Oct 30, 2011

Renewed by the Spirit's Work

He saved us through a second birth,
renewed us by the Spirit's work...
Titus 3:5

Scarlet leaves of autumn,
flags of waning life, nutrition withheld from leafed out growth. Yet, the evergreen limbs of this southern shrub, unfurls a glorious autumn offering of new growth in wine-hued spires at its tips.

New growth can arrive in the autumn of life.

Second chances, deeper thought, revisited experience, new lenses through which to see ~

Renewed by the Spirit’s work,
Salvation arrives from God’s persistent encouragement for faith.

God's gifts unfurl through the seasons of life. My gratitude matures with living and the offer of His holy mercies year after year. I'm writing down those mercies with the Gratitude Community, so the the heart can be strengthened yet again: mentioned here #656 - 660.

~ quiet evenings at home
~ a life season of peace filled days
~ gratitude for God's warnings, for His unshakable pursuit of our hearts
~ gratitude for time, more time to grow in faith
~ for opportunities to humbly, gently encourage others to deeper faith

Oct 24, 2011

He Talked with Us on the Road

On the road heading west,
local Sunday morning church services on the radio, one each hour represents different Protestant denominations. I settle in [hands on the wheel, eyes on the road] anticipating with interest the teaching and music of three Christian congregations in one morning.

Congregations of real people! I hear bodies rise from pews, voices clear to join in the confession of faith, and hymnals open to song. These broadcasts cross our metroplex of two mega-cities and dozens of moderate to smaller ones. One must smile at the reality of thousands gathering to seek our Lord all along this highway I travel.
 Once the cities fade in the rearview mirror along with radio signals and the vast western prairie stretches to the horizon, favorite CD’s fill my ears with the gifts of musical praise.

And as the driving is done [still, hands on the wheel, eyes on the road],
Notice the slower moving vehicle of an elderly person; prayers for their safe arrival.
Notice several semis lining the roadside rest stop; prayers for their Sabbath rest.
Notice the acres of wild-fire ravaged grasslands; prayers for restored life.
Notice the beauty of God’s hill country; prayers of thanksgiving.

Notice an aging rural steeple and later, billboard evangelism: prayers that a heart will be called by either.

Billboard: You  are God's child.  Make Him proud!

Notice trailers piggy-backed on rails or rolling on 16 wheels; prayers for labor producing commerce.

Notice the miles yet to go and the miles safely traveled; prayers of gratitude.

Think too of Biblical travels:

Hagar in the wilderness, Moses leading the nation, or two traveling the road to Emmaus.
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

The Lord and His Angels have accompanied open hearts on journeys far and near, in all corners of the earth.
Thus, I humbly venture to claim His companionship as I travel today hoping that every journey offers an experience of revelation, reflection, and worship.
Simply listen for His leading and look for His face as the road is tread.

Oct 10, 2011

A Year of Drought

Like satin,
petals perfectly formed,
gently unfold,
layer by layer
in fragrant display of
buttery splendor
just in time
for autumn's reign.

Our region carries the burden of harsh drought scourged summers. Unrelenting heat burdens daily life and crushes the green right out of our landscapes. Hope hungry inhabitants scan nightly weather reports for a bit of a drizzle that might fall their way. Any plant species lacking the 'grit' of deep, water efficient roots literally become dust.

Then...wait for it [believe me, we do], fall gently begins. 108 chills to 90 and eventually 70 something. Occasional overcast days promise rain, somewhere. And. it. comes. Foliage revives, roots swell, and buds form offering up a final fall burst of green and bloom.

The wait rewarded, thirst quenched.

Is it not so for the heart rooted in Christ?
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit. ~ Jeremiah 17:7-8
Gratitude fills page after page, fills life day by day, fills prayer hour by hour:

636. half moon gleaming in October sky
637. acorns, all varieties littering woodland's floor, offering food storage for winter meals
638. Cardinal stark red against shaded green
640. fall air crisp each morning
648. heavy ground drenching rain
652. Monarch butterflies stop a moment during their transcontinental migration
655. overcast cloud cover and humid air soothes sun scorched land


{This post is dedicated with much admiration to my friend @Higher Choices.}

Oct 4, 2011

Divine Nature ~ Scripture and a Snapshot

Paul’s words in Romans 1:20, expresses my soul’s response to what I see when I look attentively at the world all around me. Images of God's close up, minute beauty even in the Creator’s work that constitutes the burgeoning Holly tree beside our patio showered with rain glistening on the color and form of leaf and berry surfaces.  Fruit ripens red for winter adornment.  Nature’s seed preparing to carry on God’s replenishing plan for our natural world.

Oct 3, 2011

'First Love' for God Flows as a Fountain

Faith flows
much like a fountain
within the heart;
a persistent
high spirited 

The heart flows with love for God sustained by the rains of grace that fall in response to a genuine seeking for God. Time spent pursuing our Lord through the spiritual sustenance of prayer, worship, service, and thanksgiving invites the rains of grace that fill our hearts with flowing faith.

In the absence of intimate time with him Our Lord laments,
“…You have forsaken your first love.” Rev. 2:4
In the absence of spiritual sustenance the heart loses the high spirited flow of faith. Eyes cannot see His blessings. The heart cannot love Him passionately. Ears will not hear holy words of assurance and promise. Hands will not serve with thanksgiving. Therefore...
“… sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…” 1 Peter 3:1

“We sanctify the Lord God in our hearts when we with sincerity and fervency adore him,… when we rely upon his power, trust to his faithfulness, submit to his wisdom, imitate his holiness, and give him the glory due to his most illustrious perfections.” 
Matthew Henry Whole Bible Commentary

Giving Him the glory and sustaining a highspirited flow of faith, in part, through the Gratitude Journal:
607. Christian friends of deep knowledge and conviction
612. opportunities to be steeped in scripture
615. the oncologist offers a prayer for us
617. prayer experiences with special women
627. Excerpt from: Joyful, Joyful, We adore Thee  written by J. van Dyke, 1907
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain

Call us to rejoice in Thee.

{Musings gained from the week’s Bible class, Sunday’s service, and deeper independent study. Linking with Hear It Sunday and the Gratitude communities.}