Monday, January 23, 2012

Joy after Destruction

My dear heart-sister expresses herself as beautifully in pictures as she does in words....Contemplate her photo journal entry:

When all is gone, when what is cherished is destroyed, what is left?
The Lord.  His Work. His sacrifice.  His glory.  His beauty.

Isaiah 61:1-3
 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, 
   because the LORD has anointed me 
   to preach good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, 
   to proclaim freedom for the captives 
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] 
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor 
   and the day of vengeance of our God, 
to comfort all who mourn, 
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— 
to bestow on them a crown of beauty 
   instead of ashes, 
the oil of gladness 
   instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise 
   instead of a spirit of despair. 
They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
   a planting of the LORD 
   for the display of his splendor.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Noah is a 5 year old boy,  in the last stages of mito.  His mom, Kate Estes wrote on Facebook about the painful but necessary process of changing his suprapubic catheter:

"Whew. Tube change done, Noah sleeping.

It was really hard, mostly because Noah completely panicked once he knew what we were

doing. It took three of us to hold him down and everyone in the room was near tears

before it was done.
Maybe the most heart-rending part is just how incredibly sweet this boy of mine is.

Once everything was all finished, and while he was still doing those little "I've been crying

hard" breaths, he grabbed Dr. B's hand and told him, "You're the best of my heart and I

love  you more than the moon." He also gave me a big hug and a kiss on the nose. We

were so sad  for HIM and he was trying to comfort US.
They do not come any sweeter than this."

Remember my last post?

 This is the living example. 

Noah has been through more in his 5 years than most of us will ever have to endure in a long life. 

His parents have chosen to see God's hand.  I'm sure they led the way.  They have introduced little Noah to Jesus and lived it.  Now Noah is leading, being the example, loving.

Kate also freely friends folks on facebook that want to keep up with Noah and pray for his family.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I planned on listening to Nancy Rolinger,,  but this came in my in-box, and I listened to it instead.  I was wondering what to share on my blog.  Now I know.   Enjoy!  It's well worth your time, even if you need to listen in chunks.

This does not avoid any of the hard question.  I would not have listened to this a few years ago, just because of the title.  If the concept of cheerfulness is an aversion for you, or a strong desire, I urge you to listen!  Maybe more than once.

Friday, January 13, 2012

This week I have been wondering, how I can blog about joy when bedridden from Lyme Disease....

Actually, it's a grace.  We are not to worry about tomorrow.  I simply don't have the cognitive strength to think about things I can't do anything about for long.  And lately, I haven't been able to do much about anything!  I think it has given me some further experience in these two verses:

 Isaiah 26:3
 You will keep him in perfect peace, 
 Whose mind is stayed on You,
  Because he trusts in You. 

And Matthew 6: 34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble

I can say experiential that there is peace when you can rest in Him.  This enforced rest and peace is necessary for joy.  Trusting Him is necessary for joy

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The gauntlet  has been laid once again.  Not just a thousand gifts, but 3 a day for the year.  One thousand in the year.

My sidebar includes my limping list.  It's public.  The reasons the blog was begun is that my tendency is to run like a scared deer away from the topic of joy.  But I did not want to shy away from the lessons the Father had been bringing my way.  This is a place for me to synthesize what I have been learning.  To put it down, think it out, assimilate it.  But now the challenge has been given -not to shyly offer my acknowledgments of His grace given in the daily, but to pick up the pace and run the race with  others.

And I shudder.  Commitments before God are not things to be taken lightly.  And to do something that may, in fact, lead to joy that ardently makes me hold my breath.

As strange as it sounds, I need to trust God in the joy.  I need to trust God that if there is a corresponding low to even the quiet joy, He will be there and care for me there as well.  Allowing joy is free falling into His hands.


"Maybe a life needs change over and over again — that constant turning to God? Not so much resolutions but revolutions."  Ann Vos Kamp
for more on the challenge, go to the 1/5/12 post on

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The joy stealer...he even craves the newborn seed.

I should have anticipated that this journey into joy would alter the tactics of the enemy.  Since blogging a couple of days ago, I have found myself smiling.  At peace.  Not troubled or worriedBut harried at times by the enemy.

