Within the Garden of my Heart

Monday, June 1, 2020

"Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you" 
James 4:10

Good morning Abba, Good morning Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit,
With the dawning of this new day, you have reminded me about Job (42:1-11). Given all the discourse within our nation, on our news stations, and our global pandemic... sometimes it feels overwhelming. Your word reminds us not to complain, close our eyes to your hand at work, or listen only to those voices that are void of inspiration about your promises.  "You instruct me, and as a result of Your instruction, I will willingly submit and accept it." 

Just for today, my Lord, let me:
  • Take a moment to be quiet with you
  • Humble myself before you, in Your presence
  • Place into Your loving hands all that is burdening my heart, cluttering my mind, and distracting me from Your daily portion of Grace, Mercy, and Peace
  • Help me to pull back, stop mulling around in the muck of the moment, and take refuge under Your wings
  • Place me into Your day, allow me contentment even though answers have not become clear
  • Strengthen me in the type of trust that, regardless of what the world is showing, You are my provider
  • Bless me with the Holy Spirit's comfort that worries fade away so that my day is filled with the works of my hands that will glorify Your name
My trust is with our Lord,
Walk today with assurance,

Sunday, May 31, 2020

You Were Chosen... Pentecost 2020

"You were chosen to tell about
the excellent qualities of God."
1 Peter 2:9

Good morning ABBA, Good morning Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit,

Today is the glorious celebration of Your Holy gift of a comforter and spiritual guide. How do we put into words Your loving endowment? In what ways, Holy Spirit, could someone like me honor my Lord, my God? How could I be of use to God Almighty the greater of all... of Heaven and Earth... of everything living... of everything "good?" Oh my Lord, pour forth Your blessings in us...

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come,
 they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind,
and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire,
and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, 
and began to speak with other tongues, 
as the Spirit gave them utterance."
Acts 2: 2-4

In You, my Lord... Through You, my Lord... For You, my Lord...
Strengthen us, O Lord... for the time such as this...
Help us walk in Your Truth, proclaiming Your Goodness...
For these times are filled with deceivers, destructive choices, and spiritual warfare...
Let us lift up our eyes and fill us with Your overflowing Love, Peace, and Joy...
That Your Truth is found in Your only begotten Son... Yeshua... our Lord Jesus Christ...

"And afterward will I pour [a]out my Spirit upon all flesh: 
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: 
your old men shall dream [b]dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
And also upon the servants, 
and upon the maids in those days will I pour my Spirit.
And I will show [c]wonders in the heavens and in the earth: 
blood and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The [d]sun shall be turned into darkness, 
and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
But whosoever shall call [e]on the Name of the Lord, 
shall be saved: 
for in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance as the Lord hath said, 
and in the [f]remnant, whom the Lord shall call."
Joel 2: 28-32

Come Holy Spirit Come...
In our humility, let us walk forward as Yours!

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Walking in faith... Yes, Lord!

"Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me:
he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me."

Good morning Abba, Good morning Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit,

Such a beautiful day, thank you my Lord. Your amazing leading knows what each day will bring. Today is a day for me to travel back home to Silverton, OR. I am filled with love, excitement, and joy!

With summer’s arrival, there are so many wonderful seasons of yesterdays that seem to shimmer through my mind. Upon a leaf, morning lights flicker in a playful breeze. Smells of summer fruits promise a delightful delicacy, a tasty memory of longer days and wonderful adventures. Silhouettes showcased by watercolor skies brings to life youthful days blending into family voices preparing for rest from the heat.

Just for today, a journey home will end with gratitude for a life filled with precious heart-prints of those that God placed within these seasons of my life. For this summer marks the transition of one season coming to completion and a new season dawning. Just for today, I will be content in God’s wait room of peace.

Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness
Eric Metaxas
ISBN: 9780718021832
Publisher's Synopsis:

Metaxas gives us seven captivating portraits of some of history’s greatest women, each of whom changed the course of history by following God’s call upon their lives—as women.

