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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Monday, June 30, 2014

Write Club: Don't Miss It

Write Club
If you haven't yet checked out the write club competition, get on over there and take a ring side seat.  Each week, for 16 weeks two 500 word pieces are posted.  Selected from an initial pool of 500 in various genres, these pairing square off for a vote from us the audience.  The winners of each week are then chosen based on audience input to compete in the finals and semi finals.  

You can read the previous weeks winners and participate in selecting in the current bout.  It's oodles of fun and may inspire you to compete in next year's competition.  Check out Write Club here.   I know you will enjoy the experience.
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I want to thank Jerry Beuterbaugh for mentioning my blog as a site to see over at As the Crackerhead Crumble.  I am humbled an honored to be mentioned.  Jerry has some other great recommendations as well.  Another blog worth checking out if you haven't yet discovered it.

                                     Delighting in the journey.  God bless, Maria 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Join us for Call2Fall





The Call2Fall is nothing fancy.  It is simple.  On Sunday, June 29, 2014, let's get on our knees and faces before the Lord in repentant prayer, pleading with God to reshape our lives, renew our land, and send times of refreshing (See 2 Chronicles 7:14; Acts 3:19).

Join us in living out the Call2Fall Declaration and preparing our hearts for Sunday, June 29th.   

You can find out more on the Call2Fall Website.  Can we ever pray enough for our nation?  Spread the word.



Call2Fall
  
Call2Fall

Thursday, June 19, 2014

More Puritan Prayer

In my last post, I mentioned that I have recently become enamored with Puritan Prayer through the introduction of my pastor.  Here are two more of the Puritan Prayers I found so very compelling.  I hope they bless you as they did me.

                                     Spiritual Helps

Eternal Father, it is amazing love, that You have sent Your Son to suffer in my stead, that You have added the Spirit to teach, comfort, guide, that You have allowed the ministry of angels to wall me round; all heaven subserves the welfare of a poor worm.  Permit Your unseen servants to be ever active on my behalf, and to rejoice when grace expands in me. Suffer them never to rest until my conflict is over, and I stand victorious on salvation's shore.

Grant that my proneness to evil, deadness to good, resistance to Your Spirit's motions, may never provoke You to abandon me. May my hard heart awake Your pity, not Your wrath, And if the enemy gets an advantage through my corruption, let it be seen that heaven is mightier than hell, that those for me are greater than those against me. Arise to my help in richness of covenant blessings, keep me feeding in the pastures of Your strengthening Word, searching Scripture to find You there.

If my waywardness is visited with a scourge, enable me to receive correction meekly, to bless the reproving hand, to discern the motive of rebuke, to respond promptly, and do the first work. Let all Your fatherly dealings make me a partaker of Your holiness. Grant that in every fall I may sink lower on my knees, and that when I rise it may be to loftier heights of devotion. May my every cross be sanctified, every loss be gain, every denial a spiritual advantage, every dark day a light of the Holy Spirit, every night of trial a song. 

                               The Valley of Vision

Lord,
high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord,
in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.


I decided I had to purchase the book, The Valley of Vision which stirred my passion for these prayers. These cause me to delight even more in my God.
                                                                                 God bless, Maria

Monday, June 16, 2014

Discovering the Power of Puritan Prayers


Recently my pastor shared a Puritan prayer in church from a little book called The Valley of Vision.  It so blessed me that I asked if he would email me a copy of the prayer.

"Here Maria.  Why don't you borrow the book for a couple weeks?"

Reading some of these prayers, I have been so profoundly moved.  Several I have copied to share with family and friends.  I searched on the web to see if I could find easier versions to email and I found Puritan Prayers which replicate many of the prayers from my pastor's little book.   I hope to  commit some of them to memory.  I want to learn to pray like this from my heart, to pour my heart out with the depth of appreciation these godly folks had for their state and the awesomeness of God, His love, and His grace.  I want to pray like this.

Portrait of the Founding Fathers at the signing in the Capitol Rotunda

As God would have it, in the midst of contemplating the place of prayer in my life, I was privileged to take a tour of the US Capitol exploring our spiritual roots with the Center of Christian Statesmanship.  One of our guides, Congressman Forbes of Virginia, pointed out the place of prayer in our country's history and its transformative power before the birth of our nation.  Again my heart was pricked as I considered what greater role I should be giving to prayer for my nation. 

Today we don't give nearly the time and devotion to God in our prayers that was true of our Christian predecessors.  They would spend hours in prayer to our minutes, and it made a difference in their lives and their purposes, because they aligned their lives and purposes with God's meta-purpose.  Though I try to keep a prayerful stance, praying continually, I don't spend the devoted time in contemplative and repentive prayer that I believe I should.  Puritan prayers like these in this little book come from a heart that has been bathed in the presence of God in prayer and time in the Word of God.  I don't believe it flows from a few minutes, but from practiced Christian Discipline.

Now it's good to pray for whatever time you do.  However, as I read the prayers of these humble saints, I long for more of God.  God was so gracious to have these prayers committed to paper so that we could glimpse what beauty awaits us if we will pour our hearts out to the Lord and let Him fill us up.  How glorious we become in our contriteness because in our weakness, He is strong.

Here is the prayer that started me on this journey.

 
Blessed Lord Jesus,
Before thy cross I kneel and see
the heinousness of my sin,
my iniquity that caused thee to be
‘made a curse’,
the evil that excites the severity
of divine wrath.
Show me the enormity of my guilt by
the crown of thorns,
the pierced hands and feet,
the bruised body,
the dying cries.
Thy blood is the blood of incarnate God,
its worth infinite, its value beyond all thought.
Infinite must be the evil and guilt
that demands such a price.
Sin is my malady, my monster, my foe, my viper,
born in my birth,
alive in my life,
strong in my character,
dominating my faculties,
following me as a shadow,
intermingling with my every thought,
my chain that holds me captive in the
empire of my soul.
Sinner that I am, why should the sun give me light,
the air supply breath,
the earth bear my tread,
its fruits nourish me,
its creatures subserve my ends?
Yet thy compassions yearn over me,
thy heart hastens to my rescue,
thy love endured my curse,
thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.
Let me walk humbly in the lowest depths
of humiliation,
bathed in thy blood,
tender of conscience,
triumphing gloriously as an heir of salvation.


A version of this prayer has been committed to song and can be heard at Sovereign Grace Music.  You can listen to or purchase the song or the album on this website.

                                                                              God bless, Maria

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Exciting Energy Technologies

We hear a lot in the news about global warming this, climate change that.  Instead of the US government forcing more regulations and restrictions down our throats when all of that has proven only to stifle creativity, impede progress, and downright harm our people and the very environment the government purports to seek to protect, why not encourage those who are making positive progress.  

I know.  You may say that that has failed as well, since they seem to always bet on failing or corrupt companies to invest our tax dollars in promoting.  However, when we survey the landscape of companies that are making excellent progress, there is no need to be discouraged.  We simply have to get the government out of the way and let these companies soar.  

enow Energy Solutions Blog

One such company I have been keeping my eye on is ENowENow  is a company harnessing the power of solar technology for motor vehicles, especially the trucking industry.  The CEO recently appeared on Power Pitch to talk about their product line.  It's amazing what this start up company is doing with solar technology.  I hope they are able to take off and get their product moving literally and figuratively.

What new technologies give you hope for the future of energy?  Is there something you have heard about or come across that just makes you go "WOW!"?  Do you have something that you think more of the world should know about?  I'd love to hear about your discovery as well.  Maybe we can help these companies get the word out to the world.  Pass the word about enow too. 
                                    
                                                   God bless, Maria


Monday, June 9, 2014

Celebrating Our Graduate



Celebrating our Graduate as a Family
 This past Saturday, June 7, 2014, we graduated our 4th of five children from our homeschool, another milestone reached for him and for his dad and me.
5 of My Gifts from God

That's my boy!
 Exuberant and loving, Kipp is a joy in our home.  I am blessed he won’t be leaving us just yet.  He has elected to pursue his associate’s degree in computer science at the community college before continuing at a 4-year institution, if the Lord allows.  There is joy in the journey.

At his graduation ceremony, the president of our state homeschool group was also watching her youngest child of nine graduate. She noted that though people often comment that this is a bittersweet time, she disagreed.  

“It’s just sweet,” she professed.  

I’m not sure any transition is ‘just sweet’ for me, but there is a sense of that sweetness in the respite of accomplishment, of completion.  There is a sweetness in watching the little ones we brought into the world now prepared, albeit never fully, to take on that world themselves.  There is sweetness in remembering, because it is the sweetness of the memories that remains.  

Our Fine Young Men
Yet how easily tears flow these days as each transition not only brings its own twinge of trauma, but also a re-visitation of all transition traumas past.  So…sweet yes, but it is a sweetness that exposes both weakness and strength, tenderness, with all its facets, yet energetic vitality for what’s ahead.  There is joy in the journey, even in transitions.

         So as you celebrate your own transitions, whether they be graduations, or weddings, or something else, I encourage you to cherish them.  Bask in the moments, because they pass so quickly.  They are gifts from God.  Let go of the lies that rob you of your sweetness, and treasure the preciousness of your life.  Even in transition one can relish and delight in the joy of the journey.

Transitions Make Memories
 To you my special family:  I love you guys.  You are all and each special blessings to me from God.  And I will thank Him all the days of my life for you.  Go forth.  Be a blessing and be blessed.     Love, Mom