Thursday, November 28, 2013

Scriptures of Thanksgiving ~ Thanksgiving That Swaddles Me

I'm learning a lot about thanksgiving - not happy, happy, joy, joy Snoopy dancing thanksgiving. 

I'm talking about thanksgiving running deep through my veins bringing life to my weary bones.

I'm talking a place of contentment not dependent on circumstances.

I'm talking thanksgiving that swaddles me at night when I close my eyes for sweet sleep and say, "Thank You, Lord. It is well with my soul." And mean it.
The world can't take this kind of thankfulness away from me. Money may evaporate. Jobs pop on and off the radar screen. Good health is a question on the best of days. 

But, God.

God is constant.
God is for me.
He is with me.
He is fighting my battles.
He is sheltering, providing, comforting.
God is giving me peace in the storm, a firewall against the blaze that burns.

"Whom have I in heaven but You? 
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. 
My flesh and my heart fail; 
But God is the strength of my heart 
and my portion forever." 
~ Psalm 73:25 & 26

Through You, Lord, hope like no other reaches to me.

Thank You, Lord.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. You are a blessing to me. Thank you.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page to worship with Hillsong as they sing, "You Are My Strength".

Monday, November 25, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ A Gossamer Robe of Righteousness

Snow clouds are rolling in. They appear heavy-laden - bulging with the impending storm. The trees stand dull in their winter gray armor. The charcoal draping of their branches shout sharp contrast to the billowing white sky.

I'm mesmerized. Staring. Searching. Straining to hear God's voice in the storm coming up over the ridge.

Snowflakes, exquisite in design, fall gently to the earth. Their ballet begins with ease. With grace. But slowly, their free-fall takes on an urgency, a bombardment of frosty pearls peppering down.

How does one snowflake transform into a gossamer robe covering the earth?

How does one prayer transform a life, blanketing the longing soul in the beauty of His Holiness?

It's not in the singularity of one snowflake - one prayer - that transformation takes place. It's in the  persistence of snowflake after snowflake layering themselves one upon the other that the wonder of a snow-laden mountainside occurs.

Persistent prayer has the same effect.

Charles Francis Whiston, an Anglican priest, professor, and author wrote the following poem. Oddly enough he titled it, The Snowflake Poem:

O Lord Jesus Christ,
In obedience
To Your holy claim upon me,
I give myself anew to you this day;
All that I am, all that I have,
To be wholly and unconditionally
Yours for Your using.
Take me away from myself,
And use me up
As you will,
When You will,
Where You will,
With whom You will.

Rev. Whiston literally prayed this prayer day after day, year after year, and watched the Lord his God transform him by the power of the Holy Spirit. The persistence of his prayer had a layering effect, creating a beautiful gossamer robe of righteousness over his life - a robe that reflected the glory of the Lord.

Like the snowflake, exquisite in design, powerful to transform in numbers, does my heart bulge with urgent, persistent prayer - the prayers that change my life and the lives of others? 

Snowflake upon snowflake.
Prayer upon prayer.
A gossamer robe of righteousness is woven by the Master's hand.

"But we all, with unveiled face, 
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, 
are being transformed into the same image 
from glory to glory, 
just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 
 ~ Corinthians 3:18

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

How Do I Find God? Sunday Glimpses

Father God, You alone are worthy of our praise. You are Holy, Lord. You are exalted above all the earth. What blows me away is that, even though You are the One True God, You know my name. You know my struggle, my questions, my despair. I take great comfort in that knowledge, Lord. Thank You. Thank You for Your grace that covers and shields me. Thank You for Your Presence in my despair - the covering of Your wing that shelters me from my enemy. You are awesome God. You are faithful and true. I love You and I give You praise.
If you would like for me to pray for you, I would be honored. Feel free to contact me at Sweet blessings to you, my precious friend.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Beauty in the Season of Rest

The aged apple tree stretched toward the heavens with its thin, finger-like branches. It grew on the forest's edge surrounded by pine, oak, and hemlocks. It grew in spite of its conditions, quite obviously a happenstance, a surprise to its forest shadows.

I watched this tree throughout the seasons - its burst of fresh green in the spring, blossoms like delicate voile against the rough and ancient bark. Apples red embellished the forest's edge and fed the deer grazing below. And now, just today, my eye saw something new in this season of rest.

The sun shone bright on Chestnut Hill as I walked Blue in the noon of the daylight. The apple tree, dwarfed by the towering pines, rested in the shade. But, the sun - as only the sun can do - squeezed its radiant beams through the forest canopy and lit up the fingertips of the apple tree. There, on the ends of the sky-high branches remained apples - fruit from another season, another time.

But the Light gave them new life.

The Light presented a new beauty in this season of rest.

I thought of my own winter season. Evidence of fruit and God's faithfulness abounds, yet at times the fruit seems to be leftover, rather than fresh and new. Could it be that as I lift my hands to heaven like the limbs of the apple tree, the Light of the One I love will break through the canopy of shadows and illuminate His beauty within me?

Could it be that it is the Light of His Presence that makes all things new? 

Could it be that it is the Light of His Presence that makes all things beautiful in His time?

"I would have lost heart,unless I had believed 
that I would see the goodness of the Lord 
in the land of the living. 
Wait on the Lord; 
Be of good courage, 
and He shall strengthen your heart; 
Wait, I say, on the Lord!"
 ~ Psalm 27:13 & 14

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I'm featuring a music video by Nichole Nordeman titled, "Just As I Am". She does a beautiful job of incorporating the timeless lyrics we're familiar with into a new song peppered with lyrics that reflect what the old lyrics represent. I think you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ The Joyful Sound of His Presence

"Clang! Clang! Clang!" The Salvation Army worker stood sentinel over his infamous red bucket. The bell in hand wobbled back and forth in graceful rhythm, creating a background for the familiar - a prelude to Christmas.

"Thank you, ma'am," he said, his robust voice echoing across the sidewalk. "God bless you. Merry Christmas!"

I thought of the memories this iconic figure drums up within us.

And I thought of something the psalmist said: "Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!"

The Salvation Army worker shivering in the cold conjures up memories of Christmases past. Traditions. Perhaps milestones. Definitely the true spirit of Christmas.

For the Christian, Clang! Clang! Clang! of the Salvation Army's bell stirs remembrances of Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.

So should the sounds of the Lord stir up remembrances within us. Worship! Faithfulness! Grace!

I've learned the "joyful sound" the psalmist referred to was the sound of trumpets announcing the celebration of the traditional Jewish feasts - the feasts celebrated as a memorial before the Lord. Think of the Passover for instance. Passover is celebrated to remind the Jewish people of their deliverance from Egypt, of the night the angel of death passed over their homes because of the blood of the lamb sprinkled on their doorposts. Imagine the blowing of the trumpets - the shofar - to announce the remembrance of the goodness of the Lord.

I often ask myself if I know the joyful sound of the Lord. Do I recognize His voice? Do I know the sound of worship - that ethereal melody of my spirit joined with the Spirit of God in adoration? Do I remember Him - His faithfulness? His goodness? His mercy and love? Do I celebrate these things in spirit and truth?

Do I? Sometimes. I'm working on it with intentionality. This is important to me. Do you want to know why? Because the psalmist says those who recognize the joyful sounds are blessed and they walk in the light of God's countenance. That means, to me, that those folks recognize His Presence with them always. They bask in His love. His radiance lights their path.

I want to walk my walk of faith like that. I want to recognize the sounds of the Lord around me. I want to hear the blowing of the trumpets of remembrance in my spirit when I think on the faithfulness of God.

"Blessed are the people 
who know the joyful sound! 
They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance. 
In Your name they rejoice all day long, 
and in Your righteousness they are exalted. 
For You are the glory of their strength, 
and in Your favor our strength is exalted."
 ~ Psalm 89:15-17

In Your Presence, O God, is where I want to be. Seeking your face. Touching your grace.

In Your Presence, that's where I am strong. 

*Photo credit: 

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I'm featuring a Messianic Jewish worship video titled "In Your Presence" by Paul Wilbur. If you can, spend a few minutes in the Presence of the Lord, away from the fray, away from the strife, away from the stress. I know it will give you strength for the journey.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How Do I Find God? Sunday Glimpses

Father God, how wonderful to realize that Your love never fails Your child - that Your mercies are new every morning. To know this as Truth surrounds me like a lullaby in my Daddy's arms. I can rest there, Lord. I can close my eyes and know that all is well because You are with me. Thank You for Your unfailing love. Thank You for Your Presence, for Your Light that permeates my darkness and brings me peace. I love You, Lord.

Do you need someone to hold your hand in prayer? I would be honored to pray with you. You may contact me directly at

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ The Crimson Leaf

The young woman crumpled on the front stoop, devastating loss echoing through her heart. An elderly friend held her as she wept, bringing comfort to her breaking point.

The old woman did an odd thing - she handed the young woman a crimson leaf. With the color of crimson between them, she cupped her young friend's hand in that place where young and old meet, and said, "Hold onto joy, my friend. Hold onto joy and don't let go. The world will rip it from your heart if you let it, but joy belongs to you. You are a child of God. Joy is yours because of Him."

