Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Holy Ground




grounded
here in this sand
quick sand
it feels

days run 
together
when duties
long stilled
echo the halls

changing plans
i follow the
sun
mete out my
moments

seeking a
firmness 
wanting a
strength i
lose my clenching

find what was
missing 
seek what is
losing
life laid down








LORD of the 
moment he
holds me beneath
where ground
shifts

i watch him plant
seeds in
my feet standing
ground
sand shifting

and life is
here blooming
watered from well
springing up

HOLY GROUND



“'Do not come any closer,' God said. 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.'”



The writing prompt this week, given by Jamie Wright Bagley,
 (you can check out her site here) 
is "God in the ground beneath me," 
with a secondary prompt to experiment with the
 no caps no punctuation style of poetry that ee cummings made famous  


and my heart started pounding
when i heard a whisper
calling my ground
holy



What if the very place where the trial looks hardest,
where the ground seems most burnt
is actually the place most holy
in the eyes of the ONE who is changing
my heart? 



You might recognize that first photo above
as the one I posted here earlier this spring
after the DNR had come through our favorite
prairie park with a prescribed burn.

The second photo shows the prairie transformed,
when we visited just a few weeks ago. It's hard to
imagine the way that fire birthed life into 
the worn-out prairie lands. 



These burnt-out shifting sand places of our lives
become HIS fertile land 
when we let Him have the final say. 
But in those days when I stop short, try to shorten the
 process, or worse yet,
go off in my corner to pout,
I only hinder His planting,
quench off His Spirit,
and stunt my own growth.



For those of us who seek our corners,
can I offer a prayer?


"Dear Lord of the Harvest,
what an Amazing LORD you are!
Will you open our eyes
to see YOU in the 
shifting sands of our days?
Will you help us to loosen our hold
and come out of the corners,
to find YOU at work 
in the fertile soil,
the sandy loam
of hearts set free,
to be transformed into 
YOUR HOLY GROUND." 








I am linking with these great bloggers this week:





 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Deep Unto Deep


We were drenched with rain this weekend, after a long dry spell. And my heart answered the call of those raindrops when a writing prompt was given by Jamie Wright Bagley over at her blog last week. 
to find her own words and the question, 
"What do you do when the rain calls you?" 


Splashing, sputtering, swishing,
The rain washes everything in sight
Including me!
I come
The drops wash over my soul
Splashing, sputtering, surrendering.

--BG

 

 

But when the sun broke through, the call to surrender
continued. Here in this place of stillness and slow,
my heart is looking up, longing to find HIS beautiful
freedom.




































And after a long break, I found Haiku words again for the poetry challenge given by Ronovan Hester here,
at his site, where the prompts this week were "Darkness&Deep." 



Deep Unto Deep

Out of the darkness

comes a cry, deep unto deep

Light answers, flows free. 

--BG



 "Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life."






There will come a day when darkness 
will no longer hold sway
over our hearts.

The gray of the rain 
will be washed
to brightest blue.

The pain of this world
will be measured pure
with healing for all
who wait for Jesus
to bring us Home.

So color my days here now
with hope for the journey
surrendered
and
free
Looking above.  












And here is the announcement I promised last week! The winner of Susan Chamberlain Shipe's latest book, 52 Commands of Jesus for Children is my instagram follower: ggmullins2016!

I will be in touch with you to get your mailing address, and Susan will ship your book to you! Congratulations!! 

(I used the service at Random.org to generate the results.) 




 

The book is available
 on Amazon here
for anyone who
would like a great 
resource for
Family Devotions! 


And click here
for Susan's own website,
where she offers more coloring
pages for you to download.













I am linking this week with these great bloggers:
Meg Weyerbacher, #TeaAndWordTuesday 
Barbie Swihart, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty 
Debbie Kitterman, #TuneInThursday 





Tuesday, June 13, 2017

52 Commands of Jesus for Children


 
(In exchange for my review, the author 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."  All opinions are purely my own)








"Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: 'God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.'”  Matthew 28:18-20 MSG




On the same day that my daughter asked me for some good ideas on how to train up her two-year old son in the knowledge of Jesus, my friend Susan Chamberlain Shipe sent out an invitation to join the launch team for her newly published family devotional.   


Isn't that just like God?  
Doesn't He always find a way to show us that He is with us, day after day?


