Mystery tower and prayer

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Mystery tower and prayer

In Newport, Rhode Island, there is a tower with unknown origins: lots of theories, but no definitive answer. It’s unknown exactly when the tower was built. I first saw this tower years ago, and I recently returned to take photos because it reminded me of something I once heard, about prayer being difficult to enter in, and easy to leave. This tower in Touro Park would be easy to enter, the openings at ground level are huge, I think you could ride a horse through, except, of course, there is a fence and locked gate blocking the way. The top is just a large central opening, all made of stone.

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I was asking the Lord about this, about staying in prayer, and I believe He said to ask the Holy Spirit’s help to keep this perspective with these words:    Perspective that says: I am here. I am near. Come to Me with all feelings, aching of your heart, troubles and passing thoughts. Oh! I am with you.

We’ve been going through some health issues in my family and I get frustrated sometimes, wanting this all healed yesterday, whether by God’s hand or doctors help, but I know it’s important to hold on and stand strong. Driving home from work today, looking at a stormy skyscape (this stormy skyscape photo was from a previous stormy day by the river) I felt the Lord say “Let your heart be stout and enduring.”

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This is the rest of that verse: Psalm 27:14 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.”

So I am praying for that courage, for me, and my family and for those of you who need that right now.

For more info on the tower in Touro Park check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newport_Tower_(Rhode_Island)

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Confluence

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The definition of confluence is the merging of two rivers, the place where they meet and run together. I keep thinking about something I felt the Lord said to me a while ago: Confluence of many rivers is My love.

Synonyms for confluence are meeting, junction, things coming together, like what we need and His grace.

His love is so strong, like the merging of multiple tidal forces and underwater currents. This concept has been a thought that helps me hold on through some difficult things lately. In every life there are uncertainties, but His love is constant and does not dry up during drought.

Confluence of many rivers is My love…

His love is deep and wide, but our awareness of it changes, often falters. The God who died for us does not give up on us, but asks us to reach out with our hearts to Him.

This is something I call fight-through, when things are difficult, when anxiety feels stronger than the truth of His love and we cannot feel His calmness, fight-through, remembering who He is, that He has got this, that He understands and cares in every situation. His Word is stronger than your experience, so fight through, remembering words that have meant something strong to you in the past, or something He has got you through before.

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One time recently, when I really couldn’t break through into peace, I kept repeating to myself  “God is great and mighty and I belong to Him” until something shifted; I felt stronger and the discouragement fled.

I know I need more grace right now, and strength. I pray those reading this feel what a great abundance- the confluence of many rivers – is His love. Reach up to the God whose strength is greater than our challenges and whose word and peace can calm the stormy waves.

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“My mind to your mind”

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I grew up watching episodes of the original Star Trek. They must have been reruns, because I was too young to have remembered the original episodes the first time they aired on T.V. I thought the imaginative trips at warp speed to some alien landscape in some previously undiscovered corner of the galaxy where, perhaps, the plant life was deadly or the inhabitants looked like rocks made of silicon, were intriguing.

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I was always fascinated by Spock, from Vulcan: the planet where logic replaced the emotions and violence that used to be a part of that world. Spock could “mind meld” with his own kind or alien races, giving a glimpse into how they thought or felt.

There are numerous fiction stories featuring soul mates or twins having a connection so strong they can read each other’s thoughts.

We crave connection: something strong and out of the ordinary way of things. I believe these stories and concepts come from an inherent desire to connect with God, knowing we are understood, accepted, even cherished.  I think we crave that kind of connection because on some level we are aware that something is missing: that space in our heart that only God can fill; communication that involves our mind and heart and spirit. We want to communicate. We are built for it.

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I believe God is essentially saying “My mind to your mind,” so you can “live long and prosper.”

 

Hiding place

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Flashlight tag

When I was a child, we sometimes played flashlight tag in the summer: basically hide and seek in the dark, with the person who was “it” trying to find the rest of us with just a flashlight. I remember hiding in a ditch across the street from my house (I must really have not cared about dirt and bugs much back then!) or I would climb a tree. I found usually the flashlight would sweep right over or under me, because whatever sibling was searching for me wasn’t expecting me to be higher or lower than ground level. So I was “safe” and tried my best not to reveal my hiding places.

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There’s an old song about the Lord being our hiding place, based on Psalm 32: The song has been sort of reverberating in my head on and off for a couple of weeks.

Psalm 32:7 “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.”

The psalm was written by David, who was King over Israel. David encountered all kinds of trouble: some of his own making, some of it not, but God was always his place of refuge. None of us manage to live perfectly, but God can still be our place of refuge, always. He is the One I run to.

