Saturday, November 15, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Saturday! All is well here at 811. Today I spent time with my beautiful daughter running some errands and having lunch and tonight Geni, Travis and Sarah and Bruce took me to dinner at Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant to continue my weekend birthday celebration.  I am at an age where the best gifts do not always come wrapped in paper with pretty bows. My gifts today were spending time with my daughter, waking up next to Bruce and then having all of them around a table tonight together. The best memories of growing up with the kids were time around the table.  It was never quiet. It was fun, silly, welcoming, filled with love and good food.  For me the table whether in my dining room or at a restaurant  when surrounded by family is a holy place.  So my dear family, thank you for a wonderful evening.  I will not soon forget the joy and laughter, the sangria and the cherries!

The candle is lit…

Dear God, thank you for your blessings of friends and family. Thank you for being in our lives and building our family. You have been the foundation of our family since we became a two person family and then caused it to increase. Lord, you have promised that all things grounded in You will receive joy because they have been established by your wisdom and your gracious love. So tonight Lord, I thank you for my family. They bring me great joy and I am ever grateful to your for them and Your life being lived out in them. I love you Lord so much. In Jesus’ name, amen.

We have talked about waiting before. Waiting for us is just not that easy or any fun at all. We are so used to instant responses that waiting on answers to prayers can sometimes get really tough.  Well, here is a news flash…God does not work on a chronological time table or respond like speed dial. God works on eternal time.   And even when we pray for things for a very long time and we are not seeing a response to our prayer just remember that the power is not in the one who prays. The power is in the One who hears the prayer. Our time does not always coincide with God’s time, but God’s timing is always perfect.  During this time of waiting we are growing in our faith and building an even deeper relationship with God than we had before. No matter what the circumstances are God reminds us to trust Him and to not be discouraged.  We have not been forgotten and answers to our questions and our cries for help are being heard.  Count on God’s unfailing love and unmerited grace to cover us while we wait helping us to trust God even more deeply than we ever have before.  God is good and love wins!

“I have thrown myself headlong into your arms__I’m celebrating your rescue. I’sm singing at the top of my voice. I am so full of answered prayers.

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

Friday, November 14, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
TGIF  Today God is First!  All is well here at 811. Bruce and I spent the evening with a PPV movie; The Jersey Boys , pizza from New Yorker and shared a cannoli.  The children at school and many teachers wished me a Happy Birthday. I received more FB good wishes that I may be possibly able to respond, but I will try! And came home to several card in the mailbox. This birthday was really wonderful! Thank you all so very much.

The candle is lit…

Dear God, thank you for seeing me though another birthday here on earth. Through your precious people I have felt love from all sides today. I give you thanks that you are turning what could have been tragic  illness  in the last year into great healing victories. Thank you for your gracious comfort and help me to bring comfort to others. Lord, help me to continue to trust in you so that I remain in the center of your perfect care.  Thank you for seeing the path ahead for me and leading me through by your guiding light and trusted hand. I love you Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

It is sometimes hard to understand how we can use the difficult times in our lives for something good. Scripture tells us that God catches every tear not letting any of them fall to the ground and making them into something beautiful.  When tough times happen in my life and the situation makes no sense and is very hurtful I often ask God “What am I supposed to learn from this?”  The truth is that if we stay in tune with God in times of hurt we are being trained to help others through similar situations. I have found over the years that one of the best ways to heal is to help someone else. Walking through adversity with a friend is most often healing for both parties. You know how it feels to hurt and for me these difficult life events give a new direction of ministry  and opportunities to minister to those who have had similar tough times in their own lives.  While I find it impossible to give thanks to God for hard times, I find it joyous to give thanks when the trial is over.

 So my friends, if you have gone through a difficult time you have wisdom that someone else might need to get through what they are going through. Let us pray and ask God to place us in contact with those who need a listening ear, some direction and more than anything else…hope for a brighter day. 

