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Name: Linda

Location: Texas

I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am doing what I've wanted to do all my life. I am a Christian and I love the Lord.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Luke 2: 10, 11 (NAS)

The Message

There were some who heard the message
On that dark and lonely night.
Shepherds poor and humble
Whose hearts beat wild with fright.
As glory filled the heavens
And angels sang with joy,
They bowed with sweet acceptance,
Went to find the baby boy.

I will be here Sunday morning. Please join me to read the complete devotional. Thank you so much. I'll be waiting for you.

  posted at 9:45 PM

Sunday, December 16, 2007
Time to Heal

The overriding theme of so many of posts has been learning to trust the Lord in all circumstances. That is because for the past few years it has been the theme of my life. Without going into details (because it involves others who may not necessarily want to share so much in this particular way), I will say that our family has walked through the most difficult trial I could have imagined. When it first entered our lives, I struggled mightily. There was a long period of time when I could not even pray. But the Lord is loving, compassionate and infinitely patient. He finally brought me to the place of trust, and I thought I had at last surrendered completely to Him.

Several weeks ago during our study on The Fruit of the Spirit, Beth Moore talked about the characteristic of gentleness – describing it as bowing to the will of God. She spoke about the different kinds of trials God allows into our lives and our submission to them. She used Jesus and Job as examples. She said that submission involved more than right words and the desire to have the right attitude. We must ask God to come and do a work in our heart.

She spoke about how we suffer wounds during the trials and how those wounds will eventually need to be bound up. It takes time. She said, “Our allegiance is to trust a God who knows that somewhere on the other side is something glorious. If it was allowed, it must have a purpose.”

There is no denying the wounds, but as we allow God to work there is a healing that takes place. Once we have healed, “We bear the marks of the wounds of submission to God.” Those scars are for someone else to see and touch – our testimony that we made it, and they will too.

When I listened to Beth that day, I felt in my heart that I had reached that place of healing. However, about a month ago we were hit with another of those fearful diagnoses, and I found myself plunging back down into the depths. I managed to grab hold of the Lord and didn’t hit the bottom this time. I said all the right things and had the right attitude – but I find I have skipped the healing part this time. I feel wounded, and I need some time to heal.

This is rather “heavy stuff” for this wonderful season, but I just felt it would be all right to share my heart. I’m going to take a little time off to just allow the Lord to do the work in my heart that needs to be done. I find myself incapable of writing anything right now. I think I just need to rest in Him.

I will continue to visit you because the Lord uses you to minister to me in ways I cannot begin to describe. Perhaps I’ll write a little something now and then, and I’ll do my Laced With Grace devotional. I will come back bearing the scars but refreshed and renewed by His grace. And maybe He will allow me to encourage someone else who is walking through difficult times.

With much love,
  posted at 2:09 PM

Monday, December 10, 2007

I have been thinking about this for quite some time. It all began when I watched the movie “The Nativity Story”. I suddenly saw the Christmas Story in a whole new way. I saw it through the prism of suffering. Perhaps it is because it has been such a part of my life in recent years. Or perhaps it is because I know the Lord is teaching me something as I walk through this season of my life. I know He is teaching me because, as is always the case when He is working something within my heart, it is there at every turn. It is the whole thrust of the devotional book I have been using this year, I have heard it taught often and in various places, and the other day I saw it on someone’s blog – this question of the purpose of suffering.

The rest of this devotional is at Laced With Grace (tuesday - Dec. 11th). I will meet you there.

  posted at 7:53 PM

Friday, December 07, 2007
Catching Up

It is that season – a season I love and look forward to with great anticipation – but which can get twisted out of proportion if I get caught up in the “busyness” of it all. Today was a bit like that. I confess up front that I am not a shopper. I especially don’t like it when I feel as though I am aimlessly wandering from store to store, up one aisle and down the next trying to find just the right gift. We did that for hours today, but the good news is we are almost finished – just two more gifts to buy. I’m sure I sound rather like Scrooge. I actually love giving gifts – it’s the shopping part I’m not crazy about. I can’t wait to see the looks on the faces of those I love when we give them their gifts. I imagine that is how the Father feels when we finally reach out empty hands and accept the Gift He offers us. The Gift He gives with such love.

Yesterday we spent the day at my Mom and Dad’s. It is a pleasure to walk into their little home and be greeted with such warmth. They love having us come to visit, and it is so evident. We talked, had lunch and got to sample some of the Christmas cookies my Mom has been busy baking. She has tins and tins of them already made. Delicious! It was a pleasant way to spend the day.

Jared is home from the hospital. He got to come on Wednesday afternoon. Needless to say they are all much relieved. When we talked to them on Thursday, they were all excited about going to the Christmas Tree farm to cut down their tree. Three year old Grace told us all about it. I love hearing that sweet little voice.

(When I read back over what I’ve written I’m reminded of the Mitford series books. “What don’t you love Cavanaugh?” What don’t you love Linda? It’s true. I love so many things. I don’t love shopping, pants without elastic waists, cold weather or rude people.)

Tomorrow evening we sing our Christmas Program in church for the first time – then twice more on Sunday. Yes – I love doing that too. There is always one song that especially speaks to my heart. This year it is a song called “You Came” by Travis Cotrell, David Moffitt, and Sue C. Smith:

You Came

Before You came, we were stranded in the dark,
Bearing wounded hearts, with hope…
Before You came, we were drifting on the sea,
Desp’rate and in need, sinking low.
We cried for help ‘cause we could not save ourselves.

You heard, You saw, You knew and You felt it all.
You wept when You watched us fall, and You could not stay away.
And You came.

And when You came, You were ev’ry hope fulfilled
All that’s good revealed, love divine.
And when You came, You were fellow-ship restored.
You fed us with Your Word, Bread of Life.
When we were crushed underneath the weight of living

You heard, You saw, You knew and You felt it all.
You wept when You watched us fall, and You could not stay away.

And I am overwhelmed, and I am over-come.
I am breathless in You presence.
I am humbled by You love.

You heard, You saw, You knew and You felt it all.
You wept when You watched us fall, and You could not stay away.
And You came.

We rejoice in His coming. We are indeed overwhelmed by the depth of the love that brought Him here. Yes – He came. God’s gift to us.

  posted at 9:01 PM

Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Thoughts on Christmas

I thought I would share some of the quotes I found about Christmas. I hope they bless you.

"The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart."
Helen Keller

"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give,
it's Christmas."
Dale Evans

"Born in a stable,
Cradled in a manger,
In the world His hands have made
Born a stranger."
Christina Rossetti

"Take Christ out of Christmas, and December becomes the bleakest and most colorless month of the year."
A.F. Wells

"You can never really enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father's face
and tell Him you have received His Christmas gift."
John R. Rice

"The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable."
Ralph W. Sockman

"The very purpose of Christ's coming into the world was that He might offer up His life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas."
Rev. Billy Graham

"Christmas is telling time - wondering time. Wonder enough about it and you'll know
and you'll tell about it."
Roy Rogers

"I am not alone at all I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is the time God chooses."
Taylor Caldwell

"It is Christmas every time you let God love someone through you...yes it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand."
Mother Theresa

"It comes every year and will go on forever. And along with Christmas belong the keepsakes and the customs. Those humble, everyday things a mother clings to and ponders, like Mary, in the secret places of her heart."
Marjorie Holmes

"Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man."

"Thanks be to God for His unspeakable Gift.
precious beyond words."
Lois Lebar

  posted at 2:14 PM