Each of the world-changing figures who stride across these pages—Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Mother Teresa, and Rosa Parks—is an exemplary model of true womanhood. Teenaged Joan of Arc followed God’s call and liberated her country, dying a heroic martyr’s death. Susanna Wesley had nineteen children and gave the world its most significant evangelist and its greatest hymn-writer, her sons John and Charles. Corrie ten Boom, arrested for hiding Dutch Jews from the Nazis, survived the horrors of a concentration camp to astonish the world by forgiving her tormentors. And Rosa Parks’ deep sense of justice and unshakeable dignity and faith helped launch the twentieth-century’s greatest social movement.

Writing in his trademark conversational and engaging style, Eric Metaxas reveals how the other extraordinary women in this book achieved their greatness, inspiring readers to lives shaped by the truth of the gospel.

MrsK's Review:
Changing one life at a time begins within a person's spirit. Accepting, knowing, and relying on God's promised truths is a lifelong journey. A journey so worth taking... so valuable... so transforming. This collection of inspiring women will leave an imprint that will ignite a "quiet" resolve to seek a personal transformation.

If you have heard about Corrie ten Boom, you will learn a deeper quest for strength. Joan of Arc provides a glimpse into your ability to remain steadfast. With Rosa Parks, you will realize the power of accepting personal freedom that is given by your Creator. Your view point of others will never remain "blinded" once you gain insights into Mother Teresa's view of seeing Christ within all in need. Susanna Wesley unlocks the truest meaning of a prayer warrior. Hannah More ignites a quest to "make goodness fashionable." Saint Maria of Paris provides the wisdom of humility and reliance upon God's will.

All of these women left a legacy for women around the world. A legacy that requires transforming power to remain faithful beyond society's value. A valor that empowers us to walk a path that few are willing to travel.

Become inspired and plant the seeds that will lead others in their walk,

Meet the Author:
Eric Metaxas In a decidedly eclectic career, Eric Metaxas has written for VeggieTales, Chuck Colson, Rabbit Ears Productions and the New York Times, four things not ordinarily in the same sentence. He is a best-selling author whose biographies, children’s books, and works of popular apologetics have been translated into more than 25 languages.

Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year: Walking With God by John Eldredge

Walking with God: How to Hear His Voice
ISBN: 9780718080953
Publisher's Synopsis:
Our deepest need is to live in conversation with God. To hear his voice. To follow him intimately. This is the single most life-changing habit that a human being can adopt, because it brings us back to the source of life. Yet most Christians have never been taught how to have a conversation with the Creator.

In this revised and updated edition of his classic Walking with God, John Eldredge opens his personal journals to tell a year’s worth of stories about walking and talking with the Lord. By putting words to the things God has shown him through some amazing experiences, Eldredge helps readers shed light on the miraculous truths that God is showing them right now.

MrsK's Review:
For this season in life, I have been learning how to walk the path our Lord has given me. This book is an excellent resource. It provides moments with our Lord, moments to just be in His presence and listen. It has helped me reclaim my standing on God's promises. Being renewed means looking deep within the recesses of your mind, heart, spirit, and soul. What has truly been harbored and/or hidden. 

Each chapter leads you through each season. In each season you will walk with John's testimony. His insights, re-trials, and spiritual discernment will lead you into those moments with God. This journey is so well laid out... take the journey and learn to "hear" the Lord as He cleanses you!

Through the retelling of John's search, as a reader, I was able to follow in his steps. To ask our Lord to reveal, to forgive, to renew, and to rejuvenate His Love. Allowing Him to reveal that which He wants removed is still under construction. To have the old buttons of despair; low self-worth; de-valued; abandonment; and betrayal become disengaged is like having your wiring stripped and reconfigured. It is my hope that those "old deceptions" can no longer spark any shadowing whisperings, because our Lord has signed, sealed, renewed, and called me redeemed!

Blessed journey... Godspeed!

Monday, July 16, 2018

His spark of Life: 1 Peter 1:8

"Though you have not seen him, you love him;
 and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him
 and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,"
1 Peter 1:8

Good morning Abba, Good morning Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit,

In the garden, that is where conversations between my spirit and our Lord Jesus flourishes. Those moments encircled with His creation. Sunrises, Twilight, and Sunset... quick moments to ponder His greatness, His goodness, and His precision in creation.

