A New Invitation…

picture credit: J Jackson

picture credit: J Jackson

Suppose as you woke this morning, as you first opened your eyes, an image of Jesus with an outstretched hand was before you.

His outstretched hand reaching out to you in invitation…

How would this affect your day? Would you live your day differently?

Specifically, what would His hand outstretched in invitation say to you personally?

COME WITH ME…

In your fears of the day…in your worries…in your trials…in your concerns…in your difficult moments

I AM WITH YOU…

In your joys of the day…in your ponderings…in your prayers…in your conversations…in the movements of your day…in the everything of your day…

 I AM WITH YOU…

And yet, each day is a new beginning, filled with new graces, a new calling, a new invitation to take hold of His hand and walk…a new day with Him, Lord and Savior.

Yes, this day, Jesus with His hand outstretched to you in invitation is truly before you…

How will you live your day differently?

Restful Waters or Turbulent Tides?…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“Beside restful waters He leads me…” (Psalm 23)

I like to close my eyes and imagine these restful waters by which the Lord leads me. They bring me to a place of calm in my mind. However, in real life, it seems I walk beside high surf and waves. The type of water that seems to draw you into the rip tides of busy–ness and self.

Perhaps this is what you long to reveal to us, Lord. With you there ARE restful waters…the turbulence of the crashing waves we feel as we sink in the midst, is our own stirring of the waters through pride, our “my way is the best way”, our sinfulness, and the echo of accumulated evil in the world.

You long to lead us by restful waters…those streams of everlasting life that flow forth from Your side…however we often choose the rip tides. Save me Lord from my foolish following of the high surf and lead me to that place of repose…restful waters and verdant pastures…immersed deep within Your heart and in align with your most holy will for me.

Ah…restful waters…a beautiful meditation for this next week of Lent.

Put Out Into the Deep…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

Jesus said to Simon Peter…

“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”

Isn’t Lent about deep water…the depth of conversion?

Putting out into deep water calls for a deepening of faith…a journey into the unknown…a powerlessness that leads to a more complete dependence on God.

And when we lower ourselves in humility into the healing presence of God…

we are caught into His loving arms and are more deeply connected to Him who is our Savior.

Lord, grant us the courage to head for the deep waters, the humility to be immersed into the depth, the trust that You are with us and long for us to be more completely in union with You.

This Lent may we all hear the call to, “Put out into deep water.”

In the Reaching Out…

image credit: from the heart of j

image credit: from the heart of j

The Parable of the Man with the Withered Hand has always intrigued me. The healing comes from Jesus’ directive, “Stretch out your hand.” How often we go through life with withered hands…hands that pull back in selfishness and self-absorption. What begins with withered hands soon affects our hearts and our minds as we shrivel into a “my way” view of life.

And yet in the reaching out there is healing. In the reaching out there is a  re-connecting…in the reaching out there is a re-attaching to the Body of Christ in which His love and strength infuses the souls of His people.

Yes, in the reaching out comes the healing from within.

We are meant to be a people connected.

Leaving Ourselves Behind…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“We must leave ourselves behind if we hope to have even a glimpse of our true potentialities. But this surrender of self is the thing we find most difficult and so rarely succeed in. To the modern mind it makes no sense…Only by voluntary unreserved surrender to God can we find our home…” Fr. Alfred Delp

*Please stop by my professional blog where I post on Wednesdays…”Sticks and Stones and Names that Hurt us” at http://www.lifelinesmobile.org/blog

These Boots are Made for Walking…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

These boots are made for walking…right into the New Year 2016. How will you enter into the New Year? We are hearing a lot about resolutions, but as a positive psychology practitioner, I would like to point out…

Resolutions focus on changing something we perceive as wrong in our lives. Beginning with the negative often ends in the negative.  How about starting 2016 with the positive? With ONE WORD. ONE WORD that represents a new focus, a new outlook, a special quality that marks the way ahead.  Words are powerful…a single word can inspire, motivate, connect, build up and forge a path forward when that ONE WORD becomes a signpost on our journey.  I challenge each of you to prayerfully ask God to reveal to you ONE WORD, YOUR ONE WORD, for the path ahead this year. Then post this word somewhere you frequent, ponder it, chew on it, allow it to transform your faith filled, journey ahead!  (partially re-posted from New Year 2015, because I know how powerful this New Year’s tradition can become in your life and the lives of your loved ones. Listen to their words as well and let that guide your prayers for them for the upcoming year)

Your boots will walk right into the New Year with a positive, faith filled stride!

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language…And next year’s words await another voice.” T. S. Eliot

Happy New Year 2016

From the Heart of J

Unshakeable Confidence…

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image via from the heart of j

“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders…Take me deeper than my feet will ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” Hillsong United

What if you led your life with a trust without borders…a trust in a God whose unwearied, extravagant love for you personally is so beyond what your mind and heart could ever fathom? What would your life look like? How would it change?

With unshakeable confidence let us set forth this week knowing with our eyes on God, we can walk on water.

Man as Epiphany…

The-Face-of-Christ1

“There once was a monk named Epiphanes. One day he discovered in himself a gift from God that he never suspected to possess: he could paint beautiful icons. However he wasn’t any more at peace: he wanted, at all costs, to portray the face of Christ. Where to find a suitable model that would express at the same time suffering and joy, death and resurrection, divinity and humanity? Epiphanes then set off on a journey. He traversed Italy, France, Germany, Spain, scrutinizing every face. Nothing. The face suitable to represent Christ was not there. Tired he fell asleep repeating the words of the psalm ‘Lord, I seek Your face. Show me your face!’ He then had a dream. An angel appeared to him who brought him back to the people he had met and for each person, pointed out the one detail that made that face similar to Christ: the joy of a lover, the innocence of a child, the strength of a farmer, the suffering of a patient, the fear of a condemned man, the tenderness of a mother, the dismay of an orphan, the hope of a young man, the joy of a jester, the mercy of a confessor, the mystery of the bandaged face of a leper … Epiphanes understood and returned to his monastery. He set to work and after a while the icon was ready and he presented it to his abbot. The abbot was astonished: it was wonderful. He wanted to know which model he had used because he wanted to show him to the other artists of the monastery. But Epiphanes said “Nobody, father, was the model because no one is equal to Christ, but Christ is similar to all. You cannot find Christ in the face of one man, but in every man is a fragment of the face of Christ. + Anonymous

Every person is an epiphany of God. He “hides” within each of us and we are invited to seek His face in the faces of all those brothers and sisters upon our path. Holy Spirit, teach us to recognize the many forms of Your presence in one another. Happy Feast of the Epiphany to all!

mirage

Stare at the four dots in the center of the picture for about 30 seconds. Then close your eyes. What do you see?

Buzzing of Bee Thoughts…

 

image via newsroom.ucr.edu

image via newsroom.ucr.edu

The buzzing of bee thoughts…humming in the head…

prevent living the glory of the present moment…

with stings of future and past.

The soft gentle rain that hinders the bees’ busyness…

is the mist of fine grace received that quiets the hum…

when all I think, do, or say is brought to Him…

who is the honey of our peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. ” John 14:27