Tag Archive | Fernando Ortega

Peony Faith

Peonies, Hidcote Garden, Cotswolds, Gloucestershire taken by UGArdener, a flickr photo

“But thou, O LORD, [art] a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. Psalm 3:3

“…thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.” Psalm 18:35

(You can open the following link in a new tab/window to hear Fernando Ortega sing  Give Me Jesus while your read…)

A sad sight caught my eye as I left my neighborhood this morning.  It tugged at my heart-strings.  All along the road the beautiful blooms on my neighbors’ peonies  had been smacked down to the ground by yesterday’s driving rains, like the peony in the photo above.

The gardener in me wanted to stop the car, run over and lift up their pretty pink and yellow faces.  I wanted gently shake the water off, and restore their dignity, poor things.

Often the driving rains of life smack me face-down into the mud, too.  Just when I’m in full bloom and the weather’s fine, along comes a downpour.

That’s when I need a little help, ’cause, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to lift myself back up again.

I have to call for the Gardener to save me.

And when, in particularly desperate times, I add fasting to my pleas, it seems to hurry him up.

He lifts me up, shakes off the rain, restores my dignity.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6

Let’s pray:

Oh, Father in Heaven, I’m so glad to be one of the flowers in your garden.  You are the Master Gardener.  You provide all I need to grow  — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. ( Galatians 5:22)

Take over today, Father.  May I be a bright, beautiful flower that brings You and the people around me pleasure to be around.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

P.S. Know any flowers you wish were in God’s Garden?  Take a moment to pray for them. 🙂

P.S.S. Click on the fasting links to the right for lots of tips and encouragement to get growing!

“Come and see, look on this mystery…”

Come and see, look on this mystery
The Lord of the Universe, nailed to a tree

Christ our God, spilling His Holy blood
Bowing in anguish, His sacred head

Sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts.
He is our great Redeemer.

Sing to Jesus, Honor His name.
Sing of His faithfulness, pouring His life out unto death

Come you weary and He will give you rest
Come you who mourn, lay on His breast
Christ who died, risen in Paradise
Giver of mercy, Giver of Life

Sing to Jesus His is the throne
Now and forever,
He is the King of Heaven.
Sing to Jesus, we are His own.
Now and forever sing for the love our God has shown.

Sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts.
He is our great Redeemer.

Sing to Jesus, Honor His name.
Sing to Jesus His is the throne
Now and forever,
He is the King of Heaven.

Sing to Jesus, we are His own.
Now and forever sing for the love our God has shown.

Fish Faith

breathing underwater!

I used to have a recurring dream that I was underwater.  At first I’d panic–“I cant’ breathe!”  But then,  I could, somehow.

Real life can sweep us off our feet in a strong current of despair; flood us over, and over.

Well, today I discovered — again— that by reminding myself of what’s true,  what’s  good, what’s noble, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8) I can, in fact,  breathe underwater!

And Fernando Ortega helped, too. 🙂

(If you can’t hear the music as you scroll down my post, just double click on Fernando to open him in a new window. Oh, don’t forget to pause the screenon my page first or you’ll be hearing two Fernando’s playing over each other. 🙂  ) 

Monster Goldfish!”  ‘Be still and know that I am God’…Be still and know that I am…Be still and know…Be still…”  ~ R. Rohr, from Psalm 46.

Did you catch that?  Richard Rohr distilled that awesome verse from Psalm 46 to an essential point — Be still…  God is in the stillness, in the quiet, behind the closed door.  That’s where we learn to see Him and know Him, and in His presence the darkness fades away, like in Fernando’s song.  “Till the sorrow and the darkness fade away…fade away.”

Joy awaits us there,  and peace… Hudson Taylor, missionary to China, said this about joy:

“It is the consciousness of the threefold joy of the Lord, [1.] His joy in ransoming us, [2.] His joy in dwelling within us as our Saviour and Power for fruitbearing and [3.]  His joy in possessing us, as His Bride and His delight; it is the consciousness of this joy which is our real strength. Our joy in Him may be a fluctuating thing: His joy in us knows no change.”  

Joy…“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for JOY and I will give thanks to him in song.”  Psalm 28:7

” Do not be grieved, for the JOY of the LORD is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10b NASBGiant Goldfish!

Real joy comes despite the pain, under the water.  John Calvin said, “…it seems David would glory in God in spite of seeming abondonment, and although there should be little outward appearance of help, David would rest contented with the simple security of God’s Word.” ~from “Suffering; Understanding the Love of God”

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39

Been underwater too long?  Getting wrinkly skin? Click on the fish face above for a lifeline.  It’s a site full of hope for those who are suffering.


Grrrr-ammar Lessons: Adjectives

Missed me?  Gloriadelia has been on fall break.  But, I’m back!  And, in honor of my college-age daughter, Liz, who loves all things English, and moved out last week, I’m encouraging you to “Unpack your Adjectives” (was that a run-on, Liz?  sorry…)

Well, on any given day, these are words that can describe me, depending on the amount of restful sleep, nutritious food, or yummy chocolate I’ve had. And they are:  cranky, mean, selfish, angry, out of control.

Now let’s compare my adjectives with God’s.  These are the words that ALWAYS describe Him:  loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled. (Galatians 5:22)

I want to pack up my adjectives and exchange them for His.

We can do that, you know, send our adjectives packing.

Here’s how:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

Here’s a song, sung by Fernando Ortega, that I would describe as beautiful, and encouraging…

Maybe it will help you to be cheerful, encouraged, and hopeful.  Listen…

If you have a hard time with it stalling, just push the pause button, and come back to it in a bit.  It should load up and play straight through then.

Behind Closed Doors

Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast, Keokuk, Teresa Leach ©Do nothing from selfish ambition or vain conceit, but, in humility, consider one another better than yourselves…  Philippians 2:3

Who I am is who I am when I’m alone.  Not at church, not with friends, but at home with my family, behind the closed door of our home. That’s the real me, the real you.

And who I ought to be, the person I want to be,  starts on my knees.  Not on Facebook, not with my friends, not in front of the TV.

Alone, on my knees, with Jesus.  He’s the beginning of all good things in me, and the end of all bad.

All things start and end with Jesus:

“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”  John 1:3

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” Hebrews 12:2

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”  James 1:17

I feel a song coming on….“And when I am alone..and when I am alone.  And when I am alone,  give me Jesus….”  Fernando Ortega