Morning Rendezvous

IMG_0886

 

Sweet early morning rendezvous

Your presence just for me

This secret place, a garden

Where I can simply ‘be’

 

 

Where words become intrusion

And I give your Spirit sway

Breathless, I exhalt You

As we welcome this new day

 

This may not look like much, but it is the first Psalm I have written since I lost my daughter last September. So for me, it is a sign of healing.

Though the world around me crumbles, yet will I praise Him, yet will I trust Him…

 

 

 

 

Two More Days

In the Garden

In the Garden

 

He waited two more days. That’s what Jesus did when he was told his beloved friend was gravely ill. He waited.

This morning I was reading in the Gospel of John, eleventh chapter, and the Holy Spirit whispered a little tidbit to my spirit. Verses five and six of that passage read: Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister, and Lazarus. So, when he heard that he was sick He stayed two more days where He was.

When I read those words, I paused to ponder. That’s when the Holy Spirit whispered, “He could have responded by going to the bedside of Lazarus immediately, or spoken the healing word from where He was. Lazarus would have been healed and everyone would have been happy. But He had a better plan. He planned to raise Lazarus from the dead. Not only would He raise him, but He would do so after Lazarus had been dead four days!”

Have you been waiting for a promise to be fulfilled? Has it been so long the dream seems to have died? Perhaps it is long dead. Rejoice! God has a better plan.

No really, rejoice! Repeat after me, “Rejoice oh my soul!” Or in other words, “Hey self! Rejoice!”

God’s timing is always best, and His plans are always better than ours. Why? Because He loves us. It’s who He is, and He will always move on our behalf in love. He loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus, but He didn’t act as they expected. He acted in a way the world would have called selfish, unkind and inconsiderate. But He was listening to His Father’s voice, not the voice of the world. He loved His friends so much that He wanted His best for them.

Can’t you just hear Him? “Papa, we’ve been saving this for something really special. Can we do it now? Can we? I love them so much and this would be such a brilliant thing to give them. I know they won’t understand at first, but they will be amazed by You when it happens!”

So He waited. He waited two more days, and by the time He reached Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. I do not believe He was untouched by the grief of His dear friends. I believe He was deeply touched by it. But He knew their sorrow would soon be turned to joy.

When I returned to the house from enjoying early morning ‘coffee with Jesus’ in the garden, I said to my husband. “God could have sent a buyer for our house right away. But He has a better plan. I don’t know what it is, but when it happens it will be His best and it will be brilliant!”

He nodded and said, “Okay, sounds good!” He’s sorta used to my revelatory outbursts.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope...Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope…Jeremiah 29:11

So, for those of us who have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, I say, “God has a better plan. His plans are better than our plans, better than anything we can ask or think. And they are brilliant!” You see, we may not always know what God is doing, but we can always trust WHO HE IS. He changes not. He always wants to give us His best. On our worst day He gives us the grace to endure. On our best day He gives us grace to enjoy. His grace is always sufficient, and His loving kindness is absolutely relentless.

And while we wait, can we invest in knowing the who of God? Who does He want to be for me right now, right where I am? Does He want to show me a Father’s love? Does He want to show me what it means to be His Beloved? Does He want to be my peace? My joy? My delight? Does He want to dance with me? Sing with me? Ask Him!

“My precious Loving Father, I am overwhelmed with the wonder of who You are. I want Your best more than I want my now. And while I wait, can we share more of who You want to be for me? I want to know You more, I want to hear what You hear and see what You see. I know I live under the light of Your smile, teach me what that looks like Papa! I want to know how You see me, so I can begin to cooperate with You in becoming that woman. Then when Your best comes, I will be able to give it my best. Now that would be brilliant!”

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I am a Wealthy Woman

photo to use in Friends Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity…Psalm 133:1

 
 

I am a wealthy woman. The other day I enjoyed a rare and wonderful afternoon with a couple of my friends. It was rare because it’s not often we find a day in which we are all available. But more so, it was rare because we had each cleared the entire afternoon without discussing it beforehand. We enjoyed a delicious lunch overlooking Lake Coeur d’ Alene (thanks again Sandy), and then took a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk admiring the boats.  We walked back to the resort, and not wanting our respite to end, relaxed for awhile on some cozy seats inside. In comfortable companionship our afternoon took a step away from busy schedules to quietly savor the gift of friendship.

