Grace in Imperfection

I am so thankful for the beauty that the Lord makes from imperfection. This timely post from Reverend George Gaffga:

 

No one who is born of God continues to sin (1 John 3:18). Matthew 5:48 ‘Be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’ We don’t strive for imperfection. It is a natural occurrence. Im…

Source: Grace in Imperfection

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Fun and Thank you.

Fun is about as good a habit as there is.                                                                                                                                   ~ Jimmy Buffet

 
Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
                                                                                                                                    ~ James 1:21
 
     One of the things I so appreciate about our former pastor was his penchant for infusing laughter and fun into our church life. He made Sunday a family meeting, sometimes calling folks by name to highlight an event, sometimes calling someone who was suffering from a catastrophic illness (after consulting with them) and putting it out there that we all might pray instead of pretending it did not happen or leaving it to silence.  I appreciate the streams of fun that trickled through our congregation.  He knew how to have some fun in the midst of seriousness. There was a lot of love there.
     Something he did that was dead serious was that he did not tolerate gossip, and he did not tolerate swearing as a part of our church meetings, officer meetings, etc.  He set a standard.  He made it a habit to build folks up, not allow them to be so hard on themselves, offer them a hand when they were down.
     It would seem that the scripture in James was certainly a part of his foundation, and a part of the fruit he leaves behind.  A good goal for us.  I love the visual of landscaping with the Word and making a salvation-garden of our lives.  
     Right now, for me it means, not using social media to spread unrest, unhappiness, point fingers, political agenda.  Right now for me it means to take the higher road and keep my other thoughts to myself.  My job is to live it to the best of my ability.  
     The hardest thing for me to do is have fun.  I am way too serious.  But I am up to something.
Look out church!
 
Because of Him,
Linda
     
On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 8:31 AM, Linda Dickman <libearyn@gmail.com> wrote:

A bad habit never disappears miraculously. It’s an undo-it-yourself project. 
 
                                                               ~ Abigail Van Buren (1918–2013)
 
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
                                                              ~ Philippians 2:9-11
 
     It has been a very painful few weeks in the United States of America.  Lots of death, lots of loss, lots of hateful things said.  I listened to the President talk about changing the way we speak, the way we treat each other, the way we need to move forward.  I heard the choir sing, “Glory Glory Hallelujah.”, I have seen the posts on social media.  
      Still lots of pain, lots of people who know better. Lots of platitudes, lots of stinging words.
 I saw this: on a friends’ page on Facebook the other day.
” Two thousand years ago, Jesus ended the debate on which lives matter. He died for all. ” I still felt the sting.
    Ultimately it doesn’t matter whose words sound better, who is right, who is more politically correct.  We are all hurting, afraid, tired, scared, done, in shock, and trying to move forward, not on.  One person at a time, if we are humble and kind and remember whose light we are called to walk in, we can/will, make a difference.  I believe I’ll let Tim McGraw preach today.  His words heal, remind, charge us with today’s task, “Always Stay Humble and Kind.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awzNHuGqoMc

Always Stay Humble and Kind
Because of Him,
Linda

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Always Stay Humble and Kind

A bad habit never disappears miraculously. It’s an undo-it-yourself project. 
 
                                                               ~ Abigail Van Buren (1918–2013)
 
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
                                                              ~ Philippians 2:9-11
 
     It has been a very painful few weeks in the United States of America.  Lots of death, lots of loss, lots of hateful things said.  I listened to the President talk about changing the way we speak, the way we treat each other, the way we need to move forward.  I heard the choir sing, “Glory Glory Hallelujah.”, I have seen the posts on social media.  
      Still lots of pain, lots of people who know better. Lots of platitudes, lots of stinging words.
 I saw this: on a friends’ page on Facebook the other day.
” Two thousand years ago, Jesus ended the debate on which lives matter. He died for all. ” I still felt the sting.
    Ultimately it doesn’t matter whose words sound better, who is right, who is more politically correct.  We are all hurting, afraid, tired, scared, done, in shock, and trying to move forward, not on.  One person at a time, if we are humble and kind and remember whose light we are called to walk in, we can/will, make a difference.  I believe I’ll let Tim McGraw preach today.  His words heal, remind, charge us with today’s task, “Always Stay Humble and Kind.”

Always Stay Humble and Kind
Because of Him,
Linda

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Broken Hallelujah

Leadership is action not position. 

     ~ Donald H. McGannon
 
Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
Matthew 4:4
 
Rufus Wainwright
 
For the Fallen
with apologies to Leonard Cohen    
We kneel here in the blood that’s pooled,
we’re not the only ones ‘were fooled,
a peaceful demonstration overshadowed.
 
We hear the sirens far and near,
our hearts are numb, we know the fear,
and so we lift and hands and keep our heads bowed.
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
 
We watch the news, yell at the screen
how brave we are, often unseen,
our platitudes flow rich on social media,
 
We lift our hands, from north to south
we need the life flows from Your mouth
not the wisdom from encyclopedias.
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
 
For all those  who would wear the blue
who serve the Lord, with hearts so true,
we offer up our prayers and blessings to ya.
 
For all your service, all your pain,
the families that cry streams of rain,
we sing out loud our broken Hallelujahs, 
 
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.
 
   Lord, let our leadership be born of your words, Let out action be born out of that.
Because of Him,
Linda          

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You Lift Me Up

[P]atriotism… is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.  ~Adlai Stevenson

When I walk into the thick of trouble,
    keep me alive in the angry turmoil.
With one hand
    strike my foes,
With your other hand
    save me.
Finish what you started in me, God.
    Your love is eternal—don’t quit on me now.

Psalm 138:7-8

And so it is with serving the Lord.  Serving the Lord is so much more than the jumping, dancing, crying, evidence of the Holy Spirit, singing, praising with a loud voice, or a big band.  It is indeed, like the patriotism described above, tranquil and steady.  It is not the outward signs as much as that place from which they are born.

If you have ever stood in a wave pool at a water park, you know that there is a stillness, folks swim, talk, anticipate, travel to get to a good spot to experience the wave.  And then it begins, slowly, small and pulsing.  Growing ever growing until it reaches the place where one must jump up to keep it from washing over them (or not!) and certainly helping small one in their efforts.

Sometimes it feels as if the pool is not under anyone’s close supervision and the waves are out of control.  That is where the plea comes from.  That is where the jumping up in anticipation comes from.  Sometimes it is where folks simply let go and let the wave carry them.

Yes, Lord, carry me, lift me up, that I may let go.

Because of Him,

Linda

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Lift Them Up

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.
 
                                                                     ~ Anton Chekhov
 
1-3 One more thing, friends: Pray for us. Pray that the Master’s Word will simply take off and race through the country to a groundswell of response, just as it did among you. And pray that we’ll be rescued from these scoundrels who are trying to do us in. I’m finding that not all “believers” are believers. But the Master never lets us down. He’ll stick by you and protect you from evil.
                                                                   ~ 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3
 
     Sweet words sometimes foil the heart.  Especially when the words are what we want to hear.  I know of girls who, believing that their boyfriend loved the, and promised respect and marriage, give their most intimate gift and were left alone, possibly pregnant and betrayed by those very sweet words.  
     There are also “casting couches” of Hollywood where young would be actors and actresses get the world’s equivalent of those promises for a slight favor.
     We have also witnessed spiritual charlatans who have promised that if one follows them, they will get to heaven faster, on a particular date. Some have literally had them drink “the Kool-aid” and taken them to meet their Maker in a way they never would have believed in the beginning.
     It is our charge to pray for those who deceitfully use us, and lift them into the light, that the Lord who knows all will plunge them into the fountain of God’s love and clean their eyes, heart, mind and soul.
     Today, lift someone who has betrayed you up to the Lord in prayer.  If you cannot quite get there, consider asking God to prepare you to lift them up. 
     Because of Him,
     Linda

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Teach me Lord, to wait.

There are two kinds of light — the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures 

                                                             ~ James Thurber

 
Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
    or, whine, Israel, saying,
God has lost track of me.

    He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
    He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
    And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
    gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
    young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
    They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
    they walk and don’t lag behind.
                                                      ~ Isaiah 4-:27-31
 
     I walk our little dog nearly every day after school.  Depending on which direction I am walking, I can see who is driving toward me, and identify my neighbors often by their car alone.  But there has recently been a turnover in neighbors, and they all drive cars that are not so familiar to me.  
     Sometimes, as I walk into the light, the glare obscures just who is inside.  I know the car belongs to a friend or neighbor, but I cannot always see exactly who is inside. But I wave.
     And so it is with life.  We approach vehicles of flesh every day.  We can often identify their walk, or hear their voice before we see them.  We recognize a signature color, but we cannot see inside, where a scared child of God may reside.
     This is for my friend Emily. 
      I am waving.
 
They That Wait – Gaithers
 
Because of Him,
Linda

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