I Hear My Savior

DSCF0158

I Hear My Savior – Karen Pickering

I hear my Savior walking; His steps so close to mine.

Though I wander from His presence, He seeks my soul to find.

None other is so faithful as He who bore my shame.

Yet here I strive without Him and fail to speak His name.

I hear my Savior calling, His breath so close to mine.

“Come rest beneath my shadow. You should no longer pine”.

He woos and I still slight His voice for others hold more sway.

This mighty God so tender, He will not slip away.

I hear my Savior pleading, His voice so soft and low.

“I paid the awful ransom. How can you from me go?”

“Your life is lost without me. I only want to give.

This new life everlasting, so come to me and live.”

I turn to face Him fully this one who loves me so.

In His eyes I see forgiveness of all I’ve done below.

To know this High King loves me is more than I can bear.

Still His loving arms enfold me, and tells me He is there.

Oh won’t you see His goodness. His heart for broken men.

He has ransomed you at Calvary by conquering death and sin.

There is no other Savior.  The narrow path is plain.

So come, and seek His presence before it is too late.

(Music to follow…)

Learning to Seek God’s Presence

celticcover (2)

I have some exciting news today!  My first book has just been released.

“Learning to Seek God’s Presence” is a ten-week study-guide written for people who are broken by circumstances.  While this study can be done alone, it will be more beneficial if worked through with a discipleship partner.

Study people like Hagar, Joseph, Ruth and many others and learn how they reacted to impossible circumstances.  Learn a new way of thinking, leading to a new way of living.

This is not a self-help course, a solutions manual, or a quick fix for a difficult life.  Rather, the goal is to learn how to live in God’s presence in spite of our circumstances.  Someday we will live in His presence for eternity.  He wants us to learn how to do it well before we arrive.

“Learning to Seek God’s Presence” is available through Amazon.  You can follow the link here.

I’ll be taking about ten days off.  I’m hoping to have a series on parenting when I get back.  Enjoy these beautiful Fall days.

 

 

 

 

A Tale of Two Surgeons

I sought out a surgeon to fix my broken ankle.  He examined the bone, made a plan and scheduled the surgery.  The surgery was uneventful.  Things went as planned.  They gave me four pages of very specific written instructions, “the number” to call if we had any trouble and waved good-bye as my husband took me home.  Within hours the trouble began.

It took two days for us to convince them there was a problem.  I had an allergic reaction to the first pain killer.  The second pain killer sent me into another tailspin and I was unable to eat more than a few spoonfuls at a time.  by day three I was so weak I was having trouble communicating.  late into the third day an ambulance was called and I spent five hours in the ER.  They sent me home with more adjustments to my medications and as I continued to not improve my family did their own research and came up with a treatment plan.  By day five I was finally turning a corner.  Through all of this we had called “the number” nine times.  Usually we got an answering machine.  A receptionist would then call us back and forward our complaint on.  Half of the time they never called back.  We talked to many nurses who were irritated at the frequency of our calls and assumed we were not following the plain instructions we had been given.  We were told to call our pharmacist, our family doctor etc.  In all of those conversations not once did our surgeon call us back or speak to us on the phone.

My post-op appointment was scheduled for day nine.  There was the surgeon.  He appeared to be in good health.  (We were afraid he had been in a tragic accident.)  My husband mentioned that the recovery had been hard.  “Yes,” the surgeon responded.  “I heard about all your trouble.”  Nothing more was said.  He said things looked good and he would see me in three weeks.

There is another surgeon.  This one seeks me out.  He sees my brokenness.  I am content to leave it.  He insists on addressing the fractured pieces one by one, making the cuts, realigning the bones, making it whole and binding it tight.  He has written a book of instructions and encouragement.  He sits with me as I heal and watches over me as I sleep.  He gently wipes the tears as they fall from the pain of the procedure He is determined to see through.   He grieves over the painful work that must be done, but He presses on, never leaving me, bringing others to encourage and teach me through each operation.  The process is slow, painful and hard, but the surgeon is always right there.  Carefully watching and adjusting as I respond to Him.

The first surgeon was skilled.  He did the job he set out to do.  I sought the “provision” of His skill and he obliged.  The second surgeon offers something much more valuable.  He offers His “presence”.  We often want God’s “provision” when His deepest desire is to share His “presence” with us.   May you learn to seek this God who is determined to “be with you”.

