Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Singing and Reading...Great Way to Spend the Summer!````````

Do you love good Christian music?   The kind where the singer really sings and the song has a message, not just three or four phrases repeated over and over? 

If you do, you need to know about my daughter, Becky Loar.  Good music never goes out of style and Becky loves to sing the music you've enjoyed over the years.  If you haven't heard her sing, you're missing a blessing!  Becky's new CD, Rise, will lift your spirits and fill your heart with the love of the Lord.  It's endorsed by Liz Curtis Higgs and Babbie Mason... need I say more? 

Becky Loar: Christian Artist

Learn more about Becky and her background.  She sings, she teaches, she's a mom with a family.  And you can purchase her music right there on her site. 

Keep watching this blog because July 14 Becky's mom (that's me!) will launch the publication of my book: Faith Breezes: Glimpsing God's Glory in Everyday Life.  It's full of memories, devotional thoughts and life experiences - short readings just right for sitting by the pool or on a nice cool porch with a glass of sweet tea!

Becky and I wish you a happy summer and hope our words and music can be part of it! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Best Place

The past few weeks have found me in yet another one of those times of enforced confinement at home.  I've come to learn that these times - while they are usually physically uncomfortable and not as pleasant as we would like for life to be - are times filled with little gifts of moments with God.  Moments that the busyness of life often cause me to miss. 
As I'm recovering from shoulder surgery, I now have times when I simply have to get out of the confines of the walls and feel the outside breezes.  Even in the heat we're having in Florida right now, there are still gentle breezes that I won't feel unless I stop long enough for them to make their presence known. 
This rocking chair by my front door is right under a mammoth oak tree - a tree that has been here for who knows how many years before we built this house in 1978.  It's my favorite place to sit, especially in the gloaming - that time when the sun has dropped down below the trees to the west and evening begins to make its advance,  The neighborhood noises are usually done by then.  My serenaders are the birds that sing unseen high above me in the trees.
And the soft breezes come and go as God says "Rest.  All is well".  The sling on my arm reminds me that my arm is healing under his direction and soon I will be back in full action.  Hopefully I will remember to seek this evening solitude to rest and refresh.
Do you have a quiet place where you can be alone with your Creator to be embraced by His Creation?     

Monday, May 18, 2015

Grandmother's Encouragement

He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in
any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
2 Corinthians 1: 4
My grandmother lived on a street that looked much like this one.  Her white frame house was always surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs.  When I think of her, I think of her love for beautiful flowers and the costume jewelry she loved to wear.  She always had on her beads.  And she smelled like Dove soap and Jergens lotion. 

The memory that is giving me courage today is what she did and how she lived with only one usable arm and hand.  In the late 1950s, a stroke robbed her of the use of her left arm.  She did regain the use of her left leg enough to get around with her cane.  My sweet Papa took care of her as long as he lived but he was gone before 1966.  After a string of caretakers and live in helpers, her courage came to the fore. 

"Leave me alone," she demanded.  "I will be fine by myself.".    And for a long time she was.  She always told us how she prayed and depended on God to help her through the hard times, especially being in the house alone at night.

I think of this today and I remember her standing in her kitchen in front of the stove...a short, round, grey-haired lady of the Old South... standing there in her bare feet cooking on her gas stove.   It was fortunate for her that her stroke didn't take her dominant hand.  While the left arm dangled uselessly at her side, she worked steadily with her right one, frying chicken, making biscuits or dumplings or fried apple pies.  She cleaned her house and washed her clothes and generally took care of herself.  She was amazing.

I'm about to spend a chunk of time without the use of my dominant - right - arm and hand.  The difference  is - once my surgery and physical therapy is done, mine should be better than ever.  Hopefully, the pain will be gone and I can sleep at night.  My inspiration during those long days of dealing with life with one hand will be a woman who has been gone since 1987.  I hope I've got half the determination she had.  I know this:  the source of my courage is the same One she had.  Because she passed her love of the Lord down to me.

Do you think some experience you've had is inspiring someone else today? 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Pushing Through the Stuff

Forget the former things;
Do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
And streams in the wasteland.
-Isaiah 43:18 & 19
I have a confession to make today.  It's Monday morning and something about a new week makes me want to fix everything that's amiss in my world.  However, since it took me a lifetime to get here it would take me another lifetime to really accomplish what I would like to get done.
Here's the thing.  I am a clutter bug.  
Give me a flat surface and I can cover it with stuff in a matter of hours.  And then ignore that stuff for days... weeks... sometimes even months.  Unless company is coming and then I stuff it away in the room we jokingly call the office. 
"So what are you doing today?" Friend Judy will ask.
"I'm working on the office.".  She howls.
The truth of it is... and maybe you have this issue, too... Life just keeps coming and coming.  And Life brings STUFF.  And the people who leave, leave us their stuff to do something with.  It all has to be sorted because there might be some great family treasure in that box.  Indeed, I have found some things I'm truly glad I was able to save.  And stash away in another box. 
Those of us who think with the right side of our brains have a real challenge when it comes to the organization of the stuff.  It drives the left-brained people crazy.  Like my husband.  I know this is why opposites attract.  He is the organizer of the western world.  The only thing I can organize successfully is words.  Often, the accumulation of the other stuff just gets overwhelming.  Too many times I have to clear a space on the desk to be able to write something. 
There has to be a way through this desert.  As I put my head on my pillow last night, I talked to God about it.  As He so often does, He gave me a thought in my spirit.  Actually two thoughts.  The first was prioritize.  OK.  I will do my best with that.
And then, from the things I've been reading and studying in the past few days came this one: meditate on God's Word.  It's the answer to everything.  Get alone with the Word and spend the time.  And then prioritize the tasks until they're done, one by one.
Through this maze of messiness... this desert of disorganization... this pile of papers that must be sorted... settling my spirit through listening to God in quiet meditation... that's the stream through this wasteland.
He is making a way in my desert.
What is the desert in your life that needs a quiet touch from God's Word?