Saturday, November 9, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Saturday!  All is well at 811. Our day began with breakfast with Geni and Travis. Pecan pancakes and two kinds of sausage.  It was a great way to begin the day. After Saturday errands, the paper writing began!  I am better than halfway finished and the plan is to finish tomorrow.  Please continue to pray for our family including our extended family. Thank you. God is good and love wins!  And Frogs Win! Frogs Win!!

 Lord, You set the heavens in place and know every star that shines. Yet you also know the slightest details of my life, the places where there are cracks in my soul that need mending and I praise you for your care. God, help me keep my eyes on you. I praise you that nothing is ever difficult for you and that you use everything for my good and your glory.  Thank you for the gift of family. When difficult times are upon us our families of birth and our families of choice are there caring, supporting, praying and loving us with unconditional love just as you have taught. I love you Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

 The events of the past week have taken their toll on my concentration. It has been difficult at times even to pray and really difficult to try to begin my final writings for the semester. So today as Bruce and I were returning from the Saturday grocery store run I got tired of feeling broken. I asked Bruce to pray for me and for Satan to be removed from my brokenness and for God to take over. Everything changes when set your focus on God. Focus on God causes us to filter every situation through the knowledge we have of him.  There is no problem too hard for God and every circumstance can be used for our good and his glory because nothing is impossible for God. I stopped focusing on the paper writing and the family situation and began to think about God. Not how God was going to work this out or take care of things. Just think about God. I knew then that God had not moved, but my focus had.  I stopped thinking about the brokeness I was feeling, that we had eaten leftovers for two meals today and how I was afraid to write this paper. So I sat down and began to write discovering that I think I understood what to do, joyfully ate leftovers twice and surrendered the situation over to the One who holds us all in the palm of His hand.  All is well at 811.

 “I lift my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven…Show us favor.”

Psalm 123: 1, 3

 Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Friday, November 8, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

TGIF Today God is First!  And all is well at 811.

Loving God, You know what our family is facing and we are counting on seeing your power in the lives of this family. We believe that your glory will shine through each step we take. `We are in awe of your awesome love and thank you now for the healing that will take place. We thank you for your awesome power in which we place our trust and give us hope. We love you Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

 I love the stories of the Old Testament. In a Bible Study I attended once we were talking about the Temple. Placed deep within the Temple in the Most Holy Place is the chest called the ark of the Testimony where God would meet with the high priest.  The glory of God would appear above the chest. On the top of the chest are two carved cherubim. Their wings spanning the chest and the empty space between the wings is the mercy seat of God. The power of God is found in many ways and in many places. But in this particular space the power of God does not divide oceans or cause pillars of fire to form. No, in this space is found the merciful heart of God who only spoke to one person, the high priest.

We do not have to kneel before a chest of gold to find the heart of God and receive God’s mercy. The power of God is available to each of us when we meet with God in prayer telling him that we are in need of his gracious mercy. Our relationship with God has been developed from the promises of Holy Scripture, remembering how we were able to successfully cope in past through difficult times through God’s tender mercies. God’s glory has shined on difficult days will shine above all of our situations as a reminder that the Presence of our merciful, gracious God is unfailing and ever present. It is in this great mercy we are given hope and healing. God is good and love wins!

From above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are upon the ark of the Testimony, I will speak intimately with you.”

Exodus 25: 22

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Thursday! There are members of my family that are in need of prayer tonight. Since their stories are not mine to tell I simply ask that you to pray God’s Presence be with all of us granting each of us peace, comfort, assurance and tender mercies. Thank you. God is good and love wins.

Lord, I ask that you fill the eyes of our family with only good things and permeate our thoughts with only you. I pray you help us to focus on you now and always. I praise you that nothing is ever too difficult for you and that you see everything for good and to your glory. You have set the heavens in place and know every star that shines and yet you know every detail of our lives. I praise you for your care and in an almost breathless whisper stand in awe that of all the plans in your command you chose to live in each of us. We are a family of faith. You know the desires of our hearts and the prayers we will pray even before we bow our knees and lift our eyes toward heaven. You love for us is everlasting and we praise your wonderful name. We love you Lord and place our hope and trust in you. In Jesus name, Amen.

“Unto you I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. We will keep looking to you, O LORD our God.”

Psalm 123: 1-2

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Wednesday!  All is well at 811. I have been fully re-vested into Burton Hill. Today I was given an email address,a key, a “box”  for mail and a parking space. However someone parked in my space and I was “out on the street” again. No prob, I could always use the walk.

Lord, thank you for all the ways I know that I know you love me with an everlasting love. Please forgive me for doubting myself when you are there for me to trust. With all of the things on my plate and the deadlines to meet help me not to fret, but be transformed by the hope I place in you. I love you Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tonight the title of my meditation is “Abiding in Him.” “I AM YOUR STRENGHT AND YOUR SHIELD.” When we place our trust in God, remembering the strength and shielding protection given as a gift, we are helped. Worry goes away and we connect with God through trust.  Worry is a place of darkness. I really do not like the dark. I have a scent warmer on my dresser that I just leave on all the time. At night when I turn out the lamp the last thing I see is the light from the warmer. And it makes me smile. Scripture tells us that whoever follows Jesus will never walk in darkness and will always have the light of Christ. Trying to find the light in the midst of difficult, devastating situations is one of the ways we come closer to God. Another way to come closer to God is to find a way to give thanks in every situation. I don’t think we are meant to give thanks for the situation, but to find a way to express thankfulness. Some people sing, or paint, or write, or pray, remember how much they are loved and give thanks. There is a different way to express thankfulness as there are people giving thanks. I think the first one I think of is remembering the claim by Corrie Ten Boom, “No pit is so deep that His love is not deeper still.” Jesus understands suffering better than anyone and promises to be with us no matter how dire the circumstances or rocky the path. God is so very good and God’s love wins! 

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

Psalm 28:7

Take joy in the journey giving thanks for strength for the day and remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Tuesday!  All is well at 811.

Dear God, It has been quite a day. God, you know all things. Please help me understand your Word and your will for me. Encourage me according to my deepest need. Thank you Lord, for having a name I can call on for everything I need. I love you Lord.  In Jesus name, Amen

God has many names. When we need God’s healing touch we can call on Jehovah-Rapha, “the Lord your healer.”   When we place our trust in the healing God the answer we receive in return is peace. Trust is a relational word. Trust is a way in which we draw near to God. Being afraid is something we all do because it is a very human emotion. It is okay to tell God we are afraid and then in the same breath affirm our trust in God out loud or just in a whisper. The wonderful thing about God is that no matter what, God will receive us and is always accessible to us. When we keep our eyes on God, we will receive comfort, strength and understanding we need. Sleep peacefully knowing that God is guarding and protecting us. God gives us wisdom in all of our situations observing what we cannot and preparing us for what is ahead. Let us give thanks for our God who loves us with an unfailing love who claims us for His own. God is good and love wins.

“The LORD will protect you and keep you safe from all dangers. The LORD will protect you now and always wherever you go.”

Psalm 121: 7-8

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Monday, November 4, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Happy Monday!  All is well at 811.  I loved getting up this morning in dressing in my jeans, silver shoes with the hearts on the toe and my Mom’s pink sweatshirt. And even though the sweatshirt no longer wears her fragrance it made me feel wrapped in her love and her brilliant smile.  Tonight, Bruce and I were watching a movie. We were trying to determine when the move would be over. After several attempts to make the determination Bruce said, “Someday all of this will be right.” I married a prophet and a wonderful man of faith. I was so encouraged for him that he has the hope and confidence that the blocks to language both spoken and heard will be righted. Maybe he lives in the scripture verse from Psalms, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (34: 4) God is good and love wins.

Dear God, I raise my praise to you for all you do and all you are. Thank you for the miracles you have brought to our lives. When I look around I see all you have done and I am humbled by your goodness.  Lord, as I prepare to write my final papers for my seminary career I ask that you clear my mind and stretch my time to write work that is academically acceptable and to be found faithful.  I am really nervous about my writing in the Gospel of Mark. Help me not to fear failure again and to learn from my past errors receiving the miracle of understanding and your presence. I love you Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

Miracles happen every day. Sometimes when we think of the great miracles of God we think of burning bushes, great oceans that open and entire nations walk across on dry land. Then there are the miracles that tell of those who have overcome great odds to achieve their goals. (Forgive me, but I think of myself and Bruce when I write that sentence.)  But no matter how we define a miracle there is no situation that is so terrible or no goal so remote that God is not there to help when we ask. Since God is infinite, “impossibilities” are the specialty of God. God is unexplainable.  God loves us unconditionally and completely. God listens to and answers our prayers. The situations we find impossible and needing a miracle are the times in our lives when we live placing our dependency on God. God is infinite sufficiency. Bruce believes in the miracle of new life as he is being restored each day. I pray for the miracle of confidence and not feeling inadequate by clinging to God and relying on the infinite sufficiency of the one who created each of us.  So here is the good news…I don’t have to understand; I only have to believe.

“The Lord has done this wonderful miracle for me…I shall live! Yes, in his presence—here on earth!”

Psalm 116: 7, 9

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and carry an umbrella. Get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Greetings from Austin Street

Blessed Sunday to you all!  Today Geni and Cody presented me with two lovely white roses.  They were

offered by the church in memory of Casey and my Mom. How perfect for All Saint’s Sunday. As I think of these two people who had such a profound effect on my life; the one who gave me life and the one to whom I gave life I think mainly two things, I am continually reminded of how much I loved them and how much they taught me about love. I miss them each day and sometimes I ask God if they could just peak down and witness some things like weddings and graduations! I remember their brilliant smiles, their loving hearts, the wonderful talks, their faithfulness and their faith and I miss Casey and kitchen dancing. Maybe he kitchen dances with Mom in heaven!  She would have loved that. 

Lord, I thank you for the faith of my Mom and my son and the assurance that they are bringing joy to you in heaven. Thank you for the family who is still here on this side of heaven and how you live faithfully in their lives. I thank you for your Word. It is in this sacred Word that I find your way and will for my life. Thank for your tender mercy that is poured out on me. May I reach out to others following the example of your saints in heaven and here on earth because You have reached out to all of us. I love you Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

As I am rapidly approaching the final papers to be written I have thought about the last six years. My beginnings at Brite were in crisis and now my closing weeks include a crisis. Casey was diagnosed my first semester and Bruce has had a stroke. There have been a few in between. And though the situations have been devastating; filled with grief and loss I am captured by God’s tender mercies and great compassion. It is in God’s constant presence that have made the losses bearable and invested with meaning. How comforting it has been to rest in God’s most tender mercy knowing that any doubts I have, no matter my failures, or if I surrender to fear…God’s mercy never ends. The storehouse of God’s grace opens and the never ending streams of love and mercy flow over me assuring me that God’s compassion is infinite and given as a gift of love. How assuring it is to know that God will meet me at the mercy seat with warm compassion and unfailing love. God is so very good and love wins.

“The LORD is kind and does what is right; your God is merciful.”

Psalm 116: 5

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene