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Thank YOU!

Thank you for the gift of your time today. My prayer is each time you stop to visit you are blessed with truth, and encouraged to keep going ~ one foot in front of the other, chin up ~ simply because you've been reminded you are on the road to VICTORY!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dolphins ~ God's Kiss

It's been several years ago now, though recent enough to still feel the knot in my stomach as I look back on those dark and uncertain days of our family life.

At the time I felt no assurance our family would survive intact.  Looking back, I know it was only the GRACE of our LOVING GOD by which we are still the Brittain family - nowhere near perfect, but whole and stable.

In celebration of my husband's 50th birthday, he and I headed for South Florida during a spring break vacation.  It was a much needed retreat from reality, and the beach is my earthly 'run to' place.

As I stood on the shore watching the waves roll in and pull out, like a sleeping giant breathing deep, tears fell and dripped off my chin.  I spoke hesitantly, "Father, I am desperate to know You haven't left me alone.  I know You don't owe me anything, but if You are willing, will You show me the dolphins while I'm here at the ocean?"

He didn't have to, but He did.  To My Sovereign God, Creator, and Father, it was so important for me to know that His word is true and He has never left me, He sent dolphins to play in the surf right in front of me.  This miraculous experience breathed life into my dry bones.


Over the next couple years each time we visited the ocean, I stood on the shore and asked to see the dolphins.  All through these darkest days and into the breaking daylight of our circumstances, I witnessed the dolphins come and play in the surf in front of me.

To some it might be a coincidence, dolphins and ocean go together.  However, we have visited several different beaches on the Gulf and Atlantic shores, and they've appeared wherever we've been.  Additionally, I grew up in South Florida and rarely do I remember seeing the dolphins playing in the surf.  Maybe I wasn't looking.

Maybe it was a silly thing to ask...or maybe we should ask the simplistic things more often.  I was stumbling badly through a scary and rocky terrain at this point in my life journey, and I (perhaps like Jesus' disciple Thomas) needed some tangible reassurance God was near.

When I needed it most, God Himself provided the faith I needed to keep taking the next step toward Him.  I learned to trust in the dark, and in the dark I became bold to ask my Father for intimate connections with His Presence.  

I think Father God took great delight in sending His kiss of love through the dolphins...at least it has seemed so by watching them jump and play in the surf!

 for He has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."  So, we can confidently say, 
"The LORD is my helper; 
I will not fear; 
what can man do to me?"
Hebrews 13:5-6

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Five Minute Friday*With Kate Motaung*Share

Again, I'm joining in the Five Minute Friday challenge of a five minute free write with Kate Motaung.  There's just a timer set with five minutes and no editing, fixing up, re-writing, etc.  Just take the prompt word; this week it is SHARE.
Ready, set, and Go!
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Come share your story with me.

New friend.  Old friend.  Neighbor.

Young.  Old.  All shades of skin tone.  Varying accents.

Sizes - all...shapes too.

I'm fascinated to know...what is your name?


From where have you come?

What makes your heart skip a beat?

Where are you on your journey?


Are you in a valley low or rolling, laughing in the meadow?

What has been the scenery in days gone by?  How has your journey shaped you for today?

Do you know Jesus?  Is He your Shepherd too?

Share with me...dear one, I'd like to share my journey and walk to Jesus with you.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Five Minute Friday*Send*

Today is Sunday not Friday; regardless I am participating with Kate Motaung in this week's Five Minute Friday link up.  These are her guidelines:

No editing, no re-writes, no backtracks.  Five minutes.  From the heart. That's what it's all about.

So...ready, set and GO!

Send...

I'm sending you this little note today to tell you how special you are.  I want you to know you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You were created on purpose for a purpose, so live each day in this truth...with purpose.

I bless you to know your true identity in Christ.  Out of the Father's lavish love, He chooses to adopt you and call you His dearly loved child.  LAVISH - Loved, Accepted, Victorious, Innocent, Secure and Holy in Christ Jesus!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm sending you this little note today to let you know someone cares.  I know you are going through a very difficult time right now.  I can't tell you I understand exactly because I haven't walked in your shoes, but I care.  I want to walk alongside you until the fog clears and the sun shines again.  

