Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Saturday!

Today I met a friend from Brite at the TCU Bookstore to go over our notes for the ethics paper we both have due on Monday. While we were there, Grady Spears, owner and head chef of the Reata Restaurant in Fort Worth was there having a book signing and a tasting. I purchased a cookbook, he signed it and allowed me to have my picture taken with him. He is a delightful gentleman and seems very down to earth. He served these wonderful little cornbread BLT sliders with chipotle mayo. So yummy! I think I am going to recreate them for lunch tomorrow!

Geni lost her voice so I have been pressed into service to sing in her place during the Christmas cantata in the morning. She was to sing a duet with Bruce and have a solo part in the cantata. I have quickly learned two pieces and rehearsed with Bruce, orchestra and choir. The music is lovely. I ask you to pray for my voice as it is not in much better shape than Geni’s.

Isaiah 14:3 says “And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall give you rest from your sorrow and from your fear, and from the hard bondage where you were made to serve.”

Love and fear cannot live together. Love not grounded in the life of Jesus can be torn about by fear while the perfect love of God through Jesus casts out all fear. Perfect love that trusts in Christ is immediately the conqueror and fear is vanquished.

God is love. The only way to obtain this perfect love is to have more of Christ in our lives. We can only rid ourselves of fear by God’s presence in our lives and by calling on His Name. My devotion tonight says, “Fear of the future?--Jesus will be with us. Fear of poverty?—Jesus will provide.”

We must not let fear enter into our lives. When fear tries to enter, talk to God and love Him more and more. When we talk to God more His power becomes greater in us than the fear that is trying to rule our lives. As I recall there were these shepherds who were in the presence of some angels. The first words of the angels to those frightened shepherds were “Fear not! I bring good tidings of great joy. God is with you!”

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and a warm jacket. Love you all and see you in worship, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.
Happy Friday!

Prayer updates: all three of the friends we have been praying for from school this week are all okay! All tests and scans came back negative. Praise God! And Ashley, my team member came through surgery just fine and will be back in class on Monday. On behalf of these three wonderful, courageous women I give thanks for their health and well-being being restored and for all of your prayers. You are such mighty prayer warriors.

Psalm 118: 24 “This is the day which the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Remember when you were little and sang this song in Sunday School? You remember it was an echo song. It was also very upbeat and if you did not watch yourself, you would walk around singing this simple little chorus echoes and all! So tonight I write to all who have had cares and woes. Having cares and woes does not mean you don’t have faith, it just means that times are kind of hard right now and it is time for something to change. I think God sends us a sunrise gift when we read this verse. I have been awakened to this song on lots of Christian weekends and it always helps the day to begin with a little more pep in my step and a smile on my face.

God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. Perhaps when we rise and begin to think of the daily tasks ahead we could take joy in the day and use God’s strength to help us through the daily tasks. Then maybe those daily tasks won’t seem so ordinary. After all, there is nothing ordinary about a gift from God! Rejoice and be glad!

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, a warm jacket and sing praises as you travel. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Thursday!

Prayer and praise update. Our counselor, Marcie Stephan (one of the one I asked you to pray for) received a favorable report from the surgeon today. The tumor that was detected returned the result of being benign. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Please continue to pray for the other two for whom I have asked for prayers. I have not heard results from them yet. Thank you.

Also, please continue to pray for me as I continue on with the writing of my final paper for ethics. I have two thirds of it completed. It is my hope to complete the paper tomorrow night. Bruce and Travis are handling dinner so that I may get to work. The paper is due on Monday.

Song of Solomon 2:10 “My beloved spoke, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

I look so forward to my morning drive when I am alone in the car with God and my drive time devotion. I usually listen to the devotion about three times and stay quiet trying to remember all of the wonderful words I have heard and how I am going to apply them to my life on that day. Isn’t this an interesting passage of scripture? In this one verse passage, God is calling each of us to a quiet time with Him. God asks us to come away with Him. God desires intimacy with each of us through times of quiet listening and reflection. This quiet time with God is when we grow more into the knowledge of God. Sometimes God will ask us to sit silently and just be in His presence. This time of waiting can bring peace and comfort just being in each other’s presence.

The end of the day when I begin my Bible and devotional reading is a time I look forward to each day. I keep several devotional materials close by the computer and read different passages until I sense an idea forming that I would like to explore and on which to reflect. After reading this verse, I think that perhaps God is calling me to this time not just for reflection, but for a time of quiet intimacy with Himself. It is during these times that I feel the assurance of God’s love.

Having this quiet time each day allows me to talk in prayer or just sit and listen for God’s voice to either equip me for the day or cause quiet rest for the night.

Take joy in the journey simply means to bring God with you as you go through the day. Find a time during the day for some quiet moments with God.

So friends, take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes, a warm jacket and sing a song of praise as you travel. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

PS Bruce no longer works for UTS (the door company). It became official yesterday. I ask your prayers for the Toolbox (our home repair service) to begin to flourish once again. God has blessed us and we are at His mercy. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Peace, Gaylene

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

Today was a long day after a short night. I worked on my paper until almost midnight last night which is why I did not write last evening. My apologies!

Psalm 91: 11 “For He shall give His angels change over you to keep you in all your ways.”

Today at school we had three of our staff receive difficult news. Our counselor received an uneasy report from her latest mammogram. Our school secretary was told her daughter had nodules on her lungs and one of my team members is having surgery tomorrow to repair some nerve damage in her hand. Our prayer group met this morning and we knew of one of these issues, but not the other two. I have placed these names in our prayer book that we keep. I would ask you to keep these three women, their families and the outcomes of their final diagnosis in your prayers.

God has compassion on those who are ill. His tender mercies surround those who are sick strengthening them with His healing power and His infinite grace. God cares so much that He sends His angels to guide your steps in the path to healing. This verse says that His angels will keep you in all of your ways. When difficulties come then we must trust God in His strength and His tender mercies for our well being and healing. My prayers for these three friends are they will be drawn closer to God and learn to completely lean on Him for peace.

Take joy in the journey. Wear a warm jacket sing as you travel. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Monday!

Prayer alert! I have completed one of the case studies on my ethics final. Tonight I began reviewing the articles for the second case-study and hit a brick wall. I am meeting with a classmate tomorrow and hopefully the wall will crumble and I can write tomorrow night.

John 4:34 “Jesus said unto them, My meat(food) is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.”

How appropriate this verse is for me tonight. I have something I need to finished.

Jesus said these words to His disciples. He was trying to explain the union between believers and the Father using the ordinary object of meat. Around our house meat is eaten at lunch and dinner. (Have you seen Travis?!) Our meals are balanced with meat and vegetables. Eating well balanced meals helps all of us to stay healthy and able to do the things to which we are called and are responsible. We eat balanced healthy meals to help sustain our bodies.

Jesus wasn’t talking about steaks and chops when He spoke to the Disciples. He was speaking about meat(food) that would sustain our souls. We live in a world where people are physically starving. We also live in a world where people have “soul-starvation.” Soul starvation happens when our spirits are not fed with the divine food given by God through Jesus. The meat on which we need to desire to feast is doing the will of God.

Desiring the will of God in our lives will feed our souls. Practicing a life in piety will allow us to dine on not just a balanced meal, but a heavenly banquet. A life of prayer, study, service, fellowship with other believers and a life lived in faith will fill our plates to overflowing and we will never go hungry. When we have been nourished at the hand of the Father and feasted at His table of grace then we will be prepared to serve in the kingdom.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and a warm jacket. Save your fork because the best is yet to come. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

PS Prayers for Gaylene, Geni and Travis as we are all in the midst of end of semester finals and papers. Praise God that Bruce has work for a couple of weeks.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blessed Sunday to you all!

I went to the 8:30 worship service this morning for just a few minutes to hear the bell choir in which Bruce plays. Their playing and music were so lovely. As I watched the bell players I remembered how much Casey loved playing bells with Bruce. I was once again reminded how much Casey loved family, church and music. I began to cry and Bruce and I just held each other in the Gathering Room remembering how much Casey was looking forward to Christmas at home. In truth He did have Christmas at home, his heavenly home.

When we go to the 11:00 contemporary service we discovered we were singing some traditional Christmas carols. I then told Bruce that even when we sing traditional music, it does not sound like traditional music with the addition of the band instruments, electric piano and the wonderful rhythms Addie and Jeremy add to our music.

I was lector today. I really love reading scripture. This morning I read from Isaiah 9. This passage is the one we can all do from memory beginning with “For unto us a child is born…Wonderful Counselor.” I always sing The Messiah to myself when I come across this passage.

Proverbs 14:21 “He that has mercy on the poor, happy is he.”

Every year around this time there are many pleas to help those who are in need of items for Christmas. At church today, I dropped off our donation of children’s’ socks and underwear into the box at church for distribution at Christmas. At school, my class traditionally collects hats, gloves and mittens during the season and I take them to Mission Arlington. There are bell ringers outside the door at Wal-Mart braving the cold and collecting monetary donations for those in need. We rarely pass without dropping a dollar in the pot. I am sure all of us do something like this during this time of year.

I was reading a story about a family which had decided to adopt a family for Christmas. The adopted family had a father in prison, mother working three jobs and small children. The mother of the first family was trying to explain to her son what they were doing to try and help this family in need. So they go to the store and the little boy’s eyes lit up and every commercial he had ever seen for every toy suddenly came to life and the mother was really wondering what she was going to do. It was then the little boy said, “That boy would love this game. The sister will really love this doll and they both need some clothes.” There was pride in the eyes of the parents at the selflessness of their son when the little boy said, “Jesus was right, Daddy, it is better to give than to receive.” As this family paid for the items to be given to someone else they were given a glimpse of heaven as their child chose others over himself.

There are lots of people out of work. In one of her movies, Dolly Parton sings about the hard candy Christmas. I know there will be lots of them this year. A child born in a stable began the spirit of giving and gave us a glimpse into heaven within the lowliness of a stable. May the babe of Bethlehem be born once again in our hearts and may the joy of giving be ever in our thoughts.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and a warm jacket. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.