11.29.2013

Thankful for Roads Not Taken (5 Minutes for Faith)




I'm over at 5 Minutes for Faith today thanking God for roads not taken, hope you will join me there



At each crossroad in life, there is a road chosen and a road not taken. Sometimes we actually do the choosing and sometimes the way is chosen for us...Continue Reading.




11.27.2013

My Thanksgiving Wishes for You




My Thanksgiving Wishes for You

So here's to you, 
friends from far and near
who've joined with me
in this journey to share-
the good things we've learned along the way
as we encourage each other
always to pray-
to Him who loves us anew each day.

I wish you glad tidings and wonderful things-
I wish you God's presence and all that it brings,
and most of all I want to say,
Happy Thanksgiving to You-
May you be blessed today! 

In His Grace, Dawn

May your Thanksgiving be blessed and full of heartfelt thanksgivings. 

*For my friends who do not celebrate this holiday I wish you grace, beauty, peace and His blessing always.

Linking with Create with Joy

11.26.2013

Experiencing God at Home Day by Day: A Family Devotional by Blackaby & Osborne (Book Review)




I wanted to take the time to share this new Devotional by Tom Blackaby and Rick Osborne, in case you are looking for a great tool for your spiritual toolbox for the New Year. The Experiencing God At Home Day by Day hardcover devotional has a lot to offer families looking for something to share together that still meets the variety, complexity and diversity needed for each individual. It is written to serve as a smorgasbord where many can come eat, but also take something away that allows them to ultimately find spiritual nourishment on their own. If you haven't shuffled off to find a snack yet, let me tell you more about this excellent resource published by B & H.

The book is small, yet packed full with devotions based on Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. I will share how it is organized so that you can get the sense of the material and how it flows. I actually appreciate the way the layout and structure are condensed well. The devotions are undated, so one could start anytime, or adapt easily for a family's unique scheduling circumstances.

The devotions are broken into weekly themes, and cover six days, spanning 50 weeks. There are also special occasion devotions for holidays and birthdays. Some examples of the special occasion devotion topics are: Thanksgiving, Election Day, Salvation, War, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Christmas, Baptism; even Halloween is included  as well as a few more.

The Introduction and Instructions chapter lays out clearly how to have family devotional time with a number of ages present and also how to get the most from this time.

The weekly themed devotions begin with what is called "Parent Connection" and introduce scripture and topic. Each day takes up one page in the book. The print is smallish, but not overly hard to read. There are also some great recommendations of additional resources, tools and activities offered. Days 2-6 Begin with a Reading and follow with 4 parts:

1. Quick Start-is a short, focus point or springboard. A Tidbit to stir up the thinking and communication process.
2. Quest - this is the devotional portion which ties into scripture.
3. Quiet Family Prayer- A prompt for prayer also based on the topic.
4. Quiet Time- This section is further broken down into older kids and younger kids and each is encouraged to seek out their own quiet time in an age appropriate way. It's kind of like individual "homework", to encourage the child to seek God on His own.

If your family is is seeking to establish a devotional time or if you have grown frustrated in your efforts, this little book could be handy in helping you and yours  find a measure of success in planning and practicing, as you grow in living out this aspect of ministry together.

Practical, handy and helpful is how I would describe this Devotional.


From the Publishers:
Experiencing God at Home Day by Day features 50 weeks of daily devotions that takes families from Genesis to Revelations, allowing them to explore all books of the Bible in just one year. The daily devotions feature a passage of scripture, a parent connection section, a conversation starter, applications, and more. There are also special devotions for important family moments like birthdays, holidays, back-to-school and more, so God can be celebrated and incorporated into all seasons and stages of life. Experiencing God at Home Day by Day not only provides a basis for personal, daily time spent together as a family, but serves as a pace setter for the deeper study of God’s word, preparing children to develop their own habit of seeking God in their lives

Blackaby Ministries International was founded by Henry and Marilyn Blackaby to help people experience God. The ministry focuses on three main concepts: helping people experience God, helping people and churches return to God, and helping church, business and family leaders move people to God’s agenda. Through writing, speaking and teaching ministries the Blackabys share their unique message, drawing on timeless truths to show how God is drawing people close to Him, and setting them free. For more information, visit www.blackaby.net


 I received this book in return for a review from Shelton Interactive. All opinions are my own.
Thanks to the lovely folks at Shelton Interactive who continuously provide me the opportunity to review excellent books! 

