oh, fall!

it is a lovely fall day here in southern manitoba.

the sun is shining,
the leaves are turning,
the air is warm.

and i can NOT get enough of this song.

whatever you're doing today, 
may you find the courage to walk in His sunshine.

Oh, how sweet the light of day,
And how wonderful to live in the sunshine!
ecclesiastes 11:7 (msg)


my shield

Last week I was flipping through the catalogue that came with a book delivery and saw an item that caught my eye.  It was an armor of God playset, that included:

  • Helmet of Salvation with movable visor
  • Breastplate of Righteousness with adjustable straps
  • "Shin Guards" of Peace that adjust to fit
  • Belt of Truth with adjustable Velcro closure
  • Spirit-of-the-Word Sword--the right size for little hands
  • Shield of Faith has easy-to-grip handle
  • Faith Parenting Guide with suggested activities and Scripture

The descriptions alone could get you chuckling.  Belt of Truth with adjustable closure?  That'll come in handy around thanksgiving! 

I'm thinking of getting this for my little nephew, because the thought of him running around the house in this gear, and describing each part in his sweet way, brings a smile to my face.  He's just like his dad (my big brother)!

But how 'bout that Shield of Faith with the easy-to-grip handle?  That sounds pretty good too, right?

Today I was reading in the Psalms and came across 3:3 where it describes the Lord as my shield.  Then as I continued to read, there it was again in 5:11-12 and 7:10.  And that's just in the first 7 chapters.  I know there's even more than that!  

When I think of the Lord as my Shield, I picture Him standing in front of me, arms stretched out, ready to block.  I picture Him facing me, reassuring me that He's got this covered.  Do not worry.  Just like a friend (or big brother) protecting you in a snowball fight, the Lord is blocking the fiery arrows of the evil one (eph 6:16).

It occurred to me that if there is something in my life that I feel like is too much for me to handle, it's that thing that my Shield allowed past.  Not because He dropped His arms for a moment, but because He knew that together we could take it.  It won't be a stroll in the park, it will be work.  It will be struggle.  But with His help and His loving protection, after we've done everything, we will be left standing (eph 6:10-18).

Today I remind myself - put on the armor.  
Grab hold of that easy-to-grip hand(le) of the Shield.  
We are ready!


no greater love

every day i check my email.

i'm sure you do, too.

whether sitting with coffee at my home desktop computer, at the church office with my laptop or on the go with my smart phone - i stay connected as best i can.  i check my email.

many people have talked about the drawbacks of technology.  it's a time drain, or it's impersonal, or whatever.  i say, 'it works for me!'

sure it can be annoying when you open your email account ("you've got mail!") and it's full of ads and spam.  but tucked into the ads, there are stories.  pictures of a far-away friend's new baby.  a note from someone encouraging you.  updates and reminders that you rely upon.  and within those daily emails there are often requests for prayer & proclamations of praise.

today as i sifted through the junk mail (on one of those good days where my coffee is near by), i came across more of the same, but there was something that stood out as different.  prayer chain requests for healing and hope sandwiched around an ad from a website i like to frequent.  the subject line said:

"no greater love than Jesus"

it linked me through to dayspring.com (LOVE dayspring!) where they were previewing a new line of Christmas product, but that subject line stood out to me as though it were a bigger, bolder font than all the rest...

"no greater love than Jesus"

so many people hurting and broken and needing answers to their deepest needs.  walking through deep waters of confusion, grief, and disappointment.  asking for prayer and asking for hope....

"no greater love than Jesus"

even for me - as i struggle through a trial i didn't expect or ask for, wishing it would just go away...

"no greater love than Jesus"

i was reminded by a friend speaking at a women's retreat i went to this past weekend, that everything we need and hope for was already met in this:

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

~God do you see me? Do you see what's happening down here?

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

~God can you hear me? Are my prayers stopping at the ceiling?  

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

~God do you love me?  Do you care?

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Christ died and rose again.  There is hope.  God loved me even before i loved Him.  There is peace.

There is no greater love than Jesus.
He is everything we need.

(so technology can't be all bad, am i right?)

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