Running Toward Christmas

This year, I’m running toward Christmas . . .

Running like crazy, with joy, as a child would run toward a father or a beloved big brother. Running headlong, arms open, as fast as my little legs will carry me . . .

Into joy

With my eyes focused on the Christ Child.I run to remember Bethlehem one star-strewn night.

To remember a hillside of quiet sheep, resting after a shining day full of grazing.

I run to remember . . .

I settle back in against the hard wood pew, breathing in the light pine scent from fresh wreaths of pine boughs that grace the church as Christmas nears.

I close my eyes for a few seconds, thankful for a good year, anticipating the final two holidays before a brand new year.

Reverend Hatch rises and walks to the pulpit.

Like a silent snow, holy quiet falls over the sanctuary

My back straightens as the Holy Spirit nudges me into deep listening. I pull in a breath.

I’m about to hear something wonderful.

Hatchie, as we lovingly call him, looks out over us and smiles and begins

“When God walked down the stairway of heaven with a tiny Baby in His arms, He came bearing the greatest gift the world has ever been given.”

The words race like a gentle fire into my mind, body, soul, and spirit—into the realm of wonder. Brushstrokes of color flow across my imagination.

From impossible white clouds in a star-pierced violet blue night sky, a figure of brilliant light descends a wide staircase.

Within God’s arms, a small, moving, living Being nestles in a blanket of light.

Above them hovers a transparent Presence, crystal waves of movement aglow with a palpable sense of power and love.

The Holy enters Creation.

Everything in me wants to kneel before the Holy Triumvirate.

I cannot move, captured in breathless awe.

The Gift.

Delivered as I was and you were.

The Holy into humanity. Born to fill the void we came into the world with.

Born to fill the emptiness that nothing—no one but Jesus—can fill.

God is love, but He is just.

Born to save and free us from sin, He, the Lamb of God, came to sacrifice His humanity in our place . . .

and to prepare a place for us in Eternity.

God’s offered Gift.

Is our choice.

Jesus told us “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3 NKJV).

An angel spoke to shepherds and to us “. . . and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord'” (Luke 2:9b-11 NKJV).

To the woman at the well “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life’” (John 4:13-14 NKJV).

Will you run in thankfulness toward Christmas? Will you look up in joy and wonder and remember . . . ?

If you have a special Christmas memory I’d love for you to share it in the comments!

And just in case I don’t post again before Christmas, I’ll leave you with this~

A very Merry Christmas full of joy and blessings to you and those you love!

Love,

Sally

Elegant Staircases     #Christmasjoy    #MerryChristmas

The Future’s Not Ours to See

But . . .

today . . .

When we look into the eyes of our precious children, we’re looking deep into our future.

No, we don’t see what’s there, but,

our children hold within them the generations to come

as we did.

They’ll take our place as stewards of God’s Word and His world.

They hold the future within them

as did we.

Pray that they press into the safe, everlasting love of Jesus’ arms—

just as you do.

Teach them to trust Him, their Savior and Friend, as they walk in His presence on His earth—

just as you do. 

Our decades are time-markers only to us.

We were once the future. Our parents were. Our grandparents were.

They once held us and looked into our eyes. We were their children.

That “great cloud of witnesses,” the countless generations before us that we’ll join one day,

see us.

Their prayers rise to the Father for us, our children, and our grandchildren.

I sense hope and love and encouragement.

I sense excitement and joy when my decisions fit choices that make the angels rejoice—

when I’ve followed the Lord well in listening, then doing.

And most wondrous of all—I sense no disappointment when I fail,

only a lifting in sureness that next time I will do better, and one day will not fail.

We are still little children in the realm of eternity.

We reach, learn, trust, try, within so many choices.

Our little ones are fresh from God.

Cherish them, trust in their future . . .

Trust in God who holds their future and ours in His hands.

Jesus said we are to pattern our hearts after those trusting hearts of little children,

with the pure faith of a child, trusting in Him.

