Friday, August 19, 2011

Five Gifts Friday

"Brightly colored sunsets, majestic mountains and shining seas,
and fragrant fields and fresh-cut flowers
are not even half as beautiful as a soul who is serving Jesus out of love,
through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life."
Frederick W. Faber, Streams in the Desert.

Watching from my porch of praise I see blessings galore parading down my avenue.

76. Children skipping, running, walking to their future at the school around the corner.

77. Beaded hair-dos, bright new clothes and happy back-to-school grins.

78. Bittersweet hints of August slipping away in the coolness of a morning breeze.

79. I am a child of the Creator God,
Favored by the Father,
Loved by the Lord of Life.

80. Yesterday I answered this question "In God's heart, I am..."
with this photo.
Now it's YOUR turn. Just fill in the blank:
"In God's heart, I am _________..."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Five Blessing Friday--Five Authors

This Friday, August 12, I will be at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, having my socks blessed off my some of the finest writers, mentors, teachers, authors, editors, etc, etc in the country.

In honor of that great blessing, my Five Blessings today are five of the authors I've read who live their lives to please God and "Write His Message." My life has been immeasurably enriched and God has blessed me, because of their choice to obey God.

1. Eugenia Price--I first read "Early Will I Seek Thee" when I was in high school. Her emphasis on daily prayer and Bible study spoke to my heart. It said "Get up out of that bed and read your Bible and pray!" and started me on a life-long love of God's Word.

“If Christ lives in us, controlling our personalities, we will leave glorious marks on the lives we touch. Not because of our lovely characters, but because of his.”—Eugenia Price

2. Max Lucado—Mr. Lucado took me a long way down the road to realizing that I can never do anything to make God love me more and I can never do anything to make Him love me less.

"If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning... Face it, friend. He is crazy about you! " Max Lucado

3. Ronald L. Dunn. Ron was my pastor as a teen and young married. He was a man of God and a gifted preacher and writer. His books “Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something” and “When Heaven is Silent” changed my prayer life. From Ron I learned not to ask God, "Why me?" but "What now?" and listen and obey God's answer.

4. Ruth Meyer—her book “31 Days of Praise” was given to me by a dear prayer partner. I learned from Ruth how to give thanks for those who hurt me, for disappointments and even more, I begin to believe it possible to “In everything give thanks…”

"With You, nothing is accidental, nothing is incidental and no experience is wasted," Ruth Meyer. I recommend the "prayer journal" version if it's still available.

Ruth's book prepared me for….

5. Ann VosKamp—“One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are” a reminder of what I’d forgotten and an invitation to begin noticing and recording my joys in every day life.

“Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy.” Ann Voskamp

Although I have reached my self-imposed limit of "Five" I simply must add my current favorite author Cecil Murphey. One of the greatest blessings of my life has been the privledge of helping get out the word to the world about his books. Cec writes from his heart, with transparency and integrity, about issues facing Christians in their walk every single day. He's not afraid to share his struggles and the answers he's found. I love to use his books as a devotional "jump start" for my quiet times, and find myself repeating "Cec-isms" to get me through a tough day. My latest favorite from "Knowing God, Knowing Myself" is:

"Today, I have time to do everything I need to do today."

There are so many, many more. I thank you Lord for men and women who surrender their talents to You. Thank you for continuing to speak Your life to me through the words of Your faithful servants. We will never know how many lives have been saved, how many have been touched, how many have been changed.

Dear fellow-readers,

What's on your nightstand? Please take a moment to share a favorite book or author whose writing touched your life with me. Oh, and don’t forget the thank God for that gift.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Five Blessing Friday.

I LOVE this prayer from David, the man after God's own heart:

"Satisfy us in our earliest youth with your lovingkindness, giving us constant JOY to the end of our lives." Psalm 90:14, Living Bible

After a frazzled, stress-filled week (mostly due to ME) I have been asking God to open my eyes to his mercy and grace. For me that's a prayer He always answers. Here are some of my rainbow of "Joys" this week:

66. JOY--sweeping the floor, dusty with the tracks of happy feet of my wonderfully grand-nieces & nephew & grandchildren PLUS my sister. What a blessing to relive the fun of watching races, playing games together and yummy root beer floats!

67. JOY--Washing the dishes from the abundant food we have each day here in this country. Please remember Somalia in your prayers AND don't forget to give.

68. JOY--Thank you Lord that you don't love me "because..." You simply love me. (idea from Cec Murphey and Dt 7:7-8)

69. JOY--Indoor plumbing, showers, feeling clean and smelling good.

70. JOY--"Negative feelings are only emotions; negative feelings are not reality."* Thank you Lord that negative feelings pass quickly.

By the way, the colorful text is because JOY is just too wonderful to be only one color!

*Cecil Murphey