Today's devotional speaks of joy. Joy is a promise, a gift to God's people. Free for the asking. Unveiled around us in all of His creations. As filling as any morsel of goodness. A feast for your eyes when His truth stirs up His spring of life with in your spirit. Joy is an "eternal reason to celebrate."
While reading, I pondered those moments in which: "All is well."  In those Heaven sent moments when trials transform into a source of "deep, lasting, unshakable hope."

Zinnias provide a delightfully cheerful burst of joy. Gardeners have chosen Zinnias as a trademark of bursting joy. In my reading today, I've decided to follow the lead... "Plant a patch of zinnias and let them remind you of His inexplicable Joy!"

"Precious Lord,
I have never seen You with my eyes,
but I love You.
I thank You, Lord, for the peace and joy
You pour into my heart.
May Your presence in my life
spark the kind of smiles that Your zinnias do."
Miriam Drennan

Devotions from the Garden: Finding Peace and Rest in Your Busy Life
ISBN: 9780718030506
Publisher's Synopsis:
There’s nothing on earth like the peace and loveliness of a magnificent garden. It’s the place where Adam and Eve first fellowshipped with God, and where you, too, can escape from this chaotic world into His loving arms of beauty and serenity.Devotions from the Garden takes you to that place where senses are restored as dewdrops settle and butterflies gather to witness the miracles of God’s creation bloom and grow. These ninety devotions explore the parallels of life with the elements of the garden to help you see God, to sense His presence, to soothe your soul, and to rest in knowing He is with you throughout each day. Included are striking photographs with a fresh, contemporary design for timeless appeal.
Growing Great Zinnas

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Just Be His Creation: Job37:5-6

God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; 
he does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,'
 and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.'
Job 37: 5-6

Good afternoon Abba, Good afternoon Jesus, Good Afternoon Holy Spirit,

Have you ever heard of Liturgy Oriented? I had not, but believe me, I will be practicing these moments with God for the rest of this season.

Present Over Perfect has been a great discovery. Shauna's book study is spot on for where I'm being lead. Just for today, here are a few insights to enter into a deeper presence with our Lord:
  1. Ignatian spirituality is rooted in the conviction that God is active, personal, and—above all—present to us. When you are reading a segment of scripture ask the Lord to open you up to new aspects of Jesus' character through His revelation of the passage. Place yourself within the scene (walking, listening, feeling, sensing) what they experienced.
  2. Unearth and Relearn what God is really saying to you. "Set aside your lens of understanding." Learn to be with Him in silence (stillness of His beauty, sense His goodness, listen for His voice of love and forgiveness).
  3. Practice centering prayer. Picture His image or part of His word or one of His names. Ask God to whisper to you who He is.
  4. Practice Restfulness. Practice responsible and respectful rest. God is in control of all things... it doesn't depend on you. Seek His provision of resurrected rejuvenation.
  5. Hold all things up to the lens of His words only. Let go of your lens about His words (beliefs, version of scripture, self-labels or agreements).
  6. Embrace the daily and weekly rhythms and practises that will ground you in His love. Be centered in the way He made you, letting the revelation of His love into your heart (love, joy, promises, will, calling, delights).
Remember, in Job 37:5-6 He is guiding us that the snow just falls as snow and the rain just pours down. We can live and do the only thing He created us to be. For He is God... He is mighty... He created you... Just be His creation.
Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living
ISBN: 9780310342991
Publisher's Synopsis:
Present Over Perfect is an invitation to this journey that changed my life. I’ll walk this path with you, a path away from frantic pushing and proving, and toward your essential self, the one you were created to be before you began proving and earning for your worth.

Written in Shauna’s warm and vulnerable style, this collection of essays focuses on the most important transformation in her life, and maybe yours too: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection.

Shauna offers an honest account of what led her to begin this journey, and a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us.

In these pages, you’ll be invited to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Called with Grace: 2 Tim 1:9

"He who has given us life and has called us with a holy calling,
 not according to our works,
 but according to his will and the grace which has been given to us in Yeshua The Messiah
 before the time of the world,"
2 Tim 1:9 ABPE

Good morning Abba, Good morning Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit,

Have you wondered how the disciples walked by faith, even to the point of death? What gave them the courage, the grit, the freedom from "that which is in the world," and the peace-filled grace to walk each day with purpose? For my daily walk, the moment I leave my devotional time and enter my daily life, I find the things of this world begin taking over my focus. Once my focus is redirected, gosh, my graciousness and even my dignity begins to falter. Why is that? 

How do I bring people with me into His marvelous light? Am I celebrating the gift I've been given by Jesus? How am I responding to His gift of Grace and Holiness? Tough questions, right! As an educator, the most valuable aspect to my calling has been a simple formula: seeking to know + willingness to practice + internalizing with a journal = living as a life-long learner. The prior questions and so, so, many more become clearer when I can read, listen, write, and contemplate in my time spent before our Lord. Summertime retreat means mornings spent with a spiritual leader (chosen book), my journal, and Study Gateway.

For today, learning how to "Dance in Grace, Stand our Holy Ground, and Run our Mission" will inspire me as this day unfolds. Today's choice is to step into the abundance of His blessings,

"Looking at the Holiness that God has written over you
and how you live out worship
in honoring Him with your choices..."
Dance, Stand, Run: The God-Inspired Moves of a Woman on Holy Ground
ISBN: 9780310345640
Grace is always good news. But it's not cheap—true grace compels us to change. That’s where holiness comes in.

Beloved writer, speaker, and bestselling coauthor of Wild and Free Jess Connolly will be the first to admit that not long ago, like many women, she grasped grace but she had forgotten holiness. Dance, Stand, Run charts her discovery that holiness was never meant to be a shaming reminder of what we “should” be doing, but rather a profound privilege of becoming more like Christ. That’s when we start to change the world, rather than being changed by it.

Dance, Stand, Run is an invitation to the daughters of God to step into the movements of abundant life: dancing in grace, standing firm in holiness, and running on mission. Through story and study, Jess casts a fresh vision for how to live into your identity as a holy daughter of God, how to break free of cheap grace and empty rule-keeping, and finally, how to live out your holy influence with confidence before a watching world. Spoiler alert: it’s a beautiful thing.

For anyone longing to take their place in what God is doing in the world, Dance, Stand, Run will rally your strength, refresh your purpose, and energize your faith in a God who calls us to be like Him.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

More to Your Story: Eph 1:11

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ,
we have received an inheritance from God,
for he chose us in advance, 
and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
Eph 1:11 NLT

Good morning Abba, Good morning Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit,

Have you wrestled with the notion that there is more to your life, to your story? Do you enter your day with full knowledge that His script, His-story, His ending is designed for your glorious living?
When ever I ponder this truth, life seems overflowing with possibilities.

And then... I walk out of the peace of His presence and prepare for the day. Why?

In the book, More to Your Story by Max Lucado, discusses putting on the cloak of glory. To truly live without the "cloak of guilt," we must intentionally put on His cloak of glory. Claiming, accepting, proclaiming that God's story redeems our story. We are now redeemed, dressed in the goodness of Christ. Anointed.

His purpose is now our purpose. His will is now our will. His plans are now our plans. His divinity is now our passion. We are custom made by Abba, our Father, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. We can live freed from condemnation, secured and established, sealed and a joint heir to the Kingdom of Heaven. Through the workmanship of His hands we will be seen through to completion.

When the whisperer comes into your mind, a situation, an action of oppression, bringing forth shame, guilt, or fear... remember that our Lord's forgiveness is irrevocable! From Heaven God doesn't see our sins... He sees His Son blocking out our transgressions.

Let us walk in His promises, standing tall in His service, and enjoying His life that we are meant to experience. God is good... all of the time! With full authority from Jesus, we can rebuke, bind, and cast out every deceptive thought. We can rebuke, remind, and bind every evil that tries to steal, kill, and destroy. We can proclaim every scripture passage that speaks life, blessings, and promise.

Walk with intentional purpose... it is your inheritance!

