Love moved the Fence…

“Rita Snowden tells a story from the Second World War. In France, some soldiers with their sergeant brought the body of a dead comrade to a French cemetery to have him buried. The priest told them gently that he was bound to ask if their comrade had been a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church. They said that they did not know. The priest said that he was very sorry but in that case he could not permit burial in his churchyard. So, the soldiers took their comrade sadly and buried him just outside the fence. The next day they came back to see that the grave was all right and to their astonishment could not find it. Search as they might, they could find no trace of the freshly dug soil. As they were about to leave in bewilderment, the priest came up. He told them that his heart had been troubled because of his refusal to allow their dead comrade to be buried in the churchyard; so, early in the morning, he had risen from his bed and with his own hands had moved the fence to include the body of the soldier who had died for France.

“That is what love can do. The rules and the regulations put up the fence; but love moved it.”

From my morning readings in “The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians”, Daily Study Bible Series, by William Barclay.

The Church in the Wilderness before an Icelandic Summer Storm by Stuck in Customs
The Church in the Wilderness before an Icelandic Summer Storm, a photo by Stuck in Customs on Flickr.

I think it’s important to seek within ourselves for the fences we have built which keep people out of faith.  God wants us to reach out, not fence out.  I try to remember that we are all children of God, and that God loved us when we hated Him.  What right then do I have to fence anyone out?

Favourite Movies – Love Comes Softly

This is a very sweet movie about finding life and love again after tragedy.  It’s also about an atheist finding faith from the example of a man of great faith.  It’s not an incredibly deep movie, but it is comforting.

Amazon.com: Love Comes Softly: Katherine Heigl, Dale Midkiff, Corbin Bernsen, Skye McCole Bartusiak, Theresa Russell, Oliver Macready, Tiffany Amber Knight, Adam Loeffler, Nick Scoggin, Jaimz Woolvett, Rutanya Alda, Janet Rotblatt, Michael Landon Jr., Brian Gordon, Faye Schwab, H. Daniel Gross, Kevin Bocarde, Cindy Kelley, Janette Oke: Movies & TV.

My favourite line from the movie is the one which gives it its name: Sometimes love isn’t fireworks, sometimes love just comes softly.

This is why…

“What are the parts of who you are that consistently bring God glory and bless others? What are the moments in your day when you find yourself saying, “This is why I’m on earth”?”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

Fishing on Oahu by Stuck in Customs
Fishing on Oahu, a photo by Stuck in Customs on Flickr.

We each bring different things to our lives.  These come from the uniqueness God builds into each of us, as well as the different circumstances of our lives.  And these differences are precious.  We cannot do the unique work God has in mind for each of us if we try to follow someone else’s path or program.  I need to do my work, not yours.

One of the lovely things God does for us is to give us joy in our paths.  That’s not to say it will always be easy.  But joy will be there as well as the work.  Seek the joy!

Show Me the Way – Blooms So Far

So here’s the tulips completed so far using the threads we’ve been blending.

"Show Me the Way", 2/20/13

 

Prayer: Father, help her to see the beauty around her and turn to the creator for guidance.

 

What is the function of the fruit of the Spirit?

“What is the function of the fruit of the Spirit? Why does God enable these qualities of love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, patience, meekness, and self-control shine forth from our lives? Is it for our private enjoyment? No, God produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives so that we can share this fruit with others.”

from “Friend of God, the Legacy of Abraham, Man of Faith” by Ray C. StedmanGuatemala: compartiendo manzanas by xeni

Guatemala: compartiendo manzanas, a photo by xeni on Flickr.

Sharing.  That is what NeedlePrayer is about for me.  It’s sharing my joy, my sadness, my longing, my faith. It’s about reaching out to others, offering them the road to the blessings God has given me.

 

Is NeedlePrayer the Right Name…

… for my handcraft prayer group?  It’s the name I chose for my needlepoint ministry, but it seems like it might be too restrictive now I’m looking to do a group with mixed hand crafters.

NeedlePrayer logo by Carmen CS
NeedlePrayer logo, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

I don’t want the name to scare away people working in other modalities.  Especially young people who may be interested in other crafts.

Please let me know what you think, especially any different ideas – mine seem not quite it…

Prayer: Father, if it be your will, please help me to connect with a variety of hand crafters in prayer and service of your Kingdom.

Show Me the Way – Closeup of Bloom

In this closeup, only 2 threads are used from the palette, red and orange. But many more hues are present because of the way the variegated threads work together in this approach to shading.

Tulips Close-up 2/12/13

 

Prayer: Father, thank you that bright and dark are intermingled in all areas of our lives.  Help her to always remember the light.

Prayer catapults us…

“Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life. Of all the Spiritual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father.”

From my morning readings in “A Celebration of Discipline”, by Richard J. Foster.

Red Square Nebula [1680x1050] by DUCKofD3ATH
Red Square Nebula [1680×1050], a photo by DUCKofD3ATH on Flickr.

Prayer is like dropping in to see your best friend, who is always glad to see you, and has things to share that enrich our lives. Only by praying can I build my spiritual muscles!

Favourite Books – The Hour That Changes the World

This book was recently recommended to me by my new friend Rose Spillenaar Harmer, who writes listeningtohear.wordpress.com, a great Christian blog.  I’m only about 1/3 of the way through it, but it is already revolutionizing the way I pray.  Thanks, Rose!

Hour That Changes the World, The: A Practical Plan for Personal Prayer: Dick Eastman, Joni Tada: 9780800793135: Amazon.com: Books.

I will be including some of Dick Eastman’s insights in my Morning Reading posts.  But that venue can’t convey what this book offers.

Mr. Eastman presents a way to pray for an hour each day, using 12 5-minute prayer activities.  The framework provides a rich basis for prayer encompassing praise, confession, supplication, God’s Word, and much more.  And the framework is flexible enough to meet different needs and styles.

He suggests an hour a day as being scripturally based, but encourages the reader to try doing at least 12 minutes to try the process out.

I’m currently doing the first 4 activities: Praise, Waiting, Confession, and God’s Word.  I don’t time myself, but rather do as long as feels right on each activity.  Lovely!

Prayer:  Father, teach us to pray and to explore and expand our relationship with you!

You have what it takes…

“You have what it takes to see those dreams come true because you have a limitless God living in you. He has given you all you need and made you all you need to be.”

From my morning readings in “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”, by Holley Gerth.

light dancer by Eddi van W.
light dancer, a photo by Eddi van W. on Flickr.

And He hasn’t left us alone, either.  He is always there if we look for Him.  Together we have what it takes!