Tuesday, December 15


I can hardly believe 
the number on the calendar
today is the fifteenth
where  oh where does time go
second upon second
minute upon minute
hour upon hour
I want to shout STOP
and let me revel in this moment
at this time this day, this month, this year
but I know time ticks on

time was not created to stand still
but to be a marker of moments
hours, days, weeks, years
a marker of milestones
of family, friends, acquaintances
of appointments,
and coffee dates

in my life lately time has marked
advent walk through 
ministry retreaters
Christmas parties
and family birthdays
and everything that belongs to this wonderful season of Christmas

time ticks on
and I find myself attending my grandchildren 's Sunday school program
and my grandson's kindergarten concert
waving like a granny gone mad lol
and sitting misty-eyed
because I am remembering other times
of Christmas pageants and school concerts
and yet it feels like yesterday
when I got to the school an hour before in order to get a good seat

you measure moments
but also sorry and life changing events
we wait for time to pass
then lament where it has gone
It is a respecter of no one
although at times we hear that "time has been good to them"

time teaches us that we need to treasure the gift of today
without trying to rush to the surprise of tomorrow
time ticks
as hair turns grey 
and hands wrinkle
and steps get slower
and yet in one's mind "it seems like yesterday"

my best friend  - my not so best friend :)
you make me frazzled when overbooked
and yet at other times you make me quite content in the moment
fully aware
fully awake
fully alive
to the time around me - 
to sights, sounds, smells 
without you
I'd never know the grace that comes with age
the wrinkles that come with laughter
and the wisdom that comes with living life

without you
id never move out of my cozy house
or comfy pew
or complacent job
or walk in adventures with my husband, my kids and my grandkids

without time
i would never see my grandkids grow
and run and talk
i would never see the beauty that God brings our of ashes
I would never see the forgiveness that happens after its worked through
I would never see the heart heal after broken into a million pieces
I would never venture out in boldness 
and Id never learn to count my blessings

time you are my friend and sometimes you feel like my foe !!
you felt like you were never ending when I was a child
carefree and living a simple and good life
but now as and adult you cause me to reflect backward and sometimes i feel old

you have reached through the good times
but felt like you stood still during the sorry
and yet time
you've grown me
you've defined moments in my life
you have sealed occasions in my memory
and have made me realize in retrospect
the great life God has given me
through my 57years of time

you measure my life
but you are a gift from God
and I am so thankful

- Joy
December 15, 2015

"time has a wonderful way
to show us what really matters"
- Margaret Peters

Thursday, December 3

breath of God

Based on my quiet time with God this morning, as I was lead to read Ezekiel 37 which is about the valley of dry bones.  These are my thoughts.

carried away by the Spirit
he was taken in a matter of no time at all
to a valley
not just any valley
but one of desolation and eat
bones were everywhere
too many to count 
and while standing eyes wide open 
in wonder and astonishment
he head the voice of God
God was right there 
and asked him a very interesting question based on the sight before his eyes

"Son of Man can these bones become living people again?"
everything within in felt like that was impossible
yet, just being there, carried by the Spirit of the LORD 
he knew he was going to see something amazing
he had that feeling

"O Sovereign LORD" he answered 
"You alone know the answer to that."
and then he heard the Sovereign LORD during him to speak a prophetic word
from the lips of this visionary prophet
not just any words, but words that came straight from the mouth of God, to his
"Dry bones listen to the Word of the LORD.  
This is what the Sovereign LORD says, Look I am going to put breath into you
and make you live again.
I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin.
I will put breath into you and you will come to life.
then you will know that I am the LORD."

the prophet stood there briefly
digesting the words given him to speak
And then he spoke clearly and boldly to the dry bones
and before his eyes
the valley resounded with the rattling of not just one
but thousands of bones
what a noise
what a sight
even though scattered
each bone knew where to attach with the other
making up complete skeletons
And before his eyes
muscles and ligaments attached 
and then skin ~ 
full complete bodies
but while complete
they had no breath
But the sovereign LORD told the prophet to speak prophetic words again
calling to the valley
and specifically calling to the bones
"O breath from the four winds
breath into these dead bodies
so they may live again."

