Sunday, March 24, 2013

Were You There When the Sun Refused to Shine...


Sometimes, it causes me to tremble, tremble...

"Were you there when they crucified my Lord...
Were you there when they crucified my Lord...

Oh - oooooooo
Sometimes, it causes me to tremble...

Were you there when the sun refused to shine?
Were you there when the sun refused to shine?

Oh- oooooooo
Sometimes, it causes me to tremble..."

Love this beautiful song of lament for the suffering of our Savior.

Even the sun refused to shine...

Blessings to you all this Holy Week...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Limping Across the Finish Line...

"... But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 
 I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 3:12-16  NIV
I love this beautiful picture from the 1992 Olympics when Olympic runner, Derek Redmond, tore a hamstring within finishing distance but barely able to walk, let alone run. 
 His father, watching in the stands, ran to the field and assisted his son to limp across the finish line. 
 One of the most breathtaking moments,
witnessed by a speechless
and spellbound crowd watching all over the world. 
Remembering this moment, it made me think of my own brokenness in life at times.  How many people have 'left the stands' to come along side me to assist me across the finish line?  Where would I be today, without the loving, selfless, compassion of so many that God has sent to me when I was too broken to get up and go on?
I have fallen down more often than I would really like to recount.  The plain truth is, I'd probably just have stayed where I dropped, had I not been hoisted up by the compassion and generosity of a much loved son, a cherished daughter,
a godly counselor, a disabled senior citizen, a friend I hadn't talked with in years, who "just happened to call" or a brand new friend, I just met on the Internet, who spoke a word of loving encouragement to me when I most needed it.
To all of the above and the many, many others I cannot even recall, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there when I needed it most, even if you didn't realize I had "broken a hamstring" and the pain was too much to continue...  It is God our Father who sent you to me at just the right moment and I am profoundly grateful to you all for the loving kindness you have showered on me. 
I do, indeed, "press on toward the goal 
to win the prize for which God
has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
And all along the way, God is taking snapshots of each of you "leaving the stands" to help a broken and bruised runner cross the finish line.  When I get there, I will smile looking back at you for all you did for me along the way. 
I would never, ever, make it without YOU!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Chasing the Wind...

“For I am just a child.  I do not know how to come in or go out…” 1Kings 3:7 
I love this quote by the wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba, who asked for wisdom and understanding from God instead of riches or fame.  God was so pleased with his request, He gave him all of it – wisdom, riches and fame that has lasted all through the ages. 

I was studying this passage in the Women’s Group I’m in this past weekend.  I found it fascinating.  Here was the richest, most powerful man in all of Israel, describing himself as a child who knows so little he can’t find his way in or out the door.  At this point in his life, as a young king, his heart is so soft before God that he rightly describes himself as a child, completely dependent on the leading of His Father in heaven.  He is never closer to the Lord than he is here, totally transparent in recognizing that, King or no King, he is just an ignorant and needy child running to his Father for direction and care.

Can’t you just see God our Father smiling from ear to ear as he points with fatherly pride to this son who touches the very heart of God with his humility?  Do you see Him calling the angels to the edge of heaven to witness this amazing spectacle – a King in all his royal robes, on his knees, crying out to His father as only a beloved child will do.

The story of Solomon, in his own words, in the Book of Ecclesiastes is a story many of us can tell.  He starts out knowing his need for God, his proper place in God’s kingdom.  But, then, he decides he really can do it on his own.  After all, he is the king of his own domain.  He’s no longer that little child.  He decides he can do life without checking in with his Father all of the time.  After all – he is the king!  It doesn’t take long for him to decide which laws of God he will follow and which aren’t for him.  After all, he is the king…  By the end of his life, he has taken over 700 foreign wives and 300 concubines, from pagan tribes, even though God had forbidden intermarriage with pagan wives, because “they would turn his heart away from God.” 

Solomon, wisest man that ever lived, takes the enemy into his bed, surrounding himself with pagans, eating with them, sleeping with them, procreating with them.  He figures he’s above this law that would deny him, the mighty King of Israel, the pleasure he desires.  He is no longer that child with a heart to seek and obey his Father.  He turns away from God, just as God had told him he would.  The despair and deadness in his spirit are legendary.  He opens the book of Ecclesiastes describing for us just how painful the consequences of his rebellion “under the sun” were for him.  He cannot wait to find his way home to the God who is waiting for his return to Him, “under the heavens.”

This is, in many ways, a story we all know – how we start out in right relationship with God, and then, wander away to do our own thing.  Life lived without being in proper relationship to God, Our Father, is indeed futile – a “chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:14  May we all, like Solomon, have the wisdom to run back to Him and recognize that we are but “little children, not knowing how to come in or go out,” save for the mercy of God our Heavenly Father…

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

For Meghan...

This is a little poem I wrote for my sister Terry's daughter, Meghan, when she turned 18 a few years ago.  One of my favorite memories of Meggy, when she was a little tot, is that she could not pronounce my name "Maureen".  So, she made up her own interpretation of my name and called me "Auntie Dweem"!  
No-one has ever called me anything sweeter...!

Little Girl Shoes

I sat across the room tonight 
And had a chat with God 
He hugged me close and laughed with me 
And asked me to come closer.

I pulled my chair up next to His
And told Him about YOU
She’s turning 18 today, I said
I can’t believe it – can You?

He threw His head back and laughed with me
Yes, He said, I DO!
I have a plan for her you know
And this is part of that…

But, Lord, you see
It was only yesterday
She sat upon my knee

In little girl shoes
And little girl dresses
And called me
Auntie Dweem!

Why, I remember holding her
When she was only three
How did this happen so swiftly,
How did I not see?

I carried on like that,
As I so often do,
And God our Father understood,
For, He remembered too.

Together we remembered,
The baby that you were –
The toddler, the little girl,
the teeny bopper, too.

Running, dancing, laughing,
So precious to us all.
You are a miracle of promise
That God has loaned to us…

Today we celebrate with you
The woman you’ve become
Ask the Lord of Miracles
To keep you from all harm.

Written with love for you dear Meghan, 
on the occasion of your 18th birthday.

All My Love,

Aunt Maureen 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

For My Grandchildren...

"Oh, be careful little eyes what you see,
be careful little eyes what you see.
For the Father up above,
He is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes what you see..."

I taught you that in Sunday School, remember? What a total privilege that was for me as your grandmother! You wore your little "Missionettes" uniform and sang the little girl songs you loved to sing. You invited your best buddies to come with you to Missionettes - you were already an eager little missionary at the tender age of five! Everything you heard about Jesus, you believed! That must be why God tells us that we need the faith of a little child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Your faith was immediate, joyful and without doubt. I loved seeing that in you!
Over much too quickly, you have grown up overnight and I am no longer living close enough to see you every day. 
But, that sweet little interlude in your life and mine
is engraved upon my heart forever.
Today, you are running as fast as your feet can carry you into your dreams. I am watching from the sidelines and sending my love and my prayers with you on the wings of the angels. This is what I pray for you, little one. Today and always -

May you never forget the God you fell in love with when you were a child, learning at my knee...

May you never get lost in a world that has lost it's way home...

May you treasure the gifts He has poured on your head
and use them for His glory...

May you stay humble enough to know that you are but a tiny reflection of the Mighty God you serve...

May you never doubt Who it is that loves you and formed you by His own hand to belong to Him...

May you have the passion to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are lost all around you...

May you remember that you are a
One-of-a-Kind Masterpiece, 
created by God for His purpose -
you are no accident...

May you be an Encourager,
a Believer,
a Lover and
a Follower after Jesus...

May you never apologize for belonging to Jesus -
be bold in proclaiming the Gospel...

May you remember that God loves you. 
And so do I. 
Never, ever forget that! 

Teach your children to love the Lord. 
And your children's children, after that...

That is my legacy to you, Sweetheart. 
Today and always, in my heart.