Thursday, August 28, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Thursday! All is well here at 811. The stadium was fun and much cooler than the outside temp. But our Cowboys were pretty cold tonight as they fell to the broncos 27 -3. Sad day!  But it was fun to get out on a week night and do something different. What is it about those stadium nachos that makes them taste so good? 

Dear God, I praise you because nothing is beyond your control. If I have an unexpected challenge, please remind me of your constant and unyielding love. Thank you, dear God, for catching me when I stumble and putting me upright when I fall.  I have a sure hope in You that you hold steady no matter whether the time is stormy for me or bright and calm. Please instill that calmness in me. Thank you for your faithfulness. I love you Lord, in Jesus name, amen.

I watched a brief FB video recently of someone’s grandchild walking for the first time.  It was such a joy and reminded me of when each of our children first began to walk. There were two feelings; first, the great sense of pride and excitement that they had let go of the couch and took those steps and second, when they were able to really walk we reminded ourselves that we wanted them to do that! The world changes when a child learns to walk and it changes for parents too. When they first learn to walk we are very near and ready to catch them when they stumble and fall. But as they become steadier we stand farther away and begin to let them right themselves on their own. But we always stand ready to catch them when they fall.

God is there for us when we stumble and fall. When babies fall they usually fall straight down and on a padded diaper. Not so much for we as adults.  When we stumble in our faith we more often than not fall forward especially if we have been walking backward. When we fall forward we have made progress.  Forward is the only direction God has given us. God is always there to help when we get into a difficult situation. The good news is that everyone stumbles and as believers we can still face the future with hope and God’s promise to help us out of his great love for us.  I believe in God’s promise of help and presence in times of need and in times of smooth waters because of out of all of God’s creation and out of His great love for us, God found us worthy of the life of His Son.

“I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you,.’Don’t panic, I am right here to help you.”
Isaiah 41: 13

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Wednesday!  All is well and progressing here at 811. The floor is cleaned up and Bruce is painting the room as I write.  And a great surprise within the last few minutes. Travis is giving us tickets to the Cowboy game tomorrow night complete with a VIP parking pass. Way cool!!!

The candle is lit…

Dear God, help me look far enough in my life to see the good things you have put there. Please forgive me when I overlook all that you have done for me. Thank you for taking care of all that concerns me. I ask in Jesus’ name for the healing of my friend Pastor Deb McCann. As you know she is not feeling well and is in a great deal of pain. Please ease her pain and help her to feel better quickly.  Thank  you Lord. I love you, in Jesus’ name, amen.

I have been dealing with some difficult things lately. Perhaps I needed the challenge from a friend to begin a gratitude journal for the next 5 days. I needed to remember and recognize the blessings and be thankful. I think that God allows us to go through difficult times so we can remember and recognize the blessings we have received. I usually look at the difficult situations as lessons to be learned and to help someone else going through similar times.  Problems even while painful they  bring with them the invitation to explore new and creative ways to seek God’s blessings, Presence  and leading through whatever is the problem presents. I believe that God loves us so much and wants to place his transforming power within us so much that nothing in our lives (even our mess-ups, bad decisions, poor choices and mistakes) will ever be wasted. God is so powerful that He can use anything to bring good out of any bad situation in which we find ourselves. Practicing praise and thanksgiving in tough times is one way of freeing up the space being taken up by sorrow, sadness, confusion, and a broken heart and seeing Gods presence in the midst of the storm.

“”Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute….dwell on these things.”
Philippians 4: 8

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Tuesday!  All is well here at 811.

Dear God, Sometimes it is hard to be obedient. And sometimes I am stubborn when it comes to following your will mostly because it will cause me to have to step out of a place of comfort and familiarity. So when you call me to serve please fill me with the confidence I need to act in your ways that I may serve you faithfully. I know that I am stronger by faith because you do not give me strength; you are the strength in me.  Hang with me Lord and I will listen closer and believe that you have new beginnings for me and great possibilities in your time and when you have made me ready. I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnnard  is one of my favorite books. The book is an allegory. I go back and reread it at different times in my life. The central character is Much Afraid who is in the service of the Shepherd. The Shepherd leads Much  Afraid on a journey to the High Places. She is accompanied by two companions; Sorrow and suffering. On the journey she is led to the foot of the mountains and is excited beyond all imagination that she is going to finally ascend the mountain and be out of the reach of her enemies. The Shepherd meets her at the foot of the mountain and turns the path where she must cross the desert. The mountain is directly behind her and reluctantly she begins to traverse the desert thinking that she is being led away from her heart’s desire.

