Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kinsman Redeemer


In June 1995, I was on a jet flying from Seattle to Sydney, Nova Scotia to see my parents. I had just found out that the property which had been in my family for generations was for sale. My parents had decided to try and get some money for it to help in their retirement.
All the time I lived at home, I had a 'love/hate' relationship with the land. Part of me could 'feel' the antiquity and bloodlines that had walked its terrain day after day as farmers of dairy cows, teams of work horses, hogs, hay and vegetables. Some days, I didn't want to be anywhere else in the world. My emotional and familial roots ran deep.
There were other days when my attitude was completely different and on one of those days, I decided to leave home. I ended up on the west coast of the United States - as far away as I could get. But, even with the distance between me and the land, it still pulled on my heart. I still wanted it; wanted to live there; wanted to be able to keep the historic tradition of passing it down to yet another generation.
I still struggle with it sometimes. Even though both of my parents have passed away and there's nothing and no one else in Nova Scotia to really draw me there, the land still calls, and with every subdivided lot that sells, my heart grieves.
Many times I've had to come to grips with the fact that a house on that land would never happen, and I would have to release my dreams, my desires, 'my land' back to God to do whatever He wanted to do with it and with me - yet another time.
In June 1995, while on that jet, I was faced with one of those times.
I was reminded of that yesterday when I was posting about our seeking Christ like a Bride seeks her Bridegroom. Because of the spiritual history we have, Christ is our Kinsman Redeemer - One, who by virtue of His family ties with us, 'buys us back' with His blood and takes us as His wife to be cherished, loved and provided for. Ruth had such a Kinsman Redeemer in Boaz.
While flying 35,000 feet in the air, I wrote a song, a prayer that came from deep within, and it became one of the many reminders that I am not dependent on what I have or who I know - I am my Beloved's and He is mine.


You are my Lord
You are my Kinsman Redeemer

When I was lost in sin, You sought me and bought me
I give my life to You, a Bride for Your pleasure

No sacrifice too great

You are my Everything!

Diane Nelson, c. June 1995
Beautiful Treasure Music



Henri Nouwen writes in his Genesee Diary - "God cannot be understood; he cannot be grasped by the human mind. The truth escapes our human capacities. ... We can neither explain God nor his presence in history. ... We only can be faithful in our affirmation that God has not deserted us but calls us in the middle of all the unexplainable absurdities of life. ... God cannot be limited by any human concept or prediction. He is greater than our mind and heart and perfectly free to reveal himself where and when he wants."

Do I know Him? I dare say not as well I'd like.
Can I trust Him? Absolutely!
If He cannot be grasped with my human mind, He must also be vast enough for any question, any need, any trial I may face in this life, and therefore, I gladly give myself to Him.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Meeting With Him

There is one thing I ask of the LORD,
For this I long,
To live in the house of the LORD,
To savor the sweetness of the LORD,
To behold his temple.
O LORD, hear my voice when I call;
Have mercy and answer.
Of you my heart has spoken:
“Seek God’s face.”
Psalm 27:4,7,8,13,14

Everything in our lives, that is of God, is from God. Our very desire for Him comes from Him. Any spiritual life inside of us comes from the life of His Spirit dwelling within us. Any good fruit in our lives is really the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The more our hearts seek Him, the more He will reveal Himself to us. If we search for Him with our whole heart, He promised that He will be found.

It is only in the place of being alone together, that two lovers can begin to grow in areas of intimacy with each other. It takes longing and time for the two to become vulnerable – able to reveal and share the depths of who they are - knowing that the other will fully accept and value what is within their person.

We are the Bride of Christ and we should not be surprised that as our Lover, He desires time alone with us. He does not reveal His sweetness, His beauty, His deep love when there is no real appreciation for it in another. And, when He finds us alone, seeking Him, desiring Him, looking for Him in order to find what is concealed in His heart, He comes…

It is always His choice to come. We cannot make Him come. There is nothing we can do to force His arrival. He chooses when to come. We may not experience His presence initially, but He will come. He has promised that He would – because He loves us. In reality, He loves us more than we will ever be able to love Him and He knows that!

Still, He longs to share intimacy with us and when He does come, our hearts overflow with thanksgiving and responsive love toward Him!
We worship Him.
We adore Him.
We enjoy the safety of His full knowledge of us which is covered by His love, His mercy, His grace.

For us to experience Him in this way, we must find the time to wait for Him and seek His face, His heart, His Spirit. Sitting alone, in silence allows our spirits to make a place to welcome Him.

As we pray, not asking for anything but His presence; as we try to think only of Him, we can be easily distracted because of the many thoughts that pass through our minds that are not connected to or about Him at all. This will reveal our own hearts and the many ways we are in need of Him. Just keep coming back to waiting for Him. Don’t give up the pursuit of His face so easily.

I assure you, it is worth the wait. There is nothing sweeter than being consumed by His love. There is nothing that affects who we are so deeply than to be with Him in all His goodness. When we come away from the bridal chamber, we are never the same again. His life has been imparted to us, implanted in us, and then, and only then, will He be seen in us!

May you be filled with joyful expectation, great anticipation of meeting with Him in the quiet.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

February Snow - The Morning After

It snowed and snowed and snowed!
AND
Its still snowing! ! !
We have about 6 inches so far!

I guess I won't be out on the trampoline
for a few days...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Snow Surprise


Its 10:50 pm and I came out to get my snack. Earlier, I'd been in my room doing stuff on the computer and thought that I'd heard it pouring outside.
I checked the fridge for milk and saw that there was none. That's ok - I know there's another gallon in our spare fridge in the garage. I went to go outside and I couldn't believe my eyes! ! ! It hadn't been raining - it has been snowing! ! ! - and there is quite a bit of it out there already and its coming down like crazy! It was so 'out of the blue' that I laughed out loud on my way down the steps.
What a surprise!

I got the milk first and then came in to get my
camera ---

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Patience

Its been challenging lately to put my thoughts and feelings in writing. Rest assured, I have been thinking and feeling and someday, when I get it all sorted out to where I can understand it a little - maybe find the beginning thread? - I will be writing something.
But, for today, I have yet another copied piece of work. It's the February 21st entry in a devotional book called "Streams in the Desert". This book is written for people who are needing encouragement. I found this piece says so much in such a short presentation.
May I also direct you to a blog entry along the same theme of "Patience" - Ivar's Voice Blog has a prayer posted today that would suitably follow this reading. http://ivarsvoice.blogspot.com/
God bless you!


Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

Psalm 37:7

Have you prayed and prayed, and waited and waited, and still you see no evidence of an answer? Are you tired of seeing no movement? Are you at the point of giving up? Then perhaps you have not waited in the right way, which removes you from the right place --- the place where the Lord can meet you.

“Wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:24).

Patience eliminates worry. The Lord said He would come, and His promise is equal to His presence.

Patience eliminates weeping. Why feel sad and discouraged? He knows your needs better than you do, and His purpose in waiting is to receive more glory through it.

Patience eliminates self-works. “The work of God is this: to believe” (John 6:29), and once you believe, you may know all is well.

Patience eliminates all want. Perhaps your desire to receive what you want is stronger than your desire for the will of God to be fulfilled.

Patience eliminates all weakness. Instead of thinking of waiting as being wasted time, realize that God is preparing His resources and strengthening you as well.

Patience eliminates all wobbling. “He touched me and raised me to my feet.” (Daniel 8:18). God’s foundations are steady, and when we have His patience within, we are steady while we wait.

Patience yields worship. Sometimes the best part of praiseful waiting is experiencing “great endurance and patience … joyfully” (Colossians 1:11).

While you wait, “let [all these aspects of] patience have her perfect work” (James 1:4 KJV), and you will be greatly enriched. C.H.P


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Peace in Him Alone

I went to Costco. I tried to smile, but there was none. Emotions are so strong!
Ruth Bell Graham wrote poetry and I found one of her pieces that describes where my heart is these days.
She understood the struggles of the heart; how circumstances can pull us up and down with no place of security; and, she knew where her peace and fulfillment could be found. As she cried for "Jesus alone" my heart joins with hers - in Him alone may I be "content, satisfied!"

Dusty my soul tonight.
Earth has been dear.
Bewildered, I come to You,
Father God, hear.
Idols that charm me,
dreams that allure,
pains that alarm me,
suspense to endure,
memories that linger,
thoughts that ensnare,
a heart that is aching,
all crumpled by care,
unsatisfied, restless,
scarce able to pray--
everything, everything
take it away.
Only You,
none but You,
Jesus alone:
ashes the rest to me,
songs with a groan,
take them each one away--
mind not my tears--
lift me above this earth's
joys and its fears,
give me Yourself alone--
nothing beside--
so will I be with You,
content,
satisfied!


From Clouds are the Dust of His Feet
by Ruth Bell Graham 1992

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another Day - Another Beach

Happy Valentine's Day!
Today, we took a short drive and walk at Port Williams Beach. It was gray, and the wind was very cold coming off the water from the north, but it was good to get out and see the sights :)
This is a female Bufflehead Duck.
We saw both males and females.
Some reddish seaweed - I don't know its name...
I thought this log was spectacular!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rialto Beach, Wa.




Yesterday, we went to Rialto Beach, Wa. Its about 2 hours from our house on the west coast of the state. You never know what to expect, because there are several 'micro climates' between here and there. Even if its a beautiful day here, it could be storming on the coast.
One area we drove through had snow on the ground still!
When we finally got to the coast and parked, the sound of the ocean was so loud; I knew it was just over the bank of driftwood. Even so, the first glimpse of wave took my breath away and I screamed in delight! The power and thrill of it was so great that I felt I might drown in it.
These are some stills, but there is a short video on the Bird Sanctuary Dream blog.
I hope your day is filled with joy and that you see the Lord everywhere you look!
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sunset - February 10, 2009







Here are some real quick snapshots of the sunset this evening. I was supposed to be practicing piano but couldn't resist! ! ! These are my typical untouched, as they are photos - I haven't even cropped them! It was an incredible display!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Be sure to look for the new Verse for Today
on the Captivating Woman Website!
Just click the blue logo at the right and it
will take you there! Bless you!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

There's Sunlight Ahead


Shorelines or beaches have many different personalities, and each one can have a different personality depending on the day you visit it. Today, Rebekah and I went for a walk at the Dungeness Spit, a beautiful park where you can hike down to the water of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
It wasn't one of those perfect, sunny, happy days where the waves are laughing and calling for me to join them in dance. It is February, after all! It seemed, rather, that the straits were sleeping. It was if it was snoring - inhaling, pulling up the water, forming it into a wave at the peak of the breath and then exhaling the white foam with involuntary force on to the shore. The sand was deep and wet lending to the essence of sleepy heaviness all around. I felt a little uneasy standing there, as I did when I was a child and stood next to my dad when he was sleeping. I remember thinking it wouldn't be a good idea to wake him.
I was surrounded by dark, gray, wet, bone-chilling cold - land, sky and sea, and I knew, that if I let it, it would be only too willing to penetrate my being - filling my heart with the same damp, dismal feeling.
But, my heart didn't want to go 'there'. I'm not sure I was aware of making a decision, really, but I was aware of the contrast. There was a living hope, joy and peace that glowed within, like the light of a fireplace, and it could not be extinguished by the elements.
When I looked south toward the mountains, I saw the sun shining effortlessly on a cove. I knew that if I continued walking in that direction, I would reach that spot. I could keep walking with the anticipation of being in the sunlight again.
I reflected on the feelings we experience when the elements of our lives are not bathed in light - how easy it is to allow the coldness, darkness, dampness penetrate our souls and bring us under the heavey, wet weight of sadness, discouragement and despair.
If only we could remember that the sun will shine again! Somewhere down the path or the shore, the clouds will part and the sun will surround and fill us with its warmth and light. If we could remember that, we could keep walking steadily, maybe not joyfully, but steadily, purposefully, and expectantly forward toward the sun.
(This is a short video I happened to take at a moment of unusual wave pattern. Enjoy!)

video

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Footprint in the Sunset This Evening

He opened the heavens and came down;
dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
Psalm 18:9

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let Your glory be over all the earth.
Psalm 57:11

Thick clouds are a covering to Him,
so that He does not see,
and He walks on the vault of the heavens.
Job 22:14

Thought for Today

"It's no fun being nice
if you can't be honest"
Diane Nelson

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Glory of God in YOU

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus,
“When will the Kingdom of God come?”
Jesus replied,
“The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs.
You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’
For the Kingdom of God is already within you.”
Luke 17:20-21

When you are filled with the realization that the glory of God is not something that you have to seek after, but it is actually evidenced in you because of His creation of you and His indwelling presence in you; then, and only then, are you free to be all that He has created you to be and to live in that glorious life you long for. Then, and only then, will you stop looking for reciprocity of affection and will be whole enough to love without expectation of receiving anything from the one you are loving. Then, and only then, can you live and move in complete freedom because of the confidence of His love for you and of His joy in you.
This is a hard realization and one that comes into focus clearly some times more than others.
Contentment, true satisfaction and fulfillment is found in knowing the delight of the Father over you! Enjoy the freedom of being YOU and watch what a powerful impact His glory, seen in YOU, can have on everyone around you! Captivating is the only way to describe your experience and the affect of your life on others when you are joined with God's purpose for your life.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Quote for Today

"Everyone hears what you say.

Friends listen to what you say.

Best Friends listen to what you don't say."

Anonymous