Thanks to B & H publishing Group for making the book available. 


Linking w/TimewarpWife

11.25.2013

Join Me for Java and Fireside Chat?

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Here it is the Monday before Thanksgiving and all is calm, all is bright. Oh, wait, I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? It has been awhile since I shared a Miscellany Monday Post but I really was hoping you and I could have a cozy chat, like old times. Oh, and if you want to go ahead and link a recent post in the comments, I would love to see what's been happening in your neck of the woods.


#514 November 12: I was thrilled with the first appearance of snow for the season,
although it was brief and light. I'll take it.
 The Red Maples in our yard made for wonderful snow holders! 




#515 Hubby has made these Pumpkin Scones twice and each time they disappear!
I asked him for the Link to the Recipe to share, for those who want to give them a try. They are not too sweet, and oh so scrumptious.

#516 I thought this was too cute a picture to miss!
The couple stopped to look over the Sea Wall
and their Fur Kid was not about to miss the view!
 Smart Dog!  Adorableness defined! 

#517 Of course you know who is my Top Dog, right? Banjo, gets around Rhode Island a lot. He favors Narragansett, naturally. Here he is sitting on the rocks at Pier 5. 



#518 I've been enjoying making Christmas Cards this month. Below you can see some of the varieties. I like to do different creations on different days. So I might make a batch of a similar theme, style and color combination. Whatever comes to my mind. I love creating randomly. My cards are pretty simple, but I enjoy the spontaneity, freedom and surprise of winging it! I never know ahead of time what will come of these "Creative Sessions"! If you are noticing the TP on my desk- I ran out of Kleenex and my allergies were bothersome. A wise woman told me once, "If it's good enough for your behind, it's good enough for your nose." OK, then...moving right along.
I will share a post with all my cards coming up soon.
 SO easy and fun!


#519 Here I am at my Blogging Station.
Hubby grabbed this pic while I was being my usual goofy self. 


Look! No hands Blogging!
Yes, I'm kneeling. No, it's not as hard to do as it seems.
Quite comfy actually.
In December, I bring you the 12 Days of (Fitting In) Fitness. That will be a commitment to Fit in Fitness twelve times during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Simple accountability. 12 times. That equals approximately 3 times a week-however that looks is up to you. It can be 15 minutes or 50 minutes or anything in between or beyond. Get ready to plan how you can make it happen. I'm not dishing out the workouts, just getting you to think and plan ahead. What will it take for you to fit fitness in during December? 


#520 Latest book stack. See Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore? If any of you would like to get a copy and join me with working through this 10 Week Journey, I am considering starting it in January. Check it out at Amazon, or a bookstore if you get the chance. It is a 70 day prayer venture...which will be 10 weeks. Just a heads up there. Zowie. Any takers? This is a tentative thought...and a biggish commitment. Do we dare? Hmm...



*Prayers still needed for our family as we are undergoing a difficult circumstance with a loved one. 
Hanging onto God's faithfulness during this time. Reminded of how He holds onto us when we feel ourselves sinking deeper into despair or hopelessness; when we feel ourselves losing our grip...He never loses His grip on us.
He truly is my Faith Life Preserver. 





11.21.2013

The Jesus Story-Everything That Happens in the New Testament in Plain English by Dr. William H. Marty (Book Review)




What do you get when you combine a college professor, biblical scholar, textbook author and expert storyteller? Apparently you get Dr. William H. Marty, author of The Jesus Story-Everything That Happens in the New Testament In Plain English.

Dr. Marty takes us through a chronological adventure which covers the days of Jesus' childhood, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection-and beyond. As the title itself suggests, it covers all of the New Testament. The beauty of the teacher's telling is his own excellent grasp of Original Judaic teaching and culture at this time in history.

