Sunday, October 9, 2011

Missed Something...

Earlier this year, I read a phenomenal little book called "Union and Communion" by Hudson Taylor.  The LORD really used it to speak to me about how He sees me.  We journeyed through Song of Solomon and  the story laid out in chapter 1 has become very dear to me.  Just like that bride, I so often say that I don't look like I'd like to look for my Lord.  I'm dark, world-scorched, and yet... He thinks I'm lovely!

That's where my conversation with the LORD began this morning.  Oh, how I wish that I obeyed Him better, proclaimed Him louder, looked more like Him... BUT, rather than get lost in those thoughts, I remind myself that He loves me and He thinks I'm lovely.  Then, rather than turn away from Him and hide my face, I can look at Him unashamed and listen as He speaks to me through His Word.

I was a little surprised when I felt prompted to go to these verses from Song of Solomon.  After all, I'm studying in Ephesians.  But, I'm so glad that I did!  Did you know that, according to Philippians 3:1, it is not irksome that the Lord tell us and teach us things over and over?  I love that!  Because, I had missed something when I had been in this passage before... Verse 5 of Chapter 1 records the bride saying, "I am very dark, but lovely..."

She believed what He said about her!  I have always stopped one step short of this!  I have no problem with the "I'm dark" part.  There are a million things about myself that I wish were different for Jesus' sake!  I'm learning to believe that He thinks I'm lovely.  But, did you catch what she says?  "I am very dark BUT lovely" (emphasis mine).  She took what He said about her and believed it about herself!

As I wrote once before (, I thought the Lord wore rose-colored glasses where I was concerned.  Not true.  When God speaks something, it IS.  He spoke the world into being (Genesis 1).  His Words do not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11).  My response needs to be like that of Mary when the Lord sent Gabriel to tell her that she had been chosen to be the mother of Jesus, "let it be to me according to Your word" (Luke 1:38).

I am so-loved, even in my world-scorched condition, that God sent His Son to die for my sins (John 3:16, Romans 5:8).  He says that, because of Jesus, I am holy and blameless in His sight (Ephesians 1:4).  Because of Jesus, I am lovely!

Come on friends, you've seen it before.  A woman who has lived her life thinking that no one found her attractive acts the part.  Her head stays low.  She has low self-esteem.  BUT, when all of the sudden, she comes to believe that someone thinks she is beautiful, things start to change!  Her eyes lift.  Her countenance changes, and she truly becomes more lovely! 

Lord, please help me to truly believe that I am lovely.  Help me to let that truth resonate throughout my soul this day because I know that as it does, I will become more and more who I want to be for You - who You designed me to be in You.  Thank You for wooing me once again with Your Word!  You are always faithful and true!  I love You, Lord!

One last thing... He thinks YOU are lovely too!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lean In...Quick!

I am a visual girl.  I am easily distracted by what I see.  I also love visuals - pictures - to replay in my mind to help me understand things.  God knows that.  He created me that way and in His graciousness, He often paints a picture for me of the lessons He's teaching me.  This is what He's been showing me...

Last week, we had opportunity to host a number of people out at our farm.  Understand that we are a little less than a third done the renovations inside our old farm house.  People seem full of curiosity as to what we are doing as we make this house home.  I was stressed.  The To Do list seemed a mile long and the time short.  I was anxious and distracted and as only the LORD can do, I sat down with my devotional book and Bible in hand and turned the page to see that my lesson was from Luke 10:38-42 on Mary and Martha!

The Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42 NIV)

Now we could spend a LONG time on the lessons from this story but the point that the LORD was trying to get through to me that day was that I could get all worried and upset about what people would think and everything that I had to prepare or I could make the right choice and listen to Him.  He'd walk me through what actually needed to be done and what's more, He'd walk me through it with joy.  I was too distracted to recognize exactly what my response to Him was but, in hindsight, I'm pretty sure it went something like this... "Lord, You don't understand... I need to... They'll want..." and on from there.  I spent the whole day flustered.  In fact, being flustered gave way to frustration and frustration to exhaustion and impatience... you get the picture.  The day was anything but victorious and I collapsed into bed that night feeling a failure.