And so, this blogpost is being shared with my daughter today! After I read over the book, and gathered my own thoughts for my review, I sent the book home with her.  Listen to her thoughts on how the book has impacted her family already:

 
"This book is very well written for older children, although my 2 year old son enjoys coloring the pages while I paraphrase the stories for him. I am blessed to see a new devotional for children as I am always looking for something for my son and I to work on together. I think it is so important to instill the foundations of God's word as soon as possible in our kids! Each lesson is set up in a one or two page format with easy reading, and good questions to ask kids. It also inspires different activities to do with children to apply God's word to everyday life."
--Becky

(I admit I have a little Grandma-Bias, but isn't that just the cutest picture ever?)


You can even find additional coloring pages to download, if you
click here and go to Susan's website.



I so appreciated the way that Susan combined each of the commands that Jesus spoke, with a character trait for your children to grow in.  Without practical applications, it becomes easy to quickly read the words of Jesus and promptly forget everything you just heard!



In the chapter titled "Let Your Light Shine," the character trait connected is "Generosity."  And the discussion questions call for ideas and ways to be generous with others as we let the Light of Jesus shine on those around us.  I loved Susan's approach to define the word generosity here:


"Do you know what it means to be generous? It means to give or share, unselfishly. So in this Scripture Jesus is teaching us to SHARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, and the Light of the world is JESUS! When we ask Jesus into our heart and our life, he puts his "Light" inside of us and he wants us to share that Light with others--our friends and our family. He tells us not to hide him but to let him shine through us."




When I saw the character trait paired up with Jesus' command to "Love Your Enemies," I was at first glance taken aback.  How could the character trait of "Creativity" combine with that command?  But, as I read the definition, I knew the Lord had inspired Susan to look deep into His heart of Love for these words:


"Being nice to someone mean doesn't make you a true child of God. To be a true child of God means a real change in your heart. When we are nice to unlikeable people we are showing the world that we ARE indeed God's children. Think of creative ways to be nice to not-so-nice people. Maybe you have a grouchy neighbor - ask Mom and Dad if you can bring them some cookies or a piece of cake to show them that you care about them."



As a Grandma, a former Homeschooling Mom, and a past Children's Church Director I can highly recommend this book for families who are seeking to guide their children into a love of God's Word. I learned new ways to be more like Jesus as I read 52 Commands of Jesus for Children. You can find it here at Amazon.


But here's a really exciting invitation: Susan has generously offered to provide a book through a give-away here! To enter the give-away, all you have to do is leave a comment below, on my Facebook page, or on my Instagram account, telling me to "count you in" for the giveaway. I am so excited to be able to offer this book to another family.  I will draw the winning name and announce it on my post next week, so be sure to check back in here!


I am linking this week with:
Meg Weyerbacher, #TeaAndWordTuesday 
Barbie Swihart, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty 
Debbie Kitterman, #TuneInThursday 



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Jewels in His Hand




The amethyst blooms
on this Catmint
in my garden
were shining like
beautiful jewels
this morning.

And last night's verse
was made all the more
real for me:

The Lord their God will save his people on that day
    as a shepherd saves his flock.
They will sparkle in his land
    like jewels in a crown. Zechariah 9:16 NIV




Into a week filled with both weariness and blessings, 
and an infusion with side effects,
God brought words to me that carried 
HOPE into my heart.


Are you in need of fresh hope?
Do you long to know that someone hears your cries for help?


Jesus hears, and Jesus answers
with words of beauty 
spoken for us.



Jewels in His Hand    

On the day I cried out for help
On that very day
The Lord sent forth His Strength
Like a Shepherd caring
Like a Savior redeeming
Is my Lord

On the day I crumbled under the load
On that very day
The Lord sent forth His Song
As a Lover wooing
As a King majestic
Is my Lord.

On the day I lay famished in the battle
On that very day
The Lord sent forth His angel
Like a Warrior advancing
Like an army victorious
Is my Lord.

On the day I succumbed to the shame
On that very day
The Lord sent forth His crown
As a Bridegroom adorning
As a Lover preparing
Is my Lord.

He will save
He will sing
He will win
He will clothe
And call me His own

The Name of the Lord
I will wear
The jewel in His hand
I will be

Placing my crown at His feet
This is my Lord
 --BG


"Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it."  Revelation 2:17



Oh, the love that Jesus has for His children! 
Each one, His precious Jewel: