Category Archives: Discipline

focuses on the spiritual disciplines

Because misery loves company….

This was my day yesterday.

And will be a healthy portion of my day today…so follow along for a lesson in technology…because in order to reduce ALL my photos on this little oversized website…from  what you see right there to…

what you see right here…

I had to do …

as to make sure I preserve things like…

because….whew…we wouldn’t want to let this kind of photographic treasure to be lost in cyberspace, now would we?

But seriously…as I monotonously clicked through the steps for…Are you ready???…2,600 photographs that attached to this here little journey I have taken you all on over the last few years…I had a lot of thoughts running through my head.

So here are just a few of them…

<3 Wow…what a ride it has been. Not just getting the opportunity to pursue this thing that has scared the living daylights out of me just going public with so many private parts of me in hopes of sending out some words of hope, comfort, exhortation, humor, life-stuff from my heart and God’s Word…but the whole sometimes-messy, often-crazy, surprisingly joy-filled life God has blessed our family to live.

<3 I was also struck by how vivid my memories were attached to each photo…whether it’s cups of coffee or a beautiful presentation of a meal or a random photo of a some flowers on one of my walks, I didn’t look at a single picture and wonder about the story behind it.

Like this one…

was the day a blizzard was going to keep Lola from coming to visit and this guy got busy dressing warm and grabbed his mommy’s wallet so they could just come to me.

Still get big old sloppy tears thinking how I considered strapping on snow shoes just to get to him.

But here’s the thought that adds some insight into maybe your life today…

<3 As I went through all the steps sooooooooooo many times…it was tedious and repetitive and mind-numbingly boring at times.

I would go back to the ones remaining and think of the hours I had put in and how many hours were left to go and it took everything in me to fight the urge to just quit.

And then this terrible thought struck me.

What if it doesn’t work?

What if all this time I have put in to this task does not accomplish what needs to be done?

You see, if it works out the way it is supposed to and my site is blissfully unencumbered by unnecessarily excessive data…well…all the effort is worth it.

But if it doesn’t.

Oh my goodness…

And it made me think how much of life is like that.

If my motivation for sticking it out is for the satisfaction I will gain from the success of my desired result, I will end up short so many times.

But if my motivation comes from obedience to follow through the tasks I have been given..to fulfill the purpose for each day by being in that moment, doing that thing…whatever it is and whatever the outcome…all for the glory of God…well…

that changes everything.

So I will finish those picture edits today, in between loads of laundry that we are just going to wear and throw back in the bin tomorrow…I will prepare food and then exercise to counteract the calories…I will dust and vacuum the same particles I tried to vanquish yesterday…I will drag out my journal and start outlining a lesson for Sunday and along the way I will tap out some more thoughts for you for tomorrow…and I will do it… in obedience…all to the glory of God <3

I have no guarantees that the time I spend on any tasks will have any lasting effect.

But sure as heck…if I didn’t do them…there would be some serious setbacks for those plans and purposes God prepared in advance for me to do.

So let’s do the thing…even if it’s repetitive and boring and we just did it yesterday and here we have to do it again today.

Let’s do it and do it well, shall we?

How about you?

What’s your Kingdom plan today?

Be blessed as you carry it out…step by step, piece by piece…byte by byte  <3

And in the after-glow of Easter, we enter another Monday <3

Ah yes…it’s Monday morning.

And I hope you are carrying more in your heart than the snapshots posted and the anticipation of snow melting sometime by mid-week, if you were one of those states blessed with an Easter blast of winter.

I will be wrapping up my visit to …

later today.

Already getting a little choked up thinking of saying goodbye to this one…

We had fun exploring his city and found out that apparently I own a beverage shop here…

which I do make good coffee, I have to say so myself.

We attended a wonderful service at his church where the pastor used a text I don’t believe I have ever heard on Easter morning.

