The Simple Truth

Hey, there, dear friends. Been managing my thoughts fairly well with the strength of my patient heavenly Father to rely on. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have actually been able to push aside my own personal cares a bit more and renew concentration on other concerns.

I’ve been pondering a lot lately on how we as humans complicate the truth of salvation, in the world as well as the church. A few thoughts I jotted down in the last couple of days on the matter…

Found myself thinking on humanity today

And all the futile efforts ever on display…

There are so many complicated ways

We aimlessly strive for heaven.

So many foolish tries derived

From the devil’s crafty leaven!

And, yes, the unchurched is bogged by its fair share of cares,

But my musings are more than equally logged by

The church itself –

With its mangled thoughts and jangled “oughts”

They increasingly demand its people to bear.

And, oh, all the sins they no longer recognize

In their vain attempts to be “progressively” wise!

They shut their eyes to the Word of God

While evoking His name on paths both twisted and broad,

“Fixing” what needs not be fixed

While ignoring the rotting within the mix…

And, oh, the tragedy of trying our hearts out

To make our hearts right by ourselves!

We bend the beauty of salvation out of shape every time,

Presuming we know which way to climb,

Straining to reach heaven by our own deed,

With our sin-stained hands

Ever searching for the remaining

While the only thing required was done,

Already won

When the Lord took pity upon our need

And for us did bleed…

If only in all our dim thinking

Into that one untangled thought we’d truly delve!

We’d find the truth.

There’d be nothing left to prove.

If only we could surrender the notion

Of knowing better,

From the ugly claws of deception

We’d find ourselves finally unfettered!

Oh, teach our hearts to be so simple, Lord!

Help us each to take your

Uncomplicated offer on faith

And learn to rightly carry it forward,

Finding in You the endurance to stand,

Resting in the assurance of eternity’s hand.

A sweet guarantee indeed,

When once we see from all humanity’s been freed!

May we hold onto and hold out to others the simple truth of salvation in Christ! Blessings and prayers! Thanks for reading! โค

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. ๐Ÿ˜

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 course๐Ÿ˜‰)

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. โค

Our Job

I could say a lot of things today. There remains so much…unrest. Not the first instance, of course, and certainly won’t be the last.

But, I don’t think this particular bout will leave us anytime soon, sadly. And I believe it grieves the Lord’s heart.

Contrary to popular belief, His intent for us is not to stand on harsh rhetoric and self-righteousness.

Rather, it is truth- in love.

Again, I could say a lot of things. But, I won’t.

That whole truth in love thing…it’s really important.

So….I will be obedient to that.

All He really desires of me today, it seems, is to point out one key thing:

We are all so frail.

So terribly, remarkably…human.

Far too prone to pick up the hammer in our unskilled hands and make a mess trying to fix this broken world ourselves-as if it’s our job!

Far too prone to forget there is One who already came along, gathered our shambles, and did it better -did it completely, in fact-with three nails and two rough planks of wood…๐Ÿ˜‰

And demonstrated to us just why this job is not ours, but His.

So, with a snippet of humor here and a sly dig there (trust me, I feel some elbow in my ribs, too ๐Ÿ™‚), plus a fair amount of His amazing grace to soothe it all, let me remind us what our job really is…

We are such carnal beings,

In slouchy suits

And muddy boots,

Everything seeming such vital things,

But how easily we forget all but one is temporary!

And we are ever so wrong

When we flex muscles

And throw about colorful verbiage in a tussle,

Daring to call ourselves strong-

There’s ample evidence to the contrary!๐Ÿ˜

And woe to us when we pretend

It is within our puny power

To save the world with all its myriads of trouble!

Let me just gently but decidedly burst

That particular bubble:

It’s not.

Psst.

It’s not even our job. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

“But-but, I must!

It’s on us!” comes the sob.

Yes, the price of sin is ours;

No doubt, it’s our degradation the air sours,

But, remember, friend, our salvation’s

Already been bought!

For Jesus Christ paid it all,

With all that is most dear.

With each precious drop of blood

He answered our anguished call,

Taking on our fight

And making it so we might

Face eternity without fear!

If only we’d lay down the unwieldy

Hammers of our fumbled sense

And just accept our job is to accept His love fulfilled!

For, the cross is full of evidence

Of just how agonizingly,

Yet so perfectly it was unfurled!

And, then, the task becomes to go

Share this happy truth with others,

Let His love and joy in every corner of earth spill,

Shining light to both friend and foe,

And, thereby, let Jesus be the One to

Save this broken world…

Remember, Jesus is still Jesus, my dear friends! We may be fallible, but He is mighty to save and that never changes no matter what else does! Let Him be your strength this day and every day! Blessings and prayers! โค

The Onus

Hello, there! I had jotted down the first few lines of this one quite some time ago but could not find a finish till now.

It is easy to despair the state of our world and allow these cares to distract us from the mission we all have as His children. I pray we do not abandon His call to share the gospel, especially in this season where hope and healing are so desperately needed. May these few simple lines stir our hearts…

Why should we be surprised

When lost people act lost?

When their blinded eyes

Don’t recognize Calvary’s cost?

It’s dismaying,

The things they’re doing and saying,

There’s no doubt.

Yet, these heartwrenching things

They are displaying?

It’s often the inclination they know

The most about.

Never to excuse, mind you.

God’s truth is in every bit of creation

Calling out to draw and to woo.

But, believers, I feel I must say,

The burden to share Jesus

Is on us;

The onus is on us to point the way.

And, then, it is for us to stay,

Not to neglect to disciple and to pray,

But, rather, with humbleness of heart

To be a willing part,

Of seeing His filling impart,

Springing new life out of the decay.

May we indeed be about His business, sharing the truth of Jesus with those in need! Blessings and prayers, dear friends! Thanks for reading! โค

There is Always Jesus

Hey, there, dear friends! School is complete for the semester and working on getting my brain in gear for exploring beloved words again.

This is just a little snippet that popped in my head. The phrase “There is always Jesus.” came to soothe my anxious heart in a downtrodden moment and it grew from that to a few simple lines I wanted to encourage you with as this uncertain path we’re on continues to unfold...

December.

As I survey the sustained chaos this month brings,

A few thoughts skitter and timelessness rings:

December.

A season of deepening chill,

A season of sweetest joy.

Flip on the screen these days

And ugly rancor rolls unabated;

Christmas or no,

It’ll still swiftly give you its fill….๐Ÿ™„

Ah, but turn to the truth of His Word

And find unblemished peace and love

To miraculously pour into the aching void…

For, there is always Jesus, friends,

Whatever scrolls across our lives and our feeds.

Blessed babe come to earth, ready to receive us without end,

If only we can shed the tugs of this manic world

And to His tender, urgent call give heed…

May we indeed learn when to shut off the screens, open our Bibles, and give heed to His call! Where this world will soon pass away, seeking Him while we may is our life and breath! Blessings and prayers to you, dear friends! May you each know the incomparable joy of this season! ๐Ÿ˜Šโค

Updates

Hey, friends. A quick update. Our little community has finally felt the effects of this virus and we are back in remote land at least through the beginning of next year-all except our IEPers, including my sweet daughter. She will be able to continue on site with her para so she can get that personal attention that helps her succeed. Very grateful-as is she!

My college boy for his part has continued to do so well, constantly defying the stereotypes around his autism. He also has been able to continue in person, a rather important consequence of the hands-on learning in his engineering studies (can’t transfer use of 3-D printers to online schooling, for example.๐Ÿ˜).

This leaves two at-home kiddos for me. One 16-going-on-42-year old boy who will likely regale me on his breaks with the latest oldie he’s learned on the bass guitar and one infinitely creative 8-year-old boy who could spend all day building and drawing me cool stuff, but will likely need a lot of mama coaxing on the paperwork side of things. So…there’s that. Again. Sigh.

In addition to that, we have been consumed with a lot of tough family business.

This prevailing illness finally hit not just our community but also brought my husband’s grandmother’s time on earth to a close.

She was 93, with a scrappy reputation for so long, but, in the last year or so, had been descending into a dementia we’d anticipated would take her soon as it was.

Where I would never dream to call such a thing as dementia a positive, it amazingly proved the way God could reach her heart.

How, if her mind was going? some might rightfully ask.

Well, you see, she spent most of her life not merely scrappy, but also bitterly anti-faith. A church had burned her once long ago and that had effectively shut down any thoughts of God.

Yet, as her mind had begun to slip, something in her countenance changed.

She became receptive to the family’s “Jesus Talk” as she once disdainfully called it.

She talked of the joys of being a child and remembered better Sunday School days learning of scriptures and salvation.

She became that child again in lots of ways and, in so doing, the door opened so she could receive Jesus as such, the resistance she harbored all those years melting away in recognition of His infinite goodness to her. I truly believe she was resting in that truth as she went.

We are no less sad to have lost her to this world, yet…

Now, we know we have not lost her for good. We will see her on the other side. The comfort of this lifts the sorrow and reminds us of the joy to come.

And that we should never stop praying for our loved ones to come to salvation!

His ways are so far above ours it defies description!

I guess that about sums it up at this point as far updates go.

I tend to come and go as able these days, anyway, but fair warning-I will be fairly silent on here for an extended time as I place my energies into guiding my youngest.

As well as helping my husband with the business, which has hit some huge time crunches in the last few weeks. That could certainly use some prayer…not only that we can see the work to completion, but also that a) my body stays cooperative to the task and b) I can be of some level of use to him.

It is safe to say being married to a handyman has expanded my vocabulary enough that I know what a flange and flashing are, but it really hasn’t changed my aptitude. ๐Ÿ˜

Still…I can always hand tools as long as I know which doohickey he is after. ๐Ÿ˜

Well…hope this finds you all well in your respective worlds, my friends. Keep the faith! Much love and many prayers! โค

A Better Gratitude

Hey, there, friends! Gratitude on the brain for obvious reasons, but also in how it relates to how we spend our precious time-on what and, especially, on Who. Too much is wasted on futile pursuits and disputes, not near enough on sharing the good news of His love. Or, on the sometimes very necessary silence we ought to have before Him.

Time.

It ticks on, draws taut,

Gratitude all but forgot

As we all scramble to do what we think we ought.

Yet, minutes, precious and few,

Are too often frittered away

As comes forth from us the

Sad and endless spew.

Maybe if we all just for a while STOP THE TALKING,

The incessant talking,

The insistent, the maddening, elbow-jabbing bicker

And show even just the tiniest flicker

Of a Christ-like recognition for others,

Let His love truly be our ignition in

How we relate to one another,

Perhaps there could be less seconds

Shed like water down the proverbial drain

And instead the mindless jabber could

Bend

To become a much sweeter, more

Purposeful refrain…

Or maybe even, dare I say a blessed

Silence

When with Him we are at last in twain?๐Ÿ˜

Ah, but is this hope of mine

None but a wistful dream?

Looking around at ever errant

Humanity’s darkening signs,

So it would seem…

Yet, I know a God who is greater than

We deserve

Who amazingly is yet extending to us

A grace we could never earn!

And patiently He seeks to guide us in

A better gratitude,

To infuse our attitude with the

Promise of life eternal,

To grow in us a beautiful garden from

A single willing kernel.

Would that we would pay heed to His

Instruction

Before we reach that final junction!

For time spins ever forward,

Well-spent or no.

May we still our wandering

Voices,

To Him look toward…

Tune our thoughts to become

Mindful of our forevers

And our choices,

And let the cross alone point which way to go…

Blessings and prayers on your Thanksgiving, friends! This year proves to be different but all the more reason to be mindful! โค

Watch “Harvest – “Because I Am”” on YouTube

Hey, friends. It’s been a bit again since I shared a song. This one is pulled from early childhood memories. My dad, the quiet, unassuming metalhead, had discovered Christian music shortly after I was born. This song was a distinct departure from his usual, but one he fell in love with and therefore couldn’t stop playing.

Its tune captured my young self over time and then, life happened and memory of it shifted to the background until a couple of years ago.

We had had an awesome day of Goodwill finds, including a fairly nice turntable. I was excited to begin recollecting vinyl and chatted with my folks about it. Next thing I knew, my mom and dad were combing through their collection to pass some on to me.

Harvest was among the ones Dad shared, which I politely took without quite remembering it yet. I took it home and, honestly, put it away for a time, more entranced by the classic rock mom had chosen to give me ๐Ÿ˜ ( Hey, CCR is another huge part of my childhood soundtrack. It was hard to resist the unique sound of their “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” on that turntable.).

And that was that for a time.

But, something in me one morning was drawn to straightening my collection…maybe because they were overflowing my makeshift shelves. ๐Ÿ˜And, I picked up the Harvest album among the others and perused the titles, trying again to recall much about them.

And, then, all at once, the melody came back to me. I simply had to put it on then and there. And I was instantly drawn in again, reminded of the sheer beauty and truth in the story woven, sung and played in such a gloriously heartfelt manner.

For He is the resurrection and the life indeed! The joy and the hope of knowing that is beyond measure! It buoys the spirit on the bleakest of days!

Something sorely needed in this dark and troubled world.

And, so, I pray you enjoy, my friends.

That your hope of everlasting life through Jesus is lifted and your faith is affirmed by this incredible truth.

Blessings and prayers to you! โค

What a Friend

Hey, friends. Lots of thoughts rolling.

Some on the cusp of creation; some more fully formed but not just there yet.

Some honestly rather heavy.

Heavy but, admittedly, necessary.

Example: the news daily brings us countless reminders of the temporary nature of fame, fortune, and the like.

Worldly accomplishments beckon us here on earth yet they still shift and blow away sooner or later, much like the foolish man’s house on the sand…

For nothing comes with us-not a guitar prowess or a cool rep or or a knowlegable facade.

Not even our own “niceness”.

No…nothing but our faith we carried in life.

Now, it might be faith in a thing.

A person.

Our own abilities.

Our bank account.

Or-prayerfully-it will be in Jesus Christ alone.

For those whose faith proved futile, unfortunately, all that awaits is a darkness beyond darkness-an eternal separation from God.

A hard truth indeed!

But, for those who have trusted Christ alone for salvation, there is an eternity of joy and peace in His presence!

So…mixed into those tough thoughts of grief for others who likely may’ve passed without placing their faith on Him alone, is the gratitude for that sure salvation and the rest in that steady companionship-both here and now and in the life to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

And all that, be it deemed random or no in the midst of the heavyish and less heavish thought train here today, reminds me of a song.

I checked and, yep, it’s been a bit since my last song share. So…yes. It’s time.

Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, after some (pretty major) deliberation, I decided I should share our community youth group “theme song”- “What a Friend” by Matt Maher.

Or one of the theme songs, at least. ๐Ÿ˜ We are a seriously musical lot.

Anyway…it’s such a comforting word in the midst of troubling times!

Now, this version is likely a lot more professional sounding than what our little group pulls off with our rudimentary acoustics.

But, at any rate, may we sing along with what is the most important key- sincere hearts, rejoicing at the truth of lives redeemed and an eternal home to look forward to.

Blessings and Prayers, dear friends! Keep your eyes on Him! โค

https://g.co/kgs/tJtP7t

Pastor Don is Free!

Well, here we are, friends. Mere weeks from the beginning of my request for prayer to this moment I honestly thought I’d dread to report.

And yet…it does not speak well of the body of Christ nor the glorious truth of life eternal to approach this with dread.

So, rejoicing through the tears, I will just say that at 2:40 pm, our dear Pastor Don left this earth.

He leaves behind his wife, Deb, and three grown children-Michael, Andrew, and Michelle.

They are blessed to know he is pain-free and waiting for them on the other side, but, of course, will sorrow in this separation, temporary though it may be.

They will treasure any prayers offered for them.

And, may it be noted for those of us privileged to have known him, he also gave us the gift of both a legacy of faith and a humble determination to lift the name of Jesus high.

Lord, may this inspiration continue to serve me well.

I appreciate so much the uniting of your prayers with ours. It has been such a comfort to know where we are separated by miles, we are near in our hearts, thanks to Christ.

Blessings and prayers. โค