There’s alway’s room around the table

This past saturday was dark and the storm clouds rolled across the sky dumping torrents of rain.

But, the weather did not discourage a group of  friends who gathered around our old  harvest table for lunch.

Oh, but it was for so much more than “just lunch”.

One couple from California, another couple drove three hours from southern Missouri and some lived nearby. One young man from Florida arrived that I wasn’t expecting, but his mother was coming and aren’t we always invited if our moms are? I should think so, anyway…..

There is alway’s room around the table..

Thirty-six years have passed since most of us met each other and some years have passed since we all have been together.

Our coming together thirty-six years ago was connected by attending a Marriage Encounter and being part of small groups. We were young,  high on Jesus joy, and the Holy Spirit had spilled out all over us soaking our souls good.

It was a Koinonia group..…[Greek word for close fellowship]

Since, some have weathered the death of their spouses, their children, and all the  death of dreams and plans, griefs and yet joys.

The young man from Florida was here to see the California couple, as he was close to their family,  close friends with their son, who passed away some years ago. The boys would sometimes stop by our house on the way to an old fishing pond, just to say hi.  Close buddies…

Each hug Saturday said, you are valuable, you matter and are important to me. Each embrace brought a light to our eyes…a Jesus shine…

Yes, the years have left their mark, but the soul is the better for it…..

How do we know deep joy if we haven’t known deep pain?

Maybe there is another way, though I haven’t found it to be so. 

Taste and see that the Lord is good, that His mercy endures forever. His joy soaked us good on Saturday.

I thought how lightly we can take relationships sometimes, not realizing they are God’s gift to us, treasures unseen.

..Koinonia people…

We need “Jesus eyes” when we see the people in our lives,

then there will alway’s be room around the table and heart fires burning.

Safe Shelter

Several years ago I saw this painting in an art display. It was so compelling and difficult to walk away from. I never forgot it and came home and wrote a poem about it.

Hero of the Storm by David Stoecklein

The message to me…. a safe shelter.  

This year I saw it again and it hangs on my living room wall.

The raging blizzard with a man and his horse are barely visible. The man’s head is bowed against the winds and snow swirling around him. He has a glowing lantern in his hand that gave just enough light for the next step. Draped across the front of the saddle is a baby calf.

But  when you stand back and view from afar…..all you  see is the lantern’s glow.

So many messages to think about…

Many of us can relate… just enough light for the next step.

I have come to realize…. we not alone. There is enough light for the next step, no matter how the winds howl and circle around us.


The Shelter..

The Lord will be a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm.

He quiets and stills the anxious soul.

Steadies the trembling hands…

Empowers the timid,

Nurtures the weak.

Brings rest

for the weary.

He does not falter

nor lose heart.

He rescues those

who love Him.

Bringing them safely

home.

A lamp unto their feet,

a light

for the journey.

A shelter from the wind,

a refuge

from the storm.

 

cp   ( 8-25-2010)

Blessings,
Connie

Read the Red

This world of  today’s technology is mind-boggling for a girl who didn’t have a television until she was in the 6th grade, nor had seen one.

Most of my growing up years we had a party line and a neighbor who consistently listened in on our conversations, when this would happen to me I would respond by saying “Nadine would you please get off the line.”  A bit rude probably, but I’m sure I  was thinking she might  tell mom my conversation.

[a party line is where three families used the same phone line and it was identified by one, two, or three rings, ours was anyway]

Prior to this, one of my  girlfriends family operated the local switchboard in our small town. This meant you had to ring central [operator] and give them the number you wanted to call and they would plug you in [and could listen if they chose to do so, of course THAT never happened.

In all of our information, high-tech and constant changing world,  is it any wonder there is a bit of confusion, as I said it becomes mind-boggling.

Some months ago I thought I just want to focus on reading the red.

 “Read the Red” the words Jesus said…

My friend Carol and I joked we were going to get tee shirts made that said ,

Read the Red!

I know we need the balance in reading all the scripture but, to take time and

Read the red….is profoundly life changing!

Recently I purchased a book I had heard of called “The Greatest Words ever spoken” by Steven K Scott…..

He has organized over 1,900 statements o f Jesus under more than 200 topics…The Red Words!

Every word Jesus ever spoke…to use as a reference book or topical study..

I don’t know about you but I want to drink deep and  it seems as if I  am ever thirsty…not wanting to stay in the dry place I have walked through..

but to come up higher..

What about you?

I would love to hear some feedback..

A Pot of Gold

Did you ever think you would have a pot of gold and forget about it?

Most of us would think how absurd…NEVER..are you kidding? In fact I could use a little more gold.

I realized anew what treasure I have in His promises…..a real pot of gold..

The beginning of this year, I decided to create my own treasure.

I have several promise books full of God’s promises and these are good, [as all His word is good], but I wanted to create a personalized one for me and my family..I purchased a journal and began writing  promises that have been a source of strength, encouragement and seemed God-breathed  for the specific season I was and am in. I really don’t have English words to write how priceless this has been.

