Thursday, May 31, 2018

New Life Blessings-#6

 Charleston John Meier
Born May 18, 2018
3:34 am
7 pounds 13 oz
20.5 inches
 Grandson #6
Two little boys for each 
of our Three daughters
Momma and babe doing well.
 Dad- Dan is in love already.
Oh-already praying this verse 
over this new little one.
Big Brother Jack 
meeting the new little one.
Papa was in town 
between stops here and there.
Gigi will take cuddles 
at any time you see.
This gift. 
This blessing.
 This trust.
We give you thanks, Lord.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

When Tragic News Comes

I heard some very sad news today.
A pastor was killed by a 
driver that ran a red light.
He was the caregiver for his 
wife after her brain surgery.
His son is scheduled to give the 
Valedictorian Address 
at his high school this Friday.
His daughter gets married
 in August this year.
His name was Tim Olson.
What are the words 
of comfort for this family?
This Congregation?
First Lutheran- Charlotte, Michigan.
The friends?

Anything I can think 
to say sounds empty...
trite even.
But, I can pray.
Dear Heavenly Father, 
God of all comfort,
be so very close to the 
Olson family at this time.
Reeling from the shock of such news-
unbelief floods the paths of heart and head.
Oh, Lord, there is no way 
we are ever, ever ready 
for such news in our lives.
Please give them peace in these hours,
bolster their strength to 
get through the upcoming days.
Find ways to shower comfort 
over the Olson family.
through the people that love them.
Shine HOPE.
Shine bright HOPE to filter 
into all the dark places 
that has been stripped of JOY.
In the name of Jesus, I pray.

"Our hope for you is unshaken, 
for we know that as 
you share in our sufferings, 
you will also share in our comfort."
1 Corinthians 1:7

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Jack is Two

 Mr. Jack is one fortunate little guy.
He has a cadre of caregivers 
and they worked together 
to have a "2 Party" for Jack 
even before his birthday
Then on the Real Birthday Day 
there are balloons and buntings.
Wow and surprise!
 Then the Schu cousins come to celebrate 
and a sandbox shows up outside. Wow!
Always fun to check out gift bags!
 Another celebration 
had more grandparents 
popping in for a high five hello.
Mr. Jack with the last birthday
 as a family of three.
And sand showed up for the sandbox
 and cuddle hugs with momma.
All and all two is looking pretty great!
And we give thanks for this little blessing.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Den Gardens

The colors and textures of God's world
 in the Spring simply astonishes me.
 The delicate petals and gradient hues
 bless a small part of the world in my garden.

 The fragrance of the Miss Kim lilacs -
delicate against the vibrant green.
Sometimes you just need an old chair
 to old up your blooms.

The Knock Out Roses 

seem to absorb sunlight.

Not sure just what the 

connection is for me but

a walk in my yard and 

seeing the beautiful flowers, 

often brings this passage to mind:

Romans 8:38-39  (ESV)

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, 
nor angels nor rulers, 
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 
39 nor height nor depth, 
nor anything else in all creation, 
will be able to separate us 
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As Mary Oliver says-
"paying attention 
is the beginning of devotion."

And that leads right to prayer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bible Marginalia-God Abides in Us

Bible Marginalia Series- #294
Love Letters from God

 1 John 4:12
"No one has seen God,
if we love one another,
 God abides in us
and His love is perfected
in us."

Pretty straightforward instructions here.
Pretty complicated in the follow through.
I am very thankful that God 
does the part of gathering me in first.
This is a set of the margins I am 
working on from the free resources
 at Visual Faith Ministry.
love-letters-from-God margins  
My large print ESV Bible
 gives me plenty of space 
to add in a margin 
and even secure with washi tape.
I just spend time coloring as I can, 
praying the verse into my day.
Then time to start another one.
No big deal to come up
 with my own image.
Just print, color and pray.
That's simple enough for most everyone
 to add to their devotion time.

margin printable- VFM
Colored pencils
Plain blue cardstock
Washi tape

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Convention in Prayer

 The outside of the prayer center 
at the LCMS Southeastern District Convention
 in Hickory, North Carolina.
  The Joanne Fink wrapping paper 
served as the beginning
 for the prayers for churches, 
circuits, pastors and delegates.
Throughout the year at SED events 
many people have added names and prayers 
and colored in the images in prayer time.
Visual Prayer becomes story.
Tables at the back of the conventional 
had prayer pages ready for people to stop by
 for a bit of prayer time. 
There were also Concordia Publishing House
 donated Bible margins 
from the new Enduring Words Bible 
for people to color and take. 
Bible verse cards 
were used to pray for and bless those
 who served us at the convention hotels.

