Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorials & Remembrances

Memorials are meant to bring to mind events, people, victories or defeats, all so that we don’t forget their importance. One of my favorite memorials is found in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Forefather’s Monument* is breathtakingly spectacular and causes me to reflect on its symbolism every time I visit.

Memorials are nothing new; Joshua (chapters 3 & 4) was instructed by God to have twelve men bring twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River and set them on the bank as a memorial. Why? So that when anyone asked they would tell of how God delivered them, parting the Jordan River so that the Ark of the Covenant and nation of Israel could cross into the Promised Land on dry ground.

In the same way, I think God wants us to remember His faithful provision and tell our children and anyone who asks what God has done on our behalf. These memorials can be written in a journal, captured in a photo, or brought to life in a story, all to be shared with others. Why? Because when we tell others how He has met our need, their faith is built and ours is emboldened.

This Memorial Day, we remember all those who have sacrificed for freedom in our country. Many have given their lives. Many have suffered effects. And, all have given time away from their loved ones to fight on our behalf. Whenever I see someone in uniform I am sure to thank them for all they do.

And, most of all we remember the One who sacrificed Himself so that we can have eternal life—Jesus. The cross is the memorial of what He did for you and for me. His sacrifice freed us from sin, death and the grip of the enemy. He gave up His place on high to become the lamb that was slain, perfect and unblemished—to atone for the sin of the whole world.

As we pause to remember so much today, how can you be more intentional about gathering stones of remembrance to share of what He has done for you?

Reflecting on His goodness,


“Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul.” Psalm 66:16

*For more information about the National Forefather’s Monument:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cape Cod Clips

My Cape Cod getaway was wonderful. I have just returned and want to share a bit of my heart from my weekend away:

Friday May 19, 2011

I am here, Lord—I come into your presence and ask for your forgiveness; I fall short every day, not spending time with you—in your word, in prayer and listening for your voice. I have come apart to be with you; show me what I need to focus on this weekend…

I love your word—I’ve not experienced the sweet times consistently in awhile; too busy; too rushed; too many distractions. Draw me back to your presence, Father, so I may drink deeply. Fill my cup, Lord.

“My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God.” Psalm 42:2

I come, Lord. So thirsty.

Thank you for the glimpses of sunshine. Thank you that the rain has stopped. Thank you for the kind breeze—it is your whispers I’m listening for. I must listen past the buzz saw of life—the forever drone of its distractions. Help me instead, to focus on the cardinal’s call, “I’m here. Look up to find me in the budding branches of spring.” In it I hear the Master say, I have a message budding within you—my words—my voice—my call to you. Listen and look up…

As the buzz saw fades, I hear the birds speak:

Believe in me. Believe in my love. Come. Come to me.

I know that you love me, Lord. I believe.

I know you have called.

I come.

Ready to receive your words

Speak, Lord, for I am listening

I listen to the sound of the ocean waves:

Waves roll

Gentle laps

Tickling the shore

Bringing cool refreshment

Your waves of love

Roll over me

I am refreshed

Thanks for coming along with me,


Monday, May 16, 2011

Preparing Your Getaway

“Come away to a quiet place…” Mark 6:33

As I write this, I am anticipating my time away with the Lord this weekend. My mind is already going there which is a dangerous thing because I need to “be” at work this week. There are so many things on my heart. I have a huge writing project I am working on. I have a decision to make about a ministry step—is it His time yet? I have “packed” so many things in my heart to take along.

So, I have continued this topic in case you are considering your own getaway. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some thoughts as you plan:

Choosing a place

Take into consideration your budget when you choose a location; not too far, but just far enough away. Some options include a day trip to a park, waterfront, or other quiet place nearby; a hotel, B&B or other overnight destination; a retreat or conference center which may offer inexpensive accommodation especially during an ongoing event.

Things to contemplate

Is there a prayer item that you have been struggling with?

Are you led to a Scripture and want to meditate on its application in your life?

Are you faced with a decision or need direction?

Is there an area where you need to let go?

Are you getting a glimpse into a ministry you need to pray through?

Are you facing concerns and you need His peace?

Are you restless, sensing a need for change?

Things to bring

A Bible, journal, pen, a teachable and expectant heart (camera or sketch pad optional)

Things to avoid

Cell phones, internet access, email, or any other distractions

As you plan a time alone with Him, I pray you will feel the stir in your heart with the knowledge that He is wooing you there. He has something to whisper in the depth of your soul and is preparing your heart to receive it.

I can hardly wait,


Sunday, May 08, 2011

A Getaway With God

“Come away to a quiet place…” Mark 6:33

About twelve years ago I went to my first writer’s workshop. Because of the distance, I arrived the night before at a nearby convent where rooms were reserved. Arriving early, I found myself alone in a stark, shadowy dormitory formerly used to house novices. As my squeaking footsteps echoed through the empty halls I found myself getting anxious. I was nervous enough about following God’s call to use my writing, and I was trembling inside because of the strange stillness around me.

I remember thinking, “What is wrong with me? Why am I so uncomfortable being alone?”

With a busy home, husband, and homeschooling my three children, I was never alone and, rarely experienced silence. Who really does? We live and breathe in a noisy world; traffic, music, phones, jobs—there is always some kind of commotion around us.

Other than the technology, this is exactly what was going on in Jesus’ world. He and the disciples hardly rested because of the crowds that came to Him. He healed, fed, forgave, comforted, preached, raised, delivered, and fed some more…is it any wonder that Jesus told the disciples to come away to a quiet place. He, Himself valued and needed time in His Father’s presence in order to accomplish what He was sent to do and He was modeling this for the disciples—for they would need His power too.

God desires the same thing of us, to get alone with Him; He has things for us to do and we can’t do them in our own strength; we need His power. We need His direction. All would easily be missed in the everyday din and throng we live in. His “voice” comes in the slightest whisper; it falls like the dew that settles in the quiet of the morning on a quieted, seeking heart.

I have taken time to get away from my normal routine and each time it has reaped huge benefits. I have come back refreshed and able to focus on what God wanted to say through His Word and I have been revived in His presence. I tell myself I have to do this once a year at least, though I admit it has been awhile since the last time?

Well, I am preparing a getaway time with Him soon. I have some writing projects that need His guidance. I am facing decisions about my next steps. It is a perfect time to come apart from my everyday demands to spend some time listening for His still small voice.

So, what would a ‘come away place’ look like for you? What do you need to hear from God?