His Breath

This week I have been thinking a lot about my breath.  I love breathing and taking a full breath of fresh air into my lungs – I think we all do.  I have never had a serious lung issue, but I have had moments of anxiety in college and as a young adult when I felt that it wasn’t possible to get a full breath, and they were terrifying. As I listen to the news and watch the hospitals and doctors repeat over and over the desperate need for more ventilators – I am finally realizing that it is our (His) precious breath that is being taken away.

Exactly a year ago today, I wrote a blog titled “Breath of God“.  My prayer last year was… 

My Lord, I pray that You guard every utterance of my mouth so that the words I speak will never again pollute the sweet scent of Your breath, but instead will carry forth from my being to bring You Eternal Glory.

Right now, while we still have His Breath in our lungs let us truly Glorify Him with every breath we take, we must pray without ceasing. I have found that
breathing in on -Je and out on the –sus 
OR
breathing in on the  -Thank and out on the -You 
align perfectly with my inhale and exhale rhythm.

Genesis 2:7 – Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  

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The Stones Are Crying Out

There is a stone tile in my shower that reminds me of the face of our Lord gazing up to His Father in Heaven and saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

I have looked at this tile almost every day for the last 8 years and I am always dumbfounded by the fact that our Lord created it, had men prep it and install it in this shower for the day I would notice it and then see it every day and experience, for a moment, His forgiveness and sorrow over my unrealized sins.

In just the last few days I have finally realized that not only am I experiencing an image of His great forgiveness and sorrow daily, but I am also experiencing His guarantee that if His disciples become silent, the stones will cry out. This stone is crying out.

My Sweet and Holy Lord, please do not let me be a silent disciple, teach me oh Lord to cry out in joyful praise for all of the miracles I have seen!

Luke 19:37-40
As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:
         “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
         Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”

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An image of His Immensity

When I am running I like to pray and place people at the foot of His throne. I have always imaged that our Sweet Heavenly Father is big, but in the image I have conjured up in my mind I come midway up His dais if I am kneeling before Him and come up to His foot if I stand before Him. This must sound silly to most of you, but I have a very visual imagination. This morning He gifted me an amended image of His Immensity. Today as I prayed over my children’s school, in my mind I pulled their school out of the ground and lifted it up to His Throne. Instead of the normal image I see of a large room with a big school inside, He filled my mind with a new image. In this new image I saw how minuscule their school was before His throne. Their large elementary school looked like a tiny speck before the immense dais of His Holy Throne. When I looked across the vast space I saw a few more specks in the distance that I realized were large groups of people gathered and I somehow knew that these groups were families that had believed and walked in His Holy Will over many generations. If the whole earth had been placed there it would have look like a child’s toy ball laying on the ground before His Throne.

The only words that come close to describing what I saw are IMMENSE and VAST. Isaiah saw this too and described it for us, but now I have seen it in my minds eye and truly there are no words to describe it.

Isaiah 40:15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.

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Sun-Kissed

We visited the Grand Canyon over the Thanksgiving Break, and I woke up to see the sunrise on our first morning. When I arrived at the rim, the canyon was still in the shadow of dawn light. The colors were beautiful, and I could clearly see the nooks and crannies deep in the canyon.

As the sun peaked over and illuminated the north-rim, the contrast became striking. The sun-kissed ridges took on new and bolder colors, while the nooks and crannies below became darker, their details fading into the gloom of shadow.

Witnessing this beauty a wedding came to mind and I thought of how quickly the beautifully dressed wedding guests fade in the midst of the groom’s great joy reflecting in the eyes of his bride as she gazes upon him. Without speech or words, but declaring through creation our Lord poured the beginning of Psalm 19 into my heart and reconnected me with Isaiah 60:1-2 in the silence of that early morning.

Oh my Lord, please let us all be sun-kissed by You as Your Glory rises upon us and let us never be deprived of Your warmth.

Psalm 19:1-6
The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 
   It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Isaiah 60:1-2
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.

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Our Spiritual Heartbeat

I wrote an entry in 2016, Every moment is infinite, about surface living or skimming the surface of life when our focus is always on the past or the future, versus deep living when we focus on diving deep into each moment and truly living in the present.

