Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Golden Dew








It was only for a few minutes.
Really.
I should have been ok
for a little garden work.
But I had pushed
my limits
beyond the boundaries.







And I collapsed on the chair, willing the tears away as I closed my eyes.



Into the haze there whispered a voice I recognized so well, asking me to open my eyes and look around me.  I saw the dew drops sparkling white all around me. 


Yes, I know. I see the beauty. What is it that you are asking of me Lord?


And then, I saw a strange sparkling, different than the rest. For a full minute, one of the drops of dew sparkled golden, gleaming and beaming straight at me. And a hope rose in my heart, in spite of the pain.  I remembered all the words. I remembered my Lord's promises. . . .


"More precious than gold" 

"Of greater worth than gold"


You might say it was just the angle of my head, or the glint through the haze.  I know the reasons. But I also know the ways of ONE so glorious that He tilts the earth,
and spins the clouds, and raises the dew,
for the eyes of His Beloved,
so that we would look up
and catch HIS gaze
calling us closer to His heart.




 "The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb."



Golden Dew

How Long, Oh Lord?
The pain wraps around me
And I am felled
Like a tree toppled, thudding
As it drops to the ground.
                                 
The questions swirl
Heavenward, in the morning
Dew, light swimming
Around my foggy eyes
As they narrow and shut.

“Open your eyes.”

The order comes at me
Like a voice from
The sky, and I scrunch
The sweat off my face
As I try to gaze out.

While the pain throbs
I see what had lain
Hidden before me:
Sparkles gathered on
Every blade of grass
And each leaf tip.

Colors shimmering
White and bright, twinkle
From the warm sun’s
Beckoning to waken
The early morning life.

“But one drop.”

Voice urges again
To see with new eyes
A Drop of Glory catches
The sun but won’t let go
And reflects a Golden ray.
                                 
My pain remains
Underneath a covering
So sweet and exploding with
Glory in my heart
As I have touched Heaven.

How Long, Oh Lord?
While the Glory remains
Your Golden Glory rests
Inside my heart, Heaven
Holds me here.

And I am loved.

--BG




"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."



Is there a pain gripping you today?
Have you fallen in shame as you pushed the boundaries?



There is a Golden Glory
shining for you to see
A grace given just for you
And a love poured out 
To lift your eyes
And catch a glimpse
Of Heaven's Love
Waiting for you. 




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An Invitation for "Whispers of Rest"




In exchange for my review, The Hachette Book Group, publisher, provided this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





Today is the day! I have been awaiting this day for several months now.  Shortly after I entered into this year of 2017 sensing that my #Oneword365 would be "Stillness," I was in awe to find that Bonnie Gray was publishing a new Devotional,  Whispers of Rest, with practical daily prayer prompts and Scriptures to help find Soul Rest with God.  So, when the opportunity was given to become part of her Pre-launch Team, I jumped at the chance.  And for the past 21 days I have not been disappointed, as I joined with a great group of other readers who took up challenges to listen more closely for the sweet call of Jesus to daily become His Beloved. 



In fact, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably seen many posts with the hashtag #Whispersofrest, or #soulrest.  There have been so many beautiful offerings posted from all those who have been part of the Pre-Launch team!




As I read and listened to the prayer prompts, as I opened my eyes and heart to see touches of God's Love for me scattered throughout the moments of my days, I have been overwhelmed at God's timing.  When I entered this challenge, I had just visited my Rheumatologist and heard encouraging words.  He was pleased with the low activity of my Rheumatoid Arthritis.   But only days into this study, I was hit with a sudden flare-up of old symptoms and weakness. 



I was desperate to hear those words
of Soul-Rest
And I was overcome by a shaking
of my own abilities.

How could I join in a study
How could I be an encourager
When I felt so weak myself?


And that is the point of this book.  None of us is strong enough on our own.  Jesus is the ONE who carries all the strength. And Jesus is calling each one of us, to find our place next to His heart, resting as HIS BELOVED.


Through a series of personal stories, questions, poems, and Scriptures, Bonnie Gray gradually finds us in our deepest heart longings.  Her words have a way of cutting through the surface layers and touching the true heart without striving or pushing.  Each chapter addresses specific prayer prompts, but then goes further and invites us to participate in active ways that engage minds and bodies along with spiritual growth.


  


  

 

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

Psalm 121:5-6 NIV 

 

 

 

 




During the chapter titled "Shelter" Bonnie talks about a willow tree that was her comfort as a child:

"During sweltering summers, I'd rest under the willow, when the steel slides were too hot to touch. . . . When it rained lightly in autumn, I'd sit and listen to raindrops pelt against the pavement, staying dry under its canopy. Then, I'd pour out my heart and confide in God. I found shelter under its shade."

I too had a willow tree sheltering place when I was a child, in the backyard of my best friend. We'd spend hours up in that tree, singing songs, planning our futures, sharing our dreams.  . . .  I knew there was a connection from God for me in this particular chapter, especially as I read further and saw that the prayer prompt was to join in for a silent time of resting or contemplative prayer. If you've been following my blog, you may remember my post here, where I heard God's nudges to follow Him into a time of learning to be quiet in His presence.  


Come away with ME
my Lord whispers.
Find a stillness
in MY heart
to satisfy every aching
your own heart
has felt.

Find ME as your shelter
He calls out to my heart.

The swaying brances
of a willow tree
to cover every aching
to stir up every dreaming
to fill up every singing.


And when I came to the end of the chapter, the active challenge was to find a beautiful tree and "Rest under its shade . . . Return to a peaceful place with the One who shelters you."  In these days of walking through a trial that makes no sense to me, there is a shelter being offered from the heart of my Lord.  For every day, and every struggle, He wants to bring a peaceful shelter and a beautiful call to rest with Him.


If your heart has stirred
with a longing to find REST
in the middle of your hard,
join me in listening to the 
only ONE
who truly can bring Soul Rest.

And, I would highly encourage you to visit Bonnie Gray's Website at www.whispersofrest.com where you can find more information about ordering her book for yourself.  Your faith will be built up as you read and participate in ways to find "Whispers of Rest" for yourself.  For ordering info click here.



 

 

 

 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Life Interrupted



THE ARROW AND THE SONG

"I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of a song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end
I found it again in the heart of a friend."
        --Henry W. Longfellow







The stillness path was opening
before me,
And I thought I understood
the meaning.

Open my heart
Listen for the changes
Walk the new path
And reap the new fruit.









After a busy time with our family all gathering in, I knew I would need to shelter and let the refreshing return. I rested in the beauty of spring, and I waited. . . . and waited some more. . . . But as the Fibro-Flare retreated, an old enemy returned.  The fire of the RA Dragon breathed his heat on my joints again.  When I woke one morning unable to do the simplest tasks, I knew what would be required: a call to the Doctor and the old regimine of prednisone, the most dreaded of my meds, would have to be started. If the inflammation of Rheumatoid Disease is not brought down in time, it spreads to other organs in the body, wreaking havoc on the entire immune system.

Before I made that call, I knew another call needed to be made. A cry to my friends for prayer to ask the Lord for Grace to surrender again. I sent out the texts and I heard back the words, words I had uttered myself so often for each one:

"I am praying for you." 

I held the pills in my palm, the stiffened palm that could not close, and I knew the Lord was near. He orders my days, and He knows the limit of the trial.  As I stared back down the road that I thought I had completed, He whispered words of sweetness in my soul.

"My daughter I see your pain,
and I walk with you still.
There is no turn that surprises Me,
no crooked place I won't make straight.

I am not shocked by the broken ways,
and I do not count your pain 
as failure
in the same way that you do.
I see only LOVE
in your eyes
reflected back from ME
when you gaze 
into My heart.

Just as I carried your burden
all the way to Calvary,
I now carry the trial
as I hold you close.

You are mine
Nothing between us
Look up to My heart
And into My Love."


And I knew the prayers of my friends were being answered as I remembered the Scriptures that were set before me from the online Bible Study offered by my dear friend,
The study for that day, the day of my own lameness returning, was 2 Samuel chapter 9, the story of David the King who brought in a forgotten son. This son was called to the King's table all for the sake of a covenant made between David and the son's father, Jonathan. You can read the story for yourself, and find the beautiful words that paint such a picture of our Lord the King, and the way He calls us to sit at His table, because of the covenant of Love that our Savior made on our behalf.  But the words at the end of the chapter brought the beauty of surrender to my heart once again:


"So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet."   2 Samuel 9:11,13

 

The lameness of Mephibosheth was not a hindrance to the covenant of love being fulfilled for him. The King called him in, and treated him like a son.  


Are you feeling the weight of a lameness 
somewhere in your soul?
We all carry a weight.

Do you have a friend you can call
for prayer when that lameness
seeks to overwhelm you?

I would love to join you in prayer today.
Even when the pain subsides,
we can humbly admit 
to each other
the weakness that lies inside our hearts.

There is a covenant of Love
to be shared
and to be spread abroad.

The King calls us to sit with Him,
to join Him at His table
like a son.