A Christmas Pledge

Help Yourself to My Life!

 

“Help yourself to my life”, Mary seemed to say,

never knowing full well how her life would change.

But if seedling faith moves mountains, Mary moved them well,

Believing in her God that day by saying “help yourself”.

Giving up dreams she’d made, letting God change her plans,

taking a road unmarked, going to Bethlehem.

 

“Help yourself to my life”, Joseph bowed his head,

knowing what God asked of him, he could not understand.

But if ever hope was living, in his heart it swelled,

trusting in his God that day by saying “help yourself”.

Giving up all he knew, trusting in righteous plans,

taking a wife with child, walking to Bethlehem.

 

“Help yourself to my life”, God announced with stars,

even from a manger bed, he could see the scars.

But if ever love was given?  Only God knew how,

loving us with all his might and saying “help yourself”!

Giving up his only son, planning his birth and death,

watching him take his cross, out of Jerusalem.

 

“Help yourself to my life”, I can hear him say…..

 

So will I be a Mary, will I be a Joseph strong and brave?

Will I stand to follow when he calls my name?

And will I give up all my dreams, just to have him use me?

Jesus you know me so well, will I say “help yourself”?

Jesus you know me so well, will I say “Help Yourself”?

©Cindy Palin

My Master is Painting

Driving alongside the Columbia River that divides the Washington and Oregon States. Even in the rain I see Him.

My Master is painting

I see his hand as we drive by

Broad strokes purposefully plunging the earth into the Columbia

These mammoth hills, his naked canvas

Rock, layered upon layer

Tufted with narrow upward strokes of straw grass

The tip of his brush stamping texture

 

Dabs of color, drips and runs the rain

He breathes in close and fog shrouds the sun

He steps back just one universe’s width, before

Smiling in yellow to highlight the peaks

He stills the wind with an upright palm

Rests his brush on Mars

and admires this valley

I turn to look out our rear view window

“This isn’t goodbye” I whisper

“The road ahead will lead us to more of You”!

©Cindy Palin November 11th, 2012

 

Is Distraction Waxing Your Heart Cold?

What is it that is keeping you from the Truth tonight, tomorrow’s almighty “to do” list?

Beware of busy, anything that keeps you moving long enough and fast enough to wax your heart cold. Beware of distraction, anything that makes you look good on the outside, but sucks the life out of your insides.

Is truth being traded for a movie, with far too many vulgar words for Christ to watch with you?

Is Truth being muffled by negative thoughts, self-pity and pain, walls of justification?  Those walls may feel like protection but are barriers to peace and forgiveness, that keep the Truth at a distance and allow bitterness to carve a lonely canyon for the sound of echoing broken promises.

Beware, those faults you once found others guilty of could become your own.

Is Truth being crowded out by technology, one more trick to learn or game to play or hour to waste, of the precious time Christ bought for you – with his blood?  This gift of time has always been meant for simple trust, childlike faith, close accounts, repentant tears, light-hearted joy – revelation and communion.

Is Truth being stomped out by our personal muscle flexing, our conquests to conquer, as if somehow we’ll rack up points, get His attention, earn His affection, or at least our peers?  We’re doing what, in who’s name?

He is the Truth, the Way and the Life, He is our super-hero, and everything He calls us to do is to accentuate His work, to bring Him Glory.  It is His name we proclaim, we are not here to make a name for ourselves.

Recommended Truth Reading:  Matthew Chapter 6

 

 

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Those things called; Feelings!

Depersonallization disorder

Sometimes discouragement comes from not being the “real” you, you’re tired of having multiple personalities, different faces for different people, someone for your Mom and Dad, someone else for your friends.

 

Then there are those times when you know who you are, you have the spouse, the family, but someone in your inner circle doesn’t like you.  They second guess your smiles, mistake your work for “making an impression”, question everything you do as if you’re their latest science project rather than their Mother, and hear things you’ve never said.

 

I thought it was tough trying to figure things out when I was in High School.  College brought a new kind of scary.  Now that I’m a Mother, everything would be just great, if I didn’t have those things called; feelings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Hope is found….