The seven chapters of this highly readable book cover the birth, childhood and years of Jesus' life as told through the Gospels and create a wonderfully active picture of the events surrounding the manifestation on earth of the One True Living God in Jesus Christ. The Acts of the early church through Revelation are covered in the final chapters. Main characters and geographical settings are listed at the start of each chapter and the table of contents reference the scripture covered alongside the appropriate chapter.

I loved this short, but insightful look into the life of Jesus. It's obvious that the author has a gift for teaching and communicating in this manner. I appreciated the way he wrapped historical accuracy, cultural dynamic and theological relevance together in a
chronological journey that takes the reader up close and personal. It feels like a live news report, with the Gospel Writers and early disciples standing alongside us, walking, talking, witnessing and sharing the exciting story as it unfolds.

From the Publisher:

Rediscover This Compelling Story

The story of Jesus is the most remarkable ever told. It's an exciting adventure, a tender love story, and a drama full of danger, betrayal, and the ultimate sacrifice. But sometimes the genealogies, the confusing repetition, and the varying order of events in the Gospels can distract readers from this powerful narrative. Or maybe you've heard the story so many times that it has lost its impact...read more.


Dr. William H. Marty (ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute and has published two textbooks,Surveying the New Testament and Survey of the Old Testament. He is unique among Bible college professors in that he teaches and writes on both the New and Old Testaments. Dr. Marty lives with his wife in Chicago.







I received this book from Bethany House in return for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.



http://christianmommyblogger.com

11.20.2013

Abandoned Roses Reveal His Grace




On a recent walk, I came across these roses tossed in a river. They captured my eye and imagination for sure, but more than anything they reminded me of the beauty of God's grace in the midst of life's seasons and changes. As I pondered these beautiful, vivid colored roses, thrown to their own watery end among the fall leaves, I couldn't help but see a picture of His mercy and tender beauty among the murky waters and changing seasons. You know, they did not sink, but were kept afloat, their fragile beauty, even more evident in their lingering. 


 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Will you join me in a prayer for today: May we cling to Your beauty, grace, and all sufficiency when all around us seems, in our perception, hopeless. Lord, your grace is sufficient, and your power abundant in our weakness. Let your power rest upon us. May Your beauty be more evident in us as we linger in your presence. In Jesus name, we pray. 







11.19.2013

Anemic Soul

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Weary of followers, un-followers, tweets.
Weary of these heavy shoes on my feet.
Weary and burdened by all of the toys,
I long for release, from all of the noise-
via news feeds, 
shout-outs and over-share hell
it feels like I'm drowning, but how could I tell?

Newspapers, and books and screens scream loud
 my voice is lost 
in this innumerable crowd.

I cringe at the thought of just one more thing,
or piece of advice and the anguish it brings.

Your Facebook, and Tumbler and Instagram, too
Overload my brain, and mind it's true
I try to escape but wherever I go, 
somebody's sharing
above and below.

Please make it stop, 
from every which way,
or call me unsocial
if my feelings betray-
my soul is anemic,
so don't delay.

I think I'd be happier still if I,
curled up in a corner
alone and asked why-
with paper and pen and a very small space,
return to the closet 
with my writing and grace-
I 'll disappear without a trace
and live happily ever after
in my own happy place. 


Linking with dVerse- hopefully!

11.15.2013

Giving Thanks Times Five at 5 Minutes for Faith





It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night. Psalm 92:1-2


To celebrate November, the writing team at 5 Minutes for Faith will be sharing simple posts to honor the Lord. Join us as we give thanks, and feel free to jump in and join us in the comments!


I will turn the comments off here, so you can join in with your thanksgivings there...







Linking with Create with Joy for Friendship Friday, Missional Women for Faith-filled Friday

11.14.2013

The Beauty and Bravery of Being Yourself (Faith Barista Jam)

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One of my very favorite bloggers, Bonnie of Faith Barista has been working on a book the past year or so and also treading some deep waters in her own emotional healing. I miss her, and although am on a kind of "break" for November, just cannot keep myself from joining in and meeting her for her Thursday Link up this week! It's been 6 or more months since the last "Faith Jam" at her place. I have always been blessed by this community - I have missed the Thursday gathering of word loving, Jesus seeking, friends.