“…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20b – See also Matthew 1:28 & Revelation 21:3

Taking a Break

I fell and broke my ankle last Monday.  I have surgery scheduled for tomorrow and have decided to take a break from posting for a few weeks.  I’m working on a new project that I’ll tell you about when I come back.  I hope all of you stay warm and well.  I’ll leave you with another song by Laura Story below.

Karen

A Lesson From My Grandaughter

Baabaa’s Story

I know a rabbit named Baabaa.  She had downy pure white fur with soft pink on the inside of her ears.  Her eyes were bright and sparkling.  She had an orange scarf around her neck.  There was a zipper on her underside that opened to a little pocket that carried a tiny baby bunny.  Baabaa came to live with a little girl with red hair when she was just a baby and became her constant companion. When the little girl is tired or afraid she pulls Baabaa close to her face and whispers in the soft pink ears.  The scarf was lost long ago.  The eyes are dull and scratched.  The zipper is broken and the tiny baby bunny has been put away for safe keeping.  She has been washed so many times that her permanent color is grey.  Her coat is matted and worn.  The ears which once were so lovely are her roughest part.   She has been held and dragged and kissed and loved until she is misshapen, stained and unrecognizable as a rabbit. There was one horrible episode where she was lost in a store and the little girl spent the night crying… and worrying about where she was… and would she ever see her again.  She was retrieved the next morning by the girl’s mother and was quickly kissed and hugged and cried over with much relief.  From that point on the little girl was more careful with her.  She held her tighter when they ventured out.

What is Baabaa worth?  Sadly, she would not fetch even 25 cents at a garage sale.  Most people would throw her away if they found her, but to one little girl, with red hair, Baabaa’s price is far above rubies.  Baabaa would be a very foolish rabbit indeed if she was proud and bragged about how valuable she was.  Her value lies only in being loved by a little girl named Ashlee.  Without Ashlee her value is less than nothing.  There is nothing good or valuable in her.

We are like Baabaa.  We are worn and bedraggled and misshapen.  We have no worth, but there is someone who loves us and in that is our value.  We would be foolish people indeed to brag about how good and valuable we are.  No, our only value is in being loved by a good and wonderful God.  A God who chooses to use broken and weak people to do amazing things.

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”   I Corinthians 1:26-31

My Grandmother’s Chair

I have two chairs that my grandparents received on their wedding day. They are tiny by today’s standards. I used them as thrones when I was a little girl. There was a matching loveseat that I spent hours sprawled out in reading the World Book Encyclopedia. The loveseat met an unfortunate end when it got in the way of a semi-truck, but that is another story.

The chairs came to me before my mother died. About 10 years ago one of the chairs was damaged while being used in a drama production. The front leg and part of the frame was shattered. I couldn’t bear to throw it away. How do you discard something that you have lived with all your life? It was the only thing I owned that had belonged to my grandmother…so it sat in my basement. The chair that wasn’t damaged sat with it. It seemed they should be together. I looked at it every once in a while and tried to see if I could fix it. It seemed impossible. There were just too many pieces. Still, I couldn’t throw it away.

A couple years ago I decided to buy some fabric and recover the good one. I bought enough for two chairs just in case. I started on the broken one first. I took out the old tacks, peeled back the old fabric, took out the stuffing and removed the webbing from the bottom. There it was looking worse than ever. The springs had come loose. The leg and frame looked hopeless. I carefully took the leg apart where it met the frame. I cleaned out the old glue. I fit the pieces back together with new glue in the joints. I added wood filler where the wood was damaged and splintered. I bound it up tight while the glue dried. I also put some braces up inside where they wouldn’t show. I sanded and covered up the scratches with stain.

Next I started putting new webbing on the bottom, retying the springs, layering the burlap, stuffing, cotton cloth, more stuffing, more cotton cloth and finally the finish fabric. The braid went on last to cover all the edges. I stepped back and looked it over. I was amazed. It was beautiful. It was also strong…stronger than it had ever been. I recovered the good chair too. I had to redo some of the stuffing, but I didn’t have to touch the springs or webbing. They were a matched set again. They looked the same, but one was much stronger. The one that had been broken, seemingly beyond usefulness, was now the stronger of the two.

My thoughts turned to people. Many are broken and shattered. As broken people we have two choices. We can hide in the basement and expect other people to stay there with us or we can give our broken and shattered pieces to the one who made us. It will hurt. He will have to take things apart, scrape off things that shouldn’t be there and dig out some rotten bits. But as we trust Him to work with our life He will make us beautiful and strong…stronger than we would have been if we had never been broken.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Karen Pickering

chairs

My Grandmother’s chairs