Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lack of Trust - A Definition

1. Worry, sleeplessness, nervousness.
2. Prayer turned to beggings and pleadings.
3. When I think that MY solution is THE solution.

Check, check, check.
Guilty, guilty, guilty.

All of the above characterized me in one short weekend. UGH!

Daniel 10 (not normally where I turn when I need my prayer life revived) is where God brought me that Sunday morning. Thank you Mark Bates.

It wasn't that I wasn't praying--I was. I was speaking words to God. I wasn't trusting. I was worried; I was pleading; I knew what the best answer looked like.

I forgot who I was conversing with. Really conversation was really not the descriptor of our interaction that weekend. It was more like, God please listen; something needs to happen and here's my solution; now set my plan in motion ... PLEASE! 

Be still and remember.
I needed to remember God is near, God is wise, God knows, God cares, God is able, God is
trustworthy and much much more. But I wasn't.

Especially I was forgetting how much God loves me. Twice God spoke these words to Daniel,
"O Daniel, man greatly loved," verse 11.
"O man greatly loved," verse 19.

The first pages of my leather journal, my really important journal, are filled with scriptures God has tenderly spoken about His personal love for me. I NEED to review these words LOTS. It is essential; it is critical. It's hard to trust someone you don't believe loves you.

CE Spurgeon says, "the greatest kindness a man can do for me is to pray for me."

Yes, I covet your prayers. And I pray for you too. I'm praying that we would trust God's love.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,"
Proverbs 3:5a

Reminder: There are only two days left to register for the Sabbath-Living retreat at the early bird price.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Actions - Re-Actions

As we drove across town a few weeks ago, my 4 year old GRAND announced, my feelings are hurt.

We adults queried, what hurt your feelings? (He doesn't get hurt feelings.)

But I do. My re-actions prove it--to me and all who surround me.

Last week I felt very un-trusted; my feelings were hurt in two different scenarios. My ugly un-invited re-actions proved my hurt. In those moments I didn't like where I was and I didn't like my re-active responses.

Then the timely words of two friends invited me to Ephesians 3.

I paused and listened.
God smiled and loved.

Paul's prayer at the end of Ephesians 3 reminded me of 4 importants.

1. Paul prays for the Ephesians (and me) that we would be strengthened in our inner being. My soul, the invisible me, the true me out of which flows the real me. Those re-actions spoke truth. Sue, tend to your inner being.

2. So that Christ may dwell in their (my) heart through faith. Faith-trust; noun-verb; where I am-what I must do--trust. I asked God what it would look like to walk in the path of trust in these situations.

3. "...that you being rooted and grounded in love," For many years part of my regular devotional time centered on reviewing God's love for me, grounding myself in his love. But I started skimming over that. I knew it. Do I really need to remind myself all the time? YES--I need to keep my roots healthy. Health doesn't happen if ignored.

4. "may have strength to comprehend with all the saints ..."  Oh how I need community! It was my friends who delivered me back to encouragement. It was my friends who opened Truth to me. I imagine it was many friends who pray for me that opened my eyes an my heart. I need you. We need each other.
Now I know why I like this plaque so much. It's message is biblical.

Oh that these truths would characterize me. Perhaps then I wouldn't experience the unwanted re-actions that surfaced a few weeks back. Or more honestly, experience them less.

How do you tend to your inner being? What does trust look like for you today in your now? How do you stay rooted and grounded in love? How does your community help you to be the person God created you to be?

"My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit--not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength--that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love."
                                        Ephesians 3:14-18, The Message (emphasis mine)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015, Words to Embrace

When reading another's writing and realizing I'm hearing from God, I HAVE to share.  Today Ann Voskamp, Robin Williams, and my friend Kara Tippetts speak wisdom you won't want to miss. They remind me to of my friend Sally Breedlove who asks, "Today may be your opportunity to choose to pursue rest in the midst of the battle you face. Can you take a break from all your trying; can you give thanks and celebrate the goodness of what is; can you allow the present to be imperfect? Will you let God--rather than fulfilling circumstances or a put-together heart--be the place you call home? I you do, the gate of rest will open to you." Choosing Rest, page 156.   AND, something else you won't want to miss is the retreat at Glen Eyrie on March 14 and 15, Sabbath-Living, The Pilgrimage. Sally is our main facilitator. For more info, contact me ...  Unfortunately, I couldn't get Ann's blog to come over correctly. Please click on her link at the left to read her words and the words she quotes from Robin Williams and Kara Tippetts.  As a bonus, Ann is also giving away a camera!               

"Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! Psalm 90:12, MSG

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Pathways, Pilgrimages

October 2010, God drove one of those proverbial stakes into the ground—the ground of my heart.

Just a month previous I penned my first Echoes post, Living Inside the Box. It spoke of a personal life lesson for me, God’s desire is that my life is lived on the safety of his paths for me. Just six weeks later He clarified—in a general way—what that might look like. The BIG idea was in place; now the skeleton was taking shape, the pathway was clarifying.

That October, I was invited to a weekend retreat in Sally Breedlove’s lovely NC home. There is something about southern hospitality that is warm and so inviting. The weekend painted a picture of a path that God was beckoning me to walk. It drew me by its beauty. It encouraged me with fellow travelers. It left me hungry.

I drove away from the weekend quiet, smiling, wondering, and with four big take-aways.

Snowy path in Vermont
This week as 2015 is unfolding, it’s my great honor to invite you to a women’s retreat and enjoy Sally Breedlove southern hospitality for yourself transplanted to the beautiful Glen Eyrie Conference Center in Colorado Springs. Southern hospitality nestled in the wild-west to offer you a weekend of discovering the paths God has for you.

Sabbath Living – The Pilgrimage

This is a retreat, not a conference. Sally’s engaging presentations will lead to personal times of quiet reflection. You will experience God’s heart for you in new, refreshing, and deeper ways.

You’ll choose an afternoon workshop to explore various ways to hear from God. Have you wanted to try art journaling? Deb Entsminger, the creator of the online art journaling course, "Who Am I", will lead you through a time that will leave you adding colored pencils to your shopping list. Veteran Nav staff Dana Kozlarek and Kathleen Selje are also leading workshops. Dana will help you discover how our seasons of life reflect how we hear from God. And Kathleen’s fun personality will bring Matthew 6 to life for you and give you practical tools for your pilgrimage with God. 
Wintery path in Colorado

The Glen Eyrie executive chef will be preparing our meals. Dinner will be in the historic castle, original home of William Jackson Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs.

You’ll enjoy worshipful music, time to catch a nap, and other special surprises along the way. 

This is a weekend you won’t want to miss. Mark your calendar for March 14 and 15. For the next two weeks the retreat fee is only $85 + the cost of your choice of lodging at Glen Eyrie (or commuting).

For all the details and to register, go to And if you have additional questions, feel free to contact me at or 719-332-7661.

I am hoping you will join with me for this retreat. I’m confident you’ll be glad you did.  Sue

“You make know to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11