As I have thought about this more, I have come to call it our Spiritual Heartbeat. When we spend all of our time skimming the surface of life, we are following a straight line and our Spiritual Heartbeat is a flatline. When we spend time diving deep into each present moment, we are following a line with valleys and peaks between each moment and we end up with what looks like an actual heartbeat.

We are told again and again and again to live in the present moment, but I don’t think we grasp the urgency… it truly a matter of life and death. If you have lost your way or don’t know how to get started, start small. Sit still for 30 sec and count your breaths… our sweet Jesus shows up, He always shows up and He will revive you!

Ephesians 2:1-6
In the past you were spiritually dead because of your disobedience and sins. At that time you followed the world’s evil way; you obeyed the ruler of the spiritual powers in space, the spirit who now controls the people who disobey God. Actually all of us were like them and lived according to our natural desires, doing whatever suited the wishes of our own bodies and minds. In our natural condition we, like everyone else, were destined to suffer God’s anger. But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. In our union with Christ Jesus he raised us up with him to rule with him in the heavenly world.

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The Belly of the Whale

My sweet husband took me to Lourdes, France this summer. On our first morning we attended the International Mass in the Basilica of St. Pius X. The Basilica of St. Pius X is a huge underground cathedral with a maximum capacity of 25,000 people.

During the mass there were many times that I didn’t understand what was being said, because it was held in many different languages. In these moments, I took in my surroundings and was amazed to realize that I was sitting in what looked like the belly of a whale.

We were not there for 3 days and 3 nights, instead about 3 hours, but in that time I prayed and praised the Lord for inviting us, bringing us and preparing all of us, me, my family, everyone there (about 2000 people), to do His Holy and Good Will!

Jonah 2:1-10

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said:

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me.
From deep in realm of the dead, I called for help,
and You listened to my cry.
You hurled me into the depths,
into the very heart of the seas,
and currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers swept over me.
I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight;
yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’
The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
brought my life up from the pit.
When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered You, Lord,
and my prayer rose to You,
to Your holy temple.
Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to You.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from Lord.'”

And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.


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Humbled again

For months I have been waking up at 4:38 am. Sometimes I fall back asleep and sometimes I get up, but very regularly when I check the clock it says, 4:38. I sit here on this blog talking about listening, looking, watching and waiting for Him, but when it comes down to it, I don’t follow my own advice very well.

It finally occurred to me to look up 4:38 verses in the Bible and I was reminded and humbled again. He gives us what is not ours and what we have not earned and He plucks us from the pit and places us high on the backs and shoulders of mighty giants.

When we realize and remember this, there is nothing to do but live every moment in humble thanksgiving and love.

John 4:38
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.

Deuteronomy 4:38
…to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.

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Ponder and Praise

As we ponder and praise His Word and His Ways in our hearts, we are being fermented inside. He waits patiently, with great excitement and anticipation, as our vintage is prepared for His table. On our final day, at the end of our final hour He will pop the cork from our bottle of champagne and savor the great LOVE we have for Him as He raises His glass.

It always has, does, and will come down to LOVE. When we truly love Him, we naturally love each other. My sweet Jesus, help me to love You more… I want to love You with every thought, word, action and breath of my body.

Psalm 1
Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but
whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and
who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

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Do you remember when…

When I die, I hope this is what will be said…

Remember that time when Sarah did something really kind for you? That was really Jesus helping her to do something good.

Do you remember that other time when Sarah was really generous? Well, that that was Jesus too.

Do you remember when Sarah said something really meaningful and profound? Well, you guessed it, that was Jesus!

Now, do you remember all those times when Sarah did something really mean, selfish, greedy, out of envy, out of anger, or full of pride? Well, Jesus told our Dad, Abba, that He did all those things so she wouldn’t get in trouble, because He wants her to come home. Now she gets to go to Heaven too!

Thank You Jesus!

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. “By His stripes you are healed.”
1 Peter 2:24

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“It is the Lord”

Someday we will finally realize that He is here, in all of us, with all of us, all of the time. He is with us, helping us as we do something good, and He is with us, covering for us when we do something that is not good.

When this day comes, the veil will fall and like the disciple whom Jesus loved we too will cry out, “It is the Lord!” to EVERYONE we see!

As these beautiful thoughts run through my mind, I sit quietly, yet inside hope filled, joyful anticipation builds within my soul – let the fermentation continue my sweet Lord!

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way:  Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

John 21:1-7

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