Being Known

“The beautiful thing about God is that even though we cannot fully comprehend his love, he fully comprehends us.”       — Morgan Harper-Nichols  (Daily Life Devotional)

It’s true– we all want someone to truly know us, to understand us deeply.

I had a older woman friend in Spain.  She would have us for coffee and spoil our little kids like they were her own grandchildren.  We would walk arm in arm to the plaza for pastries.

And one day in her kitchen, she told me the story of her marriage to her husband.  She had been in love with another young man, but her parents arranged for this marriage.  He had provided well and it had been a fine home for two sons over the years.  But she ended telling me,  “I just wanted someone to know.”

We want someone to know…  The wondrous thing is that there is one who knows us profoundly and loves us fully– it’s an enormous comfort.  So thankful for the love and understanding of God.

Search me, God, and know my heart;”  –Psalm 139:23

photo– Marin headlands hike

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Unwavering Trust

Hello friends–  Some times life seems heavy, too real.  We have three friends facing very serious medical treatments.  They don’t know how things will end, but I’m thankful they all have a tenacious hope is God’s goodness and mercy.  They are prepared.  And we are praying with them…

It reminds me of a note I received a while back from a friend in the middle of her chemotherapy–

“No one warns which days will forever change our lives.  No one wakes us that morning and says, “This day will require you to have an unwavering trust in the sovereignty of God.  This day you’ll need to be prepared with all truth.” (Chuck Swindoll)

So every day, we all must be prepared, ready knowing who God is and how we trust him.  Because we will all face unwelcome troubles. It’s our hope in God and trust in his care that will see us through.

–photo from drive across New Mexico with Laurel

Between You & God

From Mother Teresa (1910-1997)  Catholic nun and missionary to Calcutta.

“People are often unreasonable and self centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

I you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give you best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway. 

 

Ran across this and loved it, thought you might too.  Reminds me that I walk with God in who I am and what I do day by day.  Thankful.

Evermore the Same

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So thankful that God is always the same–his goodness, love and mercy are never ending.  It’s a comfort.

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
—Psalm 100:5

**photo from a morning walk this week (unusual clouds here in so. California)
**Spurgeon quote from Jesus-is-for-you.tumblr.com –thanks!

Watching Over Us

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“I lift my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from ? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth … the Lord will watch over you coming and going both now and forever more ”  
–Psalm 121: 1 & 8

It’s a comfort to know there is a God who is watching over me, like a father watching over his child.  In the morning when I rise, as I race through my day, in the evening rest, He is always there.  His help is constant, his faithfulness is sure.  So so thankful.

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photo: Ojai Valley a the end of the day, coming down the hill from Micah’s school.

Psalm 73

DSC03548Hi friends — This weekend as we were traveling home down the interstate, I listened to a TED talk on the subject of death.  Not something we think about a lot.  I thought what most of the speakers tried to say was that considering death, gives you a perspective that allows you to be more intentional with the life you have left–time with family, travels, conversations you mean to have.   That is so valuable…

But what I didn’t hear was how to think of death itself, and what lies beyond.  That is the blessed hope my faith gives me– hope in God’s presence now and forever.

I like this little vignette from Psalm 73.  It seems a picture of a life (and of a death) to me.  I have it written on a pretty card and read it most days– God the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  It’s a comfort, a joy.

“I am always with you, you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?  And being with you, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart 
and my portion forever.”    –Psalm 73:23 to 26

P.S. photo from our trip through upstate NY last summer.

Christmas Meditation

867e778d6eb2df81485f00e6194d56b6Merry Christmas all– a couple weeks ago a friend read these thoughts to me and it’s become my Christmas meditation– the God beyond the baby come to earth from heaven.  The glorious, all knowing, eternal, inscrutable God…

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out
Who has know the mind of the Lord?  Or has been his counselor?
Who has ever given To God that God should repay him?
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever!  Amen.    Romans 11:33-36

Hoping you find the glory of God in your Christmas and have warm and wonderful days with people you love wherever you are.

P.S. thank you Kathryn Grady for the photo

Known & Loved

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“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”

–Tim Keller (pastor, author, Redeemer Church, NYC) 

Hello friends– This man always makes me think.  We do have people we truly love, who do love us.  And that’s a comfort.  But the true sustaining, constant love of our lives is the perfect love God has for us.  I’m deeply thankful.

“But I trust in your unfailing love.”  — Psalm 13:5

From Everlasting

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“Lord you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born or brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”     –Psalm 90:1-2

God everlasting– that alone fills me with thankfulness.  Hope you have a blessed Sunday.

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thanks to photopop.com for the beautiful picture.

Giving Thanks

IMG_0634Hello all–  How was your week?  Have you bought a turkey yet?  Planning pies?   Hope you have cozy plans for Thanksgiving ahead with family and friends…

We’re gladly anticipating Thanksgiving here–Of course, I’m deeply thankful for our smallish but cozy home, for our family far and wide, for dear friends and usually pleasant jobs.

And for small things– like the camellia’s blooming early this year in the yard, pumpkin bran muffins on the kitchen counter, yesterday’s breakfast with friends, but there’s really something much more…

I’m profoundly thankful for God, immense enough to create the universe with a word and at once, able to know the secrets and prayers of my heart here in my small corner.  What could be more truly awesome than that?  I am so very thankful to know him and be his.

“for in Him, we live, and love and have our being.”   Acts  17:28  So true.

 

 

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P.S.– Last weekend the Grand-girls (and their parents!) were here, we spent an afternoon drawing on the kitchen floor to fill this year’s Thankful Heart Chart.  Those girls are thankful for mom & dad, for birthday cakes & Little Mermaid costumes, for donuts and Harry the dog…
And I’m so very thankful for them.

Silence of the Heart

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“In the silence of the heart God speaks.  If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you.  Then you will know that you are nothing.  It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself.  Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”        — Mother Teresa (from In the Heart of the World, Thoughts, Stories and Prayers)

Hello friends– Read this and it really stopped me in my tracks.  I have so very little silence in my life– Why do I fill it up with all those projects and errands??  How can God ever speak, if I’m not silent to listen.  It reminded me of a very favorite Psalm of mine–

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.  Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.”  —Psalm 86:4

I’m needing  to find more silence in my days, to sit and listen to God– to lift up my soul.  Lord help me…

Faith

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“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”
—Oswald Chambers  (1874-1917) Scottish evangelist, author and teacher

Hello all- Loved reading this.  When I don’t understand life why is unfolding as it does, still I can trust in the character of my God, his goodness, mercy, faithfulness, wisdom…  That is a true and constant comfort.

Shower the People You Love with Love

Love_Wallpapers_Umeaurhum38Hi all– I’m listening to James Taylor nonstop in the car (and admittedly singing along!) — after hearing him at the Bowl last week.  For an encore he sang one of my lyrical, lilting favorites–

“Shower the people you love with love, show them the ways that you care. Things will only be much better if you only will.”  

Loved it!  So I’m trying to bring on some summer “showers”– showing care.  I’m thankful to have lots of people around here to love.  And I want them to know it…

Francis Chan wrote “Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?”   (from his book Crazy Love)

“Dear friends, since God loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  –I John 4:12

Oh God,  you know I need help in this loving project– and only you know how to love perfectly.  I ‘m depending on your help…

 

thanks to picturecollections.com for the photo

 

God As He Is

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C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) British author, theologian, academic–Oxford University


Hello friends–  I know at times it’s sadly true of me and so many other people– that we construct a life and then shape our idea of God to fit in comfortably with who we are.  But I want to know and love the actual God, the real God and creator of the universe, the almighty eternal God of the Bible even though it pulls me out of my comfortable day by day life
.  I want to live with the God who is real and true and eternal.

God help me.

‘You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.”  
Psalm 86:2-4

   

Psalm 89

Psalms-Chapter-88-89Hello friends–Praying.  After all these years, you’d think it would be easy.  But the truth is that I’m often  distracted, my mind flying off from here to there to the day ahead.  But I ran across this little verse:

“…call out to me, You are my Father, my God, the Rock, my Savior.”
–Psalm 89:26

It helps me set my mind to pray, to praise and thank God for being my father,  then my God, my rock and my salvation.  By the time I pray through that list, my heart is intent on talking to this magnificent God.  It’s been a help.

(photo: page from the 1611 King James Bible)

Making Toast…A Grief Observed (2 Books)

41VMaGIhVKL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Hello all– I recently found Making Toast, Roger Rosenblatt’s lovely memoir on the new books shelf at the library.  Rosenblatt’s daughter Amy was a wife, mother of 3 small children and a gifted doctor, when she died of an unexpected heart condition at home on her treadmill.  Immediately the Rosenblatt’s leave their New York home to live indefinitely with their grandchildren and son-in-law, a surgeon.  They become the ones who shepherd kids to school, to lessons and make the morning toast…

You have to admire the author’s sacrifice and generosity as he and his wife Ginny, slip into their new roles.  The book is simply a string of vignettes about their days with the children, the rest of the family. There are birthdays, and reading together, quiet moments of humor and tender offers of support from friends far and wide.  The tone of the book is surprisingly matter of fact.  There is a dearth of emotion that seems not quite authentic.  You feel like someone watching through a window, removed, not knowing the real anguish or pain of this family.    And although this not a “religious” family, the author does write, “My anger at God remains unabated”…”My only spiritual thought that has come to me is a kind of prayer to Amy that we are doing what she would have us do.”  I spent a good part of the book wishing this kind man had real hope, a faith in God that would sustain him.

41-8XDPojdL._SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU01_AA160_So when I closed the cover on that book, I searched our bookshelves to find and reread C.S. Lewis’ book, A Grief Observed.  This is a very different book, written as a private journal, not intended for publication.  It also has a good share of railing at God, but from a man who’s genuine faith in God has been shaken to it’s core.  The tone of this book is almost too personal, as Lewis slogs through the mire of grief and sorrow upon the death of his wife, Joy.  He writes, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”  You feel very much involved with Lewis in his struggle to confront life’s most difficult question of death itself.  It’s a powerful book, a hard book to read,  but in the end so sustaining.

Does God Exist?

Hi all– Traveling up to SF last week, I popped in my ear buds to relieve the monotony of the long trip up the interstate.  –Listened to a talk on “The God Who Is.”  It was so penetrating, so perceptive,  I rehit play and listened to it again.  Tim Keller is brilliant, drawing from author Dorothy Sayers and conductor Leonard Bernstein, from NYU agnostic Thomas Nagel and Pulitzer prize winner Annie Dillard…  His respect for skeptics and incredible insights once again set me to thinking.

I wish you could hear it too.  So I’m offering you a link and a promise.

http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/god-who

I promise you it will be the most worthwhile time you spend this week.

Living in This World

“I discovered later, and am still discovering right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith.  By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures.  In doing so we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world.  That, I think, is faith.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I have to listen when this man talks about living life– leaning into the joys, the care of people I love,  the hardships, the days that seem impossible.  And seeing that all in the perspective of God, throwing ourselves into God’s capable, sustaining arms.  He’s right.  That is a life of faith.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  —John 10:10

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945),  German pastor from a wealthy prominent family, he resisted the Nazi persecution of the Jews and stood firm in his faith.  During the war, he left the safety of London to do God’s work in Germany and was eventually arrested and executed 23 days before the German surrender.  His was a life of faith.