Archive | February 2015

Cottage by the Sea #5 – 2015

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Abba Father:
How beautiful this snow and ice look!
Blanketing the earth in diamonds and white.
A feast for the eyes to embrace this sight.
A balm for my heart when everything looks alright.
Innocent and pure it appears to be
What should I fear in this beauty?

The sun rises and the blanket reflects,
The yellows, oranges and reds of sunrise
It’s a lift for the soul a blessed surprise.
Something so dazzling it nearly burns the eyes.
The world seems alive with energy
All because of this immeasurable imagery.

If this part of the world could stop
No one have to work, there be no emergencies.
If adults and children could play as far as eye could see.
If when this art of nature melted gradually,
It didn’t reveal any ravaged tragedies or wounds
If we’d emerge a butterfly from a cocoon.

But tomorrow has troubles of its own,
So I’ll not borrow or think far ahead
But praise You for the wonder my eyes have read
Thank You for each blessing instead
Trust You to provide whatever the need
Have faith in Your every action and deed.

Enjoy the sight and the quiet peace!
Before life erupts again frantically
Barreling down to achieve dramatically
The good and evil deeds of man fast and furiously.
Yes, tomorrow has sorrows of its own
Today for those I will not moan and groan.

Instead look how the ocean spray froze!
Rows of sea foam froze on deck and pier,
Even the sea has frozen on top it appears,
Seashells and seaweed ice encased are dear.
Thank You Abba for this beautiful time out!
I will find ways to rejoice rather than pout!
Amen.
d.f.a.v. 2/26/15
—Donna

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Enough

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Sometimes

When the only

Thing we can say

Is

“I’ll pray.”

Doing so

Is enough.

 

Sometimes

When the need

Far outweighs our

Comfort

“I’ll see.”

Doing so

Isn’t enough.

 

Sometimes

When the cost

Are near and dear

Then

“But I,”

To keep’em

Isn’t enough.

 

Sometimes

When the need

Is deep

Then

“Here’s ten.”

Just given

Isn’t enough.

 

Sometimes

We have to

Dig deep

Pray

“I’m here,

Send me

Use me!”

 

Sometimes

Our idea of

Sacrifice

Is

Pathetic

In light

Of needs.

 

Sometimes

Our cocoon

Chokes the

Spirit

We never

Become

The butterfly.

 

Sometimes

The need

Must be

Met

By our

Hands

And feet.

 

Sometimes

Self-comfort

Keeps us

Blinded

Bond by

Evil

Not freed.

 

Sometimes

We must

Give all

All

For Christ’s

Love

To shine.

    d.f.a.v.

—Donna

 

You Are Who You Are

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When they tell you
You’re put together wrong
Tell them Jesus handled the arrangements.
And if He put these pieces
In this order
There’s no mistake.

For by the grace of God
You are who you are
A being knit together in your mother’s womb
A person whose very number of hairs on their head
Are known by Him.

For He knows the plans
He has for your life and in every life
There is a time for everything
A purpose for existing
In the moment and way you are.

Look up to the Father
Trust Him for we see a poor reflection in a mirror
He sees with eyes of love
With a heart of mercy
For by His grace you are who you are.

So whoever questions who you are
That your decision to live
Your life by the standards He gave
That being in the world
But not part of the world–

That the arrangements of this core of you
Are weird or wrong or unattractive
Who gives them the power to decide?
You have Him to call upon
He knows you before birth throughout eternity.

You’re put together quite well thank you
A work in progress for He
Who begins a good work in you
Will see that work completed
For by His grace you are who you are.
                  d.f.a.v. 2/24/15
—Donna

Scripture used:
1 Corinthians 15:10
Psalm 139:103
Ecclesiastical 3:1-8a
1 Corinthians 13:12
2 Corinthians 6
Philippines 1:6

Secret Sins

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O mankind what woe was done,
Against My daughter, against My son?
Whose innocence cries from whence its gone?
The purity of My precious ones.

How evil are the deeds that dark hath covered!
Know you not I could see them as committed?
I am the Light but not what you wanted
For your hearts are by sins ruined.

Do not think to you this doth not apply,
As if my grace and mercy are your alibi, You too have your secret sins reply
When My Light to you doth cry.

The time drew near and hath arrived
To bring to Light what some have tried
To lock away and think My Light you mocked
Did you forget I will not be rocked?

Exposed with the secret sins you kept
It is a blinded spotlight with which you’re swept.
To the Light it matters not what pleas you’ve now wept
Your decision stays where you hath leapt.