“They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.”
Psalm 126: 5
“He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy.”
Psalm 126: 6

Take joy in the journey praying, praising, singing, laughing and encouraging others as you go. Stay warm, wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Thursday!  All is well here at 811. I have to share that I have the most wonderful surprising husband on the planet.  I will be 59 tomorrow. He surprised me with gifts tonight and dinner tomorrow night. The night he had the stroke a year and a half ago I told him I was not through loving him yet.  And after almost thirty four years of marriage I cannot even imagine being married to anyone else. I told him as we were standing together tonight that my birthday gift happens each morning when I wake up next to him and say good night each evening.  So, thank you my beloved for the surprises you continue to bring to my life and the joy I live in loving you.

The candle is lit…

Dear God, I want to know you more---teach me your ways. Thank you that when I seek you, I find everything I need and all that my heart desires.  You will always be my perfect Defender. I praise you for covering me with your wisdom, strength, and love. Lord, may you be exalted forever. Please continue to bless Bruce with healing and progress in the stroke recovery and for blessing his heart with love for you, love for others; me, his son and daughter, and daughter-in-law. Thank you for giving him a heart of joy, caring and surprise or two. I love you Lord and I thank you for the blessings of love, family and friends and your eternal grace that covers all of us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The world tells us to pursue fame, power, accomplishments, brighter, whiter smiles, great financial gains and great amounts of busyness.  When we take inventory of our lives what do we find? Do we find that some of our relationships and activities do not bring about a lasting satisfaction that we are seeking?  And even diamonds (yes, I love diamonds) while they make sparkle with brilliant fire do not bring warmth. (Except maybe for the memories of the one who gave them to you…just saying.)

Pursuing the intangibles are the things that bring lasting joy and fulfillment.  Seek God.  Joy and fulfillment will fill the empty spaces when the fleeting things of earth have grown cold. Seeking a relationship with God gives us a firm place on which to stand and to find satisfaction for our souls through the Presence of God’s love, enduring grace and purpose for our lives. Seek God with all of your heart my friends.  God will teach our hearts lasting peace that can never be taken away, run out, tarnish or end. Seeking God allows us to be surrounded by God’s love, wisdom and strength forever.

“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Psalm 9: 10
“Those who trust the LORD, are like Mount Zion, which can never be shaken. It remains firm.”
Psalm 125: 1

Take joy in the journey praying, praising, laughing and encouraging others as you go. Stay warm, wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Wednesday!  All is well here at 811. I hope this writing finds you all warm and happy this night.

The candle is lit…

Dear God, thank you for teaching me about your healing and forgiveness. I don’t want to sin against you; I want to have a loving reverence for you that You have placed your strength in me. The strength that I find when I need it comes from the joy I have in being your child and in Your promises found in scripture.. By myself I know I am not strong, but you are strong enough for all of us. Thank you for Your comfort and letting us cry when we are sad or hurt or grieving. For You who created tears also created laughter. When times come for strength in me or any of us I/we trust you to be strong enough for all of us.  Thank you Lord for all of these things. I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

I have always believed in God and in my mid-teens I came into personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus.  I began to learn more about God by reading the Bible.  I read some scriptures that disturbed me and I did not understand about fearing God. I had met and fallen in love with Christ and learned about God’s unfailing love and saw no reason to fear God who proclaimed love for us so passionately through the stories of Jesus.  This seemed very contradictory to me!!  How could a God who loved and forgave me be someone to be feared? 

As I began to mature in faith and knowledge I began to understand that godly fear is not fright or terror, but reverence and respect.  Godly reverence means honoring God with our life in piety; study, service, prayer and worship practices.  These practices help us to maintain our relationship with God. When we tell God much we need help in our weakness then we can trust that God will give us the strength to do what we cannot do on our own.  When we are honest with God confessing our sins to God causes God to heal us and forgive us teaching us that God is one to be loved, respected and revered. God is our friend and a better friend we will never have.  God is good and love wins!

“With all my heart, I am waiting, LORD, for you! I trust your promises…Trust the LORD! God is always merciful, and God has the power to save you.”
Psalm 130: 5. 7
Take joy in the journey praying, praising, laughing and encouraging others as you go. Super cold tonight so throw on an extra blanket (we used my beautiful TCU quilt!) tonight and warm clothes for the morning. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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

The candle is lit…

DearGod, I never want to be without you. I know you will always love and help me. God, your flawless character and wonderful name always perfectly provide for all my needs. You name is above every other, and I praise you forever!  You are the God who defends us. You are the God who heals all of our wounds and provides for all of our needs. You forgive us completely and perfectly and provide tender mercies. God you are peace. You are grace and have named each of us highly favored and filled us with your grace in Jesus’ name. You are love. Thank you Lord Jesus for being our all in all. I love you so much, in Jesus’ name, amen

When I was living at MD Anderson with Casey while he was receiving treatment it occurred to me that I could not imagine trying to fight cancer without God in our lives. To my way of thinking when it comes to that disease if you do not have faith in God who heals and sustains then you have no tools with which to fight.

After reading my meditation tonight I came to the realization that I never want to be without God. In times of plenty or want, sickness or health or  good times and adversity God will always be there to take care, to heal, to provide and sustain. While other people even those we love will fail us God will never fail us. It takes a lot of life events to experience God’s faithfulness and understand how God is unlike anyone else we know and will never let us down. 

Trust is not easy for most of when we start out in a relationship with God. I give thanks that God is a “patient and wise teacher.”  But as we continue to set our hearts on learning more about God each day through the life and character of Jesus, we begin to learn and understand the truth.  We begin to understand that God loves us and wants to help us in all the ways we ask no matter what we need. 

“O LORD, in Your favor toward Your people; visit me with Your salvation, that I may see the prosperity of Your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation.”
Psalm 106: 4-5
Then they believed his words were true and broke out in songs of praise.”
Psalm 106: 12

Take joy in the journey praying, praising, thanking God and encouraging others as you go. Throw an extra blanket on the bed because baby it’s cold outside!  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene

Monday, November 10, 2014

Greetings from Austin Street
Happy Monday!  All is well and in recovery from a very busy and spirit filled weekend. I served as a Spiritual director at a Vic De Cristo Weekend and we attended the TCU vs. KSU football game in Fort Worth.  Frogs Won!  It was a great weekend. I think one more good night’s sleep and I will be ready for the children tomorrow!  Thank you for praying for this weekend; the participants and staff felt the powerful  presence of God through the prayers from here in the Metroplex and around the world.

The candle is lit…

Dear God, I praise you for your holy loving ways. Thank you that I can always count on you. You are so wonderful. Thank you for your wonderful provision. Thank you for your perfect grace that covers, and comforts us completely. And Lord, when we don’t understand what is going on in our lives and life seems to be doing a turnaround help us remember that even we turn around you are there. Help us to remember that when our plans have fallen through and when our strength is nearly gone that there is nothing left to do but just depend on you and the power of your name.  I love you Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen.

We think of God as one who can see all, do all, be all and is all powerful.  But God, because of His perfect character has some things that God will not do.  God does not break promises to us. God will never use  His knowledge for evil, but will only use wisdom to help us.  It is not in the mind or heart of God to every, no matter what, stop caring about us, but cause at the heart of God’s perfect character is love.  And if or when we start down a path of destruction we are offered salvation to seal our eternal relationship.  Life is not a linear journey. Sometimes predictable things happen and sometimes we are blindsided by life.  But here is the good news…no matter what,  God is with us and loves us with unfailing and everlasting love. Let us trust our God with all our heart and soul because God can’t fail!!

“Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.”
Psalm 96: 7

Take joy in the journey praying, praising, laughing and encouraging others along the way. Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene