Precious Faith

100_1448

2 Peter 1:1

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

The home that we have recently purchased was neglected for a time and then abandoned for a couple of years.  Undesirable plants grew and multiplied until the lower portion of the house and surrounding flower gardens were unrecognizable.  Reclaiming these gardens has been a slow, tedious and backbreaking process.  In order to discover and save the flowers that were hidden I have had to slowly pull away and examine each little portion.  Once I found what was plant and what was weed I had to dig down to get the roots of the weeds.  Those roots made intricate and multiple highways underground; no small task to excavate them entirely.  Along with untangling the jungle I have also had to contend with multiple types of creepy crawling things and these little black ants that when they bite, one definitely notices…..OUCH!

IMG_0341

This is the same flower bed from the first picture after hours of work.  It is not completed but so much better than before.  The plants you see in the picture were buried by all of the overgrowth.  The beautiful limestone foundation of the house is now visible too.  “To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours” comes alive to me through the work of this garden.  What a tangled mess my life would be without the care of the Master Gardener.  Through the sacrifice on the cross Jesus kneels down in the garden of my life and slowly removes the destructive weeds to reveal those things in my life that are beautiful flowers.  The Lord tills the soil to remove the roots of my sin and carefully keeps intact and gives nourishment to the roots of the gifts that He has placed in me.  With the weeds gone I see that Jesus is my foundation.  Just as the garden at my home is a work in progress so too is the garden of my life.  I need to continue to give Jesus the access needed to cultivate, prune, fertilize and nurture.

There was one more discovery while bringing the garden back to life.  Hidden among all of the weeds and debris was this stone.

IMG_0360

On the outside it is an ugly, boring rock.  But when the exterior is removed, look at the gorgeous quartz inside!  I think you have already figured where I am going with this.

Precious Faith,

Kay

Butterfly on the Grill

IMG_0306

 

Psalm 139:1-4

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.

You are sailing along in life enjoying the soft, warm breeze when out of no where a force stronger than you stops you in your tracks and speeds you away in a direction you had not intended.  No one sees your plight.  No one knows where you are or where you are headed.  You are alone caught up in something you never planned.  Ever feel like that yellow butterfly caught in the grill of my car? (See picture above.)  That poor, beautiful butterfly never planned on becoming an ornament on my car grill and yet there it is.  Who knows how long that beauty was adorning my car before I noticed it.

While reading Psalm 139 this morning I thought of that yellow butterfly all lost and alone on the grill of my car.   How many times in life have a felt misunderstood, how many times have I felt alone, how many times have I felt as though no one knew where I was or cared, how many times have I been “taken” somewhere that was not of my design, how many times have I been hurt or injured, how many times have I felt “dead” inside?  In all of those times and many, many more God knew and knows me.  He knows everything about me.  God knows what my blood vessels look like on the inside, who else can say that?!  He knows every hair on my head and every thought in my brain.  He is the most, awesome best friend forever (BFF) that anyone could ever have.  So when I feel like that yellow butterfly that is screaming down the highway at 70 miles an hour on the grill of a foreign car, I remember that the Lord knows where I am, He understands every thought and emotion that I am experiencing, He knows how scared, lonely, hurt I am and He will care for me as no one else can.

Butterfly on the Grill,

Kay

In Their Footsteps

 

 

IMG_0312

1 Peter 2:9-10, 21

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Last month we moved to my hometown.  The place where I was born, learned how to ride a bike, played kickball in the street, sang in the children’s choir at church, went to school from kindergarten through high school and lived my life for 23 years.  It has been a crazy whirlwind of activity since moving back and not a whole lot of thought put into the realization of where I am.  Yesterday I drove down to the City Building to pay my utility bill.  Just before getting out of the car I stopped all of my motion and thoughts of the million things I needed to do and I really looked at the building I was about to enter.  I noticed the war memorial right beside the City Building that has been there as long as I can remember but I have never given it much thought.  I got out of the car and walked over to the memorial and began to read some of the names.  Two of my uncles names are on the memorial.  I know that my grandmother played a part in the creation of that memorial.  It made me start to think of who I am, my roots, those who have gone before me.

You know how it is when you visit a historical landmark or building and you think of whose footsteps have passed that way before you?  Like going to Mount Vernon, walking up the stairs and thinking that you are using the same handrail that George Washington used?  Walking up the stairs of the City Building yesterday I thought of how my Mom, Dad, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc. have all walked up those very steps.  I thought of the fact that they are a part of me and I am a part of them and my feet are stepping where their feet stepped years before me.  I am remembering my history, my life, that my family is rooted in this community, I am a part of something much bigger than just myself.  Gave me goosebumps because I knew that God was talking to me right then in those footsteps.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

We have been chosen by God Almighty to be a part of His family.  We are a part of Him and He is a part of us.  We are called to walk in His way and follow in His steps.  Goosebumps!  We are called to step where He has stepped, to love as He has loved, to heal as He has healed, to pray as He has prayed, to live as He has lived.

Follow In His Steps,

Kay

Living Hope

DSC01622

1Peter 1:3

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

I read this passage yesterday morning and felt something draw very deep inside but found words incapable of expressing its impact for you and me.  I was pulled back to this same text today and know there is something I am to share but still words fail me.

In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope.  Do you feel your spirit jump up and down and do the dance of joy as you read that verse?  Mine does.  I may not know what to say but I feel that hope swirling and growing within me.  Can’t explain it, just feel it.  New birth, new life, living, moving, acting hope.  Christ in our life; new birth, new life, living, moving, acting hope.  I just feel complete and real joy!

What words would you use to write about 1Peter 1:3?  I’d love to hear from you.

Kay

Sure Foundation

IMG_0267

Psalm 102:25

In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.

 

One of the first major projects done on our 100 year old house was to hire experts to raise and level the foundation of the sun porch.  It was fascinating to watch this sizable task done with innovation, extreme accuracy and machine and man power…..absolutely amazing.  The job was completed in one day and as I walked the property and examined the sun porch for changes I found that the door off of the sun porch no longer locked.  Raising and leveling the foundation had sifted the lock and its opposing insertion mechanism to the point where they no longer met and could function.

This walk of faith is much like my sun porch.  Often times we find that the foundation we are depending on and making life decisions upon is not sure, solid, has a crack, sagging, unstable.  Acknowledging our weakness is only the beginning. The next step is to decide if we want to do anything about the sinking foundation and how much are we willing to invest to correct the problem.  Okay, we realize our foundation needs to be the Lord because anything else will sink, crack, fail and so we pray for the Lord to help us align our life once again with His desire; to step away for those things, people, thoughts, beliefs, actions that weaken and destroy our foundation.  We “clean house” and ask the Lord to bring our will in line with His and that we want our lives to be built on His sure foundation.  In His great mercy and love, He does just that.  He lifts our sagging life and places us on Him, the one and only sure, solid, never sinking foundation.  Funny thing is once our foundation has been set aright we find that some things that “fit” in our life before no longer line up just like the lock on the door of my sun porch.

Putting our life on the foundation of Christ means we have to be willing for some things to change, maybe a whole lot of things.  If we had not been willing to invest in the raising and leveling our our sun porch, eventually the foundation would have sunk and shifted so that the porch itself would have fallen away from the house.  We had to be willing to deal with the changes that occurred due to having the foundation fixed in order for the house not to have a gapping hole in its side.  Too many of us walk around today with a big gapping hole in our side because our trust has been placed upon the foundation of this world instead of the only true and unchanging foundation of Almighty God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus the Christ.

God IS the sure foundation.

Kay

In Abundance

IMG_0261

1 Peter 1:1-2

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

We are officially moved and I once again have internet and am able to use my computer so I can reconnect with the world!  Hi!

It has been a wild and crazy ride these last few months and for as much that has taken place there is a mountain that still must be scaled and conquered.  I rejoice in what has already been done and sometimes faint at the tasks ahead.  I needed a Word from the Lord this morning.  I rarely do the “open the Bible and read the page where it falls open”, but I did that this morning.  I asked the Lord to encourage me and my Bible fell open to 1 Peter.

I relate to “exiles scattered throughout.”  For thirty years we lived in a community where we had established a strong faith base of support.   That “band” of believers has surely been scattered.  It gives me peace to read, “who have been chosen”.  This move has been purposeful; there is a plan, there is a purpose.  I feel reassured when I read, “to be obedient.”  I am thankful that we have listened and acted upon His “call” to us.  And I breathe a great sigh of relief when I read, “Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”  Not just fill the cup, but overflowing with grace and peace!!!  LOVE IT!

I hear the Lord say to me, “Daughter you have done what I have asked.  Continue to trust Me and an ocean of grace and peace will be yours.”  That is much needed music to my ears, my heart, my soul and my weary muscles.

If you are struggling with where you are to move in your journey of faith, I hope you find some encouragement from this message today.

GRACE AND PEACE BE YOURS IN ABUNDANCE!

Kay