You'll see more clearly one day and the excruciating pain will dull a bit over time.  I'm not telling you time heals because it doesn't.  God heals.  Though you won't ever forget, your healing heart will remember with purpose and one day you'll discover peace and joy are your loving companions!

Sending handwritten prayer notes of love, encouragement, rejoicing, compassion and blessing delights my own heart, and I believe they delight and bless the one to whom they are sent.  Only God knows what He can do in a life when we choose to send a little bit of ourselves to edify another...

We'll find out one day!

Blessings of GREAT JOY on your amazing journey with Jesus!
Lisa

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Prayer For You*January 18, 2015*

My prayer for you and me this week...

we would seek wisdom from Holy Spirit to understand unity 

with Christ 

afforded us

by our relationship with Him

by faith

as He is the Vine

and we are His branches.


Holy Spirit fill us with Your presence.

Root out of us every characteristic which

is not of Christ.

Wash us in the Word of God.

Water us with Living Water.

Fertilize us just enough to help us grow

and no more that we might perish.

Prune us as necessary that we might thrive

and bear healthy and delicious, abundant fruit

for Your Kingdom.


And as we abide, our branches attached to Your Vine, 

we rejoice in our true identity.

We are seed bearers for our Vine Dresser's Vineyard.

We rejoice in Your care for us,

and we rejoice in the growth of new branches and new fruit 

and more seed bearers.

For the Glory of our Savior and King,

may we fulfill Your commandment, Jesus, 

to love one another as You have loved us.

For You loved us and died for us even when we were far off, 

disinterested, self sufficient, foes and rebels.  

While we were still antagonistic and apathetic 

toward Your sacrificial gift of grace,

You loved us.


And so, Lord Jesus, Your love within us 

will compel us to love those who are now as we were;

Your love compels us to remember, 

"You suffered the cross for them as You did for me."

Give our hearts a love makeover, Lord Jesus, 

that our hearts might beat in rhythm with Yours.

Amen and Amen.

John 15:1-12 & Romans 5:6-11


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Introducing - Dr. Thomas Mahon * Mountain View Eye Associates *

It's a pleasure to highlight, introduce and recommend people who go above and beyond expectations consistently.  As well, it is wonderful to know men and women who obviously take great delight and pride in their work.


Meet Dr. Thomas Mahon of Mountain View Eye Associates.  He’s an eye doctor, but there’s more to him than meets the eye!  Dr. Mahon is an eye care professional with a heart for service.

Dr. Mahon attributes his values and his care for people to his Dad, who was a pediatrician.  Remembering his dad fondly, Dr. Mahon recalled the way his dad cared for patients and made their needs a high priority, even beyond normal working hours.

I can personally testify to the validity of this family value passed from father to son.  Just about 9 years ago our oldest son, in the process of removing his contacts, scratched his eye. The pain was excruciating, even after a dose of over the counter pain relievers.  

Unable to sleep, I called Dr. Mahon's emergency phone number and spoke with his answering service.  Immediately, he called me back, and after asking several questions regarding our son's pain, arranged to meet us at his office.  It was 1 AM when Dr. Mahon, as pleasant as ever, treated our son's eye.

Grateful for his care and his time, we've not ever forgotten this kind and extraordinary act.

Dr. Mahon is about as home grown as most who live in our area.  His family moved to Stone Mountain, GA when he was a young child.  Later, he graduated from Tucker High School. During the last portion of his professional training, Thomas Mahon met and eventually married Lan.

Mountain View Eye Associates
1786 Oak Road Suite A, Snellville, GA 30078
(770) 979 - 3456
http://www.mveyesnellville.com/
The young couple, both doctors, moved to Atlanta, and later chose Snellville as the perfect location to build their current shared office building.  Our family has been pleased to visit Dr. Thomas Mahon, as our eye doctor, and Dr. Lan Mahon, as our family physician for over ten years now.  

Recently I asked Dr. Mahon, "In a nutshell, how would you wrap up your motto for life, including your medical practice?"  He stated with a grin and without hesitation, "Treat everyone like family, and I like family!"

My own family, the Brittain's, will testify this is true not only of Dr. Mahon, but of his entire staff.  It's a wonderful feeling to walk through the door and be welcomed by name...
like family!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Five Minute Friday*Welcome*

Welcome!
Today I am participating in the Five Minute Friday with Kate Motaung.  The idea is to take the word prompt, which this week is WELCOME, set a timer for five minutes and write freely.  The guidelines for Five Minute Free Writes are no editing, no glamorizing....just write for five minutes and post.

See Kate's Five Minute Friday button over to the left, and join in if you like.  It's free and it's fun, and if you're over forty it's a bit of a stretching exercise to write without editing.  So, ready, set my timer, GO....

WELCOME...

My first thought is hospitality...a word, which keeps cropping up in my thoughts and my Bible reading and my prayers.

As I studied the book of Hebrews with Community Bible Study, this particular verse halted me, and caused me to pray right then and there.

Hebrews 13:2  Don't neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.  (HCSB)

I stopped and asked, "Jesus, would You give me the gift of hospitality?"

It has seemed a huge request.


I like people.  I especially like to gather with my girlfriends - known to my heart and new friends too - over a cup of hot coffee or tea, to chat about our current place on our journey and to pray for one another.  I like having people in our home.  I like to share what I have.  I like....I want to be hospitable.

But, I have felt so inadequate...so lacking "the gift".  I'm just not a party planner.  I really don't cook much.  I can cook, but the thought of cooking for a dinner party...."Oh no!"  And invitations, and the decorating, color co-ordinating...enough plates, napkins, coffee cups, and all matching silverware.
Oh, and yes, I know about Pinterest.  I signed up recently, and honestly, I don't even understand it!

So, I have the heart...the desire, and oh how I want to be a doer of the WORD, not just a reader.  Wouldn't it be amazing to find out I had welcomed angels as guests and didn't even know it!

Jesus whispers to my heart, feeling inadequate and unequipped, "Rest!  Let me show You what it means to be hospitable.  Read about Me, when I was walking among men and women.  How did I show hospitality to the people I met during my short time on earth?"

So, in a quick 5 minutes, I look at the word WELCOME, and this is what I see...

We...Where two or more are gathered...
Everyone...All are included...
Love...A heart welcome
Come on in
Open doors...An open invitation
More...the more the merrier
Excellence...not perfection

Jesus is redefining for me the definition of hospitality.  He is teaching me, equipping me, and I am beginning to feel like I have received His gift of hospitality!
Welcome, I'm so glad you are here!!

Blessings of Great JOY on your amazing journey with Jesus!
Lisa

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Prayer for You*January 4, 2015*



My prayer for you and me this week...



Father, in the power of Your Holy Spirit and the abiding friendship of Your Son Jesus, I pray You will set a song in Your children's hearts.  And may we, who are called by Your Name, sing unabashedly, full of gusto, as a small child delighting in Father's full attention!

You, Lord God, are worthy of our praise.  And so, I ask, start with me, place a new song in my heart and my mouth.  Hear me, Father, as I raise my voice to give thanks, glory and honor to You, my Creator and King.  I love you and choose to sing; desiring to bring a smile to Your face...to delight Your heart, dear Abba.


Oh, come, let us shout joyfully to the LORD, 
shout triumphantly to the Rock of our Salvation!


Let us enter Your Presence with thanksgiving; 
let us shout triumphantly to You, Father, in song.

For You are a Great God, 
a Great King above all gods of this earth.

The depths of the earth are in Your hands, 
and the mountain peaks are Yours. 


The sea is Yours; You made it.
Your Hands formed the dry land.

Oh, friends, come let us worship and bow down; 
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker.

He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, 
the sheep under His care.

Shout triumphantly to the LORD, all the earth.

Serve the LORD with gladness; 
I come before You with joyful songs.

I acknowledge Yahweh is God.
You made us, and we are Yours - 
Your people, the sheep of Your pasture.


I will enter Your gates with thanksgiving
and Your courts with praise.

I give thanks to You, O Father, for You are good,  and Your love endures forever;
Your faithfulness endures through all generations!
Amen.

(from Psalm 95 and 100 HCSB)




Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year*New Word*2015


This is the fifth year I've asked the Lord if He has a word for me for the new year.  It all began the year my husband and I were headed toward the new phase of life called "empty-nesters".  As 2011 came into view, I continually heard the word "adventure", and so I began to ask the LORD, "What do You want me to know about this word "adventure"?

All year, I learned from the Lord's perspective in prayer and through His Living Word, the meaning of adventure - following Jesus on the journey of my life.  The next year I asked again, and He gave me the word "believe", which truly became an anchor for my soul in one of the most storm tossed, turbulent years of my life.

The following year I longed for a new word, and received one I wasn't so sure I wanted..."surrender".  That was a year of pruning, which was truly painful, and yet without it I could not have grown with such depth of roots and fullness of gratitude into a more intimate relationship with my Savior and friend, Jesus.

Even after the challenging years of "believe" and "surrender", I longed for another word from the Lord; my trust in His goodness toward me was growing.  This past year, He gave me the word "LAVISH".  In addition, Holy Spirit highlighted two Scriptures (Ephesians 1:8 and I John 3:1) and then exceedingly, abundantly more, He gave me an acronym to remind me who I am as His daughter.
Loved
Accepted
Victorious
Innocent
Secure
Holy


I believe this past year, 2014, I've experienced more deeply the meaning of God's LAVISH love, but not because He loved me more lavishly this past year.  God's love doesn't fade in and out.  He never loves us more and never loves us less!  He is the definition and fullness of love.  

Love is Who God is!

Rather, because of His great patience with me, and His healing grace, the veil is lifting from my spiritually weak eyes.  Holy Spirit has been my comfort and my teacher, my guide toward Jesus.  In this past year, Father has shown me that He keeps His promises; He is faithful and true, even when His promises take years to come to fruition.

Holy Spirit has taught me to pray  -
I give thanks to You, Father, for You are good and Your love endures forever!
I Chronicles 16:34. Psalm 107:1

Throughout this most recent Christmas season, there was one word, favor, which most frequently created, within my heart and mind, a pondering.  I've been drawn to the words of Luke 1:26-56 regarding Mary, the young virgin who having found favor with God, conceived of the Holy Spirit, and bore The Son of God, Jesus.

  The angel Gabriel called Mary, "O favored one", and told her not to be afraid because she had found favor with God. (Luke 1:28 & 30)

I've meditated long over Mary's real life circumstances, coming to the conclusion that favor does not mean luxury or ease.

I have just this Christmas season recognized this amazing truth; God chose Mary, His favored one, before Joseph knew about or agreed with God's plan.  An angel of the Lord visited Joseph, but the message was a word of confirmation; Mary was telling the truth.  

Do you see it?  God didn't consult with Joseph or get Joseph's consent before implementing His Sovereign plan.  Nor did Mary ask the angel Gabriel if she could have some time to consult with Joseph.  No, Mary chose God first, and submitted to His Sovereign will.
Wow!


I believe it was the favor of God on Mary, His Grace sufficient, which enabled Mary to stand in obedience to her LORD, against the accusing eyes and humiliating taunts of her community as they assumed her guilt and shame.

Not until the day after Christmas did I even think to ask Father if He had a word for me in 2015.  Suddenly, I realized the new year would be upon me in days, and so I asked.  In return, I heard the word...favor.

So, Holy Spirit enlighten the eyes of my heart with Your wisdom and teach me what favor means...the favor of God.  I believe at least as a beginning point it has to do with God's Grace being sufficient to walk the path He's designed for me.
And so the adventure begins...

I wonder, have you asked Father for a word for this year - 2015?
Is there a whisper of something Holy Spirit wants you to know as you journey through this next year?  Ask, listen, and receive, grateful for His desire to grow you up...His lavishly loved child!


Blessings of Greatest JOY on your amazing adventure journey with Jesus!
Lisa