Monday, September 25, 2017

First Love





Receive



 
 
It is easy for me
to sometimes
think that this
longing I have
for the Father, 
this longing I have to touch
the Son
to hear His Spirit's Voice
is greater,
stronger,
with deeper feelings
beyond thought
beyond need
a thirst
that is greater
that cries to
be quenched
that this need
this love
this thirst
this hunger
is greater
than 
what
He 
feels 
for 
me....
hard as it is
I must remember
with open heart
and painful 
revelation
that
He loved me first
He gave love to me first
and 
He longs to be with me
to hear me cry out
His Name
to find Him
make time for Him
 
first.
 
in this is the love, 
not that we loved God, 
but that He did love us 
(first)
1John 4:10 














Sunday, September 17, 2017

To my "Uber driver" and prayer warrior





I am in the midst of them








Hey.....this is a shout out to a good friend of mine
 who supports me not by handing me a tissue,
 giving me a hug,  patting my hand 
and saying I feel so bad for you.

Rather, she is the one who stops everything and says
    "let's pray"
Cause you know what?
No matter what is happening there is one who promised 
"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
Matthew 18:20
Whatever I am going thru, 
I know truly that He is the answer,
He is the comforter, He is the victory, He is the guider
He is the one who loves me.

Thank you, Terri,
 for being the friend who takes my hand
says His name and invites Him into the situation.

All hail King Jesus

    Find you that friend, who knows how to invite Jesus in.




















Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Let's have a party ...it is raining trials and tribulations





I have got some great news, ready????

Recently a friend who has traveled by bus to work for many a year, was blessed with an awesome car for an awesome price.  
          Needless to say, I went into 
                 dances of joy for him.

A few weeks back my neighbor shared with me that she was finally reconnecting with her son and that she had just enjoyed a wonderful day at the beach with him.  
    We shared a moment 
          of gratitude and 
                happy celebration.
Two examples of rejoicing with others. 
     We express these blessings
            with smiles, joy and excitement .

          But have you ever seen this???

            "Hey how is it going, Mary"

            " Well, right now I am going thru
                several trials and tribulations"

        "Wow Mary, that is so exciting, 
           I am so happy for you, 
lest go celebrate at Starbucks
 that is such great news" 

      "I know, I know 
             I am really feeling
      pure joy about this
      ...I am just dancing inside
    because I have this great opportunity 
      to grow in perseverance 
      and to go up the ladder of maturity 
         as my faith is tested.

                      
           I wake up every morning
         filled with gratitude 
       that I have
       fallen into these trials...
           yep.....
                 Pure joy,  pure joy"

                I mean...
                  talk about taking
                    the Word of God literally!!
                 






P.S.  Just so you know....
I am not quite there yet,
 I just know I want to be.....
                 I dream a dream....















Sunday, August 6, 2017

Perfect Storm: Trials of MANY Kinds.












So how has your year been going so far?   If you catalogue all that is happening in these past 7 months, would events match up with some of the circumstances that Paul went thru?

            I thought about these verses one morning
               as I let myself relive the journey
                    I have been on
                            starting with 2 weeks trapped in my apartment
                                due to the snow.

Here is what he said:

We are pressed on every side by troubles, 
but we are not crushed

We are perplexed,
 but not driven to despair.  

We are hunted down,
 but never abandoned by God.

 We get knocked down,
 but we are not destroyed.  

Through suffering, 
our bodies continue to share 
in the death of Jesus 
so that the life of Jesus
 may also be seen in our bodies.

That is why we never give up. 

                    Well, let's see,
                    first of all...
                    when I match up what I have gone thru
                    with what Paul endured,
                          it does not even come close

 my list is not even
 in the same category
and yet,
I can say this
....I have felt pressed on every side,
I have definitely felt perplexed 
 I have been knocked down emotionally
humans have not hunted me down
 but at times I felt under attack 
like I had a laser beam aimed at  my chest.
as I had days of fighting
 the vicious none relenting 
attacks in my mind
So for me 
I do call this past year
 a season of suffering.

I tell you, though,  that I did hold on and did not give up, ,
 because in the midst of it all
even as I felt the grinding of the Potter's wheel 
and the purging of the fire 
I knew and I believed that the outcome would be what  Paul said
that this season of suffering was happening so  that the life Of Jesus
 might be seen more in me, 
so the Father could  move me up
another rung on the ladder of maturity, His perfect work.

furthermore, 
I have this testimony
...The Father  prepared me for what was coming ..
                  the trials of MANY kinds
through this verse from James 
which for months before,
 played in my head
 like a persistent refrain
Consider it pure joy,
my brothers and sister,
whenever you face trials of MANY kinds,
because
you know,
that the testing of your faith
produces 
perseverance

So let it grow



God did preparation work in me, strengthening me 
so that even though I faltered at times,
cried ...
 felt close to despair
 and struggled with loneliness.
I was able to get up and keep standing.
because of HIM,

Remember the song?
Because of Him 
I can face tomorrow

Yes.....I did and
Yes...
I can.

 








 Photo by Bryan Minear on Unsplash

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Here comes a shout out.....THANK YOU!

My new Assignment....lookin cute, yes?




I so appreciate the prayer support during this past season.
John is home but now begins the road to recovery.
Although all that was attacking his body
has been stopped
he has a ways to go 
to be strong and productive again.

I am so proud of his commitment to keeping his
insulin under control. 
 Our frig is filled with fruits and vegetables
and his cooking skills are creating the most wondrous dishes.
(He still won't let me cook ...really? and who fed you for 20 years  lol)
 
Wish we could open a diner in our living room 
so you all could enjoy his gift.

So will I be the first person to put on weight for eating healthy?
John:  "Mom, going back for seconds is not going
 to keep your weight under control"
"opps!"

I was never a candy striper 
but I have that job now
 making sure he has plenty of ice water available 
and keeping the kitchen cleared,
walking softly, keeping the fans going.
puffing pillows (wait, no I don't do that)



So again,  thank you for your kind words and earnest intercession...
when I come to mind 
please pray that I will have  
Wisdom with kindness and patience
and that healing with restoration 
will be upon John by the Spirit.
 
 
I know how frustrating it is for him 
to deal with the pain
when he moves around, 
it is very discouraging having to strain
to do anything.
 I know, because I have been there.
Thank you my  friends,
Mary
(aka Mariel)



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

He is so good to me....I see Him in the smallest flower



Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash




And God saw every thing that He had made, 
and, behold, it was very good.

What have you looked at lately
and you thought
this is good
this is very good.

here is my list:



  • ice cold glass of fresh water
  • Long steaming hot showers
  • Sunday worship with solos and songs  
  • that stir my soul, lift my spirit
  • Pandora  music anytime, anywhere
  • three children ....six grandkids
  • Portland Sunlight on my back porch  
  • vibrant colors and healthy eyes to see them
  • soft cool breezes that create moving shadows
  • carrots, apples, cucumbers crunchy vegies  
  •  
  • grapes....grapes....and cherries   
  •  Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
  •  
  • the laughter of friends
  • hugs that encourage

  • The Power of His Name
Eyes full of love and eternity

  • The word of God says that
    Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.

    and so  for everything we see, hear, taste, touch or feel 
     we exclaim with thanksgiving and Praise

    Thank you so much, my Father,
    for this is good
    this is very good!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sharing Our Stories..."What Jesus Did for Me"

                                                        Big Wave Daddy:  "My Story"

When is the last time you shared your story?
When is the last time someone asked you
 about
your story?
Of when you met Jesus, when  you responded to Him
when you said Yes to His love
when your life changed?

One day while I was meditating about this
I realized that there are people
in my fellowship that
I touch base with on a regular basis 
and who I have never asked them
their story.

I have a friend who co ordinates
our outreach to Portland Rescue Mission

http://www.portlandrescuemission.org/get-involved/volunteer/

The first time you ride with him and the group
 you are initiated by being
strongly encouraged by him
 to share your story.
It is a breath-holding experience
to discover the Jesus connection 
in someone's life.

So are there Christian friends, fellow travelers
that you are close to 
and who
you have never asked
their story?
Some time over a coffee date
or while riding in the car
asked them their story
and then share yours.

One more thing,
many Sunday goin Christians
consider themselves part of the family
because they have sort of slid in.

They never totally in a moment
of heart loving surrender
recieved out loud
Jesus as their Saviour
Jesus as their Lord.

If that is you
let's seal the deal right now

take a definite step 
and pray with me
out loud
this declaration 

these words of surrender



Dear Jesus,
Though I say I know you,
 I realize  I have lived my life for myself only.
 I am sorry, and I repent  and  I ask you to forgive me.
   I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me.  
You  did what I could not do for myself.  
I come to You now 
and ask You to take control of my life
 I give it to You
 from this day forward.  
Help me to live every day for You 
 in a way that pleases You.
  I receive Your Holy Spirit in this moment 
to empower me
 to love You more,
 to live for You more. 
 I love You Jesus 
 I thank you for Your boldness to be Your witness
to share what Your Grace, 
Your love has done for me
  I rejoice
 that I will be spending 
all eternity with YOU.
Amen 


Now go tell your story

....................................................................................................................

                  If you have a heart for the
                  homeless and would like to
                 be a part of our outreach 
                  at Portland Rescue Mission
           on the second Tuesday of each month
              
                 Please email me and I will
                  connect you to my friend 
 


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hit the floor with joy



His tender Mercies are new every morning

My Dear Friends,
Hello....it is morning
so what does your morning look like?
This kind of looks something like mine:
a cup of coffee and my bible 
and rejoicing if the sun is out in Portland

Anyone who walks with Jesus has the amazing
gift of fresh starts, new beginnings 
with the dawn of each day
but it is so easy to forget that
to just groan and stumble out of bed
It isn't automatic to feel excited about
a new beginning...
oh wait!
 some morning people have it nailed
 but then there
are the rest of us.
Someone once said that our morning minute
attitude can set the tone for the day.
So it could be important to take on the
morning renewed in our thinking 
by creating a new habit,
waking with a song of praise
instead
of a song of groans.

the Word of God even says
"This is the Day the Lord has made
Let us rejoice and be glad in it"

I have learned that my day takes on
more beautiful tones if I take a few minutes
and say Good Morning to the  Holy Spirit
or say This is the day etc. out loud.

There was a period of time when the
Lord dealt with me about this
and I had to say that verse  out loud
several times before I got out of bed
and hit the floor. 
 Eventually it took hold in my heart
 and it was easy to declare it 
and easier to be more grateful
 for a new day.
I was sharing this recently with a friend
 and I suddenly realized that
during this time of attitude change
 my days at work had more
exciting things happen with more harmony
 after I started
declaring a blessing over my day.

I posted below some fresh ideas about the morning
May it open our hearts to its blessing 
 and help us stomp out the
groggy, stumbling and sighing of
fresh beginnings.
Love you all
Mary

His tender compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; 
Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.
Lam 22:23

But as for me, 
I will sing of Your mighty strength and power; 
Yes, 
I will sing joyfully of Your loving kindness
in the morning
Psalm 59:16

prayer for morning 

by e. e. cummings

i thank God for most this
amazing
day; for the leaping greenly
spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything
which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes
Amen.


(Everything is YES and AMEN In Jesus)


Morning has broken 
like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world

Morning has broken is a well-known Christian Hymn
first published in 1931 
made popular in the 70's
 by  folk singer, Cat Stevens.








Photo curtesy of Annie Spratt on unsplash  
https://unsplash.com/@anniespratt?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Love the one you're with




I am waiting for you


"If you can't be with the one you love
love the one you' re with"
Crosby, Stills and Nash

Many of you know these lyrics.
Recently these words were going thru my head
because I was thinking about how 
I wish I could reach out to every person
 who is in pain and sorrow
 from loss, from sickness, from weariness from despair.  
I want to reach out with prayer, a hug, a listening heart.
It bothers me sometimes that 
physically, mentally, emotionally
 I can't do more, reach more...
but I have come to embrace this truth,
 that the one thing  I can do 
is reach out and touch 
the one in front of me.
 I can love the one before me, 
in this moment of time.

  Jesus ministered to massive crowds
 but most accounts have to do 
with the one who in a moment of time 
was in front of Him.

Pressed on every side
He would stop and respond
to the cry of the one
         "Jesus , Son of David,
                 have mercy on me"
He must have looked at them
 with a seeing that was
full of love, compassion ...
and for that moment, for that time, 
one person was touched
in the midst of many
One person experienced
 the love of Jesus.

I pray that we never feel 
we are doing little 
 by ministering to the one.
They are worth
more than gold to the Master....
He wants to minister to the one,
 He wants to love
them in the moment thru us.
He can make millions feel like the one
because of us
....and He says
it is enough.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Identity Theft


Who am I?


It is one of the big fears of our time.
 The loss of our identity, our paper identity thru theft.
Those who it has happened to, go on a roller coaster ride of emotions
like denial, fear, embarrassment, anger, rage and hopelessness.

There is another kind of identity theft
and it happens when the enemy, who comes to rob and steal,
snatches away the belief in who we are ...
when this happens
we can also go on a roller ride of emotions
leading to hopelessness, fear and anxiety.

So today my question is:
 Has it been a while since you declared your identity
or are you even sure you know
who you really are?
 ( a "litmus"test would be this:
 if I asked you right now
 to declare who you are in Christ,
would you strain to tell me 
or would it even feel unnatural, uncomfortable
speaking out loud who God says you are)


 So to help out, I am posting below a few Biblical truths.
If you are weak in your identity or
if you have not declared who you are for a while
.....the way to get strong again and
steal back what the enemy has stolen
 is to take the ones that speak to you personally
make a list
 then recite this list.
 at least once a day,
         out loud. 
You will be amazed at how powerful
you will begin to feel
 as the Spirit  is stirred up in you. 
You will discover that
         you can absolutely-
           take back
  whatever the enemy has stolen
.....your true identity

I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).
I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).
I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).
I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).
I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).
I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17-18).
more can be downloaded here: 
   http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=knowing_who_i_am_in_christ
























Monday, May 29, 2017

Lost in transformation






Transformed for deeper waters





Where did she go?
 It has been almost 3 months since her last blog.

 I did not realize as I posted about the testing of our faith
("Hold on Tight....It is a bumpy ride")
that the journey before me was going to get even bumpier.
********
After several weeks of supporting my mother following her hip surgery ,
 she returned home, was rallying and
then suffered a stroke.
 It left her unable to talk or eat.

So her finale journey began.

My mother went home to Jesus on March 13th ....
She was 95.
   
What followed were more challenges in uncharted lands,
going down trails, I had never walked before...
confronted by events and emotions
for which I was not prepared.


Because of this, I think a part of me shut down
and a lot of responses became automatic.
I found it hard to reach out  toward others.
I lost zeal ....joy came in spurts but did not stay.
At the same time, loss created a heightened sensitivity in me
 to the darkness, sin, hatred, depravity of this world
 and man's pursuit of all that is unholy.
 I saw more and more of what the scripture speaks of
            men's hearts growing cold.
And to make it even harder,
it seemed that a portal was opened to me
 to see inside my own heart
 and discover areas
 that were in need of refiner's fire.

 All of this resulted in my well going dry
 I was swimming in shallow waters...with little depth
carrying a pain that I could not share thru words... only tears.
I could no longer blog.

 I found that the song "ocean's deep"
described this journey...

