Thrice His

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We are packing. The house hasn’t sold yet but it will, God has told me so. In preparation, we’re moving some things into storage close to our planned destination.

I was in the barn looking at a stack of boxes, when my attention was drawn to a rope that my husband was using to bundle something.  It was a three strand rope, very strong.

As I studied the three strands of that rope, the Lord spoke to my heart, “You are thrice mine.” I thought about it, and realized I do indeed have three sets of fingerprints on my spirit, proof of His indelible touch.

You see, God created me. Psalm 139:16 tells me, “Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written…” That means I was created with God’s fingerprints on my spirit.  Once His. Awesome.

God saved me and gave me eternal life. In Hebrew’s 12:2 I read,”…Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…”   Jesus’ fingerprints on my spirit. Twice His. Incredible.

And last, but certainly not least, I have given myself to Him. In John 16:13 Jesus says, “…When He, the Spirit of truth shall come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak…” By the Holy’s Spirit’s leading, I saw my need and gave myself to Jesus. The Holy Spirit’s fingerprints on my spirit. Thrice His.

My life, my salvation, my strength. Thrice His. Brilliant.

Ecclesiastes. 4:12b A threefold cord is not easily broken.

He Saw Me

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This morning as I was meditating on the absolute goodness of God, I was overcome with gratitude and the tears began to flow. I suddenly had a mental flash back to an incident years ago.

Each summer when they were young, my children spent six weeks with their biological father. It was a difficult time for my daughter for several reasons, not the least of which was old fashioned home-sickness.

One summer while they were away, Mike and I decided to ‘re-do’ their bedrooms to surprise them when they returned home.   We did Joel’s in NFL theme and he loved it. Tami’s reaction was, however, unexpected. I had created for her the bedroom I always wanted when I was a little girl, complete with canopy bed and homemade ruffled curtains.

When she walked into her room she stopped, stood there for a minute and began to cry.

“Well that went well,” I thought. “She hates it.”

Then she said between hiccups, “You didn’t have to do so much!”

What I had interpreted as displeasure, was exactly the opposite. She liked it so much she was overwhelmed.

That’s how I feel this morning before my loving, generous Heavenly Father. He didn’t have to do so much! But He did it anyway, because He loves me that much!

He gave His only begotten Son so I could spend eternity with Him. He gave me the presence of Holy Spirit to guide, teach and comfort me. He protects me (yes, Psalm 91 again), He is the gift that really does keep on giving, and giving, and giving.

Words will never be able to thank Him enough for His great generosity to me. When I think about it, I am simply reduced to tears of humility and overwhelming gratitude.

Dear Jesus, Blessed Savior, God’s Dear Begotten Son
What made You whisper, “Father, not my will,  but Thine be done?”
Did You see the coming anguish? Did You see what they would do?
 
He looked at me and smiled, “My child, I saw you”
 
 

Hebrews 12:2…for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross…

 

© Sharon E. Coleman 2014

 

 

Search Me Lord

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Those of you who have followed my blogs over the past few weeks may be asking, “Is Psalm 91 the only thing she reads?”

The answer is, “No, but… ”

You see, The Lord does have me on a loop here, and until He says move on, I’ll stay.

As I was sitting with Him this morning, I found myself rather straining to figure out exactly how to ‘enter’ His secret place.  So I asked Him, “Papa, how do I enter Your secret place?”

I dearly love how He never says the expected, but He always answers out of His love for me.  He responded to my question by asking, “How does one enter your secret place?”

It dawned on me then. It was I who had barriers and conditions, not Him. I thought about those (rare) times when I had allowed complete access to my heart. The first thing I thought of was my grandchildren. They truly invaded the innermost recesses of my heart. I love them with complete and utter abandon. Up until that time I loved, and loved deeply, the Lord, my husband, my family, and my friends. But due to life’s hurts and hard knocks, I had unwittingly maintained a buffer around my heart to protect myself from more pain and loss.

Wow.  I was a little stunned with that revelation. I don’t need to strive to enter His secret place, but I do need to grant Him access to mine. How novel is that? How like my wonderful, loving Heavenly Father!

So I recruited the help of a good friend of mine. You may know Him, many call Him Holy Spirit, Jesus called Him Helper and Comforter. It is His supreme pleasure to facilitate an upgrade in our walk with Jesus, so He was only too pleased to help me.

Now I pray, “Papa, please enter and inhabit every part of my heart, every part. I know you love me with pure unfettered abandon. I also know that nothing I could do would make you love me more, and nothing I could do would make you love me less. However, now I can more freely receive and reciprocate that love. What an awesome, amazing and brilliant God I serve.”

Disappointment’s jagged scars
Yesterdays of fear and doubt
Search me Lord, You know my heart
Remove these chains that keep You out
 
I open wide the secret place
Invite You in; give You the key
The past is gone, the new is here
Possess the deepest parts of me
 
© Sharon E. Coleman
 
 
 
 
 
 

Return of the Swans

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Yes, the swans are back. They’ll only be here a few days before they go…someplace else. I don’t actually know where they go from here, I just know that every year at this time they return to the temporary pond across from our house for a few precious days. I look forward to their return, it announces spring to me. I don’t know what draws them here year after year, but they always come back. Every year I watch for them and just as I begin to despair that they may not return, there they are.

This month I have been experiencing technical difficulties that have kept me from my appointed social networking rounds. The rains have rendered the road to our house difficult to pass, keeping potential buyers from visiting. A new part time job has decreased the time I can devote to other tasks crying for my attention. The temptation to look at my circumstances instead of God’s faithfulness has at times overtaken me. Then yesterday, as I returned home from a wonderful writer’s conference, I approached our driveway, looked to my left, and there they were. The swans were back. Why did I doubt? It is their nature to return, they will always return. It may not be exactly when I think they should, or when I expect, but they will return.

Have you ever allowed your circumstance to obscure your view of Jesus? I have. But I am changing. I am learning to return my focus to who He is, rather than on my circumstances or what I think He should be doing.

Psalm 91 tells us: “His faithfulness shall be your shield and bulwark.”

We can depend on His faithfulness. We can count on it, trust it, believe it, rely on it, bank on it. He may not answer us when we want Him to or the way we think He should, but He will always answer. If He doesn’t answer initially, He will always answer eventually. Always. Always. Always. It is who He is, He never changes. What must change? The way I think, the thing upon which I focus.

The Joy of the Lord is my strength. Need joy? Spend time simply ‘being’ in His presence. Don’t do, just be. Love Him, Praise Him, soak in His presence. Like the swans always return, God will always meet you in the secret place of His presence.

 O Lord, remove this heart of stone
Remove my selfish thoughts of me
Let earth bound self-restraint be gone  
So You and You alone I see
 
© Sharon E. Coleman 2014
 
 
 

Moonlight Moments

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Moonlight’s hold is tenuous and dawn’s approach is near
But my spirit doesn’t notice as it whispers, “He is here.”
 
The riches of the secret place unfold as I give sway
To the sweetness of His presence at the birth of this new day
 
In the quiet of these moments, I command my thoughts to still
So I can hear His precious voice, and know His perfect will
 
As the world spins out of focus, one truth remains the same
Oh yes, dear world, the King still reigns, and Jesus is His name!
 
 © Sharon E. Coleman 2014
 
 

Price Reduction Just in Time for Christmas

These little books make great gifts, or even Christmas Cards for that certain someone

Ask me, and I’ll include an extra envelope for your shipping convenience

 

The Christmas Calf  was $7.99 now a mere  $4.00 (plus s/h)The Christmas Calf

Andrew’s Gift was $9.99 Now only $5.00 (plus s/h)

andrews-gift

Offer good only while supplies last

A Very Merry Christmas to All

Can You Quinoa (/ˈkiːnwɑː)?

Ask and you will receive. Recently I have had numerous folks ask me how I prepare and cook quinoa.  Below is a description of July 9, 2013 072what quinoa is, and a tutorial on how I prepare it. Enjoy!

Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetsspinach and tumbleweeds.
 The nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals. Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.[3]
After harvest, the seeds need to be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. Quinoa seeds are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.
 
Most people with whom I have spoken, simply cook the quinoa like they would cook rice, adding water and simmering it on the stove. I have found, however, that pan roasting the seeds before cooking in water adds a slightly nutty flavor that I prefer. Because it does add time to preparation, I have begun pre-roasting about a quart at a time. Then when I am ready to use it, I can simply add water and simmer.
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 First  rinse the seeds lightly to remove any remaining saponins, or bitter taste. Then I dump the rinsed seeds into a heavy  skillet. Make sure your skillet is dry, no oil added. I like to use my cast iron skillet, but any heavy skillet will do.
 