I am so grateful that the LORD's mercies are new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness!  The next morning, He woke me early.  Once again, I turned the page.  The questions asked, "What has Satan stolen from you?  What are some 'weapons' Satan has trusted in as he's battled against you?  How could you use this knowledge to shield yourself from his attacks?" (90 Days With Jesus - The One and Only, Beth Moore, Day 56, pg. 270)

The LORD replayed the events of the day before and showed me how satan played on my "failures".  He used the weapons of perfectionism, condemnation, self-loathing, despair and kept the invading amidst such busyness that it was hard to be still enough to hear the LORD talk me through the attack.  Then He showed me how I had surrendered jewels of my inheritance to the enemy.  I'd say, "it's too hard" then I'd make a mistake and hear "see, you can't do it".  I'd add to that, "I"ll never get it right," and surrender my hope.  The invasion of temptation and accusation raged on and on and I kept taking one step back and then another step back, constantly surrendering more and more until I had given up all freedom, joy, hope, peace...

The LORD reminded me of Ephesians 6:10-18, where we're instructed on how to battle and repeatedly told to "stand" against the enemy's assaults.  It says, "in all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one" (vs. 16). 

Those flaming darts are going to come.  Make no mistake about it.  The LORD told us they would.  And contrary to what I think I believed in my head, we're going to feel them!  They're going to assault our emotions and we are going to be tempted to take a step back and surrender ground to the enemy of our souls.  But don't do it!  Quick!  Lean into your shield of faith.  With every blow, stand firm behind that shield!  The smell of the flame says, "you can't" - lean into the declaration "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).  When you get walloped with "you're a failure" - lean into the promises of Ephesians 1:3-14.  Because of Christ, I am blessed, chosen, holy and blameless before God, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, lavished with grace!  I've obtained an inheritance!  Take that!  That's not only leaning into your shield that's learning to weild the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God!

Had I but listened to the Lord and leaned into my Shield the first day, there wouldn't have been so much surrendered plunder to take back, but the LORD used that to paint me a picture of how imperative it is to use my shield and to show me that though satan is a "strong man", amazing things happen when we have faith in "one stronger than he" as Christ "attacks and overpowers him", taking "from him all his weapons he trusted in, and divides up his plunder" (see Luke 11:21-22).

LORD, please continue to help me recognize the weapons that are so commonly used against me.  Help me to pay attention to the thoughts that are crossing my mind and take captive all thoughts that don't fall in line with the Truth of Your Word.  Please keep me from being so busy that I'm too distracted to hear You as my Commander.  Jesus paid an immeasurable price for my inheritance.  Help me not to surrender any part of it and lead me, shield and sword in hand, armor on to victory!  In Jesus' Name, amen!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

He Danced!

I learned something new about the Lord this week.  He danced!  I'm enjoying some wonderful moments with Jesus as I contemplate Him in the book "Jesus - 90 Days With the One and Only" by Beth Moore.  The LORD has really used that as a tool this week to show me some pretty awesome things about Him and myself.  Listen to this...

In that same hour He rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth" (Luke 10:21).

Oh, how I wish I were schooled in the original Greek and Hebrew languages!  I am constantly amazed at how very rich the Word of God is!  It is constantly deeper and fuller than I thought.  Let me set the stage...

In Luke 10, Jesus has sent out 72 disciples, two by two, to teach and heal.  They have come back from the various towns and villages "full of joy" saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!" (vs. 17).  Christ takes a moment to affirm the authority that He has given them and then to teach that there is even greater cause for joy - that their "names are written in heaven" (vs. 20).  That is the setting for verse 21.  "In that same hour" Christ rejoiced - and not the same word for the joy of the disciples - His "joy is agalliao, meaning 'to exult, leap for joy, to show one's joy by leaping and skipping, denoting excessive or ecstatic joy and delight." (Jesus - 90 Days With the One and Only, Day 53, pg. 254)

Can't you just picture it?  Christ was so excited for His disciples to be understanding these mysteries that He leaped for joy!  He skipped for delight!  God's children were getting it!  I don't know why it caught me so by surprise.  Jesus dancing with joy.  We do it too.  We watch our children take their first steps... We've assured them that they can do it... We've cheered them on... and then watched with sheer delight as they've done it!  We've been more excited than they were.  We've snatched them up, spun them around and rejoiced!  We've experienced agalliao!

This was such a profound blessing to me in light of "Road Signs and Guideposts" (  I am learning to tell myself the truth about who and Whose I am.  I am learning to dare to believe that, in His authority, I can take great plunder ( and not only is my Lord teaching me and cheering me on, He's dancing in delight with each step I take!  Oh, how I praise You, Lord!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pure Joy!

