Just this morning, I saw a small window of blue sky in the otherwise dreary grey overcast, a promise of the bright sun-lit day to come. God is always giving us signs of His love and faithfulness to us.......if we are looking. That is what this blog is all about. Are we looking? And what did we see, hear, smell, or feel that our loving Creator put in our path? Why does He do that? Do we really want to connect that close with His affection for us? So many questions. Let's exhange some of them, and share our own sightings!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Photos of the British Isles

June contrasts

     Well, it is 115 degrees outside right now, and I have resigned myself to the next three months of staying housebound after noon each day and a huge AC bill each month.  This is a good time to get caught up on my writing, my art and other indoor activities.  The neighborhood pool is still just cool enough to be worth the walk, and I enjoy doing my water aerobics to the sounds of worhip music being piped into my ears by tiny earbuds attached to the IPOD securely anchored in my hat's headband.  A couple of foam noodles under my arms assure me that my head will stay dry and not ruin one of my most treasured possessions.
     I read an article this week in the latest Charisma Magazine written by Misty Edwards, my favorite worship music artist.  You can go online and read the article as well as others by Kari Jobe and Paul Baloche, among others.  Misty writes about combining prayer and intercession within our musical worship. After all, powerful worship is truly a dialogue with our wonderful God...we tell him in our songs how much we love Him; we sing of His awesome and all powerful attributes and how they empower us. We are hearing His Word speaking to us.  We are praying! 
     Why not take this time of intense focus and faith to intercede with prayers that agree with this empowerment?  For instance, yesterday in our church corporate worship, we sang about the power in Jesus' Name and His mighty deeds on earth.  We sang of His holiness and His all powerful majesty.  As our worship rose in repeated crescendos, I found myself interceding for two or three people whom I could see in the congregation. I spoke out the Name of Jesus over the strongholds that I know are keeping these people or members of their family from responding to the love and truth that Jesus offers them.  I knew these prayers were effective and would be answered.  After the service, I spoke to others who also had been led to pray during the worhip. It's also one of the most enjoyable ways to pray during our own personal times of fellowship with the Lord.
      I just returned from an absolutely wonderful  trip to England and the British Isles. After spending three days with my pen pal of sixty years  and her husband who live an hour north of London in a quaint little town with 1000 year old churches and thatched roof houses, I met my son, Scott and his family at Harwich to board a 10 day cruise to Normandy, France, the British island of Guernsey,  then three Irish ports and two Scottish ports, along with Liverpool. 
     We spent a day in Dublin, visiting Trinity University where we saw the forth century originals of the gospels (hand written and illustrated by monks), ate fish and chips, rode the off and on bus that gives a tour of the city and had dinner with my daughter-in-law's relatives at a local pub with live musicians jammin' the old Irish favorites.  In Scotland, we toured Inverary Castle after a breathtaking drive along Loch Loman.  The castle was a filming site of some the the Downton Abbey PBS series.
     We also drove to Loch Ness at the next port (home of Nessy, the mysterious monster), a very beautiful huge lake. The ruins of a tenth century castle sits on a natural promentory and the Visitor's center explains the centuries of battles between the original Celts, the Vikings, the Normans, and the British.  With all the spectacular beauty, there is a melencholy in the Irish music and Scotish bagpipes that is really haunting.
     In addition to the spectacular beauty of these kelly green Isles spackled with wild rhododendrums, bluebells and  yelllow rape along the roads everywhere, homes and buildings in the towns sported hanging baskets overflowing with huge pansies, petunias and lobelia.  I loved the sheep in many of the fields that are separated not by fences but by green hedges or low stone walls and the friendly  people we met everywhere.  The only thing I did not love were the hundreds of steps I climbed up and down countless times each day.
     This story would not be complete without telling you of the joy I found sharing a stateroom with my two fifteen year old grandchildren.  I'm serious!  Yes, they were normal teenagers, didn't want to be with us much of the time, and found their own friends quickly onboard the Celebrity Infinity ship.  But we had fun sharing the room, and I had a few precious private hours with each of them.
     I'm so grateful for not only the opportunity (a gift from Scott and Mary) to take this trip, but to be with my son, his wonderful wife, and the kids.  They are a delightful and funloving family. God has truly answered so many of my prayers and concerns, especially for my grandchildren. I am so blessed.
     I leave you with this beautiful verse that was noted today in my favorite devotional, Jesus is Calling.
The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.
The High God surrounds him all day long
and dwells between his shoulders.
Dueteronomy 33:12

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

     As the weather warms up in Arizona, the height of the spring gush of color and exotic blossoms of every unimaginable shape and size pop out overnight, blaze for a few days or weeks, and bring delight to us desert dwellers. I remember how much it blessed me last year after my wrenching move to Phoenix, to see it.  It was the first installment on the promises spoken lovingly to my heart from my precious Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus.
     A year later, I am still reflecting on the faithfulness of God. Here are a few of the countless bouquets I can think of on the spot:
  • A new and precious "Bouquets Girls" ministry in my home two Saturdays a month
  • A precious church family that fully supports my gifts and speaks the Word into my heart, and fills it with incredibly powerful Worship every Sunday.
  • A fresh and growing closeness to my two teenage grandchildren living here in Phoenix, along with the constant love and support of my son and his wife.
  • Watercolor painting classes at a nearby Senior Recreational Center where beginners learn the joy of creating something beautiful and I get to show them how.
  • Daily financial provision from many sources....many meet my needs, and to spoil me with some of my wants and wishes.
  • A garage, and a blooming courtyard.....both of them daily appreciated. 
     I could go on and on about the precious little ways that my Bridegroom shows me that He hears my every word and the desires on my heart.  Just before Valentine's Day, I asked the Lord for a Valentine and reminded my Bouquets Group to do so also.  I received a check that day in the mail in the form of an unexpectedly large commission check from one of my former insurance companies.  The Lord softly whispered in my ear, "That's for your new mattress."  He knew that I had been praying for the funds to buy one.
     I later went shopping and ended up in Macy's for their President Days Sales.  In the mattress department, a nice young man helpfully guided me to the type of mattress I was looking for. (Do you realize how many types there are nowadays?) I tried a couple and then laid down on a lonely looking twin in the corner.  That was it!  I knew I had found it!  And guess how much it was?  You guessed it.  The commission check had been designed by My Beloved to remind me that He shares the most intimate places of my heart and loves to  delight me in such intimate ways.
     Lately, I have been squeezing in time each week to finish up "Deep Calls unto Deep ~ Responding to the Passionate Love of God".   It is the same Bible Study on the Song of Solomon that I taught to my Bouquets Group in Florida.  However, I have been formatting it into a printed booklet form with pictures, questions boxes, special interest inserts and other items to keep it interesting.  I wanted to have a booklet that readers could take home and continue the study in between classes. It has been a daunting task, but one I cannot stop.  We are already on Session four in my Bouquets class.
     As my first year in Phoenix winds up and I embark on many more, I see the wisdom of God in His guidance. The things I have just written are not world-shattering, but mostly common to us all and yet they are so important to our Bridegroom.  I still feel like His blushing bride.