Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gently Stirred or Passion Spent?

Love, gently stirred cannot last.
Hearts raging toward the Truth collide,
Shattering all hard, brittle exteriors and leave them
Rough, brown, dirty
Shattered into brokenness.
Love, gently stirred is not real.
Life, gently stirred does not last.
The soul, as in a tracking beam
Is pulled towards the Great Immutable Maker of all.
Passion longs to speed the drawing towards its Home.
Love, with Passion spent!
Live, with life poured out unto the death!
- 9/27/2001Anna Marie Sheffield

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Got any holes?

I had a dream yesterday.

In the dream, my house had a hole in the floor and critters were getting in and eating all my eggs. These were animals I should have been cautious of like foxes etc. but I was really comfortable with them.

I asked the Lord about it. He showed me that the hole was a wound of grief in my life that I had not dealt with. My brother was killed in 1968 in a car accident. That was where the first tear began. Our son died in 1986. That is a pain like no other. Dad departed this life in 1994. But in 2001, my mom passed on. That was my straw. The Lord was telling me all along to let Him be my all in all; to let Him be my mother and father, my brother and sister....but I wouldn't let Him. I couldn't let go of the grief. It kept me connected to my loved ones. I didn't see the way it was tearing my heart. I let the hole stay there, an entrance for my enemy, and over the years the critters that came in and out became my friends. They were consuming the new beginnings and the "birthings" the Lord wanted to bring through me.

I don't think I am alone. We all have wounds in our lives that we have a hard time letting go of.
We all have critters. Whether the are in the form of drugs, alcohol, food, pleasure-seeking, selfishness, grudge holding, self-pity, materialism...whatever, they are keeping us from being all that we were created to be.

I have decided it is time to close my hole. I am asking the Lord to fill it with the Holy Spirit and with His love. I am rounding up the critters and sending them out where they belong. The Lord reminded my of a couple scriptures: Song of Solomon 2:15, "Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes." And Psalm 80:12-13, "Why have you broken down her hedges, so that all who pass by the way pluck her fruit? The boar out in the woods uproots it, and the wild beast of the field devours it." Allowing our holes to remain is like having a broken hedge or allowing the fruit in our lives to be stolen.

I am asking the Lord Jesus to make be so aware of any rips and tears in my "house," so that I never again let them become a hole, an entrance for critters!

Thanks for listening. I would be grateful for your prayers!

Blessings and love, A Fellow Traveler.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rejoice with Me, Somebody!!!

Sometimes, when I get into "keeping-up-with-current-events-overload" I am tempted to fear for our future...but God always brings me back to faith! This morning let me share a glorious faith statement by a brother named Habakkuk.

"Though the fig tree may not blossom,nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut offf from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls- yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will Joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength; He will make me feet like a deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills."

I have never seen it fail. The darkest times bring the greatest places of triumph! It really is our perspective. Am I looking at the difficulties or sorrows or pain, or am I looking to my Lord? Come and rejoice with me today! He is here, and He is big enough to carry us through!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

More thoughts on Salt

I can't stop thinking about what it means to be salt and light. We are talking major energy here! Drawing from my science background, I tend to think in basic and concrete terms. My husband , Jack, and I named our ministry Deep River Ministries because we wanted to swim in the deep river of God, the river that flows from His throne! God called us to leave the shallows where we had been splashing around (and having a wonderful time), and get in over our heads! It is in this position that we go with the flow of the river, not our own way. What is so exciting, as we think about being salt, is the detail of what Jesus is saying to us. Meditate on this fact:

When we submerge a crystal of salt into water, it dissolves, and the sole (so-lay) is created. Sole is neither water nor salt. It is a higher energetic dimension than either the water or the salt alone. (emphasis mine)
(From a book: "Water & Salt, The Essence of Life" by Dr. Barbara Hendel, MD and Biophysicist,Peter Ferreira.)

You see, God's plan is that He work through us in this world!!! Do you get it? Can you wrap your brain around it?? I am so excited I can hardly sit still and type! As we immerse ourselves in the river of God (He is the Living Water), we are transformed into sole and we have an energy that brings life. Think about how sole works in the body...without it our brains cannot transmit a single thought, a single message to the muscles and organs!!! As we are the sole in the Body of Christ we begin to move in God's Spirit in ways that transmit His will to the world around us and transformation takes place! We become a powerful force that will not be stopped! Shout glory with me somebody!!!!

