The Wonderful Sameness of God

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
From my prayer journal:
The wonderful “sameness” of God. It is quite a thing to contemplate. While the conversion experience itself may vary from person to person, but the end result is the same…….we are born anew, fused with a Holy God for eternity. At one point in our lives we had a crisis of soul. We had to answer the question once and for all. Am I going to walk God’s way or my way? Once we are faced with the facts, we must do something with them.
We can read the words of St. Augustine from AD 386 as he reels under the weight of his soul struggle in a garden long ago, and it resonates with us because it happened to us too and it speaks to the wonderful sameness of our God. Where it actually happens doesn’t matter, but what does matter is this……..Once the Holy Spirit taps you on the shoulder, there is no doubt about who it is that is speaking to you.
Change is now so much a part of our daily life that we think of it as normal. At any given time at work I have to be ready to change, do something different, learn something new, or train someone else on what I already know. But I can count on one thing to not ever change……God.
He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And so are His standards. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to count on.
Then you called me and cried to me and broke through my deafness! You sent forth your beam, the light of your magnificently beautiful presence. You shone your Self upon me to drive away my blindness. You breathed your fragrance upon me….and in astonishment I drew my breath… I pant for you! I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for you……You touched me, and I burn to live within your peace. Augustine, Confessions 10
Collecting thanks today with the body of believers everywhere……..the wonderful sameness of our God, that He always hears the cries of the heart and is quick to deliver……cool morning breezes and being to still sit outside……small moments of peace that make it easier to go on…..being so thankful for being able to tell my Mom how grateful I am for her yesterday……watching little seedling reach for the sky……a fresh batch of library books, oh joy…….stories with happy endings…….being a listening ear for someone who needs it……..the surprise rainstorm we got……..the grace of being thankful when the road gets hard because God is worthy of it. #888-899

Chasing God’s Reflection

And the happy life is this: To rejoice in You. To rejoice for you. To rejoice because of you. I say it again: Life is joy in You, who are the truth, O my God, the light of my soul, health of my body!

Those who think there is a different way to find a happy life are pursuing something quite different from happiness–how sad that they do not even realize it. It is true they will find some reflection of joy. But they will not find the true thing, and in the end they will be sadly disappointed, as I once was. Augustine, Confessions 10
I was thinking of the truth and beauty of Augustine’s words yesterday as I sat in the quiet. I was remembering Saturday night and how Elaine and I raced all over the golf course across the street looking for that perfect shot of the Big Moon……She was my human tripod. She calls herself my camera caddy. And she doesn’t mind a bit……As darkness closed in she said, “Let’s go and find the water so we can get a shot of the reflection.”
A bit further, and we found it. I balanced the camera on her shoulder and she clicked away on her IPhone……it was magnificent, and yet, it wasn’t the reflection itself that held us captive, it was what it was reflecting that continued to turn our eyes upward.
We can get so caught up in the reflection of God through all the wonderful things He has made that we can actually miss God Himself. Augustine was right. And yet, as Elaine pointed out, the fact that someone created all this times doesn’t factor in to many folks pattern of thought. Their minds don’t go there.
Why did I? Why did she? Why do any of us?
Therein lies the whole miracle of the conversion experience…….And how could I not be bursting with Gratitude each and every day. It humbles me to the point of silence…..
And He did it all for us, “See, what I made you……” Everything we see around us is a reflection of His love for us. His hope is that we will look just a bit further. To lift our eyes to Him so that we may not only know Him, but be One with Him through Jesus…..
My list continues……..Big beautiful moons that take the breath away……a garden springing to life……still cool mornings for which I am oh so grateful……a great follow-up conversation with our girl Heather…..another week to worship with the fellowship of believers…….another great lunch after church…..watching Mama feed her baby bird while taking a break at work……answered prayers as I looked back on my journal of two years ago……another day off! #877-887

What is scattered in me….


Is someone among you in trouble? He should pray. Is someone feeling good? He should sing songs of praise. James 5:13

Let all who take refuge in you be glad. Let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, Oh Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround then with favor as a shield. Psalm 5: 11,12

“In all things that I contemplate as I am consulting you, I find no secure place for my soul except in you. And in you, I pray that what is scattered in me may be brought together, so that no part of me may be apart from you.

Sometimes when you are working within me, bringing my scattered self to you, you draw me into a state of feeling that is unlike anything I am used to, a kind of sweet delight. I know that if this spiritual state were made permanent in me it would be something not of this world, not of this life….” St. Augustine, confessions 10

I started to write something below this quote but realized it is perfect just the way it is……..No addition needed. Also, my dear Mom turns 83 today. I am so glad she was born, and not just because she had me! She is a miracle all by herself. I love you Mom!

Eden Restored

“Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is restless until it finds it’s rest in Thee.” St. Augustine
Everything the world is seeking so desperately can be found in the person of Jesus. Finding Him is like finding our forever home……
Drinking from the river of life is possible right here and now. I can stand on it’s shore, cup my hand under the crystalline waters and drink deep. Because of Him and what He made possible.
He is my quiet country lane I seek when I want peace… cool breeze in the sweltering heat of a desert summer. My bridge to Eden……My everything I have ever longed for, every desire of my deepest longing, even the ones I don’t know about, is satisfied in Him and through Him.
But without Him I am never satisfied.
I could ache like I do, for the pines or for the ocean swells and go to that quiet place, a closet even, and find that I have come out just as refreshed as if I had just spent time watching the waves upon the shore or hearing the wind making the pines sigh.
It is part of my oldest memory, this earth. Part of me and I cannot ever separate myself from it, nor do I want to, for He grew me out of it, this soil, this earth, and to it I will return one day.
Until such time as I reach that Eternal shore where will meet me……Restored.
 He will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The LORD has spoken.

 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
Isaiah 25:8,9

Eternity in our hearts

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

Jesus first, humbled Himself. He descended to our earthly estate. In this “lower” life, we are all tempted constantly to live according to the flesh, tempted to base our thinking and actions only on what we can see and hear and feel and know with human senses. This is the lower estate into which Jesus came. By His obedience to the Father and His own suffering He entered into our “valley of tears.” Only when we take the same position–obedience to God, patience in all the He leads us through–do we begin to “ascend” in Him. In lowliness we find our heights. Those who want to ascend to spiritual heights without passing through the valley of humility find themselves turned back. Augustine, Homilies on the Psalms:1 
Last night I sat outside and watched the moon come up. I was talking to my Mom on the phone. She had  been going through drawers, sorting out memories. She found many things…….read the words of my sister in law, now in Heaven, found the recording of my husband’s funeral. In the remembering she went through all the emotion…..heard their voices again, felt their presence, held them close. As we talked, we felt the curtain between this life and the next lift. It didn’t seem so far away…….We talked of Heaven, and I said, “Do you think that when we are all together once again there in that place, enraptured in the joy of knowing that it will never end, that we will remember this night?”
She said, “I don’t know.”
I think that when we are there in that place looking around at the faces, feeling the expansion of joy and love that we never dreamed possible, that maybe our minds will brush lightly against the memory of it as something we once held dear. Then we will rejoice all the more, for the absence of the sorrow we left behind.
“Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.” Isaiah 35:10
Picture from public domain pictures by Barb Ver Sluis