Monday, June 29, 2009

Do You Ever Wonder?

Have you ever met someone?

What I mean is, have you ever gone out looking for people?

I mean.


I mean, have you ever...

Okay. I'm going to stop asking questions designed to help you relate to me, and just say what I'm thinking.

Several years ago - five or six, maybe even seven - I went out to a park with my church's evangelism team. It was the first time I'd ever "witnessed" on purpose, and I was petrified. I prayed that God would show me someone easy. A man and woman sitting in lawn chairs caught my eye. I felt compelled. I walked up, started a conversation. Asked about their lives. Had a great time getting to know them just a little. Then I remembered why I'd started the conversation in the first place. Asked about their relationship with Christ. They asked if I was from (insert the name of my church here). I smiled sheepishly and said yes. They said they figured, since they'd seen it in the announcements. Turns out that they pastor another local church and come to ours when they don't have a service at the same time. What an easy way to start off!

Next was a young lady. She was sitting down by the river, watching the water go by. Something about her just... caught my attention. Arrested and held it firmly, rather. She was so... peaceful. Thoughtful. Seemed like she was searching for something.

Started talking. Found out she'd just moved to our town. Had a husband. Two daughters. Sweet, sweet woman. Loved her God, loved her Jesus. Hadn't found a church home yet, but they were searching. Maybe that's what God wanted me to talk to her about? She and her husband, and her daughters came to our church a few times. I still don't know what God did with that encounter... turned out their church home was not to be the same as mine. They settled in somewhere else. And I've thought of and prayed for them fairly often ever since.

That's a lot of years to pray for someone when you don't actually know them. Or where they are. Or what they're doing.

I found out recently, though, that God's been doing awesome things in their lives. They now have five kids. Are on fire for their King. Established in their church. And I know it! What a blessing to find this out through a long, twisty, crazy way. Involving a total stranger, pictures of kids I've never met playing on a beach hours away from here, a sick baby, a blog I read frequently, and a friend who needs a wedding photographer.

Just a reminder that God... He is God everywhere. All the time. And when we pray - even if we don't know what to pray - He hears.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Am With You

This promise, this unchangeable, unshakable truth, is so precious to me. He is with me. With me. Wherever I go. Whatever I do. He is with me. Nothing can hide me from Him. From His love. From His mercy. His goodness. His correction. He is with me.

Matthew 28:20 - Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

This promise, this unchangeable, unshakable truth, bothers me. He is with me. With me. Wherever I go. Whatever I do. He is with me. I can't hide from him. Nothing I do escapes him. There are plenty of things I've done that I wish he hadn't seen. Things I've confessed, sure. Things He's forgiven. Things He loves me in spite of. And yet... He is with me?

It is one of those things that will stop me in my tracks. It will freeze the words that are about to come flying out of my mouth. It will arrest my attention. It causes me to hesitate before doing things that may not be the most... wholesome. It, in essence, enhances my conscience.

But it also gives me courage when inside, I am imagining every bad outcome. It gives me strength when I am falling apart and know I can't keep going. It gives me hope when there doesn't seem to be any answer.

Lo, I am with you always.

A great, glorious promise.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

I Made It For You.

This morning, I was still up when the sun started to rise (if you follow me on twitter, you'll know that my heart did its thing a bit last night and I ended up having to take something for it). Anyway... the sunrise looked like it promised to be a good one. I slipped outside in my jammies, and walked across the neighbor's field to stand at the edge of the valley. It was quiet. Peaceful. Birds were singing. The flowers blooming at the edge of the field were filling the air and my head with their fragrence. As I stood there, the sky seemed to catch fire. It started slowly - just the clouds on the eastern horizon. But it spread, rapidly, until the entire sky was red, quickly moving clouds. It was amazing.

As I walked back toward our house, I prayed. Thank you, Lord, for the beauty around me. You created such a beautiful world. And then, a still, small voice - softer than the dew on the grass, and mighter than the biggest storm - spoke to my heart. "I made this for you."

He did. He made this world for us. For us to live in, to dwell in. It's a mere shadow of what it was made to be. And even so, if we'll allow Him, God will never cease to amaze us with His creation. Take a minute today to look around you and notice what He's done. The amazing, beautiful things He has done.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Calm In the Storm

Tonight, my husband and I stood outside our home. In the field that meets up with our driveway. And got these two pictures. All around, I could hear thunder... I could almost feel it. And lightning was flashing all around. And yet... it was calm. Peaceful.