Have a heart as trusting as the heart of a little child.

One day some mothers brought their babies to him to touch and bless. But the disciples told them to go away. Then Jesus called the children over to him and said to the disciples, “Let the little children come to me! Never send them away! For the Kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s. And anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get within the Kingdom’s gates.” Luke 18:15-17

Just praying, musing, and sharing ☺

Do you have any heart-thoughts to share in a comment?

Love,

Sally

 

 

Signs and Seas

It’s a cool, beautiful leaf-strewn day in early October.

I slow the car for a lazy curve, praying and and thinking back over the last troubling week of seemingly never-ending problems. Self-imposed deadlines, expectations of others, an untimely sinus infection . . .

On and on. I allow the mean little puppy of anxiety to to nip at my heels.

Help, Lord.

A a small white country church nestled in a sea of fall colors, its spire piercing upward, reaching for the clouds floods my view.

On the church sign, my eyes and imagination are caught up in the words. “A smooth sea does not make a great sailor.”

My sea has been far from smooth.

But always my strength and my song, He has me glimpse a simple sign.

I negotiate the next curve and smile as He rights my ship.

He’s with me. Within His will and with His help there isn’t anything I can’t do.

Those rough seas shape me,

keep me becoming the best sailor I can be for my Captain.

“Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.” Henry Ward Beecher

“Faith pulls the black mask from the face of trouble, and discovers the angel beneath.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7 NKJV).

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).

“Then He [Jesus] arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39 NKJV).

Jesus said: “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26 NKJV)

Troubles, trials, tribulations, tumults, whatever they are termed, we never have to go through them alone.

What are you facing today that has you running to the LORD, your stronghold and very present help in time of trouble? Reread those verses above and “take heart!”

Love,

Sally

 

But Mary . . .

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.”

 

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

“Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

 

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” Matthew 28:1-7

“Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.”

 

Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. Mark 16:9-10

“. . . Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.”

 

. . . Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together and, the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.

Then the other disciple who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.

“But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.” (John 20:11 NKJV)

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.”

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her. John 20:1-18

Jesus said: “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2b-3

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58

♥ ♥ ♥

Would you have gone with your lamp shining dim in the darkness of early dawn?

Would you have stood and stayed while the earth quaked and angels in white rumbled a giant stone away from where your beloved, deceased Teacher had lain for three days? Where burly guards shook then became stiff with fear?

Would you have fallen to your knees to listen to an angel speak words that changed your life with each syllable, words that said your Teacher had risen from the dead?

Would you have looked into the tomb and wept and conversed with angels, then restrained yourself from embracing your Teacher as you turn and He speaks your name and asks you not to hold Him as He tells you why?

You are a woman of God and yes, you would have. Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, saved you, gave His life for you.

We follow the lead of strong women who loved and walked with Christ before us. We, too, will believe and live and tell of Him.

May Easter blessings abound for you throughout the year and beyond.

Love,

Sally

Except for one, all scriptures in the captions are from the NIV, and, except for my end notes, the entire post is scripture from the Gospels in the NKJV

The Gift of Interruption

“There are sometimes things more important than homework,” my grandfather told my mother. And she left her studies behind as he took her hand and led her outside.

Together they entered the darkness of the night and walked into the midst of wonder. Hand-in-hand the two of them watched the shimmering beauty of the northern lights.

That’s the way my mother began the story of when she was a little girl. Of living on Cape Cod. Of how her father interrupted her homework one evening to show her God’s handiwork.

“Wake up, sweetheart.”

We hadn’t lived in southeastern Washington State very long. I must have been about seven years old when my father stood beside my bed and whispered those gentle words.

Pushing sleep away, I opened my eyes and smiled back at him in the dim light. He bent close, and I reached to touch his dark mustache. “Why did you wake me up, Daddy?”

“There’s something I want you to see.”

He tucked the blanket around me, swept me up into his arms, and carried me outside.

And beneath the cool, blue-black desert sky, he held me, silently pointing at a wavy curtain of green and blue light. I held my breath, mystified, filled with awe, as I watched the gracefully undulating, colorful, shimmering phenomenon that my father told me was the Aurora borealis. Even the name was magical, and I’ve never forgotten the wonder I felt that night.

Dad had interrupted my sleep because wanted me to see something special—something far more important than sleep.

Interrupting homework or sleep to behold one of God’s works is a beautiful and unforgettable gift for any child. Children have a depthless capacity for wonder. Helping to fill that capacity is both a joy and a great responsibility for those who care for them.

Just as I showed them to her, my daughter has pointed out natural wonders, from the majestic to the mundane, to her children. And so, appreciation for the wonders of God’s creation passes down the steps of time and another generation has learned the value of interruptions.

Jesus was often stopped in the midst of what he was doing to speak to the need of another. Parents interrupted his teachings, placing their little ones into His arms, wanting their children to experience the touch and attention of this great man of miracles, the Son of God. Jesus never turned them away. The children were blessed indeed.

“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 19:13-14).

When have you been interrupted and your eyes opened to God’s handiwork?

Please share a comment ~

Love,

Sally

All scripture is from the New King James Version

Here Am I

“Does my girlfriend live here?”

Tiny footsteps up the walk and a tiny voice asking, “Does my girlfriend live here?” floats through the open window in the dimming evening light.

Wide and curious eyes peer up at me, a tiny form on tiptoes, straining to see if this is where she might be.

Goodness! It’s getting dark, and I’ve never seen him around here before.

A neighbor shares that this little one has gone to every house on the street—walking right in through any unlocked doors—searching for his hearts love: “my girlfriend.”

No one is around—no anxious searching parent anywhere that I can see.

Well, Lord—he has come to my house. And I feel his angel prodding me to help God’s little child lost.

He has slipped out of my yard and into the dangerous street—I am close behind. “Wait a minute! Come back and talk to me before you go.”

“Okay,” he says, trundling his little-boy-self over to my side.

I kneel to talk on his level. “What’s your name?”

“Michael,” says he!

Such a beautiful boy—not a trace of pretense—except when I ask him where his mommy and daddy are. He studies the ground then looks me straight in the eye. “I don’t have any!” he boldly declares.

“How old are you, Michael?”

“I’m three,” he says, holding up the three appropriate fingers.

“Well, since it is getting dark, why don’t you take my hand, and we will go home and see if your Mom can find your girlfriend for you tomorrow. Is that okay?”

Yes, it was okay—and he grabs my little finger and holds on tight.

Lord, help me to find Michael’s home. And off we go, hand on finger, trusting that I will somehow find Michael’s house. He’s no help at all, and I only know which direction he came from. God knows . . .

A happy, “Hi, Michael!” sings out of a busy little girl and boy on a swing set as we round a corner.

Thank You, Father! And Michael and I walk together to the fenced yard.

“You know Michael?”

“Yup.”

“Where does he live?”

“Down there.” And there follows much finger-pointing along with a description on Michael’s house.

So, we’re off again and up to Michael’s house. His grip on my finger is tighter as we walk across the grass to a lighted side door and Michael’s dad comes over to us.

Michael is reluctant to let go of my finger and I sense some fear. An agreement is discussed with Daddy to have Mommy help him find his girlfriend in the morning. That seems to make it okay to let go. But I was reluctant too.

Down on Michael’s level again. “Goodnight Michael.”

“Goodnight,” he responds, too soberly for only three.

God bless you Michael, I love you.

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me’” (Isaiah 6:8 NKJV).

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10 NKJV).

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings” (Psalm 36:7 NKJV).

Where have you been sent for Him? Or maybe He’s sending you somewhere right now?

{There are three links in this post. One is in the first verse of scripture above. Enjoy!}