Sunday, November 30

The Blessing of Proximity

A couple of days ago, I received a tweet on Twitter from my sweet, new cyber-friend, Deb Burton at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take. Deb has a wonderful blog full of suggestions for parents on teaching children to desire to walk in God’s light. Please visit her blog. You will love it.

She bestowed on me the special honor of the Proximity Award. This is a first for me. I was so overwhelmed that tears streamed down my cheeks. Thank you, Deb, from the bottom of my heart! May the Lord truly bless you.

The award is for PROXIMITY, which is explained this way:

“This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

My problem now…deciding on which eight to choose! This has been very difficult for me and has taken a while to do because I have met so many precious cyber friends and wonderful bloggers that it’s almost impossible to choose eight over the rest. I hope no one is offended. It is so not in me to offend anyone.

Therefore, some I’ve chosen and some I’ve randomly drawn from my list. All are my favorites! And I’ve gone out on a limb and expanded the list. Forgive me for bending the rules. Most of the others are listed in the right hand column. They are all special to me, but the award goes to these, in no particular order…

1) Victoria Gaines has two sites: Light for the Writer’s Soul and devotionals at Windows To My Soul. In Vicki’s own words, she is a “Freelance writer, retired nurse, friend to the broken-hearted. Out of sync with the world; utterly dependant upon God.”

2) Linda Yezak at 777 Peppermint Place I call her “my favorite redhead.” We are both aspiring writers and share the same heart for writing and the Lord. Love everything she writes!

3) Donna Shepherd at Donna J Shepherd Donna has written extensively, in many areas, including several children’s books. Check them out! They’re awesome.

4) Lisa at Consecrated To Him serves the Lord with her pen, er, computer keys!

5) Lorrie at Grow Up Deep We both started blogging about the same time. Love her!

6) Romantic Walk at Romantic Walk has the best romantic writing ever!

7) Marja at Sacred Sabbath has written three books. Her latest is Breath of Life, written from the perspective of an unborn child. Cool!

8) Tanya Dennis at In the Dailies says, “Join me on a journey of finding and recognizing God in the dailies; in the ordinary, everyday points of life.”

9) I put these three great poetry sites together because I cannot do one without the other:
* Keith Wallis at Wordsculptures
* Colin at Colin's Faith Inspirations
* Connie Arnold at Connie Arnold

10) Mari Taylor Mari's Morning Room is a “Lover of the Word and the Lord and not afraid to tell it or write about it.” She also does book reviews.

11) Cami at Lindenville A treasure of devotionals hiding just around the corner. My friend, Cami. Love her!

Please take time to visit these blogs. I know you will be blessed.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Monday, November 24


Today, I was reminded of a story in the life of Corrie ten Boom. If you’ve never heard of Corrie, she was a young, Dutch Christian living in Holland as she and her family helped the Jews to escape the Nazis in WWII. Hence, the title of one of her books, The Hiding Place.

After being betrayed, they were imprisoned in two places, one in which their father died, before she and her sister were sent to the notorious concentration camp Ravensbruck near Berlin.

Life in this camp was intolerable. For one thing, their cabin was infested was fleas, which fed on the prisoners by biting them constantly. However, Corrie and Betsie managed to have a daily Bible study with the other women, many of whom came to the Lord.

At first, they were afraid to conduct these meetings, but, each night, they became bolder, as no guard ever entered their cabin, which baffled them.

One night, as they read scripture about praising God for all things, Betsie turned to Corrie and said they were going to praise God for the fleas. Corrie absolutely refused. Betsie insisted and Corrie finally gave in. They all got down on their knees and thanked God for the fleas.

Years later, Corrie found a journal of one of the guards that had stood outside their door. He wrote that he would never set foot inside because it was so infested with fleas.

Betsie died while imprisoned. However, when Corrie was released, she found out it had been “a clerical error,” as all the other women her age were killed a week later.