 

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Stir the seeds continually over medium low heat. They will dry out and gradually begin to roast. As you continue to stir the seeds, some will pop slightly, and they will  turn a golden color and smell warm and nutty.
 
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When they are completely dry, have turned a golden brown color,  and have taken on a light nutty, roasted aroma, remove the seeds from heat and transfer to a bowl until cooled completely. Stir them occasionally to circulate air and aid in the cooling process.
 
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Once they are completely cooled, I store in a sterile quart jar until I am ready to cook them. When cooking, be sure you don’t add too much water or they can become mushy. Add just enough to cover and watch them closely. You can always add a bit more liquid as they cook. I like them still firm enough to retain their shape without sticking together.
 
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The jar on the right is after roasting. You can see the difference in the color.
 
I often cook rice the same way, pan roasting it before I cook it in water. I like the consistency and flavor pan roasting gives it.
 
NOTES:
If you are transferring the quinoa from  pan roasting directly into hot water to cook, be careful. The water will bubble up and can overflow. Leave plenty of room above the water level to avoid overflow.
 
I like to cook about a cup of quinoa a week and store it in the fridge.  I use a spoonful with 1/4 cup fruit in my yogurt or oatmeal, or sprinkle a spoonful over my salad. Anything to which I want to add a little  fiber, flavor, texture and protein.
 
So there you have it, easy peasy, healthy and yummy quinoa.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Dawn’s Threshold

 The threshold of dawn, a new day is near024
My eyes are still heavy with sleep
With coffee in hand I whisper Your name
And Your fragrance makes my heart leap
 
Come sit down beside me, lay your head on my breast
Let the cares of this world slip away
As the night yields to morning, let Me fill you with peace
Let your heart receive strength for the day
 
Oh Father, my Father, in Your presence I weep
Just to know that You call me Your own
My soul scarce can fathom the wonder of You
And the mercy I find at Your throne
 
©Sharon E. Coleman 2013
 
 

Do You Have an Inner Hedge Hog?

Have you ever retained a line from a book or movie long after you have forgotten where you heard or read  it?

When I was a child, I read a series of children’s books about forest animals who of course talked and carried on their little lives in the woods.  One of these characters was a hedge hog.  At a moment of crisis for this little hedge hog, the narrative says of him, “He thought and thought until he thought a hole in the ground.”

Now for the life of me I cannot remember the author of those charming little books.  I can’t remember the title of the series and I can’t remember the name of the book.  But I remember that line.  It returns to me every time I am thinking a hole in the ground.

This week I have been thinking a hole in the ground.  I am in the process of trying to learn about  tweeting, blogging, pinterest-ing and facebook-ing, and how they all fit together.  I am also in the process of building a website (thanks to Gretchen Louise http://gretchenlouise.com/).  In the midst of that, I am attempting to engage in some creative writing.  I have never been a person who is plagued with headaches.  This week I have had a headache nearly every day.  Like I said, I am thinking a hole in the ground.

Finally, I decided to simply step away from it for awhile.   I was not being productive in anything, and I needed to take care of some household tasks.  When I stepped away and changed my focus, I made an enlightening discovery.irises 004 (3)

Inspiration doesn’t come from thinking a hole in the ground.  Inspiration comes from living life and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. When my hands are in the soil, He talks to me about cultivating faithfulness (watch for that blog), when I harvest my lavender, He reminds me that the oil poured over the head of Jesus was oil of spikenard (watch for that blog), and when I mix up a batch of bread, He talks to me about avoiding the leaven of the world (yes, you guessed it, another blog to come).

Just this morning during my morning coffee with Jesus, He whispered a truth into my heart. What I write should always be the  product of time spent with Him, never the motivation for it.” click to tweet

So from now on, when I feel myself  thinking a hole in the ground, I will take a walk with Peanut (my little rescue dog), take a garden break, or even sweep the kitchen floor.  And I will ask the Lord to still my inner hedge hog while I rest in Him.

And by the way, if there is anyone out there who can tell me what book series this quote came from, will you please?  I want to give credit where credit is due.

Goodbye for now.  I’ll see you again soon at My Kitchen Table, where there’s always room for another friend.

© Sharon E. Coleman 2013