... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Hushed, Silent Saturday

"Holy Week waits in relative silence on Saturday. The tomb has been sealed, the guards stand watch, the disciples likely hide in confusion, fear, and devastation. And the Savior lies lifeless, having surrendered all to save his people from their sins."

~ Marshall Segal
Sorrow to Joy Lent Readings
John Piper

Thursday, April 13, 2017

All At Once...

White covers the earth in my little corner of the world. In the space of 10 minutes or so, it just rained with the distant sound of thunder. Then it quickly changed into hail bouncing on the grass and pavement. As a blanket of white was laid down, it turned to snow. Now the sun is shining while the rain mixed with snow continues. In the time it took me to type this only the sun and the white covering of about an inch remains.   

Spring in the Northwest! The trees are budding, a few daffodils have bloomed and the temperatures vary dramatically from day to day.

The driveway now looks slushy as it melts. Feels like it should April’s Fool’s Day.

Actually, it is Maundy Thursday. (Also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries among other names.) 

It is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. It recognizes the last supper Jesus had with His disciples and traditional includes the washing of feet.

“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them…. ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet’” (John 13:12, 14).

“In the days of dusty roads and open-toed sandals, feet often became dirty, and it was the job of the lowest servants to wash the guests’ feet. But Jesus set an example of service by doing this job himself, despite the protests from Peter.
“Today when we serve one another throughout the year, helping one another with real needs, we are obeying the spirit of the law of Christ. We are “washing feet” when we give people rides to church, when we help them move furniture, when we bring a meal for the sick, when we clean house for the bereaved. We wash feet when we encourage the depressed, are patient with the angry, spend time with the lonely.*”
As I consider on the meaning of this Holy Thursday, may it serve as a moment of reflection for you, also.
Selah ~

*See htts://www.gci.org/church/lordssup/footwash

Monday, April 03, 2017

ESTHER, Part 2

The Esther study is in its final week, but will continue to be available. I'm enjoying it and it has inspired me to read some other resources.

Here are some highlights from What Esther Knew by Connie Glaser and Barbara Smalley:
  • Within 4 minutes a first impression is made; within the first 10 seconds, judgments are formed regarding social class, morals & intelligence. Often first impressions are lasting ones and are difficult to change. Yet Esther found favor in the eyes of Hegai and the king.

  • The "Esther Effect:" things happen for a reason. Therefore, no looking back or why me? Instead look forward with courage and faith.

  • As women, we have been taught not to brag or boast, but to be modest and deflect praise. Esther lived within a culture where women were passive and submissive. Esther and women of today learn to be bold for the Lord.

  • We're also taught not to talk to strangers, which causes many women to lack the initiative to network and interact with people we don't know. These inhibitions can make it difficult for us to be used by God. Esther didn't know anyone when taken to the palace, but she had to learn much to be an effective queen. For example, she wore her royal robes and stood (didn't kneel) when approaching the king to emphasize her royal status. And when confronting Haman she knew the exact words of Haman's edict and used them in her appeal. Obviously, she had developed a network for information. At the same time, I believe, she found favor with many palace workers.

  • Between chapters 4 & 5 Esther transforms from a powerless queen to a brave and courageous leader. She gained skills of communication, analysis, strategy, timing, and how to use them. When she presented her appeal to the king, it was on her turf and she was in charge. 

  • Although her beauty attracted many eyes, it was her choice to follow her conscience, to do the right thing that makes her our role model. She took a leap of faith which lead to increased strength of character and allowed her to rise above adversity.

  • And I loved this. Esther had chutzpah. Meaning she could be the drama queen when necessary, with the ability to make gutsy and clever moves.

  • "Esther's story isn't about ancient Persia. It's about us! It is filled with inspiration and lessons that are timeless and universal."

That's a peek at a few good, thought-provoking ideas I've been reading.

Selah ~ think on this