Written to the Ephesians by Paul while imprisoned, he told them, “…making melody with all your heart to the Lord, at all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” (Eph. 5:19b-20 AMP) To the Thessalonians, he wrote, “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18 NLT)

Just some thoughts to ponder…ask yourself: For what do I give thanks this year? Do I have an attitude of gratitude in all things? Do I thank God just for things, things that can disappear in the blink of any eye? My job, my house, my family, my possessions? Or do I thank the Lord for the things He keeps from entering my life? Am I thankful that He is Who He says He is? Am I thankful for all He does in my life? Do I thank Him for His grace and mercy, His righteousness and justice, His supply and protection, His comfort and peace, His love and care?

With all my heart, I pray for each of you to have a very blessed Thanksgiving.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, November 20

Are You Sonning Yourself?

Lily Tomlin once said, “I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.” I love that line. Makes me laugh every time.

We all want to be “somebody,” someone of worth and recognition, someone accepted and honored. Some want to be important in the field of literature, the film industry, or the financial, music, or political world.

In what do they bask themselves to reach that place of somebody-ness? With what do they fill themselves? Self-gratification of applause, power, money, or physical enhancement? What values then do they project? What image do they reflect?

As “they” bask in outward indulgences, in what do “we” as Christians bask? Do we want to be accepted and honored? What values are we trying to project? What image do we reflect?

If Christ “is the image of God” and spiritual rebirth makes us a new creation in Him, placing His Holy Spirit within us, do we really reveal His image to others?

Sunning on the beach, one will exhibit the effects of absorbing the sun’s rays. Do we bask in the Lord’s presence, sitting at His feet long enough to absorb His character and reflect His likeness? Do others see the effects of our spending time with Him?

Paul said, “And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NLT)

So, if we, as Christians, stop to think about it, we are some body. We are the body of Christ. When we reflect love, patience, gentleness, Godliness, faith, giving, and all the other Godly qualities, we reveal to those around us a part of the Image within us, an assurance that we have spent time in the Son…Sonning ourselves!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Sunday, November 16

Sure Hands of Prayer

“We shall devote ourselves whole-heartedly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.”
Acts 6:4 Phillips

One morning in my study and quiet time, the Lord led me to read Exodus 17:11-16…again. You know this Old Testament story. Readied on top of Mount Horeb, Moses lifted his hands and his rod in praise, while Joshua fought the enemy in the valley below.

In my quirky mind, I hear the song from the commercial for Sure deodorant: Raise your hands, raise your hands, if you’re sure! Silly, I know. But that’s the way my brain works.

On the mount of victory with hands of surety uplifted into the air, Moses’ mouth spoke prayers and praises into the atmosphere and Israel prevailed; when he lowered his hands, the enemy prevailed.

However, Moses grew weary and his arms became heavy, so Aaron and Hur came alongside to give support. Because of their assistance, victory came that day.

All the Joshuas who battle the enemy need their Moseses, Aarons, and Hurs in the background praying with uplifted hands. That means you and I need each other’s support. So, in your prayer efforts, do not let your hands be weakened nor your knees go unbent that the enemy not defeat us in our battles.

Hebrews 12:12 in The Amplified says, “So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees.”

Solomon warned, “Through lowering of hands, the house leaks.” (Eccl. 10:18 Masoretic Text) This slackness applies not only to our physical house but to our spiritual house as well. According to the definitions, if through inactivity, negligence, or idleness, we lower our hands from lack of prayer and praise, then the house begins to weep.

In order to counteract this and prove God’s greatness in battle, we need to be diligent as sister and brother hand-raisers and knee-benders in prayer for one another. To ensure a victory in these difficult times, join with me in agreement to this…“We shall devote ourselves whole-heartedly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.”

Raise your hands, raise your hands if you’re sure!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, November 13

Tale of a Harpist

“Take a harp…play skillfully and make sweet melody…that you may be remembered.”
(Is. 23:16 AMP)

Suddenly taken ill, a renowned harpist was rushed to the hospital. While tests were being run to find the cause of his illness, he lay in his hospital bed, reminiscing over his life. Seeing himself as a young boy, he remembered his dreams of becoming a famous harpist, even though his family was poverty stricken and could not afford even one string of a harp or music lessons.

