Friday, November 27, 2015

Forever Young

II Corinthians 4:16 "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day." 

My husband and I spent Thanksgiving Day at the "Happiest Place on Earth,"  Disneyland. We aren't exactly teenagers, but sometimes, we just like to pretend. We can get away with that at Disneyland.

We become young again, and remember the good ol' days. Surrounded by the things I love, creativity, color and design, gardens and story, I---we feel inspired.

We sat at our outdoor table at a restaurant called the Plaza Inn, our turkey dinners in front of us; my husband grabbed my hand and said,

"Let's pray, I'm hungry." 

 For the first time, I bowed my head and prayed out loud amongst everyone else at Disneyland,  right off Main Street, below Sleeping Beauty's Castle and catty-corner from Tomorrowland.

God made His presence known, for He is always with us in our hearts. His streets and pathways lead to grace and joy, His Kingdom reigns forever, and our future He holds in Eternity

The highlight of our evening concluded watching the "World of Color," water and light productions over Paradise Bay in California Adventure. The shows, filled with songs from the Disney films from my youth (yes waaaaay back then) and some modern songs (Frozen) came to life with animation projected in color,  dancing waters and even fire,  for our wonderment and entertainment.

The final show ended with the song, "Forever Young," composed by Bob Dylan and probably remembered best sung by Rod Stewart.

Maybe Bob spent sometime in the Word when He wrote this...

"Forever Young"
Written by Bob Dylan

May God bless and keep you always 
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others 
And let others do for you

Matthew 7:12 
"Therefore, however you want people to treat you, 
so treat them, for this is the Law of the Prophets.

May you build a ladder to the stars 
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young

Proverbs 4:18
But the path of the righteous
is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter
Until the full day.

Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous 
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth 
And see the lights surrounding you

Ephesians 5:9
For the fruit of the light consists in all
goodness and righteousness
and truth

May you always be courageous 
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be Strong
And courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed,
For the Lord God is with you
Where ever you go. 

Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy 
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift

I Corinthians 3:11
For no man can lay a foundation other
than the one which is laid, 
which is Jesus Christ.

May your heart always be joyful 
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him,
And I am helped.
Therefore, my heart exults
And with my song,
I shall thank Him.

Forever young, forever young 
May you stay forever young.

While out and about today, out of the blue tonight, my husband mentioned the feelings he felt last night, 

"The music...made me think about Timmy, (our son  in Heaven).  It made me miss him. " 

"He is forever young Ted, I thought of him too,  it's all good."

Ted: "I hope Corey can come with us soon, we'd have so much fun."

"He doesn't exactly like hanging out with 'old' parents," I said. 

"WHO says we're old? I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength..."

So tonight, dear friends, may you be "Forever Young," living in and through the promises of the Savior King, the Prince of Peace and the Divine Creator of everything wonderful, colorful and joyful. 

Yes, serving the Lord and knowing Him even beats Disneyland! 

Lord, Tonight and I am grateful and thankful that I have a season pass to Heaven! While I am here on this earth, You help me navigate through all the different "lands" of my life, whether happy places, discouraging places, fearful places or unknown places, You Lord are my Light, my shield, and my King. Thank You Lord for my husband and partner Ted, who enjoys this life with me and that we desire to stay "young"and serve You with all our hearts. Help us Lord to do just that and keep the turnstiles of Your truth moving with ticket holders set for seeing Your Kingdom established. I pray for the sons and daughters still young, that their hope falls upon a Star, one rising in the East that points to the Promised One, the Messiah, The Giver of all things Good. Lord, in thanksgiving, I praise You.  Amen. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

An All In, Whole-Hearted Thanksgiving

Psalm 9:1 I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Thy wonders. 

Read the Psalm and you hear the author proclaim what he is in the process of doing. It's not a "maybe," its not a "I hope to" or "if I happen to see or feel something..."

I will. I will do this thing, this thing of thanksgiving, of gratitude. 

I think he's done it before. He knows. He is used to this holy habit, the consistent humbling and hash tag hallelujahs in his life. 

His heart-eyes zero in on the gifts, the wonders, and he gives his gift back, this thankfulness in the wonder of it all. 

The thankfulness is whole-hearted and whole on his lips, because of whole-body and whole-purposed love.   

It's every slice of the pie with lots of whipped cream and then the serving of it, its sitting and watching the game of football and cheering for your team--wearing the jersey and/or the "cheese head." He's all in! 

And its also the quiet gifts that turn his head to wonder. The moments that come in a whisper of "I created this for you today!  I saved you for this today!  I have this planned for you soon!" 

He feels it and knows it and bows his head in grace-filled gratitude at the Wonder, the wonder of all of it, just for him, and for us all. He can't help but tell.

This is how he does this life. Covered in grace, a heart beating to a song of gratitude and blood that needs to tell it in order to keep flowing and regenerating. He knows the power behind all of that, the way it heals and transforms. The telling uncovers the hope and the supernatural sets the table for one more. 

Here, write your name in the book. You're THE special guest today. Your name tag is written into eternity. 

Others ignore the invite, pushing it away, full from the world, bitter from its unrelenting pain. There is no truth, no winning team, nothing worth the fight...thriving on nothing but leftovers and carcasses of the dead.

But Love awaits when we say the words...Thank you Lord  for Your love, reveal it more and more to me...

 He will, and you'll keep coming back for seconds. 

He tells it, he shares it. Listen to the Psalmist, what he wants to tell. There always an invitation waiting. It's never lost, inscribed in gold each time. 

And there is always, always something to be grateful for. 

Begin today to bow your knee if only slightly, begin to take Him into your heart, to yearn to become whole-hearted and wonder-filled.  Grasp the bread in your hand for one more minute and remember, feel His goodness and His sacrifice. Slow down and savor the  cup, and taste and see...and I promise you, God promises you, you will  know your own whole-hearted thank-FULL-ness and wonder to tell of His gracious goodness and wonders. 

Lord, move today in those hearts yearning for Your peace and fullness. Allow for our prayers to be heard, for the eyes of the blind to be opened and the hard-hearted to be humbled. Let us look deeply and expectantly for Your wonders of glory and embolden us to tell of your majesty and your promises of Hope. You are Good and I will give thanks. Amen 

#1000Gifts (18th, 19th, and 20th). 

Three gifts of Traditions:

1. Mums on grave markers
2. Wednesday night Thanksgiving Service 
3. Turkey Soup   

Three Gifts of Autumn

1. Piles of crackling leaves on my campus
2. A clear view of the San Gabriel Mountains
3. The smells of pumpkin and cinnamon and cider

Gifts Made, Shared, Passed On.

1. A colorful crocheted scarf
2. An unsolicited blessing from a friend
3. God's Word in blogs for the world 

Friday, November 13, 2015

My Refuge

Nahum 1:7 "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him." 

I've caught a bit of the news today; enough to know that this is not a good day. Friday the 13th has nothing to do with it. 

Terrorists unleashed a coordinated attack in Paris; at least six different locations. Last I heard from the news, 158 dead, and that number will rise. Many of the perpetrators possibly escaped, or blew themselves up. The threats remain. 

This is the world we live in today, a close-by world, an "Instagram-grenade" world, 
a music concert-hostage world, a dinner-then dead world, a world bent on terror and human trafficking, heroin in our schools and bullying, shark attacks and earthquakes, water shortages and Presidential elections. 

Where do we take refuge? What do we do with our fears? 


My close friend Zaine is planning a trip to Brazil next week to visit her beloved aging parents and family. She fears flying--and it is a 12 1/2 hour trip!  She's been watching YouTube videos to help her with her anxiety. The thing she plans on doing though first as she boards:  pray and listen to her praise music in Portuguese. 

I've heard it. She sings it every morning to me as we eat breakfast together before school. Her singing the words I cannot understand, moves me to worship and a peace for the day ahead. 

She will be taking refuge in her Lord and Savior to calm her fears, closing her eyes and humming her hymns in her native language; finding that peace that surpasses her fears. 


I thought I had conquered my fear of speaking in front of people. As a small group leader, prayer warrior and various times of teaching opportunities at school, I feel confidant most the time when I speak and teach.  

Until recently...

I was asked to participate in a Sunday sermon series,  to "video tape" a response to the Hope and...just so happens, the CONFIDENCE I have in the Lord. 

First take...I was so nervous, so jumbled, so fear won and I couldn't rest until I was given a chance at a second take a week later.  That my friend, is called grace. 

With my fear in check, my prayer lifted to the Lord, my words gathered in my heart and my Bible open to hear His voice, to take refuge in Him, the shadow of His wings calmed my fears and I re-shot the video with success and peace. 

Fear gets all our physical, emotional, irrational and sometimes impulsive thoughts and actions going crazy. That human emotion of anxious and unknowing moments can cause one to isolate, become angry, feel sadness and hopelessness--keep us from living a life meant to be joyful. 

Satan knows our weaknesses and if fear is one of them and it will prevent our light from shining, you know that is going to be the weapon he wants to use. Ramping up those feelings and fears...especially if we keep far enough away from the refuge of the Lord is overwhelming. I believe in prayer warrior girl friends and I am thankful I can pray with others to help me be a conqueror through Christ.  I know who my Stronghold is and in Him, will  I cast my fears and anxieties, for He is a God I can surely rest my head and heart on. 

Thank you Lord for being our refuge, our stronghold in times of trouble. No matter where we are in this world, darkness lies all around us. Help us Lord to stay in Your light and trust in the bigger picture of all You have for us in this world that is in need of You.  Lord, we pray that we do not live in fear, but live in confidence from all that You have shown us, that You are sovereign and Jehovah-Sabaoth, our Protector. My little fear of being video-taped is nothing compared to the fear faced by others living through and surviving the terrorists attacks tonight.  Lord,  we pray for the First-Responders, the victims and families of this cowardly act. We ask for the leaders of free nations to respond with resolve to keep our nations secure in the freedoms we guard with our heart, soul and sacrifice. Amen.