go is freeing. Don't beat yourself up for the past. Just think of the future and how you will be FREE...

Friday, November 14, 2014

RENEW YOUR MIND 1

Dear Friend:

I found this so graciously comforting. I pray that you need this timely word like I did.

God said twelve times in Exodus 23 I will...

I will be an enemy to your enemies. (Now that's loyalty.)
I will oppose those who oppose you. (That's protection.)
I will bring you into the "ites" land. (That's safety.)
I will wipe them out.

Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water.

I will take away sickness.
I will give you a full life span.
I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.
I will send my terror ahead of you.
I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive out the "ites".
I will drive them out before you.
I will establish your borders.
I will hand over the people who live in the land. 

The point is that he is loyal, protecting, bringing safety, turning things around, ending confusion and healing.

God never neglects us or abandons us. Do you catch yourself asking "Where are you God?"
The Israelites who just witnessed the parting of the Red Sea and received the Ten Commandments were asking the same question. I confound myself when I doubt. I have the bible full of God’s love and story yet I still ask “Why is this happening?”

Your thoughts that are opposing you or people who are trying to steal your position. Think about your circumstance today (journal them). After you make your list write and tell yourself "God is working things out, I must wait!"

Don't think for one minute God wants to oppose you. Quite the contrary! He wants to give you PEACE OF MIND.

PRAYER:  Father in heaven thank you for your willingness to rescue me. Renew my mind with this truth today. In Jesus' name. Amen.




Friday, November 7, 2014

OSCAR

Out at sea
He appeared
Flying out
Flying in
Flying up
Flying down
Seems to be Stuck!
Free Will?
Or
Instinct to stay close?
Just as we know
We should
Stay Close
It is safer
When we obey.
Each day
We listen,
We learn.
Then will come a time
We understand!
We won't seem stuck!
We are free!
Free to fly!
Out,
In,
Up,
Down.
Wisdom!

Oscar appeared on our cruise this past fall, we were far out a sea. He visited us daily. I wondered is he stuck or not? We got to an island after frequent visits from Oscar,(our name we gave him). After that we never saw him again. I believe Oscar was wise. He knew what he could and could not do. When he was free from possibly an air currant keeping him close to the ship, he took off.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Let's pray: Lord help me to cooperate with your plan and with all of your guidance and wisdom. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Flying FREE,
Elaine

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A NEW POST

Dear Friend:

I started writing Heart 2 Hearts in 2003. I remember my very first one. It was about God adopting me into his family. I call God my Abba, Father. We were rescuing at dog which I resisted to do but then I prayed. A whisper impressed me with the words, just as I have adopted you into my family adopt the dog. It is a symbol to demonstrate God's love to your family. God's message to my family showed us the love of taking in a lost dog which is the same thing God did for us. He takes us into his fold and watches over me.

Today years later I find my past messages filled with such faith and choice words. I am in transition to many changes. It prompts me daily to fall on my knees and ask God to help me to carry on.

The empty nest stage. The time when my relationship with my husband changes. My relationship with my children now young adults shifts. My hormones rage. My focus shifts in all pieces of my pie to life: family, friends, community, church and personal self. How do I now slice the pie pieces? Some days my head screams your work is done. I know it to be a lie but yet it rages. I'm struggling. I am undisciplined and unstructured. I am talking about "I" way to much!

I stop. I cry for no reason. This is hard. Is anyone out there finding this hard? The second half to life.

I know God taught me the first half. Now I await the keys to the second. I pray as I walk God will show me the way so I can be the audience of one and then be the recycle girl for this next phase that we can all walk together. I am impatient. I am waiting. I am trying to be still.

Let's spur each other on! Each day we smile and get to live and breath. Isn't that enough! To be honest it is not always enough.

I want to be honest.I love being a mom. I love those kids. I want to go back. It's the best job ever. What's up with this season. I never knew this was going to be so hard. All I wanted to be is a mom. Can anyone identify with this?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

FOR YOU TODAY


Dear Friend: 

Here is a Devo written by a friend.
 

For you today!
 

Have you ever seen withering flowers that need water?

Petals breaking, dying, withered, and tired;

similar to how you might feel after life doesn’t go exactly how you planned

or piles of stress. Sometimes we feel broken, withered, tired, and weak

but in 2 Corinthians 12:9 Jesus tells us His grace is sufficient for us,

“My Grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in weakness.”

God wants us to cast our weakness upon Him so He can water us with unending love, fill us up, and watch us grow.
 

Do you ever feel like you need to be watered? 

Grace for today:

God’s love and grace is fulfilling and free.

Trust in Him, you’re made perfect in your greatest weaknesses.

He loves at all times, even when we do not understand.

Acts 16:31:

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
 
by Caroline Hopper. Thanks Caroline for a beautiful DEVO. Caroline is Senior in High School. She is an active participant in a group called Younglife in Champaign, IL.
to contact Caroline:
@team_caro Twitter
caroline.hopper1997@gmail.com  e-mail

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I GET TO



Hi all! My friend sent me this story her friend wrote. Enjoy this story as it has so much rich insight!

I wanted to take a moment to reach out to each of you. The last few weeks have been so tiring and overwhelming for me as I am sure you would all agree to the same! I started not to feel like myself and became quite frustrated with the daily mind game that I had to play with myself to get through all of the responsibilities with grace and patience. This includes simple things that I used to find such joy in (waking up my children, making dinner for my family, etc.). I felt like I would go to bed exhausted, wake up the next morning with high hopes and a better day and very quickly it always seemed to take a turn for the worse. I reached out to my sister on Monday morning when my day was in shambles before I even set foot on Lincoln property. My text read: I can not do this any more. Something has to change. How will I ever face all that I have to do today??? I can't get it all done. My wise sister (who has also been struggling with this issue in her life) responded with such wisdom that I would like to share it with you all.  

She said:" Change your perspective. Listen: Do not say have to, say I get to. It hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. Relieve your burden. Change obligation to opportunity. Look: "I get to wake up Maddie. I get to go to work. I get to teach my class. I get to go to Orlando today to participate in homeschool group. I get to take my son to band. I get to make dinner. It changes burdened to BLESSED." 

I instantly felt relief as I looked at my drive to Luca's school as a gift. I get to drop my son off and give him a hug each morning as he starts off his day. I get to drive with my daughter to school in the morning providing me with time to chat. Something that I will not always have the opportunity to do (after all, some day she will be off to college). When I walked into Lincoln Monday morning I was flooded with new realities. I get to be a part of my students' journey through life. I get to report to parents on strengths and weaknesses. I get to work in a building with amazing people. I get to be the person who reaches out to a child who is feeling distraught or frustrated. It continued throughout the day and instead of feeling heavy with burdens, each moment became an opportunity. I did not feel the rush, the anxiety, the frustration. 

I woke the next day hoping for another day like Monday. I will tell you I was afraid I would go back to where I was at before. Instead, I found renewed hope and calm as I continued to live in opportunity instead of obligation. I was humbled by my daughter (not really a big surprise here due to my inability to parent well) and I started sharing this with her. I reassured her that she doesn't need to be so frustrated (she didn't want to have to go get Luca and Grandma Kelly sometimes frustrates her). I reframed it for her: "You get to be a big sister to Luca and be the one who reads to him." The tears started to flow. I realized on that day that living in opportunity is also living in gratitude. What a gift to be a big sister! We continued...."You get to spend time with her Grandma Kelly (who loves you so much!). Many other people have lost a grandparent and can never have that time or have never met their grandparents. As she reflected she said: "So, I don't have to go to school, I get to go to a great school and learn. Not everyone has a nice school like Lincoln." Yes Delaney, you get it!   
Me: "I get to go to the grocery store because I have legs to walk to the car, a car to drive, and money to spend at the store to feed my family." 

I was tearful because I recognized that I have been taking so much for granted and missing out on so much during my crazed days. I want for my children to learn to live in opportunity not obligation and I realized that I had not been showing that to them. I am truly humbled by this new perspective. 
So does this mean that every day will be perfect and I will never feel frustrated again? Absolutely not. After a lot of redirection last night, I began to get frustrated with my kid's lack of following directions the first time. Ugh! Parenting can be so tiring....but....I get to be a mother to two children. I get to help them learn through consequences and love. I get to help shape them into responsible people. And then I was able to take the opportunity to do so, in a constructive way. Changing my perspective gave me opportunity instead of an exhausting obligation. Burdened became blessed.  

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
God wants to help you in your trouble. Start your day with a prayer.
Dear God: I get to love you. I get to know that you are with me. I get to be your child. Thank you for each new day. I get to ask you for help today.  Help me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WOO HOO


Dear Friend:

I was looking at my friend’s cancer care page online. I know many patients now have care pages where they can post their thoughts and receive comments. It is empowering for them.
My friend's page was brimming with names of volunteers willing to care for her. It listed people to contact about providing food and gifts. From her end, she is willing to blog and update readers about her treatments. She included her plan to deal with infertility and the gradual losing of her hair.
I thought of this verse after glancing at her site: "So Jesus said to them, 'Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you'" (Matthew 17:20 NKJV).
I wrote to my friend, "Your website is moving that mountain of cancer. It is so detailed and combative toward this disease. The cancer has no choice but to move out. You are not going to take this lying down. No way! This plan is the faith you need to fight and tell that mountain of cancer to move!"
She responded "WOO HOO." I picture her hand in the air giving me a high-five back!
On any given day something can happen and suddenly things are spinning out of our control. Some things we can fix, and others we have to have faith to give the situation to God. It empowers us to have some sort of plan for how to move forward. The care page is an example of moving forward while being filled with the love of so many people helping to care for body, mind and soul. High-five to family, friends, doctors and nurses!!!
PRAYER:  Father please give me the faith I need for today. Amen.