The Hand-Held (#recall 12 series, May)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where together we are memorizing a little bit more of God’s Word each month! This month’s verse is:

“He is always listening.” Psalm 34:15 (VOICE)

“OK,” I repeated, “I got it.”

I cut through the soft, glass cove at sunset to the tune of gulls cackling and the Evinrude faithfully buzzing along. Fresh-water beaded up on my  sun-screened skin, as the pages of whatever book I’d been lost in all day flipped through my mind. I whirred to a peaceful stop to watch the orange setting sun.

“What’s your 20?” the hand-held cracked into my serenity. As much as I wanted to toss it to the gulls, I answered, “over here …look to your starboard,” and waved my arms at my dad as high as my constrictive ‘life-saving’ device would allow me to reach. I ached for freedom from the noise. march-recall-tweet-1

It’s hard to find a quiet place to think before you’re old enough to claim some independent space. I knew little then about how loud life would be now. God is funny, that way.

He is present in every memory, and every future step forward. He’s known us the longest, and knows us best. Who better to talk to about life, than to the One who is always listening?

Laugh with God.

For the Eternal watches over the righteous,
    and His ears are attuned to their prayers. He is always listening.” Psalm 35:15 (VOICE)

Despite the annoyance of teenage monitoring, it was fun to say “10-4,” “over and out,” and “Lieutenant Dan” on that little hand-held radio. We heard a lot of laughs and inside jokes on Channel 74 before cell phones took over.

may-recall-image-1Hearing carries a couple of themes throughout the Bible, but concerning this verse it means: “God hears the prayers of His people.” (Dictionary of Bible Themes, #5159) 

When I realized that I could just talk to my Father without the formality of the memorized prayers of my Catholic upbringing, it was akin to hearing His voice crackle through the hand-held radio saying “10-4.” Laughter! God truly knows how to comfort us, carry us, console us, and crack us up. Lean into Him prayerfully with the personality He knit.

Feel for peace.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous [those with moral courage and spiritual integrity]
And His ears are open to their cry.” Psalm 34:15 (AMP)

Growing up on the water, the hand-held granted a sense of peace, even though there was distance between the boat and the shore. It was easy to call for help, and a feeling of never really being alone even when out of sight.

This verse goes so much deeper than God hearing what we are saying or praying. He is alert to what is happening in our world. He’s not a distant Father that checks in from time to time, He’s a hands-on Dad …ready to whack our hand away from the hot stove or put a pause on a situation we’re ready to rush through.may-recall-image-2

When we grab for Jesus’ hand, His peace trumps our solution. If we can quiet our hearts and search for Him, the peace we feel will direct our steps. God’s movement doesn’t always look the way we’d like to recognize it, but He longs to take our hand, give it a squeeze, and whisper, “this way.”

Audible thoughts.

God keeps an eye on his friends,
his ears pick up every moan and groan.” Psalm 34:15 (MSG)

We don’t need a hand-held to call God for help, share a joke with Him, or just experience the comfort of knowing He’s there if we need Him. We need Jesus.

Words fail us, but He never does. We launch into tantrums and lose our tempers …ugly cry and vent in despair. Life is desperate at times, but the measures we take are no match for His power.

In a heap, in the corner, sobbing ourselves to sleep …He is there. Talking to ourselves in the mirror, or staring into a hopeless space …He is there. When we think we’ve blown it …lost it …or can’t move …He is there.

march-recall-tweet-2God wouldn’t have created boundless ways to communicate if there was one required way to speak to Him. His ear is universally omnipotent. Even Jesus ran out of words in the garden, praying with such agonous sadness He cried tears of blood.

He is in our indescribable moments, aware and alert to our heart, and compassionate to listen as we tumble through motions. Panic, fumble, stare, cry …there’s no wrong way to reach for the Father. Through Jesus’ death on the cross and our acceptance and belief in Him, we have full access to the One who sees us …knows us …created us …and loves us …unconditionally.

Happy Talking,

Megs

Click here or on the image below for free memory verse cards!

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Find your favorite place to hang out, and make some new friends! Link-up with us!!

