Friday, April 30, 2010

Be Blessed

Secret Pals

Just a reminder about your secret pals. Have you given your pal a cute card, cookies, short letter, e-mail or gift lately? Don't let her think you may have forgotten her... Let her know that you are praying for her and her family.

It just thrills me to see so many having fun with this~ Thanks so much!

A Servant's Heart

"The greatest leader is the greatest servant."

I heard this this morning when I was listening to 100.7 while getting ready for work. A truer statement I've not heard in a long time. To be a leader you must serve. Not be upset about numbers, not talk about who's doing what when, and who isn't doing anything.... but to only be concerned about who you can be a servant to today. Wow. It's hard to let go of self... the old carnal flesh. That part the riles up in us that says "I did such-and-such last time, and I think it's "put name here"'s turn!" It's true that 10% of the people in church do 90% of the work. But, that's okay~ IF our hearts are where they should be. And, when they are~others will be sure to follow...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cross Cultural Missions

How does one's heart break yet burst with joy at the same time? I truly am learning the real meaning of the word "bittersweet." My daughter, Lacey, will be starting college this year at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK. Her major is Cross Cultural Missions. She desires to be a missionary. Hence, my heartbreak~ and joy. Sitting here at work the tears ran as I listened to the song "Go Light Your World." I realized SHE is the candle that will be lighting our world with the news of Jesus Christ. What a blessing. How my heart pulls within me!

Pray for her as she begins a new chapter in her life, and for us as we become tee-total empty-nesters. Life is about to change in huge ways.

I pray that I will always be a positive boost in the lives of my children... and as I hold in my hearts cry inside, that I spur them on to win the race!

Go Light Your World

There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a Spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes His home

So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Frustrated brother, see how he's tried to
Light his own candle some other way
See now your sister, she's been robbed and lied to
Still holds a candle without a flame

So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Cause We are a family whose hearts are blazing
So let's raise our candles and light up the sky
Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus
Make us a beacon in darkest times

So Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world

Prayer Request

Please keep Amanda in your prayers. She is due the last part of June but is already having a lot of contractions. Yesterday she was given a steroid shot to increase maturity on Karstyn's lungs in case she is born early. She goes for another shot today. Please pray that Karstyn stays for another three to four weeks~ and that in the meantime she will develop enough maturity. Pray also for Amanda, Jennifer, Johnny and Amanda's doctors~ that God will guide them and direct their paths.

Undo ~ Rush of Fools




I've been here before
Now, here I am again
Standing at the door
Praying You'll let me back in

To label me
A prodigal would be
Only scratching the surface
Of who I've been known to be

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I can't do this myself
You're the only one
Who can undo what I've become

I focused on the score
But I could never win
Trying to ignore
A life of hiding my sin

To label me
A hypocrite would be
Only scratching the surface
Of who I've been known to be

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I can't do this myself
You're the only one
Who can undo what I've become

Make every step lead me back to
The sovereign way that You

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I can't do this myself
You're the only one who can undo
You are the only one who can undo
You're the only one who can undo
What I've become

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bible Study Tonight

Don't forget Bible Study tonight at 7:00 p.m.. We are just about to finish up the book of James.

We had a great Ladies Night Out last week at Molina's. The conversation was great and my enchiladas were awesome!

I know that everyone is coming and going and the summer is fast upon us. Come when you can~ and when you can, bring a friend!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Baby Shower~

For: Amanda Brittingham

When: Sunday, May 2nd

What time: 2:00 p.m.

Where: Round Up Cowboy Church

Come and celebrate with us the upcoming birth of Amanda's baby girl!

If you would like to bring a snack, please do!


See you there!~

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Psalm 9

1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
3 My enemies retreated; they staggered and died when you appeared.
4 For you have judged in my favor; from your throne you have judged with fairness.
5 You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have erased their names forever. 6 The enemy is finished, in endless ruins; the cities you uprooted are now forgotten.
7 But the Lord reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne.
8 He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness.
9 The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.
11 Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem.[a] Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.
12 For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.
13 Lord, have mercy on me. See how my enemies torment me. Snatch me back from the jaws of death.
14 Save me so I can praise you publicly at Jerusalem’s gates, so I can rejoice that you have rescued me.
15 The nations have fallen into the pit they dug for others. Their own feet have been caught in the trap they set.
16 The Lord is known for his justice. The wicked are trapped by their own deeds. Quiet Interlude[b]
17 The wicked will go down to the grave.[c] This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God. 18 But the needy will not be ignored forever; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed.
19 Arise, O Lord! Do not let mere mortals defy you! Judge the nations! 20 Make them tremble in fear, O Lord. Let the nations know they are merely human. Interlude

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Things To Do!

I can hardly wait! A friend and I are going to see Hillsong in concert tomorrow night in Norman. I've waited about six weeks for this event and now the eve of it is finally here! I'm leaving work early tomorrow... driving to her house to pick her up and then we'll be on on our way! What a worship experience it's going to be!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Beautiful Saddle

Have you ever gone to a horse show or tack shop and gazed longingly, or perhaps covetously, at all the beautiful saddles on display? The intricately tooled leather designs, contrasting seat, and silver ornamentation combine to make a beautiful piece of equipment.When my daughter showed, I too often found myself comparing our well-worn, rather plain-looking saddle to many of the fancier ones I saw all around us. I wished that I had been able to provide something a little prettier for my daughter to show her horse in, but kept reminding myself that the judge would not judge the classes based on how beautiful someone's saddle was (at least that shouldn't be a factor).As I thought about saddles, I realized that they illustrate 1 Corinthians 12 very well. In that chapter God explains that our bodies have many parts - eyes, feet, ears, mouth, etc. Each of those parts has its own role to play, but they must all work together in order for our bodies to function properly. He goes on to show that the church is like our physical body. Each Christian is a member of the church body and has his/her own role and purpose. Each of the parts of our physical bodies is important, for example we wouldn't say that our heart is more important than our brain. In the same way each member of the body of Christ is also important and it is not for us to say who has the greater role. We are all necessary.1 Corinthians 12:18-25 “God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. ... those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. ... God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it.”

You're probably wondering by now what this has to do with a saddle. When I am 'oohing' and 'aaahing' over a saddle, I'm looking at the outward, most visible parts, but there are many very important saddle parts that are not so glamorous looking and are partially or completely hidden from view. Are those parts unimportant? Shouldn't we just get rid of them? Of course not. I'd hate to use a saddle without a girth, wouldn't you? Or how about the straps that hold the stirrups on? Or the tree that gives support and structure to the whole saddle?Are you beginning to understand why I thought the saddle illustrated 1 Corinthians 12 so well? Without all those parts working together - the visible, beautiful ones and the underlying, plain-looking ones, it wouldn't be a safe, usable saddle. Sometimes I think that I am not as important in God's plan as someone like Billy Graham or Mother Teresa. When I think about the example of the saddle, I realize that I am one of those plain-looking parts hidden under the showier parts of the saddle. My role, small as it might be, is still important, just less visible.

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Psalm 8


1 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength,[b] silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?[c]
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God[d] and crowned them[e] with glory and honor. 6 You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—
7 the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Psalm 7

A psalm of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush of the tribe of Benjamin.

1 I come to you for protection, O Lord my God. Save me from my persecutors—rescue me!
2 If you don’t, they will maul me like a lion, tearing me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
3 O Lord my God, if I have done wrong or am guilty of injustice,
4 if I have betrayed a friend or plundered my enemy without cause,
5 then let my enemies capture me. Let them trample me into the ground and drag my honor in the dust. Interlude
6 Arise, O Lord, in anger! Stand up against the fury of my enemies! Wake up, my God, and bring justice! 7 Gather the nations before you. Rule over them from on high.
8 The Lord judges the nations. Declare me righteous, O Lord, for I am innocent, O Most High!
9 End the evil of those who are wicked, and defend the righteous. For you look deep within the mind and heart, O righteous God.
10 God is my shield, saving those whose hearts are true and right.
11 God is an honest judge. He is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If a person does not repent, God[a] will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow.
13 He will prepare his deadly weapons and shoot his flaming arrows.
14 The wicked conceive evil; they are pregnant with trouble and give birth to lies.
15 They dig a deep pit to trap others, then fall into it themselves.
16 The trouble they make for others backfires on them. The violence they plan falls on their own heads.
17 I will thank the Lord because he is just; I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

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Give Me Your Eyes~ Brandon Heath




Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight

Touched down on the cold black tar
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos

All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity

Give me Your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach?
Give me Your heart for the one's forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what?s underneath

There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work, he's buying time

All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity

Give me Your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach?
Give me Your heart for the one's forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

I've been there a million times
A couple of million eyes just moving past me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong

Well, I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way You see the people all alone

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity

Give me Your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach?
Give me Your heart for the one's forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
That I keep missing

Give me Your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach?
Give me Your heart for the one's forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

1 Corinthians 13:13






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Hillsong ~ At The Cross



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Transparency

I can be real right? If I can't be clear and transparent at all times, then I'm not doing the job that God has called me to do. With a pure heart that breaks at times for the ladies at my church I must confess.... I was so sad when this weekend no one showed up for our planned shopping trip. I know that times are hard, jobs are scarce, money is short and people are busy. I knew in my heart before I even arrived at the church that there would be no one there... and my heart broke. I'm not sure if I'm missing something to make things interesting or what. I do know, that it makes me question myself and my attributes. Do I need to make our studies more interesting? As my pastor said this morning, we choose doing things of this world rather than gathering together. I've been there myself, I know it's real. I have laid it all at His feet this morning and He has comforted my soul. I know that He knows my hearts best intentions.... He knows my wants and desires for RUCC Women's Ministry.... He knows me..... and I love Him.




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Friday, April 16, 2010

Psalm 6

1 O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.
2 Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.

3 I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me?
4 Return, O Lord, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love.

5 For the dead do not remember you. Who can praise you from the grave?[b]
6 I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.

7 My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.
8 Go away, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping.