I nearly giggle as I pass by the provision of food that the Father has placed in our hands of things we could not afford when our financial situation was better!  And the timing has been great..for 3 weeks my health would not have allowed me to process it.  Amazing. 
Then the enemy says "yes, but how will you feel when His provision isn't as obvious or you can't see what is coming next?"

Experiencing the joy of redemption has begun to ebb inAnd the enemy tells me how immature I am to feel this now, when some things have begun to change, but what will happen when.....

Father, only You can make us fertile ground that bears good fruit.

And I'm sure that this is why He tells us not to worry about tomorrow.  Worry about tomorrow steals the joy of today.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Contentment isn’t a state of organization, a weight on the scale, a state of better: better kids, better marriage, better health, better house. Contentment is never a matter of circumstances; contentment is always a state of communion — a daily embracing of God. " Ann Vos Kamp's January2, 2012 post on

Contentment is a state of communion- a daily embracing of God.  

So many thoughts swirl in my head as I sit to write this post.  I think of Paul, who learned whatever state he was in to be content.  I think of my firstborn, struggling so hard against me each time she had a time-out, refusing to stay.  Then, turning to me and instead of my forcing her to stay, she clung to me.

How often do we want to fight against the circumstance.  Refuse to stay.  If we would turn and cling, there would be peace.

Maybe that is enough said.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Love comes first, Loves Continues

On the public bus on the way to high school, I read Ephesians 4-6 nearly every morning.  The truths were exciting, and it seemed so simple to see if believers, including myself, would just DO these things, how exciting it would be to see the Father's work.  

Years passed.  I realized, vaguely, that there was something to Eph 1-3 (and the beginning of Colossians for that matter).  I mentally assented to the fact that we needed to be grounded in the first half of the book, in order to live the second.  But I wasn't and I didn't.  Like too many others, I thought I had this part under my belt.  It was the doing/obeying I wanted to do--to see progress, results.  How woefully wrong I was.  I did not meditate on it.  I did not devour it the same way I have the second half of these books--and that to my detriment.

It lead to despair.  Over and over I was distressed at my failure, at my lack of progress.  I was in pain.  I quickly discovered no one had real answers for me.  I occasionally corned a teacher I respected, but still no answers came. 

The meetings we attend practice the Lord's supper, for a full hour, every Sunday.  This meeting is designed to spend time meditating on who the Lord is and His Sacrifice for us.  I have watched, at times, as tears stream down a seasoned believers faith, or an old man nearly laugh or cry for joy as he stands to share of the love of Christ.  

I like to study.  I'm a well-read believer.  I have taught the gospel, led a few to Christ and discipled them.  But I think I am still on the shore when it comes to understanding the love of God. 

I have had one taste.  While teaching 5 day clubs with my (then unknown to us) future husband, I made it a point to think about the blood of Christ while he taught the Bible Lesson.  That mean for about 15-20 minutes, three times a day, for three weeks, I considered the blood of Jesus.  I will tell you that although the youngest child raised in a Christian home can tell you Jesus shed His blood for our sins, that blood-letting was much more dear to me than when we began.

I think this is the  key to endurance.  It's the key to joy.  It's the vehicle that allows some to stand up under persecution and martyrdom.  To know the love of rich and pure, measureless and strong....that will keep our heads clear, and motivate our obedience.

On the way to meeting on Sundays I've been reading Elyse Fitzpatrick's Because He loves Me.  This morning I read

This verse (Eph 4:32) demonstrates a beautiful synergy that not only tells us what to do, but also plants with our souls the only motive that will empower God-pleasing compliance: what God has already done.  We've already been forgiven in Christ.  So many of us cavalierly gloss of over what he has done and zero in on what we're to do , and that shift, though it might seem slight, makes all the difference in the world.  Our obedience has its origin in God's prior action, and forgetting that truth results in self-righteousness, pride and despair." (pg 110)

This brings us to the uncomfortable, humiliating realization that our righteousness is as filthy rags.  We aren't going to be able to pull  ourselves up by our sanctified boot straps and be obedient.  We are dependant on the love of the Father evoking this in us.  But even a humiliating truth is a freeing truth.  May we comprehend and live out the implications of His unearned love for us each day.