Each day, after school, on his way to one of his many odd jobs, he stopped at the local music shop to quickly thumb through the catalogs of instruments, envisioning the day of owning a harp from what little money he saved.

He became great friends with the shop owner who took pity on him and allowed him to purchase, piece by piece, all the parts necessary to make a harp. Each new string added a new dimension of hope to his life.

After many years, he had all the parts and the shop owner assembled the beautiful harp for him. The shop owner’s wife, a music teacher, offered him free lessons, and, under her tutelage, he became an accomplished, well-known harpist in a very short time, thus fulfilling the purpose for his life. He was loved and admired by all.

As he laid there thinking about his life, he remembered the many setbacks and hardships he had suffered. His mother and father, as missionaries in a foreign land, were killed by natives. His sister, whom he loved dearly, was killed in a car accident. World War II took the life of his only son. After many years of marriage, his wife left him for someone else. Now, he was fighting for his life - alone.

As each trial took its toll on his life, he laid his harp aside. Yet, after each respite, he resumed his music, playing his beloved harp more beautifully than before. Each occurrence in his life brought more enthusiastic reviews from the critics.

Now, while lying in his hospital bed, depressed and having no desire to live, he asked the Lord why so many trying things had occurred in his life.

The Lord whispered to him, “You constructed your beloved harp from its many pieces with great love. For it to make its beautiful melodies, much effort and practice time was necessary. To keep it in tune, you tightened its strings every now and then.

This is as your life, for it was put together with great love. Each sorrow, each disappointment, each heartache added a new string to your life. Each event was part of the process to tighten you and transform your life’s music. It was your choice whether it would be played in harmony or in discord. All prepared you to make beautiful melodies, each as a sweet praise to the Great Instrument Maker.”

After the review of his life, the great harpist rested back on his pillow, satisfied and comforted. He closed his eyes, content that he would awaken the next morning to play sweet melodies of praise to his Master - on his harp of many strings.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Monday, November 10

Does My Nearness Suffice?

The Lord is nudging me to share with you something He spoke to me some time ago…

Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence.”
Ecclesiastes 8:3 NIV

When you come into My Presence, does My nearness suffice? When you come with your many prayers, does My nearness suffice? When you come with a frantic request, does My nearness suffice? When you come with your praises and thanksgiving, does My nearness suffice?

Can you come into My Presence, silently, wanting nothing, saying nothing, but just to be near Me, the One you say you love?

When a loving child snuggles up next to you, just to be near you, does your heart not respond with deep appreciation and enduring love so as to bring tears of pure pleasure and great joy? Do you not long for that moment to last forever?

And so this is what I desire from all My children, a heart of deep devotion, of tender love, and unending joy.

Come. Sit in My Presence. Bask with Me in the light you bring to My eyes. Come. Delight My heart with the joy of your tender love of Me. Come, for My heart aches for all who do not know Me. Come, and you shall know the pure joy of the Heartbeat of the world.

Come and share all that radiates from Me. Come and share the beauty of holiness. Step into My glory. Ride upon the waves of victory. Bring Me your worship and honor and praise and I will share all with you.

Let your desire for Me consume you. Let My glorious Presence not only surround you but fill you. Your eyes have not yet seen nor your ears yet heard all that can be found in My Presence.”

What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed].” 1 Corinthians 2:9 AMP

Prayer: Lord, let Your nearness suffice every day. Let me be a Mary, to sit at Your precious feet, to seek Your face, Your heart, and not Your hand. I seek not things, but You. Let Your Presence always be enough for me. For that which I worship I become most like. Only Your kind of love can fit within my heart.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, November 6

“Duty is ours, results are Gods.”

Well, this will be a first for me. I do not write about political issues. I rarely even discuss politics outside my close family unit. However, I feel the Holy Spirit nudging me to say something for unity’s sake.

One of the natural characteristics of my personality is peace and being a peacemaker. I’m sure the Lord is using this to nudge me.

This election rubbed me the wrong way. Most elections do. I hate the name calling and insults slung by opponents. And I hate all the negative ads. However, this time, it was different. I have never heard such bitterness and outright vile emotions and comments on both sides. I am so glad the door has closed on this election and the bickering is over. Now comes the real test, where the rubber hits the pavement, as they say.

When I saw this quote, I knew it was perfect for what I had to say. John Quincy Adams said, “Duty is ours, results are Gods.” We have accomplished half of our duty by putting our privilege to vote into action.

We have a new President of the United States. Whether you joined in the jubilation over the outcome or you went into your corner and pouted, you and I and the rest of the country now need to join together and make an effort at unity.

Now on to the second half of that duty…everyone working together, standing shoulder to shoulder in acceptance and kneeling knee to knee in prayer for the President and all his decisions.

Scripture is clear on this. Paul wrote to Timothy, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” (1 Tim. 2:1-3 NIV)

Whatever our leaning…to the left or to the right…we are to first pray for the President and to keep a watch over what we say about the leaders of our country. The Word says, “Don’t bad-mouth your leaders, not even under your breath, and don’t abuse your betters, even in the privacy of your home.” (Eccl. 10:20a Msg)

The Law stated, “Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.” (Ex. 22:28 NIV) The consequence of doing so was the punishment of being stoned to death. And no, we can’t go back there!

In reading a number of blogs that have posted on the election, my favorite is by Michael Hyatt, president and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. Falling in line with these scriptures, he listed these four things that he vowed to do for the new President…

1) I will pray for him and our country.
2) I will assume his motives are good, giving him the benefit of the doubt.
3) I will not speak ill of him, even if I don’t always agree with him.
4) I will cast off the spirit of cynicism, and be a positive force for good.

I, too, take this stand. Will you join me in doing the same?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, November 4

Cocoon of Circumstance

“My troubles turned out all for the best…” (Ps. 119:71 The Message Remix)

Where can the most beautiful vistas be viewed? From atop the summit of the tallest mountain, after the most strenuous climb.

Which valleys have the richest green velvet pastures and the fullest spikes of wildflower colors? Those that have withstood the greatest drenching rains.

What forests produce the most prolific new growth? Those that have suffered the hot, searing flames of destruction.

Which diamonds sparkle the most brilliantly? Those that have felt the cleaving of the jeweler’s sharp chisel and the friction of the polishing wheel.

An old Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”

Just as all of nature suffers contrary conditions in order to be expanded, improved, or strengthened, so, too, do we. Difficulties and trials will always be a part of our lives. We cannot separate ourselves from them. And if we ponder it closely, we realize we will not grow as Christians if trials do not come to test and enlarge us.

If we try to wiggle out of these times, we force premature deliverance, frustrating God’s plan. It is like prying open a cocoon before the caterpillar has finished its metamorphosis into a butterfly. Forcing open the cocoon too soon will render the caterpillar deformed for the rest of its short lifespan.

When we manipulate the hands of the clock to align with our own agenda, we destroy the beauty that God desires to emerge from His timing. Through our own efforts to “help” God out with our deliverance, do we come out of our cocoon of circumstance too early and spiritually deformed in some way? Or do we wait for the revealed transformation by God’s hand?

Is our cocoon of circumstance not intended, as for the butterfly, to deepen our richest colors and give us wings of flight, beautifying our character, all which we may not have had before the trial? While in that cocoon of circumstance, we “are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.” (2 Cor. 3:18 NIV)

God knows the worth, the power, and the beauty hidden deep within our hearts and only that which is contrary to our comfort releases the precious qualities within us. As Paul said, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom 8:18 NKJV)

God will work out all our circumstances for our benefit when we fully commit them and ourselves to Him, His Word, and His timing.

After experiencing a cocoon of contrary circumstance, are you able to say, as David, that all your troubles turned out for the best?

Memory Verse: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Rom. 8:28 NLT)

~~Blessings, Lynn~~