"Show me Your strong love in wonderful ways, O Savior of all those seeking Your help against their foes. Protect me as You would the pupil of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings as You hover over me." Psalm 17:7-8

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dancing for His Smile

This morning tiny feet danced and golden locks bounced as a precious child worshiped her King.  Uninhibited by what others thought, looking only to learn new expressions of this love burning within her, she leaped on happy feet!!  Her little hands clapped and then reached for Daddy in the sky.  Her face grew radiant in the light of His smile, and she returned it over and over.  She lost herself in worship, so much so that she tripped over her own feet, only to rise again triumphant with a leap.  She wasn’t embarrassed, looking to see who might have seen her fall, she wasn’t concerned with the fluidity of her movements or whether she looked foolish – and she looked anything but foolish!!  Adults towering above her were drawn to look down at the little girl pouring out the perfume of her love on Jesus.  Knee-high to all around her, the little Kingdom Giant taught us how to dance for Abba’s pleasure, how to twirl giddy with His joy over her.  We followed her boldly into the throne room where she danced and danced unaware the music had faded. Her brother put a loving hand upon her head to calm her movements.  But, she was a child in love, and her feet just had to dance in His presence for His smile.

Dancing in the shadow, Terry

Monday, January 24, 2011

Flying in the Shadow of Your Wing

I dedicate this to my B*E*A*U*T*I*F*U*L  S*I*S*T*E*R  M*A*R*Y, who along with God is enabling me to fly with Jesus, into "new atmospheres", to obtain from the Holy Spirit an "aerial view", a "new perspective" on the troubles of earth and the joys of heaven (here and now!!).   Infuse my wings, Lord, (and hers) with Your precious blood shed on the cross so that we might take flight and reproduce true abiding life.  Thank you, Mary, for emboldening me to take risks, for giving me your support to be different, to be creative, to BE!!  I love you so very much.  The latest song posted is the one I spoke to you about.  Listen for the angel voices.

"How precious is your constant love, O God! All humanity takes refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  You feed them with blessings from your own table and let them drink from Your rivers of delight.  For You are the Fountain of life; our light is from Your Light.  Pour out Your unfailing love on those who know You!  Never stop giving Your salvation to those who long to do your will."

Flying with you Sis in His Shadow,

Friday, January 14, 2011

Always On His Mind!!

Have you ever asked God to give you a symbol to remind you of His love for you?  This idea has intrigued me for some time.  My youngest sister, during a challenging season of life, asked God for a symbol and He gave her the cardinal.  Divinely timed cardinal sightings surprise and delight her, like notes from her Beloved written upon wings of scarlet.  I heard a speaker mention a few weeks ago that God gave her red grapes as a symbol in their relationship.  God creatively uses this fruit of the vine to intimately communicate His love for her.  She told of a past speaking engagement during which a gentleman entered the building quite unexpectedly with a cart full of red grapes.  When questioned, he indicated that God told him that morning to purchase a large quantity of grapes and bring them to this women’s conference!  He had no idea why, but obeyed God anyway, and without knowing it delivered a well-timed reminder of God’s love for her.

After hearing of several women’s experiences along these lines, I asked God to give me a symbol.  Then I waited expectantly for Him to make evident the symbol of His choosing.  Over Christmas I had a number of uninterrupted hours to just be still in God’s presence and listen to Him.  During this time I wrote a story for my little grandbaby while sitting beside a Christmas tree in the Bed and Breakfast we stayed in.  It seemed God situated me beside this beautifully lit tree for a visit.  During our time of communing and writing together, He drew my eye to a golden dragonfly with outstretched wings, seemingly in flight.  I so identified with this winged creature.  At the time I wrote, “One ornament different from all the rest stands out:  a golden dragonfly with lacey wings.  In this season so full of dreams I feel I’m taking flight like that gilded dragonfly.”  I continued to write and pour forth both my love and God’s love for this new life being formed in my daughter’s womb.  I did not immediately realize that God had revealed the symbol!

This evening I took out the story We began writing while sitting beside the tree.  God had directed me to several verses the night before as I prepared for work, and I could hardly wait to sit beside Him and finish coauthoring this story.  I changed the line I mentioned above to, “When I dream of you (my grandbaby), I soar like that gilded dragonfly with God’s breath beneath my wings.  I let God take me to wonderful places in my thoughts.”  The verses God wanted to incorporate into the story were Psalm 139:17-18, “How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly!  I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me.  And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me.”  I felt God wanted this child to know from the beginning that He thinks about him or her continually.  It dawned on me that my request for a symbol boiled down to my wanting an intimate reminder from God that He thinks about me, like lovers do.

I went online hoping to find a golden dragonfly just like the one I’d seen on the tree.  During that search, I came across what the dragonfly has symbolized for years in many cultures.  I began to see God’s choice of this winged insect had thrilling personal implications.  As I unpacked the symbol, I sensed God’s love and affection in choosing this symbol.  I saw myself poised for flight in that little dragonfly God pointed out on the tree.  I had no idea He saw me too (His lover in the symbol), and knew all He was going to say through this shared reminder of Our love!!