Here is how Bonnie describes her place:

"Faith Barista isn't a blog about giving advice or fixing people -- or trying to solve people's problems.  We are walking by faith.  We are Faith Baristas who believe the ultimate Faith Barista Jesus is going to keep pouring into us, as we pour out our words."

The prompt for this return of the Faith Barista Jam is "Be Yourself" and so I am pouring out my words as I ponder my own healing journey and struggle to find and share the right words, so pull up and let's share a cup together:

     I have fears. Fears of being found out, not liked, rejected. I don't know why, because I have already experienced all of these as a child, and as an adult. I vacillate with how much I dare to share. Not everyone needs to know everything. He does. Know. He knows. He knows everything. I have been working on my own spiritual memoir. I feel like I have been writing it my whole life. Pieces of it are saved on old paper, I recently came across as I set to the task again. The words staring back on me from the paper could have been written from my heart today. It pains me to think of this voice within, silenced. I want to set that voice free. Complete the task. Yet, I look at the sum of this life and all the experiences, and feel that it is, too hard. So I type out a few pages, and file away the pain when it overwhelms me.

I am a keeper of secrets. I am not so sure that all of them need to be known. Yet, this story within, God is molding, purifying, and allowing to rise within me, until it will not be contained. It is how I started blogging.

But this...

This book in me...this story, this truth lived, must be laid at His feet. Because my fears do suffocate that voice within. The many voices drown out the still small voice...and mine.

I fear insignificance, and long to be free from the voices that plague me, saying, "Your voice won't matter."

"It's all been said already/before."

"People will judge, criticize, misunderstand or understand and not care anyway."

The ultimate fear being my words won't matter at all, and the little girl within will die voiceless, unheard. 

Yet, there is another voice within that refuses to be ignored. It nurtures, heals, nourishes and strengthens the child. This voice balances, leads and is fine tuning the voice. Quieting the fear. Fortifying with grace and truth, merging the story with the One True Story that matters- His Story...of Glory. This other voice is the Holy Spirit within and it is He who has freed my voice thus far. It is He who will provide that which is needful to bring to fruition what must be shared; also to tend to that which must be pruned, trimmed and edited.

As I look unto Him, who gives me strength, who looks upon me with love, and rejoices over me, with tears of forgiveness, I am set free. From fear, and Hell's desire to quench the Truth within me. 

Although I acknowledge and confess my fears, don't misunderstand. It is in the bringing out into the light which allows the things of darkness to be diminished. My voice, your voice...all of our voices that resonate His grace, truth and beauty will not be shut up. Our voices will rise, beyond fear, failure, adversity- rising higher than ever imagined, a beautiful acceptable Holy fire, burning bright before Him who gives voice, and breath and life. A sweet aroma...One Holy, Amen.

Jesus expects nothing more than for me to be who I am. To be myself. But, the mind-boggling beauty of it is, He accepts me as I am while making me what I could never be apart from His presence.  

Have you been afraid, to share the truth of your own journey? Can you relate ? If so join in and jam with us at Bonnie's place as we join our unique voices into a beautiful harmony of raw and real praise.
Share your heart on "Being Yourself". See you there. 





Linking with Jennifer for Tell His Story...and besides I always dreamed of being a News Journalist- after the Jockey thing didn't pan out (12 years old and 5' 4" sealed that dream away)- but Jennifer - she lived the News Journalist/Reporter dream. And now shares a different story and this community:

11.13.2013

Daughters, Dolls, and Doctor Who (Guest Post at Finding Heaven)





I have the honor of sharing my heart over at Jen Ferguson's place,  Finding Heaven today. She has been doing a series called Reflections on Time. I'll turn comments off here, so you can join the conversation there. If you are a Dr. Who fan, you will feel at home with my words, but if you do not know about this popular BBC Science Fiction program, I promise you will still relate, as I ponder the moments that have come and gone in my current career as a parent. Look with me now through the eyes of a mom, longing to cling to a fixed point in time. I'll start you:


     My daughter sits on the floor, cross legged, brushing a doll's hair while watching an episode of her latest favorite Science Fiction series,  Doctor Who. Six dolls  surround her as I capture her with my camera. She huffs her disapproval,  "Really, Mom!" I watch and wonder where the time has gone. Click on over and finish reading...





