Tag Archives: Philippians

VISION 2020: I CAN

I CAN ride a stationary bike for 15 min without the knee complaining of serious pain. (Yeah – I know it isn’t a lot, but it is a start, right?)

I CAN do my various gym machines that contort my body i various ways to strengthen the back and core muscles within a half an hour. (3 reps of 15 – not bad for this old lady after only a few months, right?)

I CAN do my stretches and bouncing runs in the salt water pool then stretch a little more in the hot tub as the muscles relax and the arthritis begins to use her inside voice rather than the loud, obnoxious outside voice. (That’s good as well, right?)

I CAN walk and play with my lab girls everyday and rejoice as we walk the paths around our neighborhood several times a day. (Am not mentioning how many times I have to go find the ball they lose, ok?)

All in all – – –

“I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”~Phil 4:13

Been doing Physical therapy since November and have finally graduated to working on my own. I am blessed that my insurance covered not only the physical therapy, but now also covers the gym and any classes that I want to take.

When I am feeling at my lowest, I remember to praise My Father and His Son for their grace and love. I have been blessed more than I deserved, and I don’t thank Them enough. But I am getting better at it – step-by-step – inch-by-inch.

I am re-reading a Priscilla Shirer book, FerVent. I read it 3 years ago when she wrote it in conjunction with the movie, War Room. Like the movie, it reminds the reader how important prayer is to navigating this chaotic thing we call life. “…prayer is the divinely ordained mechanism that leads you into the heart and the power and the victory of Christ.”~ p14

Prayer
Releases
All
Your
Eternal
Resources ~ p23

2 months into 2020 and my War Room closet door is filling up with slips of paper, note cards, pictures and curiosities that pulled at me. I am not very good at writing down my prayers and all the answers (but I do get some recorded…I think). I am pretty good at writing down each promise that the Holy Spirit has highlighted in my brain during my daily devotions or Bible Time (until I spill water on them or lose them as I carry them around). I’m much better at writing down the names of people I know (and even some I don’t know), so that I can remember to pray for them when I am in my closet — and — even when I leave the physical closet, the Holy Spirit remains and reminds me – time after time – to continue in prayer throughout the day.

I have come a long way since the first time I read FerVent. I hadn’t realized how much I had internalized until I started re-reading it again. Looking back, re-reading and praying over the wisdom presented, always reminds me why I need to continue to read and re-read the WORD. It’s wisdom is a never ending font of Living Water and pulls the chaos out of my narrow vision of my adventure at that moment and inserts His peace instead.

Our life journey is not easy.
Chaos’s call is hard to resist at times.
Fears. Worries. Darkness. Temptations. Hurt. Divisions. Hatred.
Many things pull at us.
Spending time in a prayer closet is certainly not what the world thinks is important.

But it is – – – and I CAN – – – and – – – YOU CAN!

Fervent prayer is that key which release all Our Father’s promises into our life. Fervent prayer opens the door as we ask Jesus to join us in our closet. Fervent prayer allows us to rest in His eternal presence for as long as we let Him hold our arms up in Praise and Thanksgiving.

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still,” ~Ex:14:13-14.  Forgiven [artwork/Greg Olsen]

CHRISTMAS: TREASURE CHEST MEMORIES (8 Days and Counting)

I love, love, love making things at Christmas. It seems that decorations made with a little love and time make the beautiful even more beautiful. A little glitter. A little help from Youtube. A couple little hands touching a couple big hands. A little creativity… and the world just shines just a little brighter.
 
The Grands were over for our Sunday morning gathering. We colored. We glittered. We laughed. We cuddled. We pulled out the two remaining German stars that my mother’s sister made when I was their age and hung them on our tiny tree. Then – we made our own German star. The oldest Grand persevered through all the intricacies of folding and had the biggest smile as she carried her star to the car. Littlest Grand had the biggest smile on his face as he cuddled in the chair next to me and told me he had just read the instructions on the printer, so it was ready to print his own creation. He also noted that he and his sister used to be able to sit in this chair with me and now it was crowded with just the two of us. (My heart ached a little with this tidbit of wisdom.)
 