I delved more into the Christian symbolism of the dragonfly as though looking for buried treasure.  I also combed the internet for fascinating information about this wonderful creation of God.  I’ll share a few things I learned through hours of reading in my next article.  But for now, I must tell you what topped off the evening with God with sheer joy.  God reminded me years ago my good friend, Rhodema, gave me a potted plant with a decorative stake in it.  Atop the stake was a dragonfly!  I went out to the garage and found the one and only remnant from my gardening days covered in cobwebs and dust, leaning forgotten against the wall.  I didn’t have the heart to throw it away the last time I cleaned the garage because it had been a gift.  The stake was bent and rusted through in a couple of places, and as I washed the bedraggled ornament the wings on one side fell off in the sink.  I picked them up and dried them off, and then carefully hot glued them back on.  I thought ten pages worth of thoughts about my life as represented in this dragonfly – in this symbol God chose years and years (eternity) ago!!  He even saw to the preservation of this little dragonfly so He could re-gift it as a small token of His intimate knowledge of and love for me.  “Teresa,” my little dragon fly now flies among the flowers of an arrangement in my bathroom to remind me continually of My Love who thinks continually of me.


Friday, January 7, 2011

The Heart of the Won Prodigal

This week my Life Group Leader proclaimed 2011 the Year of the Prodigal.  I thought it no coincidence that I happened upon the music of Jonathan Helser tonight and listened to You're Never Giving Up.  The song is all about the prodigal gloriously won and completely overcome by his Father's love for him.  The song is not for the faint of heart.  It is a passionate song, and will rattle the walls of your heart if you engage in losing yourself fully in the mind-boggling love of the Father.  May it be the song on the lips of our prodigals this year!!!  Yes Lord, Yes!!

Worship in the shadow, Terry

I Received Joy for Christmas

This evening the Lord built a fire for the two of us in the western sky.  The sun set like a molten tangerine while my family and I traveled I-35 home from Arkansas.  Lovely does not begin to describe the backdrop to the skyscrapers of Dallas.  Due to an accident in the road ahead we were detained and the view blocked for a few moments.  When the wreck cleared and we moved forward, I looked to the right of the car and the sky burst into flames.  It wasn’t long however before red and pink embers glowed hot on the horizon.  After a few breathtaking minutes, the vibrant colors faded and purple smoke rose in their place.  The sky then turned to pitch and filled with stars on this last night of 2010.

The Lord made certain I spent several evenings stilled before a fire over the holidays.  For three glorious nights I lingered long before a soul calming blaze in a cozy cabin on the White River.  He set the tone for sweet communion with Him and with my family.  Best of all, He invited me HOME to be with Him, to that place deep within me where He dwells.  There He spent hours tending the fire of love between us.  He spoke to me, interpreting past experiences.  His perfect timing and ways never cease to thrill me.  Obviously, He planned down to the finest of details how He would deliver His messages of love and emphasize key truths through symbolism and repetition.

The cabin itself, sandwiched between a railroad track and a river, served as a megaphone held to the lips of God.  Situated in the midst of continuous movement, this cabin rested quiet and still, save for the gentle vibrations created by passing trains.  Inside my family relaxed, dreamed, and deepened bonds.  Personally, I came HOME while inside a home not my own.  I drew near to my Lord, got VERY STILL, and knew myself better in the process.  This equipped me to love my family out of the overflow of His life.  The Lord spoke to me on a number of subjects:  true sacrifice (what it is and what it isn’t), the importance of stillness, creative grieving (which bears much fruit), and transformational darkness.  What He emphasized most was JOY.  He didn’t just talk about it either.  He gave of His own over and over and over.
Loft I Shared with The Lord and My Daughter

There were messages hidden in the d├ęcor of the cabin, in the floor plan and in the manner in which it was lovingly and thoroughly stocked.  There were messages and opportunities in the last minute changes which made possible more family joining us at the cabin.  There were “mini-retreats” – little private campouts with God and at times with family members in cabin lofts.  God graciously taught me more of what it means to become like a little girl, thereby continuing to mature as a woman loved by Him.  He also spoke to me about the deeper meaning of entering the narrow gate, and I couldn’t help but notice that all the little narrow doors in the cabin were made to look like gates, complete with hardware.  God repeats His invitations over and over!!  The bathroom where I dressed and prepared for the day had numerous black bears frisking about, on the shower curtain, bath mat, in pictures and in items about the room.  God spoke to me through these little figurines and pictures.  One particular morning, I couldn’t help but look deeply into the eyes of two black bears looking up at me interested and concerned.  One held a Christmas tree, the other a bell, and both wore their winter scarves and holiday hats.  They seemed to affirm that I was to continue to listen to the Christmas bells within my own heart – to really “get the message in full” from my Lord during this brief holiday interlude.  And in their playful poses, I heard God’s appeal to spend time engaging in play, play with Him and with my kids – to join them on a horseback ride, to follow His prompts for building community.

Good and Faithful, Father, Lover, Best Friend, Playmate, … thank You for resting and loving me so well!  And thank You for the gift of JOY!!!

Rest in the shadow, Terry