I admit, there is something about a storm that is just downright attractive to me. I crave standing in the midst of them. With power all around me. Rain pouring down. Arms stretched out. And in the midst of those storms, God is so near. And that's why I crave them. I crave that closeness. That nearness. That reminder of how awesome He is - there is no storm on earth that could compare to His power, His might. And still... He loves me. What a privilege.

Tonight, there is someone dear to me, whom I have never met, who is walking through a storm. Right now, it's raging so loudly around her and her sweet son that Idon't know how she's able to hear anything else. And yet... I know she is able to. She loves her God, and trusts Him. And I do too. Will you pray with me? Pray that her son's life would be preserved. That his heart would be calmed. That the doctors would have wisdom to know what to do next. And pray for his parents. That they would remain aware of His presence. That they would not be overwhelmed by fear or trepidation.

Please pray... you can get updates here.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

When I Say I Am A Christian.

I was browsing through some random pages today, and I came across two poems entitled "When I Say I Am A Christian." I'm going to include them here... because I like them. A lot. And I wish I would have thought to write them myself.

When I Say I Am a Christian
Carol Wimmer - (C) 1988

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I am saved"
I'm whispering "I get lost"
That is why I chose this way

When I say "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need someone to be my guide

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong
I'm professing that I'm weak
And pray for strength to carry on

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success
I'm admitting I have failed
And cannot ever pay the debt

When I say "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect
My flaws are too visible
But God believes I'm worth it

When I say "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartaches
Which is why I seek His name

When I say "I am a Christian"
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority
I only know I'm loved

I'm A Christian
Maya Angelou

When I say "I'm a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'!"
I'm whispering "I was lost..."
"Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say "I'm a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
And need Christ to be my guide.

When I say "I'm a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say "I'm a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say "I'm a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say "I'm a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say "I'm a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou...
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Winds of Change.

Updated. Again:
So, lots of changes here. One of which involves removing the music that used to play. I did it to make things load more smoothly. You can vote to keep it gone or to bring it back (poll is located on the lefthand side of the blog). Because really - the music is for you, the reader. Let me know - you've got a week!

On another note - I plan to take a slightly different direction in coming months - one that is more reader focused. When I originally started this blog, it was about me. And me only. I had no intention of ever sharing it with anybody other than my writing teacher who had requested that all of us in the class do so. Then, my grandma was killed and it became an outlet as I worked through grief unlike anything I'd known. Then it moved on to being just random snippets.

Now, I'd like it to transform again. I want to address things that you, the readers, want to know about. I'm not a teacher, preacher, or anything else. Just a woman. Who loves her God. And longs to bring Him glory through the words I write. SO... if there is an issue you'd like to see addressed, something you'd like to say, or you'd like to request prayer, leave me a comment or send me an e-mail (use the link on the right) - I'll get back to you as soon as I can. :)

Okay. I'm not done. But I am done - it is way too late for me to be up. I'm fighting with how to make my widgets have their own border and color. I figured it out before, but now something is amok. Oh well... that's for later. :)

I'm about to make some major changes to the layout of this blog... I apologize in advance for the fact that it's going to look pretty shabby for a few hours - but I promise that it will look good when I'm done. :)

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Monday, June 15, 2009


Yesterday, I was up with the sun. It was so beautiful, that I had to wake up my husband to show him. This is what we see in the mornings, from our bed. We are so blesssed!

Moving on - yesterday was mostly unproductive. I did accomplish one thing, though. You see, we have two salamanders. We got them when we were helping some people move - they were hanging out by their basement door. When we got them, they were about four inches long and very unhealthy in appearance - gray, skinny, dry, wrinkly... just generally "unfit."

They live in an aquarium. Which, after we moved, they totally trashed. Dug up the plants, put dirt in the water, generally mucked it up. So yesterday, I spent about five hours redoing it. I'm pleased with how it turned out. I think they are too.

I did make them a couple hide-outs - one for in the water and one for out of the water. But they aren't in the pictures (obviously).

I guess it's just a week for redoing things, eh?

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Friday, June 5, 2009

A Picture. A HAPPY Picture.

Nice picture, eh? I was sitting here today, wishing I could find something to do that would be at least semi-productive. So I decided to brows through the pictures on my flashcard that haven't been downloaded.
When I did that, I found this picture:
I saw some potential with it, but nothing fantastic. But... as all true PaintShop (or PhotoShop) addcits will do... I decided to play a little bit. So, Play I did.
This is what I came up with:

If you want some information on how to turn this:

into this:

You can head on over to MckMama's Blog. She's got some pretty great photography posts. And I am too lazy just now to do anything of the sort. So I'm passing the baton, or something. Head over, check it out, and learn. :)

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