But even though your sin is grave
Exposed now to it you no longer must slave
Turn to me with repentant heart and I will save
Consequences yes but with Me face them brave.

To those who think they hath escaped
Your sins slink on in places shadowed,
My cleansing comes to not be silenced
Come forth now for you will be exposed.

Do not judge these ones caught in their sins
The judgment game you will never win.
Pray now earnestly on your knees and then
Confess, repent, face what might have been.

A spiritual cleansing across this land
In little places, lavish and desert sands
My Spirit will move in warrior bands
Showing the world the stains upon your hands.

Will you my people return to me?
For ’tis only I who can set you free.
Expose your deepest crags before the tree
For the day does approach when all can see.
              d.f.a.v. 2/23/15
—Donna

Forgive Them

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Hated because He knew them.
Really knew them.
Knew their heart’s cores.
Their thoughts.
Their piety.
Their hopes.
Their dreams.
Their motivations.
Condemned because He was blameless.
Never sinned once.
Because He was who He was.
He was Jesus.
Immanuel.
Lord.
Healer.
Compassion.
When evil in men’s hearts won.
Plotting was successful.
He paid the price.
In stripes.
In torn flesh.
In humiliation.
In blood.
In death.
His final words, “It is finished! ”
Prior He spoke,
Father, forgive them.
Forgive them.
Forgive them.
Forgive them.
Forgive them.
Forgive them.
He knows me as thoroughly.
He tells me
To be like Him.
When hated.
When condemned.
When invaded by evil.
When broken.
When shattered.

He never said it would be easy.
                d.f.a.v. 2/20/15
—Donna

Cottage by the Sea #4 – 2015

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Abba Father:
Sit here and watch the storm?
The snow falling in blankets.
Piling up,
Up on the sand…
Oblivating landmarks behind us.
No corner free from the rip,
Roaring sound
That zips and presses solid walls,
And rattles window panes
Announcing it’s presence
Leaving no hope of pretense
That it hasn’t any apologies to make
It intends to wreck havoc
With our lives?
Neither bird, animal or man
Ventures out into this madness.
This freezing
Swirling
Wild dance nature reveals.
The sea spray freezing
In instant imitations
Of itself thrown,
Flung like salty
Cloudy ice sculptures
Onto every structure
In the reach of its artistry.
Come morning, if possible,
I’ll try photographing the
Evidence…
But I won’t hold my breath
Because I can’t plow
My way free.
Not of this or
The latest boxes
I threw hastily into the room.
Images of men in
Black hoods or camouflage ones,
And pop stars on beasts,
Announcing they’ve turned to Satan.
Israel ‘s Prime Minister
Urging all Jews to come home,
To separate themselves
From all other peoples.
Parents starving babies
Hiding children’s existence
Sitting silent rather than reveal
Where they went or
Were taken
Forsaken
By the only one they knew.
Of war torn countries
Populations shrinking as
They bury their dead.
Of martyrs bodies
Falling to earth while
Their souls rise to You.
Another storm.
Man-made
With no apologies
For the havoc it intends
To wreck in our lives.
Leaving no pretense
Of evils existence
Upon earth
And in man.
God have mercy.
Amen.
               d.f.a.v.  2/19/15
—Donna

It Won’t Be Long, Lord

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For me it is no longer a question,

It is a statement.

Jesus, You’re coming back soon.

Any second now The Father

Will look at You and say,

“Go bring Our people home.”

It won’t be long.

It won’t be long.

 

Those who don’t believe in You,

Who cling to man-made gods,

They have killed Believers in You,

Since You were here, Jesus,

Even when You were here.

Lately, they’ve escalated.

Twenty-one beheaded.

Twenty-one beheaded.

 

Used to think, oh, never here

Not here in America

The land of the brave,

The land of the free.

Can’t think that anymore, Lord.

‘Cause America has slipped.

It’s not “In God we trust”.

It’s not “In God we trust”.

 

Our president makes You a mockery,

He makes America a mockery,

Our lawmakers have little restraint

Votes up for the highest bid

So little, so little respect for the original,

And less for Christianity

Less for morals and values.

Less for morals and values.

 

And our hands aren’t clean, I know Lord.

We embraced slavery, waited too long

To become involved in

World War II

Waiting for millions of Jews and others

To be executed.

No, we’re not innocent.

No, we’re not innocent.

 

But I confess Lord, I didn’t expect,

That things would be like this.

Jesus, I never imagined Americans,

Would be so far from You,

Would be so confused,

Could be so blinded to think,

“Wrong is right.

Wrong is right.”

 

Before America became, Lord

There were the Crusades

And piety and slavery

Keeping Your Word

Out of the hands of

We the common man.

It’s hard to deny.

It’s hard to deny.

 

You’re going to judge us soon, Jesus.

Each one of us, Lord,

On our own deeds,

On our own lives,

On our own hearts.

Too late, nearly too late,

No more time to waste,

You’re coming soon, Jesus.

You’re coming soon, Jesus.

 

We’ve been looking for You a long time.

Thousands of years now.

Jesus, I’m longing for You.

Even as I know I face judgment,

Even as I prostrate myself with shame,

I know I’ll also hear,

“Welcome home.

Welcome home.”

        d.f.a.v. 2/17/15

—Donna

 

 

Mission Fields

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Your mission field may very well be
Exactly where God wants you to see
He has a reason for where you are
Be it close to home or very far.
Your assignment may be your family
Where sometimes its hardest to be friendly
Despite the same blood in your hearts
Sharing God’s Word and love can be an art.
Perhaps your mission field is your work,
Where folks are nice or may be jerks
When stress mounts high and tension hisses
Your chances to witness slowly increases.
Your mission field may be a local service project
Yard work, meals, tending to needs, simple logic.
Care for the widows, elderly and disabled
Offering cool cups of water and making them feel stable.
Maybe it will be on foreign soil
Where Jesus will choose for you to toil.
Where you may make history
For dying for telling His Story.
Perhaps your missionary work requires your life
Or how to be a praying wife.
Maybe it will mean you don’t eat
So a child can who suffers in desert heat.
It could even be in your school
Where God equips you with His tools
But it doesn’t matter where your assignment is
You must show the world you are His.
Pray hard and sincere as you start each day
Listen carefully for God to show you the way.
And never forget a single day
To follow through on all God has to say.
                            d.f.a.v. 2/17/14
—Donna

Gratitude

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It was a struggle, Lord.
To step up and bridge the gap
Between my daughter and
Her biological mom.
Doesn’t the mama pain role
Have some kind of cap?
It’s breaking my heart, Father
Easing them toward each other
Mindful once the ice melts
My daughter could hurt
More than she has before
Or again embrace her as her mother.
What if my child decides blood
Creates ties adoption cannot
And again nothing satisfies
She feels ripped away
Despite the fact we didn’t ask
Yet her views were ignored and forgot?
I hear them now giggling
Watching movies and doing nails
And a thousand knives
Are stabbing at my heart
I want to scream love me more
But I know it’s wrong and I exhale.
In a flash You remind me
How much you really understand.
How many times have I done
What I fear my child will do?
Looked back to the past
Ignoring Your outstretched hand?
I’m ashamed as I remember
The number of times I turned
Back to the worldly influence
Clung to the camouflaged lies
Of Satan and traps of misled men
How long did I get myself burned?
The best part of all this
Is the reminder to who I belong
A daughter, of the King of Kings
A sweet calling once again
To stay the course in troubles
And hear my Father’s song.
Though it isn’t easy
It cuts me through and through
I will lay down my heart
For a bridge for them
Because if I’m to be like You
Being selfish isn’t what I should do
Then the visits over
Life picks up to the song
The sweet sound of her laugh
Is shared with me again
She hasn’t forgotten Mams
And my gratitude goes on.
                    2/15/15
Donna

I am Us. She is Us. We are Us.

We have a guest blogger today Readers. Be kind. I asked my friend Richard Reid to allow me to use a post he wrote on Facebook as my “Valentine’s” blog. I’ve known Richard way back to our high school days. His career calling has taken him into the pulpits/pastoral role of Cumberland Presbyterian churches, today near Memphis, Tennessee. This is the first guest blog I’ve invited on fvbf written by a man. (It is a blog from a woman’s point of view living a Christian life.) Richard is my “go to friend/minister” when I have questions about the Scripture and/or it’s application to my life. He speaks, and I try to listen. (Well, most of the time. I learned in the 10th grade his advice on dissecting earthworms or paying attention in Biology might not be successful.) I listen now because he can back up what he’s saying with God’s word. He never did claim to be great at biology. And FYI his wife’s name is Donna too.

…Donna and I were talking about the nature of marriage and divorce. We have been married going on 28 of the 30 years we have been a couple. We’ve successfully raised three kids. Our marriage has weathered some low points and enjoyed some awesome high points. Our family has had plenty of laughter and good times. And our share of sorrows too.

