Life is all about change. When you trust an unchanging God - you have the ability to embrace change and trust Him in the midst of it. Join me as the Lord leads me through a new phase of my journey.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thankful Thursday ~ My BIG God

I was reading Psalm 57 this week and just had one of those huge sigh moments when you are overwhelmed by the enormity of God's love and care.  Be encouraged by our very BIG God.



He is seen in the details and in the big picture.


Psalm 57, verses 1-3

Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me
(how desperately I am in need of your grace - apart from it I would be in big trouble!  I stumble around in my own struggles and sin - but your grace is bigger)

For my soul takes refuge in You 
and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge
(You are my safe place - I can crawl up in Your lap and You wrap Your arms around me.  I am safe and sheltered in Your shadow - protected and loved.)

I will cry to God most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me.
(It is Him -- His might, His power, His plan, His strength!  He accomplishes all things for me - not just some things -- all things.  I can rest in that.  I can leave worry and stress behind.  I can trust in His plans and purposes. )

He will send from heaven and save me.
(Yep - I am that important to Him.  Seriously -- hard to wrap my mind around that one!  You are that important as well.    His eye is on you.  He is never negligent.  He is never late.  He is always for you.)

He reproaches him who tramples upon me.
(He has my back -- all the time.)

God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth.
(What more could I need?)

My Grace Giver

My Refuge

My Safe Place

The One Who Accomplished All Things

My Defender

My Savior

I am thankful.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Musings ~ Every day is Thanksgiving




I've been reading through the Psalms and as I read through Psalm 50, I noticed a familiar theme.

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving. 
Psalm 50:14

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me. 
Psalm 50:23

This Psalm addresses Israel's willingness to readily sacrifice bulls and goats, but neglect to do the very thing that God really wanted them to do -- have a thankful heart.

It is a good reminder that God does not need anything.  Everything belongs to Him.  He is not hungry or thirsty.  He is not looking for a need to be met.

He does, however, know what we need 
and in this case it was a sacrifice of praise.

It is not difficult to praise God when things are going well, although, we can forget to do so.  We can begin to think that we have achieved much ourselves.  We forget that every good gift comes from the Lord.  With that said, when things work out, go as we wished and come together, we find it easy to thank God.

During difficult times, we may instinctively turn to God, pleading for help, strength and peace.  It takes faith and trust to move beyond that place of pain to a place of thanksgiving and praise.

Psalm 51:17 says "The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

Faith and trust are exercised in the midst of heartache and struggle

      in the midst of "I just don't understand this"

           in the midst of injustice

                in the midst of fatigue

                                      frustration

                                            difficulties 

                                                      and

                                                         confusion.

The ability to praise God in every circumstance actually lifts you up above it - where you will perhaps have a more accurate (if not heavenly) view of the situation.

Our praise and thanksgiving demonstrates our trust in a good, loving, all powerful, all knowing Father who is always for us -- continually forming His Son in us.

If only our most joyous moments and our moments of deepest despair would both direct us to look to God and offer Him praises of thanksgiving!

He draws near and we see Him more clearly.


And in that moment -- 
we become more like Jesus.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thankful Thursday ~ God's Majesty

I never cease to be amazed at the display of God's Majesty here in the mountains.  No matter how many times I trek down the Vallecito Creek Trail, I am in awe of the beauty of God's creation.  I am so thankful to have the chance to experience this and soak it in!  Here is a little thankful Thursday photo shoot.  You will see how God reveals Himself through what He has made!








They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

I tend to agree.

Have a blessed thankful Thursday!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Musings ~ Be Still

Greetings from the mountains of Colorado.  I am loving every minute of my time here.  It is one of those places where it is a bit easier to "be still."

Be still (cease striving) and know that I am God
I will be exalted among the nations
I will be exalted in the earth
The Lord of hosts is with us
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Psalms 46:10-11

Of all of God's commands, this may be the most difficult to obey!  

Be still


Cease Striving

It just seems to go against our human inclinations.  

There is value placed on busyness in our culture.  There is value placed on striving.  I'm not advocating laziness or not doing our work with excellence - but we all know when all those things going on around us take over.  We are driven by needs, demands, others' voices and even our own insatiable appetites.  Our minds are consumed with worry and what ifs.  The path ahead seems unsure and fear creeps in.

Let that be our cue to BE STILL.  CEASE STRIVING.

To deliberately rest in the Lord.

This command comes out of the truth in verse 1 - 

God is our refuge and our strength
A very present help in trouble

Then verse 2 says - 

THEREFORE, we will not fear.

Even if everything as we know it, changes.

Even if the future is unclear.

Even if we are struggling in our walk with Jesus. 

Even if we are overwhelmed and anxious.

BE STILL

CEASE STRIVING

Rest in the very capable hands of the One who loves you most.

The Lord of hosts is with us
The God of Jacob is our Stronghold.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Musings ~ Resume Deconstructing

Well, the last three weeks have been much more about a sweet baby than writing!  I have loved every minute that I was able to spend with precious baby Cooper, Heather and Cooper.  Perhaps my favorite moments were in the wee hours of the morning -- either talking with Heather during an early morning feeding or just holding that sweet baby as I was getting him back to sleep.  We had a lot of significant conversations!

