“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Saturday, July 31, 2010

All The Broken Pieces


"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, 
because the Lord has anointed me 
to preach good news to the poor. 

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and 
release from darkness for the prisoners..." 
Isaiah 61:1

While I was visiting family in Maryland, my precious natural-born sister, Lisa, had a birthday.  She had organized a "Mosaic Party" with a couple of friends to celebrate the day.  We went to a local paint-your-own pottery place and in the back they had a section where you could create mosaics.

I was a bit unnerved.  I needed to be creative on-the spot.  Not good for someone who thinks too much. So, I started looking at the different samples and flipping through books.  I noticed that I liked mosaic flowers and realized that I would need to draw on the wood to have a basic pattern... and I really liked the mosaics where the image would even bleed to the side.  Pick out my colors. Glue on the pieces.  Let it set a couple days.  Then grout.

I've always loved mosaics.  I have wanted to try it with some of my own broken pottery.  But I never have.  How an artist takes the broken pieces and arranges them in a way that is even more magnificent than there were originally.  Now that is true beauty.

The word "brokenhearted" translated from the Hebrew in Isaiah 61:1 comes from the verb "to break, break in pieces."  Do you ever feel like your life is in pieces?  Broken pieces.  Impossible to be put back together.  Maybe bad decisions.  Made by you.  Made by someone else.  Or poor health.  Or circumstances.

You are brokenhearted and you need someone to come along and bind the broken pieces back together.  You want it put back together the way it was.  But you realize that it will never be the same.  Even if someone tries to put it back together.   It will never be the way it used to be.

The good news is that God has sent Jesus Christ to "heal the brokenhearted" (Luke 4:18 KJV).  To bind the broken pieces.  And "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

New.  The old has gone.  The new has come.  God takes what is old and broken and makes it new.  New, again.  Yeah, that sounds pretty good to me.  And I guess the truth be told... I am a beautiful mosaic of His making.  He has taken my broken pieces and put them back together.

 I am praying that you see He is doing the same for you.





All The Broken Pieces
by Matthew West

Did you feel, feel it break
From all the weight of your mistake?
You never knew how much it cost
Feels like your innocence is lost
So much for the perfect life
So much for the perfect day
It's like no matter how you try
Perfection's just too far away

So lift them up to me
All the broken pieces
All the broken pieces of your life
To me
All the broken pieces
All the broken pieces of your life

Did you hear what I said?
Did you read the words I wrote down in red?
I was broken once for you
And no one loves you like I do
And that's the beauty of this grace
It can put the pieces back in place
And shine reflections of forgiveness
In a million different ways

I can take even your greatest mistake
Every scar, every tear, every break
And I can turn it in to something more beautiful
Than you have ever seen
So lift them up to Me

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

He Is With You

The other morning I was listening to this song.... and heard the words... and I thought how we all need to be reminded that "He Is With YOU" because sometimes... it sure doesn't feel like it.  And sometimes we need people in our lives who will speak the Truth to us.  And so here I am... reminding you... encouraging you... that in all this and through all this... He is with you.

I love you.




He Is With You
by Mandisa

There's a time to live
And a time to die
There's a time to laugh
And a time to cry

There's a time for war
And a time for peace
There's a hand to hold
In the worst of things
In the worst of things

He is with you when your faith is dead
And you can't even get out of bed

Or your husband doesn't kiss you anymore

He is with you when your baby's gone
And your house is still
And your hearts are stone
Crying "God what'd you do that for?"
He is with you

There's a time for yes
And a time for no
There's a time to be angry
And a time to let it go

There's a time to run
And a time to face it
There's love to seek
In all of this
Through all of this

He is with you in the conference room
When the world is coming down on you
And your wife and kids don't know you anymore

And He is with you in the ICU 
when the doctors don't know what to do
And it scares you to the core
He is with you

We may weep for a time but joy will come in the morning
The morning light

He is with you when your kids are grown
When there's too much space and you feel alone
And you're worried if you got it right or wrong

Yes He is with you when you've given up 
on ever finding your true love
Someone who feels like home
He is with you

When nothing else is left and you take your final breath
He is with you

Saturday, July 24, 2010

As of Late – July 24th, 2010

Mt. Hood Dressed in Blue


As of late is something my bloggy friend, Deborah, is participating in via here.  I liked the simplicity of it and thought I would join in!


Lately I've been recuperating from my recent two-week trip to Maryland.

Lately I have been enjoying sunshine and heat.

Lately I have been attempting a knitting project that is harder than my abilities.

