Meet Me in the Middle || “The Refreshing Phase” {Episode 9}

No one wakes up up one day and plans to be homeless or in a shelter with small children. If you think you’re the only one or that you’re all alone in your suffering, listen to Sherry’s life-giving words as she shares the refreshing phase from her own 12-year “Job experience” journey.

From the moment she realized she needed to make an exit from a very painful situation, Sherry continues the conversation as she shares, her “scars will heal but won’t ever go away.” Take courage in the 2 key phrases that got her through as she went from, “Why Lord?” to, “Why me?” to, “Okay Lord.” to, “Thank You Lord.” Her deep, abiding joy is contagious and her final word might surprise you.

So thrilled to share our 4th interview with Sherry…

Meet Me in the Middle || The Reckoning & Redemption Phase {Episodes 7 & 8}

It’s HERE ** Episodes 7 & 8 ** MEET ME IN THE MIDDLE**

The Reckoning Phase {Episode 7}

In episode 7, Sherry shares a vivid analogy of “The elephant and the teaspoon” to help us understand the hard work of the journey to healing. “You can’t fast forward…can’t skip anything …have to go in order…one spoonful at a time…seeing the long road ahead.” She was faced with the “cold, hard reality” and had to choose to “deal with it” but at the same time, making the best choice to “lean on her Creator.” That’s Who she fell in love with!

The Redemption & Restoration Phase {Episode 8}

In episode 8, Sherry chose to focus on the “journey” not the “gritty details” of her source of suffering … moving forward, navigating seasons. Her motto: “Trust …Be still and know that I am God.” As those who have experienced deep suffering can often have the deepest joy, Sherry exudes JOY. She’ll carry her scars for the rest of her life but there is peace and a desire to help others who might be going through their own dark valley and need a safe house…a safe place.

Listen as Sherry retells her journey of the Reckoning Phase (hope in the middle) and the Redemption & Restoration Phase…A Rebuilding of a broken heart.

We’d love to have you join the conversation ! ~ Please subscribe to Meet Me in the Middle on our YouTube channel HERE ~
and follow us on our Facebook Group page HERE .

You can watch the first episode with Sherry on this site at alifegivingmoment.com as well.

That “One Word” for the New Year Thing in 2020

It happens every year. People all over the world choose one word for the new year and share it with others. Maybe the thought is that in sharing, we’ll be held accountable.

I’ve jumped on this wagon before but not every year; however, as the calendar turned to 2020, my mind seemed to be waking up with this word… Alert. One word to focus my attention in this new year –2020.

Whether or not you are called to be a writer, if you are a follower of Christ, you are called to pay attention. Be alert to all that God is doing around you, and write what you see. Then, if God entrusts to you a message and a following, you will be ready to step into the calling God has envisioned for you.

Michele Morin
(“How Do You Know You’re Called to be a Writer,” The Perennial Gen, January 2, 2020)

Sharing the Message

Reading through the story in Exodus 3 of Moses’ “burning bush moment, ” I saw with new insight a very interesting part of the story.

God had created a scene — a burning bush that wasn’t actually burning up — to speak to Moses a crucial word that He was sending him to help deliver the Israelites from their oppression by the Egyptian enemies. Everything was set up by God — clear as day — to speak to Moses through an unmistakable, miraculous sign.

But fresh eyes fell on verses 3 & 4 …”And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside to see this great sight why the bush is not burned.’ When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush…”

There was a miraculous sign right before his eyes but being alert and giving attention to the miracle — turning aside to SEE — was the moment when God actually spoke to him out of the burning-yet-not-burning-up-bush.

And I have to wonder, are there miraculous signs and wonders and “burning bushes” all around us that God is just waiting and watching for us to be alert to and actually “turn aside to SEE?” Is He longing for us to be alert and pay attention long enough so He can speak clearly to us a word, or direction, or share the sheer love and comfort of His voice?

A few years ago hearts not made by human hands began showing up all over the place for me. The Spirit whispered in my ear that these are a message from God to tell me He loves me and wants me to tell others how much He loves them as well. It started a #heartsareeverywhere movement of sorts and people share their “heart-sightings” with me all the time now.

This phenomenon began to open my eyes. I began to see …look for …pay attention more to my surroundings …to be alert to God’s glory “shone around” much like the scene of the heavenly angels appearing to the shepherds in Luke 2.

It’s one thing to ask God to show me His glory but it’s another thing to actually LOOK !

Seeing God’s Glory in Creation

I see the sun streaming through the window on an orchid blossom. The bare branches of the trees in winter reaching up to the sky — waiting for fresh green leaves to dress them again in spring. The breeze blowing the swing in the back yard. The squirrel running along the power line. The brushed angel-like shape in the middle of the pansy flower at our front door…

Creation shouts all the time. Do we hear it? Do we turn to see what it’s shouting about?

Staying Alert in the Every-day Moments

Are we alert? Are we paying attention? Do you see what I see?

Another neighboring friend asked to park her “treasures” in our yard for safe keeping. It’s starting to look like we’re starting a parking lot for carts and buggies while neighbors wait for the metal recycling plant to open for another week of business–extra income recycling trash into treasure.

She showed up in the middle of a few neighbors and friends getting together for breakfast next door. We invited her to join us. Sammy is deaf so she communicated to us by writing on the back of a paper plate. Her message: her birthday was coming up this month. She further shared that her mom never gave her anything for her birthday.

Trying to be alert in the moment, I shared the paper plate’s message around the room and then did what any preacher’s kid might do …I turned the plate back over and passed it around like an offering plate to collect some extra cash for our friend. After all, no get-together is complete until someone passes the plate, am I right!?

She taught us how to sign “happy birthday” and we all gathered around her singing and signing, “Happy birthday to you!” An alert moment for all of us. Engaged. Paying attention. God’s glory displayed through our sweet friend.

Simple Act of Being Alert

Could it be that every moment has a story to tell? …signs and wonders all around?

Can a simple act of being alert reveal the miracles we’ve been praying for might be right before our eyes?

One word has the potential to deeply impact our lives. If you have one that’s waking you up right now, what is it? Feel free to share in the comments below. It might wake us up as well!

And may our one word for the New Year keep us alert to hear God’s voice a little better each day.


Here’s another great article my brother-in-law, Bruce Martin,  wrote to inspire your “one word for the New Year.”  You can read it HERE.   Enjoy !

Meet Me in the Middle || Episode 6: “The Realization Phase”

Co-hosts, Joy Martin & Lindsay Pollard as we interview Sherry “in the middle.”

Y’all …The first episode is already up and ready !! Can’t wait for you to hear Sherry M. share the beginning of her journey to freedom — the Realization Phase, we call it.

Making a hard pivot. Exiting a difficult life situation.

She paints such a vivid picture of her emotions and the reality of life during this season. Gut-wrenching and inspiring. Broken. Helpless. Crawling through life. Depressed. Overwhelmed. But the beginning of 12 years to freedom.

Watch: THE REALIZATION PHASE (the first of 5 episodes )

Love it or Leave it ! {2019–What We Loved & What We Need to Leave Behind}

It’s always a matter of sorting isn’t it. Keep or discard. “Touch it once,” my friend once advised. Dump or recycle.

It feels like sorting through stacks of paper on your dining room table or desk. Each pile representing a chapter of your life — experiences, life-events, failures, successes, new seasons, deaths, births, sickness and health, relationships, birthdays, family gatherings, pain and sorrow, joy and laughter.

Then, lo and behold, there appeared a set of empty file folders labeled, “2020” on the side table — fresh and clean — anticipating the new material filled with stories of the new year.

But there’s a crucial area between the dining room table and the side table and that’s where you and I stand at the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year. It’s a space of grace between 2019’s table of contents and 2020’s yet-to-be-written stories.

If you’re like me, you’re overwhelmed just looking at the whole mess. Fully aware of the fact that no one has come up with a hand strong enough to hold back the new year from arriving until we’re “ready” for it, you and I both know we’ve got to plow through and move on with the seasons …like it or not.

Let’s declare January as a grace month to transition.

Have a trash can ready and start with one pile at a time. Every other day or so, go through the stories, the feelings, the emotions, the responses, the experiences, the lessons from each chapter. In each “pile,” decide what is worth keeping? What life-lessons, responses, perspectives, habits, rhythms are worth carrying over into the folders for the new year? And what pages need to be left behind …edited out of the continuing script.