The young woman gazed into the eyes of her elderly friend, shifting her eyes back and forth searching for hope. Her eyes settled on a twinkle - a knowing - and locked solid with the old woman's truth. Joy did belong to her. Rightfully. Sacrificially. Absolutely. Sorrow and despair may knock at the door, but joy resides deeply in the child of God.

Joy is not contingent on circumstances - joy flows from the River of God. It rushes past boulders of pain and carries the debris of loss far, far away into the ocean of His grace.

The young woman paused. She ran the sleeve of her jacket past her cheeks, wiping the tears. Unfolding her fingers, she stared at the crimson leaf and beheld its Truth.

As Jesus prayed for His disciples, He said this: 
"But now I come to You [Father], 
and these things I speak in the world, that they may have 
My joy 
fulfilled in themselves" ( John 17:13).

Just as a crimson leaf was placed in the young woman's hand, joy was placed in her heart at the place where loss and grace meet.

*Photo Credit: Elysse Hurtado

Father, Your grace does amaze me. I cannot comprehend Your mercy and love poured out on Your child through grace. Thank You Lord. Enlighten the eyes of my heart to understand. Thank You for Your gift of joy. I'm beginning to understand how joy, especially in You, is a source of great strength. It energizes me and lifts the fog of anxiety that seeks to consume. Joy seems to be so simple, but what a powerful gift for Your child. Thank You. I love You, Lord.
If you received Morning Glory via email, thank you. Please visit the Morning Glory page. I found a new song and singer (at least to me ) that I believe you'll enjoy. The song is "What Joy" by Susan Ashton. Bless you!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ The Proverbial Holy Box

There it is, resting on my top shelf - a place of honor. It's wrapped in brilliant gold-leaf speckled with diamond dust. The handle is crusted in sapphires with a smattering of emeralds. Golden cherubim sit quietly upon the corners - after all, this is a holy box - the proverbial box where I place God when I try to go it alone.

It's actually quite beautiful.

And convenient.

Whenever I think I can handle something better, or whenever I'm too busy to listen to His instruction, or whenever I'm disillusioned with what I perceive to be a lack of response, I put Him back in my box.

It's quite sad, actually. Beautiful box, but very, very sad.

Do you do the same? Do you keep the proverbial holy box handy to contain an Almighty God? Why do we think this is possible?

I believe religion puts God in the box. 
I believe relationship takes Him out. 

Rich, intimate relationship. Moment to moment sharing. Laughter mixed with pain. Joy consumed by sorrows. Fear transformed by perfect peace. Holding hands - heart to heart.


For it is in relationship we learn how wide, how high, how deep is the Father's love.

"Be strong and of good courage, 
do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, 
He is the One who goes with you. 
He will not leave you nor forsake you." 
~ Deuteronomy 31:6

He walks with me, but I won't recognize His Presence if I don't take Him out of the beautiful, holy box.


If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page, especially if you're seeking God's Presence in your struggles. I'm featuring Kim Walker singing "How He Loves Us". It's long - 9 minutes, but 9 minutes out of 24 hours will be well worth it if you're hurting, disillusioned, or feel all alone. I'm praying for you. Sweet blessings my friend.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How Do I Find God? Sunday Glimpses

Father God, I find such great comfort in Your faithfulness. How can I say thank You? Even at the brink of losing my sanity, You reach from the heavens above and lift me up - You hold me next to Your heart. I cannot fathom Your love. I cannot comprehend Your desire to set me free from the chains that bind me. Help me give You my pain. I offer my hopelessness to You, Lord and ask that You receive it as a sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You. Consume it with Your holy fire. Rid me of its destructive tentacles. Set me free to worship You with my whole heart. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for Your love. You are amazing, Lord. Simply amazing. Fill me with Your joy and peace to overflowing. I need You, Lord. Be my strong tower.

Photo Credit: Leland Francisco
Do you have a personal need you would like for me to pray about? I would be highly honored. You may contact me at
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Hand to Hand. Heart to Heart

My momma left this earth way too young. She was forty-six. I was twenty. Even though it's been thirty-eight years ago, I easily recall vivid memories of her presence in my life. She made me laugh. She held me when I cried. 

And, when I was unsure of myself, I reached for her hand, gave it a squeeze, and immediately felt her reassuring squeeze in response. 

Hand in hand. Heart to heart.

I read something this morning that carried me back to these memories. I found it in A.J. Russell's devotional, God Calling:

"Call often My Name, 'Jesus'.