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I asked the Lord about this concept, that He can be our hiding place and I felt this is what He said:

I am in the quiet places, in the spaces that occupy your mind, your heart. When you feel weary I am there to strengthen you.

Pain is really a pain

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I’m going to toss a couple of concepts out there – for people dealing with pain. Because I never really know who might read this, and I can’t say how many times God has encouraged me while I was dealing with pain, and I know He wants to encourage all of us. So anyway, I’m writing on pain, while my head is wrapped in an ice gel wrap, and the computer screen looks a little different because it has a program to dampen the blue light that can help wake you up but can also cause problems for people with migraines. (The program is called f.lux and can be downloaded for free.)

Pain. We’ve all had some. Physical, emotional….some have dealt with it a lot. I have worked with a woman in her 80’s who has never had a headache. (I wish I could say the same!)

This is a conversation with me talking to the Lord about pain, dealing with a migraine a while ago.

Little daughter, hope in the God of your salvation. Surrender to Me the pain.

(Lord, still, I am not really sure how.)

Daughter, consider your heart, that it is open to Me- consider your mind, how it reaches for Me, and knows that I exist. Little one, surrender this pain by opening your heart and mind to Me, closing the door to fear, continuing to trust through the pain, through the fear, that I am here, and powerful.

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This poem I wrote a couple of years ago, thinking of people who have been abused. I’m not really sure why I think of these things…except I see hurting people and I know God cares and that He wants to heal them.

It’s kind of like walking

Pneumonia

Those who have been trampled upon

Emotionally, physically – oh Lord,

I think it must be

They can barely

Breathe.

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So, praying for anyone who might read this blog who is in some kind of pain. I’m praying it will get better. I believe healing is possible, yes, for you too.

 

Why isn’t this working?

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A couple of months ago, I was taking photos and my camera wasn’t working and I wasn’t understanding why, until my young grandson told me “your lens cap is still on.” I usually leave it off, one extra step before I can take a photo, but my husband had put it on for me last time we were taking photos and I had forgotten.

We can be so concerned about living our lives at an accelerated shutter speed sometimes we don’t even realize the lens cap is still on, and we cannot see what God is doing.

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Can we see, we need the lens cap off. Lord, open our eyes so we can see what You want to show us, the eyes of our hearts open to the One who made us.

Ephesians 1:18

“By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you and how rich is His glorious inheritance…”

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And if the lens cap is off and we are reaching for what God would like to do with our lives, He can help us work out the details. This was something the Lord said to me about focusing on Him.

Little daughter, simplifying life is as simple as breathing in, slowing down your mind, focusing, instead of a myriad of problems, upon My reality.

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I know I need to calm my heart and my mind sometimes, and trust, allowing God to show me He has peace and calmness to replace my concerns. It amazes me sometimes, when I admit to Him I am stressing and I need to stop stressing, that He listens, and He cares, and He can change the atmosphere I breathe.

The Lord wants us to know He is there, and that He is able to help us to see and live beyond the current stressors that can block our vision.

Point of view and Memorial Day

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Sometimes, the way we view things is not the way they actually are.

When I was a teen, I used to go to a local cemetery on occasion in northern Massachusetts, to do grave rubbings, using a charcoal pencil and big white pieces of paper to bring out the engraved words and drawings on the stone. I used to bike there with a younger brother. I was intrigued by the age of the stones and some of the artwork we found: weeping willow trees, or faces with wings, amidst the history of a graveyard that dated back hundreds of years.

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I remember my brother and I discovered this one stone, leaning against a tree, with what we thought was a strange inscription. We could only read some of it. I still remember it, a few decades later: “She opened her mouth and in her tongue was the” and that was it, because the slate was broken and we could not find the rest of it. We imagined it had something to do with the manner of her death; we conjectured maybe it was poison on her tongue, or a dagger; something dangerous, something deadly.

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But a few years later I realized what it was. It was a scripture quote from Proverbs, the King James version of the bible, and a more antiquated way of wording than we were used to. “She opened her mouth and in her tongue was the law of kindness.” Which completely changed the equation, the way I was viewing the story behind that broken stone.

I have seen a number of times that God can do that, change the way we look at things, perceive things, lend understanding when we ask, create a paradigm shift.

Recently  I asked the Lord about this – what we believed to be true transforming into what is truth, and He said this:

Little one, child, take this thought, that I continually change awareness; a higher step, a deeper level, more of My truth is understood, more of My grace received, more of My love revealed.

In my memory, the cemetery was gloomy and surrounded by winter-bare trees, though when I returned recently to take photos, it was a sunny spring day and the trees were sprouting new leaves. We never found the original marker I remembered,  but it was good to see that care was given to even this old cemetery. There were even new flags on some of the markers, several weeks before Memorial Day, even on stones that dated back many years.

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