Refiner’s Fire

The trials of life feel like fire to the heart.

They burn and destroy as a forest ablaze.

They break and bend the impurities of our motives.

They draw out the ugly, unusable parts of our nature to reveal the good.

May we yearn for the heat.

May our hearts long for the fires that will bring forth the beauty of character and purity of the soul.

Let the fires burn.

He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;

He will purify the sons of Levi,

And purge them as gold and silver,

That they may offer to the Lord

An offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3:3

Whimsical Wednesdays in my Musings

Since I missed Monday Musings today, I thought I’d add it today’s whimsical thoughts, as I feel a bit melancholy today…

I don’t feel bad, and I’m not necessarily sad. I just feel a bit more somber than most days.

I suppose, it’s mostly because today is my grandfather’s 94th birthday. But he’s not here to celebrate. He’s in heaven.

We said goodbye to him 18 years ago (on Oct. 6); so, today is not a new day or even a surprise from what it has been for many years now.

Yet, I always miss him on these days. My life was changed that day, and as much as I’m so thankful I’ll see him again one day on the other side, it doesn’t change the fact.

I miss him deeply. And today, I’ve had a thought time shaking the invading blues.

The sun is shining brightly, the breeze is blowing slightly, and it’s a warm 79 degrees here in Georgia. My life is blessed, and I really cannot complain.

In fact, I am overly blessed, and he’d never want me to be sad, even in his absence. So, I’ll put a smile on my face until I feel it down deep in my soul.

For he is no longer in pain. He is no longer suffering. He is rejoicing in our eternal home, and I will see him again.

So, as my heart continues to heal, as it does with time, memories and purpose, I will lift my hands today and worship my King.

For He is worthy of that worship, and it changes me in the midst of my obedience.

…And it makes that smile sink a little deeper to the depths of my being to bring sunlight through the rain.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.”

Psalm 42:11

“The Lord is my strength and my shield;

my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,

and with my song I praise him.”

Psalm 28:7

Whimsical Wednesday…on Saturday

Sometimes, I dream of heaven.

Almost always, I think of a beautiful lion sitting in all his majesty. Maybe I’ve watched too much Chronicles of Narnia and fallen in love with the character Aslan, but the Scripture tell us that Christ is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. And I look forward to the day that Mighty Lion rises and roars for all the heaven lies to hear. I look forward to the day He leads His children into battle against the enemy to slay and bind him forever. I look forward to the day when the mighty Lion lays down with the Lamb. And I look forward to the day I can just snuggle up close to Him, wrap my arms around His neck and call Him, “Friend,” face to face.

Yeah, you might just think I’m crazy, or maybe you just need to watch The Chronicles of Narnia again, and ask that Mighty Lion to reveal Himself to you.

That’s one of His specialties…

(Rev. 5:5-6; 5:12-13; 1 Corinthians 15:57)

Good Friday or Bad?

Today, many of us celebrate what we call, Good Friday. The day Christ died on the cross with the promise of rising in three days. The day the earth shook, the sun darkened, the veil was torn, and the believers were scattered with their dreams of majesty shattered. The day the Holy Lamb of God was beaten, bruised, pierced by those who hated Him and forsaken by the very Father God who claimed to love Him.

So, if all this bad happened on this day, how can we call it Good Friday? How can we join together to celebrate such a horrific, gruesome, unimaginable death? How can anything good be taken from such a terrible day that is forever written in the annals of time?

If you don’t know Him, I can understand why you’d wonder. If you’ve never realized His love for you, I can believe your confusion and doubt. If you’ve only heard of Him in storybooks and seen Him portrayed as “just a man” in cults and Hollywood box office hits, I can comprehend your skepticism, ridicule and even rejection.

But for me, I know Him on a personal level…

He was there before I even took a breath. He was there when I was in my mother’s womb, and her guidance counselor tried to convince her to “get rid of the dilemma,” because, after all, she was just 16. He was there when I was born six weeks (8 wks to today’s standards) too early and fought for life for those 10 days in that tiny incubator.

He was there when I was six months old, and my alcoholic parents split up. He was there when my four year old self waited by the door with packed bags for a father who never showed up. He was there when my twelve year old self received a “new daddy” who took us away from a comfortable, small town to a great big city with so many unknowns.

He was there when I met the man of my dreams and said, “I do.” He was there when our first child never grew in the womb, and we buried him under those great big oaks at my childhood home. He was there when our firstborn aspirated meconium, and we were told by a young nurse that it could be fatal. He was there when our second son fell off the changing table onto a tile floor while being babysat. He was there when I lost my precious grandfather to cancer, the man who had protected me, loved me and cherished me, the man who been my “Daddy” for so many years. He was there through all of the grief and sorrow.

The stories could go on and on with so much more detail, but I won’t bore you with my life story. I can just say, with 100% confidence, He was there. In my darkest days and in my happiest hours, in my finest moments and in those times that I wish to never be repeated, He was there.

He has always been there.

So, I call it Good Friday, because I know He was there hanging on the cross pouring out His blood for me for redemption. I call it Good Friday, because I know He rose just a few days later with the promise of victory, and heaven and eternity for my soul if I just believe. I call it Good Friday, because I am a witness to all that has come from His sacrifice, His love and His grace just in my own life.

I call it Good Friday, because often times, out of the bad, the horrific, the most unimaginable things comes such beauty and goodness and promise that you can’t call it anything but GOOD!

Watch and listen…

https://youtu.be/Is6weMrenls

A Curious Thing

Death is such a curious thing.