and there before the prophet's eyes
that all came to life
before his eyes - they stood
the sight of a mighty army totally taking his breath away
prophetic word revealed
and come to be
the prophet was brought to his knees by it all
and by the realization of the sovereignty of the LORD GOD that he served

"But what does this mean O Sovereign LORD?" 
and the  LORD GOD explained it all message of new life
to a people ini bondage
in exile
and without hope

dry bones
breath of God
new life!
And as I read about the prophet's encounter
I knew it was for me today
my dry bones can come to life
because of the breath of the holy spirit within me

And so I breathe deeply ~ 
waiting for him to fill my being
I choose life!

Tuesday, December 1

Peanuts BlueJays and Woodpeckers

This picture does not do him justice at all!!

The sun is shining
The air is crisp
And the porch beneath my barefoot is cold reminding me that it's December
I dump the container full of peanuts into the bird feeder
and having stripped the wrap off of the seed block, I place it quickly on the prong
Knowing that within minutes my family of feathered friends will be there

I take my seat in the comfort of my home
Fresh cup of coffee in hand - I watch
and there they are in all their beauty.
a living reflection of the Creator
the jays beauty reflected by the shades of blue and sometimes raucous behaviour
the magpie who has found the bird feeder to be an easy snack
huge and powerful he flies in barely stopping to grab a peanut in its shell
he flies in, chasing all the others away merely with his intimidating presence
(and I thought the Blue Jays were big)
the nuthatch who loves to hang upside down and peck away at the block of seeds
and the woodpeckers with their red marked heads and speckled bodies arrive in all sizes.

God's array of beauty
in feathers, beaks and calls
Ive heard the Jay as he sits on the feeder looking towards the window and calling a specific call
which whether its his intent or not ~ when I hear it I know the peanuts are all gone
(the woman at Birds Unlimited did warn me about rationing the peanuts with the Jays!)

And then last but not least the cute little chickadees who (as my grandkids say) sing "chicka dee dee dee) when they are around

I watch them on this quiet sunny morning
and I realize that God's giving me many teachable moments through my feathered friends
If I believe the Bible is true - which I do
I believe what it says when Jesus uses the examples of the birds of the air
they are not worried about their lives because He cares for them SO how much more does he care for me!
Sometimes I forget that
and live my life as if I am in control
as if I have to make all the decisions alone
in my physical life I know i live recklessly and willfully rebellious often
Even though the Holy Spirit within me makes me aware of His presence and nudging
Oh how often I must quench the Spirit
Lord forgive me.

As I watch the birds eating for their sustenance and fuel
i realize the times i eat because I feel empty but its often not because of physical and real hunger
He has remained me today that He cares about ti all
each breath
each drink
each morsel of food
And has told me that He alone can fill that void
that I try filling with sweet things other than Him

I know that all the sweets in the world (or in my cupboard)
can't fill me up
He is the Living Bread
He is the Living Water

I sat and watch the Blue Jays as they shake the peanuts to see perhaps if the shell contains one peanut or two
They pick up and drop and pick another
and sometimes shake it far back into their fullest and pick up one more peanut
Often they come to the feeder one after another like I have watched the planes at Chicago airport come in one, then another and another
This is God's Blue jay runway outside my window.

Oh and I just realize all the peanuts are gone
And i decide to and dump another container fools that I can continue to enjoy the teachable moments
of this hour
of this day
of my life

And then - like the kisses that God often places into my life as a reminder that HE is GOD and HE is HERE ... he sends the biggest woodpecker ever at the feeder.
The beautiful pileated woodpecker,

This is the Scripture the LORD led me to today:

Matthew 6:24-34New Living Translation (NLT)

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Grateful!  May You also enjoy some teachable moments throughout your day!