If you have been a faithful reader of this blog you already know why this book has meaning for me. And I glean new meaning each time I read it.  God uses the situations in our lives to accomplish His will in us.  Sometimes the means do not look anything like what we would choose to accomplish the task. But God, being God, uses the improbable to make good come out of what we might deem impossible. My meditation tonight uses this sentence, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” God sees beyond what we see and knows what will work better in our lives than we do. Out of God’s great love for us His desire is for us to have true peace and joy in our souls. Journeying where we would not choose takes faith. But if we are willing to walk in obedience then we will receive blessings and land right where we are supposed to be.

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3: 6

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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Monday!  All is well here at 811.

The candle is lit…

Dear God, you are more than able to do all in my life that needs to be done. I am in awe and wonder at your greatness. Thank you for extending your love to me and for the opportunity to live each day for you.  Thank you for places to worship where your presence is found. I also thank you for the quietness and stillness of my own heart. I thank you for making my heart sacred space Thank you for meeting me in my own heart and you reveal yourself to me through your Word. Thank you for teaching me to live each day with hope found in your promises and joy in your strength and the  love found in the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ. I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen. 

When we place ourselves in the hands of God we find ourselves in a place where many things can be accomplished in our lives. God is present in all places and in all times. Coming to God with some confession of praise even in the darkest of times allows the brilliant light of his love to break through the darkness and begin to bring the peace we so need. I do not give thanks for difficult times, but I do try to find God’s presence in them. I cannot always find it quickly, but I usually find it after prayer and reading God’s Word.  I most often find God’s presence when I get out of the way and see what this loving God I serve can do.  And out of His great love I find unconditional love, tender mercies and unmerited grace.  It is time to be quiet and listen for the sacred space in my own heart.

“I commend you to the care of God and to the message of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you the blessings God has for all his people.”
Acts 20: 32
Take joy in the journey praying as you go.  Find God in the sacred space of your own heart and experience what God can do.  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Blessed Sunday to you all!  All is well here at 811.

The candle is lit…

Gracious God, thank you for drawing me out of my shell of anxiousness and into the light of your love. Thank you for new promises and purpose for my life. Lord. Lord, I listen for your call and am ready to go where you send me. But mostly Lord, I am listening for your voice of Presence right now. I ask Your patience with me as I confess my neediness to You.  Hang with me Lord and soothe my troubled soul with the light of your love and holiness. May I move past the things that make me sad and live into the calling of Your desire to take Your love and put it into the hearts of others.  I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Tomorrow is the first day of the new school year. Teachers face a new group of students and work valiantly to have names and faces placed together before the children go home. They deal with the greatest first day of school question especially with little ones. “How do I get home?”  Each soul that walks into a school building tomorrow student, teacher, administrator, staff and parent all have one thing in common…they face a new future.  A future filled with new experiences, new knowledge, new friends, new rules, and new materials all with the purpose of furthering the lives of the students/children in their care. 

God has given each of us who believe a similar daily task. When Jesus was on the earth he gave the disciples the task of placing the love of God through the knowledge and their experience with Jesus into the hearts of other people. There is a story of the great physician; Albert Schweitzer that tells of a man on whom the great doctor had just performed surgery in West Africa.  When the man awoke from the procedure his heart was filled with hope and he asked the Dr. Schweitzer who sent him to save his life? Dr. Schweitzer said, “The Lord Jesus Christ sent me.” 

God has been sending his servants into the world for a very long time. He sends those He has equipped to help further the lives of those we are given to heal, bring knowledge to, to lift up, to teach and to bring the life giving power of hope and love.  My dear teacher friends He sends you now. Have a fantastic first day and a blessed year.  Love you all.

“Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples.”
Matthew 28: 19
(And for those who are just a bit anxious about tomorrow)
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”
Psalm 94: 19
Take joy in the journey praying as you go. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene