Saturday, October 18, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy, happy Saturday!  All is well here at 811. It has been such a wonderful day.  We began the day with team worship  at the Via deCristo meeting.  Bruce and I then had lunch at Macaroni Grill in vista Ridge while on our way to our niece’s wedding. I share this with you because it has been at least seven years since we have eaten at a Macaroni Grill. For several years it was where I always liked to celebrate my birthday as it was my favorite restaurant.  Each year the gift I received from Casey was his singing to me Happy birthday in Italian.  His beautiful tenor voice rang throughout the restaurant causing the restaurant to come to silence. But today found us there having a wonderful lunch and sharing one more wonderful memory.  More memories were made as Asenath Helvey and Trent Yarborough were married in the presence of God, family and friends at Trinity Presbyterian Church in McKinney, Texas this afternoon.  It was such a beautiful service and a great party/reception afterward. I teased Ken that in honor of having 4 daughters he needs to add to his title of Dr. Ken Helvey PhD. Edu, the initials FOB; Father of the Bride!  He laughingly agreed.

The candle is lit…

This afternoon there were two candelabras that adorned the front of the sanctuary even though all of the lights were on in the sanctuary for the 2:00 wedding. As I watched these two wonderful young people pledge themselves and their love to each other in front of God and a great cloud of witnesses I thought about light. With all of the light in the room and the mid afternoon sun assisting the brightness of the room I was reminded of the Lutheran confession that begins, “Almighty God to who all hearts are open and from whom no secrets are hid…”  The light that was present in the sanctuary today both natural and man made was  representative of the light of God’s love offering hope and the promise of a bright new day and a new life for this precious new family.

The light of God’s love takes away the darkness from our hearts and dispels the weight of fear and discouragement we may be carrying around. The light of God is not to be feared for when we stand in the light of God’s perfect love we live in total safety and complete contentment. The failures of our past grow dim allowing us to see ourselves as God sees us; a new creation in each new day, forgiven and ready to begin again. Today we were blessed to see a new family formed before our eyes as Asenath’s daughter Holly was part of the service and the two becoming one, became three in the love of God. What greater joy can there be than to be a part of God’s good creation taking place before our eyes.  Please pray for this new family and keep them in the center of God’s love.

“The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine upon us.”
Psalm 118: 27

Take joy in the journey praying as you go and welcoming the light of God’s love.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. We love you all, Bruce and Gaylene 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Thursday!  All is well here at 811. I am asking for prayer for the family of Pat Carr. I sat next to her at a Via deCristo team meeting this past Saturday.  The team received an email last evening that she has had several strokes and is in ICU in Bedford. I have not heard any updates today.  The Prayer Warrior Alert is being requested.  Please pray for this wonderful woman and her family.  Thank you.

Dear God, my time is in your hands. Put your presence in my heart. Lord, I trust in your voice and I trust in Your Word. Help me to listen and always make time for you each day.  Thank you kind and loving Lord for the quiet moments of “God “time. I love you, in Jesus’ name, amen.

The candle is lit…

For a very long time I could never find a regular time for a scripture study and prayer time.  A friend once told me as I was confessing my issue of not having a quiet time to find a study that fit my time and that would be easier.  When I first came to understand what a personal relationship with God was about I learned that part of that relationship included a regular scripture study and prayer time. Most of the friends who shared this with me had an early morning “quiet time.”  Most of my days began so early anyway that getting up earlier than when I usually got up just would not work for me.  So when I got to college I began a regular “quiet time” at 9:00 am. I had a class at 8:00 and one at 10: 00. So I dedicated that hour in between to my quiet time.  I did not study for classes or have coffee with friends or even go back to sleep. I dedicated, set aside that time each day.  When I discovered that time really worked well for me I began to schedule my classes around that time if it was at all possible. I began to place really great importance on my 50 minute hour with God. After graduation when I entered the teaching workforce my dedicated 9:00-10:00 hour was not possible and so I changed to an evening study and prayer time. 

The point is that while the time of day you spend in dedicated, uninterrupted study and prayer is not important that you spend time with God is!  Meeting with God is all about time! It takes time to read and absorb a scripture passage. It takes time to meditate and pray and remember and reflect. But most important it takes time to come to know God.  Here is the truth about time…time is irreversible and my meditation uses the word “irretrievable.”  So my friends look for time in your day or evening to spend time with God and come to know God as your friend, Savior and Lord.

“I pray to you, Lord. So when the time is right, answer me and help me with your wonderful love.”
Psalm 69: 13

Take joy in the journey praying as your go. Find some time along the way to come to know God a little better each day through reading the Word and praying.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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

The candle is lit…

Dear God, thank  you for hearing me whether I talk to you silently or out loud. Continue to teach me to be still before you and wait for your voice that leads me before I move forward. I know it is in times of quiet that you whisper truth to my heart.  Lord, I know that my faith stretches when struggles come and I learn to look beyond the anxious moments and trials and claim them all as victory in your name.  Help me to keep you at the center of my life and trustingly place circumstances in your loving perspective.  I love you Lord and place my trust in you.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

There is a wonderful story about the late gospel singer Vestal Goodman. She had a powerful voice with a faith that matched that wonderful voice. The story goes that Vestal did not go through anyone when she wanted to talk to God. She just walked right into the throne room of grace and spoke her piece before God. (If you know of Vestal Goodman you can so visualize this action.)  The story further goes that she spoke clearly and specifically to God. One night when she was in an outdoor concert and there was threatening rain and storms.  She stopped the concert and began to pray for the rain to hold off until the concert was over.  God faithfully answered her prayer. Her friends said she and God had such a good relationship that if she made request of God, the request was most often granted.