On my way home I made a stop at the grocery store to avoid a trip into town the next day. So when I got home, having spent over three hours of my day on the road, it was nearly 7:30 pm.  Usually when I spend a day in town, I am exhausted by the time I get home. But this day, as I drove the hour home from Spokane, I realized how utterly relaxed I felt. It was as if I had spent the entire day at a spa. The revitalizing pleasure of simply enjoying friendships is indeed profound.

When I make those drives into Spokane and back, my mind wanders through events and issues. I often ponder whatever I am currently experiencing in my journey with The Lord.  That day I was struck with a realization. Perhaps for the first time I realized that when it comes to friends, I hit the mother lode.

Recently two friends from high school came to visit me. We’re not talking a short drive across town. We’re talking an hour and a half…one way. Not only did they drive all that way, but they brought lunch! We had a glorious time talking about kids, grandkids, old times, old friends, and, well, getting old. Yes, I know I used that word three times, but what a blessing to have friends who have known me for…many  years (no, I’m not saying how many, trust me it’s been a bunch), and they will still spend three hours on the road to visit with me, and bring lunch!

A couple of weeks ago,  I spent four days in Portland with another group of friends. Of the three with whom I traveled and roomed, two have been friends for many years, one since our children were babes, the other since Billy Graham came to Spokane over thirty years ago. What a joy to share that time with them. The third, bless her heart, did the driving and is fast becoming a treasured friend also. In Portland I got to see several new friends whom I have known for about a year, but never met face to face. When God is your ‘thing in common’ it creates an instant bond that is eternal. I know many of those friendships will become even more rich and precious as we go forward.

Portland Pals

Portland Pals

And do you know what? I haven’t even begun to exhaust my list of friends.  I am talking about the ‘you can call them in the middle of the night if you need them,’ kind of friends. You know who you are, I started a list, but was afraid I would leave someone out. So just trust me, I know who you are too. Some of you are family as well as friends, how awesome is that? Why am I saying all of this? Because I want to go on record as saying, “I am a wealthy woman and I know it.” These are people with whom I will be spending eternity. Yahoo! We are going to have so much fun in Heaven!

I will admit, there have been times when I felt isolated and alone. But I realize now what a lie from the enemy that was. I may live a distance from most of my friends, and although I am trying to change that, the real distance has been in my head. So now I am asking the Lord to expose more areas where I have allowed my own perspective to cloud the lens through which I view life. Where else have I been blind to His blessings? Where have I been so introspective and self-involved that I have missed His enormous generosity? I live under the light of His smile, and He wants me to enjoy His favor. I intend to embrace with open arms this life I am living in Him, and I don’t plan to miss anything along the way.

Yep, it bears repeating. I am a wealthy woman.

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13. Jesus Christ:  the best friend ever.

Hidden Treasures
 
Hidden treasures, acts of love I overlook each day
God’s grace a pearl so priceless not one of us could pay
Have I grown so accustomed to His matchless faithfulness
That I fail to recognize it?  The answer oft is yes
 
A friend when days are troubled, knowing what I need
My plea, though left unspoken, is what she seems to heed
A child’s golden laughter, causing me to pause
And smile in pure enjoyment, simply ‘just because’
 
My days are filled with God things, hidden in plain sight
While I with blinders snugly fit, look neither left nor right
Oh Lord, remove the blinders and cause my eyes to see
Your hand in daily day events, wrapped in simplicity
 
Help me hear your still small voice and whisper in reply
Through eyes once blind I see you Lord, I nearly passed You by
 

 

© Sharon E. Coleman 2015

Secret Places

11.20.2014 004Day Three:

Isaiah 45: 3  I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by name, Am the God of Israel. 

 

When I was a young girl, I was extremely shy, insecure and introverted, but I had a very colorful inner life.  I was a voracious reader and one of my all time favorite books was The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett . I have always been intrigued by the idea of a secret place, a private, safe place, impervious to the outside world. In fact, we are currently planning a downsize in our property ownership. My dream would be to have a smaller, fenced in yard which I could fashion like a secret garden.

Psalm 91 has long been a life word for me, and I have loved the idea of dwelling in the secret place of God. But when I discovered Isaiah 45:3, I was undone. Wow. God is a lover of secret places too! He calls me by name into His secret place, there to give me the treasures of knowing Him, experiencing Him, discovering Him.

Many years ago, we had family friends who moved from Spokane to Colorado. I was young and was very fond of the son and daughter of those friends. It was hard for me to say goodbye to them. Before they left, on the last time we would see each other, they gave me a secret gift, pictures they had drawn on delicate onion skin paper. I don’t even remember what the pictures were, but I remember how special they made me feel. In fact, I can still hear the crinkle of the paper, and feel its delicate texture. I hid those pictures in a secret place and treasured them. A few years later, our house caught fire and we lost everything. Of all we lost, those pictures were my greatest sorrow. Why? Because they represented the private intimacy of a special friendship. All these years later, the memory of that loss can still evoke tears. In fact, until now, I have never shared that story with anyone, it has remained a secret in my heart of hearts.

Our Heavenly Father, the Creator of the universe, offers that kind of intimacy to us. The unique to each of us secret place of His presence. Listen, do you hear Him? Listen more closely, He is whispering your name, inviting you into a wondrous, place of His presence. Oh the joy, the delight, the absolute glory that awaits you there! Will you answer? Will you step into your secret garden with the One who knows you best and loves you most?

I, the Lord who calls you by name,  will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places…

He shall cover you with His feathers…

11.20.2014 001

Day Two: He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.

Psalm 91:4

 

My dear sister has challenged me to post a scripture a day for seven days. I am on day two and the writer in me has taken over. I may or may not post each day’s scripture here, but today I simply had to expound on the scripture I am sharing.
 
 How many of you have ever tiptoed into a bedroom to cover a sleeping child? Tenderly, you pull up the blankets and tuck them snugly around the precious little one. You may bend and gently kiss his or her cheek. Then you stand and simply gaze at that sleeping, tousled head. Love wells within you and threatens to burst right out of your chest.
Sound familiar? That is what I see in my spirit whenever I read or think about this verse. With His feathers my Heavenly Father gently covers me. He leans over and tenderly brushes a kiss upon my cheek. He watches over me with a love so passionate and unconditional that I cannot even begin to fathom its depths.  It fills Him, fills the room, fills me. Oh what love!
 
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge…
 
© Sharon E. Coleman 2015

He Came Back!

June 18, 2014 074

 

 

 

 

 

John 20:6-7  then Simon Peter came, following him (John), and went into the tomb;  and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded together in a place by itself.

Custom dictated that when people reclined at table, they would always have a napkin. If someone rose from table but intended to return, he would fold his napkin and leave it at his place. However if he was not intending to return, he would crumple his napkin and leave it at his place.

When the disciples found the linens in which Jesus was wrapped, the napkin used to cover the face of Jesus was folded by itself. The message? I AM RETURNING!

All praise to our Risen Lord, He is risen! He is here! He came back!

THE  BRIDGE

On the brink of eternity, life’s treasures spent

A chasm of guilt at their feet

Their backs bent and burdened by choices they’d made

No avenues left for retreat

Abortion. The word burns like fire in her soul

Thirty years could not deaden the sting

Of laughter not heard, fairy tales never told

Lullabies that she never would sing

Alcohol. Echos of warnings ignored.

If you’re going to drink, please do not drive

Had he taken the time to heed their advice

That child might still be alive

Adultery. Regret. bitter sorrow and tears

If only she’d not given in

He’d forgiven her yes, but look at the pain

That was caused because of her sin

                          †

 On a hill called Golgotha construction begins

As the life’s breath of heaven stands still

Three nails and one tree are all that are used

According to God’s Holy Will

                          †

On the brink of forever, the canyon of guilt

Loomed before them with no way around

Their lives spent and worthless, all hope was gone

When suddenly they heard a sound

The gates of eternity trembled and shook

The earth groaned in urgent reply

And behold, before them God’s Son appeared

On a bridge that split open the sky

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they’ll be white as snow

If you’ll come by the way I’ve prepared

The Father is waiting to welcome you in

Not a resource in heaven was spared”

                          †

There’s a chasm of sin, which no man can cross

And it stands between heaven and me

But God built a bridge at the hands of His Son

It was made with three nails and one tree

                         †

© Sharon Coleman  2015

 