Lately I have fallen behind on getting my Bible Study homework done.

Lately I have fallen behind on reading blogs.

Lately I have been wondering what ever happened to those precious little baby birds.

Lately I have been drinking an inordinate amount of coffee.

Lately I have been missing my family.  (Especially, my Sis!)

Lately I have been enjoying hanging with my church family.

Lately I got my hair cut a bit shorter than usual.  (Oops!)

Lately I have been reading.  And reading.  (Just finished Jane Austen's Emma.)

Lately I have been wondering what the rest of the summer will look like.


And I’ve been wondering, what have you been up to as of late?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Look what happened while I am away...


Look at the birds of the air; 
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. 
Are you not much more valuable than they? 
Matthew 6:26



Anthony was so kind to take this photo and send it to me.
Wonder what they will look like when I get home?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

1st & 15th Scripture Memory 2010: Verse 14

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet... William Shakespeare


My memory verses are taken from units 8 & 9 of Experiencing God.

Unit 8: Adjusting Your Life To God

In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33

Unit 9: Experiencing God Through Obedience

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. 
My Father will love him, 
and we will come to him and make our home with him. 
John 14:23

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Object of Her Displeasure

Jealous Momma

She was ticked.  She kept click-click-clicking.  I looked for a nest but didn't see any.  She was mad.  Territorial.  Jealous.  Since I could not find the object of her displeasure, I continued pruning in my backyard.

Again, click-click-click.  This time she summons a hummingbird.  I am getting a little nervous.  Never having seen the movie "The Birds" but well-knowing what it was about... I pull back and observe the area.  Then I see it.  In the hanging basket above my head.

Object of Her Affection

Four little, tiny blue eggs.  The object of her affection.  She was jealous for these babies.  Ready to scare off any rival.  And it was working.

Not wanting to create an opportunity for abandonment, I left the area so that she might return to her treasure.  But there was no question... because she was not going to abandon these eggs.  They were hers and they would belong to no other.  Not because she didn't want to share them, but she knew that by sharing them... they would die.  It was who she was.  She was the protector of the eggs... and she would fight for their benefit.  For their life.

Refuge Under Her Wings

Finally, she was perched once again on her treasure.  And I wondered to myself why the whole interaction took place.  God, are you speaking to me?  Is there something I am supposed to learn here?

And He reminded me that I had been wondering about what it mean for Him to be a "jealous God" and so He was answering me.  I went into the house and looked up the word "jealous" in the Bible... on Blue Letter Bible.  I soon found out that there were different meanings for the word jealous, but there was one in particular that was used only when describing God.

qanna'- an adjective.  Used only of God.  Used of God not bearing any rival; the severe avenger of departure of himself.  Exodus 20:5, 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24, 5:9, 6:15.

And I wondered why He would be jealous... but then I realized that He is jealous for me.  Just like that momma bird.  He knows that if I depart from Him that there are dire consequences.  He does not want any rival because He knows I am weak.  I need Him to protect me... to avenge me... if there is one who is tempting me to turn away.   Because apart from Him... I am lost.  I am without boundaries.  Without right or wrong.  Out of His will.  And I have been there... and it ain't pretty.

Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; 
rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
Psalm 142:6

And so now, I wait.  Wait for the little birdies to hatch.  And I find comfort... that God is my avenger...

He will cover you with his feathers,
       and under his wings you will find refuge;
       his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91:4 



I am still on vacation this week, but felt compelled to write.
This event happened the week before I left.
Enjoying the heat and humidity of Maryland.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Majesty


O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
       You have set your glory above the heavens. 

 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise
       because of your enemies,to silence the foe and the avenger. 

 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
       the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
 what is man that you are mindful of him,
       the son of man that you care for him?

 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
       and crowned him with glory and honor.

 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
       you put everything under his feet:
 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
       all that swim the paths of the seas. 
 
 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8

Thursday, July 1, 2010

1st & 15th Scripture Memory 2010: Verse 13

 Painted Hills, Oregon
A boardwalk that draws you close enough to examine the Painted Hills... 
the red coloring is laterite soil soil that was formed by floodplain deposits 
when the area was warm and humid. 


My memory verses are taken from units 6 & 7 of Experiencing God. 

Unit 6:  God Speaks, Part 2

Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, 
the Son can do nothing by himself; 
he can do only what he sees his Father doing, 
because whatever the Father does the Son also does.  
John 5:19


Unit 7:  The Crisis of Belief

And without faith it is impossible to please God, 
because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and 
that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  
Hebrews 11:6