Just Say No….

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So, I have to tell you, no, REI did not pay me to write this blog 🙂 But I was just so happy to see what they decided to do: REI will not be opening their doors the day after Thanksgiving for a mad rush of shoppers. And I like that. I’m going to take their example and be home, or outside with my family. Want to join your voice and say what a great thing this is? You can make your own nifty photo saying too! Go to http://optoutside.rei.com/join-us/select-image where you can upload your own image (like I did) or use one of theirs. Then tell others! I think we might get this old-fashion goodness of a true holiday to catch on! And next, here’s another opportunity to speak out: when you make your picture, tell me! I’d LOVE to have some guest posts for the next few weeks of why it’s important to you to #optoutside for Black Friday.

Thanks, Paul!

So, yesterday I took part in my second community event in the blog world. But it was done in such a wonderful unique way, that it felt like the first time I was connecting with fellow bloggers. You might have seen my post about a ‘Secret Santa Blog Day’ but if you didn’t, you can go read that re-blog from Just Me Being Curious. If you don’t have time right now, I’ll remind you briefly of the way this worked.

1) Paul set up a ‘gift exchange’ of blog posts, inviting whoever wanted to participate.

2) He distributed the gifts anonymously

3) All who participated posted on May 20th with the tag: Secret Santa Blog Day

But if you have a hard time finding all the posts, you can go visit Paul’s site here. Why was this so very special? Well, I want to just recognize the care and thought that was put into ‘wrapping’ and giving out these blog posts. I definitely sense he had God’s help as the words distributed to each blogger, I feel, were so appropriately shared. I know personally that “He Sang to Me” – which was my present – spoke volumes to me! As I continue working toward finishing a cd project, this was such a huge encouragement. My Lord is singing to me every step of the way, as He gave me each song we’re recording. And not only that, as I finished reading the rest of everyone’s unwrapped blog-gifts this morning, I realized a beautiful thing:

We all pointed to our Lord and Savior, to how much He loves us and is involved in our lives.

My friend, if you don’t know that truth, take the time to look at it described in each of the eight Secret Santa Blog gifts we shared with each other. And I hope you feel His love and grace today.

Thanks, Paul, for doing this. It was a true gift from our Heavenly Father!

He sang to me: Secret Santa Blog Day

Last night, I was praying that the Lord would lead me in what to write about for this blog. He often speaks to me in dreams. But last night in my dream, He did something a little different.  He sang to me.

In my dream, I sat as an audience of one as the Lord sang. It was like my own personal concert just Him and I.

At the time, I was not fully aware of what was taking place.  I remember feeling fortunate to be there and was enjoying singing along to some of my favorite Christian songs.  Interestingly enough, He looked and sounded like the lead singer from Third Day, but maybe I should vice versa that. If you have seen pictures of Mac Powell or heard his strong, rugged voice, it all seems a perfect fit.

So this morning, The Lord brought me to Zephaniah 3:17 that says,

“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

Now, I grew up singing, “Jesus loves me,” but since He’s God, I have always believed His love to be a kind of job requirement.  Always my mind-set, He loves everyone.  He’s like a husband with a billion, needy wives.  -He’s busy-    If the truth be known, I have always been a little jealous of this woman, I once I read about, who memorized entire books of the Bible.  I have always thought, He must really like her.

A couple of years ago while praying, I heard in my spirit, as if two angels were talking amongst each other , “She doesn’t know how much He really Loves her.”  I think of that often.  If we really knew the truth of how much we mean to Him, I believe we would think and act differently. Eph 3:17-19 says,

..”And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the Love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

To truly be rooted and grounded in the Love of God. I believe, all our fears would fad away knowing that Almighty God is working on our behalf and providing for all our needs. We wouldn’t work so hard trying to be acceptable, because we would know we are already beautiful and accepted by the creator of the universe.  We would be filled with peace in all things and circumstances knowing we are not alone because our beloved will never leaves us or forsake us. – The fullness of God, can you imagine?

The truth is you are not just one of the billions. In His eyes, you are one in infinity. Priceless –  A true one of a kind masterpiece.  – In Him, He has set you apart and made you His own!

And Jesus sings over each and every one of us. Our own personal concert or harmony where two hearts come together and rejoice (finding pure joy) in one another.  Jesus is our living water and bread of life. “May we be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”-  “grasping how wide and long and deep is the Love of Christ.”

Amen.

Secret Santa Blog Day

What a great opportunity to share some thoughts; mark May 20th in your calendar to search wordpress blog world for the tag “Secret Santa Blog Day”

Just me being curious

How much love is there in this church of blogs? How much trust? How much is it really “about the cause and not the applause”? (thank you, Melissa: http://workforthecausenottheapplause.com)

After Susan’s great guest post (http://justmebeingcurious.com/2015/02/17/fear-the-opposite-of-love-2/), He whispered two words: “Secret Santa”. That annual “work tradition” (where I come from). You are given a name, and you buy a gift, and on the same day – everyone gathers together and opens these “anonymous” gifts.

And then He left this (draft post) to simmer gently for a couple of months. Now I find the timer pinging …

Secret Santa Blog Day

You write a post which is published on someone else’s blog – you receive a post someone else has written and publish it on your blog – all published on the same day.

Why?

The content of these blogs is clear: it is about the cause not the applause. So what…

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Sitting on the Edge: By Cheryl

I asked, and you’ve started sharing! Thank you! So here’s the first, ‘Sitting on the Edge’ By Cheryl:

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“Right now in my life we are facing several unknowns….

The edge of a new adventure in business for my husband.
The edge of a new job working for an established entity with its rules, regulations, and protocol; for my husband. He has for most of his life run his own company.
The edge of Life itself ending for my aging Mother , who is 96.
The edge of discovering how I can juggle  time for art, caring for my Mom, helping at the office, being there for my grandchildren, and now perhaps the addition of some temporary house guests.
Life does that. Deals out surprises both good and not so good. We are forever on the edge of self-discovery as we rise to the challenges that God allows in our life. Living on the Edge causes me to look up, not down. To take note of where I am going, not where I have been. There is no place my foot can go but God knows it already and has prepared a foothold for me to continue my upward climb. What heights I can soar to! What vision and clarity there is on the top of the precipice!
Facing life’s challenges is only successful if I face them with the Lord. He is my rock, my fortress, my ever present help in time of need. And I need Him more than ever when I find myself on the Edge. “

Your Participation, Please

DSCN0186Spring is about to be sprung, it’s time to go outside. We’re sitting on the edge of winter, and there’s actually been sunshine here where I live for 3 days in a row now (okay, followed by the usual afternoon clouds, but this is Germany). I prefer the actual warm weather, but with a jacket, gloves, and scarf, those sun rays are almost enough to stand in and soak up and distribute a little hopeful heat!

Okay, to explain the title and the photo. I was looking through my pictures for something that I felt would relay this feeling of being ready to enjoy nice weather, go out and spend time with my children in the great outdoors, and the sentiment of looking forward to the change. At first, I thought of sharing photos of sunshine, but then I saw this, and I like the idea it portrays of everyone looking out, on the edge (my daughter made these cute foil creations, by the way). I think ‘Sitting on the Edge’ hits home for me in a few ways: the change in the weather, some things I’m waiting on to happen (moving forward with my music, for one). But that’s not what this post is really about. So, about the title:

I’d love to have your feedback, so here’s my first attempt at ‘crowd participation’ 🙂 If, when you’ve read this post, you have something to say about 1) the photo and what it says to you or 2) what ‘Sitting on the Edge’ can look like right now in your life, I want to share it. So when I’ve had some replies, I’m going to post this again, but with your thoughts and words. So we don’t spoil the surprise, send me an email with what you want to say: music.by.melissa@gmail.com. And when I have some thoughts to share, I’ll repost! Looking forward to hearing from you –