Pure joy!  The Lord used a single word to show me an incredible lesson!  I don't know how many times I have read James 1:2,  Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds but it's been many, many times!  The problem is that though I read the words exactly as they are shown above, my mind translated it into a faulty, inaccurate version that read something like this... whenever I face trials of many kinds, if I just look hard enough, there's got to be a little bit of joy to be found somewhere.  Do you see the error?  As I was reading that verse this week the word "pure" jumped off the page at me!  Pure.  As in 100%.  Like the 100% pure cinnamon container sitting in my pantry.  Whoa!
With Jesus, it is not only possible but we are supposed to consider (count it up, account for) it as pure joy whenever (at all times) we face trials of many kinds.  Not a little bit of joy mixed up with a whole lot of unexpected yuck but PURE JOY!  Friends, if we want to do more than survive and thrive when those unexpected, unwelcome experiences of life come our way, we need to change our way of thinking about them.  I don't profess to have this all figured out but I know it's going to involve me placing unlimited trust in my Trustworthy God! 

He wants me to be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience and let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that [I] may be perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing (James 1:3-4 AMP).  He calls me to trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5 NIV) and exercise a sincere and unqualified faith (the leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) (2 Timothy 1:5 AMP).  When He says that in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28a NIV) He does, in fact, mean "all" things!

Dear Father, this is a jam-packed lesson in that one little word and I am so far from comprehending how to live this lesson out!  Please help me to recognize what I am thinking when life's trials cross my path.  Help me to throw off the sentiments of pride that say "I don't deserve..." or "it's not fair..." and remind myself instead that You have a good plan for me and that even in "this" situation, You are working "all" things together for my good.  Help me to lean my entire personality upon You - emotions and all - and trust that You have the power to do what needs to be done and the wisdom to know what that is!  In Jesus' Name, amen!

Road Signs and Guideposts - part 2

Why is it so important that we know we're forgiven?  I mean really know that there's complete forgiveness in Christ?  I believe there are two reasons.  The first is that without knowing that are failures can be forgiven, we don't have the courage or the peace in our heart to practice what we've seen and heard in the Word of God (see Philippians 4:9).  The second is related to the first and I think it is best summed up in the one word - plunder!

But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.  "Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man...(Mark 3:27-28 ESV)

I've always found it rather odd that these verses came next to each other in Scripture.  It always sort of felt like a completely random change in thought!  The thing about the LORD is - nothing is random!  As I thought about it, Ephesians 6:14-15.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (emphasis mine).  In our battle against the strong man, the gospel of peace - the fact that our sins can be completely forgiven - makes us ready for the battle!  These two verses in Mark are so perfectly intertwined!  Jesus is telling us that plunder is possible and in the next breath He's answering our knee-jerk reaction "I can't do that!  Don't You know how often I fall completely short?!"  Jesus is giving us the peace and the courage to take Him at His Word and take some unbelievable plunder from our enemy's house!

So what comes to your mind when you think of plunder?  Plunder is the lost, hurting people who have yet to receive that gospel of peace.  Plunder is the vast inheritance that the LORD desires to give His people that can't quite believe Him enough to reach out and experience it.  What lies have you believed that keep you bound in the enemy's house instead of walking with Christ as a free man?  Has he told you that plunder isn't possible?

Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go?  But the Lord says, “The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved.  For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children... All the world will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.”  (Isaiah 49:23-25, 26b NLT)

Plunder is why Christ came!

...and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.  When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.  And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins (Isaiah 53:10b-11 NLT)
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong... (Isaiah 53:12a NIV).

And guess what else!  The last part of that verse goes on to say that He makes intercession for the transgressors!  He's pleading our case in the courtroom of Heaven and praying for us to be victorious!  It doesn't get any better than that!

Father, so often I find myself battling with unbelief!  Instead of remembering that You sent Your Son so that great plunder could be taken from the kingdom of darkness and that we are to be more than conquerors in Jesus (see Romans 8:26-39), I drop courage on the floor and think that You can't possibly be refering to me.  How much plunder am I leaving in the enemy camp because I don't take You at Your Word?  Oh, Lord forgive me as You have promised and get me going!  Faces come to mind of people I love that are bound in chains of lies.  May I battle on my knees, Sword in hand, You by my side... and persevere as the plunder mounts!  In the Name of Jesus, Amen!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Road Signs and Guideposts - part 1

Set up road signs; put up guideposts.  Mark well the path by which you came...

Jeremiah 31:21 (NLT)

I seem to get detoured a lot on my journey with the Lord.  Easily distracted...  A short attention span...  I am so grateful that the Lord does not find it irksome to keep teaching me, often the same things, over and over again (see Philippians 3:1).  Seeing as we're told to set up road signs and mark well the path that we've travelled by, it seemed fitting to set up these guideposts in a place where you might find them helpful to you as you journey.