When we pray to God we can speak to God directly and very specifically about our needs.  We can share our feelings with God and tell God what is going on and even more so we can tell God how we would like for things to be and ask for God’s help! I think when we speak clearly, specifically and expectantly to God then our relationship with God grows. When we keep God in the center of our lives we are ever mindful of God’s presence as we go through our day.  When I have my prayer time as I am going to school I sometimes do not say amen. I tell God that I am just going to keep the channel open for the day. When I do this I am ever mindful that God is with me and available for conversation when I am ready to talk. 

“Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”
Psalm 50: 15
“When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them.”
Psalm 91: 15
Take joy in the journey praying as you go. Walk into the throne room of grace and visit with God with expectancy!  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Tuesday!  All is in memories here at 811 today.  Casey died six years ago today.  Lots of memories. Nearly all of them funny, joyful, touching and today the overwhelming awareness of how much we miss him.  Thank you to all of you who have written kind and wonderful messages on FB. Yes, he had a smile that would melt your heart, a voice that made angels stop and listen or at least the restaurant guests at Macaroni Grill on one day a year and a heart filled with love for his family, his friends and God.  

The candle is lit…

Dear God, the scope of your love is so deep, so wide, so great, so powerful, so all-encompassing!  How faithful you are! Lord, I sing glory to your name. I feel the inspiring and directing touch of your hand on mine.  Lord, through your loving and understanding heart you have brought me through so many life experiences. And even though tonight brings tears of sadness and remembrance of the loss of Casey, your grace has allowed me not to dwell on the final moments, but the wonderful memories of Casey’s life that was fun, filled with love, joy, silliness and courage. Thank you for blessing me with these wonderful memories. Lord, I love you and tell Casey I said I and how much I love him. In Jesus’ name, amen.

I have been teaching children for a very long time. I have held a child’s hand as they first picked up a pencil and attempted to write the letters of their name.  A student’s name is usually the first word they learn to write and the first word they recognize.  The student holds the pencil and my hand will often cover their hand as they begin to shape the letters. As we work together the student does not move smoothly.  The hand of the student is a bit resistant to the teacher’s guidance.  But soon the student begins to trust the teacher and the writing dance becomes smoother and the feel of how the shaping of the letters works.  This trust process takes time and practice. There is praise for both student and teacher because the student has placed himself/herself in the capable hands of the teacher and allowed their writing to be shaped by the touch of the teacher. 

How difficult is it for us to surrender to the touch of Jesus and allow Him to shape our lives?  When we trustingly surrender ourselves over into the capable hands of our Savior and Teacher the results are far greater than when we try to do things on our own power. Do we resist the help of Christ?  Our actions and attitudes are always better when we allow God to guide us and shape us into the people God created us to be.  The more we practice trustingly placing our lives in the hands of Jesus the more He can work in our lives the less we resist the gentle touch and guiding of our loving Lord.

“Teach me to follow you, and I will obey your truth. Always keep me faithful.”
Psalm 86: 11
Take joy in the journey praying in trusting faith as you go. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Monday, October 13, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Monday!  All is well here at 811. It was cool enough this morning and last night to light the stoves on low.  I love the warmth that they bring and the change in the weather. I loved getting up and putting on a comfy sweater and jeans. 

The candle is lit…

Dear God, I am grateful that you are ready to give when I am ready to ask. Thank you that your Word clearly tells us to ask in order to receive. Help us to be ever mindful to serve you with a thankful heart. Lord, thank you for loving us so very much and having such great desire to help us when we ask. I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Did you know in The Lord’s Prayer we ask God for help five times.  “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…Give us this day…forgive us our debts…lead us not into temptation…deliver us from evil…

Scripture clearly tells us the importance of asking in order to receive.   This call to ask in order to receive is repeated throughout scripture to leave no doubt how God wants us to act when we have need. Psalm 143: 9-10 “Rescue me from my enemies…”  Cry your deepest needs to God. God does not tire of our requests and does not think less of us when we ask.  My meditation shares a quote by Charles Spurgeon, “Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom.”  When we ask for help we are acting in obedience to God’s good Word.  We are asked and instructed in The Lord’s Prayer to tell God what we need believing that God will hear our request and honor what we have asked.  Whatever our needs God will strengthen us for whatever tasks are present in our lives giving us insight into God’s loving plans for us filling our hearts and minds with assurance of God’s love and care for us and constant concern for our wellbeing.  So my friends…ask God for help and see the remarkable ways in which the prayer is answered.

“Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.”
Psalm 143: 9-10
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7: 7

Take joy in the journey praying as you go  asking God for help along the way.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Sunday, October 12, 2014

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

The candle is lit…

Dear God, when I know your presence is in my heart and life I know I am standing on holy ground. Thank you Lord , that you want to be in my life each and every day. Thank you that you make yourself available to me each time I need you. Lord, there are so many times I need just to be alone with you so I can talk to you and listen for your voice. Lord, thank you for being in my heart when I look for you and find your love there. I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

When I pray even when the prayers are difficult I am joyful that when I pray I find God there.  The love of God is limitless and we can experience God’s love anywhere and anytime.  God’s love and grace is present and available to us anytime and at all times.  When I think about the citizens of heaven as they experience God face to face for all eternity, they  know intimately of the Presence of the living God.  When we open our hearts to God we are given the gift of a foretaste of the experience of heaven. My meditation tonight uses the word “intentional.”  When we intentionally put ourselves before God we find ourselves in moments when the heart of God and our hearts become one and experience the love of God intimately as the Holy Spirit of God warms us with the gift of holiness. 

“Our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name.”
Psalm 33: 21
I, through the abundance of your steadfast love will enter your house; I will bow down toward your holy temple in awe of you.”
Psalm 5: 7

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