True Poverty

As any of you know who follow this blog, I really like the writings of Brennan Manning. Today's devotional struck a chord with me and I decided to share it with you all. This is from his book "Reflections for Ragmuffins" January 22.

Poverty is not just physical - we see that daily here -

there is a poverty of heart - to be as a child - humble and relying on our blessed Saviour, Lord and Friend.

Jesus, my Brother and Lord, I pray as I write these words for the
grace to be truly poor before you, to recognize and accept
my weakness and humanness, to forgo the indecent
luxury of self-hatred, to celebrate your mercy and trust in your
power when I'm at my weakest, to rely on your love no matter
what I may do, to seek no escapes from my innate poverty,
to accept loneliness when it comes instead of seeking substitutes,
to live peacefully without clarity or assurance,
to stop grandstanding and trying to get attention,
to do the truth quietly without display,
to let the dishonesties in my life fade away,
to belong no more to myself, nor to desert my post when
I give the appearance of staying at it,
to cling to my humanity, to accept the limitations
and full responsibility of being a human being-really human
and really poor in Christ our Lord.

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in HIM, to the one
who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation
of the Lord. Lamentations 3: 25- 26

He Shines in the Darkest Places


photo taken on Samal Island by a high school student attending
Faith Academy. He is a gifted photographer.
I think this picture captures this quote.

"Only God can make the mess of dark past into a beautiful tapestry
of light and redemption. He shines in the darkest places, the darkest corners of the heart."
(POMFMV quote from book I am working on)

Seasons

funny how things tend to go "in spurts" or "in groups" -
the camera batteries no longer hold a charge; the ones we bought here in the Philippines to replace them don't really work; the hard drive on a main computer in our house fails; appliances break....

paperwork collected for adoption according to the list given "isn't enough". Tomorrow Kurt and I fly to Manila to get a notarized affidavit of adoption eligibility from the US Embassy. Another hurdle to jump....another hoop to go through......

trials of various shapes and sizes hit us - some minor, some major, some on-going and the pressure from them can build up to breaking point.....

and sometimes, my humanness says "why? why can't it just be easy for a moment or two?"

then i read the refreshing word in Romans 5 and know my ABBA is growing me and us into His likeness. He is there each step of the way. And in that I can rest.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith
into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the
glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance
produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love
has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us.

Snuggle me

James this morning says to me, "my stomach says you need to snuggle me"

and i started thinking about Psalm 131
sometimes I say to my ABBA "snuggle me"

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

and in Isaiah 40

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.

His Arms carry
His Love heals
He is all we need
He is our safe ABBA

STILL
by Rueben Morgan

Hide me now Under your wings
Cover me within your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are king over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

Find rest my soul In Christ alone
Know his power In quietness and trust

Thankful

I've been reading a wonderful book by Ann Voskamp "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are."

And I am taking her "Joy Dare" challenge for this year, 2012....to list 1000 gifts - thankfulnesses to my Abba for His Grace and Mercy.

Do the math - 366 days this year (it is a leap year!) averages out to three items a day to be thankful for....

so....18 thanks so far.....
1) walking in the cemetery
2) Mikayla
3) Kirsten
4) Ben
5) James
6) Jerard
7) Kurt
8) medicine that controls siezures for Jerard
9) a godly, wise counselor friend
10) a friend who comes to hold Jerard and play with him
11) pizza
12) Starbucks coffee in my mug
13) pen and paper
14) creative stories told to me by my four year old
15) warm bread dough rising
16) a wonderful, fun friend and prayer partner
17) my piano
18) email

simple gifts....life is full of blessings....start your own list....let me know what you are thankful for!

I love Josh Groban's song, "Thankful" because he expresses it so well...we do have so much to be thankful for......

Somedays we forget
To look around us
Somedays we can't see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give.

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can't see.
It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond ourselves
There's so much sorrow

It's way too late to say
I'll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth
It's so long overdue

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And every day we hope for
What we still can't see
It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for._

Even with our differences
There is a place we're all connected
Each of us can find each other's light

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can't see
It's up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more

There's so much to be thankful for

(From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/j/josh-groban-lyrics/thankful-lyrics.html)

(read more about the challenge at http://www.aholyexperience.com)