Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crossing the Line

The beautiful thing about this adventure called faith is that we can count on Him never to lead us astray.

Chuck Swindoll

Swimming. It is an expression of capability in the water. A word I write with regard and ambition.

I have never learned. I do not have the positive pleasure of using the word for personal description. I only can say, "I do not go swimming." and "I am not swimming."

When my doctor sent me to pool therapy, I knew a challenge lay before me. I nevertheless obliged, for I needed the prescribed care. Put wellness ahead of my fear. Pushed my comfort zone behind me while I waited weeks for an appointment. Dreaded the future proclamation I must make to anyone concerned.

When "the day" finally arrived, all my mentally rehearsed "can't swim" explanations were in vain. I did not have to wait for a proper moment to tell Andie, the physical therapist, about my shameful inability. She asked. I told. She replied that many who came to her did not either.

I felt better. But still looked at the vast body of water before me with a bit of angst and awe.

Andie calmed my fear. Reassured my safety. I accepted her words and felt relieved.

I entered the waters, at once filled with timidity and bliss. The pool was warm, waters a pale, greenish blue. The quiet surroundings, the soft background music, and jacuzzi bubbles gave me pause to wonder at anxiety I now thought silly. I felt embarrassed at my fear and lack of trust.

With floaters around my head and under my knees and legs, Andie guided me to water's surface. I was shy, but knew I was safe. "I won't let you sink," she said. I believed her, and so complied and focused on relaxation.

And therein found a historical precedent for myself at fifty years old, as I rested upon the top of water for the first time in my life. I was floating. Swirling about and hearing soft splashes surrounding.

What followed were days of therapy that challenged my fear, gave healing to my muscles, alleviated pain, and brought peace upon the water.

A door had opened. I knew a new world. Looked forward to each opportunity to face my opponent, the aqua, foamy sea.

But one day I did not remember a warning. Just simply forgot Andie's words, spoken on the first day of therapy. "Don't go past the blue line."

My fifth session had ended, and with time to spare, I decided to sit near the jacuzzi and enjoy its powerful warmth on my back. I walked across the pool, my eyes fixed on the prized place.

And then, it happened. I crossed the line. And dropped.

The drop was small. But I quickly found myself in water that almost covered my head.

I realized the power of tip toes, and used them to keep my nose and mouth above while I made my way back to my newly found comfort zone.

Resting at the jacuzzi, I heard inquiring voices. "Are you OK?" "Is everything all right?"

"Yes, I'm OK. I just forgot. I forgot about the line."

Enough said. I sat a few moments, regained composure, and soaked in the swirling waters.

And thought about the line. Wondered how I could forget such significant symbolism. In disbelief, I pondered my inability to see its bright blueness until it was too late.

The nearness of the safe mark made it invisible to me. Distraction drew my eyes away from danger. A present goal hid the purpose of a planned point.

And so it can be with lines. Even spiritual lines. Those lines put in our lives by God for our own good that for one reason or another are forgotten, ignored, or momentarily unseen.

God's lines are for our good. They are laid with purpose. They are points of demarcation. Progresses of movement. Courses determined for a specific reason. Sequences of related events that lead to a certain ending. *

God limits. Marks. Makes boundaries.

God draws our lines. They are very personal. Divinely His, and distinctively ours. Always thinking of our best, our heavenly Father carefully binds our borders and sets them in order.

Yet, when we fail to see them, deny them honor, desire greater distance, we challenge the Father's love that so carefully made these perimeters. Lines set to keep us safe, sound, unmoved from His will. Lines deliberately designed to dissuade fears, give liberty for worship, for service, for living the life of Christ, for walking His way, for sacrificing our hearts, for giving pure offerings. Holy, acceptable, works of love that are acceptable in His sight.

Offerings that overcome the ease of wood, hay, and stubble. Offerings that prove our testimony. Sweet sacrifices that speak a pure heart and fervent love for Jesus.

We are all guilty of crossing lines. From drawing too close to them to clearly see truth. From careless self-pursuits, from blind ignorance, from weak faith, from failed vision, from confusion, from fear, from egocentricity.

I have crossed the line many times in my life. I cannot return. Recross. Go back. Undo. See the uncrossed back then life.

BUT, I can see Jesus now. Listen closely for His voice. Wait for His ways. Worship Whom I have believed. Honor His wise words. Look for His lines today.

