Lessons From The Land of Limbo (5MFF)

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Have you ever felt like God has forgotten you? Have you been in a season of life that seemed to crawl slowly and painfully, if ever, forward. Have you ever begged God for mercy during a a period of waiting, only to have the waiting continue, and His mercy seem distant? 
Have you ever thought you couldn’t go on because each new day birthed questions and problems but without any answers or solutions?

Well, I am sharing from that place today. The place I like to call the Land of Limbo…join me at 5 Minutes for Faith to read more!

Click here to read the rest…

Love Versus Tolerance

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Love is a safe place.
It is the place
 where all of your puzzle pieces
 spill out-
are not scrutinized
 as they lay vulnerable on the table,
but instead 
gently explored,
held up to light,
put together again
with grace and dignity intact…
Tolerance believes you need fixing.
Love says, “Beautiful!”
Tolerance says, “Acceptable.”
Love embraces. Always.
Tolerance shakes the hand, 
is cordial-
but only at a distance. 
Love smiles, 
brings relief, leans in close.
Tolerance shrugs, nods, scurries away.

Love reads between the lines, listens without words,
fears not silence.
Tolerance speaks often, without ears.
Listens not, never hears…
the heart.
Cares not.
Really.

Love acknowledges the whole.
Tolerance accepts a part. Reluctantly.
Keep your “tolerance”, have it your way.
I’ll take love, hands down, any day.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. 
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12


Linking with dVerse for the return of OLN 2014!
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Reading List: Cozy Reading Spot

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When Your Heart (and Desk) Is Overwhelmed

Notice the upside down calendar-
There’s your sign!
Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
 from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I
Psalm 62 1-2

I want it to be easier. This parenting thing. I’ll just say it…I want it all to be easier. Not just the parenting. The wife thing. The finance thing. Life. The friend thing, the keeping up with housework thing. Why can’t it be easier? I look around at my mess. Clutter piled high in my favorite space. My creative space is under a pile of papers and I can’t fathom when I will have the time, at the same time I will have energy, to find anything, let alone create something beautiful. So I take to the keyboard and let loose my heart, mind and soul seeking redemption through the release of a few typewritten words. 
Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;

I wonder the days when I roamed free, like a wild pony. 
A different life. 
Not uncluttered, mind you. 
Just different clutter.
I look around me and long to be free from the messiness of life, accepting the reality that the laundry washed, dried and folded today emerges tomorrow, stained, soiled and needy for soap. Again.
Like my soul.
 from the end of the earth I call to you

Life. It happens fast, it demands all of you, and at times it leaves you feeling like you have been
sideswiped by a Mack truck. It leaves you depleted, drained, and tired.  
    when my heart is faint.
When you wait for answers, clarity, focus and instead are handed more questions, opacity and double-vision. 
Lead me to the rock 
Stop.
I am not my mess.
All that I see is temporary.
I need to step back and stop judging by the mess I see and think I see. In front of me.
And what I think I see in the “mess” of others.
that is higher than I,
I need God focus.
I need to see my Rock.
But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
Psalm 94:22
If your life feels a little messy or cluttered with stuff your not sure what to do with (literally or figuratively) will you pray along with me? 

Lord, you are my Rock, Strength, and Savior.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near, for there is none to help (Psalm 22:11).
But, You God… are a Mighty God, My Mighty God, My Peace and Strength.
You promised never to leave nor forsake me and my hope remains in You.
Therefore I will praise you in my mess and trust in your faithfulness. 
Amen.



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When What You Need Is A Way Out (Dealing With Holiday Expectations)

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Each year the whole world pauses to acknowledge the birth of one tiny baby boy born 2000 plus years ago in Bethlehem. There really is no hiding or denying that Christmas will come again and again and with it a plethora of meaning, memory and emotion for many who are struggling to discover the place their faith holds in their own life or in a particular season of life. Over the years in my own life Christmas has meant different things to me at different times. As I have walked through the years I can say that I have resented the season and adored the season. I wonder if there is any other time of year that holds more power to inspire joy and cause great sadness simultaneously.  One day that does unify and divide, regardless of where you are on your own spiritual journey. One that causes many to stumble or be sidetracked, distracted or distant.
We who celebrate the birth of our Wonderful Savior and know of His gracious love, tenderness, compassion and mercy would do well to consider walking softly through the season and the holiday with a supernatural portion of gentleness, kindness and patience. Ask Him, he will supply it.  
During our last minute running around, watch for Him to show up as you interact with every single person. 
The cashier, the postman, the banker, the local merchant. The weary widow, the lonely friend, the new church member, the displaced relative. Usher them into His presence with the Peace you bring. Look into their eyes, and silently pray for whatever you sense the Spirit reveals. Maybe a smile, or just a word of encouragement or your listening ear. Don’t be so busy as to not looking into the eyes of those you meet. 
The eyes are the windows of the soul. See every person and pause to hear the Lord speak. 
If you are the one who is weary or brokenhearted this season, remember, He is near.
Be assured of His presence.
Be still and rest.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Our own expectation of others, the holiday and ourselves so often leads to stress that is not beneficial or healthy. You can recognize your expectations of the day are super-sized when you:
A. Start to sweat the small stuff (remember it’s all small stuff- I know hard to grasp but…)
B. You find yourself emotionally responding to the choices of others which are beyond your control.
C. You’re cursing through the kitchen (as opposed to dashing through the snow?)
D. Feel like you want to curl up a ball and suck your thumb in the corner until all this Christmas stuff is done.
E. Are secretly hoping there was a back up date for the Mayan Apocalypse and it will be soon (like before the Christmas credit card bills are due) 
F. All of the above
“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
John 14:27
A prayer:
Lord, I pray that by your power you would bring a spirit of gentleness and peace to all who need it today and are not sure how to tap into it. Lord help us to recognize when we are having expectations that are not measured by your grace. Give us a generous portion of your Spirit that we may serve up fruits that are pleasing to you and that bring you glory. I pray that your Holy Spirit Lord, would minister grace and truth in the quiet places within. Let your voice whisper “Peace be still”, to the heart of those who need to know your peace and may your glorious name be exalted throughout every nation. Today and Forever. Amen.


This Too Shall Pass

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Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike,
realize that both come from God.
 Remember that nothing is certain in this life.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NLT)
Lord, 
I have no words to pray-
just wonder why today…
why others are blessed
while I’m distressed
why trials are mine 
while others seem fine
why they have more
and are so sure
of things I doubt
yet continue to tout
and if I have no words to say
what then does my heart betray?
a quiet trust
or that I must
seek Him still 
my heart to fill
to see His face
feel His embrace
trust Him now
for what I know not
obeying Him here
 is where I must start
This too shall pass.

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