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Friends

I will follow you anywhere. Even past the realms of death to that which lies beyond.
So says a true friend.
I will go through death alone and move through what lies beyond alone for you. So says the truest friend. Jesus.
No matter where we go we are not alone; and for the places where we cannot go, Jesus goes alone without us to fight our battles for us.
Isn’t that an encouraging thought.

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A day of tears

Day of tears

‘Today is my day to sorrow’, thought the tiny flower growing beside a rock. ‘Last night a great trouble came over me as a man, or something more than a man, sat by my side and wept. His tears were so great that when they splashed upon me I felt sick and my roots were weakened. I tried to reach out to the man, but I am just a flower and cannot draw attention to myself like a bird can with her song. He cried and screamed and begged and pleaded, but no peace came to this man. I hoped that He would look at me and I could make Him smile. He left and then returned, even sadder when He came back. All I could do was sit with Him. Then I sensed a resolve in His being and He went to stand once more. He stumbled and His hands landed near me. I tried to be radiant to bring Him comfort, finally He saw me, He smiled very gently, then He rose to His feet. “Thank you my radiant flower.” He said, then He left.
  I feel that something great and tragic happened that night. Today I feel as though a friend is calling out for mercy. Today I feel sad. But being a flower, I know that tomorrow will bring new joy and hope.’

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Tone deaf

Tone

When you are a musician you can usually hear tone pretty well. Tone, not to be confused with tune, can change a song drastically. If the tone is wrong then everything sounds wrong. It’s like that when we are talking with people. If our tone is unpleasant then it may seem like we are saying something other than what we mean. If your tone sounds irritated then people will automatically think you are annoyed. If your tone sounds happy then people think you are happy.
It’s like speaking with an animal. If I say in a high tone, “let’s go to the groomer’s today buddy!” My dog gets very excited, even though he hates being groomed, he loves the car ride though.
It’s easy to forget your tone when speaking. I do a lot of physical activity so pain is not an uncommon thing, unfortunately. When in pain I have been criticized for having an angry or irritated tone. It’s just the way I sound when I am pushing through a day of pain. Making myself sound happy takes too much effort and wears me out when I am injured. I realize that my tone bothers people though. Tone can change a whole conversation. So when speaking, try to tune your ear to your tone.

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Walking on the clouds

Your ways are higher than my ways. Your thoughts higher than my thoughts.
Isiah 55: 8-9

People were never meant to stay on the ground. We always have a need in us to climb higher, build taller and touch above the clouds. Why? Well, the Aztecs believed that the taller they built and the higher up they were the closer they were to god. Or at least that is what I have read. Now. I don’t believe we need to fight to get higher in altitude to be closer to our God, but perhaps deep down we all have a similar feeling. Isn’t that why we reach our hands up when we worship. We are reaching to God. Maybe, just maybe that is why we feel a need to go higher. In truth, we all (even non-Christians) want to get closer to God. It is built into us, that’s why so many people claim to be searching for something. That something is Jesus; and He can be found right here where we are right now.

Thank you Jesus for the blessing of who you are. Thank you that we don’t have to climb to you because you are here with us. Amen

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Heart jog

Lately over the past year I have taken up jogging. I say lately because we live in Manitoba and I don’t want to die running on ice. In the beginning I was doing it so my dog would lose weight and my vet could stop giving me ‘that’ look. In the beginning we started slow. About 5 mins.
Then we improved till we could go 10. The other day I set me treadmill at jog speed and started to run while watching TV. 25 mins later my show was over and I still had energy. I then realized that my body had adjusted to going on long jogs.
It’s the same in our prayer lives. We start off wanting to please God but we tire out quickly. Aiming for an half an hour prayer can seem a little much in the beginning. What we needed is persistence. A daily routine and time set. Then little by little, without us even realizing it, our souls stretch and our spiritual cardio expands and we find ourselves enjoying more and more time with God. It may seem like a frustration in the beginning, but once you learn to love it you can’t go back.

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Blind, but still alive

Blind, but still alive.

Are we waiting on Jesus for the things we don’t yet see?
As I often quote some of my Stormie Omartan readings in these posts I am sure I have mentioned her book, ‘just enough light for the step I am on.’
Sometimes it feels like I am completely blind to what is in front of me and all I can see is where I am right now. In these moments it’s easy to give up on looking to the future and simply living in a day to day existence.  I always loved being a dreamer when I was a kid. People would tell me that my goals were too big or didn’t jive and they were probably right. As I got older I somehow slipped from ‘dreamer’ to ‘realist’ and that sucks. Living in a world of reality. Boring. Because our reality isn’t God’s. He sees far into the future and has thoughts and ideas we can’t even begin to comprehend. Even when you can only see your year as dates on a calendar Jesus sees far beyond that to a glimmering dream world beyond what you can fathom.

That’s what Jesus does. He gives us dreams that are a size too big so we can grow into them- Max Lucado

It may seem pointless to keep on dreaming beyond where you are and onto where you want to be but Jesus makes it feasable. Your impossible dreams have an amazing God who makes the impossible possible. You may be blind to what is coming, but you are still alive, so live and dream without fear.

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A heavy heart?