I didn't walk in victory much yesterday.  Instead, I was distracted by worrying about things beyond my control - about "what if's" that may never come to be.  I gave in to the shifting sands of emotions like dismay and discouragement rather than building my "house" on the solid rock of God's Word (see Matthew 7:24-29).  I woke later than I intended this morning.  I was tired and chose to roll over a time or two.  The whole truth is that my heart condemned me and hid myself like Adam and Eve when God came to visit with me (see Genesis 3).  It's a long road that I'm marking this morning, but if you ever struggle with condemnation, I invite you to grab your Bible and follow these signs...

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 1 John 3:19-20 (ESV)

For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11 (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9 (ESV)

I heard the whisper, "you'll never get this right.  You'll fall again."  I hate that I give the accuser of the brethren so much ammunition, but why am I giving him an audience?  According to Zechariah 3 God doesn't!

I was given another vision. This time Joshua the high priest was standing in front of the LORD's angel. And there was Satan, standing at Joshua's right side, ready to accuse him. But the LORD said, "Satan, you are wrong. Jerusalem is my chosen city, and this man was rescued like a stick from a flaming fire."  Zechariah 3:1-2

LORD, You've plucked me from the fire and I belong to You!  My righteousness is like filthy rags (see Isaiah 64:6) but You have clothed me in Your righteousness and You tell me that that is something to "behold".

Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, "Remove the filthy garments from him." And to him he said, "Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments." And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments.  Zechariah 3:3-5 (ESV)

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Hebrews 10:22

LORD, I am not what I'd like to be for You, but You think I'm lovely!  (see Song of Songs 1:5-6, 8)

My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away..." Song of Songs 2:10
LORD, Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.  Psalm 90:14 (ESV)

LORD, You have proclaimed freedom for me this morning.  You have removed from me a spirit of despair and replaced it with gladness!  The very things promised to us because of Jesus!  Blessed be Your Name, O LORD!  (see Isaiah 61:1-3)

(watch for part 2 to show us what we can do as a result)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Let's Talk

The Lord woke me early yesterday morning.  He woke me from a dream where I had been yelling and swearing.  Another dream troubled me.  I didn't like how I had acted in them and I awoke feeling condemned and ashamed.  Was this what was in my heart?  I debated going back to sleep but instead chose to come and sit with the Lord.  He was wooing me.  I made my way to Our spot.  From my chair I could see my son sleeping.  I watched him sleep and I found myself praying, "LORD, protect him!"  Then I thought of Kayleigh (my cousin's child who was tragically killed in an accident less than a week ago).  Surely her mom and dad had often prayed for her safety yet they are burying her this week...

"So, why pray, LORD?  Why bother?"  (I'm not even sure I should open my mouth like that.)

"I'd kind of like to sit down with You and talk this through!"  (Like what are You doing?!  Demanding answers from the Most High.  Surely that isn't an acceptable tone!)

I remind myself that we live in a sinful, dying world.  What would make me think that I have earned the right to be immune?  I remind myself not to lean on my own understanding.

"Your ways are not my ways..."

I take my seat and start voicing thanks - an acceptable choice - unsure of where our conversation will go but no longer demanding the direction.  I think of the approaching day.  So much to do.  The LORD reminds me of another mother, ten or so years ago, who He woke early on just such a day.  The LORD loved her so much that He wanted to spend time with her to prepare her for the day ahead - Thanksgiving 2001... The tape of the story plays through in my mind.  He wanted to love on Carole ( and give her an anchor for the day ahead - the day she would lose her daughter Shari in a car accident.  Then it hits me!  Lose her daughter...

"LORD, I am here - literally in this Our spot because Carole lost Shari."  (That was the part of Carole's story that proved in my mind that this lady's relationship with the LORD was "real".)

"LORD, that's what I wanted and I am forever changed!  I know there are others - many others - whose lives are forever transformed by the message You delivered through the woman Carole came to be through this tragic loss.  Is that an acceptable trade off?  My good from her pain?"

I doubt it.  For a mother whose arms ache to hold a lost child, it's an insufficient substitute but it is a glimpse of God's redeeming power - His committment to work all things together for good...

I have no answers to the questions I would have demanded from the Most High.  But, I have reassurance that He is in control.  I have no idea what good could ever be worked from such a tragedy as what my cousins are facing but I do know there are ripples in the water and they carry a long way - even when they're no longer perceptible on the surface.