Happy Link-ing!!!  Megs

Mondays…Mommy Moments Modest MondayOpen Mic MondaySoul SurvivalHomemaking MondaysGood Morning MondaysMake Your Home SingInspire Me Monday Motivation Monday Motivational MondayOver the Moon, Thank Goodness it’s Monday Inspire Me Monday

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Wednesdays…#TellHisStory, OhMyHeartsieGirlsCoffee for Your HeartFrom Messes to MessagesWordless WednesdayAmanda’s Books and More LinkyCoffee and Conversation,Wow Me Wednesday,Wine’d Down Wednesday,

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Fridays…Faith Filled FridayDance with Jesus, Friendship Friday, High Five for Friday, 

Saturdays… Saturday Sparks, Dare to Share, Our Mini Linky PartySaturday Sharefest

The Baby Star (#recall12 series, April)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where our goal is to memorize a little bit more of God’s Word each month. This month’s verse is:

“We do not belong to the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5

It can take billions of years for one moment of brilliance to come to fruition. In the life of a star, time is it’s very existence. There are stars that exist in dim light for millions and trillions of years before they are visibly bright enough to see.

april-recall-12-image-1Life can take a toll on our perspective, making it easy to pass by the simple purpose of light. When we strain to see in the dark …we miss the Light. As the verse above illumines, that’s not where we belong. Through this month’s verse, God reminds us why we are “children of the day.”

Find the Light.

“For you all are sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night or of darkness—” 1 Thes.5:5 (TLV)

After God spoke light into creation(Gen. 1:3), He declared it “good” and intentionally separated it from the darkness. Every good thing comes from God, because He is good.  Everything created by God, from the specific balance of nature’s cycles to the orbiting patterns of stars, is good. A flicker of goodness lies in every person, each one crafted in the image of Goodness and Light, Himself.

Jesus answered … Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” John 10:9-10

Though division in the world may spotlight conflict, difference is an innate quality of humanity. Jesus speaks about walking in the light as opposed to the dark. He doesn’t tell us to watch out for other’s intending to trip us in the dark. No, He tells us to walk in the light so we won’t trip. As the matter of a baby star turns inward and begins to spin, it’s light becomes visible. When we look a little deeper at ourselves and each other through His eyes, our perspective sight is illuminated.april-recall-image-2

Listen to the Light.

” For you are children of light. You are sons and daughters of the day. We are not created of night, nor are we owned by darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5 (VOICE)

There is a spark in each human heart that beckons to be lit; and when we accept Christ as our Savior, that’s precisely what begins to happen. A young star begins to shine when enough matter has fallen on it. When we witness Light, bright beams permeate our landscape, and little bits of Him shine on everything …and everyone.

 Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. ‘” John 12:35

april-recall-tweet-2We’re privy to do something with the knowledge that keeps us from stumbling in the darkness. God’s Word is the way He communicates to us, when our ears are open to receiving what He has to say. That’s why Jesus is crucial. Through Him we receive the illumination of the Holy Spirit who reveals, reminds, and allows us to listen  …follow ..and walk in the Light.

Follow the Light.

“But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. ” 1 Thes. 5:4-6(MSG)

After waiting millions of years to begin shining, a star is still not really a star. It will remain in transition for millions more…or perhaps trillions of years as it continues to mature.  Jesus walks with us in transition as we grow in spiritual maturity …a process that eventually leads us home to heaven.

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” This was the happy condition of the Thessalonians as it is of all true Christians …they were the children of the day, for the day-star had risen upon them; the Sun of righteousness had arisen on them with healing under his wings.” -Matthew Henry Commentaryapril-recall-tweet-1

Elohim, Creator of light and time, space and sky, nature and humanity, knows us. He calls us the light. He made us for day. Yet for now, we shine in the darkness, spinning inward and increasingly growing closer to our Father until one day …we will transition to the main sequence of our life beyond this one. And there, in heaven, we will remain forevermore. We are put here by good hands with a good plan and a good Guide. Jesus is the Light.

“I am here to bring light in this world, freeing everyone who believes in Me from the darkness that blinds him.” John 12:46 (VOICE)

Happy Brightening!

Megs

Click here or on the image below for FREE verse memory cards!

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Find your favorite place to hang out, and make some new friends! Link-up with us!!

Happy Link-ing!!!  Megs

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The Puppy Principle (#recall12 series)

“Would you like to get well?” John 5:6b (NLT)

recall12-mar-tweet-1Sweating down the sidewalk past lunchtime, calvary of whiners in tow, I tried to focus on the petunias lining the lakefront streets. Aggravated by the lack of parental response, foot stomping and arm tugging ensued. The shrill demand escalated to a bossy holler each time my toddler strode past another furry friend.