Finish that first pile and stop for coffee. Sit. Rest. Don’t let regret or shame sit with you. Be thankful for every experience that gave insight into who you are and the places you’re still growing into a healthier version of you.

Don’t be afraid to look at the not-so-good stuff. It won’t bite you but don’t let it subtly slip into next year like a sneaky cat. (My grandson and I have a mutual fear of sneaky cats.)

Since I wouldn’t ask you to do anything I wouldn’t do myself , here’s a small sampling of things I want to “leave” in 2019 and “love” into 2020.

Leave behind…

Resentment — the tapes I kept replaying in my head — poisonous ones. Those need to be burned like the Mission Impossible tapes back in the day …”Your mission, should you decide to accept it,” along with, “This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds. Good luck,” Joy. That’s what needs to happen to my resentment rehearsal tapes.

Anxiety about parking in parking garages, backing up , and things like that …

Offense. Letting the words and opinions of others carry so much weight only weighs me down. I’m left with a hurt I actually inflicted on myself! It also reveals pride and insecurity …both of which I need to leave behind as well!


“In 2019, I learned that sometimes you can’t side-hustle your way into the life you want. Sometimes you have to surrender it. Sometimes you have to give up in order to reclaim the essential thing at the heart of it all.”

From an Instagram post by Addie Zierman

What to love enough to carry into the new year

Walking it out with Jesus — That’s been life-giving to me at so many levels …physically, spiritually and emotionally. It clears my brain, refreshes my body and soul and gives opportunity for God to show up along the way through people as well as creation.

Morning Pages — My son, Ben, put me on to Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist Way in which she challenges you to write 3 pages every morning as soon as you wake up (and grab your coffee, of course) to unclutter your mind…a kind of “brain dump” writing exercise, as she describes. I’m both hooked and inspired by this and her writing has encouraged me to move deeper into the kind of artist God has made me to be. And just in case you’re dismissing that right away because you think you’re not a painter or poet, it’s so much more than that. It’s about being who the Great Creator created you to be… whatever that may be. Try it. You’ll like it. I promise!

Letting go of …control, the need to fix people OR things, the perfect life I’ve tried to create, obsessing over so many things (too many things to obsess over trying to recount them here). While this may sound like a “leave behind” item, it’s actually a discipline I need to carry into every year, most likely. Alas, whether I like it or not, it seems to be a “thing” to “love” into the new year.

Intentional Time with Family and close friends — I’m more passionate than ever that I need time with my family and that core of close friends to be healthy and whole. This is my tribe. We have to stick close to carry each other through until we get to the other side. This is non-negotiable and every investment I make is and investment worthwhile …always a significant ROI.

As I was walking it out with Jesus the other day, this song began playing over and over in my head and I realized of all the “things” I want to carry with me into the New Year, this is the deeper longing and desire of my heart …to take the name of Jesus with me wherever I go. I’ve found Him to be my only true hope and the anchor for my soul in every chapter, every story, and every year of my life.

Take the name of Jesus with you,
Child of sorrow and of woe.
It will joy and comfort give you,
Take it then where’er you go.

Precious name, O how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven;
Precious name, O how sweet!
Hope of earth and joy of heaven.


Lydia Baxter

My One Word for 2020 …coming soon.

Meet Me in the Middle || “Moving on Up” {Episode 5 with Mr. Willie Hereford}

Join us for the 3rd and final in a 3-part interview with Mr. Willie Hereford.

Listen as he talks about feeding the hungry children in his neighborhood, “babies having babies,” “Moving on up because it’s too expensive to go down,” “we can put a monkey on the moon but we can’t put people in houses,” and more perspectives from a “Seasoned Soul.”

Listen carefully to his story about his life as a young black man in Alabama and how he gracefully navigated that with a non-violent, yet determined approach for change.

Sharing My TOP TEN From 2019

If you’re like me, you might have a little bit of extra time on your hands after the Christmas rush and before the New Year rolls in like a steam engine. These last precious days of 2019 are giving me the space to catch up on reading those articles or watching those videos that have been waiting in my ever-expanding “inbox.”

A few of my favorites rose to the top — in no particular order — and I thought I’d share MY TOP TEN with you …just in case you’ve got a little extra time as well — and I sure hope you do!

Some of these are familiar writers — some maybe not-so-much, but I think you’ll find something in the links below that you relate to or might need to hear. Many of these are people I know personally –giving a lot more credibility to their story for me. They’re real, down-to-earth people just like you and me who are wrestling through the stories of life and faith.

Pick one or two …or all of them, I hope. Take time this weekend to enjoy the journey through the words, art and music in the links below.

#1

Before the year is over, you have to re-live the faith of a child through the pure heart of Linus Van Pelt in the Charlie Brown Christmas classic. I might have tried to get the family to recite our traditional Luke 2 along with Linus this year …but, alas, that did not go over well. So here’s to Linus and his all-time-favorite rendition of the true meaning of Christmas…

The Faith of Linus Van Pelt by Chris Yokel for The Rabbit Room

#2

This Martin is not a relative of mine but I sure relate to her writing. She writes in real and raw words about moving from the country to a life in an under-resourced neighborhood in the city, adoption, messy ministry, and real-life-faith…

Resisting Miss Daisy by Shannan Martin at Shannan Martin Writes

#3

Now, on to matters in our current news stories … My man, Roger, took hours of processing, discernment from the Spirit, and carefully thinking through how to approach a very controversial situation going on in America right now regarding President Trump, the evangelical camp, the editor of Christianity Today, real faith, and the deeper issues surrounding this mayhem. Please grab a spiritual heart monitor and consider what the Spirit of God may be speaking …

My Pressing Concern About Christianity Today  by Roger Martin, Jr. in More Conversations That Matter

#4

My friend, Amanda, writes an honest blog post about her “new normal” as a young widow. Whatever your loss may be, her words are real for all of us and they give much-needed perspective and increased compassion for others…

It’s Not Real by Amanda Yourse

#5

Debby Smith and I have traveled together through our emotional journeys for years now and her heart beats similar to my own in many ways. Her eloquently-written words in poetic style bring life and hope to my own feelings as I struggle to live so far from our children and grandchildren–especially during the holidays and special days of the year…

All Shall be Well  by Debby Smith

#6

And speaking of Debby, years ago she recommended Richard Rohr’s writings to me and I’ve been a fan ever since. He writes with wisdom and grace and a deep contemplative spirit. I’m currently drawn to his series connecting the truths from the well-known AA 12-step program to the beauty and truth of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Each step brings us closer to the Father’s arms — free of baggage and self control. This 2-part series of writings will bring truths such as forgiveness –for ourselves and others — and surrender to a fresh understanding of our relationship to our Father and freedom in grace…

Twelve-Step Spirituality:  Part One  and Part Two  by Richard Rohr and other writers for Center for Action and Contemplation 

#7

Now to lighten the atmosphere a bit with humor …our son, Roger III, has started a blog to share the wild and wonderful chaos of raising 4 small children with his wife, Jenny. As a meteorologist, he adds a forecast of severe weather into the mix of parenting. If you’re a parent and overwhelmed is now your first, middle and last name — this post is for you. He brings laughter to the chaos and wisdom for the road from their own real-life-stories that have taught them much as learned through trial and error. You’ll love it …and those kids are so adorable 😉 …

The Quiver of Chaos:  Episode 3 // Stress Management  by Roger Martin III

#8

This other one of ours has a questioning, wrestling mind that proclaims truth in ways that challenge the status-quo Christianity. Her speaking and writing have become a powerful voice in our world today. With 2 books under her belt and another one in the making, I think her path has been marked clearly by God to speak truth in a real and honest way that is out-of-the-box and beyond the church walls of any “maintenance” Christianity …

Two Roads Diverged in the Gospel (and I Chose Neither)  by Carrye Burr 

#9

This artwork speaks volumes ! Our daughter, Rachel, painted this after a visit with us here in Alabama. She listens with her soul and paints on canvas what the soul felt. It’s powerful and moving and hopefully challenges all of us to consider its depth of meaning and truth. She gives of herself to help those who are often left-out and lonely. Her heart is bigger than mine and she inspires me often to be a better listener and friend.