Lines of His Holy word. Lines of His lovely still, small voice. Lines of providence. Lines that close doors I must not open. Lines that open doors I must not close. Lines that lead me in the paths of righteousness. Lines that lead on lonely roads. Lines that bring me to high places. Lines that give me light in darkness. Lines of hope. Lines of peace. Lines of love. Lines that let me see Jesus. Keep my sight on His face. Keep my toes on the ground.

And, dear friends, please hear me now. We clearly know those lines that separate us from God. Lines that if crossed lead to sin. God has made brilliantly clear boundaries between good and evil.

How those must always in all situations be honored. But today I write of tailored lines. Those lines given us in our individual lives. Drawn just for us. Personally. Intimately. Lovingly. Written by God's finger in the sand of our own soul.

Several years ago, God warned me about an upcoming ear surgery. (It was not a life or death issue; the doctor suggested it to improve my quality of life.) I did not feel peace. Yet, I allowed my intellect, my own reason, to cry out and drown the voice of the Holy Spirit.

What followed was two months of misery and a reversed surgery. But God, in His sovereign teaching, in His mercy, through His lovingkindness, has used that situation many times to whisper the importance of hearing Him.

Oh, to always hear my God! To "Hear Him!" In Greek, "hear" means Akouo, to understand, to attend to, to consider what is said. And it appears 402 times in the New Testament! Allow that emphatic retelling echo through your soul!

To consider Christ's voice! To understand His will! To attend to His words! To see His lines!

To see Christ's lines that we may ever obey Jesus, knowing that the desire of our Shepherd is for our good and will always lead us to a certain end. His perfect goal. His best place. Made just for me. For you. Because Jesus cares. And loves us so.

Follow His line today, friend. It is a straight path to peace. It is a clear way of life that gives fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Now. Today. Forever.

*Taken from definition of "line," found in The American Heritage College Dictionary
Greek terminology is from e-sword

Thank you, dear friends, for your thoughts and prayers for my mother. The surgery was a great success! Glory to God! I thank Him for His close presence and healing touch. She continues to do well. I also thank Him for safe traveling to Georgia and back again and for allowing my dear aunt to return with me for a visit. The Lord is good!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To Please My God

I awoke this morning to a busy schedule and a full heart. After lunch, my dear husband and I will be leaving for Georgia. My mother is having eye surgery, and we are going to help her out a couple of days.

I had a post almost done. But when I began to edit it to finish and publish, an inner voice said, "No, not today."

My cups runs over. God is so good! Yet, I long to know God's love more deeply and hear His voice more profoundly. It is sometimes painful to yearn for Him, but God knows the work He longs to do in our lives and has a reason for each process.

While shopping at a variety store a few days ago, I saw this small book wedged between many others. I grasped it and pulled its bright green cover toward me.

"Heart Breathings," the title read. I knew I had a find when I saw the author's name: Leonard Ravenhill.

A profoundly deep, inspiring author he is. One who mixes no words. You definitely hear the man's heart when you read his books.

This particular one is a small collection of poetry and prose. In the forward of "Heart Breathings," I even found beauty.

"These poems are the roarings and sightings and longings of the inarticulate soul trying to create a substance through which to transmit its feelings to others."

I want to share just one, simple part of Leonard Ravenhill's "inarticulate soul" with you today. I pray it will bless you, give you pause, and stir your longing for the deep waters of our Father's love.

To Please My God
I ask no bliss
But this,
To know Thy will,
And it fulfill,
In every part
So that my heart,
Without alloy,
May know the joy
By peace
Or rod
To please
My God.

If you have opportunity, please pray for our safety, and remember my mom.

Much love to each of you. I appreciate your friendships beyond words.

I pray our dear, precious heavenly Father will be with you and guide each part of your day. May He give you peace and keep you in His tender loving care. May God give you joy! A full heart of His fullness! Oh, just to know Jesus!

In Him,


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer's Bitter and Sweet

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.

Russel Baker
I imagine the cold sweet. "Drink" the bitter edge that brings delight to a dry throat. "Savor" fleshy bits that burst in the mouth and tell a sultry season, an airy porch, gathered loved ones, childhood innocence, and tall tales.

I have not made lemonade all summer. A first for me. No lemons in the house all season. Not even a mix. And the now steamy days of a southern August are begging for a cold pitcherful of the sweet and sour that loves to quench thirst here in our humble home.

