Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Surface of Life

Living in the shallows, you miss out on the rich, calmer depths.  The shallows can mean the edge of the ocean with its crashing waves in the surf.  Standing in the surf, with foamy waves curling around your ankles, you're pulled to and fro, never able to remain steady.  It's exhausting.

A bit further from shore, past the waves, you find the surface of the water is calmer.  The depths give it a stability - and there is a richness to life below the surface of the sea.

In Sarah Young's Jesus Calling, she writes, "If you live on the surface of life by focusing on ever-changing phenomena, you will find yourself echoing the words of Solomon: 'Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!'"

If you live on the surface of life, you also miss out on the amazing depths of Almighty God.  I often think how learning about God - from His Word and from nature and from experience and from His Holy Spirit -- all of these adventures with Him are offered in layers. 

There's the layers that are on the surface of the water that we might liken to an iceberg.  Many people are content to learn what is easily seen, without delving below the surface.  Yet, it is a proven fact that an iceberg has far more bulk below the surface of the water than above.  It's even more true of the depths of God and His Word.  We can discover layer upon layer of truth when we dive into the depths.  Another bit of wisdom from Sarah Young's book says, "What you know of the world you inhabit is only the tip of the iceberg. Submerged beneath the surface of the visible world are mysteries too vast for you to comprehend."  Although we can never, ever figure out everything, just discovering new truths and depths are exciting and infinitely worthwhile.

Of course, we can never plumb the depths of God and his Word, but oh, what joy and adventure it is to spend your life going deeper and deeper with Him. 

May this new year of 2016 be the year you and I plumb the depths like never before. Let us dive past the crashing breakers and into the calmer depths of God's glory.  May we grow nearer and nearer to our precious Creator, Father, Savior and King.  The journey will be worth it all.  God bless your new year that is filled with possibilities.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sisters of the Soul

We ordinary women got together to praise our extraordinary God and to meet sisters of the soul who shared their stories in my recent book, Ordinary Women -- Extraordinary God.  I called it a Book Reception for lack of a better name, but it was primarily to let these lovely ladies meet one another,  receive their copy of the new book, and let me thank them for being a part of this.  I was pleased to see these gals getting to know one another.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity God has given us to share our stories and we're all praying that they will be used to encourage other women as well.

For those who have read the book and wish to put a face to the stories, here are the women pictured:  front row, Kyla, Cindy, me - Sandra, Eleanor; back row, Sandy, Holly (my daughter who is mentioned in a story), Mary, Gretchen, Peggy (one of my encouraging readers), Lora, and Judy.

I gave each gal a ruby red slipper bookmark along with their book and shared a quote from the Wizard of Oz that was told to Dorothy and I now told it to them:  "You’ve always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”  Then I told them, "That Power is the Holy Spirit Himself, working in you and through you to do great things for His glory.  Keep on keeping on – and -- Praise God from whom all blessings flow!"