Tuesday, 28 March 2017

# 5, I am Abundant By Susan L.

  The first place my mind went was to my waistline. Yup, plenty of abundance there! Which I've decided to do something about. Peanut butter has been banned. I bought gum to curtail after dinner snacking. The improving weather means making myself go for walks. It's a start.
  I digress but I have to ask the Lord to forgive me for turning to food for comfort.

Image result for cornucopia
  "Abundant" is a word of harvest.
  The cornucopia, a horn of plenty, overflows with the goodness the earth produces. It's a symbol of thanksgiving, a successful season, as well as family and feasting. It's a regular ole party hearty. (Gee, turning away from food didn't last very long did it?)
  So what would the "Cornucopia of Sue" be filled with? Better yet, what does yours have in it?

  In mine I'd find:
  1. Abundant faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
  2. Experiences which have served to deepen my faith and draw me closer to Jesus. They have also enabled me to connect to others with the intimacy of commonality. None of us are alone.
  This is when I start to struggle because listing attributes always feels like boasting. Therefore, I will give the glory to God for having freed me to embrace the abundance of everything He has given me.
  3. Intelligence that is tempered by moments of being slow to understand. Wisdom is not necessarily part of intelligence. :)
  4. Curiosity and wonder. Those encompass the ability to learn. Learning comes with admitting that I don't always get it right. Now that's wisdom!
  5. Emotions. That's all of them, even anxiety and sadness because when I feel these things it means I am connected to my heart. This has helped me turn to prayer in times of need when sometimes, I think I have to cope all on my own.
  6. Laughter and play.
  7. Courage to follow the darkest paths in order to glean God's truths about life, love and community.
  8. Joy in everything, even in the sadness.
  9. Vulnerability and strength.
  Nine and ten explore and celebrate our duality. They are entwined and inseparable like Paul says about being full and suffering need at the same time. (Phil 4:12)
  10. Determination. The best part of determination is I truly want to be better than I am.
  11. Honesty although sometimes it takes a while to figure out what is really going on.
  12. Humility. Shame is NOT humility. Humility is the offspring of gratitude and surrender.
  I know there are riches to be uncovered still so the last two items for today are:
  13. Jesus is present in all things, at all times, in every aspect of my cornucopia.
  14. Rest.
  "I (Jesus) am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Jn 10:9-10
  I have to add that I was rather taken with the idea of going in and out of the Jesus gate. Having been a shepherd, I know sheep need times of feasting as much as times of rest in the safety of the barn. They never spent all day out on pasture but would return several times throughout the day to digest and chew their cuds.

Monday, 27 March 2017

I Am Abraham's Offspring by Susan L.

  This one has me searching the corner's of my brain to try and remember who Abraham is!
  This is as good a time as any to add a short disclaimer. Only spending a couple of hours studying a short piece of scripture makes me aware that I fall far short of uncovering the nuances, the limitless gems of truth each of these contain. Most of these short affirmations could be the title of a book! 
  What I can do is place this entire process in the hands of the Holy Spirit and trust in Him to reveal what the Lord wants known to both my readers and myself.
  So, thank You Lord for Bible scholars. Thank You that there are many wise teachers who can help us understand Your Word. Thank You for helping me, us, during this time of exploration which every day points directly to Your heart.
  I went to the beginning and landed in Genesis 22 which contains part of (now I remember!) Abraham's story.
  There's another piece of gratitude today for the teacher who shared that everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus.
  The gist of the story goes: Abraham, two of his young men and his son rode for three days towards a particular mountain because the Lord had commanded him to offer Isaac, his only son, as a burnt offering. Because Abraham obeyed without wavering, just before the fatal stroke was taken, the Lord provided a perfect ram lamb to take Isaac's place. And not only did He provide the lamb, He also blessed Abraham.
  "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son--blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the starts of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." Gen 22:16-18

  So ages later, God, the Father, sacrificed His only Son when the people chose not to crucify a different lamb, a thief named Barabbas...

  Abba, forgive me for not having walked according to my Divine inheritance. Forgive me for not walking in the victory You predestined me to have. Open my heart to understanding where sin has kept me from fully embracing this gift. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen!
  "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal 3:29

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Affirmations: Day 3 by Susan L.

  "I am abounding in hope" Rom 15:4 & 13
  Where does hope come from? Is it an innate part of our emotional makeup? A baby cries out of need but does this want, borne of necessity, begin the installation of our hope software? I cry. I am answered. My needs are met.
  When the baby spoon of some questionable new food does the airplane towards my mouth, is there a newfound explosion of hope that it will be something yummy?
  Is that first taste of pretty, pink grapefruit a breach of trust?

  Is hope tied into the ability to ask for good things?
  "Good things" are entirely subjective and chosen according to our social status, finances, age, where we live, our beliefs and so forth.
  I'd like to think I've moved beyond hoping for a Ferrari. Nice as it would be, having one would take a whack out of my finances. I'd worry about it being stolen or worse, wrecked in a car accident. They aren't so great to drive in the winter either. Let's shelve that burdensome dream but I wouldn't mind driving one around the block some day.
  I'm not one for daydreaming about the future. Never have been. I wonder if that part of me is broken. Or maybe my life experiences have squashed that ability. Getting through each day has been a challenge for so long. To consider what tomorrow might bring is a stretch of my abilities.
  Oh, here's the hope part! For now. (Maybe I could practice?)
  Hope doesn't have to be big, does it? It's the little hopes that have enabled me get through the days spent on the Black River. Very few of them were ever spoken. It was an internal longing for something better and no matter how bad it got, I knew better would eventually come. Everything always turned out OK and more often than not, far better than just OK!
  Anticipation is hope in action. Anticipation and its partner expectancy breathe life into the yet to happen tomorrows.
  I like that. It takes away the idea of needing to ask for specifics and places the future firmly in the Lord's hands. That's the only vessel I want my tomorrows in.
 Yet, we are called to be proactive when it comes to faith. In this I can be very specific about my hopes in that regard: I hope for a deeper faith and a richer understanding of my Lord Jesus. I hope that my giftings will continue to unfold and that they will be a blessing to others. I hope that the Lord's grace will enable me to have more grace, patience, kindness and that I am filled with all the good things He embodies.
  I hope these mental meanderings today will make a difference in someone's life or at least, and hopefully, generate a smile.
  "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Rom 15:13
  I have to add a rousing, "AMEN!"