Such neglect speaks of simple chaos. Almost three months of wonder, wander, waiting, and worry. The latter is painful to speak. But one health scare after another with my husband finally pressed me to fear, yet stopped short of sheer panic and anxiety.

I knew the nearness of God's presence. I did not want for the staff of my Shepherd. With His staff, He pulled me near to His pierced side. Drew me close. So I could hear.

I knew the voice of my Beloved. He whispered. I listened. Closely. And words spoken were so gentle. Their soft strength stays now.

"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted."

With a new season soon to be in the making, and a difficult season behind, I crave fresh. The crisp and cool of a soon-to-come fall comforts my own dislike for summer's heat. Yet, part of me dares to dote for the impossible. To win back days lost to dread. To return with 20/20 vision and walk with hind's feet, climb with greater faith. Breathe pure air of only belief. Stand only bold. See only good. Speak only joy.

Part of me desires such reliving. Only a part. A small part. The greater part speaks louder, and sees God in the 20/20 now and the obscurity of then.

Rests with new vision. With comfort of a trial done. With hindsight of personal need. With humility that looked in the mirror and saw insufficient. Realized the lack of self-ability. Accepted the uncontrollable. Faced doubt. Looked in. Looked around. Looked up. Looked beyond. To this now moment taught us by Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13. The ultimate time in a trial when we have escape from adversity.

Thank God for his enduring of my doubt and fear and His understanding of my humanness. For bringing me to my knees and causing my soul to reach deeply and dig steadily for faith most precious. For giving opportunity of holding, clinging, trusting found treasures of our Creator's testimonies.

When I was teaching tenth grade, a short story's theme opened a door of reality. Through that story, a personal journey of a truth from God's treasures began. It was not a major literary work. Just a simple side story that told of a boy hero who faced fear. In his awe, he did not turn but held fast and proved himself brave. The little hero conquered fear by acting boldly despite his feelings.

I don't remember the title of the story, the name of characters, or plot development.

What I do remember is the theme. I memorized it. And have never forgotten.

"Courage is the willingness to do something even though you are afraid."

I have clung to these words because of my Christian faith, not because of a mystical, buried human strength that ends in self-gratification and egotism.
So often, we feel we have failed when we have fear. Maybe it is only my personal experience, but I feel rather sure there are others who have felt the nagging pain of guilt and defeat from anxiety, fear, stress, or trauma. We long to be among the super godly who are unaffected by life's jolts, stabs, and bruises.

God's word, however, does not demean our fear or distress. Rather, scriptures reveal a compassionate heavenly Father who greatly exhorts our faith and lovingly encourages us to take heart, regardless of past, present, or future pain. We are compelled to overcome. To cast fear away and hope and believe in God's saving power.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9).

"The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1).

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7).

We can take heart because of His promises. And without fear of failure, admit our need. God is for us just as He was for Abraham; for the widow of Zarephath; for Daniel; the wedding company without wine; the woman who hemorrhaged for twelve years; Mary, Martha, and Lazarus; the 120 in the Upper Room; the Apostle Paul.

We live by faith. Not by sight. Not by what we wish. Not by material things. Not by abilities or tangibilities. As Christians, sons and daughters of the Most High, we live because Christ lives in us and through us.

But we can find ourselves locked in a dark room with only the unknown around and His word in our hearts. We then make a choice. Succumb to doubt or hold to His word hidden within. When we choose to stand on scripture, God honors our faith! We yet wait. We may yet feel fear. We may not yet know deliverance or have an answer. We may yet battle worry. We may yet stumble. We may yet even fall.

And if we do fall, we get up again. We stand, straighten our path, and prove God true. We may be propped up with strength, but we stand. We may cry with pain, but we stand. We may feel alone, but we stand. We have no place to turn, be confused, but we stand.

Even in weakness, we stand and are strong. Why? Our faith, that faith given to us and developed in us by God himself, is greater than our fear. For the One Whose word gave us our faith is greater than our weakness, failure, falling, disappointment, emptiness, sadness, guilt, hurt, pain, illness, or death.

Though in fear, we can stand in faith. Can choose God's word. Can trust His hand. Can know His presence.

We remember His mighty acts. We run to His testimonies. We grasp raw truth. We take courage.

Do you need courage? You're human. Are you afraid? God is near. Do others mock your fear? So what? Do you feel like a failure because you cave? Realize the source of your guilt and throw it away like a piece of trash.