You can tell he is already a deep thinker!  

So, can the Lord continue to speak to a very sleep deprived and deliriously joyful Mimi?

Why, yes, He can.

I have several things that I want to write about that the Lord has taught me over the past few weeks, but I thought I would tackle the topic of boasting today.

"But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world."
Galatians 6:14

I don't consider myself boastful, but this passage makes me take a second look at that.

What do you do?

Perhaps this is one of the most common questions asked here in the states.  What we do often defines who we are in our culture.  A conversation can easily lead to a sharing of resumes, so to speak, even with some "one upmanship" going on until someone has the final trump card.  

My sweet friend, Lynsay, posted about this last week.  She talked about how even in Christian circles we do this as we tell one another all the ministry type activities we do - our God resume listed out detail by detail.  

Perhaps both are evidence of a little insecurity, or maybe just a longing for connection.  Maybe even a crying out for that assurance that "I matter."  In any case, it is worth a bit of self evaluation.

One of the things that strikes Alan any time we go on a mission trip is that people in other countries never ask him what he does.  They ask him about his church, his family and his faith.  

According to this passage, those resume identifiers fade away as we grow to understand that everything belongs to the Lord - that all we do is directed by Him, empowered by Him and accomplished by Him -- all to bring Him glory.

If we boast - we boast in Him.

What would that look like?

Would conversations naturally gravitate toward the Lord?

I don't have a lot of answers here, but I sure have some questions.  

I want to allow the Lord to investigate 
my motivations, 
my conversations 
and my heart.

When it is all said and done, I don't anyone to doubt what my life was all about.  I want to live the crucified life that is all about Jesus.

I want to . . . but I know I struggle to do so.  

Will you join me in the struggle?

Will you examine your own heart and allow the Lord to gently lead you to a fuller, deeper life that is found in Him?

"But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord."


Friday, June 13, 2014

Fantastic Friday ~ The Good News About Failure

Before I delve into anything quite so serious, I need to show you why it is truly a fantastic Friday!


Oh yes, my grandson, Cooper!  I am spending my days with Heather and her husband, Cooper, and this cute new blessings, Baby Cooper.  A bit of heaven on earth!

Fantastic Friday, indeed.

I have been reading through the gospel of Mark this past month.  As I was reading chapter 14, it occurred to me that it is a picture of failure made up of numerous snapchats!  But these didn't disappear after 10 seconds!

In verses 32-42, Peter, James and John could not stay awake to support and keep watch for Jesus during his agonizing prayer time.  They fell asleep three times.

In verse 44, Judas gives the signal and betrays Jesus to the religious leaders.  Not only that, but he betrays him with a kiss.

In verse 50, all of Jesus' followers left Him and fled.  Every. Single. One.  They all ran in fear rather than stand with Jesus.

In verse 62, Jesus flat out tells the High Priest that He is the One - the Christ - Son of the blessed One - Son of Man - and yet he fails to believe Him and chooses to condemn Him.

In verse 65, there is the failure of the crowd to embrace Jesus, after hearing him speak with authority, heal the sick and perform countless miracles.

In verses 66-72, Peter denies Jesus three times after declaring to Him that he would stand by Him. Three times even to the point of declaring that He didn't know Him.

FAILURE

A series of ,"oh, boy, we blew it!"

Huge, staring you in the face mistakes

A PHD in failure, if you will.

So, if you are feeling like a failure, you are in some pretty good company.

a failure to believe

a failure to stake a stand

a failure to stay awake

a failure to be supportive

a failure to be a true friend

There is a lot of failure in the Bible . . . A LOT.

If you have ever thought that you are too much of a mess
 to belong to Jesus or have
 disappointed Him one too many times, worry no more.

He specializes in redeeming failure.

He takes our bleakest, darkest moments and uses them to transform us.

We move from scared, cowardly, denying and betraying Peter to the Peter who was the rock of the New Testament church.

God's forgiveness, mercy and grace are BIGGER

Bigger than your mistakes

Bigger than your shame

Bigger than your despair

Bigger than your fear

Bigger than your depression

Bigger than your betrayals

Bigger than your insecurities

BIGGER THAN YOUR FAILURES.




Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thankful Thursday ~ Cooper Wade Brenton II

Well, what kind of grandmother would I be if I didn't highlight the birth of my first grandson!  Wow - it is one of those times when words like

thankful

grateful

ecstatic

over the moon

just don't convey how you feel.  Being a grandmother is amazing as is seeing your daughter become a mother.  It was such a privilege to be here and to be at the hospital to see that sweet baby in the arms of his Dad straight out of the delivery room.  Heather ended up having a c-section and we are grateful that both she and Cooper are healthy!

Here is our first glimpse!


The happy family.


A few more pictures, you beg . . .




We are so excited to begin this new phase of our lives.  Wow - it has been such a great journey so far and now we get to be grandparents.  Pretty amazing!

May Cooper Wade Brenton II grow to love Jesus and touch many lives, as he has already touched ours.