Grace


G
od proclaimed His compassion, promising to

Redeem all who put their trust in His

Anointed One, the Son who we call

Christ, our perfect sacrifice who offers

Eternal life of knowing the grace of God

 

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Exodus 34:6 (NIV)

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Free Will

image

God gave us free will
The greatest gift of all time
Some use it to kill
I choose to show compassion
To love God and my neighbor

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A tanka For dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar.

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My Lament

Under my breath
In quiet tones
I murmur my complaint
For only God to hear

All those around
Don’t understand
But to my God
Each lamenting word is clear

His sovereign grace
Is always enough
To engulf me in peace
And wash away fear

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It took me half the week, but finally got my 44-word Quadrille for dVerse Poets Pub, using the word murmur, written and posted. I think I made it in time to link to the Monday prompt.

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My Valentine

How does he love me?
I’ve lost count of the ways
He shows new ones every day

Sometimes it’s fixing plumbing
Other times it’s a passionate kiss
Bringing lunch to surprise me
Making my life pure bliss

Planting flowers in my garden
Lantana lavender iris and more
Strolling along as we walk the dog
How he loves me makes my heart soar

Completing the chores I like least
Like washing dishes, mopping floors
Holding me tight, keeping me warm
My Valentine I’ll forever adore

How does He love me?
I’ve lost count of the ways
God gave me my cherished lover
To brighten all of my days

 

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When the Orchid Blooms

Patience is a virtue. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, according to Galatians 5:22. Yet our human nature doesn’t want to wait.

“How’s that book coming along? Is it published yet?” If I hear that question one more time, I might scream. I know my friends and family who ask are truly interested and want to support my writing. But the question reminds me of how impatient I am with myself about not having finished and published it yet.

I’m ready to be done with the memoir so I can move onto the next project. God’s on a different timeline, much like the timeline of the orchid.

Several years ago, one of my staff gave me an orchid for Boss’s Day. The beautiful blooms lasted almost five months. I have since re-potted it twice and enjoyed new blooms both times.

To enjoy orchid blooms, you have to be patient.

This is what my orchid looked like on October 30, 2017.

The tiny flower shoot offered a promise of beauty to come. Perhaps they would arrive in time to provide festive color for the Christmas season.

Or perhaps not. Orchids do not bloom that quickly.

Each week I gave my plain green orchid several ice cubes to keep the soil and roots moist. And I waited, knowing I was not the one in control of this orchid’s timeline.

On January 31, 2018—a full three months later—six buds hung poised to bloom. I took this picture with plans to add some text and use it for a post on patience. I fully expected to have to wait another week or two to see the lovely purple blooms.

I sat in my office, thinking of all the things in my life that seem to be taking forever to come to fruition. Not just my memoir, but work projects, my own spiritual maturity, and more.

I gazed at these orchid buds and pondered how God used them to reveal a lesson in patience. The best things, the lasting things, take timeI knew that once my orchid finally bloomed, it would provide me with months of seemingly unending beauty. It is a lasting flower worth waiting for.

I sighed as I packed up to go home, glancing back at the closed buds as I walked out the door.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at work on February 1 to find this!

God’s timing is perfect. That’s why patience, even in someone as impatient as me, is possible.

Why do I worry about when my book will be published? He already knows and has a plan for it to last and make in impact for His kingdom. Impatience and worry accomplish nothing.

What are you waiting for today that seems like it will never happen? Have you been impatiently worrying that it’s too late and you’ll never see your hopes and dreams fulfilled? Have faith, my friend, to wait for the orchid to bloom. It will happen when you least expect it.

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What Do You See?

If you took my God poems
Each and every one of them

Laid then side by side
Would in them faith abide

Would my heart shine through
His compassion for me and you

Dare to ponder my friend
His love endures til the end

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Monday was crazy so I didn’t get to write my Quadrille for the Monday prompt at dVerse Poets Pub. But I managed to write it this morning. The word for the day is poem or some form thereof. Head on over to the pub and see what other poets have to offer in forty-four words, not counting the title.

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God’s Three-Word Answer

I’ve seen prayer answered in miraculous ways beyond my expectation. Sometimes I had no expectation at all that there would be an answer, but God was faithful to provide what I needed.

By now, I should assume an answer will be forthcoming. Yet His latest response to a prayer took me by surprise.

I confessed to my Bible study group that I was struggling with my attitude towards my mother-in-law. My focus on a few of her seemingly-insensitive comments over the years had clouded my perspective. I had allowed a tiny seed of bitterness to take root and had convinced myself that she didn’t really like me. I knew I would be spending time with her over the holidays and needed prayer to have a better mindset when we were together.

Several days later, I had the opportunity to share my beloved nativity collection with a friend. As I described each nativity, I heard myself telling the story of how my mother-in-law had given me a ceramic nativity that she made the year my husband was born. She had originally given it to her mother-in-law, but when she died, my mother-in-law reacquired it.

Then came the story of the myrtle-wood nativity that my mother-in-law’s mother had brought back from Israel. As I mentioned that she could have given it to one of my three sisters-in-law or a niece, but instead gave it to me, I realized how special she must consider me.

God used these reminders to begin to uproot that bitter sprout. My attitude softened.

We ended up having great visits both at Thanksgiving and New Year’s weekend. In the morning on New Year’s Day, she asked me a question I didn’t expect. “You must have some good memories of your mom?”

“Not really,” I replied. With what I’d written about my mom in my memoir front and center in my thoughts, I continued, “She had cancer the first time when I was only eight or nine, and then again a year later. She had lost her sister and her mom a few years before that. She was always sick, it seemed, and I don’t remember her ever smiling or being happy.”

The subject changed and the morning continued, with showers and breakfast and packing. Then we all went out to lunch before we had to hit the road for home.

As I usually do before we leave my in-laws’ house, I gave her a hug. “Thanks for coming,” she said. “I love you.”

I love you. With those three little words God completed His answer to my prayer. I don’t ever remember her saying those words to me before.

She has shown me in many ways over the last thirty-two years that she loves me. She’s actually been my mom for more years than my real mom was and has always treated me like a beloved daughter.

And in that moment I also knew that my real mom loved me, too, even though it didn’t always seem like she did and she didn’t say it much.

It’s funny how God knows just the things we need to hear to heal our doubting hearts. He reminded me to focus on the loving acts of others, and not on the careless things someone might have said. After all, we all are prone to let a thoughtless word slip from our lips once in a while.

Are you holding onto a casual remark and bearing a grudge against the one who said it? Have you allowed a seed of bitterness to sprout? Has a past hurt clouded your perspective of how much someone really loves you?

 

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12–14.

Seeds of bitterness destroy relationships, or at least make them more difficult. Will you ask God for His three-word answer to uproot this noxious weed in your life today? Let me know in the comments so I can pray that His power to forgive will fill you today.

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