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Archive for the ‘Views from Erica’ Category

Standing in front of an open window I try to hold back tears. A little disappointment threatens to ruin my afternoon and leave me down. Suddenly an invisible hand, soft as a baby’s skin, reaches in and brushes a tear off my face. Washing over me like a cool ocean wave, bearing the scent of many flowers, it refreshes me. My hair flies behind me as a horse’s mane when he runs free. Smiling, I try to catch that hand…if I can grasp it, just maybe I can see it, but it rushes by. So familiar is it, that all of nature waves in its presence. I can’t see it, or hold it in my hand, but still it extends its arm to me, touching my face tenderly, filling me with joy, and reminding me that I don’t have to see to believe; that’s what faith is.

Note: Erica M is not a member of the Flames of Love Ministry. She is a friend of Charles and Maxine, and the Web Designer/Manager of this site.

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My Praise

...just like a Fragrant Rose in the early spring

…just like a Fragrant Rose in the early spring

Like an ocean breeze, blowin’ on Your face, Like a summer sun with it’s warm embrace, Like a gentle rain plays a symphony; that’s what I want my praise to be! Like a fragrant rose in the early spring, Just like an eagle soars when it spreads it’s wings… (My Praise – Philips, Craig, & Dean)

Nature praises it’s Maker, just by being what He created it to be. Eagles don’t have to try to swim to praise God, they just go about life the way they were created to, and God is praised. Why then do we get confused about praise? Why are we always talking about how to praise, asking questions, and feeling lost? We all know God created us in His image and for His purpose. He has placed each of us where He wants us and just asks us to live the Life He gave us! Our life is worship! We don’t have to do cartwheels, run 3 mile races, pray 5 times a day, or be in a church building every evening to please Him! All we have to do is say ok God, I am not my own. I am Yours. You created me, You know what I was made for (Jer 1:5) and I’m ready to let Your will be done through my life. When we quit trying to do everything ourselves (and most of what we try we weren’t made to do!) God can use us to glorify Himself! When we are in tune with him, as an eagle knows the wind and just how to angle his wings to catch the currents, we can soar. We just have to quiet down enough to hear Him speak to us. He’ll tell us when to be where, do this or that, or talk to someone.

...line an Ocean Breeze blowing on Your face...

…line an Ocean Breeze blowing on Your face…

I used to think that singing and praying were the only ways I could worship God. How wrong I was! Every breath I take is worship! When my fingers move the way God made them too and I type these words, He smiles just as He does when the rain plays a symphony or the ocean sprays mist across His face. I step out my door into the warm sunshine, smile and acknowledge His Majesty; it is to Him a fragrant rose. That’s what I was made for. Adoration. And, when I truly adore Him in my heart it shines through in my actions. My life, from the moment I wake up till I go to bed at night can be praise.

Your heart is open wide, You long for what I bring, I pray somehow You’ll find this simple offering… Just like an ocean breeze blowin’ on Your face, Like a summer sun with it’s warm embrace…

Note: Erica M is not a member of the Flames of Love Ministry. She is a friend of Charles and Maxine, and the Web Designer/Manager of this site.

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October

October! The trees are glowing a hundred shades of gold, orange, and red. Fallen leaves crunch beneath my feet when I walk, and then skitter across the road as if they are in a hurry to get somewhere. A squirrel scampers here and there, then pausing to make sure no one is watching, he quickly digs a hole, and buries a smooth nut. In the twilight deer feed in the fields, and rabbits nibble clover. Fog settles in the valleys blanketing the world in thick clouds till morning when the sun rises to declare the day new. Dew sparkles like a thousand stars in the grass and makes a squish-squeaking sound as I walk. From the screeching Red Tailed Hawk soaring across a crisp blue sky, to the smallest fuzzy caterpillar sunning on the sidewalk, the world proclaims “It is fall!”

I still marvel at the beauty and splendor that surround me every autumn. One look around is proof enough that only an all-powerful God could have created this world. Who else would have such an imagination? From the squirrel’s fuzzy tail to the wrinkled bark on a giant hickory tree we find intricate detail and marvelous design. My heart swells in adoration to the Creator of the Universe. His awesome works are displayed right before my eyes, ever reminding me of His greatness. May His praise be continually on my lips!

Note: Erica M is not a member of the Flames of Love Ministry. She is a friend of Charles and Maxine, and the Web Designer/Manager of this site.

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Who

WHO

Who can paint a sunset,

Or sift the falling snow?

Command the mighty ocean waves,

Or make the wind to blow?

Who can write the sparrow’s song,

Or fashion each blade of grass?

Arrange the petals of a rose,

Send dew drops clear as glass?

Whose words can mold the highest mountain,

Or put stripes on a tiny bee?

The same Wonderful and Awesome God

Who loves you and me!

Erica, age 17

2002

Note: Erica M is not a member of the Flames of Love Ministry. She is a friend of Charles and Maxine, and the Web Designer/Manager of this site.

