Dreams … Edgar Allen

Poe is my favorite American writer-cimmerianly intriguing, I am drawn to his work. My favorite poem is Annabel Lee, but this one ranks as well. Enjoy!

A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone 
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp 
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
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Setting people free

The picture below was in my Instagram feed tonight. I had forgotten that I “friended” Erwin McManus months ago but it was cool to see this picture in my feed, having been at Mosaic for Code 1 ( fancy name for chapter, I guess).

I read The Way of the Warrior on the plane back to Pittsburgh and have underlined a whole bunch :-). I plan to share my thoughts, but my mom hijacked my book for now. She reads pretty fast so I expect I’ll have it back soon. In the meantime, I can honestly say I do my best to live my life for others and am pretty excited to see God use me to light the world! I don’t know yet whether anyone’s been set free because of me, but I know if I’m faithful to do my part, God will be faithful to do His.

Jesus set me free. Jesus, set them free!

be blessed!

SB

My Utmost for His Highest

Waiting for the vision that tarries is the test of our loyalty to God.

One of my father’s favorite books was a devotional by the title above, written by Oswald Chambers, an early 20th century evangelist.  My mother gave me a copy of it years ago. After I wrote and scheduled today’s post, I went to bed, only to wake up in the middle of the night, and lay there wide awake for a while before picking it up to read March 11.  I should no longer be surprised because God often works this way, but the similarity of topic in my year of WAIT is no coincidence.   Today’s entry, in its entirety, is below:

“I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”  Acts 26:19

“If we lose the vision, we alone are responsible, and the way we lose the vision is by spiritual leakage.  If we do not run our belief about God into practical issues, it is all up with the vision God has given. The only way to be obedient to the heavenly vision is to give our utmost for God’s highest, and this can only be done by continually and resolutely recalling the vision.  The test is sixty seconds of every minute, sixty minutes of hour, not our times of prayer and devotional meetings.

“Though it tarry, wait for it.  We cannot attain to a vision, we must live in the inspiration of it until it accomplishes itself.  We get so practical that we forget the vision.  At the beginning we saw it but did not wait for it; we rushed off into practical work, and when the vision was fulfilled, we did not see it.  Waiting for the vision that tarries is the test of our loyalty to God.  It is at the peril of our soul’s welfare that we get caught up in the practical work and miss the fulfillment of the vision.

“Watch God’s cyclones. The only way God sows His saints is by His whirlwind. Are you going to prove an empty pod?  It will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of what you have seen. Let God fling you out, and do not go until He does.  If you select your own spot, you will prove an empty pod.  If God sows you, you will bring forth fruit.”

“It is essential to practice the walk of the feet in the light of the vision.”   Oswald Chambers

The future awaits

This is the sign outside of Mosaic church in Los Angeles, where Erwin McManus serves. If you haven’t read any of his books, I encourage you to. I find him inspiring.

This quote reminded me of another, which I have painted on the bulkhead of my kitchen. It inspired me years ago, and since I have a French theme in my kitchen, I translated it to French

l’avenir appartient à ceux qui croient en leurs rêves

I believe in the Beauty of my Dreams, and I have the Courage to Create it. I belong to an awesome God, the Ultimate Creative, who inspires me to give my all to Him. May He find me faithful to all He’s called me to do. I lay my future before His feet waiting for His direction.

Be blessed, today, my friends

SB

NYC missions

Hi, Friends!  As we gear up for our missions trip in June, we are also reminiscing about our trip a few years ago.   I’ve discussed some of it in previous posts.

After arriving safely to our host church in Brooklyn, we woke up early on Monday morning, excited to meet our “city host”, Marc Hewlitt, who literally went with us to each of the places we served.  He lives just outside the city, in CT, but does most of his business right in the city at that time, working with a missionary team.  He met us at Living Waters and went with us on our first subway trip of the week.  He showed us how to insert the subway pass into the slot (was easier for some than others, not mentioning any names Lucas!)  He taught us how to “subway surf”

Our first service project was in the World Vision warehouse in the Bronx.  We took subway and walked.  and walked.   and walked.   finally we arrived!

wv-logo

At the World Vision warehouse, we sorted through a tractor trailer load of Tommy Hilfinger clothes that had been donated.  We were putting together packets of outfits – paring pants with shirts, putting like sizes together, folding them neatly and putting them into plastic bags.   We sorted through one whole trailer load, re-packaged the clothes and filled up another trailer, which was bound to Washington DC the next morning. The clothes packets were going to be distributed to underprivileged people to help prepare them for job interviews.

FY15_essential_basic.jpg

pwu15.jpg

You can find out more about World Vision here

During our trip to the World Vision warehouse, we passed several NYC police precincts.  One thing I was immediately struck by was the presence of police officers all throughout the city – it was reassuring and made me feel very safe.

I would love to share pictures, but unfortunately, I believe most of them are on a defunct jump drive.  I’m working on a way to recover them – perhaps from the walgreen’s website that I uploaded them to after our trip, but so far haven’t found a way to save them in a format that can be uploaded to WordPress.  I’ll try again later.   For now, since we Spring Ahead in the AM, I’m going to bed.

Blessings,

SB

http://www.worldvisionusprograms.org/basic_needs_families.php

 

I stand alone

International Woman’s Day?   I’m sorry, I don’t get it.  Why do we need a day?  Can’t we just be awesome every day?   And can’t the men we work beside be awesome every day? I work in a man’s world – I truly do – I earned a degree in electrical engineering and remember only about 5 women in my classes who finished with me.  I worked REALLY hard to earn it.   I have worked for more than 25 years in a field dominated by men, and have been graciously given opportunities to grow and advance my career to what I’d like to attribute to hard work and dedication.  I am not so naïve to think that my salary really matches that of my male counterparts with the same titles, but in all honesty have never let that bother me.  I’m so very grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given, and will continue to work as hard as I can to be the very best that I can be.  I would expect nothing less from anyone else, man or woman.

While I don’t want to offend any women out there, as we’re all entitled to our opinion.  My opinion is that I’d rather not be known as a “burn your bra”, liberated woman, but rather someone who just wants to work hard doing what she believes will make a difference. I am prepared to stand alone in that opinion. 

For the record, though I have never been a stay-at-home mom (mostly because I never wanted to be – truthfully – and not because my kids aren’t awesome, cuz they are!), I have respect for those who are – THAT’s a tough job.  My mom stayed home when I was young, and it was only because my father passed away that she went to work.  I was fortunate enough to have her stay home with my kids when they were young – which was, in part, my way to give back to her what she lost after my dad died.  It worked out well for all of us.

So, on this day-after International Woman’s Day (perhaps similar to Alice in Wonderland’s Happy Un-birthday I should call it “International Woman’s Un-Day”), I want to take the time to wish MEN and WOMEN everywhere just a happy, awesome day, period.   Go be awesome with one another.

I heart you all.

SB

 

At the cross— Ash Wednesday

Leaving LA Wednesday morning, the sky was crying as I drove to the airport.

I realized this is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season, before Jesus was crucified on the cross. It is a season of remembering the awesome price that Jesus paid for us. Though my particular denomination does not formally recognize Lent, I grew up in a denomination that did, so am always mindful of this season of preparing our hearts.

My phone was plugged into the car, playing songs from my playlist when “At the cross (love ran red)” came on. It’s a song I know well; my daughter sings it.

Love ran red


There’s a place where mercy reigns
And never dies
There’s a place where streams of grace
Flow deep and wide
Where all the love I’ve ever found
Comes like a flood
Comes flowing down
At the cross, at the cross
I surrender my life
I’m in awe of You
I’m in awe of You
Where Your love ran red
And my sin washed white
I owe all to You
I owe all to You, Jesus
There’s a place where sin and shame
Are powerless
Where my heart has peace with God
And forgiveness 
Where all the love I’ve ever found
Comes like a flood
Comes flowing down
At the cross, at the cross
I surrender my life
I’m in awe of You
I’m in awe of You
Where Your love ran red
And my sin washed white
I owe all to You
I owe all to You
Here my hope is found
Here on holy ground
Here I bow down
Here I bow down
Here arms open wide
Here You save my life
Here I bow down
Here I bow
At the cross, at the cross
I surrender my life
I’m in awe of You
I’m in awe of You
Where Your love ran red
And my sin washed white
I owe all to You
I owe all to You
I owe all to You
I owe all to You, Jesus, Jesus
Your love ran red
Your love ran red

Sin and shame are powerless only through the saving power of Christ Jesus, my Savior. My heart has peace with God and forgiveness because I know that when I confess my sins to my Father, he forgives me. I lay by sins at the feet of Jesus, knowing He loves me. And He loves you. His love ran red and my sin washed white. I owe all to Him.

Be blessed, my friends.

Enjoy the journey to the cross this Lenten season.

SB