Friday, October 19, 2012

Who do You Smell Like?

I've been missing my friend Connie.  She moved this summer and I haven't seen her for a few months.  She taught piano lessons to my kids and I loved that we had a scheduled "check in". Just a moment in the doorway when we'd look into each other's eyes to see what really was the answer to, "How are you?"  We'd know.  Then we'd exchange a quick hug and I'd be off to make dinner and she to teach another lesson.

Later on I'd catch a whiff of her lovely perfume...I could smell a trace of her scent left on my clothing from our hug.  I loved it.  It's not so much that I loved the aroma as much as all the joy and affection that I associate with it.

Every single time this happened I would wonder what sort of scent I had been leaving behind...  Not literally--though I am fairly paranoid about body odour--but figuratively.  The answer to that question lies in what I've been soaking.

Some days it's the cesspool of self-pity or ingratitude.  I may as well get real--cesspool is just a fancy word for septic tank.  So if that's what I've been soaking in, I'm going to leave behind a, well, crappy scent.  You'll be so glad you hung out with me...or not.

If my heart has been bent toward gratitude, I'm likely to leave behind a much more pleasant scent.

There's a fragrance I want to leave more than any other...the essence of the incredible Love that has rescued me.  I want you to know that no matter how terrible your day has been, no matter the challenges you're facing, no matter how miserably you've failed...there is One whose arms are wide open, longing to pour healing and hope-filled Love into you.

His name is Jesus.

But thank God!
He...continues to lead us along in Christ's triumphal procession.
Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere,
like a sweet perfume.

2 Corinthians 2:14 NLT

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Crazy but True

She sits alone in the crowd.  All the other moms are in little groups, chatting.  She radiates isolation.    And I know.  I know.  

I've known isolation...and received healing Love that trumps the love of a hundred friends. I also know that this Love was made to pass on...sigh.  

I've said hello before and tried to strike up a conversation.  It was about as much fun as a tooth extraction.  I've done enough today.  Given all I have to give.  Jeepers, can't it be someone else's turn?  

These thoughts are pathetic at best... despicable really.  Jesus gave me Love that pulled me out of a pit of hopelessness and I must, must pass it on.  I'm compelled...not by a "should" but by gratitude.  But I'm not feeling it at the moment.

So I ask for the will, the want, from the One who promises to give "the desire and the power to do what pleases Him."  

How crazy is that??  He's lavished an incredible, extravagant, live-changing love on me.  I balk and whine about passing it on.  Rather than strike me with a cosmic lightening bolt, He offers to help me.  He grants desire and power to do what pleases Him.  

So many times I've thought He was angry with me, thought He'd rejected me because I couldn't get it right...and I couldn't have been more wrong.  He's there--ready, willing, eager to offer all the resources of heaven.

He's just waiting for my yes.  Yes, I'm willing to be made willing.

Sometimes His grace seems too amazing!  What can I do but fall more wildly, more crazily in love with Him?  

And greet a lonely stranger.  :-)

 “O Lord, there is no one like you. 
We have never even heard of another God like you!
1 Chronicles 17:20

Philippians  2:13

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


For the Lord your God will go ahead of you...

My Father goes before me in this day.
To make a way through the challenges,
and to prepare blessings.

Yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.

My Papa's got my back.

He will cover you with his feathers.  
He will shelter you with his wings.

I'm covered, sheltered by His love.

The eternal God is your refuge, 
and his everlasting arms are under you.

He  holds me up.
I'm supported by His love

I will give you a new heart, 
and I will put a new spirit in you...
I will put my Spirit in you.

His Spirit.  Inside me.

Ahead.  Behind.  Beside.  Under.  Within.

I have nothing to fear.

Isaiah 53:12b; Psalm 91:Deuteronomy 33:27, Ezekiel 36:26-27