Girl wanted a puppy. But her parents were not puppy people. Not even dog people. Barely cat people.

A happy life requires a walk of faith that fuels the good things meant for our future. This month’s #recall12 verse will show us how, in letting go, we grab who we are destined to be.recall12-mar2

1. Dreams are God-placed.

 Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.” John 5:4-5

Sometimes we don’t want to get well because we don’t realize our lack. Of course this man wanted to get well. But he’d been sick for so long it was hard for him to imagine it actually happening. Instead of blind faith in the possibility, the man rehearsed a life’s worth of rationalizations competing against his opportunity to be healed.

When we don’t consult our Creator before discounting ourselves, we’re in danger of missing miraculous healing. Operating outside the will of God won’t allow us to experience the good He has plan for us.

2. Dreams are too big for us to accomplish on our own.

“When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” John 5:6

Do we want our dreams, or God’s dream for us? Our good Father created mankind out of love. We want His dream over anything we could possibly conjure up.recall12-martweet2

This verse is an important question to ask ourselves anytime we’re in faced with decision. It has the capability to reveal sickness. Sometimes we don’t know we’re sick until we look back at how we used to feel, or forward to a timeline we can’t fill in.

3. Dreams are built into the fabric of our person.

 ‘I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.'” John 5:7

recall12-mar2How often do we operate in blind trust without knowing for certain what the future holds?To stake claim on the God-sized dreams He crafted us to accomplish, we must recognize who we are and the work we have to do.

How often to we make excuses like the man in the  passage? In his defense, he may have perceived his prose as simple matter of fact. Those of us who see the healing coming wonder, “where is your faith?” No painful situation easily attaches itself to faith. It takes discipline to have faith when it hurts …and it’s hard.

4. Dreams are work we get to do.

“Jesus told him, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!'” John 5:8

The people of Joshua Chapter 3 might have missed walking through a river on dry ground, had they sat around and asked questions first …doubted that they could …or waited to see what they would get in return for their hard work.

Imagine what the man in John Chapter 5 might have become had he said, “no, I don’t think I can…” or “Jesus, that’s impossible.”

We are the image of a God who does the impossible. It’s our belief …our faith …that needs to catch up. In relationship with our Father, a privilege Jesus gave His life for, we can continually pray for guidance. Step by step, God will illuminate the work required to meander the path of our life’s purpose.

5. Dreams don’t have to wait.

“Instantly, the man was healed!” John 5:9arecall12-mar3

When we wake up each day with intention to seek God’s design for our lives, He is faithful
to answer and send His Spirit to guide our way …right away. When we walk with Christ, we live in happiness amidst the darkness. The switch can be flipped in an instant. The winds of change are swift.

Four years after the foot stomp parade along the petunia-lined streets, the “we will never have a dog” people are total dog people. Looking back, my husband and I are still shocked at the shift of our hearts. “I’m still not a dog person,” says my husband, who searched for just the right puppy …named her …and bought her a Christmas sweater.

Stay open, in prayer, for unexpected winds of change.

Happy Puppy-Principling,

Megs

Click here or on the image below to download FREE verse memory cards! 

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march-recall-12-cards-jpg-1Find your favorite place to hang out, and make some new friends! Link-up with us!!

Happy Link-ing!!!  Megs

Mondays…Mommy Moments Modest MondayOpen Mic MondaySoul SurvivalHomemaking MondaysGood Morning MondaysMake Your Home SingInspire Me Monday Motivation Monday Motivational MondayOver the Moon, Thank Goodness it’s Monday Inspire Me Monday

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Thursdays…Thought Provoking ThursdayLive Free ThursdaySincerely, PaulaHeart Encouragement Think Tank Thursday, 

Fridays…Faith Filled FridayDance with Jesus, Friendship Friday, High Five for Friday, 

Saturdays… Saturday Sparks, Dare to Share, Our Mini Linky PartySaturday Sharefest

The Flash Drive (#recall12 series)

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The Holy Spirit ignites within the moment we believe in Christ, opening our eyes and ears to interpret God’s living Word. Prayer is like a flash drive containing the situational solutions to all of our problems. It’s useful to save a few key life verses on it, which is recall-12-feb-verseexactly what we’re doing here in the #recall12 series. In our struggle to find a way, God leads us to pray.

“Always pray and never give up.” Luke 18:1 (NLT)

1. Persistance 

“He told them a parable, urging them to keep praying and never grow discouraged.” Luke 18:1 (VOICE)

This month’s memory verse is a prelude to ‘The Parable of the Persistant Widow.’ Through the story of a woman seeking a judge’s verdict, Jesus taught the his followers the value in persistent and perseverant prayer.

Though our gut’s reaction is to freakishly scramble for hurried solutions, God’s presence beckons to employ a prayerful flow of continued conversation.recall12-feb-2

2. Consistence

“He paid no attention to her request for a while, but then he said to himself,“I don’t care about what God thinks of me, much less what any mere human thinks.  But this widow is driving me crazy. She’s never going to quit coming to see me unless I hear her case and provide her legal protection.'” Luke 18:4-5

If this judge “didn’t care,” he wound’t have felt it necessary to broach the topic of this widow’s plight. The prodding of his heart was not his own conscience shifting, but someone else’s prayers being upheld.

God hears us. More importantly, He tells us to keep talking. Keep praying. When frustration emerges, let’s determine to pray into it, wait for God to lead us out of it …and have faith that He will.

3. Silence 

Did you catch what this self-assured judge said? If he can be moved to act justly, won’t God bring justice for His chosen people when they cry to Him day and night? Will He be slow to bring them justice?” Mark 8:6-7

God’s determination to help His people has little to do with our resolve to act rightly. He seeks to help those who seek Him, whether or not we are privy to His reality. God is not dependent upon any human behavior to justify His response. Jesus’ death on the cross gave His believers the opportunity to cry out to the Father in prayer, and trust that He hears and answers.recall12-feb-3

Gossip hurts. Isolation stings. Injury is painful. Sickness is defeating. Loss is agonizing. God’s voice can seem deafeningly quiet to us when our situation is bleak and our hearts are broken. Though we may not see and here God the way we seek to, the promise of His presence is always present. In a conversation so personal we couldn’t describe it if we wanted to, He leads us through every season in the silent wanderings of our prayers.

4. Omnipotence

(Jesus emphasizes that the kingdom of God will not come through valiant efforts but as people pray, “may Your kingdom come,” with persistence and with humility.)” Luke 18:8 (VOICE)

Trust that God controls what we do not: healing, death, conception, time, creation and purpose. Ending our prayers “In Jesus Name,” declares our faith in His will over our prayer requests and our lives. We must be careful to pour our hearts out in prayer to Him and then let go. Grasping for control only causes us to sink further into our plight. But when we let go of the answer we want to hear and listen for the one He is laying out before us, miracles become visible. Coincidence connects answered prayer.

recall12-feb-2The conversations we have with the Father bleed out onto and into life.  He’s privy to our seat in the auditorium. Pop in the flash drive, transfer the data over to Him, and download His answer. It’s what Jesus died for …relationship with God.

Father, Praise You for Your listening ear and compassion for us. You tell us to pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1) You are powerful to trump any form of justice set upon this earth with Your omnipotent hand. God, You ARE love. You ARE grace. 

Praise for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, allowing us to pour our hearts into Your healing hands. In conversation with You, keep our eyes open and our ears attentive to Your will for our lives over our prayer requests. Surround us with Your purpose for our lives, and compassionate love when life is impossible.

Forgive us for our lack of stamina, and remind us of Jesus death on the cross. Bless Your Spirit to our hearts and minds to remember this verse today, and always. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Happy Downloading,

Megs

Click here or the image below for FREE verse memory cards!feb-recall-12

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Find your favorite place to hang out, and make some new friends! Link-up with us!!

Happy Link-ing!!!  Megs

Mondays…Mommy Moments Modest MondayOpen Mic MondaySoul SurvivalHomemaking MondaysGood Morning MondaysMake Your Home SingInspire Me Monday Motivation Monday Motivational MondayOver the Moon, Thank Goodness it’s Monday Inspire Me Monday

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Wednesdays…#TellHisStory, OhMyHeartsieGirlsCoffee for Your HeartFrom Messes to MessagesWordless WednesdayAmanda’s Books and More LinkyCoffee and Conversation,Wow Me Wednesday,Wine’d Down Wednesday,

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The Beats & The Books.

 The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
    and patience is better than pride.”

my-heart-2Even those who can’t hear can feel when the beat of a song is off, and it doesn’t take a medical professional to notice the skipped beat of a heart …but that’s just what happened to Julie Manning, as she tells in her book “My Heart.” It’s every mother’s worst nightmare played out, to the tune of unending grace. Julie recounts the tragic sickness of her heart, and all of the medical challenges that spiraled in to personal and spiritual challenges for her as she tried to move forward without skipping a beat for her two young sons and sweetheart husband.

Like every book I’m blessed to be part of launching, I dove in curiously wondering what God was going to use this book for in my life, and the lives of others. Julie’s bravery to recount and write down the painful memories and joyous triumphs is truly endearing …and important. When we walk close to the edge of the end of life we realize the reality of it’s fragility. 

How many of us launch into our days in a rush and continue on at the speed of light through a crammed calendar of days without stopping to linger in a few precious my-heart-reviewmoments?

“What if lunch notes, texts, and cards stopped saying, ‘Have a great day!’ and instead included a prayer over the soul and a Scripture to cling to that is Truth as they decipher through the lies heard in the hallways, on sidewalks, or next to the water cooler?” -Julie Manning, My Heart

I will write those lunch notes. As today’s verse teaches us, “the end of a matter is better than the beginning.” Better the end of a matter than the end of a life not ready to end. Pride wants us to rush through our moments, but patience allows us to linger longer.

“Jesus was an intentional memory maker. Jesus was always fully present.”- Julie Manning, My Heart 

My youngest daughter pulls out “the big book of Lo Lo” all of the time. It’s the scrapbook of the first year of her life that I spent an embarrassing number of hours putting together. I’ve always had a problem eliminating memories and deleting pictures. I make photo books for them each year, and each year the photos become smaller and smaller and the books grow larger and larger. There are five specific things I love about these books:

1. It makes me remember.my-heart-tweet

“I have hidden your word in my heart” Psalm 119:11a 

When I sort through pictures and sit there for hours, coordinating clip-art and smiles, God’s faithfulness reflects off of the screen. How I prayed for these babies, and this family, and like Julie speaks of in her book …how I long to watch them grow old and have their own babies!

2. It makes me appreciate

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19b-20

Each experience I look back on has a ‘thank you’ attached. 365 days have the potential to hold millions of memories …and to the glory of the Lord, we’ve been able to share so many laughs over the years. As I read Julie’s story, I couldn’t help but pay more attention to my own heart. I found myself sitting in silence listening to it’s regular beat. What gift it is just to listen to a regular heartbeat.

3. It highlights the happy.

“Be joyful always.” 1Thessalonians 5:16

All of the smiles make me smile. We rarely photograph sorrow and grief. Painfully aware of it’s proximity, Julie soldiers on in her faith throughout her book …and her life. It’s admirable, and as I look at the smiling memories that pull me out of a sad slump, I can only image how precious each one is to her. Everyday life has a tendency to seem drudgery, so it’s good to refocus on the positive by gazing at some happiness.

4. It takes a while.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Patience is a gift of the Spirit that I struggle with. And these photo books take …not hours …not days …not weeks …but months to put together. Months. I’ve digitally crafted myself into a corner, but the slow pace of each page leaves time for each memory, and the lessons attached to it, to soak back in.

5. I love to look at them, with them.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Snuggling up to look at our memories is like living a dream. “My Heart” reminded me to be ever so careful not to try and count the number of days or my capabilities ahead of the One who creates and sustains. It’s made me grip Jesus’ hand a little tighter, and refocused my prayers for my family and my children.

“May we turn into a generation of women who live with constant intentionality. Not just for the sake of being intentional but for the sake of living like Christ.”-Julie Manning, My Heart.

Happy Heartbeats,

Megs

You can pick up a copy of Julie’s book here!

My Heart: Every Beat Surrendered to Our Unchanging God

And you can link up with my friends and I here as I share this post and other at these link ups throughout the week!

Mondays…Mommy Moments Modest MondayOpen Mic MondaySoul SurvivalHomemaking MondaysGood Morning MondaysMake Your Home SingInspire Me Monday Motivation Monday Motivational MondayOver the Moon, Thank Goodness it’s Monday Inspire Me Monday

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