Its winter on the mountain. The view is better now that there are less leaves in the way. The lake level is a lot lower and foot traffic is down to just me and my husband. It is a time to bundle in warmer clothes.
It is a quiet time. It is a time to listen. Undistracted, my mind mind wanders and I am vulnerable to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Speak Lord for Your servant is listening. Am I the tree waiting to bud? Am I the lake needing a flood? You bring the seasons and make all things beautiful in their time. Thank You. Thank you.
The hero in Chariots of Fire said when he runs he “feels the pleasure of God.” All of creation was made for the pleasure and purposes of God. In His words all He made was “VERY GOOD”. It brings God great pleasure to see us enjoy the works of His hands. And doesn’t it “renew our strength” when we “mount up with wings like eagles”, “run without getting weary” and “walk without giving up”? The Lord is all about diving into challenges and finding new and better ways to enjoy His inventions and creations. The best thing we can do as we paddle board, boat, fly or ski is, as we thrill to the experience, give praise to the One Who made it all possible for us to enjoy! Thank You Jesus. For without You nothing was made that was made (John 1:3)
To an Audience of One we raise our arms. To an Audience of One we bend and twirl and jump and throw our mud in wildest joy! For from You and to You and for You all things exist and only You, O God, are worthy of THE DANCE!
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen. ( I Timothy 1:17 King James Version)
Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither entered into the heart of man the things God has prepared for those who love Him. Great is Your faithfulness oh Lord. When I consider the works of your hands, the jaw dropping beauty and complexity of creation, I am in breathless wonder that you care for me so deeply.
Tomorrow is Your birthday. You have accomplished the impossible. You left your throne to enter our world like every other human child. You allowed yourself to be utterly dependent, needy, fragile. You suffered through sibling rivalry, misunderstanding, alienation, rejection, abuse and execution so I can know You truly do understand my sorrows. You, in Your death and resurrection opened wide the doors of heaven for me. You tore up the list of damning accusations against me, that were all true, and declared me not guilty. Not guilty! NOT GUILTY!!!
Pulling into Kohl’s last week with my 30% off coupon safely tucked in my purse this off the wall thought blurted out: “The church parking lot is full.” How out there is that?!!! Actually, considering that I was listening to a radio preacher talking about THE CHURCH it is not a stretch but considering the context of shopping at Christmas it is very telling and, perhaps, very close to the truth for many. Jesus said we cannot serve 2 masters. We will hate the one and serve the other. James chapter 1 says a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. This Christmas the best gift I can give myself and you is a single hearted devotion to the only One deserving of our full whole hearted devotion and allegiance. This is true peace. This is true joy. This is truth untainted in compassion to our fellow man. I give you, this Christmas, this lovely Irish hymn, BE THOU MY VISION. I pray the Holy Spirit makes real each word to your heart, mind and soul. Soak in, meditate on, embrace the heart of a true seeker. God says when you seek you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart.
We were blessed to be able to spend an early Christmas with our family in Colorado last week. Snow on the ground, clear skies, delightful surprises. The wild life provided lots of photo ops especially at Cabela’s sports shop! On a drive in the country we caught lounging buffalo, horses’s in their winter coats, wild turkeys, and tons of prairie dogs popping out of their dirt digs wagging their tails and shouting alerts. On the second day we went to an indoor arena and watched the kids exercise and practice soccer moves. Outside the arena golfers honed their driving skills. Then we went for snow play and boppa tossed frozen blocks of snow to the delight of our grand kids.
We came loaded with presents but the best gift of all was our precious time together. Our grand kids, ages 2,4 and 6, so delighted with their antics and sweet expressions of love. And our daughter and son-in-law touched us with their kindness and allowing us to share in their lives. In the end the truth remains that life, true living, is all about people. The people God places in our path to love and care for and receive love and care from. There were people God placed in our path on the flight up and on the flight back that needed God’s special touch and we were so grateful for the opportunity to enter into their times of sorrow and fear and be the ones to share God’s words of encouragement. I know Christmas is not a time of joy for everyone. It can be a time of sorrow, regret, fear, loss. Time flies so fast. Each day blurs into the next and the year too quickly gone leaving a sense of disappointment over unmet dreams, unfinished goals, loss of loved ones or broken relationships. Be of good cheer. There is hope that comes from the One Who said: Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there you may also be. (John 14:1-3). Only Jesus brings hope and promises to make everything new. I pray this Christmas you find the hope your heart is longing for!
I give thanks and joy-filled praise to the Giver of light. You, O God faithfully surround me with your life, Your light, Your warmth, Your quiet nudging and whispers inviting me to join You in the light. In the morning I will sing. I will sing of Your love. I will sing of Your strength. I will sing of Your compassion and tender provisions for every detail of my life. I am weak and You are strong. I am worried and Your are confident. I am small and You are beyond immense. You just spoke and from Your word the worlds, the galaxies, the waters, the winds, and every living thing exploded into life. There is nothing too small or too large that You haven’t invested your time and careful thought. We, Your creation have messed things up mightily yet, knowing we would, even before You placed us in Your garden, You provided the way to restore and create an even better and more profound relationship with You. You are GOOD. You are JUST. There is no darkness or subtle motives of selfish desire in You. In our great loss of light and moral purity You entered into our darkness, filth and utter failure and embraced our humanity. You became a baby. You experienced the love of a doting mother, a strong steady faithful dad, and the animosity of sibling rivalry. You told your human mom and dad to name You Jesus because You would, in Jesus, save your people from their sins. And You did. You, all HOLY, PURE, SINLESS, LAMB OF GOD, submitted to mockings, whippings, false accusations without saying a word in Your defense, and let us nail You to a cross. On the cross You knew the pain of separation from God the Father and the Holy Spirit for the first time. You cried out “My God, why have You forsaken me?!” You cried out “I thirst!” You, the Fount of Living Water, was so thirsty because the well, the SPRING OF ALL LIFE, experienced what every living being past, present and future, experiences in their separation from the Source of life. Then You cried out “It is finished!” and committing your spirit to the Father, you died. Everything You came to do was accomplished at that moment. IT IS FINISHED!!!! At that moment the work of redemption was accomplished. The debt PAID IN FULL!!! And to prove there is no hard feelings between us and You for all Your troubles we caused You, You raised from the dead and offered, free of charge, adoption papers for us to sign. You are not a God of arm twisting and coercion. Because we chose to walk away from You and live in rebellion and disobedience, we all are subject to death. But there is a second death that is permanent and forever removes us from every kindness You have bestowed on Your creation. No light. No water. No shelter. No kind words or hope of healing. This is the future You died to free us from. I am so grateful. I am overwhelmed and say, with tears, hand me those adoption papers!!! I can’t imagine my life without light. I can’t imagine my life without hope. I can’t imagine a life without any water to quench the thirsting of my soul. And now You have rescued me. You have washed me. You have clothed me in Your light and filled me with purpose and hope. You have told me to call You Daddy and invited me to come rushing into Your arms with all my worries. O wow! I am so “lucky”.
What a day of adventure and delightful discoveries! We traveled to the most eastern tip of the Cape. Lovely bike and walking trails to the shore led to an early coast guard station. The docents, Pat and Richard Ryder impressed us with stories of the valor of men who daily risked their lives
The pilgrim monument in Provincetown is 250 feet tall. It is actually where the pilgrims first landed.
Sunset reflected pink and blue in the river water outside our windows when we returned to our room. Like a sweet benediction of praise for the care and faithfulness of our Great God. He has shown us so much beauty in His creation; the inspiration of selfless men laying down their lives to save others; and the many kindnesses we have received from others all along this trip. To God be the Glory.