11.11.2013

When the Enemy Strikes Your Marriage (Thoughts For Runaway Brides and Brides to Be)

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 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:21


I hardly recognized myself. There I stood screaming in my my kitchen, words pouring out of my mouth, like lava from erupting volcano. All around me felt buried in ash. My, husband returned the heat and I felt that we had turned down a dark road, unknown. I crumpled to the floor in the midst of the ash pile and wept...

He's my very best friend. I would never intentionally hurt him. We made it to the alter after 20 years of friendship. We have stood by each other and with one another through the seasons of Good, Bad, Ugly and Outright Foolishness.

We have only been married for ten years...and the day he slipped the engagement ring on my finger, my best friend turned into my enemy without me even understanding how or why.

When I say the enemy with regard to my husband, I mean to say, more accurately, the one who suddenly became The One. The One that was supposed to have all the answers, The One who was supposed to read my mind, The One who was supposed to make all my dreams come true. OK, seriously, I did not actually say that, or even realize that I was expecting more from my husband than he could give. I came to realize in this one transaction called marriage, something so many refuse to see. See, before we were married, being friends for so long allowed me to see clearly the way the enemy connives in the lives of those set on marrying before and during marriage.

 What changed? My best friend, was now a friend I had to ...cough, choke, gag- submit to. Huh? Wait, there's more. In my wildest imagination, I dreamed of marriage and how easy it would be to "submit" to my Prince Charming. Because he of course, would be perfect. Oh, stop snickering, you believed the same lies, I am so sure. Before I married and lived with my hubby, we had a great friendship. A lasting friendship, and in it, God showed me a lot about lasting relationships, authentic friendship and commitment.

My Hub (friend at the time) and I did something needful to survive in life and community with others. We were committed to our relationship. It happened over time. We grew and built upon it. We were bold and honest with one another. Eventually we shared the skeletons in our closet, and took them out to dance together before dismembering and throwing them away.

Becoming one, is a beautiful process, beyond a physical experience .

We held our dreams and hopes tenderly and supported on another. We walked and talked, and drank lots of coffee together. We confided in one another. We became the safe place for each other. What we had before we married was what was needful and is needful for relationships to survive the daily grind, time and tedium and attacks of the enemy. We mutually submitted to one another, and were committed to our friendship through all seasons. There were seasons when we were closer, by design, and others more distant. But the port remained open for the ship to safely find shelter in the harbor of this commitment.

We are opposite in many ways. Yet we have this common core, our commitment and mutual submission to one another.

The third and most important thing that we have is our commitment to Christ who inextricably brought us to Himself and then to one another in accordance with His will. Which I still don't always understand.

The enemy seeks to strike these things and in our current season as we go through a difficult trial, the enemy strives to destroy that which God has given to us which is precious in His sight.

 I cling to the fact that what God has brought together, no man can destroy. No man and no enemy. The enemy seeks to kill, maim and destroy anything that is of value to Christ. Christ values souls. Christ values the covenant of marriage. Christ values sinners who have followed Him into uncharted territory and who rely not on happily ever after or perfect circumstances but who rely on His grace, truth and mercy. Christ does not turn His back on the broken hearted, and God says that He will not despise a broken and contrite spirit.

All this to say that when the enemy strikes your marriage, in order keep it from being a casualty of the schemes sent your way, Consider these things:

1. Your individual commitment to God-I became a Christian later in life as did my hubby. We have a history before and after. But, my commitment to my individual walk with God is also the key for me not wanting to smash the wedding China and runaway from home. But sometimes I do entertain the idea. Which leads me to the saving grace of number two.