I want to weep and wail, scream and curse at no one in particular

Yet, I long to let my furry flow.

I want to punch and kick, run and stomp

at no person specific

Yet, I yearn to unload and unwind.

I want to tell every naysayer, “You’ll never know this kind of love.”

I want to tell every well wisher, “You’ll never understand the pain.”

But then,

I look upon Your face

Your whisper draws me closer still

Your eyes coax me to silence

Your hands comfort my tears

You remind me of Your sufficient grace.

You remind me of Your unending mercy.

You fill me with Your peace that surpasses all understanding.

You overwhelm me with Your love that is always without limit.

Where can I go from Your presence?

Where can I flee from Your shadow?

You see every corner of my world.

You fill ever space within my heart.

There will come a day I can breathe again.

There will come an hour I will see.

Until then, I will allow Your Hope to be my anchor.

Until then, I will dream of what could have been and what will be.

Heaven is going to be a beautiful thing.

Penned – MG – 9/19/17

Don’t Move The Goal Posts

Have you ever watched a football game where they moved the goal posts after a tough first quarter? How about a soccer game when the odds are stacked against the home team? Oh, maybe it was that last basketball game, when they moved the goal post over a bit to be more accommodating to the competition. 

No? Well, God doesn’t expect you to move the goal post either. We started this walk of Christianity to finish. We got in this to win the good fight of faith. If He told you to do something; then, it’s in your best interest to do it. When He said to finish the race, He wasn’t kidding. He will help us to finish well. 

Sometimes, we step into this Christian walk, passionate, all consumed with faith and exuberant obedience, and then, all of a sudden, life happens. Things get a little harder than expected, or maybe a lot harder, and we slow down. We question. We doubt. We might even argue with God that this was not what we bargained for. We begin to wonder if it’s worth the struggle, and we’re tempted to lay it all down for a moment of sinful pleasure and for, what seems like, a breath of relief.  

Yet, just because life didn’t unfold in the the easy way we expected, doesn’t change what God has told us. It doesn’t alter His plans or His direction in which He first told us to go. We can’t change the goal posts in the middle of the game, simply, because our opponent is gaining ground. No, we are commissioned to carry on. We are commanded to persevere, to endure till the end, and to take as many with us as we can! 

Remember, the Book is already written. The end is already confirmed. WE WIN! Don’t move the goal posts when you’re this close to scoring the winning point! 

Romans 5:3-5, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Travel to Another Land

We went to a place recently that I’d like to share with you. It almost seems like a far away land, one of which I’ve read in a book of fairyland or heard of in a dream. It is so beautiful, I long for these days when I return to the routines of mundane.

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When I stand at the top of this mountain, I feel like I can fly. I feel as if I’ve been snatched away from this earthly home, from the care and the concerns, from the responsibilities and burdens of this life. I feel as if no harm, no evil, no danger can come my way.

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It is a place of beauty, a place of tranquility, a place of senrene peace. My heart longs for it when I am away. My soul yearns for its return.

It makes me wonder if this is a tiny glimpse into what heaven must be like…

Will you join me?

Do Not Weep For Me

We had to bury a precious elder in our church today, and it made me think of this. I hope it blesses you…

the grizzle grist mill

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Death engulfs me in its grasp

Darkness is surrounding me

I hear wailing and mourning

But the faces I cannot see.

 

You weep for me to return

But do you know where I am going?

I am to travel the streets of gold

I am to see His Heavenly Throne

 

I am sorry for your loss and sorrow

You will miss me while I am gone

But you don’t have to be without hope

You don’t have to be lost and undone

 

You can join me here when life is through

You can walk in this Paradise Land

You can have eternal life and happiness

If you will just ask Jesus to take your hand

 

Penned – MG – 2/27/01

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Happy Valentine’s Day

In light of Valentine’s Day coming up Sunday, I couldn’t help but reshare a note I wrote last year concerning this day of love…I hope you have a love-filled weekend, wherever and with whomever you find yourself to be. ❤️

the grizzle grist mill

IMG_9457 As I sat in a memorial today to celebrate the homecoming of a life well lived, I thought about love, life, faith and death. I thought about the wife of the deceased who had been married for 53 years. I thought of the precious lady who sat beside me who, just a few short months ago, had said goodbye to her husband after so many years of loving each other. I thought of the young man I would see just a few minutes later, who just lost his wife to an organ transplant failure. Surrounded by so much grief, I wondered how it could possibly be Valentine’s Day today.

So many getting ready for their ‘hot dates’ tonight. Others bragging about all the candy, cards and roses they had received. My husband and myself exchanging our love just a few hours before, yet, waiting to truly celebrate until tomorrow because…

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My NY2016 Resolution

My New Years resolution is HOPE.

Hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Hope for a better future.

Hope for peace.

Hope for love.

Hope for joy.

If your hope is in this world, you will find yourself disappointed and let down time and time again.

This world has nothing for us.

This is our temporary home.

This is just a lay over, a delay at the airport.

Make the best of it while you’re here, but don’t set up camp.

Don’t make it permanent.

Don’t lay up treasures for yourself here.

Don’t trust that you can become comfortable here in this earthly home.

We’re not here to stay. We’re here to leave just as soon as we can.

Make sure your heart and soul is set to leave, and don’t wait too long to assure that hope.

For we are never guaranteed tomorrow. We aren’t even guaranteed our next breath.

He has promised to come back and take us home, and it will be soon.

Heaven is Honest.

Heaven is Home.

Heaven is Hope.

“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.” Romans 15:13

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you.” Colossians 1:3-6a 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrew 11:1