Wasn’t able to keep up with my travel blog, but that’s the beauty of listening for God‘s guidance.  Sometimes we need to put something down and pick something else up.  We’re home now and it’s been a struggle to kick into gear in my studio, especially at this time of year – the season of Christmas!

There is always a lesson to be learned when it comes to balance and this week’s particular, is one of utmost importance.

I must continue to guard my time with the Lord.  I must continue to make time to write.  As I pace myself in the shop, I must continue to focus on the each project as the person they represent and enjoy, and breathe.  I must also call it all to a halt when the days no longer hold enough time to reach Christmas deadlines.  And if Jesus says “go” I must be ready to “go” and do what ever it is he has for me to do.  Even if I think I have enough to do.

And above all I must remember that we are all on this life journey in search of hope.  And guess what?  That hope came down at Christmas for us all.  That hope has a name, and he isn’t just some vague “higher power” or the “man upstairs”.  People have a tendency to keep him at a distance by using those general names.  It’s hard to believe the God of the universe sent His son to a manger, and then the cross for peons such as ourselves.  But He did.  So say His name “Jesus” and be filled with “Christmas Hope”!

Christmas Hope, available on iTunes!

 

What Freedom Looks Like

 

Harris Beach, Oregon

The lady at check-out had told us to stop off at Harris Beach, if we got the chance.  She didn’t say our lives would never be the same, if we didn’t.  She should’ve.

We followed a brush shaded walking path, generously covered with a week old, chocolate/gold leaf carpet.  Then out into the open, to paradise.  I carefully stepped over an ancient washed ashore tree and saw what freedom looks like.  Immediately my lips sang words in praise of you, out loud, as if I’d always known the song!

Barefoot I stood in the sand watching the left over lace from a powerful receding wave, tickle my toes and erase early morning deer tracks.  Scattered mini mountains soldiered the shoreline as if they were my personal guardians.  As the surprising November sun warmed my face, I felt your watchful eye upon me.

My arms lifted from my side without permission, a signal to my spirit’s invisible wings to fly closer, higher and light upon your shoulder to hear your morning whisper and feel your breath in my hair.   I heard you and replied, “What you have made is good indeed, my Lord!”

White knuckled waves clinch the rocks before me, shake the earth beneath me, thunder all around me and I tremble in reverence.  But I only bow to you.  The faith pulsing behind this mortal frame, because of the cross – is stronger than this sea.

My body is but a pebble on this glorious shore, but a pebble with a purchased soul. This pebble sized faith can speak to this untamed leviathan as if I were the moon’s gravity itself and freeze the tide mid roll, if you asked me to, just as Moses stretched his staff towards the Red Sea.  It parted, folded back on itself, lifted towards the heavens and for what?  For your Glory!

I could live on this beach, I could lay in this sand for eternity!  I recall a prayer spoken one year prior, an ache for a beach, and a rest, a vision of sand and sun.  Here I am and here You are!  And knowing You and Your love, should I be surprised?

 

 

 

A New Kind of Oxygen

Hiking through Lady Bird Johnson Redwood Grove, California

Was gold discovered here – thus the name “Eureka”?  Didn’t think to ask a local if that’s how the town was named.

Our day’s travels through the dense west-coast forest of the Northern California Redwoods had filled our lungs with wonder, something more invigorating than oxygen.

 

 

We dumped our bags in our hotel room and flopped our “Gumby” bodies on the bed.  Soon dreams of animated towering trees fluttered behind our eye lids, filtering their sunlight like the sea sifts her sand.

The forest canopy lifted its arms through the mist in praise to our Maker and remnants of holy rain, fell as an offering to the forest floor, to resurrect the dying, to kiss our awe-struck faces.  Rare windows framed with branches on carefully carved turnouts, reveal billions of tree tops for a thousand rolling hills and a sobering awesome truth envelops me.  We could be lost, but they know we’re here, Jesus knows we’re here and without Him what would all this mean?

We descend as sharply as we had ascended, for mile upon mile, twist upon turn, to find a mighty King tree who graciously allows us to drive right through him.  We reverently go around and park nearby.  Our necks cannot bend back far enough to see his crown, but I know it’s there between the clouds and stars, rusted by salt air, blown in on the Pacific wind since the beginning of time.