Friday, February 7, 2020

Redeem!


Job 1:20-21
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.  Then he fell to the ground in worship, and said:  "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."



Everything falls apart
When least expected
Fallout noxious
Bids death, not life
Grief overwhelming
Sorrow pummels joy
My heart is breaking
I know God is there
Yet in my soul
The chasm widens
Day by cruel day
Like Job, I beg respite
From will of God true
If in my sin these acts
Are deemed as justice
I have no defense
Redeem, oh, Lord, redeem!

Amen

~

Dear Friends,
It seems that 2020 is not starting out on a good foot for me and our family.  In light of that, I need to step back from blogging for an indefinite period of time.  If you follow me on a regular basis, you know I customarily post on Tuesdays and Fridays.  I certainly won't be dependable in that, at least during February.  I also hope you will forgive me if there are days where I don't respond to your blogs.  Just rest assured that I am thinking about you, praying for you, and loving you as brothers and sisters in Christ.
May God's blessings and favor shine in your lives!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Change


Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.


Change in the offing
And I resist
With all I have
Yet God bids
Put self aside
Not yours, but My
Will be done
In My time
In My place
In My love
Sufficient grace in Me
Is here
Is now
Will forever be

Amen

Friday, January 31, 2020

Different Gifts, Same God


Romans 12:6-8
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

I've always loved these verses from Romans 12!  It assures me that God has provided each one of us with unique gifts and talents to develop, share and employ for His glory.

I'm so thankful my Father saw fit to grace me with a penchant for writing, has allowed me to pen and publish six novels, and now allows me, through this blog, to encourage others in their walk with the Lord.

Our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, is demonstrating, at the age of nine, how God has blessed her with artistic skills.  Just as I had a passion for books and writing as a child, Virginia loves, loves, loves to draw!  First photos shown here are ones she creates from her imagination.





And the next batch?  Virginia uses internet images to draw these creatures free hand.






Okay, friends, I know I maintain a hefty Gammie bias, but honestly, I do think these drawings display a precocious aptitude for art with Virginia.  It is my hope and prayer that she will continue to pursue her passion, polish her skills, and do it all in thankfulness for this amazing gift God has given her.

What gifts has God blessed you with?  Please share in the comments!

Amen!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Beyond, Beyond!


Psalm 121:1
I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from?

I write the poem penned here toward the beginning of last year, before we had the exceedingly great joy of taking our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, for her very first visit to witness the awe and splendor of God's creation.  You can read all about our adventures beginning here.

I glimpse the mountains
When I dare
To take my eyes
Off the road
En route to fetching
Granddaughter, precious
The ridge traversed
Offers sights
In treasured dreams
Horizon promised
Met and longed for
I say, upon return
"Look to your right,
Virginia - mountains!"
"I see them, Gammie.
I want to be there!
Can we go?"
"Not today,
But someday . . ."
Lift your eyes
Unto the hills
Beyond, beyond
Salvation's come

Amen!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Pining Away


Psalm 29:5
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

Sequestered in an enclave of forest splendor, the last thing my husband, Danny, and I ever wish to do is to remove a tree from our yard.  But after an errant lightning bolt strikes a stately pine tree last summer, taking the brutal brunt for all the other trees nearby, we know we have no choice but to have it removed as a matter of practicality and safety.

But the imagined cost of the project causes us to delay.

Until . . .

A wild and vicious winter storm is predicted to hit us in a few days.  His pragmatic mind in full gear, Danny calls our trusted tree service; fortunately, the company can come out the very next day!  The cost is far more reasonable than we calculated, and these Johnny-on-the-spot experts not only dismantle the looming nemesis of the dead pine, but also eradicate some other limbs threatening our roof.

So, bring on the tornado threatening winds!  We are ready!

And yes, obviously, we survive the maelstrom, thanks be to God!

Had that one pine been allowed to stand?  It could have spelled disaster.  As the owner of the tree service explains to Danny, having a dead tree on our property, without us doing anything to ameliorate the situation, would make us liable, not our insurance company, for any damage its fallen trunk could cause.






Yes, I am so sad that we had to let this noble tree go, the one that laid down its life for its friends.  (John 15:13)

The one upon whom a neighboring sweet gum wrapped a trusting root around.  A tree we will have to keep a close eye on come spring because of its close proximity to the fallen giant.

And I am reminded of this - the voice of the Lord, booming in the lightning strike, can break the cedars and pines.

But He always knows what He's doing.

We cannot know, as the pine did not, what day will be our last.

Yet, we can ever hold fast to God's power and promise, that as believers in Christ, we will inherit eternal life.

A life that will never end, and a life that will be honored greatly if we are willing to take the fall, as that stalwart pine did, for our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Amen!


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Putting the Resolute in Resolutions


2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!

Did you make any New Year resolutions?  Are you managing to honor them several weeks into January?

If failure is already rearing its ugly head, you're not alone.

And failure is why I quit making resolutions many years ago.  How disheartening it is when I have grandiose plans for changes and improvements in my life, only to have them crash and burn.

As I ponder why so many resolutions fall by the wayside, I have a revelation.  My former desires involved me, myself and I.  God was absent from the equation.

Yes, we may want to lose that weight, maintain a healthier lifestyle, keep in better touch with family and friends, but if God isn't the architect of these longings, we don't have a prayer.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that in Christ, we are new creations - blessed and loved and set apart - by the God who loved us all so much that He was willing to give His only Son to cleanse us from sin, and reassure us that we are heirs to the eternal life Jesus has promised.

If that knowledge doesn't make us feel new and revived in the New Year, then I don't know what can!

Maybe, friends, that's the only resolution we need.

We are loved.

We are redeemed.

We are made new.

Let us resolve, then, to let God guide and provide in all that comes our way in 2020.

It's the most resolute of resolutions.

And one that will never fail.

Amen!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Life 360? How about Life 24/7?


Psalm 139:7-10
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

My husband, Danny, downloads the Life 360 app to our phones in 2018 when his son, Giovanni, is making the monumental move to New Mexico for his Air Force assignment in Albuquerque.  For those of you who might not be acquainted with this convenience, it allows sharing of location and movement as a loved one travels.  We are especially worried at the time because of possible inclement weather that Giovanni and his wife, Hope, could be facing during their arduous trek.

Happy to say, they make it safely, but not without a few nail-biting moments on our part!

While we delete Giovanni from our circle after his successful arrival, Danny and I continue to track one another.  This is of particular comfort to my MIL, who toward the waning days of her life, grows extremely anxious when her son leaves the house to shop or go to the gym.  It gives her such peace of mind knowing where he is, and when he might be home.  She just feels safer and more secure when Danny is in the house, and I certainly could never fault her for that.

Enter Danny's brand new phone!  Yes, we want to continue using Life 360 to monitor each other's movements, especially when I embark on the long journey to my mother's house, but the app decides to be balky and inconsistent.  Danny has to reload it repeatedly.  Luckily, it does work seamlessly during my last trip to Mom's, but the following day?  Nada!  What's up with that?

We are concluding that the app simply needs a nudge here and there, a reentering of the password, to convince it to work reliably.  A pain?  Yes, but necessary if we wish to keep the connection going.

What a relief it is to know that when it comes to God, we never need to download an app or reset a password to be connected to Him!  He always knows where we are headed and where we will end up.  Even in the precarious places, His steady hand is there to guide us and hold us fast.

The Lord is Life 24/7 when we submit to and put our trust in Him

Here's to the journey!

Amen!

Redeem!

Job 1:20-21 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.  Then he fell to the ground in worship, and said:  "Naked I ...