Have any of you ever watched Howl’s Moving Castle? It’s one of my favorite movies. Up there with LOTR, Ben Hur and the King and I. Which are also my favorite novels. One line from the movie is often quoted by fans. ‘A heart is a heavy burden to cary.’

Our hearts are one of our heaviest organs. Don’t ask me to explain because it gets gross. But our hearts also carry the most weight. They are the main necessity of the body, everything works through them. Our hearts also carry the burden of our lives. Our emotions effect our hearts; our wants and desires flow through that one muscle causing it to ache and need. Heartless people have hearts to live on but they don’t use them to their full potential. They shut off tue part of the heart that causes one to care and help and be kind. The mind helps them shut off this ability of the heart. When Howl’s heart is restored to him and he wakes up his first words are.
“Why does it feel like there is a weight on my chest?”
Because being frivolous and heartless takes nothing out of you, but to be compassionate and loving takes a great strain. A heart is a heavy burden.

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When did we fall in love?

When did you fall in love with God?
What was the moment that changed it from serving God to loving God for you.?
For me, I think I always loved God in that child love that says ‘God’s so amazing!’
But I don’t think I truly loved God in a mature way until the first time I really suffered. I mean really really suffered. It was in that blackness that I found God’s hand reaching so invaluable. Before that God was always like a Jeanie. A sort of fun bright light that bounced around and made flowers grow and puppies bark. Suddenly that bright light was a burning, piercing flame that tore away the pain and darkness until I was free from my chains. That was the moment I truly fell in love with God.
What was yours?

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Easier would be nice God, just saying

Some days….most days, I wish that God would make things easy. You know? Today I drove into an unassuming ditch. It looked like I would skim the edge of a very small divot leading to a field. The divot was a ditch so deep and so full of snow that suddenly not all four wheels were on the ground anymore. Worse it wasn’t my property. Worse still I was in the middle of no where so CAA would be a pain to try to get out to my trouble spot. So I prayed. Of course. Then tried for about 15mins to get out. Now, in my mind I would pray and walk my truck right out of the hole. Nope. I prayed and then tried and tried and tried until finally my little Holy Spirit nudge said, “call your DAD!” Dad face timed with me. We prayed together and he helped me figure out how to get the truck out. It took almost an hour. A lot of shoving bear claws under tires, backing up as far as it would go and repeating. A bit of shoveling, more prayer, and a 3 point basket cheer when we finally got out.
Was God not there as I struggled? Of course He was.
Why wasn’t He making it easy?
Good question.
I think that sometimes God gives us things that He helps us through. Instead of fixing the problem for us, He helps us fix the problem ourselves, then we learn and grow from our issues and mistakes.
Kind of like my Poppa. I can do so many things that most people probably can’t simply because instead of doing it for me my Poppa always showed me how to do it and had me do it myself. Actually so does my dad. He hands me the skill saw and says ‘cut here, follow this line.’ Saw gets pinched. ‘Here, this is how you get it unstuck without breaking the blade, now you do it.’ That’s how I know how to do things. I believe that God does that too.
“Here, listen to what I am saying and try it this way. Okay, good job, now try again.”
That way, we learn.
Thank God for teaching me, even if that sometimes means making me do things the hard way.

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Setting your mind

Setting your mind

In one of my favorite movies the main character loves the song ‘country roads’ and rewrites the lyrics to it. The new version has a line that says:
Determined to live alone but fearless, my constant longing is to be courageous. Loneliness is bottled up inside, going down this path that I must try.
It’s a beautiful description of who she is. She knows herself and is willing to allow that to be enough for her. She knows her path is lonely but she takes it anyway with determination to contain that feeling and not allow it to control her. She is fearless and longs for even greater courage. These simple lyrics could apply to many of us. We all have a path to travel and we all have struggles along the way; some we can foresee others we can not, it’s how we handle these struggles that define us. Will we take them on like a ship breaking through a squall, heading for the light? Or will we shrink back inside our cabin and hope that it all goes away? Maybe we try to run from the storm, but we know that that never works out, just ask Jonah. However we face our troubles, however we take on our paths, God knows what He’s doing. He saw these squalls even before you were born, and He also saw a way through them. Some people fear asking for courage because they think that it will add turmoil to their lives, but lives will have turmoil whether you ask for courage or not. Isn’t it better to have already built up your courage before the big struggles come? If you haven’t then those times when you feel you’ve hit rock bottom will be harder to overcome. It’s not easy to look down the road ahead, feel the wind grab your hair, feel the hard path beneath your feet and take off your fear like a cloak throwing it over your shoulder, stepping off the threshold of your comfort zone at a run and smiling about it. Those who have done so have had the chance to touch their stars, yours are still waiting for you. When you look at those who have left their fear behind and taken hold of their path you will see a person scarred. Their cloths may seem torn and their skin marred by the hard falls, but you will also see a brilliant smile of triumph on their faces and when they walk by they drip of starlight, because they have touched the heavens. Why? Because they trusted God would lead them and never doubted His perfect, guiding hand. Do you see starlight in your future? Your future as an accountant, a plumber, a teacher, a doctor, an electrician? You don’t have to be an artist to gleam, you just have to give what you are meant to do everything you’ve got and trust that every time you fall a nail pierced hand will be there to help you back up.