"View these days on earth...
as but the opening lines of 
God's sweeping saga!
More to Your Story: Discover Your Place in God's Plan
  "Your life is a crafted narrative written by a great God, who is working toward your supreme good. Join Max on a journey through the great promises of the New Testament and discover your place in God’s plan. Everything changes when you see how your story fits with God’s story."
 Max Lucado With more than 130 million products in print and several NYT bestsellers, Max Lucado is America's bestselling inspirational author. He serves the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy. His next book is publishing August 2018 and is titled Unshakable Hope.
Watch Max's teachings: click here

Saturday, June 30, 2018

For today: Romans 8:9

"However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, 
if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you."
Romans 8:9

Good morning Abba, Good morning Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit,

When asked what I would be doing during the summer break, I knew that this is my season of retreat. My time to learn, to listen, and to be renewed. Although my retreat begins early when I rise and has moments off and on our porch swing and carries over into my evening prayer time, renewal tends to be slower than if I was away from the every day.

With slower and steady pacing I've learned to trust in God's hand at work within me. Come fall, I have experienced an overflowing merciful graciousness that carries me through until my mini-retreats of Thanksgiving and Christmas. My friends, God is good... His plans and will for my rejuvenation is always complete.

So, for this day I walk out into an exploration with family trusting that His blessing for today will bring a gathering of blessed memories in my farmer's market experience.

Holy Spirit, I invite and accept your miraculous confirming
within my mind. 
I thank you for aligning it into the
mind of Christ 
and revamping my heart to reflect the
heart of God.
Amen unto you, my Lord, my Savior, My God! 

Enjoy today, go out and gather those moments of God's hand at work around you,

Thursday, June 28, 2018

AM beginnings: This is the day! Psalm 118:24

"This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
PS 118:24

Good morning Abba, Good morning Jesus, Good morning Holy Spirit,

What should have begun with anticipation for my time with our Lord, daily devotion and inspirational teachings quickly turned into a selfish tantrum. Seriously, where do moments like that come from? With humility, confessing that "buttons-pushed" can be so derailing (for everyone in the area). With wisdom from the Holy Spirit it was time to walk away (at least I was listening to the prompting). In the wake of this unrest, I had to repent of my willingness to be derailed and ask: "Lord, what is the target in me that was so primed for such a response? Lord, I rebuke that agreement of self-defense that was made so long ago. Lord, come with me into that agreement moment to bind it and cast it away from my mind, my heart, my spirit, and my soul. Through your authority Lord Jesus, that agreement has no power over me any longer, for it is in Your victory at the cross that has set me free." Alleluia... Alleluia... Alleluia..."

Just for this moment, if you are in need of a "reset" in your day... Sing with me:

This is the day, this is the day.
That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice, we will rejoice,
And be glad in it, and be glad in it.
This is the day that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day, this is the day
That the Lord has made.

We are the sons, we are the sons,
Of the living God, of the living God.
We will rejoice, we will rejoice,
And be glad in Him, and be glad in Him.
We are the sons of the living God.
We will rejoice and be glad in Him.
We are the sons, we are the sons
Of the living God.
Matt Johnson (1983)

Of course maybe the Holy Spirit is bringing me back to May 1, 1976...

It's a brand new day,
everything is fine
 Though it may be gray,
I want you to know that the sun's gonna shine
And out of that sky, piercing every cloud, is our God on high!
There will be a new heart for every man
like the flowers that bloom in early spring
For every life there is a plan,
no matter what autumn breezes bring
So put away care, let freedom be yours 
Joy is everywhere, joy is everywhere!
Let freedom ring, alleluia now
Everybody sing let your voices shout to the mighty King.

Well the heaven's declare in a way so grand 
If the skies are fair or windy or gray 
it's the work of His Hands 
And down on that ground, with never a word 
Such a mighty sound 
And the morning will see the rolling sun 
As he happily rises o'er the land 
A messenger on his daily run 
Brings news of the Father's guiding Hand 

His Law of love, it is wholly wise 
Word from above gives joy to my heart and it's light to my eyes 
It's riches are fine out lasting all days 
To the end of time 
Though I walk in the path of evil ways 
And my thoughts are a presence causing pain 
There's always a sun of future days 
That follows a time of wind and rain
Paul Quinlan

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"Ask the Lord for rain in the Springtime; it iS the Lord Who SendS the thunderstorms.He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the fieLd to everyone." Zechariah 10:4