The conversation’s emphasis went to divorce. We’d just learned that another long time couple we know have chosen to go their separate ways. People divorce for many reasons. Some of those reasons we can understand and cannot imagine people remaining in such marriages: infidelity, emotional or physical abuse, or substance abuse. Sudden catastrophic changes in family dynamics – the death of one of their parents or the death of one of their children, can lead to divorce. Sometimes it is because of financial instability.

Yet, while these causes can lead to divorce and do; couples can and do choose to work through issues of finance and infidelity; issues we think would be immediate deal breakers in a marriage. It remains tragic; but there are women and men, who refuse to get out of abusive relationships. Their reasons range from “fear” to acceptance of “that’s just how things are”. But also to “I still love him/her” accompanied with, “I hope I can keep trying and change him/her”.

And we interrupt this conversation with a public service announcement:
YOU WILL NOT CHANGE AN ABUSER AND GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR YOU TO BE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP. God didn’t put His blessings on a poorly conceived relationship in which the person or persons would be an abuser; or be abused. It is a form of infidelity. Abuse means that the marriage vows are broken and the relationship is adulterous emotionally. An abusive spouse is not being ONE FLESH. No one, except one who is having serious mental health issues, abuses their own bodies in anger. GET OUT OF IT….. GET OUT OF THERE AND IF YOU HAVE KIDS – TAKE THEM WITH YOU!

Now we return to the conversation I’m having with my wife:

Donna pointed to empty nest once again as one of the causes it seems for so many of these couples to divorce. The kids, more or less are grown. The role of being a child rearing parent is past. We’re left with two middle-aged people who have been being parents for sometimes more than 25 years. Parents/people who because of life and work sit there and ask themselves:

  • Who am I?
  • Who is this person that I am living with?
  • Is this what I was expecting?
  • Is this what I signed up for?
  • Do I love this person?
  • Does this person love me?
  • Do we even LIKE each other?

At this point those couples who have stayed together to raise their children find there’s nothing else to stay together for. They don’t even like one another anymore.


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During my 30 years in ministry and in counseling with couples and individuals I’ve heard people say, “I don’t know who I am. I need to find me and find out who I am.” They don’t think they have a personal identity anymore; and our society and culture in the United States seems to prize individuality above anything.

They have invested themselves into raising and/or providing for their family. Before they helped raise those kids they invested themselves into the person they married, which often led to reproduction and the kids that they have raised. Now, all these years later when very often the passion has died down and there are no more kids to put our energies into couples ask, “Who am I?” Or perhaps more importantly, “Who are WE?”

I think that is where Donna and I strike the chord of a lasting relationship we seem to KNOW who we are. When we signed up for this life gig, we signed up for each other. We took seriously the vow that the two become one flesh. This is not a euphemism for only having sex or having offspring. We really did become one.

“WE” became OUR identity. “WE” became “US”.

We signed up to spend life together. To raise a family. To love each other. And we do.


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In the course of this conversation we laughingly admit, we don’t always LIKE each other, but we do LOVE each other without question. Sure, the excited and energetically passionate young couple of 28 years ago has long gone. Life and age and health and kids have seen to that; but what remains with the more or less sort of empty nest is “US”.

By that I mean I don’t have to go find out who I am. I know who I am; and I know that Donna is a part of “who I am” just as I am a part of “who she is”. That’s what we signed up for that the two would become one. We are ONE. We never needed a lot of getting out and doing the solo thing… hanging out with our girls or our buddies.

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When we had down time or took some time away from being “parents” to have a date; or a couples vacation or trip; we got a babysitter if needed; and when they were big enough to handle themselves; they stayed home. (Actually they usually went and stayed with a friend for a couple of days and I don’t really want to know, you know, because they were teenagers. And teenagers are teenagers if you know what I mean. LOL).

That is not to say we do not give each other breathing room. We have never expected the other to be right under the other doing what we do. I do things without her. She does things without me. We share some hobbies like antique and vintage glass collecting, but she never cared too much to go fishing with me. I never cared much to sit and watch her cross stitch. That is okay.

We go to separate parts of the house for things. We don’t care about the same kind of television and not always the same kind of music. But we both always know the other is there when we do need each other or want to spend time together; and we do spend time together often.

We chose a long time ago to make US our identity. We have laughed and argued. We have grown apart at times and still came back together. We chose to make things work when not doing so would have been much easier. We have always loved US even if at times we did not like the individual parts of US.

I am US. She is US. We are US. And for US; that is okay. It is who we are. We refuse to give up on each other; or let the other one give up on US; because US is who WE are.

—Richard

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