The Chase

Hey, there, friends! I thought it was time I chimed in for a moment to reassure you I am in the land of the living.

Doing the wife and mom thing 24/7, doing the cooking for an amazing passel of youth on Wednesdays, and doing an awful lot of introspection in- between.

On things like purpose, God’s plans, and the circuitous way life can often go when desperately chasing those things.

Or, when you just think you are. 😏

It gives me a laugh, albeit a slightly rueful one, to realize how often He has to show me He is not done with breathing the breathe of life on me, nor equipping and encouraging me.

And, yet, I often seem to take a little breath of my own, ruminate on the vision He is placing in front of me, and shake my foolish head. And then, I dare to petulantly remind Him of my tattered rags, my awkward ways, and do what I do best….

Run! (Figuratively speaking, of course😉)

How easily I forget what He has done before and what He can do again!

The lists of “look what He’s done for me’s” stretch behind me like parchments curling for miles!

Redemption of family.

Healing of hearts.

Breakthroughs and bounties beyond imagination.

Sure, there were looming anxieties pursuing me then and new ones cropping up now…

BUT-there is STILL Jesus.

He never abdicates the throne nor neglects His precious own!

He is the joy-giver whatever the world comes at you with!

And I know this. As in, have ample experience with this!

Yet, how quickly do I dismiss leaning on this joy that abides despite circumstance!

How often do I find myself bogged in a fretful state instead of seeking solace in His arms!

Far too often, friends!

That said, I do find myself in recent days swapping thoughts with the Lord.

Feeling His delight and finding dappled moments of my own.

And, perhaps, finally beginning to reawaken to my sense of purpose in Him.

Now, I’d still characterize myself a “functioning” depressive. It’s hard to face many days, yet facing them I am.

But not alone, mind you! The sweet Lord is there, handing me the key.

For, in Him, I am realizing that, yes, there is a somber shadow cast on my soul that is just there. And just going to be.

But, that is not necessarily bad.

For, strangely, it is one that is not without a purpose of its own.

For, in many ways, the shadow is really just a piece of how it feels to rest in His wings.

In them, He reminds me we need the deep thinkers in this world, the grievers of our times, the ones that recognize where we’re at and why.

And He counts me among them.

Not to be superior nor to scold without tempering in love.

Rather, to alert us these are grave days we are in. We are nearer and nearer to His return by the day.

Salvation is at hand. And it is imperative we both take it to heart and share the truth with others while we yet may.

Now, risk of walking in this shadow comes in allowing satan to twist the reasons for the weeping, to become distracted from the cause God has in mind, and to be lured away from the protective cover of His wings to the true darkness beyond.

For, then, we are prone to surrender to the assaults the world flings at our souls.

Not to mention there is the temptation to chase our own tail in the process!

But-the rewards in the shadow? Ah, the rewards!

Life and life eternal in the presence of our most Holy Lord!

For He alone is infinitely worth every moment of the chase; all the rest the heart clamors for is merely temporal!

And…

Speaking of chasing…

The following song has been known to me a long while, but only recently popped back on my radar.

I first heard it at a concert Andrew Peterson was opening for. The simple honesty of it resonated in my aching heart then and it still does now. Perhaps, even more so.

Have a listen and be blessed, dear friends! Thank you for the prayers! I can definitely feel them! Know that you always have mine, too. ❤

Jesus Is Not Your Political Patron

All day I have thought I ought to have something to say. It’s an important day in our nation, after all.

Now, it’s late evening in Kansas and I finally realized I really have nothing new to say.

And where I could feel bad about that, I can hear God saying it’s ok.

And to instead reshare these truths I feel He gave me to encourage us all to keep our hearts centered on what is right.

For, come what may, He is yet on His throne, our Savior-our one and only Savior-sitting at His right hand.

And the Holy Spirit remains our comfort, peace, and ready guide-whatever our future looks like.

These things are where our focus ought to lie, my friends.

So… ok, yes, I had a little smidge to say, apparently… 😏

But, enough now. Follow the link for a (re)read of my thoughts on the whole political matter at hand…

Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Remember He is in control! ❤

https://alwaysajesusgirl.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/jesus-is-not-your-political-patron/

Jesus Is Not Your Political Patron

Something in my craw again, friends….

People need Jesus.

They really need Him.

Far more than any political ideology.

Much more than the pontificating of men.

We each seem so determined to snatch Him for our “side”.

“Jesus would do this.”

“Jesus would say that.”

“He would march for this cause.”

“No. He’d be over here, wearing this sort of hat.”

“Jesus is a staunch conservative,” spouts the one with furrowed brow.

“No. Jesus is a compassionate progressive,” passionately argues the other.

“There’s only one way in this political climate today

That He would choose to live!” both in unison now. 🙄

Oh. Brother.

Friends, respectfully, I have heard it all.

And I do believe it grieves our Lord when we commandeer His name for

The sake of what we call

Being on the correct team,

Or so we dare lay claim.

Rare is the consult into scripture

For this lofty thought of ourselves.

Even rarer is the consent to mature

Beyond the clamoring ideologues’ bookshelves.

For, if we ventured to study with open hearts

The Gospel of our Savior,

We’d see His agenda was vastly apart

From our bickering, backbiting behavior.

For His purpose and plan

Was never about setting up our political ideal in this time!

Like the Jews of old clamoring for a kingly man

We have somewhere fallen off the line!

“Look, Father, I fought for legislation,”

We say.

“My sole focus is redeeming the loss of my nation.

Are you not proud?”

Oh, I think where that has a bit of merit, my friend,

I further think we’d be shocked at His dismay…

“For, what about souls?” He asks. “I am looking for lost souls.

Share the cross with the hurting ones;

Draw them from the darkness to the Son.

That was, is, and always will be the goal!

Until Jesus returns,

For this task may your hearts burn!”

“Yes, I love a nation that seeks My face,”

He says.

“But, how can they when all that’s shouted

Is how to build its laws to favor?

And none but a paltry syllable about

How to repent and meet my Son, their Savior?

Time is drawing nigh, my children.

In a blink it’ll be too late to warn anymore!

Getting your way in the government never showed anyone their sin!

But, truth spoken in My love

Just might bring them yet to My door!”

Ok. That’s out of my craw…for now. 😉In this tumultuous season, may we eschew politics as usual and focus on sharing Christ and Him crucified. Thanks very much for reading! Blessings and Prayers!

Of Hatred and Hope

A short poem on my thoughts concerning the current state in Minneapolis, Georgia, and everywhere else evil has its death grip…

Hatred bares its monstrous teeth,

Snarling its cancerous unbelief…

Nonsensical anger snuffs out a life,

Retaliating rage amplifies these ugly flames of strife.

Baser instincts prevail; chaos reigns…

Oh, but, nothing can such begat but further pain!

Lord Jesus, how desperately we need Your hand!

Humanity’s sickness and sin is beyond all we can understand!

May we see the only way to cope is found best

In He in whom our only hope rests!

Oh, my friends, hold on tight to Him! The days are evil and, if we know our Bible, it’s going to get worse before it gets better. But, when we know that in Jesus, all will be well, because in Him is the ultimate victory, we can still be encouraged. Blessings and prayers! Thanks for reading!

Scrubbing Our Hearts

Hello, folks. I keep thinking I should have something further to say by now.

Something beautiful.

Something comforting.

Something profound.

Something wise.

And, yet, in this crazy yet rather apt time I chose to steal away, all I can really say is…God is God.

He is ever in control, ever directing the course of our lives, ever speaking.

Would that we would heed to that control, trust that direction, listen to His voice!

I truly believe this is a unique opportunity to allow ourselves to be arrested where we are-quite literally-and look to Him and Him alone for our answers.

We can stock our pantry, our medicine cabinet, our-ahem-paper goods.

We can don a mask, sanitize our physical spaces, scrub our hands till they are pruny.

We can Skype or Zoom our woes, play board games till we are bored stiff, and all figure out how to impromptu home school.

We can look for a financial boost to tide our bank accounts over.

But-if we neglect to surrender our hearts to His scrubbing, to admit we all of us desperately need it?

Well, then, the efforts are all for naught.

For, all the outward cleanliness and carefulness in the world cannot save us in the end.

Only in recognizing that only Jesus saves will we truly get anywhere.

I don’t pretend to know His plan with all this, the exact hows or the whens of absolution in this present crisis.

But, I do know through scripture the ultimate absolution-

Christ is returning for His own and we are nearer now than before.

I pray we are setting our eyes to the sky, seeking and welcoming this happening, encouraging others to do the same.

Thanks for reading, friends! Though I do count myself back, I will likely not be back in the same frequency as before. With our state’s school closed for the rest of the year, He has gifted me with the chance of much more concentrated time with my dear children and I aim to use it to His glory. ☺ Know that my prayers and thoughts are ever with you all!

