Friday, July 25, 2014

Growing More and More

Virginia at the Georgia Aquarium

2 Thessalonians 1:3
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.

Recently, we celebrate our granddaughter, Virginia Rose's, fourth birthday.  I think to myself, Where has the time gone?  It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating birthday number three!

But, time marches on and growth is inevitable.  Physically, emotionally, cognitively.

And, most importantly, spiritually.

When we are walking with Jesus, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, and worshiping our God afresh every day, how can we not recognize, and accept with gladness, all that He offers as daily gifts in our lives?

How can we not celebrate those moments of spontaneous fun?

Our God offers us a delightful array of surprises when we pray for eyes to see, and welcome Him into our lives with open hearts.

And, may we ever let our light shine brightly for His sake.

Savoring His goodness, His love, and His grace.

Viewing God's world through infant eyes of innocence, acceptance, and trust in Him.

Our grandchildren are growing more and more, and with every new day, their love increases.  May this be true for us, too.  For God isn't finished with us.  As our grand girls are dependent upon their parents and grandparents, so the Lord longs for our dependence upon Him.  He is Abba, Father.  The one and only true Parent of us all.  We are His precious children.

He celebrates, not just our birthdays, but every day in which we choose to be born again in Him.


Will you celebrate being born again in the Lord this day?

Prayer:  Loving Father, we thank You for growing our faith and building our trust in You.  Help us to always have love for one another, and for allowing that love to increase every day.  We ask that Your blessings be poured upon all the little children of this world.  May they know the power and comfort of Your unending and ever faithful love for them.  In the precious name of Jesus, we pray.  Amen.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Time for Every Purpose . . .

Ecclesiastes 3:1
In every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens . . .

I write posts for Meditations of My Heart far in advance of when you, my loyal and faithful followers, finally have the opportunity to read them.  So, as you are reading this, know I've written over 20,000+ words in my next novel series, Adventures in the Glade, since I originally penned today's blog.  I've given myself the months of July and August as a deadline for book completion, with September the catch all for johnny-come-lately chapters and intense editing and revision.  This will keep me extremely, yet joyously, busy!

Some of you may recall that a while back, I try to give Meditations of My Heart a hiatus in order to accomplish just what I described above.  But, my father's prolonged illness and our family's uncertainty as to when God would call him home, hinders me from plunging head-long into the novels.  My heart simply isn't in it.  I find, instead, great comfort and peace in writing my blogs.  They lend me a sense of structure, of meaning, of purpose.  Help to take my mind off the day-to-day struggles.  Comfort me as I focus upon the Lord and reflect upon His Word.

But, now God is calling me to get back on my novel horse and ride it for all its worth.  Who am I to ignore Him?  If I've learned anything from writing this blog, it's this:  Trust in God!  He always knows what's best for me, for you, for everyone when we genuinely pause and faithfully listen.

And, when we, in faith, obey.

That being said, I'm officially and determinedly taking a break from Meditations of My Heart at least through the end of August.  Could an errant post appear?  No doubt!  Will I keep up with my fellow bloggers?  You bet!  Do I suddenly vanish from Facebook or Google+?  Hardly!  But, I can guarantee you those venues will be my earned reward for every 1,000 words I write.

The journey set before me will take to the max the discipline I adhered to when writing daily devotions here.  When I reflect upon that entire year of writing, without missing a beat, I see now how God was preparing me for this time in my life when precision and dedication and determination are tantamount.

I'm convinced.  The Lord is ever preparing us to receive and to act upon what's best for us and best for His purposes.  He knows there are times and seasons for everything under Heaven.

And, summer, I realize now, is my season.

My season in Him.

Everything under God.

Everything that is good.

Together, Lord, we'll make it happen!


When in your life has God directed you to take a detour from what you assumed to be your purpose?  What was the outcome?

Prayer:  Dear Father, I pray that we all listen to Your voice, intently and intentionally, so we can glean the direction in which You want us to go in this life.  We are here to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  May we reflect that in all our thoughts and actions, each and every day, and understand in our hearts that there is a time and purpose for all we do in Your name.  In Jesus' precious name, we pray.  Amen.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

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


It's often not welcomed.  It can be ugly.  But, it's inevitable.  Disheartening at its worst.  Challenging at its best.

And, let's face it.  Change upends our best laid plans.  Leaves us in the dust if we don't go with the flow.  Demands us to tread a whole new path.  A path we would more than likely not have chosen if left to our own devices.

Our band, so tight and together, is asked to make room for more musicians to rotate in and out with us.  This require lots of practice and flexibility on everyone's part.  Talk about change!

The old has gone, the new is here.  

Am I happy about this?  Honestly, "No."  I'm comfortable with the way things are.  I don't want this shift in our tidy, familiar latitude as a group so close we often read each other's minds.  I fear for what might happen when the trusty, tried and true apple cart is upended.

But, if we wish to continue to lead contemporary worship, we have to accept this new arrangement.  We have no choice in the matter.

The old has gone, the new is here.

So, I've decided not to stew over these alterations and unknowns I neither wanted nor asked for.  I'm determined, instead, to have a positive attitude.  To watch and pray and listen, trusting God's hand is in it all.   

And, I hope that, though this experience, God will grow us all and, in the end, bring us closer to Him.  I don't think it will be easy, nor do I expect it to be painless.  But, any change which creates a deeper relationship with our Father, I can fully embrace.

I'm ready to go with the flow.

To take those first tentative steps down a brand new path.

To exit my comfort zone.

To let go and let God . . .


When has a change which disrupted your life turned out to be exactly what you needed?

Prayer:  Father, we so resist change in our lives, but we know it comes at us continually.  Let us have open minds and patient hearts when we find changes challenging and uncomfortable.  May we continue to grow in our relationship with You.  In Jesus' name, amen.

Friday, July 4, 2014

I Sowwy, Gammie!

Luke 17:4
"Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive them."

My granddaughter, Virginia Rose, spends Wednesday of last week with me.  Danny is at work in Atlanta, so it is just the two of us.  I'm so happy to see her and am looking forward to a day of fun and games.

To my surprise, Virginia finds a small, green, hard-rubber ball on our living room rug.  "Look, Gammie!"  she exclaims, all smiles as she bounces it on the floor, definitely amazed at how high it goes with so little provocation.

"I wonder where that came from?"  I muse as Virginia runs to retrieve her new toy.  "Maybe, it's Giovanni's, but I've never seen it before."  And, since my stepson is at work, there's no way to immediately find out.  "Even if it belongs to Giovanni, I'm sure he wouldn't mind you playing with it."

And, play with it, we do!  I don't want her bouncing it in the living room due to the random chance it could hit the television, so we move to the kitchen, sit on the floor, and gently bounce or simply roll it back and forth.

Then, Virginia pulls out her bag of inventive tricks.  She arches her body like a bridge so I can roll the ball under her where it hits the baseboard and comes careening back to me.  Next, she squats so there is hardly any space for the ball to get through.  Then, its down on the floor again, legs wide, so when the ball reaches her, she can catch it in a scissor snap.  Of course, any time the ball gets past me, Virginia laughs hysterically, jumps up, and dashes away to reclaim it.

Finally, the hardwood floor takes it's toll on my backside.  "Virginia, Gammie needs a break for a few minutes.  Let's go out on the deck and see what the squirrels and birds are up to."

"Okay, Gammie," she says and follows right behind me, green bouncy ball clutched firmly in her chubby little fist.

"Honey," I say when I notice it, "you have to be careful out here with that ball.  Se all the open slats in the deck railings?  It would be so easy for it to go through one of them and get lost in the yard.  After all, it's the same color of our moss and would be so hard to see."

"I be careful," Virginia assures me.

We watch the wildlife in our yard for a few moments, and then sit down on the built-in bench of the deck.  Once again, Virginia wants to play with her ball.  She positions herself so that her back is facing the railing and her legs are in a "V" so she can easily stop the ball when I roll it to her.  But, when she decides to get down from her perch, the inevitable happens.  She attempts to snatch up the ball, but her hand brushes it, accidentally, in the wrong direction.

Down the bench it rolls, through a slat it flies, and into the yard it disappears.  Literally.  Though we search diligently for it, garnering our fair share of bug bites in the process, we cannot find it anywhere.  We have to chalk this one up as a loss.

"Gammie, Giovanni and Papa will be angwy with me.  I lost the ball.  I sowwy, Gammie, I so sowwy."

I smile and give Virginia a reassuring hug.  "They won't be mad at you, honey.  They'll understand you didn't do it on purpose.  Everyone makes mistakes."

Virginia is greatly relieved to hear this.  Within a few moments, she's back to her chipper self, playing with her Crazy Sand as if she hadn't a care in the world.

And, once again, my granddaughter, through her behavior, reminds me of Jesus' teaching about forgiveness.  When Virginia says she's sorry, repents of her action, she needs to know her apology is sincerely accepted.  She needs to understand she is loved for who she is, not what she does or doesn't do.

Isn't that something we all need?  To be forgiven when we genuinely repent of our sins?  To offer that same forgiveness to others when they ask it of us?

Yes!  Seven times in seven days.

And, then some . . .


When was the last time you asked for forgiveness or gave forgiveness to someone?

Prayer:  Father, we thank You for sending Your precious Son, Christ Jesus, who taught us to love and forgive one another, who paid the ultimate price for our sins, and forgave those who crucified Him even as He hung on the merciless cross.  May we always choose to forgive those who sin against us, even when they neglect to say, "I'm sorry."  In Jesus' name, amen.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Love You, God!

Virginia Rose showing love to sister, Savannah Jane

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

During the month of May, I see my granddaughter, Virginia Rose, nearly every day during the week.  The reason?  Her baby sister, Savannah Jane, has to stay at the hospital treatments which I recently wrote about here.  Virginia and I have always been close, but during this time period, we truly cement those bonds.  Now that the family is home and together, her mom, my daughter, Sarah, tells me that Virginia asks daily when she can visit with her Gammie.  How sweet is that?

But, what is sweeter still is the heartwarming habit Virginia has picked up.  It's no longer enough to give her Gammie and Papa big hugs to let us know how much she loves us.  She now has to say so, and frequently!

"I love you, Gammie!"

"I love you, too, Virginia!"

Two minutes later:  "I love you, Gammie!"

"I love you more!"

And, on and on this love fest goes until something eventually diverts Virginia's attention and plops her down on a new track.  It isn't long, though, before she's back to declaring her love for me.  I never tire of hearing those words, nor do I tire of responding to them.  And, I'm sure this won't be the last time I say this in a post:  There is something especially precious and preciously special about the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren!

Virginia's verbal declarations of love get me thinking.  We know we love God.  He knows we love Him.  But, how often do we actually tell Him we love Him?  Do we ever declare our love out loud?  Like any parent or grandparent, wouldn't He cherish hearing those words, "I love you, God," once in a while?

After all, God so loved us that He sent His only Son, Christ Jesus, to die for our sins and reconcile us once and for all to our Father in Heaven.  The least we can do is thank Him.

The best we can do is to shout aloud these precious words:  "I love You, God!"


How often do you speak the words, "I love You, God!"?

Prayer:  Dear Father, help us to tell You how much we love You each and every day.  Let us become as little children, climbing up into Your lap, giving You a huge hug, and saying, "I love You, God!"  Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Jesus to save us and give us eternal life.  It is in His name we pray.  Amen.

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