Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

It was a picture perfect fall day that found me down at the lake.  As I turned toward my normal walking path, I heard the ethereal sounds of a pan flute playing the melody of Amazing Grace and it caused me to stop.

At the bottom of the hill, sitting alone on a bench, I spied the source and headed toward him, singing the words under my breath.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come.  Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far, and Grace will lead me home.

I thought about this past year and all of its concerns.  All of my doubts and fears.  All the impossible situations.  And all of God's grace bringing me safely to where I am today.

The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures.  He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.

He's been so faithful to that promise.  Not in my time, but in His.  I have a new home even though I couldn't see past the threat of homelessness.  I have a new job even though I had begun to wonder if a door would ever open.  And this past week, He gave me a little glimpse into how He was moving behind the scenes to secure this wonderful position for me.

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor. 4:17-18

When we've been there 10,000 years...bright shining as the sun, we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we first begun.

This last verse was written by an anonymous author, added after the original was penned by John Newton, and it is one of my favorites.  Sometimes when I'm worshipping in song on a Sunday morning, or in my quiet time, I reflect on these words and smile at the thought of praising God and thanking Him for His goodness, and mercy, and faithfulness, and love...forever.

The man with the flute went on to play other tunes I did not recognize.  They were just as delicate and wistful as the first, but they weren't the same.  Only God's amazing grace could be so gentle and beautiful and powerful all at the same time.

I was grateful for the reminder.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Thirty years ago I sang along with Tom Petty...the waiting is the hardest part".

I had no idea at 23 how true those words were.

As I read my Bible today, I found this verse highlighted from three years ago this very day: 1 Peter 5:6-7 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He care for you."

It's always easier to see that "in due time" is the perfect time after we've come through the waiting time.

None of us likes to wait.

Romans 5:3 tells us "We can  rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance."

But we don't want endurance.  Endurance takes too much time to develop.  We look at the things holding us back from our perceived prize and become Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka declaring "I want it NOW!!"

The problem with insisting on our own way, with trying to manipulate our circumstances to bring about our desires, is that it ends badly, as little Veruca discovered.

Thank goodness for the next verses, Romans 5:4-5, which show us what happens when we stay the course.

"And endurance produces character, and character produces hope.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love."

"And this hope will not lead to disappointment."

Let that sink in a moment.  If we hang on...if we are patient...if we wait for the "due time"...we will not be disappointed.

When I highlighted that verse three years ago I was newly divorced.  There were many cares to cast on God.  Finances, relationships, family heath concerns.  Each passing year brought more difficulties to slog through. It was a deep, wide, valley of cares.

As time went on, I moved toward the mountain, but often its sheer size was all I could see in front of me.

I felt the sharp stones on the path under my feet.

I scraped my hands on unyielding rock.

Yet when I thought I could not hold on another second, I would look up and see the Father's hand reaching down.  He beckoned me not to cling to the rock, but to Him. And He would show me in so many ways that He was still there, waiting with me.

In this life we will have trouble.  It will never go away.

But like the psalmist, I am also confident that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

I am seeing it even now, even today.

God's due time has come to pass in the last few months.

For this chapter of my life anyway.  I'm sure there's more enduring and character building to come.

In my last blog post of 2013, on the eve of this new year, I said I was trusting Him for a place to live and a ministry with eternal impact.

He has granted both and more.

In June, He provided a beautiful place to live.

He brought my vision of donating fresh vegetables to the food bank through a church garden to fruition.

He has provided me a new job that I'll begin next week.  More than just a job, it is a the chance to make my passion for reaching out to the community with the love of Christ in tangible ways into my profession as I enter full time ministry service.

And He has given me the assurance that the ministry He used me to build over the past four years, CommunityConnections, will now be led by someone who loves its vision and purpose as much as I do.

In due time, He brought all this about.  None of it came quickly.  There was a lot of endurance and character building in the process.  But in looking back, it is obvious that it is the perfect time.  Three years ago, I was not ready to take on what has transpired this year.  The good OR the bad.  I needed the time for God to stretch, and teach, and grow me.

But from the top of this current mountain, the view is spectacular, and breathtaking, and very much worth the wait.

How has God had you wait this year?  I would love to hear how He has brought you through it.

And if you're still waiting, how has He shown that He is there with you in the wait?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Have the Best Date of Your Life

Divorced after 31 years of marriage and single since then, you might not think of me first when looking for dating advice!

But this is not just any date.

And it's not just any person.

Join me today on Circlesoffaith.org as I share how to start planning the best date of your life, whether you're single or married!