Thursday, April 5, 2018

Moments and Musings

Ah, Martha.  You're one of us, you know?  When we slow down long enough to look, we catch our reflection in your spotless mirror.  We see ourselves, then quickly rush on, our to-do lists calling.

We stand, our hand reaching for the potholder, glancing over our shoulders at Mary, straining to hear a word of encouragement or praise, and, like you, we're conflicted.

I've felt this  connection to the Bethany sisters for many years.  I've dreamed of a devotional book based on meditations inspired by their lives and others in the pages of our Bible.

I long to invite other Marthas to join me for deeper study and conversation around His Word, but my Martha spirit churns and threatens to strangle my dream.

So, sisters, would you be interested in sharing some M-and-M's ......Moments and Musings for our Martha/Mary hearts?  If so, chime in and feel free to share the invitation with other kindred spirits. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

What Will We Do?

Spring! Blooming trees, tulips, buttercups, pansies, wild green onions, weeping willows, breeze-tickled ponds and streams. The days’ soundtrack harmonizes cardinals cheering; chickadees chick-a-dee, dee, deeing; children giggling; lawnmowers humming.

Spring, for me, equals resurrection wonder. But with the beauty and wonder comes a nauseating mindfulness. The life, death and resurrection certainly didn't look or sound much like the beauty I see in spring days.

Rereading the story of Jesus' last days, his betrayal, and crucifixion, I see that most of life and the way I perceive it, the way I pursue it, the way I process it evolves around the answer to one question: What will I do with Jesus?

The Jewish leaders decided what they would do with Jesus. The following He was gaining, the work He was doing, the claims to be the Son of God had to be stopped. Unable to end His life under their laws, they took Jesus to Pilate with a plan. The shifting of responsibilities and the blame game was on.

But Pilate knew how to play, too. "What are your charges against this man?" said Pilate to the angry mob. "Well, we'd not have brought him here if he'd not committed evil," they retort.

Pilate serves, "Then take him and judge him by your laws."

"Well, by our laws we can't kill him – we can kill no one under our laws," they return.

So the death game continues, back and forth, the volley of the ball of guilt. Players, they thought. Oh, little did they know……

Before time began, before a single one of them had breathed their first breath the Plan was in place. God knew there was no winning the games we would play without a perfect redeeming Lamb.
They thought they were directing an end to their problems, when, in fact, they were part of an ends to the means of saving a world that would die an eternal, hopeless death without a Savior. So He came……

So spring comes every year, to the earth, to my heart, to the world. It comes in the beauty of nature. It comes in the shadow of the cross; in the damp coolness of a tomb, rock rolled back, death cloths emptied, morning sun peeking through a symphony of birdsong.

Praise God, Jesus came; he died; he arose; and He's coming again!

What will I do with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus?

Who am I?

Draping his shoulders, anticipating the honor and respect that always saturated the air, I am shocked, realizing something is terribly wrong as they place the crown on his head. Thorns! "Hail, King of the Jews!" The words were right but they were jeering, mocking and spitting. His blood mingled with my rich dyes as they crushed the brambled ring into his scalp and brows. I inhaled deeply the sweat and earth as all of life stopped, and I was sucked into a vacuum of darkness.

Transported, I watched with wilted heart from wisteria as they left the garden, but hope resurrected as I was called into service in the tabernacle and the courts of the children of Israel. I heard he was coming. They heard he was coming. What now?

And in a flash I sparkled amethyst bright and bold, joined by my fellow precious gems, our lights dimmed by His presence enthroned. New heaven, new earth -- everything new -- everything here, everyone here, reflecting His glory.

I fall at his feet as they lead him away. You can't strip him of his royalty and his honor. Oh horror, you cannot crucify hope! Gloat today, ignorant of your role in the very deliverance for which all of creation groans.

I am purple, but He is Lord!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Little Light, Please

Brown, not black. I couldn’t tell the difference as I fumbled in my sock drawer, in a hurry for work. Low light in the bedroom coupled with a vision problem made it impossible to know the difference without assistance.

My cell phone’s flashlight provided the exact tool to solve the problem. The answer was right at my fingertips.

In a world of a billion choices – tweets & texts; posts & pins – I am quickly overwhelmed and easily distracted. Daily devotion time is crucial and life-giving; without it, I starve and strive.

Technology has placed the Word in our hands and at our fingertips on our phones, tablets, and computers. We are blessed to possess the Word in print without fear of persecution … yet. It's the Light on our devices and nightstands.

I can’t promise I’ll post on a schedule, but I’d love to have you journey with me on a path where our steps are illuminated and the big picture is growing clearer. Our sustenance is the Word; it is the one thing needful – Jesus.
Will you join me? Let’s travel!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Five More Days

Surely I’m not the only one.

As each weekend approaches I feel I will have time, make time, for rest. Rest to me, though, is rarely a nap or sitting and watching the sun set. It is usually time spent creating something, anything – writing, sewing, a thousand little things – exhaling a week of striving. Then most Sunday afternoons find me still striving on the treadmill of life, blinking back tears of frustration as the work week appears on the horizon and dashes my hopes for five more days.

In her book Whispers of Rest, Bonnie Gray writes:

Are you weary under the weight of holding everything together? …. Jesus sees the weight of all the loose ends locked away in the quiet corners of your heart.  He aches for you and longs to free you with his complete understanding.  His loving presence will guide and help you today.
The loose ends got me. The loose ends get me.

All these loose ends are just life’s little things, like laundry, clutter, bill paying, grocery shopping, errands, and housekeeping. I love my family and want to always be available to help them (OK, I just heard my mama’s voice). Making time for me feels so selfish. But the tyranny of the urgent, at work and at home, can strangle the life out of us if we don’t pause and regroup.

It’s Monday, but it’s going to be fine.  In five more days I will get it all done, right?

For more of Bonnie's Whispers of Rest, see her site here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Calling All Marthas

My Martha heart craves Mary moments.  The Martha/Mary struggle is real.

When email was king, before Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram reigned, a chain email suggested you ask your friends to describe you in one word.  I received several and today can only name one: striving.  It wasn’t meant to be a burden or criticism, but I hear it deep in my spirit on a regular basis.

“The world labels us, but God knows our true name.” – Bonnie Gray

Bonnie Gray’s latest book, Whispers of Rest, is an invitation to cease striving.  Bonnie has a gift of writing directly to one heart while speaking to all hearts.  Through her words, He whispers “rest.”
If your life is too noisy and you are dying for the smallest of breaks to catch your breath before the next wave crashes, sneak away and spend time with Father.  Go back again and again and let him refill you with His truth about you.  As one glass of water can never satisfy a lifetime of thirst, He invites us to come and be filled. 

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”  John 4:13-15

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Little Word, Big Power

The post I planned to write, Confessions of a Word Nerd, was met by a draft blog post from who-knows-when.  It read:

We all possess it, whether we realize it or not.  Maintaining an awareness of our influence is a challenge worthy of our best efforts.
Changing our focus realigns our influence. defines influence as "the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others."
I am a word nerd and a coward.  Although I love to write, sharing my writing scares me to death, paralyzes me.  With lives being so busy and our attention spans so short, I am embarrassed to ask you to read my writing; feel guilty.  It's awkward; I'm awkward.

But if I hoard my words and stuff my desires to write, I lose my ability to influence.

So today I will try to refocus on the goal of sharing my heart through words in hopes of encouraging others, trusting God to take it where it needs to go, whether it be around the corner or around the world