I return to the question that started it all.  Why pray?  Why bother?  Because somehow, in the dialogue, perspectives change.  I change.  And I return to prayer for my son - not completely without fear - but entrusting my son to the Hands of the One Who gave His life for me...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place?
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.
They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their Savior.
Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Psalm 24:3-6

I'm not sure how to distill the vast wealth of treasures in this verse down to coherent thought, but as I read these verses this morning, it struck me that this is a summary of what the Lord has been teaching me through His Word thus far in 2011.

I've come to the conclusion that the one that we tell the most lies to is ourself.  I am quite good at it.  I tell myself things like "I'll never get it right," "I can't do it," "it's too hard," "The Lord is disappointed with you..." and these things tempt me to fear other falsehoods like "if you keep messing this up, God is going to give up on you. He can't forgive you endlessly."  When these are the thoughts that my mind is dwelling on, my emotions spiral out of control.  They start to lead me and I run to idols (for me, food) for comfort, I waffle in unbelief and my prayer life loses it's power.  I become a wounded warrior and I cower in the dark.  It's not a good place to be and having tasted the difference between darkness and light, I praise God that He lovingingly calls me forth out of darkness.

Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think upon these things."

The Greek word translated "think" here is logizomai.  It's an accounting term that tells us to take an inventory, reason, reckon, think on.  It's the same word as Paul uses in Romans 4 when he tells us that Abraham believed the Lord and it was "credited" to him as righteousness.  So, we are instructed to take an inventory of our thoughts.  What am I counting up in my head?  What am I accruing as who I am and what I can or can't do?

God wants us to dwell on what is "true".  Psalm 25:4-5 reads, "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." What I can consider truth is greatly effected by my emotions but the truth of God's Word is unchanging.  "LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless" (not perfect, but as much as it depends on me, there is nothing between me and God or man that I have not tried to make right) "and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart."

Do you want to receive blessing from the Lord?  Do you want to have a right relationship with God our Savior?  Read His Word.  Hide it in your heart.  Find out what is really true about Who He is, who you are and what He can do in and through you.  Take an inventory of your thoughts.  How do they measure up with the truth of God's Word?  Have you become good at telling yourself lies?  Let's allow the Lord to begin changing that - beginning today.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wooing the Wild

The Lord is showing me so much about His incredible love for us through the three horses that are on the farm we are purchasing!  We are making nearly daily trips out to what will soon be our "home".  What draws us?  Well, in addition to the absolutely beautiful frost on the trees, the wide open spaces, the millions of stars piercing the black, night sky... we are drawn to the pasture that is home to "Angel", "Sunshine" and "Sarah".  Angel is somewhere around 15 years old while her 2 colts are around 6 and 7.  They have only ever been halter-broke.  Due to circumstances beyond his control, the owner hasn't spent any time with them the past number of years and they have grown somewhat "wild".  But we love them.
I can't explain why.  We just do.  And so, over the past number of weeks, we have begun "wooing" them.  It's been our delight!  We take them their favorite treats and introduce them to new ones.  We keep them well-fed and after the events of "By Bit or Bridle" (, we have made a path through the deep snow for them that leads right up to our barn.  Though they don't understand all that we say, we just keep talking to them because they are learning to recognize our voices.  I think they're even starting to recognize their names!

When we first started visiting them, we'd have to search the pasture to find them.  They'd approach us cautiously and sniff the treats we offered before they chose to sample them.  My husband even tied on snow shoes and coaxed them to the barn the first time - bribing them with carrots all the way!  But now, they are beginning to stay closer to home.  When we approach the lane, we roll down the window and call their names.  They gallop to the place where we'll meet to feed them.  Much to our delight, they are learning to trust us!

We've started brushing them and they seem to like our grooming touch.  Sarah absolutely loves to be scratched behind her ears and Sunshine requires the odd scolding when she doesn't share the food.  Though sometimes they back away when we take a hold of them by their halters, they are pretty lame attempts at resistance.  We are wooing the wild.

How much more does our Heavenly Father woo us?!  He is persistant in His kindnesses to me.  He keeps coming to meet me with His hands full of provisions.  When I am wandering away from home, He calls my name.  He even blazes a path out to get me when the way has grown too deep.  Though I don't understand everything He is teaching me all of the time, He just keeps talking gently to me.  And I'm learning.  I'm learning to trust His touch and even His correction.  I'm learning to trust HIM. 

I think this will be the theme for 2011.  I can see, by watching the horses, that it's going to take some hard work for them to get to really know us.  But it's not drudgery to me.  It's a wonderful adventure!  And I'm sure that this year with my Lord will only be more so!  He loves me so much more than we could ever love these old horses!  He's committed to working with me, teaching me, grooming me... loving me!

"for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose." (Philippians 2:13)  "The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

And I'm so grateful!