Are We There Yet?

Now, on first glance, this picture feels like nothing but scribbles. Primarily, it was approached as such. 🙂 However, the more I looked, the more it seemed to represent a never-ending stream of chaos fairly well, the cross at the center, as it should be.

Both this and the following poem are inspired by my own foolish tendency to worry, especially regarding the wild unknown. The tizzy the world can get us in can be overwhelming, but, thankfully, we can know He who has overcome the world…🙂

Are We There Yet?

Lord, what about this?

God, what about that?

Questions shouted ceaselessly in

The deepening mist,

Answers clouded almost teasingly,

Both present and past…

Brain keeps stacking, never

Slacking

Train on the track keeps clacking,

Never backing;

Steam puffs surgingly

Whistle blows rough, urgingly

What about this over here?

What to do with that over there?

Oh, Lord, what can be done with

All this blasted fear?

Daddy God, how do I even

Proceed

With all these nasty anxieties

Laid bare?!

At the same time, this engine

Never quits,

Never quiets…

The end? I squint through the

Screaming streams, but, still I

Struggle to spy it!

Daddy God, please tell me, oh,

Are we there yet?

I whine like a restless child,

I know…

But, so very weary of this endless

Fret!

Help me see beyond the worry,

The hurry,

And the flurry;

Bring the cross into relief amid the chaos;

Calm my ever-rushing mind!

Lord, grow in me belief beyond the cost,

As only in You all the answers

Will come in their time…

May we indeed lean on Him alone to calm our worries and await His perfect answers! Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Appreciate the read! 😊

All the Ways We Try to Fix the World

Desperate people,

Desperate cries…

Drowning in the seas of their

Own sin.

Yet so unable to see

All they need do is let down their

Guard

And let You in…

There’s so many fruitless ways we try

To fix this broken world.

There’s new theories every day.

We fret and fume

All for the sake of elbow room

At the drawing table of our

Largely pointless planning,

Rarely glancing

To He whose hands are ever there,

Ever spanning

To cradle the whole

Of His creation,

To show us the error of our

Meandering days,

Heal the breaches of bleeding

Nations.

Like a parent seeking to soothe

Fevered brows of a tortured

Brood,

He is reaching out to us for our

Good.

If we would but stop fussing

And tussling

Long enough let Him!

Ah, but war-torn we are,

And, scripture says, war-torn we

Shall be…

To the very end.

Desperate people,

Desperate cries,

Drowning in the seas of their

Own sin.

Yet so unable to see

All they need do is let down their

Guard

And let You in….

Oh, Father,may they see and run freely

Towards Your open gate,

Surrendering to Your loving will

Before it is too late!

Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Thanks for reading! May we continually pray for our world and, especially, for the lost!

Above the Noise

These days there is so much clamoring for our attention, not the least of which is information.

There’s more social media sites, websites, newsfeeds, etcetera, etcetera than you can shake a smartphone at.

And all of it seems to make the claim through hollering headlines of either major breakthroughs or breaking news-or both.

Click over here. Instant answers. Click over there. Immediate blow-by-blow, complete with pictures.

Here a click. There a click. Everywhere a click-click. 🙄

So easy to get sucked right into these copious amounts of chatter.

And so much of it is either so dark and ugly or so shallow and insipid, it can leave you fearfully burrowing under the covers or sinking into an apathetic coma.

Neither position is terribly conducive to a productive walk with the Lord, to say the least!

So, what, in the end, is the solution to all this?

One cannot exist on a steady diet of either inane fluff or doom and gloom.

We cannot pretend there’s not bad in this world. If we ignore it altogether, we are neglecting to call out the truth or recognize areas sorely in need of prayer.

Neither can we become so bogged down with this evil that we only speak Chicken Little and stir others up with the notion there is nothing to look forward to but an inevitable crash on the noggin.

Let them know there’s judgment for unbelief in the end, to be sure, but, not at the expense of neglecting to share the living hope found in Christ.

Somewhere there must exist a balance.

Know the here and now truth-things are rough in this world, apt to get rougher. No doubt.

But-know the ultimate truth as well-Jesus is coming and things will be made right in Him. Hallelujah!

Go ahead, switch on the news of the day, good, bad, and ugly-for a limited time.

But, don’t forget to switch on the Good News of salvation in your heart to temper it! And never shut that off!

