Come to Order


Writer’s Note: This was originally written in 2017 after I left my fulltime job of almost a quarter of a century and began an almost three-year long journey of working for myself. While I have become pretty skilled at creating order in the home workspace, this pandemic has rocked many of us, making waste of the sense of order we knew. Three months in, many of us have found our way to a new normal, but some I have spoken with recently are still struggling. Don’t be ashamed. It happens to all of us at one time or another. Truthfully, I still struggle with letting my life get out of order at times. Always have, actually, even before the pandemic. If this is you, I hope this post gives you a little hope today.

June 12, 2017

Dear God…

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Dear Child,

It’s okay child. I know your brain and emotions are scrambled right now, but I am here and I know your heart. Just breathe. Speak My name when you feel overwhelmed or at a loss. Let’s come up with a schedule together. Something to keep you on track. Do not feel less because you need this. Order is necessary for all of life. Order, in fact, was the second most important ingredient in Creation, second only to love. Can you imagine a world with no order? What if the sun rose only when it felt like it? What if the moon and the stars were random about their appearance and nighttime blanketed the earth at unplanned times? Yes, child, everything must have an order to be successful in the long run. If it was and is important for all of Creation, it is important for you. Let’s start with your daily schedule and then we will continue to work on your schedule for fulfilling your calling and purpose. I am proud of you, child. You have a mission and a calling and I am so pleased that you desire them so. Together, we are unstoppable. You are unstoppable. Don’t ever forget that. And, if you do, just come back into My Presence where I can remind you. I’m always here, day and night, from beginning to end, creating your present and your future with beautiful mixture of love and order.

creation image from internet

The Beautiful Order of Creation…

Genesis, Chapter 1:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse[a] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made[b] the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven.[c] And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth,[d] and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,[f] and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds[g] fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man[h] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Genesis, Chapter 2

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation…

Everybody needs a little laugh…


Through all that our world and each and everyone of us is going through, through all the scary and sad news, it’s important to remember the things that are most true, i.e. We are loved by a real and awesome God who promises to be with us through the end of time AND we all need to laugh. I hope my next post or two gives you a little chuckle. The following is a true story from Quarantine Life in my home. It’s sometimes scary to be me. 😂

Those who know me KNOW I have an unnatural, but very real fear of opening cans of biscuits etc. So much so that My daughter learned to open them at a very young age, while her grown mama ran in the other room with her hands over her ears.

Fast forward to today as I decide to make my 91 year old mom who lives with me (and thus quarantined with me) her favorite cinnamon rolls. I go in to have her open, but she’s snoring. I decide that it’s time “to just do it.” It takes me 10 minutes to get up the nerve to peel back label. Check on mom again. Still asleep. My heart is literally racing. Read the instructions to “press here with a spoon.” They make it sound so easy. So nonchalant. I get a spoon and lay it on the printed line. I try to cover my ears, but can’t while trying to keep can from rolling away and pressing with a spoon.

What are these biscuit people thinking? I panic and step away. Check on mom. Still asleep. Deciding I can’t let this can defeat me, I went and found the largest beach towel I could find and wrapped it around my head like a mummy heading to the beach. But, aha! It worked and I’m still alive to tell about it. Sure hope mom likes these cinnamon rolls after what I’ve gone through this morning. 😂

Ass But Not Least


Though they are often the “butt” of many a joke, I have always had a special affection for donkeys. And, Donkey and Cross imageevery year around Easter, that affection grows. Have you ever wondered why Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem oh so many years ago on what we now call Palm Sunday? Why not a strong, valiant horse? A horse worthy to roam the king’s pastures?

This week, in reflecting on that very question, I thought I’d ask God himself. And so, during my God time earlier this week, that is exactly what I did. As I sat quietly with nothing but a Bible, a blank page and a deep affection for The Father, these are the thoughts that came to rest deep in my spirit.

“Child, do you remember the verses in My Word in which I told you that the first will be last and the last shall be first; those that remind you to be a humble servant? My friend, the donkey, is a fitting image of what I expect from my children. Humble, hard-working, peaceful. I don’t need pomp and circumstance from you. I just need a willing, servant’s heart.

