God's Canvas

God's Canvas
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.~~John 15:13

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Happy New Year!  This post promises to hold much greater glass-half-full thinking than my last.  Admittedly, my December post was certainly therapeutic and necessary for me to unload without unloading on another person.  Given that I honestly believe I am the only one reading these posts anymore, I've decided to return occasionally for therapeutic "sessions" with myself and some good old journaling.
A few days before Christmas, my very dear and life-long friend, Doug, asked if  he could share Christmas with us in our home.  He shared that he felt an overwhelming need to see me, especially since my spinal reconstruction, and just wanted to be with us.  This was the turning point for me after my December 7th post.  I'd managed to get enough of the flu out of me to complete the decorating and some of the baking, even going so far as to make fruitcake for the first time in over five years, an all-day undertaking!  So, with nearly all of my Christmas preparations accomplished, Doug joined us the day before Christmas Eve.  We kept our plans to visit and share dinner with dear friends on Christmas Eve.  We were allowed to bring Doug and Tom's brother, Mike, with us along with our new addition, a Biewer Yorkie, Hanalei, beautifully dressed in her Christmas frock, to celebrate Christmas with our friends.  We enjoyed an amazing traditional Italian dinner and loving and fun hospitality with our friends and their family!  The night ended way too quickly.  Before we knew it, it was 10 o'clock.  It was time to go home and prepare for Christmas Day and its festivities. 
Because of God's gracious healing and blessings, I was able to prepare a Christmas Day meal for us (there were five), and even used my Christmas China.  We ate ourselves silly and enjoyed a quiet yet joyful day celebrating the birthday of our Blessed Savior!  Doug still says it was in his "top five best Christmases."  Mine too!
I spent a glorious 60 minutes in the sanctuary of Agape Christian Fellowship on New Year's Eve.  After my husband retired for the evening at 10:30 pm, deciding that I wanted to kiss the face of my sweet Savior at midnight--and Tom's wasn't available--I headed off to church for a peaceful and worshipful hour with my Lord on the altar.  I took my Bible, sat at the Throne of Grace and heard from Jesus through His Word, prayed for my attitude, thanked Him for the miracle He'd wrought in my physical body in the past year, and asked for direction for my life and ministry in the coming year.  It was a wonderful hour which felt way too short, but the sweetness of it has lingered indefinitely.  I have so much gratitude in my heart, which I pray will serve to fuel service to my King and His glorious Kingdom not only for this year but for the rest of my life!
The year is still new to me and my time with the Lord very fresh in my mind.  He has already shown me a few things in store for me to serve Him this year.  In the meantime, the Lord has shared with me something that I know without a doubt needs to be shared here.  It has changed my life and way of thinking, as well as the way I know, love and trust Jesus.  My prayer is that this will bless the hearts of everyone who just happens to read this and that it will adhere to their hearts as indelibly as it has mine.  These are the words of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, former pastor of London's Westminster Chapel:
"Faith is holding on to the faithfulness of God and, as long as you do that, you cannot go wrong.  Faith does not look at the difficulties.  Faith does not look at itself or at the person who is exercising it.  Faith looks at God.  Faith is interested in God only, and it talks about God, praises God and extols the virtues of God!  The measure of the strength of a man's faith always is ultimately the measure of his knowledge of God.  He knows God so well that he can rest on the knowledge.  And it is the prayers of such a man that are answered."
"Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.  Your faithfulness endures to all generations."  ~~Psalms 119:89-90

I have lived off these words like manna since reading this on December 11th.  My prayer for you, if you should read this follows:  So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. ~~ Colossians 2:6-7