 You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine


 It is now that I sense
The Holy Spirit's leading to
where my trust is without borders
enabling me to listen more clearly
 so that He can
Take me into deeper waters
  Where my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.

so even though I have felt lost, sometimes alone,
        empty
I have been held firmly in His loving arms
while He has been transforming me,
calling me
into the deepness of Him.

I want to just thank so many of you that reached out thru this time
with hugs and support, prayer,  loving cards.

  I was also so moved by those of you who spoke
about missing this blog.
 It is for you all that
I am now reaching out again
and desiring
to bring encouragement to you
from the throne.

Let us continue on this journey together,
 supporting and reaching out 
Giving and receiving
and finding that infinite joy of Fellowship
with Him
and
with each other.


________  ______________   _______________









































































































































































Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hold on tight....it is a bumpy ride




 Dear Friends,
             just suppose
I sent you a personal note.....and asked you:
         "How is it going?"
and realizing I really meant the question
 and really cared
you wrote back and got honest.
I would expect every one of you would tell me
you are facing a challenge or
a change, a loss,
or a physical problem....
something unexpected
unwelcomed,
 an interruption in a well oiled routine,
 an added responsibility,
       a time stealer.
I don't know if this will encourage or not
 but I want to tell you,
you are not alone.
Recently, every person I talk to
 is struggling with something....
we are all in the boat
and the waves
are coming at us
It is like 
We are being dragged out of our comfort zone,
 we are discovering that there is a limit to our strength,
 that life can throw curves...
like the loss of a husband, 
added responsibilities due to a cut in staff,
 an accident that leaves the person with broken ribs,
 and on and on.
Maybe like the apostles in that tossing boat
we cry out
        Jesus, don't you care?
His response:
"Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?"

Beloved,
I am right there with you
in that boat   and
Here is what I am doing

I am reading and praying and thinking about
         James 1:2

 Consider it nothing but joy, 
my ]brothers and sisters, 
whenever you fall into various trials.  
Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] 
produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. 
 And let endurance have its perfect result 
and do a thorough work, 
so that you may be perfect 
and completely developed [in your faith], 
          lacking in nothing.

When the storm came, it tested the apostles faith in the boat....
faith that Jesus cared, faith that He could get them to the other side, 
faith that they would prevail,
because of who they were called to be

So too, about this storm that is hitting you
 be assured that it is for the testing of your faith, 
and that as you develop it, hold on  and 
expect a breakthru, the victory,
you can expect
maturity to come so that
you will weather the next storm, 
stronger, in more confidence 
and with a good word for fellow travelers.
You will be ready for the next advancement
of the Kingdom...you will be a more effective
builder, encourager, testifier.

What is the faith tested?
 That God is a good God
that Jesus loves you, cares for you
and has an answer ready for you....
written there in the promises
that cover your situation.
And as you make that decision
to hold onto promises in prayer,
think about them,
praise Him like Paul and Silas
who got their victorious out come
you also will see a breakthru as His Kingdom comes
as Jesus breaks the chains of the storm.
     The Bible says: “About midnight Paul and Silas were…
                              singing hymns to God…
                             Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake 
                              that the foundations of the prisons were shaken…
                              all the prison doors flew open, and 
                                             everybody’s chains came loose” 

So as the waves toss, you can look unto Jesus
who is the developer of your faith.
Look to Jesus with your thoughts,
with the reading of the Wordl
with singing songs of praise, worship
full of confidence.

Last thought:
if we have to walk 
thru these things 
no matter what, 
lets, at least, make it count,
lets, at least,
 have something to show for it,
a development of a faith that produces 
endurance
spiritual maturity 
and inner peace.

finally
get a prayer warrior to pray with you.
Someone who can join hands with
you in Faith and together you won't
just weather the storm
you will by Faith
stop it ! and reach the other side











First Love

Receive Photo by Geetanjal Khanna on Unsplash     It is easy for me to sometimes think that this longing I have ...