A Spirit of Unity

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May the God

who gives endurance and encouragement

give you a spirit of unity among yourselves

as you follow Christ Jesus,

Roman 15:5

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A team functions fully when the members are of one mind.

This is especially true in marriages and church fellowships.

The best way to be unified is for each person to be following the Leader

and keeping his/her eyes focused on the Leader at all times.

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The Lord grants us endurance

to walk by faith each day

and fills our hearts with love

for each other along the way.

Wendy/2015

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I love my husband, family and church best by loving God with all my heart, mind, and soul first.

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Blessings as you follow Christ first and foremost ~ Wendy

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Can you think of another verse or quote that promotes unity in a family or other group setting?

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New Blog Announcement and Invitation

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Trust in the Lord’s power

to provide a way

for we’re at our strongest

when we kneel down to pray

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Wendy/2015

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My main blog has moved to http://www.wendylmacdonald.com

It’s a big scary step for me,

but my blog was running out of space,

and I know there’s so much more I’d like to do.

The new blog looks much like my old one,

and I’ve moved all my old posts over to it.

I’d love it if you came and checked it out.

Leave a comment so I know you were there and can visit you back.

Blessings ~ Wendy

A Mother’s Heart is Always on Shift

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Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 36:5-7

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A Mother’s Heart is Always on Shift

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She relieves weary limbs

that have carried them both

Resting

Awaiting the arrival of her new gift

She keeps a watchful eye

A mother’s heart is always on shift

Soon untried limbs emerge

Wobbly

But carrying their own weight

Yet the burden of care does not lift

from her life

A mother’s heart is always on shift

Grown into a yearling and shooed away

Naturally

The cycle of life continues

The doe’s belly swollen enough to split

She raises two – this time

A mother’s heart is always on shift

I wonder if she remembers

offspring

each speckled fawn now grown

raising a family of their own – adrift?

Does she carry them in her thoughts?

A mother’s heart is always on shift.

Wendy/2013

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I’ve watched several doe and their fawns during the years we lived in the woods. Special moments like a newborn barely able to stand and almost tumbling as mother cleaned the signs of birth from its fur are etched in my mind. My toddler son and I watched this special event from our old front porch.

Animals have been given instincts that often surpass those of some human parents; however, I don’t believe deer carry their offspring in their hearts for life – like we do. I suspect that only those made in the image of God have that capacity.

A parent’s heart is never off shift! I know that my Heavenly Father never sleeps.

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Thank you, Father, that you do not forsake me. Help me to have forgiveness and compassion upon those who did abandon me either physically or emotionally. You are all that I have ever needed. You are more than enough… xo

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Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.

Psalm 27:10

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The Sting

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My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

James 1:19-20

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The Sting

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Oh, the sting of it!

Do remind me

to turn the other cheek

while crimson

rushes to my temples

that I’d be slow to speak

Slow down this hurried heart

that pounds war drums

urging me into battle

against another one

May I feel the slap

as a pinch

to remind me I’m alive

and that I need to react

with gentleness and respect

and love within my eyes

How often have I been

in need of such grace?

And so –

remind me that soon

the tables may turn

and put me

in their place.

Wendy/2013

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Several weeks ago I wrote this after having had my feelings hurt by the words of another.  It calmed me down and joy returned. Then I went on to write one of my best romantic poems: The Charmed Garden.

When I was face to face with my dear one again, I was greeted immediately with an apology and a kind smile.  Thanks to my submission to James 1:19-20…  I was ready to smile back.

Our home is laced with hormones these days.  Three teens and a mama (about to enter the change) reside here; however, so does the Holy Spirit!

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Dear Father,

I love how You transform me and help me through all the stages of life. You have blessed me abundantly. You are so good!

Love your daughter

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Righteous Life Blessings ~ Wendy

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A Fool’s Folly

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Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

  “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘

Luke 12:15-19

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A Fool’s Folly

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Life is agreeable

he mused to himself

I’ll build colossal coffers

in which to store my wealth

And once they are built

I’ll enjoy secure repose

as my stash remains safe

and its value grows and grows

A bankrupt vagabond – his plans

he soon shall see

for his treasures are but trinkets

compared to what they ought to be

His death came soon and sudden

just as his stockpile was concealed

And he stood before the Judge

with his empty heart revealed!

Wendy/2013

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It is tempting, for those of us who do not think we are wealthy, to any degree, to dismiss this parable as having any pertinence to our lives; after all, we don’t have the luxury of taking it easy and being merry for long stretches of time.

But wait a minute – are we really as poor as we think we are?  I guess if we don’t compare our income and lifestyle to much of the rest of the planet, we might have an excuse to dismiss this text.

But I dare say that our generosity can be displayed through other means besides just monetary… time comes to mind.  Is my time his or do I hoard it for my closet full of hobbies?

I don’t need to earn my way to heaven; however, if I really believe I’m heading there, am I living like I believe it?

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“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12: 20-21

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Dear Lord,

You know about my heart and my income.  All that I have and am is an open book that I ask, humbly, for You to edit according to your will. May my treasures be in heaven and may I learn more and more to be generous towards You. For your generosity poured over me can never be out given.  Amen.

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Heavenly Blessings ~ Wendy

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Melancholy Moments

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Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 

Romans 5:1-5

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Melancholy Moments

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Melancholy moments

have their veins of gold

as do memories

marbled with grief

Good can come

from each circumstance

I’m told –

if we will…

but believe

For it’s our attitude

that blesses or burns

and gives them worth

I’m learning

to mine for treasures

and be thankful

for things could have been worse

Using faith to pick at rocks

and with His Power

I’ve found

I can pan for gold within the pain

swishing it

in Living Water

round and round

Focusing on eternal gems

casting aside

marred and broken thoughts

and slipping sparkling

words of wisdom

into my leather pouch

of all

that He has taught.

Wendy/2013

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The passage of time seasoned with His grace can turn anything life dishes out into something savory.

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In the low lying areas of life’s journey treasures can be found.  I love the mountaintops – but we can’t stay there all the time… at least not on this side of Heaven.

In the valley I become acutely aware of my lack and my need.  The personal growth of faith and spiritual maturity takes place here on the bottom.  And  you know what they say about being here: The only thing left to do is to look up.

When I am on higher ground and feeling confident in myself rather than confident in what He is doing in me, and through me, then I am dragged to the bottom in a landslide of suffering (pride before a fall).

Suddenly everything in my environment seems uprooted and unstable.  Any idols I had foolishly clung to show their real substance – fluff!

Some landslides come simply just because… and not self-induced.  Stuff happens on this planet. But our hope in Christ, and his word, can cause us to soar sooner than the world would have expected us to – and that glorifies God!

 It reveals his strength and majesty while we are slowly being conformed into his likeness, and our faith is refined into something of far more worth than anything we might mine for…

Character Building Blessings ~ Wendy

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In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1: 6-7 

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:18 & 28

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He Gently Leads Me

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The LORD is my shepherd,

I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley

of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

Psalm 23: 1-4

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He Gently Leads Me

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I’m lead, by Him, so gently

and with the utmost care

to places that create in me

hope – rather than despair

His rod is used to guide me

I’m  blind without his cane

He nudges me – this way and that

onto higher and higher plains

It’s foolish when I long for

pastures not his own

for his lie by quiet waters

and his valleys lead me home

There’s a reason why I’m compared

to the simple, lowly lamb

for much like it- I’d wander

without the Shepherd’s guiding hand.

Wendy/2013

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When Ian and I first got married we had planned to have at least two children and to have them before I was thirty.  But since I was in recovery, from eating disorders in my twenties, our plan didn’t pan out.  My body was struggling to gain enough body fat and so my cycle was sporadic until my thirties.

Right when I was beginning to accept our fate (after a failed adoption), I read some encouraging words about prayer and decided to pray fervently for God to open my womb.