There have been times I thought “Connie, are you trying to create your own Bible??

But who would say that to me…… the one who wants me to forget there are such promises and instead focus on the hopeless negative.   There is something about a journal, markers, highlighters and your own artwork that makes this journal uniquely yours..[for you and yours] …and if art is not your thing…the promises still remain yours…

He has given us great and precious promises and God is true to His promises…His faithful promises are your armor and protection..

All His promises are yes and God is true to His promises He made to our ancestors.As I read over these promises, hope flames a bright and I remember hope..

Let me know how you create hope, what are some ways you’ve discovered?

Blessings, Connie

 

2nd Peter 1-4

2nd Cor.1-20,

Ro. 15-8b,

Ps 91-4b

 

 

 

 

 

Can words alone Heal?

I thought of what freedom I give words, taking no thought to the endless words I speak…letting them tumble out and landing wherever they may.

Can words alone bring healing?

As a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches, judgements, assumptions and can act like a wild child unless we take notice to what we are saying.

“The words of the wise bring healing,”

That means the words I speak so freely to others and even to myself  is either bringing hope, encouragement and peace or otherwise. It is so easy to speak negative words that tear down mindlessly.

Who hasn’t felt the sting of words pierce, taking a bit of life from you bringing defeat, at a time when you desperately needed encouragement……

   and yet those who spoke a  hopeful word  that  helped carry you through the day.

Yesterday I was at Home Depot  and picked up some plants, as I unloaded my cart I left it standing there while I put my purse in the car..a lady walked by and evidently thought I was going to leave the cart and drive off [I had considered that]……she said very angrily” are you just going to leave that cart setting there where someone could get hurt’….I was stunned and she just kept mumbling ..talking to herself or cussing me out, I wasn’t sure which…..my first response was to flare back and then I thought , she’s not having a very good day..and the whole scene became a bit humorous..

Then this morning I read..

The words of the wise bring healing.

Wise?? who are the wise?? Those who speak healing words, looking for ways to speak hope and  encouragement to others as well as yourself.

Stay Steady

Stay steady, stay the course, finish well….

These words keep rolling around, over and over in my mind this week. I have taken each word like broken bread and examined its meaning.

Why the constant reminder? Am I veering off course or is there something coming up ahead that will cause me not to finish well? Those thoughts are unsettling and anxious..

No, the  words are a gentle but firm reminder..

The race [our life’s journey] is not to the swift, nor to the hurried striving …

When my mind becomes frenzied and my thoughts are like buckshot .. trying to do all things, be all things, accomplish more than I am called to do…

I hear again..stay steady..stay the course, finish well.

I remember when I was learning to drive and I would lurch forward, then slow down, then speed up again..Dad would say, “stay steady on the gas petal, you’ll burn up to much gas….that was an object lesson I didn’t appreciate nor realize at the time..

Stay steady…

Watching the Olympics, you see the look in their eyes.. steady, focused… on the goal… apprehension…[of course]

but they stay the course..wanting to finish well.

I remind myself..in and of myself this is not possible..but He who began a good work will complete it….and God is more than able to keep us from stumbling, slipping or falling..and to stay the course!

But 100 Years from Now

I have had  this familiar poem for some years now, but no matter how many times I read it, the impact is always the same. It stirs my heart, and gives me a quick perspective on life..It always challenges me to review my life and what really matters . Even though it’s been around for who knows how long, possibly there may be someone who hasn’t  read it……

But a Hundred Years from Now,

It will not matter what

kind of car I drove

or house I lived in=

or how much money is in my account..

or what my clothes looked like..

But the world may be a little better

because I was important in the life

of a child..

This short little poem, speaks to me of my legacy, posterity, and what I have deposited into their lives..it challenges me that all the things that seem earth-shaking … how I can let them shake my foundation ..so many are trivia..

It reminds me who’s the clay and whose the potter….

Some years ago I attended a centennial type celebration with mom. It was held on the grounds of the old Bothwell Lodge in Sedalia and many were dressed in “turn of the century” clothing, A woman dressed in a beautiful white dress with a high buttoned collar was setting on a blanket under an old oak tree. She began to read poetry and of course it was “But 100 Years from Now”

Last year a friend gave me an old antique post card that was 100 years old, in fact it was exactly to the date. A woman named Anna was writing to her friend Cora, and was so anxious as her husband wanted to move to Oklahoma and buy  land. As I held the card, I thought I would’ve been anxious too. Lone Jack is far enough out for me! I wondered what happened to Anna?  Again, perspective of what is important…..

It makes me want to “taste more and see that the Lord is good…to be anxious for nothing….to know that my life is not my own..savor the day..for that’s what I have..this day..to ask forgiveness for my sometimes self-sufficient attitude…

Again perspective…