Suffice to say, there will always, always be a lot of nagging noise on this old spinning ball.

These days, it’s more accessible than ever.

But, when you keep your ears trained for His voice over all others, He can lift you above the noise.

Prayers and blessings, friends! May we learn to listen to His voice above the noise of this world.

Sunshine Award Answers

I have been nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award! Such a surprise and so nice to be thought of. ☺

A big thank you to Robert at Watching at Wisdom’s Gates! Your kindness is very appreciated.

https://roberlain.wordpress.com/

I know at the end of this I’m supposed to have eleven people in mind to nominate, but, where I am not necessarily new to blogging, I still feel fairly “young” at this go-around, so I am still getting to know most people. I can’t say as I know eleven people right now I feel I can comfortably nominate. ( That haven’t been nominated already. There are also a few who I feel probably don’t really do this sort of thing! ☺)

So, forgive me if I forgo that part. There is no offense meant.

I actually considered just skipping this post altogether to avoid doing so. Robert was gracious enough to say it was a no-obligation deal…but, frankly, I liked his questions and felt it could actually be beneficial to answer.

So, those somewhat elaborate explanations out of the way, on to the answers (and if I need to be drummed out of the blogging club for breaking the rules, well, we’ll deal with that later😉) …

1. What’s your favorite Bible verse at the moment?

I have several that have carried me through different points in my life, especially Phil. 4:13 and Jeremiah 29:11, but, right now, John 8:12 has been speaking to me:

“I am the Light of the World. He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but have the Light of life.”

Very helpful, especially on the dark days, to know His light is there to guide my path. ☺

2. Who’s family for you?

Well, foremost is God. Without Him, there is no family. But, as to the human side, we have a full house here. There’s my dear husband of 7 years (my second chance at love ❤), four kids (One girl, three boys. Older three are from my first marriage, youngest boy is a lovely bonus.) and two dogs.

3. Who are your closest friends?

Friends I’ve struggled to do well with, to be honest. It isn’t something that comes naturally. But, if I had to say I’m close to anyone, it’s my pastor’s wife. She is incredibly kind and easy to talk to. And I am meeting/getting to know again some lovely brothers and sisters in Christ here. ☺

4. What’s your favorite YouTube channel?

I’m more of a Youtube dipper than a channel devotee. If I have an oldie or worship song pop in my head, I do love to go there to look it up, though.

5. If you could have a second home anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Hmmm…this is a tough one. I am a creature of sameness, so the thought of being elsewhere is not necessarily something I ponder often. Probably down in Oklahoma someplace, as that is where my parents moved to several years ago. It’d be nice to be nearer each other again.

6. What was the last song you listened to?

Not sure of the name, but it was my daughter singing snippets of a disco song from their school musical. 😊

7. What’s your favorite form of social media (apart from WordPress!) and why?

Well, I used to do it all. When you write a book it’s more or less expected. It became a madhouse of obligation! When I felt the need to step away for my spiritual health, I deleted all accounts. I haven’t readded any other than this one blog. I don’t know that that will change. I leave it to God’s direction. 🙂

8. What’s your local church like?

We are an old church, been here over a hundred years. There’s a mix of elderly people, young families, and those of us in the middle. Our pastor is very humble and kind, very much about getting into the Word and looking there for our direction. We also have a growing children’s/youth ministry.

9. Do you have a garden? If so, describe it 🙂

Hee hee. Oh, if you only knew what you asked! We moved to this really old house in this very small country (read no grocery store, one gas station) town. I have a nice big yard. Tried a garden that first summer out of that sense of “I should”. Couldn’t grow much but weird carrots to save my life. My oldest son, however, grew a big, beautiful, “accidental” watermelon (he planted seeds from a refrigerated melon and managed to get it to thrive.) in the front yard. So…if we want things to grow, it’s his job now. 😊

10. What’s the community you live in like?

Well, in addition to what I described above, our town is fairly tightknit. We know each other and help out how we can. Not to say we don’t have our troubles still. Troubles are everywhere, after all. But, we are blessed, by and large, with some very kind, faith-filled folks.

11. What would you like to study more?

Well, I am currently digging deeper into the minor prophets. It’s a part of the Bible I have read before, but it’s been a while and I would like to understand it better.

In addition to that, prophecy in general-particularly as it relates to the end times-is always heavy on my mind.

The clock is ticking and we who hold the truth of Christ must continue to share it while we can.

Well, that about sums it up.

Thank you again, Robert! God bless!