God, dear one, understands your feelings, and He has divine remedy for all. Place your hand in His, go to His well, lean on His arm. Trust His name even though you are afraid. Believe, believe, believe in the Father's love.

Place. Lean. Trust. Believe. That, my friend, is courage.

Let's give the tenth grade literary theme a twist of Christian persuasion.

Courage is yielding to God's word and trusting in His love no matter what we feel, think, or see. It is choosing to ignore our fear and lean on what we know from His word. It is staying hope that is not swayed by our emotions. Courage remains and may even co-exist with fear for a time, but courage is God-given, through His word, and overcomes our circumstances and will always ultimately defeat fear.

As I write, I realize I could face another challenge before this day has ended. In fact, the enemy is already trying to stir fear in my heart as my son and his wife make plans for a missions trip to what can be a dangerous area of Africa.

More and more, I am realizing that our entire Christian lives are a walk of faith versus fear. We hear about it from so many preachers, teachers, speakers, writers, etc. They all speak encouragement into our lives. We leave their words feeling ready to tackle the enemy. Praise God for such ministry! But the personal realizing and living of it can quickly change "Amen" and praise to sweaty palms and trembling hearts that overwhelm and subdue belief when the phone rings, or a knock is heard, and fear says, "Hello, again."

Remember the basis of 1 Corinthians 13. The three lasting, remaining, elements of our Christian life are faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of the three is love! Also, remember 1 John 4: 18 tells us that perfect love drives out fear. "Perfect" here means mature, complete, and refers to labor and growth of moral character - i.e., our relationship with God. And "drives out" or "casts out" means to strike, throw down.

Dear friends, perhaps I am wrong, but I see from these scriptures one answer to our battle with fear and intimidation. It is not found in scripture alone, but in our walk with God. The more maturity we have in Him and the closer our hearts are to His, the greater our power to stand against the enemy.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20). In this scripture, "power" refers to ability, abundance, strength, might; "within" refers to a fixed state; for the sake of, to give self wholly to.

May we grasp the fullness of these simple truths in our hearts. The closer we are to our Beloved, the stronger our standing. As we fall deeper and deeper in love with Christ, fear will have less and less influence on us. As fear loses its power in our lives, our faith will grow, and God's power and His word will blossom in our hearts.

A.W. Tozer sums it up far better than I can. His words can be taken in and bring nourishment and revelation to our hearts and souls:

The love of Christ both wounds and heals, it fascinates and frightens, it kills and makes alive, it draws and repulses. There can be nothing more terrible or wonderful than to be stricken with love for Christ so deeply that the whole being goes out in a pained adoration of His person, an adoration that disturbs and disconcerts while it purges and satisfies and relaxes the deep inner heart.
Praise God for such love! I am looking for the purging, satisfying love of Christ that will transform my heart and my faith. I am not looking for a "pie in the sky" God who gives me everything I want and always expects perfect faith . But I am so thankful for a heavenly Father whose daughter I am. Who cares. About every need. And wants me to develop hind's feet and eagle's wings. May my heart and hope hang in there and wait before Him all the days of my life.
May you go in the grace of God today and find His love at every turn.

All scripture is from NIV Bible.
Research is from e-sword.

*We will have lemonade in our cottage ere summer ends.
*Please forgive this lengthy post.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

Thornton Wilder

Dear, Dear Friends,

I am full of joy and yet feel so broken. My heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness for God's mercy and love that is so undeserved. What peace there is in God's unmerited favor! He is so good!

I am able to give a glowing praise report! I have felt without words today! I don't seem to have adequate phrases to praise God and thank you for your love, support, and prayers.

To the wonder of all, the heart cath was completely normal! The doctor said all was "pristine!"

We stand amazed at the work of our heavenly Father and Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Weeks ago doctors thought my dear husband likely had a blockage. Just one week ago, Jeff sat in a pulmonologist's office, the leading and most respected one in our city, and was told after extensive tests he had congestive heart failure. His heart was enlarged, and all tests pointed to the diagnosis, which was expected to be confirmed by the heart cath.

But yesterday was a new day! The cardiologist declared everything totally normal!

I am so relieved, contented, thankful, joyful, and appreciative. I write with tears and peace.

To God be the glory! His name is to be praised forever! I don't understand everything, but I am full of thanksgiving, knowing God prepared this season for our lives for His purpose.

It has been a challenging time, but one not without hope. And I hope you will hear the sincerity in my heart and voice as I tell you how I am so appreciative of you all! I THANK GOD FOR YOU! My dear husband and I have both been enriched and encircled by your prayers and thoughts. And, that dear ones, is invaluable! May God bless you a hundredfold!!!

I have felt your strength and support as I stood in waiting. God's presence was so near yesterday as we anticipated word from the doctor.

In expressing these thanks, I can only hope I would have remained as faithful and true had we received a different word. They were prepared to transport Jeff to surgery for a stent or by-pass. Had such bad news awaited us, God's love and faithfulness would have remained, for He never changes!

And though it is an easy thing to speak so in hindsight, I know God is on the throne of our lives and will never fail us regardless of life's hardships.

On a closing note, I must dwell a moment on the word used by the doctor yesterday. "Pristine."

It is defined by the dictionary as something pure, uncorrupted, free from contamination, such as pure gold.

Oh, that my faith would be pristine! To receive a glowing report from God on that divine day when I see Jesus face to face! To hear the Holy Spirit whisper in earthly labor, "Andrea, your faith was pristine in this moment, like pure gold. Go, and remain so. "

Yet, for the accomplishing and remaining of pristine I am powerless without Christ. Pristine is His work, not my work! My work is to hear, to obey, to praise, to be faithful. Yet, it is solely the excellency of Jesus that refines my faith. Makes me pure. Keeps me still. Causes me comfort. Cleans my heart. Creates contentment. Makes all new.

Praise God! And thank you, thank you, again, for your part in this praise report! I love you all so very much!

In the Grace of Jesus,

Sunday, August 02, 2009

A Feast of Light

"Hail, holy light! offspring of heaven firstborn!"
John Milton, Paradise LostStillness and solitude settled in our quaint cottage. A quiet somber mood created perfection for reading, relaxing, reflecting. Sorely needed self-time was set. I looked forward to a few rare, valuable moments. I was going to read by the fire and bask in its soft glow as I waited for friends to arrive.

It was a late fall evening. Crisp and cool. Just right. I had made vanilla coffee and sprinkled in a touch of cinnamon. Arranged white china cups and saucers, all lined with silver and brushed with delicate blooms of green, on the counter. Placed vanilla scented candles in the kitchen. Warmed the guest bath with french soap, sweet towels, and lavender mist .

Then tired by the preparing, I looked at the little toile wing chair by my fireplace. It indeed beckoned. "Get a book and rest with me a while. You have a half hour before the doorbell rings."

I quickly found my nearest read. To sit, clear my mind, rest, and relish inspiring words would be tonic.

Two minutes later darkness fell. Suddenly. Lights went out. All shut down. And quiet and solitude turned to a little knot within, as I grasped through pitch to find candles, remembering my only phone was dead.

God had planned a different way for me. Knowing my steps were ordered by him, I made do. Lit wicks, set candles about, pulled lace panels back to let a vague glow from a near street light stream into my living room, and waited.

One hour later lights were on. Friends arrived. Coffee made. Again. Candles still shining upon the mantle and scattered throughout my living and dining rooms, soft lamps glowing, and a chandelier burning created light within light. It was a feast of light. And the radiance of all spoke comfort. It was as if darkness never happened.

I have never liked darkness. I love no light when sleeping, but so welcome early morning sun pouring through bedroom windows and soft lamps that cast sweet glows through our little rooms in evening hours.

Light is a gift. The first earthly creation of our heavenly Father. "Let there be light." God called, commanded to darkness, and formed day. Illumination came to earth. A channel for realization. Clear vision. For the purpose of seeing. For the purpose of revealing. That He is good. That He alone can give light. Is light.

The Apostle John spoke of this seeing. ". . . the life was the light of men," he said, speaking of Jesus, Who was "phos," the Greek word John used to tell that Jesus was God's divine light. God in the flesh. God's rays. Real illumination.

Jesus, this divine light, told us Himself that He is the light of the world. He met a blind man one Sabbath day. A man whose only hope was begging for mercy and money from people who passed his way.

Christ's disciples just had to know. "Why is this man blind? What did he do that was so bad God struck him with darkness? Or, did the man's parents do something to cause it? What happened?" *

Do you hear 21st century voices in the disciples' questions? Begging to know? Longing to be let in on the secret? Denying restrained curiosity? Trying to shake out the truth.? The story behind the story? Isn't that just like us? We want details. To understand. Perceive. Know.