I asked for a donkey to ride me into Jerusalem for many reasons, one being to remind all of my childrenpalm sunday that it matters not how the world sees you, but instead how I see you. This donkey, considered one of the least among his kind, was fit for a King. With a servant’s heart and attitude, he escorted me into Jerusalem and into my destiny and this is exactly what I ask of you, dear child—a servant’s heart and attitude that I can use to take me to the people of the world and into my ultimate and eternal destiny. I want ALL of my children with me in eternity. Even one lost grieves my spirit so. Think of those parents who have lost one of their children to drugs, alcohol or depression. Think of the parent whose child has run away, who they’ve lost all contact with. Oh how their heart grieves! Now, multiply that by infinity and that is how I feel about my lost children. My heart is not complete without them. My kingdom is not whole. They are MY children. All of them. No matter what they have done. No matter what they haven’t done. They are MY children and I love them. And, I need you, to help me bring them home. I need you to be like that humble, willing donkey that will take me to my children; to my destiny as Father of All. Go read the story of the Prodigal Son. I will open your eyes to new things, my child. And, go through this day aware of my presence. I’ll be right beside you all the way. It’s going to be a good day, child. A very good day.”

The Legend of the Donkey's CrossThank you, God, for this. Thank you for the donkey and thank you for now giving me a reason to smile when someone calls me one.  Last but not least, thank you for being such a creative Creator. Whether the legend of the cross on my favorite furry friends’ back is true or not, it is quite a beautiful touch. 🙂 Amen and Ehmen

It’s okay to cry…


I have tried pretty hard to stay positive this last week, but these last couple of days have seen my emotions catching up to me.

Honestly, I feel a lot like I did after 9/11. The world as we know it is changing and so many things are out of our control. It’s not that I’m wrestling with my faith over this. Quite the contrary. He is my one constant. I know He is in control and I trust Him. But, I can’t hold back the emotions anymore.

Fortunately, I don’t have to, because I also know that, even on days like today when there have been more tears cried than words prayed, the Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf and Our Father Who Art In Heaven hears.

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”—Romans 8:26

Let there be a pandemic of prayer


The world is at war, but, for once, the enemy is not one another, but instead a common, albeit unseen, enemy. Out of nowhere, this ninja-like nemesis known as Coronavirus has taken the world by storm, causing panic and pandemonium around the globe.

I don’t know how it has felt for everyone else, but, for me, it’s felt a lot like a rollercoaster ride. And not just any roller coaster, but the kind that has multiple loop the loops for which your stomach leaves your body and isn’t reunited until several minutes after you have disembarked the ride.

One minute, it seemed the media was just blowing things out of proportion as they so See the source imageoften do. After all, headlines still sell newspapers. The next minute, I found myself getting a bit nervous as the media deluge continued and my own credible sources begin to chime in. Finally, I entered full loop the loop mode as the what-ifs of yesterday became the reality of today. Through it all, I have longed to be reunited with my stomach and, more importantly, my faith.

God reminds us time and time again that He is with us and will not forsake us. And I personally believe Him in the deepest reaches of my soul. Yet, here I am still having to fight for personal peace in this incredibly tumultuous time, as my flesh, my humanness is bombarded with second-by-second news reports about an enemy that stalks us unchecked and unscathed by any human defensive. At least for now, there is no cure. There is no medicine to make it better. It is totally out of our control.

All of which reminds me of one of the many news stories that landed in front of my eyes this week. It was an interview with a COVID-19 survivor. He talked about how horrific his fight had been, how close to death he came and how he felt when he was finally properly diagnosed and asked his doctors what should be done next. Their answer was way more alarming than it should be, at least for us Christians. Their answer was simply, “Pray.”

I propose that maybe just maybe that is the lesson to be learned here.

I propose that maybe just maybe that is THE CURE we all long for—the only thing that can properly fight this invisible enemy that knows no geographical borders and cares not one iota about socio-economic status.

God knows that, most of the time–even amongst His own followers—prayer is our last resort; the thing we finally turn to after all other efforts have been exhausted.

However, TODAY I propose that we make it our FIRST resort; our FIRST line of defense. To be sure, we should be safe and do what our leaders are telling us. We should social distance. We should wash our hands. And THEN we should clasp those hands in PRAYER. We have a mighty and loving God who IS in control and who IS indeed moved by prayer.

Heavenly Father, I love you. I cannot lie, this is a scary time and I have let anxiety and fear take hold of me more than once this week. But, today, Father, I finally realized that this could be a living, real-time example of what Your Word declares in Genesis 50:20 and today I speak that very Word against the Corona virus that is threatening our world:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” –Genesis 50:20

Abba Father, I pray that You help us to see how You use this ordeal to show Your unending love and faithfulness to all of us, even in our stubbornness. I pray that this becomes a globally-uniting experience in which You are glorified; where more and more people return to You or find their way to You for the first time.

And, Abba, help us all to TRUST you; to rest in You, the Omnipotent and Omnipresent One that we are invited to know intimately. Help us to continue holding onto the indisputable fact that You are indeed in control and that nothing, but nothing escapes Your knowing. Help us to remember to always make prayer our first resort and not our last. Help us, Lord, to use this time to draw even closer to You as individuals, as nations and as a world. We are all Your children and I, for one, am so grateful. Give us peace that surpasses all understanding and may You be glorified in all that we do as we fight today’s battle in Your strength and not our own.

Amen and Ehmen.

The Voice


Whisper of God

It’s in the silence of these four walls, the quietness of my hurting, still soul, that I finally hear Your Voice.

It’s rhythmic and in tune with the beating of my heart and it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. You speak to me, sing to me, patiently. You offer joy in a place I have allowed bitterness and hurt to take root.

You smile though I have done nothing to deserve it. You love though I have been selfish. You stand by me though I have repeatedly abandoned you.

You are God and You deserve my praises. I am forever thankful for your patience and forgiveness and especially that those things transcend all time.

Forever and Ever.

Amen and Ehmen!

At His Feet…


February 21, 2020

Dear Lord,

I know I’ve gotten caught up in work and life, leaving little time for our blank page moments together. I also know I need to make more time for meeting You here as it is during these times that I hear You the clearest and feel Your Presence the most. Here in the silence of the morning where there are no distractions to get in the way. Here in the silence of the morning when I can hear Your voice, Your heartbeat. Here in the silence of the morning where You invite me to join you in Your heavenly peace, that peace that surpasses all understanding. Help me to desire this time with You more and more. Give me the willpower to lay down all of the other distractions. To lay down my Martha tendencies of busyness and to be like Mary who sat at Your feet and listened to Your every word. I love it here, Lord, and I love You. Amen and Ehmen.


Dear Child,

I love it here, too, Child, and I also love you. If you only knew how it fills My heart to have one-on-one time with My children. It is why I created humanity to begin with. To love you, to cherish you and for you to learn to do the same first with Me and then others. So many of My children lose sight of this, but the simple truth is that if you follow this one command to love God and others, everything else falls in place. Absolutely everything.

I know the evils of the world have been weighing heavily on your heart, but you must stay resolute and lay it all at My feet. You must pray unyieldingly and keep your focus on Me, remembering that it is easier to lay things at My feet if you are already there. The enemy prowls, roaming the earth to and fro. That will not stop until heaven and earth have passed away and are replaced with the eternal Promised Land I have planned for you. A place where there is no suffering, no sin, no death; just My salvation, My righteousness, My glory.

Your job, My beautiful Child, is to rest in that and be a beacon of light for those who are struggling in the dark. It’s okay to be sad over the brokenness of the world. It makes me sad, too. But, don’t dwell on it. Pray instead. Give it to Me and trust Me. Trust Me and trust the story; and, when your trust wavers, remember that you already know the ending and that the ending is good. Trust and be filled with love, joy and peace as you go about your day.

trust God

And the Word of God says:

“’Martha, Martha’,” the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”—Luke 10:41-42

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” –Matthew 22:37-38

“And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hand on the two commandments.”—Matthew 22: 39-40

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”—1 Peter 5:8-10

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35

“But in keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:13

 

 

A morning of prayer and praise


Father,

Come close and touch my soul. Quieten my spirit so that my internal being may bask in the same peace and silence that envelopes this beautiful morning, a blank canvas inviting us to become one with new beginnings, abounding love, and eternal promises—with You.  

Lord, synchronize my heartbeat with Yours so that I may dance through this day to the tune of Your glorious and holy rhythm and purpose.

Capture and reshape all my thoughts and desires so that they line up with Your pre-destined desire for me. Heighten my awareness of Your presence and make me more sensitive to Your leading so that I may not miss a single opportunity to serve You, to please You, to praise and love You.

Help me to hear Your voice in everything I see and hear as all of creation sings of Your majesty and glory, and help me, Father, to fine tune my own voice as I join in that chorus.

And, lastly, my dear Lord, help me to turn loose of those worldly things which I hold too tightly. Though I recognize that it is impossible to grasp hold of Your hands when mine are full of things I was never intended to carry, I still find it hard to let them go.

Abba Father, I need You more than I need air and I love You with all my heart and soul, with everything I am today and everything I know I can be as I submit myself to Your will and purposes. Help me, Lord. I am yours.

