"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Cup Overflowing, 481-500

I'm still here!  But a week on the road the first week in February left me with a cold I haven't been able to shake.  Now it's full blown and NOT fun.  In fact, the only reason I'm on here now is because I have necessary meds due in 45 minutes; so I thought I'd count a little while waiting.  Cough ... cough ... count ... count ...

#481  a sweet daughter-in-love who makes a house a home

#482  1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10...11...12...13...14...15...16 

#483  never tiring of "Green Eggs and Ham"

#484  full moon

#485  the joy of "Cheese!"

#486  Sabbath sunrise

#487  the earthy smell of turnip roots cooking

#488  the joy that comes

#489  for every good seed that has ever been sown in my life

#490  morning and the sound of creation's hymn

#491  a strong storm cell blown south

#492  the warmth of the sun on my legs

#493  miracles in the work

#494  gifts of encouragement

#495  an oasis with a Dunkin Donuts coffee bar

#496  hard places that brings forth life

#497  captured waterfalls frozen in time

#498  the thrill of stepping onto Broadway (in Nashville) for the first time and the overwhelming sound of music

#499  new relationships ... and it being a perfect match for the week

#500  sacred spaces that speak of walled gardens and open doors ... and new life on the horizon -- and a couch that speaks of the "rest"

It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High... 
Ps. 92:1

Indeed it is!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Cup Overflowing, 461-480

The Psalmist said that it's a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to His name; to tell of His loving-kindness early in the morning and of His faithfulness in the night seasons (Psalm 92:1-2).

Are you doing the GOOD THING?

#461  birthday parties -- How in the world does one get 20 little kids to sit still long enough for a picture?  Wrap them in Christmas lights and give them balloons!

Stryder -- the birthday boy

#462  the way little boys play ... dressed for a party or not

#463  boy cousins

#464  a brother's affection -- one of my favorite things about being in church with one of my brothers is the way he'll come sit on the bench with me after the service

#465  a beautiful, restful and quiet Sunday afternoon

#466  Charles Wesley and Pachelbel .... combined

#467  the way amethyst "catches fire" in the sun

#468  Monday morning sinus pressure -- it was my GIVEn reality; therefore, a gift

#469  icy blueberries and cereal

#470  a cardinal's chichi crest

#471  safe travels for a son and his youth group

#472  good temperaments

#473  well-loved books -- Even to my earliest childhood, I can't remember a time I wasn't taken by this book.

#474  joyful giving

#475  the arrival of the goldfinch and their sweet twitters

#476  sacred space

#477  breathtaking aromas ... Christ's Episcopal Church Show of Flowers

#478  haircuts that turn a baby into a little boy

#479  warm fires on wintry mornings

#480  dormancy .... waiting ... a season of hope

My cup overflows...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Body in Motion

One of my very favorite places to worship is at Riverstone Church in Marietta, GA where my daughter-in-love is the youth pastor; the reason being that I know when I step through those doors, I will experience the presence of God in a very personal and real way.  Granted, that should happen through any church doors we enter, but we also know that isn't always the case.  And so when I knew I was going to be visiting my son and his wife this weekend, I looked forward with anticipation to this morning's worship. 

The entire service proved powerful and relevant from beginning to end: the singing, the receiving of the elements during communion, the commissioning of a mission team to Ghana as well as the testimony from several members who minister at a local trailer park, the preaching of the Word itself, and finally, the intercessory prayer at the end of the service.  But there was one moment that just blew me away. 

After communion, the pastor stepped away from the platform, took a huge basket in his arms and said, "Tony, would you come down here, please?"  Out of those gathered, a young man in his early twenties came forward.  Pastor Tom told the congregation,  "Tony's mother died last week, and they won't have the funeral until he can come up with the money to pay for it."  I'm not sure of his next exact words, but I'm certain it was something on the order of, "So, as the body of Christ, what are we going to do about it?"

What happened next is something so powerful that no words could do it justice.  Just know that for the next 5 or 10 minutes people poured out of their seats to bless this young man -- throwing both cash and checks into this tremendous basket he was now holding.  No doubt he wiped tears (as did the rest of us) from eyes wide with astonishment.

After a period of time, the pastor remarked, "Jesus says this is enough."  But you know, the body was in motion, and it just couldn't quit. People kept on giving and giving.  

I don't even know where to take this blog entry or how to bring it to a close.  All I know is that not only did I experienced the presence of God in a very personal and real way, I witnessed up close and firsthand the body of Christ of whom, just minutes earlier, we had consumed in the bread and wine.

I think that's the way it's suppose to work.

No ordinary moment...

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Cup Overflowing, 441-460

A number of years ago, we attended a church where, after the Scripture reading, the pastor would say, "The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of God abides forever," at which point we, the congregants, would respond, "Thanks be to God."  Our daughter, who was only 10 at the time, joined in, but it wasn't until some time later that I realized what she was saying.  Instead of proclaiming, "Thanks be to God," she was calling out, "Thanks, big God!"

And so I do...

#441  for the mystery of prayer and of praying

#442  big brown eyes batted up at me

#443  the stillness of a moonless night

#444  waving until he's out of sight

#445  grace to sleep in

#446  grace to wake and count gifts

#447  sirens that break the Sabbath's silence

#448  resources that help me pray what I would not know how to pray otherwise -- I have been using Stormie Omartian's books and others like them for years.  Dates recorded inside span 15 years.  So grateful for this woman's gifting.

#449  the great hymns of faith

#450  a January sunrise and a prayer to accompany it -- Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world, grant that Your people may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that He may be known, worshiped  and obeyed to the ends of the earth.

#451  the sounds of a world waking up

#452  children's Christmas pageantry -- as told by kids at St. Paul's Church in New Zealand -- if you're interested, you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zduwusyip8M

#453  that God gave me a love for early morning

#454  for the way He speaks to me there

#455  the way God places just the right resource in my hand ... at just the right time

#456  the gift of hope -- for without it, there would be no faith

#457  for the miracle of existence

#458  a God who sings over me in the darkness

#459  a young girl in Uganda whose life challenges me to live more awake to those around me

#460  seasons of loneliness

Thanks, big God!