Tag Archives: faith

She Leapt and Walked

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Today I walked.  I mean I really walked!  Outside…for a long time as the sun was just beginning to embrace a new day.
I walked because of an invitation from someone this past week.  She said to me “Come and walk with us” and then told me about the group she walks with.  She told me the time and place to meet.  Something about her invitation reminded me of Paul’s invitation to the lame man in the 14th Chapter of Acts: “…Stand upright on your feet and walk.”  But as soon as my friend issued her invitation my inside gargoyles got busy with their discouraging voices.  “It’s too early!  It’s too far! You’re too old!  You’re too busy! What if it’s too hot, cold, rainy, snowy, storming, freezing,” and on and on and on went the chorus inside my head.  But my voice (and my faith) responded, “OK, I will see you there.”  I thought again about the lame man’s response to Paul’s command.  The scripture tells us “he leapt and walked.”  I knew my response was very different.   No, I wasn’t leaping at this opportunity to walk with a friend and to meet some people in my community.  Last night, as I set my alarm to go off at “way-too-early” o’clock I reminded myself that I could always hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.  It would not matter if I chose not to go.
But something amazing happened!  I woke up twenty minutes before the alarm was set to go off.  I mean I REALLY woke up!  Wide awake…and ready to go.  I think my gargoyles must have still been sleeping because there was no inner discouragement or negativity.  I was dressed and out the door with coffee in hand just as a sliver of sun peeked over the mountain.  I paused to take in the cool air and dawning light, offering a praise prayer for this moment of joy before continuing on to the meeting place.
This morning, only one other walker came…someone I did not know.  After some brief introductions we set out on our journey together.  She led the way as our conversation flowed and our feet strolled along paths strewn with autumn leaves.  We talked and walked.  We talked about our families and homes.  We talked about our community.  And we talked about our faith and love of God’s Word.  I learned from my new friend a new way of making scripture alive by telling the sacred stories as if they were my very own.  And I was reminded that we all share similar struggles and joys along this journey of life.  All that in a single morning walk in autumn!

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As we returned to our cars and shared good-byes I thought of a quote by Karen Kimsey-House in her book Co-Active Leadership:  Five Ways to Lead.  “When someone is walking beside us, we have more courage to walk into the unknown and to risk the dark and messy places in our journey.”  As these words passed through my mind I silently offered a prayer of gratitude for my new friend and sister in Christ AND for the lame man’s example of leaping and walking by faith at Paul’s invitation.
This evening as the sun has traveled throughout its course and is sending out it’s last rays of the day I am reflecting on that sweet, simple invitation to walk. I am glad to have been invited. I am also glad for Christ’s invitation to come and walk with Him.  My prayer is that in the coming days I will be wide awake and ready for opportunities to pass along the invitation to “walk in love, as Christ has loved us.”  (Ephesians 5:2).  Whether that invitation is to share a morning moment or a lifetime of discipleship may it bring the renewal of spirit of a fresh, cool autumn dawn.
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Photo: Timothy Hernandez

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” -John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir

If you would like to more about GraceStone Sanctuary, please visit our web site at gracestonesanctuary.com

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Dog Days of Summer

 “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time.” ~John Lubbock, “Recreation,” The Use of Life, 1894
IMG_0881These are strange and breathless days, the dog days…” ― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
It’s August.  Hot, humid, sticky August.  It’s the “dog-days-of-summer” and everyone is just trying to stay cool.  Lemonade and iced tea flow through the kitchen like a river over shiny, cold stones of ice.  Even the occasional rain shower is cause for celebration.  The heat of summer begs us to pause in the shade and be still.
As I sat on the porch this morning and looked out at the flowers struggling in the heat I was reminded of a scripture in the book of James.  It says, “The sun rises with its blazing heat and burns the plant; its flower falls off, and its beauty is destroyed.” (James 1:11)    Sounds fairly hopeless, doesn’t it?  But a little later James talks about tests and temptations and gives a message of hope… “Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a temptation, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him.”  (James 1:12)
As I sat there in the morning summer heat pondering James’ words I heard a swift strong breeze rustling the leaves of the trees as it approached.  It’s coolness blew through me and went on its way.  That is when I found my own hope for the day.  That “pneuma” or Holy Spirit is what keeps me refreshed when the going gets tough and I find myself in some sort of heated challenge or trial.  When I am open to the wind of the Holy Spirit I am refreshed and renewed.
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So just for today, grab your tall glass of lemonade and a friend.  Find some shady spot to strengthen one another in faithful living.  Remind someone today of God’s promise of love and the Holy Spirit’s refreshing gift.

If you would like to know more about GraceStone Sanctuary, please visit our website at gracestonesanctuary.com

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Be Open to the Impossible!

