Saturday, September 6, 2014

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

The candle is lit…

Dear God, you are the origin of every blessing and the cause of all of the good things in my life.  Lord, for a long time now I have given myself deadlines for accomplishing things in my life.  But I have learned that my timeline is not always you timeline for me. I know that your timing is always perfect and that I am to live into Your time. Thank you Lord for teaching me this lesson and that I need not fear time. I praise you for your loving kindness every moment of every day. And Lord, thank you that so many people are finding ways to be thankful and are willing to share their gratitude with others. I thank you for loving me, my family and friends. I thank you for calling us your children and finding us worthy of the life of your Son. I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Gifts from God are the blessings we receive. They do not come wrapped in pretty paper with bows, but they are gifts of great extravagance.  The blessings we receive from our loving God are the things for which we give thanks. When we acknowledge how good God is in our lives we are letting God know how much we appreciate what he has done for us. We come before our God with great and humble thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving is the constant and characteristic note of the Christian life.”  In times and moments of great joy we praise God and in moments of deepest sorrow we seek God.  In moments when we are feeling pain that almost takes our skin off we trust God and in each moment we thank God. Each of us has probably experienced these times in our lives. When I was diagnosed with cancer I was not thankful for cancer (I do not think I am supposed to be thankful for cancer.)  However I sought God in my shock and disbelief especially in those early moments when I sat at my dinner table and said, “Lord, Really, You have to be kidding me!  Haven’t we been through enough?” I trusted God through the near immediate care I received through Doc Adams and Dr. Kory Jones. I gave thanks and was joyful when all of the cancer was removed and the lymph nodes were cancer free. 

Giving thanks is at the heart of our prayer life.  At the end of the day giving thanks is the proper conduct for every believer.  So my dear friends as the song says “Give thanks with a grateful heart.” And remember that no matter what we are a part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken no matter what by offering the sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise. 

“Through him, then let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.”
Hebrews 13: 15
“Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship god acceptably with reverence and awe.”
Hebrews 12: 28
Take joy in the journey praying with thanksgiving as you go. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Friday, September 5, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
TGIF Today God is first!  All is well here at 811.

The candle is lit…

Dear God, the best position I can be in to see your face is on my knees. It is pretty hard to fall when I am on my knees.  From my knees I can look up into your face and see your greatness and your compassion. Thank you that while on my knees I receive the fullness of your Word and hear your voice of love speaking to me. Thank you that you help me to trust and persevere when I am struggling. I know the blessings I have received and the blessings to come are worth the wait. Lord I ask you to kindly attend  Sarah and her family at this time.  I love you Lord in Jesus’ name, amen.

My friends once again I am coming up on an ordination interview. It is on September15.  Tonight my meditation speaks of lengthy delay in seeing God’s promises fulfilled in my life.  As upset as I was after the last interview I have come to understand that God knew far better than I that I was not ready to proceed onto a final interview and I still had lessons to learn. God in His gracious wisdom gave me the gift of time as I needed more preparation. It has been a time of training and favor. It has been a time of trusting God for the wonderful things that God is doing in my life. My prayer is to answer faithfully and authentically in the presence of the love of God and the members of the committee praying for reaching the next step in the process. (I don’t want to hang up my spurs and walk away.)  I am living in the hope of the words of the psalm “You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.” 

“I pray to you, Lord! Please listen. Don’t hide from me in my time of trouble. Pay attention to my prayer and quickly give an answer.”
Psalm 102: 1-2

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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

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

The candle is lit...

Dear God, I come boldly into your presence and stand confidently before your love. Thank you for tender memories of lives past and joys experienced in those lives. Thank you for filling me with good things that bring joy to my soul and strength to my heart. Thank you for ALWAYS being available and listening to each word I pray and letting me know how much you care. I give a most special thanks for our young cousin Tatum who went to school for the very first time today. You have brought her from horrible illness to healing and wholeness and so present in her life and the life of her family with faith that was never shaken. I love you Lord, in Jesus name, amen.

My beloved husband is a pack rat. He is known to almost never throw anything away. Sometimes this bothers me a little and then he locates treasure.  Unknown to me he found about 15 rolls of film with some dating back 15 years.  He handed me the first package and the first pictures were of Casey and my Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary and the memories, smiles and tears began.

Today a dear friend posted a statement of faith on FB. So tonight the words I share are not my words, but the words of someone else.  There was no author listed just simply ended with Spiritual Inspiration. With the roller coaster of emotions that flowed out this evening these words seemed appropriate.  Experience has taught me these words are true thorough faith in Jesus Christ.

“The deepest level of worship is praising God inspite of the pain, thanking God during the trials, trusting Him when we’re tempted to lose Hope and LOVING HIM  WHEN He seems so distant and far away. At my lowest, God is my hope. At my darkest, God is my light. At my weakest, God is my strength. At my saddest, God is my comforter.”  Spiritual inspiration.

Take joy in the journey praying as you go and relying on God for each and every step. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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

Dear God, I love you and trust you. You make my life so much better. Please continue to lead me to the life you have planned for me. I know it is more wonderful than I can possibly imagine. You have given me joy and purpose, family, friends and the greatest gift of all; Jesus. Tonight I lift up the faculty and staff of South Davis Elementary School as they have lost one of their teachers to cancer today. Cover them and the family of this fine teacher with you healing love and divine comfort. May they find comfort in you as they comfort each other. I love you Lord, in Jesus name, amen.

How many times have we said, “This is not what I expected!”  We plan and plan and sometimes what we plan ends up just like we “planned” for it.  And then then there are the times that we plan and the road is not so straight or smooth and contains twists and turns and occasional pot hole or we just get lost. (That is my specialty.)!  But somehow or other sometimes these unexpected changes in direction end up taking us not where we planned to go, but to where we needed to be. And maybe if we had it to plan all over again we might go to the places we didn’t plan or maybe not. I guess what I am trying to say is that life is not a straight path.

While our plans are important, the plans God has for us are more important. Trusting in our faithful God will lead us maybe where we had not planned to go, but will most assuredly lead us to where we are supposed to be.  So let us all take joy in the journey believing that God sees each one of us and knows the desires of our hearts.  The good news for each of us is that when we get to where God leads us, our souls will be satisfied, we will have learned many lessons along the way and we will be filled with joy.

“I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.”
Philippians 4: 11
“Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 5: 20

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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

Dear God, I praise you that I can sing your praise each day. You are truly worthy, my Savior.  I remember how you have come time and again to hold and lift me up. Thank you. I am asking a special  blessing on my beloved husband  for all he does for me and for others. Strengthen him with every good and perfect gift in your storehouse. Thank you Lord and forgive me when I forget to remember all you have done and express my thanks.  I love you Lord, in Jesus name, amen.

I love the stories of the Exodus and the Hebrew people. The oral tradition of storytelling is central to their theology and tradition. When the nation of Israel would arrive at a new destination the leadership; Moses, Joshua and others sat the people down and retold them of the story of their captivity in Egypt and their escape from the Egyptians.  The Hebrew folks were recorded to do their share of complaining on their journey. They had to be reminded of the great and powerful things God had done for them.  When these stories were retold the people were encouraged and gave them assurance that God would remain with them “in the present and into the future.”  They believed that God would continue to act on their behalf. 

God has not changed his ways since the time those ancient ones traveled through the desert.  God continues to work on our behalf only this time, God works through our faith in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. So my friends let us remember the great and wonderful things God has done for us even in the times when things are not going well; even when we complain. God is greater than our complaints and continues to walk with us today and into the future.  Our assurance will increase greatly when thank God for what He has done for us especially when we first thank God for Jesus.  Let us thank God for what he has done and look with anticipation to what he will do.

“Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out of this place.”
Exodus 13: 3
“Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.”
Psalm 100: 1-2

Take joy in the journey praying and remembering as you go and excited about where you are going. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Monday, September 1, 2014

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

September Theme
Wisdom brings strength, and knowledge gives power.”
Proverbs 24: 5

Thank you, dear God, for inviting me to change and for helping me to do it. You, my Lord are worthy of my worship and awe. I praise you for being sacred, blessed, virtuous, pure, perfect, and good. Truly you are holy. Lord, you granted a day filled with family blessed by your love. Thank you Lord so very much.I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Have you ever met anyone who acted one way and then something happened to change them and it was like knowing this person as someone new.  Tonight my meditation tells a story about St. Augustine who encountered a woman with whom he had known intimately before he came to know the Lord. In his embarrassment over past discretions he tried to avoid her by walking quickly past and hoping she would not recognize him.  She did however recognize him and called out to him. She cried out, “Augustine, it is I!” Augustine replied,  “Yes, it is not I.” 

In his confession he was acting on the way God, through faith in Jesus had changed his life. His actions, behaviors and motivations had changed out of God’s great love for him and the transforming power of Jesus. He was not the person he was in his youth. He was changed.  We are not so very different from Augustine. When Jesus enters our lives we invite the transforming power of his love, grace, holiness, mercies and forgiveness to enter the sacred space of our hearts and change us from the inside out. When God comes into our lives we are never the same again and even if we slip back into old ways God never leaves us and His transforming power of unrelenting, unfailing love is still with us. 

God is set apart purer, holier and more amazing than we will ever be able to grasp and yet he still loves us enough to find us worthy to call us his sons and daughters.  That alone makes God, through faith in Jesus, worthy of our praise.

“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation:  everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.”
2 Corinthians 5: 17

Take joy in the journey praying as you go living out each day as a new creation ordained by God. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Blessed Sunday to you all!  All is well here at 811. The Internet is back here at 811. The modem decided to stop working. So with a new modem and new passwords etc…we are back online!

The candle is lit…

My God, I do love you! Thank you for loving me unconditionally and for giving me victory and salvation because of your powerful love. Thank you for supporting me in ways I can feel, know and trust through Your Word spoken, read and sung. Thank you for giving Bruce and I the gift of conversations and for letting us stand together singing in harmony songs of praise and worship. Your love is with us at all times and in all ways. Lord, we are your children and you are kind and gracious to care for us with your unrelenting, unending love.  I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

God loves us with an unlimited love.  Love may have to be earned from others and to keep that kind of love maintained takes a lot of work. But the love of God is offered freely and never ends. God never stops caring for us. God never forsakes or withholds his love from us. The nature of God’s love is unconditional. God loves us unconditionally because His love for us has nothing to do with our actions or efforts. God’s love is initiated by God Himself. God’s love is always with us and God lives in the hope that we will receive it.  This is the kind of love that carries us close to His heart when we are in sorrow, dances with us when we are filled with joy and quietly walks with us on regular days so that we are always aware of His Presence.

So my friends…forget your doubts and fears. Encounter and embrace the unrelenting power of God’s love and when you do…find the faith to love Him back.  God is so good and His love wins!!

“He has remembered his love and his loyalty to the people of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen God’s power to save.”
Psalm 98: 3
“Sing a new song to the LORD, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power!”
Psalm 98: 1

Take joy in the journey praying as you go giving thanks for the incredible love that God has for us. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene