Friday, July 29, 2011

STILL in His Majesty


I just LOVE the way The Gypsy Mama paints these words, I had to repeat it for you.
"On Fridays, a few of us have fallen into the habit of taking five minutes to just write and not worry if it’s just right or not.  Five minutes to remember that we are creatures sculpted by The WORD and made for The WORD and beloved by The WORD.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:1-3.So on Fridays, we take the dare to become Word Artists.

The prompt for today is STILL.
Go.

Sitting under big baby blues skies that fill up the expanse, called the heavens dotted with white cotton balls just enough to add accent .  Surrounding by green, luscious green, I prostrate myself on it to feel the coolness of each blade.  A soft wind blows gently moving the heat of the sun off of my face.



STILL.

How can I not bask in His glory when all of nature declares His Majesty?

I am still and I know He is here.  Nature screams of it softly.  And my heart is at peace.  Nothing else matters in this moment.  "Be still and know that I am" Spirit whispers across my heart.  "And as you know that I AM be expectant- expect goodness, expect that I will always be here.  In this stillness know that I remain but I am also in the stillness of your heart as storms rage around you.  As marriages are ravished, bank accounts go in the negative, hearts break for loss- I am always here."

I smile within.  I curl the green blades with my toes, soak up the blueness of the sky and drink it all in so it lasts- I hear someone yelling for me from the back door.



Linking today with The Gypsy Mama.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shouts of GRACE


For two months now I have been writing journal posts that I have been referring to as "beads on a necklace".  Each bead has been my heart being molded by the Holy Spirit.  If you like read the first bead read here.  I think it is fitting to write about the clasp that holds all these beads together to form a beautiful necklace.  It is GRACE.

Grace- the wonderful, amazing, awe-inspiring phenomenon that will take me an eternity to understand the depths of.

The Greek definition is the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life- CHARIS.  Isn't that beautiful?   Doesn't charis sum up the gospel succintly?  The Father has drawn us, Spirit to spirit working on our hearts and we are able to know God-intimately.  Our whole is made new and we take this grace into us, our days and His goodness is reflected in our lives.

In thinking about the past three months that is what I am left to think of when heart aches are healed, sorrows are relieved, anger is vanquished- GRACE.  He influences, He IS the influence upon my heart and my perspective changes to His.  And in Him I have nothing to fear- nothing to fear.  Oh, how good is that?

His grace are threads weaving in, through, around, between our lives making them into a beautiful relfection of His loving kindness towards us.

Read these scriptures s-lo-w-l-y.  Bask in them.  Ask the Holy Spirit to give you fresh revelation.

"...therefore the Lord earnestly waits- expecting, looking and longing- to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you." -Isaiah 30:18 Amplified. 

The Lord LONGS to be gracious to you!

Two months ago I was so down, I was not sure of when I would get up again.  But even with trials and tests, battles, effects of sin, circumstance, and chance He remains gracious.

 And I am sure of this for me and for you..."that He who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ right up to the time of His return, developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you (and me)." -Philippians 1:6 Amplified

At that time He will put the very last stone of our lives into place- the cap stone- with shouts of "Grace! Grace!' to it.  Zechariah 4:7  For all will see by the reflection in our lives that His divine influence has been upon our hearts.

So as I conclude this chapter of my life having strung beads and a centerpiece together I fasten the clasp and shout, "Grace! Grace to it!"
  


I am walking with Him toady and living well because of His grace.  Visit others who are doing the same.http://www.aholyexperience.com/

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blessed to Be a BLESSING


I love to receive gifts don't you?  When Brooke McGothlin offered a copy of her new ebook as a thank-you for a reviewing it, I jumped, "sure!".  I was blessed.
And I am happy today to give away a copy to.....well, you will have to keep reading till the end of this post!
This give-away idea is really fun.  I should like to offer it more often.  I love to receive but I also love to give.

This attitude of course reminds me of our heavenly Father who lavishes on His children.  No good thing will He withhold from us! (Psalm 84:11)

I do not think it wrong to ask to be blessed so that I might be a blessing

Now I do not want to get into a theological discourse about how we should have pure motives when asking and that stated above is not one of them.  And how we should give out of what we already have not waiting to receive more.  And how we already are blessed with every spiritual blessing.  Though there is merit in those thoughts, they diverge from the simple truth that I want to convey to you today which makes it difficult sometimes to blog.   Trying to share something theological and from the heart can have too many nuances of meaning to disclose in a short blog post.

I am saying that I pray that I may be blessed so that I can bless in return.



"Oh Lord bless me indeed!"
 
Jabez felt the same way.  See 1Chronicles 4:9-10.  This man caused his mother so much grief as she bore him into this world that she signified her sorrow with his very name- Jabez.  From the outset of his life he was one who caused pain instead of blessing carrying in his name a notification that he was a pain.
 
Scripture says that Jabez was more homorable than his brethren.  I think that the Lord gave him a new brand because of the contriteness of his heart.  He cried out to the Lord, "Oh that You would bless me indeed...that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!"
 
Jabez knew that his own sinful ways cause him pain.  Are not we the same?  I cannot count how many times my own mouth has caused me grief.  My actions that reaped sorrow.
 
Jabez also knew that when the Lord's hand was upon him he would be blessed and he would be a BLESSING. 
 
I started this post talking of giving away a material possession.  Yes, that is good.  But there are other blessings that are too numerous to count.  How are YOU blessed today? 
 
Do you have peace in your heart?  Assuage someone who is troubled.
 
Do you have joy?  Go rub that off onto someone and make their day lighter.
 
Do you have love overflowing?  Love the unlovable.
 
BE a blessing.
 
Pray to be blessed.  Your prayer will probably be answered in part by giving you a revelation of the wealth already yours because of His goodness.  When we know that we are blessed our focus is not towards ourselves in self pity but on others.  We search out how we might BE a Blessing.

Now my turn....and the winner is of "Aspiring Writers" is-------
 

  Angela Dively from 




Congratualtions Angela!
 

Linking to time-warp-wife at



 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Filled to FULL


To share The Gypsy Mama's words, "On Fridays around these parts we like to write. Not for comments or traffic or anyone else’s agenda. But for pure love of the written word. For joy at the sound of syllables, sentences and paragraphs all strung together by the voice of the speaker.
We love to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not. For five minutes flat."
Today's prompt is FULL.

GO.

Full of Love.
Full of Grace.
Full of the Holy Spirit.
Those three phrase are poetically beautiful are they not?  And adding our life experiences they become living poetry.

That is what FIRST comes to mind when I hear, "FULL".  (besides being full of the the salty ham & bean soup, chicken salad with veggies, and chocolate with peanut butter icing that I enjoyed last night out with the LOV ladies!  I was full then!)

But as I contemplate a few seconds this also speaks back to me,  "What does it take for your soul to be full?"

Ask yourself that.

Not waxing too spiritual about it.  Think of your whole being....what makes your body have pleasure? your mind have satisfaciton? your heart burst with joy?  what makes your spirit soar?

My body.
-a bright colorful ice slushy on a 100 degree day
- a Chinese massage (I was going to say a massage fro the Chinese man with big hands- read for that post here but I have experienced one from some Chinese ladies as well who are just as talented yet not quite as strong.)

My mind.
-reading a book that sparks my imagination or feeds my intellect or tickles my fancy for words (thinking about "Pride and Prejudice" when I wrote the last comment, what a way with words!!!!  Is that how they spoke 200 hundred years ago!   Oh how our language has been dumbed down!)
-studying scripture really satisfies my brain/heart fancy, looking into the definitions in the Hebrew and Greek, the nuances of the meaning, the practical and spiritual application

My heart.
-seeing my children walking in truth
-having us all hang out in the kitchen while I am preparing dinner sharing jokes and teasings

My spirit.
-meditating on His Majesty
-trying to comprehend His Love, tasting of it and letting it fill me from my toes up.

Wow.  I have so much to be FULL with, I love it!  How about you?  Share some of your full fillings with me; I would love to hear.

Linking today with

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trust and be Green

I took my son to place that I thought as a parent I would never have to do.  I LEFT him there as I had to do for his good.  Rather he left himself there.  But I was his chauffeur and as a mother I felt the pangs of the reality this represented and the pangs of knowing what he would have to go through.

Returning to the car tears stained my cheeks and how I wished that I had taken my sun glasses with me.  When I was confined to the safety of my car heart groanings erupted that only a mother can know.  Moans from my heart depths that make me wonder if the Spirit groans like that for us when He is interceding for us.  No, scripture says that those groanings cannot be uttered, but because I have heard these groanings uttered only a few times by myself or from another mother in anguish I was thinking they are so analogous to be similar.  Expressions of sound erupting from a mouth that cannot form words.

"Oh, Lord," I moaned.  Then I began to form prayer words out of my emotions.

Clearly and poignantly the Spirit of God stated, "TRUST Me."

Uuuuummmm, I did not know that was coming- "OK".

That was all but that was enough.  I do not know His plan.  I do not know if things will turn out the way I desire.  I do not know the course of events that will transpire or their timing.  I just knew in that moment (and now) that the Spirit of the One who weaves all things for my good and has my son's eternal interests in His heart told me to "trust Him".


It was a definitive command. 

That was two days ago and since my hours have had prayers full of confidence for my son.  Not confidence in my prayers but confidence in the One who answers them.

I just read this scripture which prompted me to share this with you in a post.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in Him.
For he will be like a tree planted by the waters
that sends out her roots by the river,
and does not see when heat comes, 
but her leaves are always green. 
She has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit."

-Jeremiah 7:17, NKV & NIV
The man (or woman) who trusts in the Lord hides in Him for refuge, she is confident in Him, is sure of Him, and is bold because of Him. She abides in the vine and because so, her roots drink deep of His everlasting supply of water.

Do you feel in a spiritual drought?  Here in central PA we have gone weeks without replenishing rain and our gardens and lawns are suffering for it.  Walking barefoot on the brown hard grass even hurts.  Nature waits for His supply of rain but dear believer we can have our thirst quenched and roots saturated as we trust Him.

A simple definitive command- "TRUST Me."  Must we know the rest to do so?



I am walking with Him today and living well with many other blessed souls.  Visit them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Aspiring Writer's Giveaway!

Every writer wants an audience.  But it is a work of sanctification to write for One instead of the masses.

I am still being sanctified in this area; I still need help.  When I read the title to a fellow blogger's new ebook Notes to Aspiring Writers- Your Dream, God's Plan  I got interested.  She asked me to give a review and I was happy to do so.  Thus this post.

Brooke L. McGlothlin shares the journey of her writing metamorphosis.  She begins wanting to be a published author appreciated and adored by her readers through the path of traditional publishing means.  God changes her desires and she is changed as a writer. Through His wooing and love He helps shape her desires into His plans for her.  She now writes with the guidance of One for One.

She bears this journey candidly.  She is honest and spritiually insightful.  I could relate; some of her experiences have been mine.   Yes, I agree this is a "little book with a big message".  If you have any dream this book will encourage you place all of your dreams in His hands.   If you are an inspiring writer you will want to read it too. 

And you can receive a FREE copy from LOV!  Leave a comment concerning anything of your writing experience- how you began, what you love to write about, what your writing dreams are....AND send me an email with your email address. (mrsepple@ladiesofvirtueonline.org)  Next Tuesday the winner will be announced!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Loss of GUILT

I am linking with The Gypsy Mama today for the 5-Minute Friday post.  We take only five minutes and let our fingers fly tapping the keyboard sprawling thoughts onto the screen.  Five minutes with no editing is not long at all, especially for the prompt today of LOSS.

The meditations of my heart are running a different course than the typical subject matter of LOSS.
Today I am mauling over what it means to have a LOSS of GUILT  in my life because I am a believer.

"Therefore there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." -Romans 8:1 NAS

because...

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus ChristTherefore as by the offence of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification."     -Romans 5:17-18 KJV

Are you in Christ Jesus?
I am not asking if you are living the "Christian life"- monitoring your eyes from the evils of tv, monitoring your mouth from evil slurs that you want to yell at the driver who pulled out in front of you, monitoring your heart from discontentment..... I mean are you in Christ?  Are you sticking to Him like glue?   Are you letting yourself be grafted into His vine?  Are you aboding with Him and He in you?  Are you aligning your mind to His?

The Father proclaims to us that there is no condemnation for us in Christ Jesus.  Do you live that way?  That means, though we are SOOOO deserving of the guilty sentence,  we have been vindicated in Christ.  Absolved FOREVER.  Just as in the American justice system once a person is tried and been found innocent by the panel of jurors never can they be tried again for that same crime, we once having been found as the righteousness of God in Christ CAN NEVER BE TRIED AGAIN.  woo-hoo!!!

I was standing in front of that Judge- the awesome One- guilty of every heinous crime that could have been commited, right before my sentencing Jesus said, "Wait!!!!! I have taken her punishment upon Myself.  She is as innocent as a pure lamb."

Do you remember a time when you FELT that burden of sin fall off of your back- oh, sweet release!  Have you been living with the easy yoke or have YOU put that burden back on by not living what God says of you.  YOU are the righteousness of God in Christ.  If you have never known this and Spirit is revealing this truth to your heart now- believe it.

Christ died that we might live as blissful children.  He does not want us weighted down by the guilt from sin.

Maybe right now your mind is affirming that "no" you do not live with guilt.  Then I would dig deeper and ask you to look into your soul to see if what I call "permaguilt" exists there?  It is a guilt that is embedded just below our consciousness that is always there.  I often have to extricate that blight.  It spreads like a quiet cancer through my soul and surfaces with thoughts of "Why didn't I?  Why do I?" or in another language, "For the good I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want."  This thought if not confronted with the truth of vindication stated above grows like a vine of cancer choking any joy and peace that I am meant to have in the abundant Life He gives to me.

So I cast down those thoughts and replace them with Truth.  I am FREE.  My God loves me and He will never stop!  My Father is happy with me because I am the righteousness of God in Christ.  If you are IN Him, dear reader, this truth applies to you as well.  Let this truth soak into your cells and live free today.

Live with the LOSS of guilt forever.


I want to add a note that though we do sin in this body the emotion that should accompany is sorrow.
"For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret , leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. "  -2Corinthians 7:10 NAS

For further study read Romans chapter 7 and 8.

I DID go waayyy over five minutes but I do not think that The Gypsy Mama would want me to feel guilty about that.


another great link- heartandsoulexchage.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A grain of Wheat that Dies to Bear Fruit

I am Walking with Him today as are so many others- visit the link below....

We are very familiar with the phrase, "We must be empty to be full."  But do we understand it in truth?  Do we really know what it means?

This is another bead on the string I am creating of the various posts surmising my walk with Him these past weeks.  If you have time, read last week's post as it was the centerpiece-here.  I  have called it the "centerpiece" because it was about then that I felt a turning.  A turning up- where I was beginning to learn the lessons, not just walking through the mire perplexed.  I realize as I write presently that I am presumptively thinking that it will be "up, up" from here.  "Up and out"- never to go there again. 

But I also realize that life is not like that.   There is an ebb and flow.  There are valleys and mountain tops.  By God's goodness He does not let us drown in the mire and get lost in the valleys.  By His grace He moves us "up and out".  By His wisdom He allows us to traverse the valleys because He knows that only in the valleys can we see the majesty of the mountain top.  Only where there is an ebb, an emptiness, a dessert, can we appreciate the flow of fullness.  Only in the flow of disaster, turmoil, life's aches that bring the flow up to our noses in deluge, can we appreciate the peace of the ebb.

I am still learning the nuggets of Life and Wisdom.  I have not graduated yet because sometimes I squall like a newborn wanting comfort instead of hunger and release instead of hardship.

But He turns these nuggets into gold as I am taken through the Refiner's fire.

Here is one nugget made into a golden bead for my necklace-

When I am empty I become full of all God wants me to be.



"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."    -John 12:24

Those days not so very long ago I really did feel like a broken seed being laid upon the parched earth.  That is what I meant at the beginning of this post- We know cognitively that we must decrease and He must increase.  But have you ever experienced what this means in your emotional, spiritual being?  I cannot tell you how you can.  I can only testify that I was led through this experience.  Do we all have to experience this to have a deeper walk with Him?  I do not think so.   Again I can only say that when I was so dry, so pressed down that I could not get up on my own, so bewildered, so empty- Spirit whispered the above scripture to my heart and I understood. 

That great paradox.  Yes, Jesus was referring to Himself in the context of that scripture, but the truth also was revealed that unless I become nothing no fruit can come from my life.  And not just "become nothing" but to realize that I AM NOTHING.  I saw with my spiritual eyes that without Him I am NO good.  Nothing good within me dwells.  A moment before this experience I would have attested to the same but in only a cognitively affirming way.  This was different.  This was an experiential way of Spirit showing spirit.

I hope to keep this in my heart's grasp the rest of this life time for it magnifies His grace to me.

"Grace, grace, wonderful grace.  Grace that pardons from all my sin."

So therein lies the paradox.  I am nothing.  But when yielded to Him, broken, in losing my life I am able to bear much fruit.  I would rather take the broken lot to yield a cornucopia than the lonely seed route any day.  How about you?



Friday, July 8, 2011

Females- family and friends

Today I am linking up with ladies at 5-Minute Fridays where we are given a prompt from the Gypsy Mama.  We sit before our square screens, let our imaginations soar for five minutes, and type- no editing, just letting the thoughts flow into words.

Today's prompt is GRATEFUL.

GO.

And today I am grateful for the females in my life

The little one with shining white gold down to her bottom who tries my patience more than Job's (well, I cannot say THAT) but  more than I thought any mother could ever endure.  Yet, she always causes me to laugh at her expressive imagination or her truthful statements that I may think but have the maturity to guard.

For the gentle one who is poetically beautiful inside and out.  She causes me to want to strive to be a Lady Of Virtue.

I am grateful for my mother who is always there through the difficult times.  A bulwark.  Also, a best friend.  We are so alike and I am glad!  I love you Mom.

For sisters so very different, yet similar in adding zest to the flavor of my days.

For an aunt who is a sister- a confidante and friend.  I love the beauty she adds practically and emotionally to every place she goes.  And just for her: I will memorialize her name here- MaryJean Conway. LOL. 

Girls I am so looking forward to eating a chunk of the Big Apple with you this weekend!

And I am grateful for the females that time eludes me from describing.  But in short, they are the ones who see the flowers in my garden not my broken fences.  The iron that sharpens me and the soft blankets that comfort me with their love and prayers.

Thank you Ladies.

STOP.
How about you....are there females in your life that you could take a moment to acknowledge the lovely effect that they have in your life?


Write about it here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Perplexed but not in Despair, Cast Down but Not Destroyed

A month or so ago I began writing some posts that were straight from my heart, sharing the emotional terrain that I would have otherwise kept for the places of my personal journal.  I felt the Lord led me to share my heart experiences.  I think because it is very common, normal, to be expected- to deal with heart ache in this lifetime.  Whether death, sin, circumstances we WILL have trouble in this world.  And, though I would prefer to only notice the pretty and pleasant sometimes the ugly must be acknowledged.

If you have not read some of these other posts of mine and would like to start there- click here.

