Swinging Contest

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Our granddaughter, Hannah, is visiting!  Since we hadn’t seen her for quite some time, we couldn’t believe how she had changed so quickly into such a sweet young lady. 
Hannah is a whole 11 years old, but she is taller than me; I’m 5’3!”  
For fun, we took her shopping for some sandals. The ones she found were not what I expected.  She liked the ones with sparkles and higher heels that I thought she should wear. She looks so much older! What happened to my baby?
After dinner, Randy and I introduced Hannah to our lovely 1.5 mile evening walk along the levee.   Strolling on the levee is a wonderful place to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.   
Two HUGE white owls startled us by crashing through the trees! Along with cranes and hawks, the owls hunted high above ground.   A group of sheep gathered peacefully at the river’s edge.  In the near distance, the coyotes howled.  We grabbed our walking sticks and picked up our return pace.  Ain’t nature grand?
Tonight, we took Hannah to a large park with lots of space so Papa could teach her  to ride the electric scooter.  It about got away from her several times, leaving her wide-eyed.  What a good laugh that gave us all!  Just a little balance issue – that’s all!   
The evening ended with a swinging contest!  To see who could pump the highest and maintain the longest was our goal!

Us old folks did pretty well!  Hannah asked why she went faster and I replied that we were heavier.

Heavier, maybe, but we didn’t tire easily!  Building up strength and momentum from walking the levee every evening for the past few weeks had paid off. Trudging the uneven ground trained all of our muscles.
It was a great feeling to realize the incredible adaptability build into our bodies by our Creator.  If only we’d remember to tap into the potential!
All we had to do was get up and get moving and STAY committed! Muscle-building and endurance were the rewards allowing us to swing fast and high!
Tapping into our spiritual potential is an exercise all it’s own! 
There is so much more to God that we can KNOW if we will only we will, first, make a daily effort to walk with Him!  Once we’ve attained endurance He can trust,  we can “swing” with Him to higher places!


This post has been shared at “One Word at a Time”
Please SWING by there and view the other posts using the word Swing.

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Plug In! Let’s GO!

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Plug In! Let’s GO!

Don’t you get weary
Don’t you get blue…
Remember the JOYS
God has given to you!
Your purpose established
By Almighty God
Cannot be diminished
By the enemy’s prod
When you are tempted
To slacken your pace,
Remember God’s goodness
Remember His Grace!
Like a river, your Peace
With comfort will flow
Uplifting your Spirit,
Your body, your soul!
New every morning
God’s Mercies are there
Energized by your worship
Awakened by prayer!
Tap in to the unseen
For clearer insight
Expect God to show up
With Power, With Might!
7-26-11
This poem was shared at: SoloGloria  http://findingheaventoday.blogspot.com/
Do visit Jen’s site and enjoy the posts waiting for you there!

also shared at:

Play dates with God       http://www.lauraboggess.com/

Feet – – – Feet? Feet!

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Feet.   That’s all I heard. 
I began my prayer time by asking God what he wanted me to pray over.  All afternoon,  I kept thinking that I should pray over a friend’s feet.   There it was – again!
At an age when everyone else was retiring and enjoying the fruit of their life’s labors, some recent acquaintances of ours had heeded a call to the missions in Cambodia.
Their very large church in California had promised ample sponsorship and raised plenty of money to send them on their way.  How wonderful!  Everything was working out well!
Yet, unknown to them, even as they had already liquidated most of their personal goods and made their way across the seas to do what God directed, the church changed its Missions director.
The new director had other plans for missions….and they did NOT include our new friends and their efforts in Cambodia.  They were left high and dry!  
Never suspecting that they would be without their main line of support, they had to trust God to show them what to do! Theirs was a quick learning curve. 
It wasn’t easy, but God showed them how to be creative and they steadily raised the money they needed. They produced everything themselves, from website content to ministry aids.  Except for their love for the Cambodian people, nothing came easy!
The aches and pains of their 60–something bodies accompanied them everywhere, but especially intensified when a motorcycle accident left them with bruises and broken bones.
Wondering why they were riding motorcycles in the first place?  Few people own cars in those regions. Paved roads are almost non-existent, and the ones leading into the undeveloped portions of Cambodia where they teach are nothing more than rutty, bumpy pathways.  A motorcycle is the best answer.  However even a motorcycle can be challenged by the terrain!
It’s important to support those God has given to us.  Money and prayer are vital.
So back to my prayer time. The things I have prayed about for these dear people has often confounded me!  I have prayed about the oddest things.  Odd to me, maybe, but not to them.  The Holy Spirit knows just what should be addressed and spoken forth in their behalf.
So this time,  it was “feet”.  The Holy Spirit was specific and directed me to pray over the wife’s feet.  I finally e-mailed her and let her know what was going on.  A few days later, she replied,
“Hi Nancy,
Yes my feet have been hurting while traveling almost 3,000 miles the last month, sitting in the car holding my feet in one place hurts.  Thanks for your prayers.”
Could it have been that simple?  Yes.
Besides the after-effects of the motorcycle accident, she let me know that she also suffered from Fibromyalgia
Did God care about her feet?  He certainly did and He brought it to my attention! 
That is how the Body of Christ works. 
We are fitly joined together and should function seamlessly, upholding one another.   At least that’s the way it should be. 
While I am not perfect at this, I AM getting better and more adept.  My goal is to be as instant-in-season as possible.
I want to be practiced-up now so that when it is a matter of more urgency, it won’t take me any time to jump right in and pray for someone.
Even praying for their feet. 
Yes, my understanding had not been engaged, but it didn’t have to be. God knew!  It was up to me to obey His leading.
One definition of prayer I heard years ago was this:
God says it….you pray it……God does it! 
That’s good enough for me!
This post was shared at the WellSpring: PlayDates with God:  Please visit and view other great posts:  http://www.lauraboggess.com/2011/07/playdates-with-god-happy-feet.html

Message for a Secret Agent

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1Corinthians 13:13 

And now abides faith, hope, charity, these three; but 
the greatest of these is charity.

My In-Box was full of e-mail that had escaped my attention. Preps for a new school session occupied my time.

Finally I took a break.  Breathing deeply to relax, I sat to do a little computer housekeeping.  Suddenly, a message popped right out and caught my eye!! It read.
            “Thank you for the wonderful message you sent me…..I want you to know how much       I appreciate your friendship…….please continue to pray for me and my family – most especially my daughter.
            She is a good kid, however just like any teenager – and we have all gone through that pain.
            I thank the good Lord for my husband for he is always on her side whenever she needs to talk to someone. I try to be there whenever I can.
            And, yes there is a lot going on ….I’m so overwhelmed …it seems like things are out of control…. I’m just plain tired mentally and physically.  Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.
            I have so much to be grateful for and I thank the good Lord for all the blessing HE has brought into my life, including you. YOU showed me the way to the Lord and truly I’m grateful for that.”
Surprised?   Yes, I genuinely was surprised because this individual is more of an acquaintance than a friend.  I rarely hear from her.  I am the best friend SHE will ever have, but I can’t say that I consider her a real friend.    We have known each other for many years, but I am the one who reaches out, keeps in touch and encourages her.  It is never the other way around.
Being the “Best Friend” I can be to lots and lots of people – whether or not they ever reciprocate – became my resolve long ago.  It’s part of the job.   It takes concerted effort on my part to keep up with all my covert assignments, and it is imperative that I continue!    You see, being a Secret Agent transcends regular boundaries! It is never boring, but it does keep me busy!  I receive new orders almost daily.
My problem is that I never know whether or not my cards, calls, e-mails, texts, direct messages, small gifts, and so on are ever received – especially when I’m led to send some of them secretly. It is often a thankless job!   Yet I keep the vigil. 
Every so often, I do get a little break, and feedback finds me.  When it doesn’t, I have to trust that, with God’s-speed, these efforts will alight where needed and provide the encouragement, love, or a gentle prod predetermined by a Source higher than me. 
Back to my poor “friend.”  She has everything money can buy and then some.  She is a professional with no time for her family.
Fifteen years ago, she married. At that time she made it clear that she was “married to her profession”, and always would be!  Her new husband and any future family would always come second.   Disregarding my cautions, she has been true to her word, and now her teenage daughter wants nothing to do with her.   It is obvious to everyone but her, that the child doesn’t know her as “Mother.”  The husband always has taken care of everything.  The husband-wife thing has been transferred to husband-daughter.  I feel so badly for her willful blindness to family, while she tends avarice diligently.
At times, when I have been required to be a voice-of-reason for my “friend”, it hasn’t been easy.  I have had to ignore her ranting, rationalizations or thoughtless retorts. Employing spiritual principles and instructing her in Righteousness, are ongoing.  I pull back for a time and then it’s on again. Will she ever learn?   It only seems to be getting worse.  I’d give up, but God won’t let me. 
When she drops the baton, my task is to pick it up – and her too – if the situation dictates!
Until God tells me otherwise, I’ll be there to hand it back to her and yell, “Run!”   Then I’ll root for her as she does!  I watch over her in prayer – from a distance. After all, covert operation is my specialty.
Yes, I’m a Secret Agent. I travel everywhere by prayer and am kept on track by Faith..  Stealth and secrecy allow me to operate quickly and specifically.  No one knows it’s me.  I’m anonymous!
My Heavenly assignments are not always spectacular or glorious and there are few earthly rewards for the mundane.  Every so often though, a message comes through to let me know that I’m on task.
Who knows? . . . Maybe a Special Agent has entered your life at one time or another. 
Heaven is always recruiting.  The training manual is alive and powerful.  Although we agents never really see The Boss, we can be sure that we will always hear a Word behind us saying, “Go this way”.  We are under His cover.  Powerful weapons are provided to deal with strongholds.  The Boss’s Son stands up for us in fine legal fashion, while The Paraclete has our backs. There’s lots of under cover work to be done.
Are you in?  
 
This post was shared at Bonnie’s FAITH Jam at:  http://www.faithbarista.com/2011/07/what-you-fear-most-is-where-faith-grows/  Please go there to view other posts on Faith.

Make Those Philistines Jealous!

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“….And…just what kind of service vehicle would you like –  A Ford Aerostar, a Chevy Astro, or a Ford F150?”   
( The Ford F150, of course)
“…How about the new laptop computer?  Would you like that to come with DVD?” 
( You bet!!!)
“…Would a Nextel phone do?  How about a 401K?”  ( Why not?)
These were a few of the questions that a corporate man from a well-known drug store chain queried my husband today!  The God that IS “More Than Enough” brought my husband’s perfect job! After a 10+ month long  “dry spell”,  these words resounded like fresh rain on parched soil!   Faith had brought forth substance!
Mental battles, where accusations punctured my soul, were well-timed when it came to paying bills or buying food.  Only The Word of God could silence those accusations.  I poured that Living Word into my mind freely, and then spoke (no, yelled)  it out loud – back to God, the angels and any demons listening.
“I am the head and NOT the tail. I am above and NOT beneath!  I am before and NOT behind.  God has not left me or forsaken me and it is not His will that I come behind in any good thing.” 
To me, that meant a place to live and food to eat and a few clothes to wear!  We had liquidated stocks, savings, and many personal possessions to survive.
In the midst of ridiculous mental onslaughts, the enemy-of-our-souls conveniently forgot to report to us that a well-known company was planning to expand its service base in our area!   

Everything looked dry, but a well was being unstopped while we exercised faith in our Creator to sustain us and bring us into a better place.

A new service depot for this company’s field techs was to be constructed 5 miles away from our home.  My husband would be the primary over that depot.
Everyone told us that there were no jobs like what he needed in our area, and that my husband would probably have to travel over 50 miles to find one.
“Liar, liar, pants on fire!”  The only thing the devil can do is lie. That old liar somehow managed to hide the fact that there WAS a job right up my husband’s avenue of expertise, and it was right here in our valley!  Even my husband’s new partner was a dedicated Christian. Hallelujah!
During our “dry spell”, I had been meditating on Genesis 26:1-33. The Bible recounts the story of Isaac, a time of famine and the fact that no one else BUT Isaac prospered during this famine. This made the Philistines jealous!
They had hoped the monotheistic faith preached by Abraham had passed with him, but NOW they had Isaac to deal with!  Abraham’s philosophy, sustained through Isaac, was blatantly in-their-faces! The corrupt Philistines eventually stopped striving with him and came to respect his wealth!    I read that, “He called out in God’s name.”  What a great example he was for me to stay in faith during hard times.
For me, steadfastness took over early on. Times were skinny and lots of things changed, but we didn’t really feel like we were suffering. Our needs were met in so many unexpected ways.  My heart remains humble and thankful for what was done in us!
We gave, we lent, we sowed time, and spent time on others.  Most of all, we stayed put and daily called upon God’s name to see what we should be doing.  He spoke to us through His Everlasting Word!  He did! 
Just when we thought we were out of options, the perfect job arrived. Deep in my spirit, God spoke…”You’re going to make the Philistines jealous!”   The poem that follows was a result of that inspiration:
We sowed in time of famine,
The faith our Father gave us
With Isaac, our example
We believed our God could save us
We dug our well and found there
 “Living Waters”!  Effervescence!  
We checked our contract daily
Surrounded by His Presence
We barely noticed adversity
Though continually it battered!
Rooted and grounded in God’s Love
Was all we knew that mattered!
Now it’s time to tend the harvest
Our spirits ever zealous!
We’ll continue our expansion
And make those Philistines jealous!
This post has been entered in Faith Barista’s Blog Hop, see other entries at:

Put It In Drive!

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While I was sitting in the driveway waiting for one of my five kids  to hurry-it-up-already, I accidentally stomped down on the accelerator. Thank God the vehicle was still in “park!”  
My focus narrowed to the revving engine. . . AND the fact that I could have sent myself crashing through the newly painted garage door into all my husband’s power tools and exercise equipment!  Yikes!
POWER! All the power of that engine was available.  The depressed throttle caused the engine to race.  My heart pounded all the way up to my ears!
Massive horsepower at my command!   Yet, I hadn’t moved an inch!  
I forgot all about waiting impatiently in the heat. Spiritual analogies began to come at me –  with high-speed intensity!
“That’s right – engage the power!”   “  You gotta put it in drive!”
“Afterall,  God’s Word isn’t automatic.”
The words of my earlier prayers seemed so childish now.
Obviously, I could see that there was God’s part. He created everything, didn’t HE? 
Understanding inched over my thoughts. 

I have a part too. God’s done His part.   His power is always “on.”  His mercies are renewed every morning.  I had just read that, but did I really think it applied to ME?

I sat in a running car.  That car was ON, but I wasn’t moving. So simplistic;  now that’s the Holy Spirit for you!
Cloudiness thoughts dissipated. I had read many promises from the Bible that day.

I used to think that because something was in the Bible, it was going to automatically hop out of the pages, get on me and the come to pass!   

It was all on God!  
Right!   I get it now!    God’s Word isn’t Automatic.  He said I have a MORE SURE WORD than if an angel spoke to me.  Why oh why didn’t I get that concept sooner?
A friend once told me that she believed that her kids would automatically turn to God, since they were being raised in a Christian home.   A kind of “osmosis”, I guess.   Well, I can tell you now, THAT didn’t happen!
The Word of God is full of Power, but one thing becomes more and more clear.   Unless it gets in my mouth and in my heart …and I begin speaking it, it will remain static and totally unengaged.
Over time, I had become a confident driver.  I learned what-was-what, and how to engage the engine’s power to get myself around safely. Speaking God’s word out of my mouth, equates to “putting it in drive!” That’s the Holy Spirit’s lesson to me.
Above my children’s room, I tacked Bible verses.  I looked at them so often, and read them out loud, that they are now a viable part of me.  Even though the kids are older, it’s not hard for me to pray over my children and believe God to bring HIS Word to pass!
One daughter still quotes her verse –   “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight”. 
She got that one at an early age!  My gut wriggles and rolls with suppressed laughter when I hear her admonishing younger members of the family with it. 
She told me that because I spoke it to her SO much,  SHE began saying it. It is now indelibly imprinted in her heart.  It worked too!  Of all the kids, she never became adept at lying.  Her conscious bothered her so badly; she’d fess up in a heartbeat!   Now I am a spectator to her exercise of faith a she embarks on her own journey in life.  Amazing fruit!
Engage God’s power for your own life.  His Word will not return void (empty), but it will accomplish what He intended it to accomplish.
The Life’s-lesson?  PUT IT IN DRIVE!