O God, throw me into the river, like my brother used to do to me as a child when I hesitated! Don't hold back, let 'er rip!! Yahoo!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Salt and Light

Last week, Jack and I were blessed to have dinner with three young couples who are as on fire and passionate about Jesus and the Kingdom of God as we are! We talked and shared until we shut the restaurant down. The subject came around to the Episcopal church and the statements and resolutions made at the General Convention this year.

"Resolution C056 was passed on July 17 by the 76th General Convention meeting in Anaheim, California. It acknowledges "changing circumstances" that call for a renewed pastoral response from the church for considering same-gender blessings, including state laws on same-gender marriage, civil-unions and domestic partnerships. The resolution also authorizes the House of Bishops, in conjunction with the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, to devise an open process that will invite churchwide participation in collecting and developing theological resources and liturgies. The commission is to report its efforts to the next General Convention in 2012." (from the Episcopal website)

One statement made by a Bishop was, "This is the way the world is going and the church needs to catch up!"

This is what happens when the Holy Scripture is no longer your anchor.
This morning, I was meditating on Matthew 5:13-18.

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. for assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." NKJV

This scripture is being fulfilled in our time. The church is no different from the culture. We have lost our flavor and hidden our light under bushels and wonder why we are losing our religious freedoms.
It time for some serious self-examination in the light and revelation of God's holy Word. People of God, we are confusing God's love and mercy with what the world calls love and mercy. Jesus died to set us free from our sin not to let us stay in our sin. It is not love to condone any action we choose as a lifestyle. True love brings healing and wholeness.

We know many formerly homosexual people who have been healed and delivered of the pain that brought the confusion into their lives. They have gone on to live normal healthy lives, the pain and shame gone! that is true love. That is being salt and light.

Sex outside of marriage was a sin in Jesus' day and it still is. I can't believe how many men and women in the church live together outside of marriage and have no sense of conviction! How many children are being born out of wedlock, in the church! No sense of guilt.
It's not that I am advocating a "must, ought , should" faith walk, but it is imperative that we live our lives so close to Jesus that we reflect His truth and glory. How else will we set the captives free? I want to be held accountable by my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to live in a realm where my life brings healing and freedom to those in bondage. God help us. We need you!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ode to Dirty Dishes or Life in an RV

For years I hated cleaning them,

The dirty dishes in my sink.

I’d argue with my spouse,

Whose turn? to wash

The dishes in my sink.

So God in His amazing grace,

Gave me a sink so small,

Doing dishes was a chore

That I could barely do at all!

We’d moved into an RV

Life was simple

Life was fun.

I loved everything about it,

That is except for one.

For five long years I struggled

With a sink sized eight by eight,

A sink so small,

It didn’t even fit a single plate!

So cooking, which I loved to do,

Was limited to soup and stew and such,

Things that could be eaten from a single coffee cup.

Now, that stage of life is past

We moved back to a house.

Sometimes I miss our RV,

Where I felt snug as a mouse.

We have progressed, and have at last

A real kitchen sink,

I find such joy in cleaning

Those dirty dishes in my sink.

They reveal that I’ve been cooking,

Things like pot roast, shrimp and quail.

God’s wisdom and His lessons

I have never seen to fail.

He taught me how at last to love the dishes in my sink.

I never will complain again,

At least, I won’t, I think!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday America!

In these days of political unrest, financial troubles and dwindling hope for a secure future that is constantly being pounded into our brains by the "state-owned media", I find my thoughts reflecting on the people I know or have met in my life.

In my family there have many who have served our country in military service, unselfishly, for the greater good of our country. Every day, I meet men and women serving in the same way.

Every day, I see hard-working moms and dads and teenagers, working to make better lives for themselves and their families. Every day, I see someone reach out with a small kindness, even if it is only opening a door for a stranger to walk through. Every day, I hear children laughing, playing in their yards, or swimming at the neighborhood pool.

Every day, I think about the men and woman who work at low paying careers: teachers, social workers, volunteers, nurses aids, day care workers; they do it because they care about their fellow life-travelers. Every day, I am grateful for the ones who labor unselfishly in non-profit businesses because they want the under-dog to have their day.

Every day, I think of those who own businesses, who operate those businesses with honor and integrity. Who care about their communities and work hard to provide jobs and services for others.

God's people at their best are so worth loving! And at their worst need so much loving! I hope when I am at the end of my life, I can look back and be content that I, too, have contributed to the betterment of my brothers and sisters around me.

Thank God for the blessings of this land! Thanks as well to all you blessed people for every kindness shown, small or large!

God Bless America!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Early Morning Worship

Sometimes, I just can't help myself! I have to express what is in my heart with bad poetry. Here is a peek into my heart this morning...hope it blesses.

His Love Like Sparkle Dust

When into depths of deep and dark depression falls my soul,
Falling, I release my fears to You,
I wait for You alone to make me whole.

"Look up, my child, and gaze upon those things of beauty fair.
I do not hide forever or for long.
Come unto My heart and nestle there."

Father God, You are my safest place.
In Your embrace I feel Your heartbeat,
And gazing up I see Your face.

The twinkle in your eyes rains down like sparkle dust,
And my depression scedaddles without a trace!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Still waiting for the baby!! I would say he is definetly on his own time schedule. He will probably have a mind of his own.
We went to a party tonight celebrating a birthday and a birthday. A friend turned 41 and her friend has a new baby. It was sweet.
I don't really have much to say....just want to connect with the universe. God bless each one who reads this and know that He loves you and cares deeply for you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thirsty? Stop in for a drink of living water!: Come Soon, Baby Boy!

Thirsty? Stop in for a drink of living water!: Come Soon, Baby Boy!

Come Soon, Baby Boy!

You might just come today.
We all are longing just to see your face,
To hold your tiny hand.

I am singing for you.
I'm making up some goofy songs for you.
To make you smile some day.

Come soon, baby boy!
Grandma loves you!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Here I am, Lord!

A while back, I had a dream. I was at a wedding tending to all the guests. Suddenly, I looked down and realized I was not dressed for the wedding. I had been so busy taking care of folks I hadn't prepared myself! I got into a panic because I was afraid I didn't have time to change and so would miss the wedding. When I woke up, I knew that God was trying to tell me to slow down and take care of my own spiritual house. He wanted an intimate relationship with me. He led me to Matthew 7: 21-23 where Jesus said,

"Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"

This passage keeps me face to face with my Lord Jesus. I want Him to know me, and I want to know Him. I also know that I want to enter into the kingdom of God each and every day. This means, I have to do the will of my heavenly Father. The only way I can do His will is to stop what I am doing, listen for His voice and then do what He says. The cool thing is this: He is more eager than I to be in relationship with me! So He makes the way for me to hear.
Try it! Even if only for a moment and acknowledge Him, listen for His voice and step out in faith to do that which you have heard. It will be an adventure of a lifetime!

The link that follows will take you to a wonderful few minutes of worship. Blessings!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paths of Glory

Life in the Spirit is never dull!
I am always learning and relearning truths that lift me into the heavenly realm.

When I first chose to follow Jesus, I made a decision to give him a try. It was a conscious, rational choice. I asked Jesus to come into my heart and be my Lord. There were no bells, no angel choirs, just me and the cool night air. Standing alone in my front yard, I made the most radical, life-transforming decision of my life, and I felt nothing! Zip! Nada!

BUT, the next morning when I went to college and told my friends what I had done.....50,000 volts of electricity flooded over me and I experienced God! The decision came first. The power and excitement came only after I told others about it!

I think every spiritual adventure may be that way for me. Maybe for you, too! Believe in your heart, choose life, choose to live BIG and tell someone! Act on the decisions made. Power will come!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Getting Involved?

"The convictions of your heart and the actual contents of your thoughts are less important, in the end, in guiding your actions than the immediate context of your behavior. Conclusion: busyness seriously compromises our ability to pay attention" The Tipping Point, by Maxwell Gladwell

Recently I was challenged by my Spiritual Director, Bitsy Rubsamen, with this question: In light of all that is going on in the world today, do you react to situations the way your heart and mind chooses or do you settle for another decision because you haven't the time to get involved?

This was a difficult question. It forced me to examine my walk. Am I truly walking out what I believe and standing up for the convictions I have or am I all talk? Do I let the details of life crowd out my time leaving me no time to make a difference in this world?

I used to settle, thinking that someone else would take care of "It," whatever "It" was. I didn't think that my bit really mattered. Bitsy had shared a personal story with us that seemed to her at the time a small "bit." A friend had lost someone dear to them. Bitsy is an artist, and her normal response would have been to create a beautiful, loving condolence card. But she was too busy and instead, picked up the phone and called her friend and left a heart-felt message on the answering machine. This friend told her later that she was the only person who called to offer condolences and the message was saved and played often as a wonderful comfort to their grieving heart. Now Bitsy felt guilty because she thought her "bit" wasn't enough, but just think if she had not offered up her "bit " to the Lord and reached out to a friend in pain.

The church, the world, the government suffer because most people think their "bit" doesn't matter. I am convinced that all our "bits" matter enormously in God's grand scheme. Imagine if Bitsy had not taken the time to call. Her friend's grief would have been suffered alone.

Convictions are bandied about too lightly today. Convictions are something we are willing to die for , or they are not a conviction at all. And it could be that if a conviction doesn't move you to get involved, you most likely will die for it. Or at the very least suffer. So you may as well get involved and make a difference.

Therefore, do I become an activist? The answer, for me, lies in listening to the voice of Jesus, my Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. When He speaks, His plans get results. It may still lead to death, but it will have eternal consequences. That is if I obey.

So I have determined to be still and listen. To stop the busyness and be so filled with my God that I will have the courage to do the things He asks of me.

Join me?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Miss You Stevie

Stevie, I thought of you today.
Sometimes it seems the pain will never go away.
Your short life gifted us with joy!
You were a courageous little boy.

Your long death gifted us with
compassion for others.

I still can hear your sweet voice asking,
"Do you think I could go sleep in Jesus' bed?"
I wish it could have been me instead.

Love you son.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pruning for Glory

This morning, looking through the bedroom window at my little butterfly and bird garden, I was delighted to see new sunflower blossoms getting ready to bloom. I have sunflowers popping up, scattered from the bird seed in the feeder.

I love sunflowers.

As a girl growing up, my mom and brother and I would drive our VW bug convertible through Kansas, top down, and absolutely glory in the miles and miles of sunflowers in full bloom. (I will try to find a picture and upload) I learned that the farmers would leave the flowers to dry on the stem until they were filled with sunflower seeds. We never passed by at harvest time, so all I had ever seen were the flowers at their radiant peak.

So, when these serendipitous flowers arrived in the garden, I decided to watch and see the seeds appear. I want to see if the birds discover them, too. Well, it didn't take long before there were lots of flowers, so I couldn't resist cutting a few for a bouquet.

At first after cutting I would just pull up the rest of the plant, because somehow I had it in mind that they only bloomed once.
A few days ago, I decided to leave the stem and see if it would put out another bloom. Hallelujah! There are three!

I was reminded again about the pruning of the Lord. When we produce fruit, our Father prunes us to increase our fruitfulness!
Is it pleasant at the time? Of course not, but trust in the Lord. He is working in our lives to increase the harvest of righteousness in us and through us. And what a beautiful likeness we will have. The Glory of the Son! Blessings to all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Maiden Voyage

Launching out into the deep end of the blogging world is a little intimidating for this middle-aged, non-conformist grandma. So much in my life has been concrete, finite and boring, and I wonder what do I have to contribute? (Amazingly, my friends would never say that about what they have observed of that same life.)
This beginning is giving me the same rush that I got the first time I scuba'd in Lake Travis, Austin, TX when I was trying to get certified as a diver. My heart is beating and I am having to really focus to calm my breathing!
There is so much I long to say to my friends and fellow travelers. I only hope that my musings will somehow reach out to others and give hope and peace and joy along the way.
The thing about this form of communicating, is that there is no turning back. Once out there, it's out there!
So, here goes!
This is only the beginning of my new adventure. Hope I am a quick learner.