Sunday, August 24, 2014

His Divine Nature Clearly Seen

Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

A few days ago, shaken and disturbed to the depths of my soul by the marauding evil ravaging our world, I wrote what I thought would be a blog to share with you here.  I chose to let my words flow in the moment.  It was cathartic.  It was healing.  But, when I reflected upon what I composed, I felt my thoughts would only serve to fan the flames of negativity and distress.  And, haven't we all had our fair, and unfair, share of that?  I knew it was not my place to add fuel to a fire which God sees, God knows, and which God will quench in His incomparable timing.

I chose, instead, to share with you some good news from last week.

Ten years ago, on August 21st, my husband, Danny, proposed to me on the grounds of Big Canoe, an award-winning restaurant perched on the banks of the magnificent Chattahoochee River which runs through the Atlanta metro area.  We strolled leisurely along the footpaths, admiring the well-tended flower beds, and venturing to the banks of the river, rested our eyes upon its endless flow, graceful and soothing, a balm to our souls.  Meandering our way back to a shaded bench along the path, we sit.  That's the very place where Danny kneels and proposes to me.  Outdoors, surrounded by God's indescribable creation, drinking in the beauties of scent and sight, I say, "Yes."

And, out pour the tears of joy.

For in this private and endearing moment, only God's creation surrounds us.  It is as if the human activity, so close and present, has faded into the background.  It is no longer a reality.  We become a trinity:  God, Danny, me.  That's it.  But, it's all that is needed in that precious moment.

And, on this most recent August 21st, these are what I receive from my sweetie.

Blessed reminders of God's creation which reveal His eternal power and His divine nature, clearly seen.  Reminders that in the midst of trials and tribulations, there is beauty beyond description.  Beauty which God, alone, has made.

We can wallow in the desperation of these times, allowing Satan's all-too-close presence sway our focus away from God.  Or, we can choose, with determined steps of faith, to see the goodness and beauty our Lord and Savior has lavished upon us.

As Christians, we are a people without excuse.  We are called to love.  We are called to forgive.

And, we are called to pray for all, even our enemies.  In the post I chose not to publish, I confessed my shame as a Christian because, in my human frailty, I willed nothing but the worst upon those enemies.  I know, in my heart of hearts, I cannot do this, and, dear friends in Christ, neither can you.  We must speak up, yes, and we must defend our faith, but we are called by Jesus to pray for our persecutors.  To (gulp!) forgive them.

A tall order?  The tallest!

But, Jesus commands us to do just that.

And, so, we must.

What excuses are you harboring today which prevent you from seeing God's glory in His creation?

Prayer:  Precious Father, You have always surrounded us with proof of Your divine presence and power if only we would open our eyes to see, our minds to know, and our hearts to feel.  Help us, especially in these trying times of worldly conflict, to remember that You are in control and You want us to pray constantly for both the persecuted and the persecutors.  It is hard, dear Jesus, but may we find our strength and resolve to do so because You commanded it of us.  In Your name, we pray.  Amen.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Love Them, No Matter What

Proverbs 31:28-30
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

I've always been proud of my daughter, Sarah Jane.  Even though we didn't always see eye-to-eye when she was growing up, I understood that tensions between mothers and daughters are inevitable.  My Mom and I shared many misunderstandings and downright confrontations during my teen and early adult years, but those never severed the love-line between us.  The commandment to honor father and mother has not always ruled my day, but the older I got, the more compelling this commandment became.  It is real beyond real, true beyond true.  It is one we should all acknowledge, respect and obey.

I peruse these photos sent from Sarah's IPhone and find myself coping with opposing sentiments of hope and melancholy.  

So, I decide to send a message to my daughter:  One day, this winsome Virginia Rose could pose more problems than you, Sarah, could ever imagine.  One day, little Savannah Jane, the image of innocence now, could defy your heart and your desire that she blossom in this world.  What will you do?  How will you handle it?

My only advice is the phrase my Nana, your great-grandmother, passed on to all of us:  Love them, no matter what.  Just love them.

Is there any parenting advice which could top that?  I don't think so.  Keep on loving, Sarah, keep on loving!  And, the Lord will always see you through.

And, one day, I know, your grown girls will rise up to bless you.

Parents, were your children a piece of cake to raise, or did you endure struggle after struggle in the process?  Please share your experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly, in the comment section.

Prayer:  Today, Father, we lift up all parents who are raising their children the best they know how.  Help them when they struggle.  Help them when lines of understanding and communication seem severed.  And, above all, let these parents love their children as You love us - no matter what.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Friday, August 8, 2014

With God, All Things Are Possible

Matthew 19:26
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Many bloggers whom I follow have been studying and reviewing the same book, The Forgotten God, by best-selling author and inspirational Christian speaker, Francis Chan.  Their reflections and commentaries have whetted my appetite to explore this book in depth, and I have placed it on my Amazon wish list with husband, Danny.  He's the bread-winner in our family and always keeps a conscientious finger upon all our expenditures, and I strive to keep my own frivolities to a minimum as we prepare for retirement.  But, I don't regard a book devoted to the Holy Spirit frivolous.  I trust, once Danny's reads this post, he'll order the book without hesitation as he, too, admires Mr. Chan ever since we were privileged to hear/see him in person several years ago.

If you are a regular follower of Meditations of My Heart, you know that I'm on a semi-hiatus.  I'm not publishing regularly because the next novel series calls.  Loudly!  And, I have to complete and edit the ENTIRE SERIES before I dare let Book One loose to my publisher.  The demands of time are, well, demanding!  Time is precious.  My responsible use of it, even more.

And, what does this have to do with reading The Forgotten God?  EVERYTHING!  Because, each and every day I plop myself down at the computer to write creatively, the Holy Spirit visits me.  He's not always apparent or present at first, but as I let myself go and allow Him to enter in, the words flow.  Characters take on flesh and blood, and the novel moves forward, more real than reality, truer in words than my own human and limited thoughts could ever imagine.  The characters speak with authority and autonomy.  I simply listen, heed, and record.

Listen.  Heed.  Record.

For I know this:  In depending upon myself alone, nothing is possible.  I could try and try and try again, yet be resigned to flailing impotently in my own efforts.  My striving, my goals, my dedicated work means nothing unless the blessing of the Lord is in it.

Unless, He is welcomed.


Beyond the shadow of doubt, I must, you must, embrace the Holy Spirit.

In heart and mind and soul.

Without Him, I (you) fail.

With Him, I (you) succeed.

When we have succumbed to the will of God, our will is no more, and we're the better for it.  Guaranteed.

Only with God, through His Holy Spirit, promised by Christ Jesus, are all things possible.

Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to move in your life?

Prayer:  Father in Heaven, send Your Holy Spirit once again, that we might feel the flame of passion which is Your love for us.  We are so in need of revival and confirmation in our Christian walk, especially in these globally trying times.  May we ever remember and revere the sacrifice that Your Son, Christ Jesus, made for us, the undeserving and unwashed.  May we ever give unending thanks for our salvation, and live according to Your will.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Sing a New Song

  Danny and I in his new music studio Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. ~Psalm 96:1 A new song shall I sing unto...