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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday's Thoughts ~ Glory beyond all comparison

Blogging and being in TX just don't mix!  I have been having the best time this past week while staying with Ashley, visiting with Heather, holding sweet baby Cooper and hosting a baby shower for Ashley.  I have been able to see friends and family.  It has been an incredible week.  I am actually heading back to Chicago tomorrow morning.  I left there on May 29th!  Guess it is time to go home!

Time off from blogging does not equal time off from the Word!  I wanted to share my thoughts on some amazing scripture in 2nd Corinthians 4.

Therefore, we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing in us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison while we look not at the things seen, for the things seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

I have always loved this passage.  It is so full of hope!  I have had 3 friends lose their fathers in the last couple of weeks.  It's true -- our earthly bodies are decaying. What this passage offers is perspective.

Physical pain and broken bodies are real.

Affliction and suffering are real (remember that these words are written by Paul as he refers to momentary and light affliction -- the man who was beaten, imprisoned, persecuted, nearly drowned and continually risked his life for the cause of Christ.)

But, Paul reminds us that this is not all there is.  No matter how bad things are, they are nothing in comparison to the eternal weight of glory, far beyond all comparison.

The here and now is temporary.

*Don't be fooled by what you see

*Don't be fooled by what you feel

How difficult it is some days to keep our eyes on the eternal 

to trust God's plans and the bigger picture 

to remember that we are here but a short time
and that eternity sprawls out before us

I get so caught up in the temporal
but I desire to live for the eternal

Do I trust God with all the temporary 
while walking with Him toward the eternal?

Do I really believe that there is more than the here and now?

Do I trust Him with the suffering, injustice and death around me?

Can I rest in His promise and provision for eternity?

We do not grieve as those with no hope.

He is good.

He is real.

He is eternal.

I will not lose heart.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thankful Thursday ~ Reflections on Colorado

I realize what a gift from the Lord and a privilege it is to spend the better part of 6 weeks in the mountains.  It has been a wonderful summer and I cherish each moment.  I can't sum it up any better than offering a few pictures of the highlights.

Mom and Dad's visit

So many deer this summer - absolutely beautiful!

Alan got to do a lot of fishing while he was here.

Surrounded by such incredible beauty.

Some stunning sunsets this year.

A visit from my beautiful, Ashely, and soon to be grandson!

A visit from Whitney.
Heather and precious baby Cooper!
This smile  . . .
Cooper and Heather

Vallecito Creek Trail

The sheer creative power of God.

My constant companion -- the Quinster!

It has been an amazing summer in every way.  I have loved the quiet and the noise!  I have loved some alone time and the company of family and friends.  I have soaked it up and I will save it up while I am away.  I am so very thankful for this place.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday's Thoughts ~ Written on my heart

The Lord just has me in a tender place this morning.  I had an idea about something I wanted to write about, and He just completely changed it as I read 2nd Corinthians 3. 

You are a letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; 
being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, 
cared for by us, written not with ink, 
but with the Spirit of the living God, 
not on tablets of stone 
but on tablets of human hearts.

Beside this passage in my Bible, I have written "the heart of ministry."  I think it is also the mystery of ministry.  The Lord places people in my life - whether they are family, neighbors, small group women, church friends, teachers, workout buddies or chance encounters that become friends and He writes their lives and their stories on my heart.  Those stories then are reflected in my own life.

It isn't casual - it isn't compartmentalized.  

It isn't a day at the office.

It is a caring that seeps into my heart and my bones.

The Spirit actually writes these names into my heart and soul.

Just as the 10 commandments were written by the finger of God on the stone tablets, these people are carved eternally into my heart.

It is wonderful and sometimes terrible.

It is filled with laughter, love, fun 
and tears, criticism and suffering.

It is exhilarating and disappointing.

It is hopeful and heartbreaking.

It is easy and it is hard.

It is joyous and painful.

It is natural and it is contrived.

It is free and it is costly.

It is smiles and proud moments and it is heartache and frustration.

It is athletic events, plays, choir concerts and 
rehabs, mental hospitals, planned parenthood and jails.

It is elation and the pit of despair.

It is being understood and misunderstood.

It is light and it is darkness.

The hope and mission is in verses 5, 6, 17 and 18.  
It is about the Spirit.  He is the source of our adequacy - not ourselves.

He gives life, freedom and transformation.

Ministry is life and life is not about me and it is not about you.

Life is about the Spirit.

Life is about Jesus and we get the privilege of entering into the wonderful, messy business of changed lives.

So many names are written on my heart over these last 37 plus years of the Lord inviting me to join in on His mission.

In the world's eyes, I certainly do not have a perfect record --- far from it!  In fact, it is pretty messy and I've made a lot of mistakes.  

But in that imperfect love, the Spirit has done some amazing things and there are many stories that are still being written.

Like initials carved in a tree, those imprints and even scars remain.  They are my treasure, my pain, my joy, my sorrow, my gift.

It is the core of who I am in Jesus and I wouldn't have it any other way.