Day 7 January 7, 2014

New Beginnings

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”  ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Imagine Six

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” -Saint Francis of Assisi

The old divines talked about the gift of faith. It seems to me that there is an earlier gift, a desire, an openness to receive the light when and if it is offered. This openness is a quality of perception like poetry or divination or the wonderful imagination of a happy child.
— Morris West in A View from the Ridge

“Most children are open to extraordinary possibilities.  Because of their limited experience they often  approach situations in life without a predetermined outcome or judgement.  They have the unique ability to be available to ‘the impossible’.   May my own openness become more like that of a child…”    Trish Hernandez

And Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)


-S-T-R-E-T-C-H-

Day 318  November 16, 2013

Today, see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily, but also those who need it so much.” -Daphne Rose Kingma

rubber bands stretch

“Work with only rubber bands today.”  from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“Some people (are) like rubber bands–willing to stretch but eager to snap back into place at the first opportunity.” ― Stephanie Bond

“Sound when stretched is music. Movement when stretched is dance. Mind when stretched is meditation. Life when stretched is celebration.” ~Shri Shri Ravishankar Jee

“Some people suggest thinking outside the box.  What if we also stretched ourselves to think outside the familiar circles we travel in from day to day?” -Trish Hernandez

“He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do.”  John 6:6


Hope Grows

Day 260  September 19, 2013

“God can inject hope into a absolutely hopeless situation.”   ― Mark Evans

Hope in Brown Field by Trish Hernandez

Hope in a Brown Field
by Trish Hernandez

“How now brown cow?  Work only with brown materials today.  Try working on a brown surface for a real challenge.”  -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”  ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

“My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white. My eyes are greyish blueish green, but I’m told they look orange in the night. My hair is reddish blondish brown, but its silver when its wet, and all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.”   ― Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”   ― Pablo Neruda

“Even in the grave, all is not lost.”   ― Edgar Allan Poe


Balancing the Glass Balls

Day 228  August 17, 2013

“Faith gives you an inner strength and a sense of balance and perspective in life.”  ― Gregory Peck

“Be balanced.  Work with the weights of things to create something that’s perfectly balanced on a small point….”  -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

BALANCE

BALANCE

“Here’s a nice image for a life in balance,” she said. “You’re juggling these four balls that you’ve named work, family, friends, spirit. Now, work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it bounces back. The other balls they’re made of glass.”
“I’ve dropped a few of those glass balls in my day. Sometimes they chip, sometimes they shatter to pieces.” ― James Patterson

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”― Rumi

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


Consider the Lilies

Day 204  July 24, 2013

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.  Luke 12:27

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“Ask a friend …for a suggestion of what to do today….”  -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“Look to the lilies how they grow! ‘Twas thus the Saviour said, that we, Even in the simplest flowers that blow, God’s ever-watchful care might see. ” – David Macbeth Moir

Meaning of the Tiger Lily:  a flower that represents mercy and compassion;  the orange color symbolizes energy, balance, and enthusiasm.   

“Jehovah” by Amy Grant

Consider the lilies of the field
Solomon dressed in royal robes has not the worth of them
Consider the lilies of the field
He takes after each and every need
Leave all your cares behind
Seek him and you will find
Your father loves you so

Consider the lilies of the air
For all of the diamonds in all the earth have not the wealth of them
Consider the creatures of the air
Jehovah loves them with tender hands
He knows your every care
His touch is always there
To see you through the night

[Chorus:]
And Jehovah I love you so
And Jesus I want you to know
For all you’ve done for me to set me free
I’ll never let you go

Consider the lilies of the field
For how much more does he love his own if Yaweh cares for them
Consider the creatures of the air
He takes after each and every need
If we ask Him for bread
Will He give us a stone
Jehovah loves His own


God Will Take Care of You

Day 200  July 20, 3013

But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.  -Luke 12:7

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Use hair as your inspiration today.  – adapted from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”  -Khalil Gibran

And she knelt at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and she wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the costly ointment.  -Luke 7:38

The glory of youths is their strength, but the beauty of the aged is their gray hair.  -Proverbs 20:29


Faith to Walk on Water

Day 194  July 14, 2013

Jesus Walking On Water

Jesus Walking On Water

The boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.  And early in the morning Jesus came walking toward them on the sea.  But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!”  And they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”   Matthew 14:24,27

“Make something that is supposed to be walked on, and walk on it!  It could be a type of floor covering, something that attaches to your feet, or…?”  -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin     Note:  My experience walking on water was more like Peter’s..sink and swim.

“Peter had to get out of the boat before he could even try to walk on the water toward Jesus.”  -anonymous 

“If you seek creative ideas go walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”  ― Raymond I. Myers


Mustard Seed Faith

Day 179  June 29, 2013

“I have a mustard seed and I’m not afraid to use it!”  – Joseph Ratzinger

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“Grow it.  Use seeds to make something.  You could plant them in a shape and document them growing, use the seeds themselves to make an image, or…?”   -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.   Matthew 17:20  (NIV)

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”  -Mother Teresa