2. Your commitment to one another- Whenever I am angry or feeling misunderstood, and contemplating action, one of the things that really helps me with perspective is considering my best friend's feelings. How can I feel good when my best friend is hurting? How can I hurt my best friend? Our friendship is a constant when I feel our marriage is on the rocks! Go figure. It keeps the ship firmly docked in turbulent times.

3. Your ability and willingness to mutually submit to one another- The self is sacrificed on the alter of marriage, in a way that it is not destroyed but able to be more beautifully revealed. Marriage is truly and act of daily dying but not in a way that brings death. It brings life, beauty and blessing. I'm still learning, and so is my hub, but we have a history behind us, a future glory awaiting us and Christ in the  present moment before us, leading us to number 4.

4. Your Covenant before Christ - A covenant is God initiated, and as so, also is God maintained. If God is for you and your spouse, nothing can separate what He has joined.

It all begins and ends with God, doesn't it? 

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Psalm 139:5

Lord, you made marriage, for your own glory. You have made everything for yourself, to reveal your perfection and beauty, and we belong to you. Help us to learn your ways, which are above our ways. That we might be wholly submitted to you, the One True Living God.
May we not forsake that which you consecrate and call together in holy union.
Let us be as little, needy children, desiring your grace and truth now and forever.
Bless our marriages, give us humility and a desire to serve, not grudgingly but with reverence. That which is unseen, is eternal, let our hope remain in You alone. 
In Jesus name, Amen.




Linking with Michelle for Hear It, Use it; Inspire Me Monday @ Create with Joy; Timewarp Wife; Cornerstone Confessions, Soli deo Gloria @ Finding Heaven, Juana Mikels for Wednesday Prayer Girls & Link Up.

11.08.2013

Faith That Tries Not (Un-Learning with The Master)

Do or do not. There is no "try".


But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. 
Titus 3:4-5

I sent a quick heads up to some of my prayer partners through e-mail; I wanted a confirmation that each of them would be available and ready to pray together on our designated day. One response came back and looked like it had been quickly sent off.
   " I will try to make it..."
I thought to myself, try? 
Try? 
What does this mean?
 It really got me thinking about commitment, faith and calling.

First of all, I want to say that this is in no way a judgement on anyone as in reality, the person who sent that particular note made it and we had a blessed and needed time of prayer. Also there are times and circumstances that we are committed to a ministry or cause but in reality cannot be where we are called to be and that is all in God's hands. But the fact is the response prompted a few thoughts and caused me to examine myself and I wanted to share those thoughts here with you, whatever the worth. 

*At the bottom of page is the Waves Sound box (Grooveshark), you can pause to listen to 25 seconds of wisdom from Yoda from this Star Wars Clip! 

I love the way Yoda tells Luke in this wonderful scene in Star Wars how he must unlearn what he has learned. 

I have found so much of my own life of faith has been, after all, a great UN learning.

So much of what had been helpful to survive childhood trauma had to be released.
Former strengths became strongholds as my spiritual formation began to take hold in this life. Wrestling with God over who would determine the course of blessing, ultimately sitting on the throne in the chamber of my heart, brought injury to myself and others. Learning to trust and submit came at a cost that was deemed necessary pain in the unlearning process. Learning to rely on Him alone by grace alone, through faith alone, seems easy enough to say, but is harder to live by, as Satan pursues those who are marked for Kingdom service. But He who is in each of those called is stronger than he who is in the world.

How often do I step forward in places He calls me and shrink back after 
I look at what I am doing or where I am? 

It has caused me to stumble in ministry and my walk more than once. 
Even after stepping out and feeling sea spray on my face, water beneath my feet, 
and sensing a glimmer of the great Glory before me. 
How I step out in Faith, fully confident of Him who calls, 
but let one tiny dart come my way and instead of standing firm I cower, 
run, shrink back, get sidetracked with temporal things. 
Ultimately, I make the mistake that many make at one time or another this side of eternity.
I take my eyes off the Master. I forget His promises. 
I forget what He has spoken in our sweet times of fellowship and intimacy.

I 'm dropping my jaw at Peter for his impulsiveness, his cowardly denial, 
his bold proclamations and fears. 
And ashamed that I am Peter on His worst days.
I'm wagging my finger at the Pharisees, picking up stones to hurl at my brethren,
because of the perceived shortcomings I see and lack of Christian love, 
and tripping on my own long tassels. 
I'm an Israelite hot on the trail of The Promised Land, forgetting slavery as 
I recall the delicacies from days past.

So how do we turn our eyes back on to the one who is faithful?
Here are 4 ways I considered.

1. Recognize
it is you who have strayed from God; God has not changed. 
A wise friend said to me once when I was in a backslidden state: "Dawn, God has not gone anywhere. But you have." I was not very happy when he said these words, but he was right. I would have done well to heed those words immediately; instead I wrote a few choice descriptions of him in my journal. 
Later, I recognized God had used this friend to speak truth. 

Once you were like sheep who wandered away. 
But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls. 
1 Peter 2:25

2. Readjust Your Trust
Once you recognize you are the one who is offtrack, get back on track.
As one very fine friend said to me, "Do what you did before". 
That was actually a biblical principal. In that the returning was to the simple acts of obedience and trust I had done as a "baby" Christian. It's amazing how many "good" things can get Christians out of the will of God. 

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.  
2 Thessalonians 3:3


3. Return
to the Everlasting Arms of the one who will never fail, leave or forsake you. There is nothing more beautiful than learning firsthand the graciousness of God. Except that once you receive it you know how to give it. Therein is the key and last important component of our turning back.


The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. 
Deuteronomy 33:27

4. Remember 
His amazing love, grace and mercy towards you. In doing this, you are empowered to lavish it on others. Do likewise and be wise!

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 
  But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 
Ephesians 4:1-3, 7


So the next time you are tempted to say, "I'll try"...
Try not!


Dear Lord, Jesus, I am incapable of anything worthwhile apart from your saving grace, mercy and everlasting Love. Thank you for being faithful, even unto death on a cross, that I might live the life you have called me to. By your power, for your glory, learning as one who is blind, naked, wretched and poor, I ask for the riches of your wisdom and rejoice in your truth. Lavish us with your love that we might know what it means to love...by your example; though it cost us everything. We know it is the way to freedom now and forever. Amen.

*This is a re-post from March of 2012.
As I read it, I was amazed at how much of it applies to my life right now!
So from the Archives, I give you Yoda's Wisdom. May it bless you.


Linking with Emily's Imperfect Prose, Fellowship Fridays @ Christian Mommy Blogger
Faith-filled Friday, Marissa's Cozy Reading Spot, Wednesday Prayer Girls with Juana (new to me!), Weekend Brew @ Barbie's place

11.07.2013

Whatsoever Things Are True...(5 Minute Friday-True/Truth)

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Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
Revelation 19:11


Whatsoever things are true...

 I was just thinking that how sometimes the things that make me desire truth, crave true - are the things that are not so lovely. I was pondering while I waited tonight for pictures to download, just sitting, enjoying the still that comes in the quietness of waiting moments. Oddly, I was thinking how much I need others. 

 What I realized, and have always known, behind the curtain, as I peeked through, is that I always believed I was nothing. Because when you have had your boundaries crossed, voice silenced and truth denied to your face, you become nothing. You buy the lie and think it must be true. And maybe that is the hardest thing to overcome-this nothingness you believe you are, this one consuming lie. Or perhaps the hardest thing to overcome when you believe you are nothing is the desire to make yourself something. 

The desire to be something, someone - drives to extremes and I have tasted it like- salty tears rolling down damp cheeks. I have felt that measured meting out of enough, that never satisfies, is never really enough.

But He satisfies. 

The one thing I come back to again and again, is Him. Him. The one whose name is True. This one whose name sets free, completes, embraces my nothingness and breathes life, love, truth into my wounded places and settles my restless heart. 

Whatsoever things are true...are the things I want to return to, because the fact is, the things that are not true, the lies, the unlovely, will remain-yet we behold His glory, are transformed by His grace.
Hallelujah!


And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18



*Linking up with Lisa-Jo for the usual write- check out the details, and join us!*

Five Minute Friday

11.02.2013

Press Pause for November

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After much consideration and in light of current life circumstances, I would like to fill you in on the days ahead for me here at this little corner of the Blogosphere called, Beneath the Surface: Breath of Faith.

