Morning Coffee At the Well

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Winter Solstice


Winter Solstice






Image result for winter solstice
Awake before nights wintery blanket unveils the earth, I snuggle deeper into warmth, listening to the purring of comforting fluff buried deep within the curve of my unmoving body.  I ignore the urging voice of Savior, rise up , you’re going to miss it, and disturb purring ball of fur, readjusting in hopes of a few more Saturday morning winks, before submitting my feet to cold stained oak.

Christmas tree on, coffee brewing, and furry criers fed, I sit waiting on the cinnamon Christmas brew. Picking up my portable encyclopedia, I google, Winter Solstice.

The Winter Solstice, also known as midwinter, occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the sun.

Grabbing a blanket, I unlock the door and walk into the night with visible breath, I look to the sky. Almost too bright to look directly into with sleepy eyes, the moon floats in dark navy with dancing attributes scattered about. Hugging the blanket tight, I walk to a space unhindered by man’s power and gaze…. How, I ask, do you shine so brightly when today you are as far as the East is to the West from the sun? Your light, is but a reflection of the might of the sun, yet on the longest night, your reflective light shines bright into the dark.

I stand as long as the cold allows, listening to night stalk the trees, air and ground. Sounds of darkness whisper around, yet I feel no fear, only joyful peace fills my soul as I thank my Savior for rising me from slumber. Walking toward the warmth of walls, my mind becomes pen……..

Through our longest night, when hope is lost and prayers mislaid, are we not like the Solstice moon? Perceived tilted far from the listening ears of our Savior? Yet, it is in this moment, we hold fast to every voice of hope written in scripture. We go deep into the Word, searching for God in the storm, and with each passing hour our reflection of the Son grows stronger, a beacon of testimony to others……

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many (various) kinds, because you know that the testing of faith produces perseverance.

James 1: 2-3

On what feels like the shortest light filled day, when darkness is long and you ache for the warmth of the risen Son, remember the reflective moon, shinning bright on the longest of nights….far from its source of light, persevering in the coldest of winter nights.

Never forget my friends, the passage to your longest darkness is the beginning of lengthened days in the sun……………..



Father, I thank you for the wakeup call this morning. I lift up my sisters and brothers as they endure perseverance building trials.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Afternoon Thunder clouds and Blueberry Tears


Afternoon Thunder clouds and Blueberry Tears






Image result for blueberry bush



Bag loaded with fresh cucumbers, zucchini and squash, I wipe my humidity soaked brow and look back at the darkening sky. Lord, let those clouds produce rain, I muttered out loud, while my expired tennis shoes crunch over red clay. Walking toward the house I picture my husband on a church softball field and think of the much different prayer those dark clouds release from the tongues ball wielding men and women.

Taking advantage of the cooler air, I refill squirrel eaten bird seed and take a seat on brick and mortar. The sky continues to grow darker as the wind wipes through the trees and the clouds produce low rumbles within their mystery.

Thinking back to the softball field, I walk slowly to my small blueberry bushes. Lord, how many contradictory prayers must you hear? How do you decide whose prayer to answer? Whispered words from my Lord enter my soul, I answer them all, He speaks, as I see a ripe blueberry nestled in a cluster of greens and pale gray. Smiling, I pluck my prize, clean it between my fingers and allow my memories to dive back to a small freckled faced boy standing with pot in hand, looking forward at a blueberry tree that stood high above his little face. Pawpaw stood with us, as we began to fill those pots and a small voice cried out, “Pawpaw, I not see one blueberry, not one.” Pawpaw with child-like words shook his head and said, “Son, there are blueberries everywhere.” As he used his hands to guild the freckled face upward. “You just have to look.”

Tiny drops of rain glistened my arms as tears rolled down my cheeks. Oh for just one more moment, one sweet moment….. 


Savoring the first ripe blueberry of the year I turned my salted cheeks upwards and relived that moment while understanding my answer from God. We tend to look straight ahead, into the problem, like my boy looked at the barren spot on the blueberry tree and gave up all hope of finding more berries, when all he had to do was look up. We tend to only look at what we can see instead of having faith in the unseen. If my sweet little one had looked up his hunt for blueberries would have yielded more fruit than his little pot could hold! Like us, if we only look for the perceived unanswered prayers, we lose sight of the way God answered our prayer.

God answers all prayers, we just need to look up to the Father to see the many blessings, glory, and Joy, in the way He is answering.



 Some days when I write, I find myself in a sort of God moment, where I write out words that just flow out of the pen… I wrote this after my moment by the blueberry bush. All while the rain drizzle flowed over me.

Christ found me- in my unhappy, busy, self-defeated place. He turned a memory into a lesson – He lifted my eyes to the heavens, with a storm baring down and washed away the deep sadness, through redeeming tears. Crying done on brick, relief came in the storm.

You don’t have to wait until the storm is over to feel relief. Grieving and healing can be accomplished while the darkest of clouds, the strongest of wind bends the trees, with rain drops wet on your skin.

Being in the storm doesn’t have to mean a state of constant grief. God doesn’t leave us in the storm. He is there, riding out the storm with us.
               

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Cloud covered Mountains


Cloud covered Mountains





I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on

to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippian’s 1:6



Back coffee steaming in a borrowed mug, family members gathering in the kitchen and I sip the too hot brew while staring at the Blue Ridges of North Carolina’s mountain tops. The first signs of morning touch the sky in coral and blue grey clouds, as dense fog blankets the sleeping town below.

Wrapped in a blanket, with a cool breeze across me, I look at the cloud covered mountains, search for the familiar Grandfather, hidden in coral shadows. I think to myself, these mountains my God can move if I just have the faith of a mustard seed. I stare, silently willing that faith of small seed to start moving the mountains in my own life, when a fly buzzes in my ear, and it’s gone. The faith I try to find is silenced by the fast world around me. Family begins to come to the porch and early morning rituals begin of coffee and laughter. 


Like our lives that move quickly and cluttered with too much, “To Do”, on our list and too little peace, our mustard seed faith vanishes as our prayer time with the Father is less and less to make time for early morning work outs, early morning commutes, afternoon practices, dinner, laundry, homework, Television, streaming, etc.. etc… etc.. 


His promise does not falter under the pressures of our life. He hears our prayers while we drive into work, as we sit at soccer practice and as we read a short devotion or a scripture or two in the mornings.  As I looked across the mountains on that morning, I saw mountain peaks of all sizes and I felt a peace ascend as I realized, just because your mountain is slow to move, doesn’t mean God isn’t moving it. He will be faithful to completion, as His Word declares. Hold to that mustard seed and breathe deep in the knowledge of His fulfillment.  
About this entry:
I wrote this while on vacation with my entire family.  A few of us early risers would enjoy the first pots of coffee while sitting outside on dew covered chairs. It was while sitting in the quiet and watching the clouds move around the mountains that I began to write this. I had just enjoyed a small devotion and God began to speak. 
I take advantage of the quiet times, as those are the times I hear my Lord speaking. It can be in the car while driving on my long commute or sitting outside before the family rises. When is your quiet time? Do you ever just put your phone down and listen to the stillness? I recommend mornings with steaming hot coffee.....and maybe a mustard seed in hand. 
Lord, I lift up the readers today and pray they find peace and stillness in you. I ask that you are with the ones in need of a mountain moved, whether it's a wayward child, healing of the body, mental peace, whatever it is, I ask you to move their mountain. Amen.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Builder


The Builder



Hebrews 3:3-4
For Jesus is considered worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the Builder has more honor than the house. Now every house is built by someone but the One who built everything is God.



Do we praise the Builder or the created?

In today’s economy we see homes go up in as little as 90 days – which makes it hard to appreciate the designer. A neighborhood is no longer filled with various home designs, as all homes have the same basic 4 or 5 styles, with “add-on” additions. You end up with homes lined together in cracker- jack neighborhoods and yards just big enough for a patio. Other than a little brick here or rock front there, the homes look the same.

The inside of each home is also the same basic design, minus a bedroom or bonus room, but with open floor plans, large Master bedroom with a large bathroom and walk in closet. The colorways are all the same for walls, carpet or hardwood floors. This is the popular design and most everyone wants the same thing.

Is this how we view our Builder? Creator God… Provider, Healer, Designer? Do we see God only loving cracker- jack people that look the same, dress the same, speak the same, and worship the same?

God our Builder, took time to create an archeological marvel with every person that has ever been conceived. Our features are different from our hair color and texture, to our eye color, body shape, complexion, accent and our attributes are all different, from:

How we think…

How we love….

Image result for cross love



We have different views and opinions. Our laugh is different, our smile is different, we worry different and we have different fears. We decorate our homes and bodies different, from paint, to tattoos, to clothing, shoes, etc.

We also, all sin different. This is why God sees all sin the why Christ did not come to the world to judge it, but to save it. The next time you see your neighbor do something “unchristian like”, remember the log in your own eye, before you judge the splinter in theirs.

What I am trying to say is that we all do not fit in the same box. When you see someone different, someone that has a different view from you, love them. Share Christ with them through your love for them. You may be the only Christ they ever see.



Father, we all thank you for loving us enough to create us different. To give us differences to love from and grow as a society. As we go into the world, let us be a light sharing Christ love and leave the judgement to You. Amen.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Always There


Always there





Morning coffee in a hand I watch with amusement as a rabbit joins my motley crew of fur and feathered friends, eating “bird” seed from my front lawn. Excited, I text my early morning rising dad and he text back, “LOL, you always did.”


He is right. That big ole brownish gray rabbit is not the first or will he be the last. Judging by his comfort of my presence, I would say he has been around for a while.

Picking up my bible, I began to read from Galatians, Chapter 5:1.

Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm and then don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Take note! I, Paul, tell

you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all.



This speaks to the law of the Jews.

4. You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace.

5. For through the spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of the righteousness.

6. For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcism nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything;

WHAT

MATTERS IS

FAITH – WORKING THROUGH

LOVE.

The law accomplishes nothing…..  What does accomplish is FAITH in Christ – working THROUGH LOVE.

Let me say this, before I continue. Laws are important for governments, but Christ dying on the cross is a new covenant and Paul is speaking to the Jews that feel they must continue to follow the old laws.

We cannot change this world with law and rules …..only Faith through Love.

It’s always been there, the way to heal, to share the Good News, to open up to those that don’t know the Savior, to be Christ to a world full of desperation. He has always been there….waiting for us to have Faith in Christ and work through love to heal His people.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Held Hostage


Held Hostage





Image result for fear
Driving to work, I see the traffic backing up before I even get close to the interstate. I sigh and look at my all-knowing Iphone for direction. Taking a back road, I quickly realize that there is no way around this mess. Again, I whisper, held hostage, by this road I travel to and from work. Later in the day my phone flashes a message from a friend telling me she introduced a mutual friend to the song, Fear is a Liar, by Zach Williams. I smile and think back to my description of the traffic I sit in often. That it is a robber of time and holds me hostage while I try to get to work and back to my family. The connection is made and once again Savior gives me peace about my journey.

I started in banking back in 2010 and like most people that work in retail banking, I was taught about products, customer service, and most importantly, how to be robbed safely. In banking, 1 in every 5 employees will be in an actual robbery or that is what I was told and sitting in break rooms or water cooler moments, I’ve heard a lot of those 1 in 5 moments. I too, am 1 in five. One thing that stands out in these trainings are the stories. Normally when the instructor starts to tell us how to remain calm and to get the robber out as quickly and quietly as possible, they will begin to share stories about some memorable robberies. It is in that moment that you learn that no matter who you are, no one knows how they will react when a robber walks in. Whether you’re a seasoned employee of 20 plus years that walks away from a note handed and leave the building, saying it is your lunch time, thus leaving a younger less experienced person to deal with the now angry robber, the tough branch manager that hides in their office while the new part time teller takes over the situation and calmly does what is expected, or the operations leader that has spent the better most of her career teaching branches how to enter the building securely, breaks her own rules, and finds herself stripped down to her necessities, tied up in a vault, during a well-planned “morning glory” robbery. We all have our own story, our own private moments when we break down after the ugly has taken place, our own pep talk to return to work, and then there are those, that never recover and resign .
Another part of training is what to do if the bank robber wants to take you hostage. This is where the instructor says, we can’t tell you what to do, but we recommend that you don’t go. Years later, I sat in a classroom full of women at a women in business, luncheon and listened as a detective had a different recommendation. He said, never let them take you to crime scene number two. Now don’t get me wrong, neither is wrong. The bank cannot tell an employee how to react to a robbery, but the detective is empowered to tell you not to end up becoming crime scene number two. The detective told us to put up a fight and that most of the time the “bad guy” will flee. Sound familiar?


Open your imagination with me for a moment and let fear become a bank robber, a mugger, a bad guy, and fear now wants to take you hostage, after robbing you. Never, let fear hold you hostage at crime scene 2. That my friends, is where you will die. Fear holds you there, preventing you from doing or being who God wants you to be. It is the enemy’s greatest weapon. His greatest demon. Fear as a bad guy has many of us held hostage at crime scene 2 and that is where we will die with friendships unmade due to a fear of relationship, ministries unbuilt due to a fear of failure, books unwritten due to insecurities. (Pause, deep breath…that last one was for me dear friends….) 

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

– Eph 6.11-13

Like the detective said, resist the bad guy and he will, in most cases, flee. You see the bad guy is afraid of being arrested and he only wants to take what he came for and leave. When you resist, this adds to his time line and he will leave. The same is true of Fear, when we put on the full armor of God, by studying His word, living His message, believing in Christ as our Savior, the enemy, Fear, will flee. We resist the enemy by calling on the name of Jesus for power, when fear has stripped us of security. The power comes from a relationship with Christ and through that relationship we can leave crime scene number two, no longer held hostage by the fear that prevents us from being who we are called to be in the army of Christ our King.
When we are faced with a bad situation, we don't know how we will react. We can't anticipate what fear will do to us in the moment and for years after. The years after can either be the moment we escape or the time we are held hostage at crime scene number two.

Today, open God’s holy Word, put on the full armor and do what you are called to do. Don’t be afraid to steo over the ledge. Christ will carry you, catch you, and Fear, will flee.

Jesus, my Savior, today I admit that I am held hostage by the fear of my insecurities. I pray you deliver me from crime scene number two, away from fear and into the life I am called to live through you. Amen

Friday, May 4, 2018

Love

Image result for woman hunched over a sink
Sitting unnoticed, I listen as a woman talks to another about her meltdown the night before. I smile, as she explains almost having dinner made, after a long day at work, kids ball practice, and yells for her husband, who says, can it wait a minute......That was her snapping point. She then said what I am sure most of us, try too hard, mommas have, I need to ask for help. They would help if I would ask, but I just don't fell like I should have to. I mean, doesn't he see the dirty house, the kids outside past dark, and that they need a bath and dinner is still not done?

I call them mommy meltdowns and I have one about every 4 to 6 months and no, momma, they don't see the dirty dishes, loads of unfolded clothes they brush out of the way to sit and watch TV or the dirty kids that still need a bath at 9 pm, on a school night. It's just not on their radar and if you ask, they would say the house is perfect and so are you.

Later that same day, I find myself driving to pick up pizza, promising myself I will restart, Weight Watchers, again, tomorrow for the 1000th time, and tears spring to my eyes. Not because a church friend is on his way to help install a door after 8 pm, that our son kicked in this morning, desperate for keys he locked in the house, again, so he could arrive for his final exam, already late. Not because work has been challenging, or we have an early morning planned, or because my garden still has plants that need to go in the ground and I need a longer hose to water the whole garden..... but just because.
Sitting in the car, I see a group of young people walking their dogs and an older man stopped on the side of the road, talking with them. They are laughing  and smiling and the older man is petting the young folks dogs. Life is still going on, still moving. The sun is still setting and the rising moon is going to reflect the sun, in the midnight sky and so must I.

No matter what the enemy throws my way, I am still a child of God, a sinner once lost but found, and my response to stress is my testimony. So I cry alone with Savior. I give Him my grief and sorrow, my hard day, my unpleasant news, my pain, my worry, my insecurities and I wait for peace.

I pull into my drive way, wipe away tears as I watch my son, outstretched, pulling old nails out of a broken doorway, and I take the pizza from the car. He hands me my new key and I make a joke about the number of keys he had made. Our eyes meet and I love him. I love all his flaws, all his failures, and I love the hard work he is putting into fixing his mistake.

I guess this is what Savior does. When I mess up....he meets my eyes and He loves me.

We love, because He first loved us. 
I John 4:19