 The convention delegates participate
 in 4 --15 minutes sessions using Listening Prayer 
and a section of Scripture 
for discerning God's Will in the convention.
Conventions can be a challenging order to keep in line with the ticking clock.
By using the hour of prayer time- 
the convention adjourned 2 1/2 hours early.
The Scripture was read around
 the individual tables 
and then discussion 
and finally prayer time for each of the sessions.

At the preconvention dinner 
hosted by St. John's Lutheran Church
 in Conover, North Carolina, 
the Vice Presidents and Board of Directors 
prayed over John and convention proceedings.

I am very thankful that prayer 
is such a central focus 
for how we live together, 
approach ministry and give thanks to God
for His great care and blessings.
May the Glory be His!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Third Term

Convention Preparations
for those gathered for the 
LCMS- Southeastern District Convention.
Hickory, North Carolina
May 10-12, 2018
 We prayed for the churches, circuits, 
and Pastoral and lay delegates.
Tables were also prepared for those 
wanting to spend time in prayer for
the convention proceedings. 
Prayer cards were available to 
pray Scripture and bless others.
 There are a lot of deadlines,                         
procedure guidelines, 
and meetings and meetings.
(And Hundreds of things 
that I have no idea about.)
Getting all the things transported this year
 from Alexandria, Virginia 
to Hickory, North Carolina
is a big job.
Visuals in the
Exhibitor's Space
I don't talk a whole lot 
about this special guy 
I am married to--John.
He was elected to serve a third term 
as the Southeastern District President.
He leads with a servant leader heart.
(a term is 3 years 
and this district has a 3 term limit)
 Joining him on the stage.
 I am blessed to serve beside him.
Giving thanks in prayer.
So is this a Jesus photo bomb? 
When we were sent this photo, 
it was funny how the banner behind us has 
Jesus with a raised hand of peace
 over our shoulders.
The theme was  
"Let's Go Fishing" 
from John 21:3.
Time to throw the net 
on the other side.
 I'll go with you.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bible Marginalia- Rock, Fortress, Deliverer

Bible Marginalia Series- #293

Psalm 18
It is certainly wonderful good news
 that our Father 
has a multi-list job description.
He is my strength, my rock,
my refuge, my shield,
my salvation, my stronghold,
and my deliverer.
I received this beautiful margin 
created by Pat Maier 
from Concordia Publishing House.
It was part of the materials 
to promote the new 
Enduring Word Journaling Bible 
coming out soon.
Here is a link for ordering the Bible-
We are very excited about 
this new resource.
We look forward to sharing 
the journey along the way.

Printed margin- CPH
Colored pencils
Washi tape
Fine-Point Sharpie

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Bible Marginalia- Be My Witnesses

 Bible Marginalia Series- #292
Acts 1
The promise of the Spirit
and the Ascension of Jesus.

This reminds me of early years of parenting 
when you always offered something good
 as something was removed,
or even taken away.
Sort of the same thing when Jesus 
tells the disciples a very good thing
  would be theirs soon.
Right before he goes away.
Can't imagine the sense of BIGNESS-
as Jesus highlights the extent of their job.
"Tell people about me everywhere-
in Jerusalem, 
throughout Judea, in Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth."
YOU will be my witnesses.
Then as Jesus was taken up into a cloud,
they strained to see him and
two white-robed men stood among them.
Maybe the disciples 
were use to seeing angels.
But, I imagine they listened
 carefully anyway.
"Jesus has been taken from you into heaven,
but someday he will return from heaven
 in the same way you saw him go!"
Gift promised to come soon.
They had their marching orders-
be my witnesses.
Same instructions for us-
as we wait-
filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.