Within weeks of my starting to pray for children, my husband announced that a real estate agent had called and offered to give an appraisal of our home.  Ian was itching to move out to the countryside up island.  I was cozy and content where we were.

One thing led to another and we were offered a ridiculously high amount for our heritage home by a man who had just come into an inheritance.  He  loved our place and the gardens.  My heart sank until I listened to the Lord telling me that my husband’s dream of  getting out of the city was more important than a house.

We moved to a secluded acreage and I stayed at home while Ian worked in town.  My body responded to the healthy change and I gave birth to our first son after 12 years of marriage.  Our first-born was followed by our second son and our daughter until I was a 39-year-old mother of three kids five and under!

What I learned was that prayer opens the door wide for our Good Shepherd to lead us to where He wants us to be.  I also discovered that it doesn’t hurt to ask.  He is able to comfort me if his answer had not been yes.

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Surely goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

forever.

Psalm 23:6

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Good Shepherd Blessings ~ Wendy

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Has God led you to a pasture you had not expected?  Did you hedge like I did?

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A Perfect Plan

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For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.               Romans 1:20

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A Perfect Plan

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The wordless mountains declare your praise

As straight and stalwart their heights are raised

Your glory’s portrayed in their massive span

Highlighting the works of your mighty hand

The rivers and creeks flow at your command

Meandering past trees you’ve formed on land

As waterway highways for fish or man

A perfect God creates – a perfect plan!

Wendy/2013

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Romans 1:20 does not leave room for doubt that we have been given sufficient evidence for the existence of a divine Creator.  When we step in for a closer look we discover even more evidence at a microscopic level too.  Each living thing is comprised of living cells which each have an information package inside called DNA.  Here’s a question for when or if we have doubts there is a God: Who informs?

When we bought LEGO kits for our children, they each came with information on how to put them together. Someone put the directions in print and made sure they were placed into each box.

Who put the information into the DNA that is unique for each person? Who informed the cells?

Informed Blessings ~ Wendy

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Dear Creator God,

Thank you for what You and your Son have created here on this planet and in the heavens. You opened my eyes to see and thawed my glacial heart to believe that this universe was not just an accident.

I already knew – I just wanted to do things my way. Help me in this daily struggle of self-will against your will that I might submit to your perfect plan for my life. After all, You know all the information in my DNA; therefore, You would know the path I should take.

Love always,

a pilgrim on your path

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For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21  

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What is your favorite evidence, in nature, of a divine Creator?

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Ancient of Days

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On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty , let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

John 7:37-38

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Ancient of Days

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Nature

is evidence of Divine Heart

leaving fingerprints on earth

and quenching my thirst

like no other art

The Cross

is Mercy’s Arms outstretched in love

healing, helping, holding

and bringing hope that flows

from Heaven’s throne above

His grace

is Emmanuel’s selflessness displayed

in providing the only way

from sin-stained to saved

through Ancient of Days!

Wendy/2013

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Where, in nature, have you seen evidence of a Designer?  Water in the form of creeks, rivers, and lakes always causes me to ponder the Author of creation.  On this particular day, that my son and I hiked into see this waterfall ( the first time for both of us), it was especially inspiring.  I literally broke out into an old song that begins with, “You are awesome in this place, mighty God.  You are awesome in this place, Abba Father…”

It wasn’t just about the loud roar of the waterfall or the relief of having safely traversed a very steep hike down a ravine (using ropes kindly attached to trees by previous people), or even that we’d walked past enormous old growth cedars.  It was about my son. My firstborn son.

I love him – a lot!  He’s been through a deep valley recently, and my heart rejoices to see him climbing out of it.  Now, if I , as an imperfect mother, can love my son so deeply… how much more so does God love us?

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Dear Creator God,

Thank you for your awesome creation that displays some of your power and glory.  Abba Father, I want to thank you also for loving our children even more than my husband and I do.  Continue your good work in them and us, and enable me to keep praying faithfully for your perfect will to be done in these young lives. And mighty God, may your will be done in my life too!

In your Son’s name,

Amen

Ancient of Days’ Blessings ~ Wendy

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