He talked about Loops equaling Labels…the spirals we can get ourselves into of addiction or relationships or failure or fear or whatever and we can never seem to get out of the looping and so it becomes who we are.

His passage was the woman caught in adultery and he asked us what it would feel like if this morning someone hauled us up, naked and exposed, in front of where he was standing and called out our label.

Failure

Loser

Addict

And then he went on to talk about Jesus’ response.

How Jesus knelt down to her level.

How she would have been on the ground, so He got on the ground.

Eye to eye to with her.

To assure her, He was with her.

And how He told her He would not condemn her and charged her to go and to sin no more.

To walk away from loop and label that He had just freed her from.

Incredible touching…amazingly true.

We sat in a borrowed middle school gym and celebrated the freedom won from our God who walked away from a borrowed tomb.

Hallelujah!

I hope and pray you had a wonderful Easter celebration.

Now go out there and shine His Light…it’s a dark world and you are valuable and loved and called….

Holy Week – Resurrection Sunday <3

We are here my friends!

I sit this Easter morning of 2018 perched on a twin bed in our son’s apartment in Austin, Texas.

The same twin bed frame my dad refinished to match the other and put up for my sister and me after a warehouse fire consumed our stored furniture as we waited for housing on an airbase fifty plus years ago.

I woke up many an Easter morning in this bed, and some of the Reimer kids have as well.

Tears of deep emotion pour from my eyes as my soul rejoices with the thought of all the Easter mornings….all the Resurrection Sundays that have been celebrated since the first.

I think of first Easter morning when the earth shook and angels greeted the women and then sleepy-eyed disciples.

I think of their confusion and the running back and forth to tell what they had seen.

I allow myself to imagine God watching all these disciples discover the absolutely best ending … and beginning….ever.

I always say He has a sense of humor and must delight to watch His children discover His heart.

I can imagine He smiled a bit as He observed them trying to process all that had taken place.

He is like that still…

Watching us stumble into what we think we can fix and finish only to meet Him alive, well and fixing us.

Time and again.

For time and eternity.

Oh, brothers and sisters…family of God…I sit here listening to the birds chirping and though the sky is not bursting forth this morning, my heart is.

I think of dear ones now with the Lord and I rejoice.

I think of precious friends and family around the world, some already hard at work rehearsing the last notes of “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”…some getting the coffee started in the kitchen at home or the kitchen at church….some watching little ones scramble around in pj’s and sporting major bedhead looking for a basket and some eggs before they wrestle them into all manner of finery to head off to worship on this blessed day.

I think of my husband heading out to drive through cold rain to sit with the likes of this…

Somewhere high above us, a daughter flying over the morning skies from Europe to return home and then there is a son snoozing hard on his couch just on the other side of this wall here because he gave his mom the bed.

We will go to his new church this morning, and while I don’t know anyone but him, I will feel right at home with God’s people as we celebrate.

I will fight back messy tears of joy as sweet faces I love float in front of me and all under the Precious Face of the Lamb who died and rose again <3

I think of tender hearts this morning who will sing the words about the Lord defeating death for the first time this year without one of their parents, or a spouse, or a child.

And while it doesn’t matter if it’s the first year or the fifth or twentieth…that first one is surely a mile marker.

So I thank God for the Risen Christ who holds us all together and close to His heart.

Wherever we are…

whoever you are….

it is and always will be….

Best.

Day.

Ever.

 

<3

Holy Week – Saturday <3

The day after the worst day ever.

Have you been there?

Of course you have.

Raw and in shock.

You go through the motions.

You are too tired and weak to even go over the horrific details again so you just move in a dream-like state because remembering is too painful and thinking of tomorrow is outside of your human capacity to grasp.

So you get through.

Because you know from experience.

There’s no where to go but forward into the new reality.

And tomorrow you will have a little more strength to face it.

Tomorrow you will have to figure out the nuts and bolts of the complete change of trajectory that your life has now taken.

But today…you just cling to what you know and who you know that’s left around you.

I imagine that is how the disciples got through Saturday.

And the women who tended Jesus.

Mary, His mother …

and Mary and Martha and Lazarus…

and all the Mary’s including the one with the broken alabaster jar.

The men and the children who had sat on His lap and received His blessings.

The ones who had believed.

Waiting.

Waiting until they could retrieve the body and do a proper burial.

Waiting to see the beaten and bloody remains of their beloved Friend and Teacher and Master.

Raw and shaken….hope not just deferred but apparently defeated.

Waiting.

“Will you wait with Me?”….. He had asked…

now they had no choice but to wait without Him <3

Let’s linger a little while today …let’s hold off on what we know about tomorrow that they had yet to see.

Let’s remember well this holy day between the Cross and the empty tomb <3

Holy Week – Monday <3

When I was a teenager in youth group back a century ago, our leaders did something that is only feasible in a smallish size town with one high school that your whole youth group attended.

We also didn’t have spring break around Easter, because every morning of Holy Week, we went to church early and had breakfast which was prepared by our parents, who took turns showing up even earlier so the could cook for us.

We ate and had a devotion before we piled way more kids than seat belts into whatever cars any of us had access to use and headed off to the high school.

At the time, the ride to school was probably the part that impacted me the most because… who doesn’t love the power of driving eight kids crammed into your mom’s Nova, laughing their heads off and radio blasting?

But it is the idea that we set the week apart as separate and holy from the rest of the year…this is what lingers sweet in my memory.

So I do love to recreate that memory with you each year and I never seem to have enough time to plan it well, but let’s venture into looking at the passages around Jesus’ last days on planet earth again in 2018….climb on in.

We will share a morsel of the Word and be warned.

There are not enough seatbelts in the back and you may have to cozy up to make room for everyone…but let’s do this thing…

<3

The events of Monday of Holy Week are jam-packed into all four Gospels.

As I go through the Chronological version, it reads rapid fire as Jesus starts out cursing a fig tree for not having figs, with the interesting addition of this information…”because it was not the season for figs.”

From there He cleanses the Temple of money changers and those selling animals for the sacrifice.

There are all kinds of extras’ roles for the scenes that play out from there including people coming to Him for healings and children still hyped up from the Triumphal entry praising Him and then the furrowed brows of Pharisees plotting how to stop Him without losing popularity with the crowds.

Add to this a booming voice from Heaven, audible to the masses, declaring that God’s Name is glorified and would be glorified; and we have the makings for quite a Monday.

No wonder He and the disciples opted to escape to Bethany for a good night’s sleep.

So what jumps out at me this morning from all of these passages?

Definitely the cleansing of the Temple.

Part of it would be because of one of my most listened to teachings ever, “My House Shall be a House of Prayer” when Jim Cymbala spoke at a praise gathering. I have listened to this numerous times and it never fails to move me to my feet at the end.    Including link…hope it works <3       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40F5wMbjugE

The other reason this passage moves me is because I have to stop and wonder how Jesus would react this fine Monday morning if He walked through the lobbies of our modern churches…or better still…how is He finding the inside of the hearts in which we have invited Him to tabernacle…to dwell.

Our churches, our homes, our lives…is He pleased when He walks through?

Is it a place where His glory is dwelling?

But it is only for me I can answer.

And so I want to ponder what He finds as He enters the street on which I live, comes up on the porch and enters the front door….what does He see and notice in my heart and in my mind…my activities and my choices today?

Because surely He is present.

I invited Him in when I traded my sin for His sanctification.

I gave Him full access to all of me, when I receive all of Him.

So I welcome the cleansing.

I invite the scourging of that which has taken up a booth space and needs to be evicted.

Lord Jesus, would you walk through the places in our hearts where we have allowed clutter and profit to push out prayer and worship? As we enter into this Holy Monday, would you visit us and cleanse away our unholiness…that we might be made whole again … whole and holy…for Your Glory <3