Art by Rachel Martin-Raddatz

 

#10

Now this is just sheer creative genius! Last but not lease, I leave you with the incredibly gifted video production and original music of our son, Ben Martin. His ability to bring music and movement and story to life is beyond my imagination. His soul speaks through music on a very deep and contemplative path. And the little actors in this production are some of my favorite people in all the world. (I might be partial to my grands!) …

Aftermath (original music video by Ben Martin , a.k.a. Sunday Postman

Waiting …

“Remember Your word to your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your promise gives me life.”
Psalm 119:49-50 ESV

It’s 4 days ’til Christmas. The anticipation is building. The wait continues–closer now than ever before.

Yet as I read the plea from the writer in the Psalms, it brought up a deeper emotion of waiting during this season …waiting for that healing …waiting for that reconciliation in a relationship or situation …waiting for that promise to be fulfilled over your son or daughter or that loved one who continues to struggle …not-yet-fixed or worse yet, seemingly not-fixable.

Waiting is hard. Days can turn into months and months can turn into years. Light seems to flicker off and on. Will this story ever be resolved? Is there really anything to the message of hope or is that just a mean and cruel phrase we use to make ourselves feel better or to take the pressure off truly immersing ourselves into someone else’s pain?

Have we ventured to read the “even if” clause? …or are we denying the reality of a possible different outcome? …and that the “best” from the Creator of all may not be the “best” from our created scenario?

Yet David cries to his Father God, ” Remember Your word to your servant in which You have made me hope!” There must have been some promise …some word of hope that God had given him and he was sure to remind God of this promise just in case He had forgotten. David was banking on it with his very life. If You don’t come through, I’m through!

He wasn’t afraid to wrestle his faith out with God. He was beyond worrying that this might be heresy or not acceptable in the Christian community. His relationship with his heavenly Father was real and raw. I love that !

For all his glory days, he knew the glory of the Lord was the true source of any strength and power. Let’s face it, his dearest friends and even family members had betrayed him. God was the only Companion who had never left him …a “stay-with” friend.

In the midst of his suffering or angst or frustration, there must have been a promise from God and on this promise he was clinging to with every fiber of his being. He wouldn’t let go and he wouldn’t let God forget (as if that were even possible ! ).

Something had brought a cloud of darkness or depression or disease or distress over his spirit but there was some “best-is-yet-to-come” hope still giving him life in the “even-now” and “even though” moments.

Something God must have whispered to him gave him HOPE…MADE him hope, he says … and this hope gave him COMFORT…and this comfort gave him LIFE.

Affliction and suffering can suck the life right out of you. Hope-filled oxygen gives life.

And I needed to read this verse on a particular morning when sadness was coming over me like a dark cloud. I needed to be reminded that, yes, God had given me a promise and I went back to that promise for another dose of hope. And comfort came …and it was life-giving.

And I thought maybe somebody out there …maybe even you — needed to hear this today as well. Maybe the wait has been long and you’re weary from the struggle. Maybe it seems God has forgotten you or forgotten that “promise” He made to you. Maybe you feel the wait is so long you can’t bear it another day. Please take heart, my friend. Grab the oxygen mask of hope that is always available to you in the upper compartment. Breath in the life-giving truth that God has not abandoned you. He has not forgotten you. His sees you and He loves you to death …truly!

Waiting is no fun. Endurance seems to wane. I know. I feel it at times myself;  but my hope lies in this …God loves me with a love that is never-ending and He cannot deny that love to me. He has promised to always be with me and see me or the one I love through the storm. He can’t go back on His promise. I would say, “I’m holding Him to that,” but in reality, He’s been holding me through it all along.

Be encouraged my friend. A great Light has dawned. Christmas is coming. I think I see it even now!

“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone…

For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken …

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end …”

from the Christmas message of hope in Isaiah 9:1-7 (ESV) 

Moving on Up || Meet Me in the Middle { Episode 4 with Mr. Willie Hereford }

Join us for the second in a 3-part interview with Mr. Willie Hereford. Listen as he talks about feeding the hungry children in his neighborhood, “babies having babies,” “I’m moving on up because it’s too expensive to go down,” “we can put a monkey on the moon but we can’t put people in houses,” and more perspectives from a “Seasoned Soul.”

 

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Do You See What I See? {Seeing the Homeless Nestled into our Christmas Scene}

In a rare and wonderful moment, it began snowing in Alabama.  The white fluffy stuff we usually see is cotton or blossoms blowing across the yard from the Bradford Pear trees .  Today was special.

I had been at work all afternoon when a co-worker announced the boss had called and wanted all of us  to go home immediately.  Driving in the snow around here is not for the faint of heart.  A hint of flurries can send the entire city to Walmart for “bread and beer,” as they say in these parts !

I was taken in by the beauty of fresh fallen snow like scenes I had loved so much in our time living in New England.  It was as if the  “thrill of hope” was rising up to greet the Christmas season with anticipation of  joy divine.

The sun had already set on this winter’s night but the scene couldn’t pass by without snapping a picture  to document the new verse heaven and nature were singing for us.  With the lights from my mini-van still casting a spotlight on our little cottage, the scene made for a “Currier & Ives” Christmas-card-like photo. 

After the ooh’s and ahh’s, I realized what had been captured in my picture-perfect-Christmas-card-like photo … my homeless friend’s “cart” nestled right up to the right of our home…the one she uses to carry her treasures .

You see, a few days earlier, our friend, Sheila, had knocked on our door asking if she could leave her cart (or buggy, depending on how you see it) in our yard for safe keeping until she cold return to pick it up.  

One man’s trash is always another man or woman’s treasure and your treasure must be protected from others who might seize an opportunity to cash in on a hard day’s labor of gathering.  Cans for cash.  Bedding for the tent.  Maybe trinkets for possible resale. Practical items.  Blessings for a friend. Beauty for ashes.  

Could she  leave it in our yard — about “10 minutes,” she asked? 

Based on a past experience of keeping her “treasure” safe in our yard, I knew 10 minutes could turn into a few days so I responded with some version of,  “As long as you’re coming back in 10 minutes,”  adding a feeble explanation about how I had been sick with a sinus migraine headache and still recovering.  She lifted her hand in prayer over me and said I was healed in Jesus’ name.  Sickness had to go.  God had healed me. 

How could I say no now?  

As I suspected, 10 minutes turned into days and at some point — I must admit —  I got a little annoyed with it being there and complained I wanted to move it down the street …get it out of our yard.  I mean, after all, it didn’t fit in with my cottage decor and landscape.  Who wants a cart loaded with trash bags hanging off of it right in front of the window showcasing the Christmas tree with all its shining lights and all. 

It’s a misfit to the “Currier & Ives” scene, you know.  Let’s face it, we work hard to create the perfect scene and this wasn’t part of the planned display.  What would the neighbors think?  It might give the impression we didn’t keep our yard clean of such undesirable  junk.  The desired  scene would now be messy.

Sheila did return …but not to retrieve the entire “cart”…just the bags loaded onto it. With all the bags gone, however,  you could see  this was not just any cart– but  a make-shift one using a baby stroller.  She had taken the bags and left the stroller in plain sight…nestled into our Christmas “scene” …outside my window and, you guessed it — the window showcasing our Christmas tree.  

And it wasn’t until I looked at my earlier magical photo of our home in the snow with all the Christmas lights that I really saw the beauty of it all.  The stroller added reality to the Christmas story.  Baby Jesus.  Outside.  Homeless.  Born in a barn instead of the comfort and safety of a hospital or warm home.  Messy.  Unsightly.  Not in the landscape plans made from expectations of how things should be or how one would have hoped they’d  be.  

The accepted  religious traditions didn’t include the undesirable in their perfect-picture church scene.  They were looking for rich and famous.  Desirable.  Popular.  Well-groomed.  Prosperous.  A savior of their own making not the one outside  in the make-shift stroller pushed around by  a homeless person. 

And yet, here it was…gracing the landscape we created with a contrast of a Divine touch.  Fresh fallen snow like fresh fallen mercy on our  flawed perceptions of the real beauty of the birth of our Savior.  An Outcast and an Outsider  giving us acceptance and the warmth of His love.   

How often do we miss this in our attempts at picture-perfect-Christianity?  Have our visions of God’s story of redemption been so wrapped in human perceptions that we’ve walked by the scene and turned the other way in disgust or disbelief at the sight and the smells of the truth?  

And  the stroller’s still tucked in my yard  … God nestling heaven’s view onto earth’s canvas.  

Do you see what I see?