Lenten Thoughts: Tattooed With Jesus

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Over the years both my daughters have tried to talk me into going with them and getting a tattoo. There’s something “special” about doing that, so I’m told. I know that there are biblical comments prohibiting tattooing, but that’s not why I haven’t gone. I am a wuss about pain, but that hasn’t been my deterrent, either. Bottom line: I can’t imagine anything that I want engraved on me for forever. The image of a wilted rose on an 86 year old woman’s body just doesn’t get me all jazzed up.

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I do, however, want my life tattooed with Jesus. I want my laughter, my conversation, my touch, my service, my work, my prayers, everything that I am to immediately point to Jesus. As much as I want that, I know my life is far from consistent. My heart desperately seeks to live in a way pleasing to my Father, but my choices betray my lack of trust and my selfishness. I truly understand the struggle that Paul speaks about in Romans 7.

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In my life I have known the absolute bowels of wretchedness. I know what it’s like to screw up so completely you lose all respect, wallow in shame, and fight to rebuild integrity. I’m thankful for grace that makes climbing out of that dark pit possible. I’m thankful the apostle Paul shows how to move from the struggle in Romans 7 into chapter 8: There is therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

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So, if I ever got a tattoo it would be a grapevine bracelet (symbolizing that I am just a branch needing to stay connected to the vine). In the vine would be a turtle (a rich symbol and spiritual totem: slow down, stay steady) and a daisy (for me a symbol of hope and faithfulness). All three would serve as reminders to me to keep living, to keep being fruitful, to truly make every effort.

The only place they may ever be is in my heart, but hopefully they will be seen by those Jesus sends my way each day.

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Book Review: 365 Moments of Peace for a Woman’s Heart

365 Moments of Peace for a Woman’s Heart
Reflections On God’s Gifts of Love, Hope, and Comfort

Readings extracted from previously published volumes Moments of Peace for the Morning, Moments of Peace for the Evening, Quiet Moments Alone With God, Moments of Peace from the Psalms, Moments of Peace for a Woman’s Heart, Psalms to Soothe a Woman’s Heart, Moments of Peace in the Presence of God for Couples, Moments of Peace in the Wisdom of God.

From the moment I opened the package I knew I was holding something very special. This book begs to be held. That may sound odd to some, but for me, there is a definite feeling I get touching a book. This book has a quality and texture that exudes quality.

When I consider purchasing a devotional, I read certain days. I always go to my birthday and read the devotion God placed there for me. Then I let it open randomly and read what I find. The words on those days in this devotional were as rich as the physical qualities of the book itself.

I guess when publishers can draw the best from the best of their devotionals it would be safe to expect depth and wealth. I was not disappointed. The texts were not always familiar and the insights not predictable. The writing mined deeper truths, not seeming to be concerned for making the reader feel good, but more peace-filled and connected.

I am very happy to own this devotional and would not hesitate to give it as a gift to friend or family.

I was given a copy of this devotional by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Fresh–Good Words for a Monday

Fresh.
I love fresh.
I love the smell of freshly baked anything, especially bread.
I love the smell of laundry fresh off the line.
I love fresh sheets on the bed.
I love a fresh, crisp morning.
I even love freshly fallen snow.

Today has a unique freshness about it.
Today I am diving into my writing in a fresh way,
with a fresh commitment,
with fresh determination,
with fresh hope,
with fresh desire.

With the good things of recent classes, comments, critiques, and encouragement
I am going to start fresh.

I am starting fresh.
I am writing.
I am setting goals.
I will be achieving them.

Today is fresh for my faith, too.
I will not always be on the mountain top, high on the energy-charged experience,
rubbing elbows with accomplished industry artists and creative genius.
I will walk through average days, difficult days, insanely busy days
and I will walk with fresh and renewed trust that One who has called me to this
will bring it to completion.

Today is fresh.
And fresh feels good.