A Spiritual Father: Abba's Child

A Spiritual Father: Abba's Child

We are not cowed into timidity by death and life. Were we forced to rely on our own shabby resources we would be pitiful people indeed. But the awareness of Christ's present risenness persuades us that we are buoyed up and carried on by a life greater than our own.

The Christ within who is our hope of glory is not a matter of theological debate or philosophical speculation. He is not a hobby, a part-time project, a good theme for a book, or a last resort when all human effort fails. He is our life, the most real fact about us. He is the power and wisdom of God dwelling within us.

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Living the Colorful Life ... even as the winter drags on

Living the Colorful Life ... even as the winter drags on

Hi friends, no crocuses are pushing through the hardened soil here in Ohio. Usually by now, those hardy “souls” have at least given us a bit of hope of the spring ahead.

So I thought of this post and how it could “color up” our souls while we await what surely is to come. So pause with me as we revisit a post from May 2016.

God lives a colorful life . . . or maybe better said, God lives His life in color!

All we need do is look around. Color is everywhere . . . in nature, in people, even in feelings, ideas, and circumstances.

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A Winter Deep Freeze is Perfect for Hybernating in God's Word

A Winter Deep Freeze is Perfect for Hybernating in God's Word

Baby, it's cold outside. Sub-zero temps; ice-covered ground; more white stuff on its way? A great time to hibernate. 

But it need not be cold inside ... especially inside your soul, as you bask in the warmth of God's loving truth. The Scriptures are ever old and ever new, and never out of reach. So the fire of God's Word is always accessible.

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Joy in January: Dance for your Life!

Joy in January: Dance for your Life!

Life, glorious life!  How we take life for granted, until...

someone we love dies,

our health or safety is gravely threatened,

we realize our days are waning because of the years...

It is then that we value what we've had all along.

But there's a Life that we never need fear will diminish, be endangered, be lost...

In fact, this Life can grow in our experience even in this time-based, fearful, waning physical life.

What is this Life?

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Advent Devotions: the WITH-ness of our God {from nearness to oneness}

Advent Devotions:  the WITH-ness of our God {from nearness to oneness}

Jesus Christ the Son of God became one with us, so that we could be one with Him! 

This glorious truth is at the heart of the Incarnation.  God became one of us!  One with us!  Why?  So that we could experience union with God.

And that takes us back to our 3 Greek prepositions for with:  (see previous post:  The WITH-ness of our God (prepositions):

  • para, meaning beside, nearby, in the immediate vicinity or proximity, alongside
  • meta, meaning with, in close association with, in companionship with
  • sun, meaning together in intimate union, inseparable from
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Holes in my Soul ... Again!

Holes in my Soul ... Again!

I’m hitting a hole-y soul again … a whole year later. Only this time I’m needing this post as a reminder to myself, because things are constant and survival seems to be the name of the game. We are helping with the same four littles during some health issues. So if you care to read some encouragement for your own hole-y soul, just know that I am “needy” and “hole-y” with you this time too.

First posted July 2017:

Do you ever feel like there are holes in your soul? I do. In fact, right now I feel a bit like a piece of Swiss cheese. And I don't mean "baby swiss." No, the real holes kind.

The interesting thing is that nothing bad is going on right now in my life. It's all good stuff! But the constancy of the schedule with a newborn (darling first granddaughter!), a two year old (energetic boy, I might add!), two older boys (awesome, each one!), plus sleep deprived young parents (getting ready for a military move next month, I might add), and two aged, also sleep-deprived, grandparents (John & me!) has been hard and delightful at the same time. But to be honest, we adults are all living "on the edge" of something (I just drew a blank as to what).

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Choose your FACE...Change your DAY

Choose your FACE...Change your DAY

Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart. Proverbs 27:19

I love 4 year olds...they understand so much!  A few years ago, I told my then 4 year old grandson Evan that we choose our attitude.  And he got it!

I didn’t always think that was true, but the older I get the more I believe our choosing has a lot to do with it. And if we are children of God, the living, indwelling Christ empowers us to have an appropriate attitude for the situation.

I experienced this simple truth with another 4 year old when I was teaching preschool many years ago.

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TBT: Low Volume, High Volume, and Everything In-between

TBT:  Low Volume, High Volume, and Everything In-between

Some of us are low volume people. Others of us are high volume folk. And others are everything in-between.

...I think this realization affects how I view myself and others.

We all tend to be so insecure and self-conscious, constantly rejecting who and what God made us to be.  On the other side, we expect people to be more than they are and be able to do more than they can.  Or we think that those who are doing a lot are just showing off!

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TBT: Holes in my Soul

TBT: Holes in my Soul

Do you ever feel like there are holes in your soul? I do. In fact, right now I feel a bit like a piece of Swiss cheese. And I don't mean "baby swiss." No, the real holes kind.

The interesting thing is that nothing bad is going on right now in my life. It's all good stuff! But the constancy of the schedule with a newborn (darling first granddaughter!), a two year old (energetic boy, I might add!), two older boys (awesome, each one!), plus sleep deprived young parents (getting ready for a military move next month, I might add), and two aged, also sleep-deprived, grandparents (John & me!) has been hard and delightful at the same time. But to be honest, we adults are all living "on the edge" of something (I just drew a blank as to what).

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Secular or Sacred: Is there Really a Difference for a Child of God?

Secular or Sacred: Is there Really a Difference for a Child of God?

If we believers are temples of God (and we are), 
     if we hold the glory of the Lord in the earthen vessel of our body (and we do),
          if we live unto Him as we walk out our lives (and we can), 
then can anything we do ever be "secular"?

All we do and are is sacred, isn't it? 

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Broken Open Glory: Appreciating the Differences (Part 3)

Broken Open Glory: Appreciating the Differences (Part 3)

No two geodes are alike. In fact, to the uneducated among us, it is even hard to tell a geode from an ordinary rock. Some are large, others are small. Some are lighter than others and some "rattle." Some are from "exotic" places like Morroco and Uruguay, others are from Illinois and Arizona and places stateside.  

And no two geodes have been broken in the same way or with the same effect. Each cracked open, broken apart geode is unique, showing forth its unique glory in a unique way

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Broken Open Glory: in All Its Glory! (Part 2)

Broken Open Glory: in All Its Glory! (Part 2)

The Glorious GOD lives in ME, little ole broken me! 

... So can I spell out for us an amazing thought:

the Glorious God of Creation; 
the Arresting God of the Burning Bush; 
the Blinding God of the Desert Mountain; 
the Still, Quiet God of the "behind me" Voice; 
the Gentle God of the Judean Hillside; 
the Truth-filled God of the Living Way; 
the Compassionate God of the Overflowing Well;
the Caring God of the Secure Sheepfold; 
the Life-filling God of the Fruitful Vine; 
the Resurrecting God of my Salvation; 
the Fire-tongued God of the Holy Spirit

... lives in ME! 
and YOU too, my sister and brother, by grace through faith in the glorious Son, our Lord Jesus Christ! 

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Broken Open Glory: Seeing God in Seemingly Unlikely Places (Part 1)

Broken Open Glory: Seeing God in Seemingly Unlikely Places (Part 1)

Things aren't always what they seem to be. Take, for example, an ugly fruit -- all gnarly on the outside, but incredibly luscious and sweet on the inside. Who knew?
Or how about a middle school aged boy, like my grandson Evan -- an ordinary (except to his parents and grandparents, of course) young man, ...
And what about a bush? I imagine the Old Testament patriarch Moses just thought the bushes on the backside of the desert where he tended sheep back in the day were just ordinary bushes. ...
Well, who knew that a particular rock could be more than a rock in Arizona ...

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Kiss Me...I Might Be Irish

Kiss Me...I Might Be Irish

That was the saying on a balloon I saw at Kroger.  And it was also the sentiment in the elementary school we kids went to in New Jersey.  St Matthew’s was an Irish parish (maybe because the founding pastor was Irish, Fr Duffey), so our sports teams were the “Fighting Irish.”  Anyway, the sentiment was that everyone was Irish on St Patrick’s Day. I remember us Renner girls (mom’s maiden name = Galuszka; so you do the “ethnic” math ) spraying our hair green, putting on our already green uniforms, and heading next door to school.  (Yes, we lived next to the church and school!).  We FELT Irish…even if we were really German & Polish!

Everyone was indeed “Irish” at St Matthews on St Patrick’s Day, except for the few rebellious students and even teachers who wore orange instead of green.

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"Where is the Holy Spirit in all of this?"

"Where is the Holy Spirit in all of this?"

A mature young Christian woman goes to her regular adult Bible study class. The teachers of the class  are experts in Biblical counseling. Week by week they share from the Scriptures answers to common problems faced by individuals and families in today's culture. One Sunday after learning the "formula" for solving a particular problem biblically, our mature young woman asks, "But where is the Holy Spirit in all of this?

A member of a sound evangelical church is a student in a class on Christian church history.  He reads some articles ... 

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Every Place and No Place at All

Every Place and No Place at All

... the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.

Last week I injured my leg ... injured it to the extent that I have to stay off of it for two weeks. Two weeks! This has cramped my style! I had to cancel a looked-forward-to trip, stop my walking-for-exercise routine, depend on my serving husband and others, and on and on. And it keeps me from my new "prayer chair." ... But you know what? I'm not that sad about not being able to commune with my Heavenly Father in that new chair. Why?

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The Rest of FAITH: Living the “Yet Not I, but CHRIST” Life

The Rest of FAITH:  Living the “Yet Not I, but CHRIST” Life

About twelve years ago, our son-in-law was stationed in Tucson, Arizona [home of our Alma Mater, the U of A, "Go Wildcats!"  But I digress...].  When the school year for my ESOL class had ended in June, I flew to Tucson for an extended visit.

Beth and Nate were both working during the daytime, so I had some lovely, restful, sun-filled (and "Son-filled") time alone by the pool.  At that time, I was reading some of Brennan Manning's books.

One day I was reading The Signature of Jesus: The Call to a Life Marked by Holy Passion & Relentless Faith as I soaked up the Arizona sun by the pool.  I was somewhat annoyed to see that a man lying on a lounge nearby was straining to see what I was reading.  

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The Depth of You and Me, dear Sister!

The Depth of You and Me, dear Sister!

I swore off marriage books a long time ago!

Getting married in the early 1970's kind of ruined it for me as far as Christian marriage books. It was all about the submissive wife stuff, not much about the sacrificial love and leadership of the husband -- a reaction I think to the Christian feminism coming into the church ... But recently "by accident," I came across a quote that really grabbed me. And this quote expresses the truth of what life on this earth as a believer is and must be, not just for those of us who are married...

 

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Holes in my Soul

Holes in my Soul

Do you ever feel like there are holes in your soul? I do. In fact, right now I feel a bit like a piece of Swiss cheese. And I don't mean "baby swiss." No, the real holes kind.

The interesting thing is that nothing bad is going on right now in my life. It's all good stuff! But the constancy of the schedule with a newborn (darling first granddaughter!), a two year old (energetic boy, I might add!), two older boys (awesome, each one!), plus sleep deprived young parents (getting ready for a military move next month, I might add), and two aged, also sleep-deprived, grandparents (John & me!) has been hard and delightful at the same time. But to be honest, we adults are all living "on the edge" of something (I just drew a blank as to what).

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