Soul Fire

I watched her collecting twigs.  She gathered them diligently and then sat down at the fire ring carefully building a pyramid of sticks.  It was the beginning of a nice fire and I told her so.  But she replied, “I don’t have time to build a big fire, I just want to feel the heat now.”  It was 37 degrees and the sun had just set so warmth was a definite need.

IMG_2944She grabbed some dryer lint from our fire supplies and torched the twigs.  They burned big and bright and put off some great flames and heat…for a about a minute.  Her disappointment grew before the last ember faded. A cool breeze tossed the papery white ashes across the campsite leaving no evidence a fire ever existed, just moments before.

IMG_2941We talked about fires and to really feed a fire it needs to be built in stages until the base is hot enough to catch the harder, bigger, solid wood. Then not only does the flame last but the heat that it gives off will continue to give off warmth long after the flames die because the embers of a hardwood continue to give off heat for hours.

101_9417

As we talked we rebuilt the fire and eventually with time and patience and the proper fuel had a fire for smores, supper and snuggling long into the night.  The next morning she was able to add some bark and pine needles with a few small sticks to the still warm embers from the night before.  In no time she had created a lovely morning fire.

It made me think about our faith journeys and what it takes to ignite our passion and walk with the Lord.  We need fuel.  If we slack off and cool down the embers of our faith, they are much harder to rekindle.  The fuel we use to build and grow our knowledge and faith in Christ needs to be constant.  A diet of light twigs such as feel good teachings with a big flourish but little substance will not keep us stoked and on fire for the Lord.

The fire th101_9424at fuels our souls has to be more than just kindling. To be strong in our faith we need to look to the Pillars of Faith.  Those teachers that stood the test of time who lived and died sold out to God.  We need to dig deeply into the word of God and feed on its truth’s.  We need to go regularly to the foot of the cross.

Tossing in some spiritual feel good fluff now and then to fan the flames isn’t a problem as long as the balance of our diet is the solid teaching and truths that will sustain us long after the kindling turns to ash.

Soul Fire Starter Recipe:

15 Minute Tune Up

  • Be still for 2 Minutes
  • Be Thankful for 2 minutes
  • Be Quiet for 2 minutes
  • Be in the word for 5 minutes
  • Be prayerful 4 minutes

Camp Fire starter Recipe:

  • Cardboard Egg Carton or paper Dixie cups
  • Dryer Lint
  • Wax (old candles)

Fill the the containers with dryer lint then pour melted wax over top of the dryer lint.  Sprinkle a little more lint on top to float on the surface.  Cool.  Place in fire build over top and light the fire starter.  It will burn for approximately 15 minutes.

Point to Ponder: What have been good fire starters for you when you’ve hit a cool spot in your faith? How have you gotten your faith journey back on track? Share it with us

ACTION!  Congratulations Lisa from Grove City on winning our April contest.  Our May contest will feature some campfire fun for the family.  Winner will be drawn June 1st.  So leave a comment and sign up to enter!

37 Degrees and Sunny

101_9325The other day I walked out of the house into a bright sunny day, surprised to see the temp in the car read 37.  Car was frosted over but the thought of a coat or jacket was far from my mind as the sun blinded my eyes.   My spirits were high and I felt ready to tackle the day.

Flashback to a week earlier it was 47 degrees and cloudy with a chance of rain and I was bundled up like a mummy wearing a turtleneck, a jacket and a coat!

Pondering the difference of that day and this, I realized it was all about the Sun.  ~ Have you noticed what a difference the sun makes?

DSC_1697

Recently I experienced a beloved friend transition from earth to heaven.  In observing the family surrounding her, I saw the ones walking in the SonShine – making plans to release her to Jesus.  They focused on her pain free life ahead and being grateful for each moment.  While others, seemingly remained cloudy in their acceptance of the inevitable and were unable to relinquish her into the heavenly realm.

DSC_2232Just like navigating a ship, plane or boat in the sunshine; there is a sense of clarity and a vision beyond the end of your vessel.  So too is operating in the SonShine.  There is a clarity and an abilty to think long term and a vision of how the Will of God is at work.

Operating a vessel in cloudy or foggy conditions, leaves room for error in judgment, mistakes and missed opportunities, operating your life away from the Son..yields the same misfortunes.

Are you facing a challenge? Are the Clouds too thick?  Let your forecast be for the Son to shine and  God to reign in
DSC_0881your life.  The Son can make all the difference.

Point to Ponder: What area of your life needs SONglasses?  How can you change what you are doing so that the Light of HIS wisdom mercy and grace can illuminate your cloudy situation?

 

 

 

 

Remembering 9-11

When tragedy struck on 9-11, I was a homeschool mom of 3. Since then I have met survivors, victims families, and taught about 9-11 as history. That day I turned on the computer and recorded in real time my feelings and thoughts. My kids were ages 7, 5 and 10 mos. Below is that journal entry simply cut and pasted here. We read it each year to REMEMBER. (photos are not mine, I tried to find credits where I could~see below)

 My dear sweet ones,                                                                           Sept. 11, 2001

 Today was the worst day in the history of America since I have been born.  We watched with grave disbelief as terrorists forever changed my country.  They brazenly hijacked 4 planes filled with fuel and set out to destroy.  Their first target was the World Trade Center Towers in which nearly 50,000 innocent people worked daily.  They struck at around 9 am, just as their workdays were starting.  Then they struck our center of nations defenses, the Pentagon, and one attempt was thwarted to attack the command center and retreat of the president, Camp David.  That plane was downed about 60 or so miles from here in a clearing in the mountains.  Close to 300 people were killed on the hijacked planes and a total body count can’t even be speculated. 

The thought these terrorists were so close to us, even though it was our airspace is quite sobering.  I have a feeling that this is not the end, but a beginning of testing for America, which used to be known as a super power.  Now, our vulnerability has been shown to the world. 

Praise God that so far, all those we know and love are safe and sound.  

The prevailing feeling of dread and sadness is quite oppressive this evening as we await a State of the Union address from President Bush. The state of the union is pretty bleak at this point. 

You kids watched the disaster today on CNN but I am not sure how much of the magnitude of this disaster you are processing.   It is history in the making and the worst day in the history of our United States.  I pray that it will be only a memory for you and that in your lives you will not experience human casualties such as we are facing. 

We are a nation in mourning.  Well over 200 Firefighters are dead and 78 Police are missing and presumed killed.  The confidence in our nation has been shaken.  TV reports are calling this a second Pearl Harbor.

 President Bush just spoke and quoted Psalm 23.  He is a Godly man and I pray his wisdom will prevail and he will be sensitive to the leading of God as the details of this tragedy are sorted out. 

I put you both to bed tonight and read to you Psalm 94.  It speaks of God’s revenge upon the wicked and of how HE will be our refuge in times of trials and fear.  He is the rock upon which we stand and our mighty fortress.   At times like these I am so thankful for the legacy my family has instilled in me – The legacy of a powerful and just God who is our defender and friend, comforter and convictor, our rock, our fortress our haven and our healer.  I pray that you will also carry that legacy forward and hold fast to it at times when faith is so easily and brutally shaken. 

This day, September 11 will be one I will never forget.  It is a day I never thought would come.  I picked up our precious baby Rachel and I feared what was in store for her sweet life down the road.  As I tucked each of you and touched your soft skin and hair I ached for your safety and assurance horrific things such as happened today would never touch your lives. 

I shut out the light and walked away with a renewed determination to work at instilling the scriptures and the values that are found in the bible.  God forbid that one day you live in a world that prohibits bible ownership, you will have the truths in your heart and the hymns of praise will be on your lips.

 I love you my little lambs, my gifts from God.  I go to bed tonight with a heavy heart for all those kids who will be waiting up for parents that will never come home.  For all the promises made by parents who will never return to fulfill them.  I go to bed feeling thankful though somewhat guilty for our safety and our life.  May God continue to protect us all and keep us together as a family until His return.

 Love,

Mom 

9-10-2011: I hope we remember how we felt the next day also. The soar of patriotism. Pride in our country, unabashed praying in public, compassion for neighbors and strangers who were grieving.  We can’t go back to 9-10-01 and undo the tragedy.  But we can go back to 9-12-01 and revisit and renew our hope in a country of people who were united and prayerful through loss.

Point to Ponder: Were you more patriotic in 2001 than you are in 2011? Do you trust God more or less now than in 2001?

PHOTO: Ariel  (Det. Greg Semendinger/NYC Police Aviation Unit)

Prayer at crosss http://saintmychaljudge.blogspot.com/  911 Praying photo

Skyline New York Mag . com

Life’s Tsunamis

In reading about deadly storm surges and tsunamis, I learned the height and speed of the water are determined by the landscape of the deep ocean floor. What we see in the surge, is based on what lies unseen in the formation of the ocean floor.

In December 2004 a tsunami hit Indonesia and left more than 150,000 people dead or missing and millions more homeless in 11 countries, making it the most destructive tsunami in recorded history. It was a normal day. Sunny blue skies, but unbeknownst to the masses, an earthquake deep in the Indian Ocean generated enough energy to send a wall of water rushing the shorelines and waterways hundreds of miles away. There was no real warning for many.

Walls of water can rush at 600 MPH leaving in their wake desolation and devastation.

Tsunamis can be a result of seismic activity or storms.

The 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia affected people who didn’t feel the earthquake and were nowhere near the epicenter, yet the consequences for many were life altering.

Occasionally life can resemble a tsunami leaving desolation and devastation in its wake. Conflict, betrayal, a lie, a diagnosis and a clear sky day can turn on a dime without warning. What about the times when we are caught up in the surges of someone else’s life. We aren’t the cause or even near it when it happens yet we are rocked by its shockwaves…often unexpectedly.

Surviving a tsunami or storm surge is about leverage.

Our only salvation from being swept away in a surge is being tethered to something larger and stronger than ourselves and the force of the surge itself.

Emotional tsunami’s can enter our lives without warning. Being prepared and assured of a solid foundation can help us weather the surge. How will you stand firm in the face of that diagnosis, that loss, that grief, that broken trust?

Our Creator promises to be a refuge.

Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Point to Ponder: What lies unseen in our hearts? What determines the force of our surges, of our waves as they crash ashore? Where is our stronghold?

%d bloggers like this: