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Paradise Lost

During my teens, I discovered a good way to find solitude as well as exercise was to take a walk in the country. Our small Kansas town gave many such opportunities, since farmland surrounded the residential areas. I found a country road within six blocks of my home. It featured rolling pastureland with several cattle chewing their cuds as they escaped the heat under the shade of a nearby tree.

My thoughts flickered by as I stretched my legs. A slight breeze touched my cheeks and the scent of wild flowers puckered my nose with a pleasant but allergic reaction. The sounds of insects buzzed and hummed creating a lazy drone and made me long for a nap. I instead chose a nearby stump and perched there while surveying the bucolic scene through the barbed-wire fence. A sense of peace and well-being came over my soul. I frequently went back to my quiet resting place throughout that summer.

During the following school year, I became too busy to return. Imagine my surprise on my first visit back, to find my sanctuary gone! Instead of the grassy field occupied by my bovine friends, I found a plowed-up area without the pleasant country scene.

What on earth! Who had taken my idyllic setting? How dare they rob me of my little piece of Heaven!

As I trudged home in grief, I began to realize that my real treasure had not been taken. I could still go back to my retreat in a moment. It was no longer in a geographical location, but no one could steal it from my memory. Without the effort of a hike, I could arrive there any time I pleased just by recalling it.

I learned that day that serenity is not a place but a state of mind. Later in my life, I discovered an even greater source of peace and tranquility. Whenever I became distressed with worry and fear, I learned to go into prayer and looked for direction in the Bible. It was there that I found multiple verses leading me to a new answer to my search. God gave me a peace beyond understanding with a redirection of my thoughts toward Him.

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” Isaiah 26:3 ESV.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:7 ESV.

Dianna

Sharing the Fruit of Maturity

 

Posted in Faith: Nearer My God to Thee, Memoir: When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth | Leave a comment

Mary’s Easter Encounter

 

“Mary,” He said,

And my eyes grew wide.

“Master,” I cried!

“Is it you?”

 

Tears of joy

Would not retreat

As I fell at His feet.

How could it be?

 

I looked into His eyes.

My confusion reigned within

As He watched my trembling chin.

I mumbled, “We saw you die.”

 

He smiled looking down.

“Go and tell, Mary dear.”

As He wiped away my tear;

“Let the brothers know.”

 

 Laughter replaced my tears,

While I ran my fastest speed

To fulfill my teacher’s need,

And obey my Savior’s call.

 

Out of breath, I arrived.

“He is risen,” I replied;

But no matter how I tried,

They stared in disbelief.

 

“Go and see,” I challenged.

“See for yourself,” I pled.

“He is no longer dead;”

“He is alive!”

 

John and Peter ran ahead;

Found the stone rolled away;

Saw the truth so they could say—

“He lives again!”

 

Hallelujah, it is true!

Jesus lives forevermore;

Righteousness He did restore—

He lives for you!

 

Dianna

Sharing the Fruit of Maturity

Posted in Faith: Nearer My God to Thee | Leave a comment

Finding Peace

A recent Bible Study brought out the aspect of peace as an indicator of hearing God’s voice. It mentioned a sense of overwhelming assurance and well-being as a signal of our Lord’s answer to prayer or direction for our lives.

In my current situation, I am looking for this state of being with intensity. I’m tired of living in a perpetual place of worry, my life-long addiction. Mentally, I know that the solution is to trust in my Lord and Savior.

Has He ever failed me? Certainly not!

Has He provided me with constant answers to my concerns, some of which verge on the miraculous? You bet! And yet…

I identify with Paul’s self-analysis regarding the good he would do, but does not. Can I learn to live without my constant companions of worry and fear?

Even though my mind recognizes the truth of God’s trustworthiness, my little girl heart stays wrapped in a cocoon of self-protection and control. Trust anyone? Of course not! Allow intimacy with friends or family? Too scary.

How can I get past this giant wall of trust resistance? Like Bob, I need to take baby steps. I’ll allow a friend to give me a hug while I stay soft and unrigid. I’ll reach out with a phone call to a neighbor who’s missing from our Scrabble game. I’ll let God speak to me about my problem with family members and follow His directions. I’ll wait for that sense of peace and then act.

Can I do it? It’s late in the day to start but never too late. Right, God? With You as my new trusted Companion, I can do this. You bet!

Dianna

Sharing the Fruit of Maturity

Posted in Faith: Nearer My God to Thee | Leave a comment