I have been very conscious of my spiritual walk this past month- who cannot be conscious when traversing a dessert?  I have wanted to share with you my heart, my thoughts along the way.  At least journal them for myself to record God's hand in my story. Do you journal?  I have since I was a little girl, however in these last busy years raising young ins (well eighteen years, really) I have only seemed to have found time enough to record the hallmarks of my journey- not the everyday stuff that makes up the many stitches of this patchwork.

I consider journaling a sort of way of memorializing God's work.  Like God told Moses, "Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua" when the Amalek was crushed by Joshua and His people. (Exodus 17:14)  Moses even went further to build a memorial. (verse 15).  Joshua learned this as an act of worship and put it into practice by building a memorial of stones himself representing the twelve tribes of Israel in order to remember that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord.  (Joshua 3:6-8) 

I have never built a memorial of stone with my own hands but I have placed pebbles of words together to be cemented as a memorial, in order for me to pause before it at that moment and many more later to consider the Lord's hand.   Do you build memorials of words?            

I am digressing from my original purpose of this post.  But as I naturally diverge in a "teaching" mode, well, THAT is a good sign to me indeed.

This post is another bead strung next to June 2nd's post.  If you like you can read that here.  There have been many beads that I could have strung between these two which would have produced an intelligible connection; however, I was not up for writing or could not carve out the time to do so.  So I name this next bead to be the centerpiece of this necklace.  It is worthy of focus as this past month has been a turning point in my heart and soul.  I feel myself ascending into the mountains again and I do not want to forget how and Who is bringing me there.  Thus, I create this ceramic bead as a memorial.

I begin by stating that I have been these passed months as Paul ,

"(I) am troubled on every side, yet not crushed;
I am perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
cast down, but not destroyed."

-2 Corinthians 4:7-9, paraphrase mine.

I read my June 2nd post before commencing to write this and I can testify that probably for the first time in my life I really did feel like thisCircumstances, relationships, and the actions of others pushing, pressing, extracting- till I have been troubled on every side, cast down. 

I just searched the word "perplexed" and found its meaning in the concordance to be having no way out- when traversing to see no clear direction (anyone just think of being in the wilderness spiritually?), to be at a loss mentally. EXACTLY...but for God.

... He orders my steps, delights in my way, and though I fall, I shall not be utterly cast; for the Lord upholds me with His hand. (Psalm37:23-24) 

Are you dear one feeling crushed today? cast down? perplexed?  Do you feel the gentle hand of our Father holding yours?

Our journey is not about getting to the mountain top but how we spend our time with the One holding our hand along the way.  I am learning that He WILL allow me to go through uncomfortable things; but He is right by my side.  Though I may be perplexed, I need not be in despair because He is guiding me even if it does not look like it.  And though I may be cast down; I will not stay down because He is upholding me. 

Good things indeed to memorialize.

Come back next Wednesday as I add more beads to this string.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Welcome- with a Smile


Participating with the Gypsy Mama and many others in
5-Minute Friday


Where we...
1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my right side bar}
3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.
It’s a great way to exhale at the end of a beautiful week.

Today's prompt is WELCOME.

GO.

The very first thing that comes to mind when I hear "Welcome" is a warm, well- welcome, the words being said by a person having a huge genuine smile who makes eye contact, gives you their attention and everything in their being exudes warmness.

Now this could conjure a picture of Grandma when the family arrives at the door Christmas morning.  But it could also be seen by a stranger in a public situation- take a hostess at a restaurant.

When I am in a social setting I ALWAYS search out the "welcoming" people.  They are the ones with the "Yes!" faces that you know you could have a relationship with (or at the very least a nice conversation) and I naturally gravitate toward them.  There is an elderly couple at church who are so attractive with their warm, welcoming, sincere smiles.  Greeting them (them greeting me) is one of the highlights of my Sunday experience.

Do you carry an expression of "Welcome"?  All it takes is some conscious effort to be aware of others and a BIG smile.  Welcome someone today and see where it takes you and them.  You may just be the highlight to their day.

STOP.
Share this link and read others- click on the 5-minute Friday button above.
Also linking friendships with
destined, devoted, daring


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