Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Greatest Gift...

All too often, I’ve yielded to the temptation to fret about my failure to accomplish more each day.  There is so much to do and learn...  
I aspire to be a more thoughtful and resourceful “helpmeet” to my husband,  a wiser counselor and guide to our young adult children, as they navigate through this momentous season of their lives.  There is yet much more for me to learn, to be a better daughter, wife, mother, teacher, friend and neighbor.

Mastering the art of homemaking, for instance...  Oh to be more skilled at creating a peaceful, clean, attractive, joyful, inviting place of refuge in our home--a nurturing environment where my family can experience a taste of heaven, fellowship sweetly and grow and thrive spiritually.  I have barely scratched the surface of achievement in this noble pursuit.  I love the high calling of God for me as a woman and “mother in Israel.”

Then there is my desire to be a more grateful daughter-one ever striving to return in small ways but few of the countless loving favors done for me all my life by my dear parents.  Now it is my turn to minister tenderly to their needs in their old age.

In addition there is my hunger to be better equipped to serve... the body of Christ, my community...and those precious people near and far that God places in our ministry pathway.  All too often I leave home with my family on a ministry trip feeling grossly unprepared for the task! Oh for more time to prepare and learn and do and give...

I have long been convinced that my morning hours of communion with my Lord are indispensable for me to fulfill the purpose of my creation.  And so I learned years ago not to compromise that time.  However, the pursuit of those worthy goals and high ideals before mentioned has frequently kept me from keeping a mid-day appointment with my Lord for a quiet season of prayer and spiritual refreshment in nature (at the hammock on our hillside).

Recently I read this quote in the footnote of someone’s e-mail:
“The greatest thing we have to offer our people is not our education.  It is not our good ideas.  It isn’t even our gifts and abilities.  It is the fruit of the time we have spent with the Savior, the utterly unique and unparalleled thing that happens when we are simply in His presence.”  B.  Patterson
Days later I came across another statement of the same principle:

“The measure of the worth of our public activity for God is the private profound communion we have with Him.”  
Oswald Chambers
I am no longer tempted to think I am too busy performing critical tasks to keep a mid-day appointment with God.  I’m persuaded it is the greatest gift I can give to those I love. 

“And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”  Jo. 17:19

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Finding His Footprints

Grandma and I have been keeping each other company today, while the rest of the family is at church. I fed her an amazing concoction for breakfast (puréed millet, apple, orange, parsley, raisins, almonds, and mango juice... don't worry, she liked it), and held her hand while we both enjoyed the morning sunshine streaming in her bedroom window. Now she is sleeping peacefully and I'm lying on her bed alternately looking at the computer screen and the picture of Jesus on the Road to Emmaus hanging on the wall above her recliner. My favorite picture, for as long as I can remember. I've spent countless moments staring at it wondering what it would have been like to be one of those disciples, and wishing I could walk the road myself...

Then I remembered this quote: "Many feel it would be a great privilege to visit the scenes of Christ's life on earth, to walk where He trod, to look upon the lake beside which He loved to
teach, and the hills and valleys on which His eyes so often rested. But we need not go to Nazareth, to Capernaum, or to Bethany, in order to walk in the steps of Jesus. We shall find His footprints beside the sickbed, in the hovels of poverty, in the crowded alleys of the great cities, and in every place where there are human hearts in need of consolation."
Ministry of Healing p. 105-6


I went into town with my brother a couple of days ago. While waiting for him, I dropped in on a friend to wish her a happy birthday. She was having a rough day, and held on long to my embrace. We talked. I told her I would be praying for her.

Next I found myself on my knees by a bedside, talking to a precious little lady recovering from another fall. The room was sunlit and inviting, but her face was lined with sorrow. I held the wrinkled hand in mine and prayed with her, trying my best to cheer her. How good it was to see a wisp of a smile replace the weary look on her face at last! I kissed her hand and promised to come again soon.

Then it was "my dear doctor" as I affectionately refer to him. When I entered his little home, young face and older face lit up simultaneously. It was good to see him again. To celebrate with him his 81st revolution around the sun. In the months since I last visited him, I've been all over the globe. He has been right here in his living room. Both of us seeking to know our Father and do His will for us, in our respective seasons of life. The time flew by as we talked animatedly on subjects of keen interest to us both.

I talked to his caretaker for a moment on my way out. "This is the best medicine" he said, as we both stole another glance at the dear, gentle face.

On our way home, we stopped by our neighbors. The kiddos came running out of the house- some barefoot, others with socked feet. Excited because we were coming to see their little goats as promised.

Moments later they had thrust a baby in my arms. He squirmed a bit, then settled in contentedly. I felt his silky soft ears between my fingers and looked at the darling freckled faces around me, talking all at once.

And there, my boots sinking slowly in the muddy goat pen, in middle-of-nowhere-New-Mexico-- even there, I traced His footprints. They were everywhere I had been that day. They are right here now, beside my grandma's recliner.

I hear the call, soft and clear~

Look for My footprints. And cherish the journey while you follow them.

May I ever do so, Lord Jesus.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Our Project...

There's no telling exactly what they thought, but most of our frequent flying contemporaries are hard to surprise. Business meetings happen in the airport all the time...
That was us at the end of the B concourse in Atlanta this morning... Six people surrounded by strangers, avidly discussing your favorites over breakfast burritos and empanadas. (Thanks Tia!)

And we just want you to know we mean it when we say thank you.

By the time we brushed the crumbs away and walked down the breezeway, my iPhone held the master list. 
And while for the time being the titles are classified, I will tell you that of the 18 that made the finals list, 15 of them were your nominees. :)

This really is our project.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Luggage rolls across the floor again.
Bibles. Passports. Sermon notes. Smiles...

We'll be out of here early, once more to open the Word of God with eager young people we're honored to call our friends. 
Once more to go on our faces (before we stand on our feet,) begging for rain.
Once more to taste the goodness of God. 

Pray that this won't just be another Northeast Youth Retreat... 
Pray it will be the fuel to the flame. The beginning of the end.

We want to go home.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Because We Love the Songs You Love... [Next CD Project]

Quiet, I watch jays and juncos flutter through freshly fallen snow in search of seed.
I hear in their contented chirps a song I've been learning over months of treasure hunts my own--

His way is peace... and perfect freedom.

I heard the same thing in the summer when the birds sang at dusk as well as dawn
(We've got a few lessons to learn.)

We do a fair bit of singing in this house. (epic understatement.)
And not because it's always sunny... 
It's because it fills our sails for the storm. 

Actually, when we're all together on one level, 2 minutes is often the most we go between snatches of some sonnet.
And that is grace to us... Because we also often feel like we're sailing high seas in half a cider barrel a piece. 

Oh, we've swallowed our share of salt water to be sure... 
But we're learning to laugh at the waves. 

And somehow, these cider barrels are proving unsinkable.

But see, that's why the song means so much to us...
_ _ _

So we've got a question. Next month marks a year since I Cannot Tell was tracked in our basement studio. And next month, we will be recording again... We've got a list of songs our hearts love to sing, but we want to hear the list your hearts love.

And they could be songs you've heard us sing, or favorites we've never heard before...

Just do one of three things. :)

1.)  Comment on this blogpost with your requests/suggestions
2.)  Post a comment in Google+ with the same (if you're reading from there)
3.)  Drop us an email at thenebblettfamily[at]gmail[dot]com

As a little thank you, we'll put your names in a hat and when the CD is done in a few months time, we will give away a dozen copies. :)

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