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Shadows


Walking away from the sun I see my shadow bobbing on the ground in front of me. Funny how its outline looks just like me, yet the friendly silhouette is much bigger than I am. The sunlight filtering through a tree leaves splotched shadows to dapple the ground, sometimes shifting back and forth as if some unseen hand is sorting the pieces of a giant puzzle. Out in the open a giant shadow sweeps over the field as a hawk soars across the sky. Somewhere above me a butterfly is playing – his shadow dancing at my feet. Looking down again I note that my shadow has lengthened. Without turning around, I know the sun is slowly sinking. Deeper grow the shadows until the entire sky is dark and the shadows disappear without saying goodnight, only to reappear the next evening, as jolly as before; as if their song had never skipped a beat and no one noticed they were gone.

Note: Erica M is not a member of the Flames of Love Ministry. She is a friend of Charles and Maxine, and the Web Designer/Manager of this site.

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Love Them Like Jesus

I was listening to one of my favorite CD’s today: Lifesong by Casting Crowns. I’m constantly amazed my Mark Hall’s talent and gifts as a song writer. He writes about true life problems and solutions and touches our hearts and pains.

I have often found it amazing that Jesus doesn’t ask us to perform miracles every day or to know the answers to every question; He only wants us to be like Him. To love people the way He loves, to hold them in His arms, and to let His love and compassion flow through us to those around us. When we have a friend whose lose a loved one we often grope around looking for words or something we can do to make them feel better; to ease their pain. Why not just hold them, sing to them, pray with them? After all, isn’t that what Jesus would do? I can just see Him drawing them into His arms and letting them cry a little.

This holds true in every situation, not just that of death and grief. Disappointment, fear, anger, misunderstanding, hopelessness, and the list goes on…

If the struggling person doesn’t know our Jesus the last verse of this song is difficult for them to understand, but a constant reminder to us that He loves them as He loves us and that He is strong enough, mighty enough to touch them even when we can’t.

Love Them Like Jesus

The love of her life is drifting away
They’re losing the fight for another day
The life that she’s known is falling apart
A fatherless home, a child’s broken heart

You’re holding her hand, you’re straining for words
You trying to make – sense of it all
She’s desperate for hope, darkness clouding her view
She’s looking to you

Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves her and stay by her side
Love her like Jesus
Love her like Jesus

The gifts lie in wait, in a room painted blue
Little blessing from Heaven would be there soon
Hope fades in the night, blue skies turn to gray
As the little one slips away

You’re holding their hands, you’re straining for words
You’re trying to make sense of it all
They’re desperate for hope, darkness clouding their view
They’re looking to you

Just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus

Lord of all creation holds our lives in His hands
The God of all the nations holds our lives in His hands
The Rock of our salvation holds our lives in His hands
He cares for them just as He cares for you

So love them like Jesus, love them like Jesus
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus
Love them like Jesus

Note: Erica M is not a member of the Flames of Love Ministry. She is a friend of Charles and Maxine, and the Web Designer/Manager of this site.

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Sovereign God

Written Dec 20th, 2005

This is one of those times where you question God. Not the “God, what right do you have to do something like this?” but rather, “why?” I don’t believe it is wrong to ask why when God does something we don’t understand. In fact, I think our asking and His answering helps us understand Him better.

Yesterday we got the news that a local youth minister and young man were traveling to Colorado to meet with some families who’d gone ahead the day before. At 1:30am yesterday friends here in town received phone calls saying there had been a car wreck in Amarillo, TX and Mike, the youth minister was killed. Chris, 17 yr old, was in the hospital in critical condition, with a lacerated liver, punctured lung, and brain trauma.

Chris remains in a drug-induced coma, though he has opened his eyes once. His parents were unable to get to him until 5pm last night; due to icy weather planes couldn’t leave Colorado or fly into Amarillo. I can’t imagine the pain of knowing your son’s life hangs by a thread and you can’t get to him! Why God? Why did Mike have to die in his early twenties? Ryan knew Mike; says he was such a people person, loved God passionately, and was willing to do anything for Him. Why is Chris laying in a hospital bed nearly lifeless? He just graduated this year! He’s got a little sister, a loving family, and so many friends. Why God?

I spoke briefly with a friend of ours who attends church with Chris and Mike. Glen looked like he’d been up all night, probably crying and praying. He said to me, “This is one of those times when I don’t understand God. All I know right now is that He is Sovereign and I love Him.”

That is God. Sovereign. Independent of all others; supreme in power, rank, or authority. He doesn’t need permission. He doesn’t have to explain. Our tiny brains cannot fathom His power, yet we love Him. Our lives are His to do with as He pleases, yet we trust Him because we know He is loving, all-seeing, and all-knowing. We can’t see what He wants to do through all this, but we know that He not only knows how it all works out, but He’s got a plan that will glorify His name. And, He loves us.

Note: Erica M is not a member of the Flames of Love Ministry. She is a friend of Charles and Maxine, and the Web Designer/Manager of this site.

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