Jesus knew sincerity. They wanted to understand, and He understood. He answered. ". . . this happened that the work of God might be displayed in his life. . . . While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

Jesus then began to heal the blind man. Christ spit on the ground. Made mud for man. Again. Put it on his eyes. Told him to go. To wash.

And the blind man did. He went. He washed. Returned. Healed. Saw. Believed.

When they were informed of the healing, quite a controversy erupted among the Jews. Their Pharisaical hearts could not bear such light. Jesus could not be from God because he healed on the Sabbath! Voices raged! Words flew! The healed man was cast out of the synagogue.

He then turned, and followed the Light. The Light of the World. The Son of Man who left heavenly dominion to bring judgment to earth, so that the blind would see and those who see would be blind.

The healed one's spiritual journey began.

Seeing Jesus also begins our spiritual journey. To behold Christ's glory. To hold His beauty in our hearts. To follow His light. To believe, pisteuo, as the Greek says, to entrust our lives to Him and commit to His name.

How can we see Him? How can we know Him? Right here, right now?

Listen. . .
Jesus ascended a high hill. Sat among so many, all were hungry to hear. Thirsty to know. Craved real. Had to have Truth.

Christ spoke. Taught. The truth. Jesus told the only way. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."

And the original Greek meanings of these few holy words tell much. Promise great.

Pure is to be sanctified by fire; cleansed, like a vine pruned and fit to bear fruit.
Heart means of will or character; the seat of thoughts, desires, purposes, endeavors.
See is to gaze at something remarkable with wide-opened eyes; to know by experience.

The word "see" in Greek seems to work at many levels. It seems to speak to layers of vision. It speaks of our earthly walk with God. What we can have right here and now! And it tells of our possibilities for depth in the Christian life. Lovingly, Jesus left us with a map for seeing.

Process. . .
Through God's refining fire, His painful, but needful pruning process, everything about us, our hopes, dreams, plans, thoughts, desires, personalities, all are affected. We are changed. Like the blind man, we are healed. Transformed. Delivered. Visioned.

When allowing Jesus full reign in us, He uses any process He wants, even if it means we don't like it, don't understand it, and think it's painful, makes no sense, and is a bad choice.

We hear His words. We obey His voice. We go. We're cleansed. And filled. And healed. Changed. Forever.

Our hearts are pure. We are never the same! And we see God!

We return from our obedience, our washing, seeing Jesus. Able to behold Who He Is. The Son of the Living God.

We are transformed. The old ways mean nothing anymore.

We no longer crave the usual! We must have Jesus! We must follow the Light!

And this beautiful process God works in us time and again, changing us from "glory to glory" through His Spirit.

Layer upon layer. Design upon design. He moves. Works. Renews. Transforms.

Our vision grows clearer and clearer. We see Jesus more and more. Our faith grows stronger and stronger. Our love for Christ grows deeper and deeper.

Like an account of high-paying interest that multiples funds, like a small tree that once planted grows great, so is our faith in Christ! It grows and accumulates heavenly treasure and earthly fruit.

We feast upon His light. Know vision by His radiance. Perceive reality through His love . Our eyes behold manifest glory.

We see Jesus! And we are never the same again, again, and again!

Scripture is from St. John chapter 9; Matthew 5:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Greek resources are from e-sword.
*My paraphrase.

My Dear, Dear Sweet Friends,

I so apologize for my recent lack of posting and commenting. Our lives have been a bit overrun lately with things beyond our control.

My husband will have a heart catherization Tuesday morning. His mother will join us today, and will be able to spend a week with us. She is a wonderful Christian and a sweet, loving woman! It will be a great blessing to have her near. We are hoping and praying for a good report, and I appreciate your thoughts and prayers very much.

God has been and is so good to us. Jesus never fails! I thank Him for His saving grace and strength.

I want to say a prayer for you this Lord's Day. You are all so special to me, and how I appreciate your faith, love, and support. Have a blessed Sunday and joy-filled week!

Dear Jesus, I thank you for each one of my blogging friends. You know their hearts, their needs, their hopes, their dreams. You see all. You care for all. Oh, Lord, You Who formed us know us best!

I pray for encouragement. I ask You, dear Father, to keep them all. To give them physical strength and joy in their hearts.

God, You cannot fail us. You said You would never leave us or forsake us. You are here. Right now. May we all sense and know your presence and peace that passes all understanding.

May we look to You. May we seek You. May our eyes be opened and You give us greater and greater vision to see Jesus.

In Christ's Name, Amen.