Amen and Ehmen.

 Isaiah 41.13

Red Rover, Red Rover…


God, I hear You calling and I’m trying desperately to catch up with You; to walk beside You, to synchronize my steps with Yours. But, I’m continually running into obstacles.

As if on cue from satan himself, out of the shadows step the demons of doubt, fear and deprecation. red rover red rover croppedThey stand in front of me and block my path, arms locked together as if to engage me in a game of Red Rover.

“Red rover, red rover, send Brenda right over,” they chide, demonic laughter filling the air and assaulting my confidence and my faith. I can’t help but shiver as their Goliath-sized shadows hijack the sun’s warmth as well as its light. It becomes a battle just to see.

And, yet, their purpose is dreadfully clear. They have come to intimidate, threaten, frighten, scare, bully, coerce, terrorize, daunt and taunt me; to keep me frozen in place and far away from the purpose that You prepared for me before the first word of Creation was ever uttered.

“Red rover, red rover, send Brenda right over.”

My mind starts to reel; to unravel like a runaway spool of thread. I can either run away and live the rest of my life knowing that I gave up on You or I can face this thing head on.  I breathe deep and step back a few steps so that I can gain more momentum. There is no way I’m giving up, I mutter to myself. I will simply close my eyes and run with all my might, straight through their arms and into Yours.  

But, oh sweet Lord, the growls of my opponents are becoming louder and more obnoxious. And, as much as I want to walk with You–to fulfill my purpose–I can’t help but notice how grotesquely strong they look. How on earth will ever be break their hold, I ask myself, and, with no immediate answer, I shrink back in defeat without ever taking a step.

Defeated. Beaten. Overwhelmed and overcome.  I look down at my feet frozen in place as the enemies’ taunts crescendo in victory.  They win. Again.

The only thing I have left now is to pray. But I don’t even know where to start. I am so ashamed that I once again let the enemy defeat me, to hold me back. With the words “I’m sorry, Lord” rising up through my spirit, I begin to hear a still small voice. It is a warm, familiar and very quiet voice, but still somehow louder than the enemy’s raucous heckling. I immediately recognize that it is You.

“Get up, child,” You whisper sweetly. “Get up, but don’t try to run with all your might; this time, child, run with Mine.”

Your words, gentle and powerful at the same time, send a surge of encouragement and pronounced strength coursing through my spirit, mind and body. I rise up into a crouch position just like that of an Olympic sprinter and, with the sound of cheering angels ringing in my ears, I open my eyes. I see the band of demons still outstretched before me and I see their mouths moving. It sure looks like they are still talking trash, but the words filling the air about me are beautiful, peaceful, encouraging.

“It’s over, It’s over, Brenda come on over.”

I can no longer contain myself and, even though I still see the demons, I take off running toward the beautiful sound. And, as I run faster and harder than I dreamed possible, the heavenly cheers grow louder and louder and the demons grow smaller and smaller until I finally burst though their evil stronghold with the fortitude and power of a wrecking ball.

I hold up my arms in victory and as the dust settles around me, I see You standing there in all your Glory.Victory Photo 1-John-4-4-You-Are-Of-God-beige-copy You smile a knowing smile. You’ve been here all the while; waiting on me; cheering me on.

Lord, thank You, for never giving up on me, even when I give up on You; for having faith in me, when my own faith waivers. Thank You for sending Your spirit to intervene when the enemy lines look too strong to break through and for helping me to stand firm when I feel weak. Thank you, Lord, for Your willingness to keep reminding me that, with Your help, I DO have the strength and power to run full steam ahead into Your will and purpose, for it is there that You dwell and it is there I wish to dwell also.  With all that I am, I praise You. Amen and Ehmen.

 

A Morning Prayer


 

songbird

Photo by Donald M. Jones

 

Songbirds tweet in harmony as I willingly and excitedly step into the silence. Silence, after all, is the threshold that one must cross to enter the heavenly realms and the presence of our Precious and Mighty God.

His voice is clearest in the quiet, intimate times and it often seems as if I can hear His very heartbeat. His love for me is overwhelming and I pray that mine for Him is just as obvious and abounding.

As I breathe in His breath, I exhale peace and love. I’m here, Father. Use me. Send me. Heal me and equip me for the journey. Fill me with first trust, then with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I want to be everything You created me to be; to accomplish all that You planned for me; and, at such time I enter Your Presence for the rest of eternity, to hear these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.”

Amen and Ehmen.