Sunday, October 18, 2009

Restoration Song

This morning as I warmed in the sun shining through the bay window, (after freezing for 3 days working at the track).... By the way...BBBRRRRRRRR cold..... I was reminded of this song and the power of God's restoration.

I was looking at this picture my Aunt had sent me of my Grandma Pennell and all of her sisters. She had just made a regular photo copy of it, no restoration to it, just a rough copy. I could see the edges frayed, black and white scuff's all throughout. Faded parts on some of the others she sent to, showing wear, tears and loss of beauty. Details of the faces and background - blurred. I began really thinking of how much more this picture could be if it could be restored. I still treasure it because I know the faces, but how much more joy it could bring to my mom if we can get it restored. (My Grandma is on the far left!)

We've seen the tricks that can be done with photo's that have been restored. They are returned clear, precise, beautiful and for many of us, bring great reminders of milestones, memories of special people who we love, those who love us and will act as a treasured heirloom of family memories for generations to come.

It's like this.....
When God restores, it's better than original. It's better than you could ever have dreamed or thought of. It's with more peace, more power and more grace than you could have ever worked to earn. When it's the work of His hands, it's lasting, eternal, full! Nothing missing, nothing lacking, nothing broken! No faded and torn parts of the picture.
I'm reminded that His plan for me will be fulfilled. No matter what I see happening around me that may look like I've been forgotten about, His love for me will be lavished on my life to draw others to Him and He desires to bless me because He wants great, good things for me. He doesn't forget His promises. He cannot forget.

His restoration is all about His love! He is a God of new! I'm thankful for His restoration love. I want all He has in store. The laughter, the dancing, the joy!

Off to search for photo restoration folks! If you know of any in this area - send me their info!

Click on the link and enjoy this video (Lyrics are below)! God's restoration is always better than original!

Restoration Song - Clay Edwards

You bring restoration,
You bring restoration,
You bring restoration to my soul!

You've taken my pain,
You call me by a new name,
You've taken my shame
And in its place,
You give me joy!

You take my mourning turn it into dancing,
You take my weeping turn it into laughing,
You take my mourning turn it into dancing,
You take my sadness turn into joy!

You make all things new!
You make all things new!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Seasons & Roots

Seasons are refreshing, scary and are many times not defined by what you see. If you've lived here in North Carolina like I have all my life, you will see warm "summer like" days arrive sometimes in March or April, but summer doesn't offiically arrive until June. Just the same, we may get a winter snow in March or even April. I remember walking through McAdenville one year at Christmas wearing shorts! You see, seasons are not defined by what we see! They are defined by a mark on a calendar or time!

Seasons can be hard to adjust to, or they can be welcomed with excitement! The ones that are hard for me to adjust to are ones that arrive a little quicker than anticipated. Especially when I haven't sorted through the cold winter wear to bundle in. I also am reminded that just like I enjoy the fall season, it's hard to enjoy fall when it's still early September, 92% humidity and 100*F outside! It's just not the same, no matter how many pumpkin candles I burn or pumpkin spice latte's I drink!

We've been in a season of change over this last year. It arrived a little too early for me - or at least I had initially thought. It had been a season of saying goodbye to family, friends and co-workers them moving into the next seasons for their families, as well as for us moving into new places and new jobs, new homeschool communities and fun as well as new friendships and church families. It's been a season of change in almost every area of our family. It has been a season requiring greater faith, courage and strength to stand and watch God be faithful to His promises. Watching to see God's hand in this season gently guide, strongly protect and faithfully provide.

As I was thinking about this season for The Haas', and for me personally, I'm thankful for a friend who shared a dream about an oak tree. It got me digging a little deeper to understand some things God was speaking to my heart. If you've ever enjoyed the shade of an oak tree, they bring such refreshment and rest on a hot summer day. Especially with a packed picnic basket in tow. These tree's can provide protection to animals and sometimes people when caught in a summer rain storm. The green leafy branches extended fully to protect others around. They also provide such beauty in the fall when the leaves begin to change. Again - seasons can bring many outward signs of purpose!

Over the last few days, as leaves are now falling, I can't help but to remember what is going on underneath in the winter time when all the beauty and purpose of the leaves seems to have deteriorated or fallen off. What's happening when the limbs are bare? When there is no "outward" attraction of it's purpose? I am reminded that this is when the most critical and valued part of the tree is growing - inside, deep roots are expanding! You may not see it outwardly, but the roots are going deep!

Never before have I really been excited about the arrival of the COLD WINTER season. It get's darker earlier. It's colder. People get the "stuffies". Dry skin may try to prevail. There's not much beauty around with all the tree's going bare. PLUS ....All those bulky coats and sweaters don't make a lady feel so pretty.

Now, I am choosing to change my "thinker's" thinking. This year I'm excited about the winter season, that season that looks forgotten, dormant or without value or worth. You see, that's where the depth of healthy fruit (beauty, rest, refreshment, love, protection) will last! It's not just about the tree's, It's about what is in me. Are my roots doing deep in God's Word, His love, His Heart? I'm seeing the beauty of what God is doing and what He is creating for us! What He designed for us to be a part of! There is always a bigger picture at work if we are willing to dig deeper into the root system. Changing perspective also helps! I want His perspective in it all!

Let's get the sled's ready! Winter will be arriving! It's beautiful outside! Let's go! Bundle Up! It's getting cold out there!

Genesis 1:13-14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so.

Daniel 2:21 He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Colossians 2:6-7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.

The Oak Tree is Considered to be one of the most significant and magnificent trees in the whole world. Overall the oak tree is a very strong and sturdy wood, and represents many things, including that of the concept of longevity, and of wisdom. This is a tree that stands the test of time.