Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Turtle Tuesdays: The Linked Turtle

Welcome to Turtle Tuesdays. Each week, I feature a turtle from my collection and share her story. Sometimes we stay on the surface of the water; other times we go deeper. I totally have fun with this! I hope you do too.
Meet B, the linked turtle.

B loves pictures. She thought it would b fun to have you finish her post today. (Okay, to b really honest , B has a speaking engagement to focus on. )Write a caption for each photo or one short story. *** There are 3 photos in this post. ***B will get a couple of 'independent turtle judges' to select a winner. She will send you a prize in a Box! She doesn't know what that will b yet, but B promises it will b better than what you get in Crackerjacks. You don't have to have a blog to enter. Just leave your email in case you win. Have fun with this. B creative. This contest is open until the end of the day Friday. B His Girl

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Turtle Tuesdays: The Landing Strip

Welcome to Turtle Tuesdays. Each week, I feature a turtle from my collection and share her story. Sometimes we stay on the surface of the water; other times we go deeper. I totally have fun with this! I hope you do too.

Houston, the turtle has landed on 'a wing and a prayer' 4 u!

Meet B, the 'wide awake' turtle. (Yes, her lashes are real. They just look painted on :) She is in the 'no snoozing' zone today, where it all started. The Garden. It is the beginning of her story and yours.

Last week 'The Strong Tower' had B praying all over the bloggy garden. She is keeping watch on this Turtle Tuesday post, leaving 'a prayer 4 u'. Receive, believe, and Agree. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

O Lord, You are the One we look to. Our eyes are on you, the One True God. The Everlasting God. You sit enthroned above the circle of the earth and you see us. Each one of us. We know you in part, but you know us fully. You knew we would fall in the garden and hide in our shame. But you had a plan to cover our sin and wash away our filth. You loved us first. Thank you Jesus for shedding your blood for us, allowing us to have a relationship with you. May we cherish that privilege every day.

Lord, B wants to lift the bloggy world up to you. Like Martha, we are often worried and upset about many things, often forgetting to chose the best thing...YOU. I pray that we focus on YOU; sit at your feet today and gaze at you. Gaze. Just B. B yours. You have good plans for each of us and our future is full of hope. Your eyes are looking for hearts perfect toward you so you can show yourself strong. Sometimes Lord, you do that in ways we wouldn't choose. Thank you Jesus for always knowing what is best and working all things for good. Our prayer Lord is that others would see you in us. I ask for the bloggy world to reach many on the www who do not know you. I pray you would direct lost turtles to our blogs so they can find the Way. Inspire our blogs with your words and our hearts to reflect yours. Like John the Baptist, use our blogs to point to you Jesus.

May we post lots of praise, thanks, and comments to you Lord today. I pray our greatest desire is to please and honor you. Help us not to look at the blog beside us and measure our worth according to their gifts and talents. May each of us grow what we have been given and use it for your glory. Let us not get carried away by followers and comments, but be reminded of our call. Our call is to follow you.

I pray especially for those in a difficult season. He is with you. I pray for healing for our bloggy sisters Deedee and Sheryl. Also for those I don't know. You know them Lord. You love them all.

Jesus, our hope is in you. B hears the alarm going off. May the whole wide world's eyes be awake to who you are. Pray continually bloggers. You know the saying, you snooze, you lose. This is your watch too.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.

B His Girl

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Catch This!

Words On A Sign

"I've never seen a fish on a wall with his mouth closed."

Lord, please give us the wisdom when to speak up and when to shut up.

B His Girl

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Turtle Tuesdays: Turtle Marks

Welcome to Turtle Tuesdays. Each week, I feature a turtle from my collection and share her story. Sometimes we stay on the surface of the water; other times we go deeper. I totally have fun with this! I hope you do too.
Sorry about the late post today. B has been a busy B. I mean turtle: )

Meet B, the Marked Turtle. She's hanging out on another B log today, Bandit's stick. They are an unlikely pair to say the least. Bandit is known for chewing the stuffing out of soft cuddly things. B reached out to him anyway. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. Luke 6:32 B wanted to show Bandit her marks.

Being marked may not sound good, but in this case, it is. A turtle's marks are found on their shell. B exchanged her worldly pattern several years ago when she met the Lord. He changed her look from the inside out. At first, she was concerned her shell was still green and blue. How would anyone know she was different, marked? Could her new look change someone else? Then she remembered Jesus words.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."John 13:34-35

This picture tell the rest of the story. Bandit "hearts" B and his stick!

"I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never — I promise — regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. (THE MESSAGE: Luke 6:35-36)

B His Girl

Monday, February 9, 2009

Looking Out My Window

I had no intentions of posting today. There are many things on my 'to do' list but this bush keeps calling me from my kitchen window. "Take a picture of this" is what I heard in the nudge. So I have turned aside from my 'to do' tasks and paid attention to the prompting. These pictures are for some visitor on the B log. Here is what I see.

In the entire bush, these two flowers are sent to be an early sign of what's to come. Not everyone will see the signs, but they are visible for those who pay attention.

Before this bush comes into full bloom there were dead branches that needed to be removed. If left on the bush, they would distract from its beauty. A green thorny vine was also choking some of the branches. At first glance, it almost looked like part of the plant. Don't be fooled by appearances. There is one true vine and many imitations.

Beauty, unseen by many, is all around you. God wants to add MORE color in His branches. He wants to be noticed in your life. Jesus said in John 15:4 "Remain in Me and I will remain in you." Others are looking out their window. You are the branch they see.

B His Girl

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Part Two: Open Your Hands

copyright 2004 Global Vision Resources from the Dream Giver workbook by Bruce Wilkinson
*In case you missed Part One of "Open Your Hands"

There wasn't a crowd to witness this divinely ordered moment. I was alone in a hotel room in Knoxville, TN preparing an assignment for the last day of Classervices, a conference for writers and speakers.

Attending this conference was a HUGE step of faith. Absolutely HUGE to me! Public speaking was never something I considered doing, but I knew the Lord had called me. Choosing not to lean on my own understanding in this, I began believing and walking in what the Lord said, letting Him direct this path.

As I drove to the conference, the Lord whispered, "Barbara, what do you want?" I was speechless. I had no immediate answer to His question, but I knew the importance of answering correctly. The Lord said something similar to Solomon in 1 Kings 3:55

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream , and
God said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."

Most of us at some point have thought about our 'three wishes' if we found a genie in a bottle. However, genies are not real. But Jesus IS. He's the Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father, Almighty God. He is the Living One. He was the One asking the question. With Him ALL things are possible. So.... what did I really want?

Many thoughts flooded my mind. I spent most of the drive seeking an answer to the question. I was listening to a well known Christian speaker on a CD. She made a statement about something in her life she wanted in her walk with the Lord. Immediately, I knew I was supposed to ask for the same kind of thing. She is clearly walking in her dream. Actually, I believe she flying more than she's walking. She's believing God...and He shines in her life. I pointed to my CD player and said, "That's it Lord. I want that with YOU."

As I was preparing my conference talk that evening, I picked up my book, The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson . I was flipping through the pages but came to a halt when I saw the picture on my post today. I had already read the book but I never noticed this picture.

Open hands, no longer empty. A feather was placed between them.

The Lord made His Presence known to me in my hotel room. I wasn't alone. In a holy moment, He showed me the feather. The Lord was saying YES to my request. The Dream Giver wanted to give me my dream. It was never my idea anyway. The dream was from Him. This was His plan all along.

A feather for my wings that would one day take flight.

And He will raise you up on eagles wings, bear you on the breathe of dawn, make you to shine like the Son and hold you, hold you in the palm of His hands.

B His Girl

Monday, February 2, 2009

Turtle Tuesdays: The New Coat

Welcome to Turtle Tuesdays. Each week, I feature a turtle from my collection and share her story. Sometimes we stay on the surface of the water; other times we go deeper. I totally have fun with this! I hope you do too.

One day B, the turtle was tucked away in her shell, reflecting on her ordinary turtle life. She had many regrets and losses, more than she could count. MayB you know the feeling. Looking back, B knew she wasted most of her early years 'pond hopping'. In case you are not familiar with that term, pond hopping is where you keep testing the water to find something that will fill your empty shell. Humans call that kind of thing 'looking for greener grass'.

Yes, B was always looking for that greener grass. She wanted to live in a beautiful shiny clear pond but she found a place in the shade where the green pond scum grows and settled there.

One day B stretched her neck out of her shell long enough to see the mossy log life didn't really float her shell. She didn't want to B a 'green product'. The world wanted every turtle's house to B 'green'. All the turtle TV stations promoted a 'green' lifestyle. Their motto was to 'recycle' the trash, just keep the cycle going. However, being green was never going to B enough. Her world was still going to smell. B decided to get off the curb and start walking in a different direction.

It wasn't very long after that neck stretching moment, B saw a light shining in the dark world. She had heard of the light but now that she had seen it, she sat in awe. The light looked directly into B's eyes and heart. She knew she was covered in pond scum, yet the light didn't seem surprised at all by her appearance. The light knew He was what B was really looking for. He drew me up from the pit of destruction,out of the miry bog,and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2 He cleaned and covered B's green shell with a new coat that day. Meet the new B with her coat of many colors.

B lives in a new pond. Her shine goes with her. Her prayer is that all turtles would see that light. The coat of many colors is available in all sizes.

Know someone who needs a new 'look'? Model your shiny shell. Work that runway, Turtle Girl! FLY!

B His Girl

Open Your Hands

It's been almost four years. I still remember the moment. The memory is as fresh in my mind as the bread we were breaking. My friend Barbara and I were having lunch, chatting about the Lord. We do that a lot, the talking about the Lord part. The Lord was listening to our conversation. He made His Presence known to me that day by adding a few words of His own .

As Barbara shared a God story, she stretched her arms across our table in a gesture, coupling her open hands together. The motion caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting to receive a hand signal from the Lord during our lunch, but He had something to say to me . "Open Your Hands, Barbara."

'Open my Hands?' What was He talking about? What did that mean?

I pondered the question. I must confess, I am a ponderer! A pastor once told me "Barbara, you think too much." Then he followed up his statement with "I don't think enough." I knew he was right. He did not think enough : ) I've discovered when you walk by faith, there is a lot of prayer and pondering necessary to understand what the Lord is really saying.

Here is what I came up with on 'Open Your Hands.' The Lord was going to give me something or take something away. Either way, it was important I followed His instructions. My hands were to be in the open position. The Lord had served notice. Something was about to change in my life.

I was working at my church when I got this hand signal. I went to lunch with a new employee who is now my good friend Betty, the artist. I held my open hands together and said, "God told me to do this." She smiled and replied "Barbara, you are not going to believe what I have to show you. I'll bring it tomorrow." The next day she gave me the print in this post. It was her latest painting. Needless to say I was floored! The Lord sent a picture to confirm what I heard. Betty wrote this verse around the painting:

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles ;they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isa 40:31

Three months later the Lord added 'More' to my open hands.
I will share Part 2 of 'Open Your Hands' on Thursday. I hope you will stop by the B log tomorrow for Turtle Tuesdays! B, the turtle has a new coat to show you!

B His Girl