Treasure chest memories…“‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things…”~Lk 16:25a
 
It is the same with writing Christmas cards. As time consuming as it is, it is something I love to do, and something I like to get. I love when my former students send me pictures of their families. I love hearing from my childhood buddies, family members, and teaching peers. I love, love, love getting a card from the few elders that remain in my life. Although I have to admit, part of it is the memory of my mom working late into the night as she wrote letters with her Christmas cards. She did this after working a long day and putting up with me. Then together we would hang all the cards around our living room.
 
Treasured memories…“Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”~Lk 2:19
 
A few weeks ago I was over at my daughter’s home and saw my doll collection. Before I became an obnoxious teen, it seemed like every Christmas brought a new doll from some part of the world where my mother’s brothers were stationed for awhile. After struggling to write thank you notes, I remember just touching each doll over and over – wishing I could see where they lived and wondering what it was like…and most of all….really wishing mom would let me play with them instead of just look at them. Even now, as I held and looked at them, I remember my aunts and uncles and love the memories they added to my life.
 
Memories beyond worth…“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…”~Phil 1:3-5
 
Which I guess is the point. Christmas brings many gifts beyond presents under the tree – and yet – if you look – they all point toward the Father who used a little creativity, a little glitter, a bunch of love and sent a present from where He is “stationed” into the hearts of those who are ready. He reached His encompassing hands around our dirty hands and let His grace and mercy “glorious impossible” clean them.
 

Treasure chest memories gleaming like a paper star that points to a babe lying in a manger… “For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him” ~Matt 2:1-2 

[personal images]

GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT

Yesterday, a woman came with a bag bursting at the seams with children’s books. Heraugust 10 2018 a humble heart spoke over her words as she showed me the treasures buried within that bag. They were her books. Books of her childhood. Books of my childhood. Early Primers. 
Yogi Bear, Bugs Bunny, Huckle Berry Hound Books. 
Golden books. 
Tell-a-Tale Books.
Tears shined in her eyes as she turned to leave and truth be told, shone in mine as well.

 

Strange the things you remember from 60 years ago. Stories read to you and read by you. The image on the front of a book, and the back of a book that caught my breath in familiarity. Did I read those lists books over and over – dreaming about reading them? Or was it the cutesy, baby animals that cavorted around those titles? Then again, I remember the back of the Golden Books just as well. A few years later, Golden Books would also add little pictures surrounding titles.

Best of all, it was the memory attached to these books that slowed my day down. Curled into my mother or father’s side at bedtime. Yawning and struggling to keep my eyes open after prayers just to hear one more story before they tucked the covers tight around me, turned off the light and left me gazing at the stars.

For years and years and years, long after the parents had stopped reading to me, I would gaze up at those glow-in-the-dark stars my Father had put on the ceiling, and tell myself a continuation of all those stories or stories-yet-to-be as I fell asleep. Sometimes with music in my head and sometimes with music from downstairs, I would drift off to sleep “…with a peace of GOD that passeth all understanding.”~Phil 4:7

I realize now how blessed I was that My Father chose this path for me. Easier than some – harder than others – but on a path designed just for me. So tonight as I re-read this small, familiar book of prayers, yawning and fighting to keep my eyes open long enough to read one more prayer, I wish I still had my initials written on my ceiling and could hear the music from downstairs once again because “….surely goodness and mercy [has] follow[ed] me all the days of my life and I [have] dwell[ed] in the house of the LORD forever.”~Ps 23:6

“Good night! Good night! Far flies the light;
But still God’s love shall flame above,
Making all bright. Good night! Good night!”august 10 2018 f

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #6

We have a cast iron pan that Hubby loves to use when he cooks breakfast. I have to admit, I love having him cook breakfast since I have never learned to cook eggs (mostly because I don’t like to eat eggs). Reality check – I don’t like any breakfast foods, so not having to think about cooking first thing in the morning makes me one happy camper. The main thing mom and I totally agreed on when I was a teenager was that Hostess cupcakes or ice cream make one terrific breakfast.

