Thursday, June 30, 2022

More Than Enough - Ordinary Days of Summer

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13-16 NLT

Today, my only grandchild, a sweet curly-headed, blue-eyed girl, turns 3! I remember all the anticipation surrounding welcoming her, all the love before she was even born. Remembering this time about her marvelous development and birth and savoring the joy she brings everyone is easy, fresh in my mind and heart. I can only imagine what grand adventures await her, what impact she will have on others. For now, she brings my soul a quiet delight.

This Scripture written centuries ago reminds us all of God’s divine hand in each of our lives. My life, through all the decades, reveals times of great joy and utter despair, of seeking and finding, times when I was absolutely certain and when I simply did not know what to do. These ancient and holy words give me strength and courage because God has always had a plan for my life, continues to know my purpose. This promise of knowing and preparing and growing me goes beyond enduring the hard places, beyond celebrating the good times. God embraces me in all times, through all things.

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me! Psalm 139:17-18 NLT

You, Lord, have thoughts that I cannot fully understand. Yet - in any ordinary moment of any ordinary day, whether a work day or rest day or birthday, Your goodness never fails me, always fills me. Joy falls from the wings of Your angels! Certainly this must be more than enough. - dho 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Simple Goodness - Ordinary Days of Summer

"For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." 
Romans 14:17 NLT

If there is any goodness in us, it must come from God; goodness is one of the fruits of the Spirit. God is where goodness begins!

Our sacrifice of praise ~ 
Let God's goodness be manifested through us as we strive to live a life of goodness to honor God. -dho

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Ordinary Time - Ordinary Days of Summer

Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!
Do you know how God controls the storm
and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds?
Do you understand how he moves the clouds
with wonderful perfection and skill?
When you are sweltering in your clothes
and the south wind dies down and everything is still,
he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror.
Can you do that? Job 37:14-18

Sudden thunderstorms and high temperatures dramatically mark summer in the south. We watch the storms roll in and feel and see the rain cool the earth.. and us too! While most days pass with work as usual, summer breaks up our routines. School is out, and no homework is welcomed. In someways, Summer is a transition period, a time to slow down, grow a garden, pick berries from their vines, taste the fresh peaches sold from the back of a pickup truck, cut watermelons, make homemade ice cream, play outside until the sun sets, walk on the beach, swim in the pool… just find simple delights in these ordinary days. Of course, it could just be too hot to do much else!

"Ordinary Time" is all the time during the liturgical year, excluding the season of Advent (Christmas through Epiphany) and Lent (Ash Wednesday through Pentecost). I always forget about this phrase but like the image evoked, because we all live most of our lives in ordinary time

God is with us! In the ordinary time and ordinary days we just might miss Him if we get distracted. Perhaps we sometimes forget WHO He is! As you find the beautiful and lovey joys in the ordinary everyday, remember God is both Creator and creative as He reveals himself to us. Don’t miss Him in these ordinary days of summer. Be thank-full! - dho


Thursday, June 09, 2022

Waiting with His Abundance - Ordinary Days of Summer

O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6 NKJV

Like nature, life has seasons, and sometimes we find ourselves in difficult times, facing unknowns, waiting with uncertainties, barely holding on. Scripture reminds us that in this life we will have troubles, but God remains our Constant, our Known, our Certainty. Most of us live ordinary days in ordinary ways, but the simplicity of living can get complicated.

Time after time, God has provided, and I know He continues to be with me. I don't have to look very far to know how richly blessed my life has been. Still, I would have choosen less tears or easier circumstances. My human heart wishes for simple and good, idealistic and benign paths, but a spiritual journey is challenging. The human mind questions God's answers and proposes contradictions. We are so finite that mystery escapes us, sometimes bewilders us. However, in between the what if's and inside the why not's, His Grace flows so abundantly that I find my soul secure and in pleasant places - one with the Father. So, I will wait for His plan to be revealed, Word by Word, prayer by prayer, moment by moment, opportunity by opportunity, person by person, possibility by possibility.

Father, my heart gives You the Glory for my good deeds. My offerings are simple compared to Yours - a prayer, a Scripture, a hope, a gesture - just tokens of kindness and love. You touch my soul with words written centuries ago. Oh, Lord, Your Grace pours over me like a gentle rain, refreshing and renewing. In the stillness of this moment, I accept the portion and cup You have assigned me. In my obedience, use me to reach beyond, around and through circumstances to be a witness to Your Grace. Amen. ~dho

Thursday, June 02, 2022

God’s Goodness - Ordinary Days of Summer Series


 "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good..." Psalm 34:8

Summer calls us with garden-grown tomatoes and fresh-harvested berries, peaches, watermelons and more. Seasonal Farmer's Markets burst with colors and fragrances capturing our senses. It's true that now days we can find most fruits throughout the year, as grocers import from selective climates, but there's nothing that compares to vine-ripened and freshly gathered goodness. These sights and smells refresh and excite our senses, often bringing to mind memories of yesteryear while igniting anticipation of gatherings like picnics, cook-outs, vacations, and family reunions. 

Symbols of seasons, rooted in ancient cultures and literature and Scriptures, depict society's dependency on planting and growing and harvesting. Summer symbolizes a time of plenty and passion, a fullness of living, being in the moment. Somehow, summer's longer daylight hours expose our desires to share with others and become an offering of extra-time to gather and linger with family and friends, to meet and get to know new friends. Depending on where one lives, factors vary, but for those of us in the Southeastern United States, summer means hot weather and cool pools, warm evenings and refreshing ocean swims, steam rising from the streets with an unexpected shower and giggling children playing in sprinklers. Summer is the season to once again find the innocence and the joy of chasing fireflies on a summer's evening! ~dho

This summer I want to explore the ordinary days of summer, the simplicity of summer, the change of routines, the refreshment of less structure. Let’s look for ways to experience God's nudges to linger in His presence, to be refreshed with His goodness. Let's taste and see that the LORD is good~dho