"The calling of My Name does not really summon Me. I am beside you. But it removes, as it were, the scales from your eyes, and you see Me.

"It is, as it were, the pressure of a loved one's hand, that brings an answering pressure, and a thrill of Joy follows, a real, and a joyful sense of nearness."

The only thing that supersedes a mother's love is that of our Father God. His love is beyond our comprehension - it is all-encompassing. Imagine this: to call on His Name merely opens our eyes to see Him in our midst, for He is with us always. The calling of His Name is like squeezing His hand with the communication of a love-need. How wonderful is that? 

Jesus hears His Name and responds. Immediately.

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your Presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." ~ Psalm 139:7-10

Hand to hand. Heart to heart.

If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory page. I'm featuring a powerful song by J.J. Heller titled, "Your Hands". For about three minutes you'll be reminded of the tender mercies of God. It just might be what you need to make it through the day.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Scriptures of Encouragement ~ Burnished Burgundy Velvet

We awoke to a dreary, dismal morning. Rain showers popped in and out, blanketing the earth with layers of mist. Gray was the color of the day - gray skies, gray vistas from our mountain roads, and gray mood. Nothing terrible, mind you. Just gray.

I attached Blue's leash and we headed out for our afternoon walk. Our country road meanders past a meadow along the forest's edge. The pavement gives way to gravel, worn with well-traveled tracks. This stretch of road twists and turns through pine groves, pastures, and rambles beneath a canopy of oaks and hemlocks. 

It was in this stretch that the Lord opened my eyes to see.

Blue and I rounded a curve. The gray light that had engulfed us darkened a little from the shadows of the trees. As we got to the far side of the curve, the call of a cardinal caused me to look up. Above me were the dying leaves of a red oak. Their color had become a burnished burgundy. Rich. Deep. Like velvet. The color wasn't flamboyant, nor was it flaming as it would have been in the bright sunlight of the day before. No. The color was rich because of the darkened gray of the day. The darkness created a contrast that caused the leaves to stir something within me - a knowing, an understanding of their depth of color against the gray of the day.

The burnished burgundy of the leaves reminded me of me.

Through the extreme trials of recent months, I have come to realize that my faith has deepened. It has become rich, more valuable than precious gold, more beautiful than a burnished burgundy velvet. The world can't take that away from me. It's priceless. I'm learning that the contrast of dismal circumstances, when placed in God's capable hands and set according to His purposes, create profound insight into the things of God.

The Apostle Paul understood this principle well:

"For our light affliction, 
 which is but for a moment, 
is working for us 
a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 
while we do not look at the things which are seen, 
but at the things which are not seen. 
For the things which are seen are temporary, 
but the things which are not seen are eternal." 
~ 2 Corinthians 4: 17 & 18

I'm sure that in tomorrow's sunlight the burgundy leaves will once again appear flamboyant and flaming as they reflect the mountain sun. But, for today, I'm thankful I had the chance to witness their burgundy velvet cloak set against the dismal gray.

Without a doubt, God has shown me His heart.

Father, Thank You for opening my eyes to see You - to find You in all things. This season of trials has been very difficult, but I can see the reward; I can see the purpose. Thank You for the lessons learned. Thank You for the deepening of my faith that will prepare me for the days ahead. Use me for Your glory, Lord. Use me. Mold me. Fill me to overflowing with Your great love to spill over onto those around me. Praise You, Lord. You alone are worthy of praise.
If you received Morning Glory via email, please visit the Morning Glory  page. I'm featuring a singer named Ana Laura. I didn't recognize her name, but this song, "Completely" was featured on the fabulous Christian movie, "Facing the Giants". I think you'll love it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

How Do I Find God? Sunday Glimpses

Father God, In Your infinite love, You made a way for us to know You, to walk with You, to rest beneath the shadow of Your wing. How do we thank You for that kind of love? How do we thank You for Your restoration and healing in all things? How do we thank You for Your glorious hope, knowing that You are the God of tomorrow - the God of the dawning? Awaken our hearts to love You more, Lord. Soften our hearts toward You. Cause the walls to crumble and fall into the great abyss. Forgive us for the walls we put up in times of disillusionment and disappointment - the times we assume You have abandoned us. I know now that You will never abandon Your child. Never. You are faithful, Lord. You are always working on our behalf, putting all the pieces together in response to our prayer. Your perfect love casts away all fear. I choose today to walk in Your love and to put the fear behind me. For You are a great God. I am Yours and You are mine. I love You, Lord.  

Photo credit:
Do you have a personal need you would like for me to pray about? I would honored to bring Your request before the Lord. You may contact me directly at