First let me tell you what writing, and specifically, blogging has meant to me over these past few years. I believe writing has the power to save. It has saved me again and again from the pit of depression and despair. It has saved me from feeling I am completely alone. It has been a true Faith and Life Preserver for me in tumultuous times. Writing has kept me from coming undone. Literally. Blogging actually added an unanticipated surprise: Community. Fellow, like-minded, lovers of God and words, who get me. That is beautiful...a precious gift.

I am not unplugging completely, but due to serious personal life circumstances involving a loved one, I must PAUSE from my regular blogging activity and I will return to my journal pages (almost) exclusively, during November. During this time, I will have limited access to the internet. I will be able to respond to e-mails, via my phone throughout the course of the week. I do have some scheduled posts and book reviews planned, but may not be able to share or link consistently. I appreciate your visiting, reading and sharing posts that you love, and will visit and keep up as time and schedule allows. Grace will be needed and grace I leave with you, my friends.

Oh, for those who are doing November's Second Chance Fitness Challenge- I may have to save my additional plans for January. Please feel free to e-mail me questions ( I will do my best to get back to you) , and also to check out the link at the top left for the 31 Days of posts and supporting links.
Prayer for our family is greatly appreciated.
I will pop in periodically as able.
Grateful for all of you, and this crazy Bloggosphere.
In His Grace, Dawn
PS: I'll be back!


11.01.2013

The Do Nothing In November Challenge Starts Today! (DNINC-Hooray!)

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Welcome to my challenge, the Do Nothing In November Challenge. Because I am having a nervous breakdown trying to choose which challenge to participate in and well, hey- since I am already late, may as well just start my own.


If you are fed up with every single thing having to be a statement or a challenge, feel free to join me for Doing Nothing In November Challenge. Yup, it's no pressure, and you will not feel like a failure when you bail in two days, because...here is the awesome part: If you do NOTHING this month, it's OK!

Oh, one more thing. There is no link-up. There is no post. There is nothing to do. At all. Just be. OK?

Um. I think I am finished now. I'm not cooking dinner tonight, either. So there. Um, no offence hon. Take out? Because, I am doing this challenge...

I've officially lost my mind. If you find it, feel free to call my husband. He usually finds all my lost stuff for me.

On another note: I wish the best to all my friends who did commit to something in November. You have my prayers, love and support. You also are excused from my DNINC, see? No added pressure. I know, pretty sweet, right?


Random Journal Day Link Up (A Gathering Place for Journal Keepers)





Well here we are my friends and my oh my- November 1st did take me by surprise. So I apologize for the fact that I am late, for my own party! Please forgive. Cut this girl some slack, or as Lisa Jo 's prompt today called for Grace. I so appreciate each of you and thank you in advance for linking up, sharing and visiting each other. I will link up ASAP. Happy November.

I would love to see your heart on paper- whether it's art or words. 
Check the details for LINKING UP
HERE. Please join us, with a page from your journal. 


The Place of Grace (5 Minute Friday: Grace)





What I need. What you need. For today, yesterday and all our tomorrows. What I need right now. For this current frustration. For my fear, for my doubt. For my defeat and my tears. For my discouragement, and cares, that weigh so heavy on my soul. For my unworthiness, and sin...
Lord, more grace, I ask. More grace to give, more grace to live:

 "Bread of Heaven feed me till I want no more
 Fill my cup,
 fill it up and make me whole."

Some days I wish I wasn't so needy. So desperate for grace. Hungry for truth. I ache from within for more. Nothing satisfies but this one Man- this Son of God. This Bread of Heaven.

I become beggar. Satisfied with crumbs.
Yet, He lifts me up, to the table, of His grace, pulls me, to lean my head close to Him-
whispers mercy...
invites me to sup with Him.
Quiets my soul.

I, though unworthy, am satisfied.
 Content in His presence and grace. 



So grateful to have made it through #31days and to rejoin here for 5 Minutes of write! 

Five Minute Friday