The unfortunate thing about cooking is that the pans do get dirty. We established early on in this retirement routine that Hubby would also clean said pan. I learned early on that greasy pans make scratchers get very dirty, not to mention germy and sticky, very quickly. Cleaning them was a pain until I discovered that Dawn dish soap works on scratchers just as well as it works in rescues of oily birds.

“Rejoice in our Lord always, and again I say, rejoice.”~Phil 4:4

Strange as it seems, my Gratitude Attitude started cropping up almost immediately this morning as I went about cleaning up the kitchen (after the “cook” semi-destroyed it) It seems only fitting that I clean when he cooks, so that is how I usually start my morning. It also gives me a chance to think. A chance to organize my day as I go about the mindless, busy work of wiping down the kitchen.

Liberally apply dish soap to scratcher, scrub the sink with it, and the dirty, greasy, germy stain on the scratcher has pretty much disappeared (as well as the dirty sink and counters). Never to be seen again. Well – – at least until breakfast tomorrow morning when the scratcher will be clean enough to help out in the kitchen once again.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”~Is 1:18

It “dawn”-ed on me this morning that there was a huge metaphor in today’s cleaning of the kitchen. A Gratitude Attitude. I just needed to “ferret” it out a little more fully. So here is what I discovered after a long day of messing with a frustrating dog brace and feeling my sinus cavities fill up with the impending cold front on its way. I am a scratcher in this life.

I am still meandering out of the pan into the fire occasionally. I don’t mean to do it, but sometimes that ol’ sin-nature gets the best of my intentions. When that happens, I get a little sooty and dirty – – again. Of course , at some point, I still try to grease my way out of it and whine deep in the heart of me with all sorts of excuses. Thus, my covering does show the wear and tear of multiple scrubbings over the years.

Lucky for me, I have a Savior who isn’t opposed to hugging a dirty scratcher close to his heart. His blood washing out the stains as He puts me back on the sink so I’m ready to help clean a few pans that He might need me to help Him with in this birth-pang filled world. Life is not easy. Kitchen cleaning is a chore I really don’t like. Yet – with the right Gratitude Attitude, I just may learn something new every time I do it.

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'”~Zech 8:23

I for one am grabbing on to the hem of this one Jew’s robe and shouting to the world, “Let me go with You, Yeshua Christus, because I know that you are the Son of God. Blessings!Be!nov 5 2017

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #97

Okay – this Ration has been sitting on my computer for 3 hours . I’ve read it at least 4 times I’ve eaten a really worthless but very good supper – enjoyed 1 long phone call with a friend – watched 1 Christmas movie and taken 2 romps with the girls…I don’t think I can stall any longer. I need to finish tonight’s ration before the computer loses it and I have to start all over.

Ooooo – I think I need some cheese and maybe some wine.

Noooooo – “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”~Matt 16:23

Imagine you are hearing a long deep breath, shuddering sigh because that is exactly what I just did.

Actually, I seem to have been saying that short little phrase “Get behind me, Satan” since I opened my eyes this morning.

“Stay in bed a little longer.” (Repeat above phrase here)

“You don’t have to do those stretches” (Repeat said phrase again)

“Go ahead, you can buy that. Put it on the card.” (You know what to do here)

Got it? It has been one of those days when I was not an “appreciator” as today’s Ration tells us. Instead of looking around and just enjoying every step of His day, I’ve whined and cried and mumbled about – the massive number of bikers taking up most of the road while I was trying to get to town – the long line at the grocery store – being monetarily poor at holiday time  – avoiding holiday craft shows- – –

Obviously, not an appreciator.

So I went back to the Ration. It said Read, so – I read.

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy …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.”~Phil 1:3-6

I definitely hadn’t done that today. Hmmmm…hmmm…hmmm…as my knees painfullly find the floor of my warroom, I know how to change this day around. Mumbled prayers for others and the peace returns – the love of the girls radiates their contentment and love through my closet doorway – a piece of wisdom filters through the foggy sin barrier and reminds me why Jesus was such an appreciator of each person he encountered – they were all His children – each and every one. So I pray on…

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”~Phil 1:9-11

1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘When Jesus saw him.’~John 5:6

“Read: Philippians 1:1-11

“Bishop William A. Quayle used to say to the pastors in this conference, ‘The world needs appreciators.’ By this he meant men and women who see beyond the unpromising surface of life into the depths, where capacities for beauty and goodness reveal themselves to the sympathetic eye.

“All great souls have been great appreciators, to be able to see only the debased and ugly is the mark of littleness. The men and women to whom Paul sends greetings in his letters were ‘ordinary people,’ so we would say. But Paul’s greatness as a Christian leader is largely found in the fact that he discovered possibilities of usefulness for the Kingdom in lives that appeared only mediocre.

“The greatest appreciator that ever lived was Jesus. He knew the evil that ever lived was Jesus. He knew the evil that was in man, and did not discount the power of sin. But he also saw beyond the offensive exterior to something nobler that might be. He was so sure that it would respond to the appeal of confident good will that he based his kingdom, not on force but on love. The closer we live to him, the more of the divine we shall see in our fellow men.

“Prayer: Touch our eyes and awaken our hearts, O Christ, that we may see in the people with whom we associate today the finer and nobler elements of life which lie beneath the surface. Amen. [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #32

Dreams are those internal milestones we aspire to accomplish. They are the light at the end of the tunnel. The hope that keeps churning our legs in a certain direction. The carefree thought that pushes our hand into our pocket to hand over money to meet a Star-Trek star at a mega gathering or go to a prestigious college to earn a degree.
We take after our Father that way.
He too has dreams. Dreams of creation. Dreams that He envisioned of building a home for all His creations. Dreams that pushed Him on to plant a garden of treasures just for them to discover. Dreams that further led Him to desire a personal relationship with each and everyone of them.
He planted those visions within us as well – after all – He told us He made us in His image. Some of us call them dreams – or visions – or milestones. We dream of establishing a home – a center – a safe place. In it – or around it – we plant our treasures – – – things that nourish us and sustain us. We seek relationships to share our home – our garden – our love.
And if we are lucky – and we decide to leave our prodigal ways – we also find Our Father there – waiting for us – the supper table laid out and His arms open.
1942 DAILY RATION
Read: Philippians 3:13-17; 4:8
“If it (the vision) tarry, wait for it; For it will surely come without delay,” Heb 2:3
“We cannot go far in life without the inspiration of an ideal. The high road to fine living follows the trail that is lighted by idealism. . .
“Jesus followed his ideal, but Judas tossed his dream away for a selfish ambition. That is one reason why Jesus’ death was a triumph and that of Judas, tragic defeat.
“A picture was once painted by a great artist who set the scene in a night back ground. Across the dark waters of a lonely lake a solitary man could be seen rowing a small boat A high wind churned the waters of the lake into white-crested billows which raged around the little skiff. Above was a dark and angry sky. But through the blackness there shone one lone star. Upon this the rower fixed his gaze – – – and on through the storm he rowed. He was undismayed by the midnight darkness. Beneath the picture the artist had written, ‘If I lose that, I am lost.’
“Quite so. Lose the star of idealism from life and you are lost. Again, I say, ‘Don’t toss your dreams away.’

Prayer: Father of Light and Truth, give us the spiritual insight that will enable us to follow the gleam of thy guiding spirit. In the midst of life, turmoil and temptation give us the courage to hold to our ideal. May nothing persuade us to take the detail that leads into the far country. Hear our prayer in the Master’s name. Amen.”