O What Love

O What Love

O what love this, to give what is most precious
O what grace is, to give what’s needed most
O what mercy, to give what I deserve not
O what beauty, proclaimed by Heavenly Host

What say I to such overwhelming passion?
My response to such selfless acts as these?
Shame and sorrow to trade for grace and glory?
I can do naught but fall upon my knees

© Sharon E. Coleman 2013

Christmas Morning

Jonahc     I share this every year, and the truth of it is still relevant. Just this week we saw on the news that a young boy was reunited with his mother after being held hostage and abused for four years. I love the Christmas season, but I want to be sensitive to those for whom it is a hard, sad time. As we thank God for our many blessings, won’t you join me in remembering and praying for those who are in prison, away from home, poor, homeless, or caught in the web of sin. addiction and hopelessness. It was for all of us that Jesus came, and it is for all of us that He lives. Blessings to you.

 Through softly floating snow flakes
He watched day fade to night
The house across the street lit up
The star on top shone bright
 
He pressed his tiny face against
The glass so he could see, the lights
That danced and sparkled
On his neighbor’s Christmas tree
 
He wondered what the world was like
For other girls and boys
Who woke up Christmas morning
To a Christmas tree and toys
 
He imagined how his mom and dad
Would smile and draw him near
And how they’d all have dinner
Cooked up with Christmas cheer
 
His mouth turned up in pleasure
At the picture he could see
Of a happy, normal little boy
But it was not to be…
 
The angry voices rose beyond
His bedroom door shut tight
His tiny body trembled
And his fantasy took flight
 
As the distant siren sounded
And his tears began to fall
He wondered where he’d be
When Christmas morning came to call
 
© Sharon E. Coleman 2013
 

 The preceding poem may not warm the cockles of your heart, but for all too many boys and girls it is reality.  This Christmas, won’t you please do what you can to help?  Put an extra dollar in the Salvation Army bucket; donate an extra toy to Toys for Tots; give to your local food bank or charity; adopt a child or a family for Christmas.  Pray for those who are locked in the bondage of poverty or domestic abuse.  And may God bless you and yours, even as your soul prospers (3 John 2).

 

 

 

 

 

Text Message From Jesus

04.15.2014 009

Call Me

I would that you call Me first, but if you won’t, call Me last

  • When you’ve reached the end of your rope, call Me
  • When the road you’re on reaches a dead end with no return, call Me
  • When your heart has been broken into pieces too small to repair, call Me
  • When your friends forsake you, call Me
  • When all of your options opt out, call Me
  • When the Dr. says there’s no hope, call Me
  • When sorrow brings darkness that no light can pierce, call Me
  • When the night is too long to bear, call Me
  • When guilt, regret and shame threaten to consume your very soul, call Me
  • When all hope is gone and there’s no place to turn, call Me

I would that you call me first, but if you won’t, call Me last

Call Me, I’m waiting…

© Sharon E. Coleman 2014

Like October Fog…

Hen Fest Pics 002

I love Autumn. I love the changing colors, the light sweater days, the smell of damp fallen leaves…and October fog.

October fog isn’t like January fog that freezes to the roads and chills me to the bone. October fog whispers of the changing season. It gently folds itself around the valleys like my mother’s old flannel blanket. I love to watch as it slowly lifts, revealing outlines and shapes, then clarity of landscape.

When driving in fog, which I try to avoid, one must keep one’s lights on low beam. High beam lights will simply reflect back into your eyes making it even more difficult to see.

I am learning that to seek the Lord on a particular subject is often like driving in fog. When I try too hard, I become blinded by my own perceptions and opinions. Striving, or becoming anxious and stressful, will only hinder my ability to see or hear from Him.

I am also learning to enjoy the process. Oh how rich the process! I don’t want to miss a single tidbit of what God has planned for me, because I am striving for an answer.

Isaiah 30:15 says, “In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

In quietness and confidence shall be my strength. I am absolutely confident that if God doesn’t answer immediately, He will always answer eventually. And in between the asking and the answer, I get to discover the riches of His love for me.

So I will sit back and rest in the secret place of His embrace. I will watch as He reveals outlines and shapes, then clarity of landscape. And I will enjoy the process, while He gently folds Himself around me and whispers in my ear…

…like October fog.

 

© Sharon E. Coleman 2014