9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer. 10 May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified. May they suddenly turn back in shame.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Testing



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Buddy Sour

God recently taught me something about myself - again. His messenger to deliver this lesson was a tall, overweight equine with a big head and long ears; Sassy is her name.

I love my horse, Kezzie, dearly, but I have been eager to tackle some trails that Kezzie is just not sure-footed enough to handle. I decided to look into buying a trail mule. When you live in the middle of Ohio, good mules are hard to come by, so off to the internet for an extensive search for a good mule.

After a month of searching, emails, phone calls, and videos I decided to buy Sassy’s Southern Bell, a 14-year-old, 15H molly mule from South Carolina. Sassy was a “been there, done that” type of mule, having been shown western, english, and even some jumping, in addition to trail riding. The only negative I was aware of was that she hadn’t been ridden much in the past few years.

Sassy arrived on Sept. 6th, desperately anxious to get out of the trailer after a two-day trip from South Carolina. It took our two horses a few days to accept this strange-looking equine, but finally everyone was at least tolerating each other.

It very quickly became obvious that Sassy was extremely dependent on my mare, Kezzie, to the point of becoming nearly frantic when Kezzie was out of her sight for a few seconds. At first I attributed this to her being taken away from her home of many years and transported hundreds of miles to a strange, new environment. She has improved somewhat over the past month, but still has a ridiculous dependency on Kezzie. Why is she so obsessed with this horse, when she should be trusting me as her master?

I immediately saw a Scriptural parallel in how people often become dependent on others in their lives to fulfill them and satisfy their needs, rather than finding fulfillment in God and trusting Him for their security. The person we rely on and put our hopes in may be a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, parent, child, or just a friend. Or maybe it’s not a person at all, but something like our money or the government. Whatever the dependency, if we are relying on something else more than on God, it is wrong. The idea for a devotion on this topic floated around in my head for a while.

The funny thing is I saw all of this very theoretically and abstractly for quite a while, but it didn't hit me until the other day how much it applied to me. Intellectually I know that God is the one I need to rely on and that He will take care of me, but my feelings and thoughts don't always line up with that. As a single parent in this financially difficult time, I often become weary of working and struggling just to pay bills each month. (yeah, well it probably wasn’t the best time to buy a mule, I know) Too often lately, my temptation has been to reflect on how nice it would be for someone to come and sweep me off my feet and take over all those worries and responsibilities; then an image of Sassy flashes into my mind and I have to smile.

That’s probably how absurd I look from God’s perspective, desperately trying to latch on to someone or something to save me, rather than turning to the One who is truly in control. There’s a certain sadness too as I watch Sassy clinging to Kezzie, when I want her to give that devotion to me. I’m sure my thoughts and actions have also saddened God. He hasn’t given up on me though and continues to teach me that He is truly all I need.



Setting the Signature

Hosanna!



I see the king of glory
Coming on the clouds with fire
The whole earth shakes
The whole earth shakes

Yeeeah

I see his love and mercy
Washing over all our sin
The people sing
The people sing

[Chorus]
Hosanna
Hosanna
Hosanna in the highest [x2]

I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
With selfless faith

I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We're on our knees
We're on our knees

[Chorus]

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart from what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdoms cause
As I go from nothing to
Eternity

[Chorus x2]

Hosanna in the highest

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix

Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix

1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1 cup French vanilla powdered non-dairy creamer
2 ½ cups white sugar (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1 ½ cups unsweetened instant tea
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom (I omitted)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
¼ tsp white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor/blender and blend until it is a fine powder. This may need to be done in two or three separate batches. Add two-three tablespoons of mix to 8 ounces of hot water or milk. Enjoy!

Taming the Tongue


“If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. ... For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue.” -James 3James compares our tongues to the bits we put in horses’ mouths. Why in the world would he compare a horse’s bit to the human tongue? Certainly they are not similar in appearance or construction materials. James is thinking about their size and function. He is pointing out how something very small can control something much larger. Horses are very large animals, normally weighing 900 or more pounds. Although bits may vary somewhat in size, any bit will be only a fraction of the weight of a horse. Yet this small metal device, when placed in a horse’s mouth, can make a large, powerful animal stop or change direction. A small bit controls the direction a horse will go just as a small rudder controls the direction of a huge ship.James wants us to realize that even though our tongues are also small they determine the direction in which we go. The problem is that too often our tongues take control of us rather than us taking control of our tongues. Our words have a major impact on our relationships. Are we using our words in a positive way to show God’s love to others, to build them up, and to draw them closer to Christ? The words that we speak reveal what is in our hearts. Matthew 15:18 "Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…"Imagine holding a glass full of water. Suppose someone bumps into you. What overflows from your glass? Water, of course. Milk or juice could not flow out of a glass full of water. The bump reveals what is in the glass. Trials, tribulations, and aggravations are bumping us each day. What kind of words spill out of you when you are bumped? These spills reveal what is inside. If angry, hurtful words come out of you, then you have a heart problem. The words you speak are only the symptoms of the underlying disease. It doesn't do much good to say later that you did not really mean what you said. While there is forgiveness, the poisonous darts of your harmful words have already found their mark and done their damage. You cannot undo their damage any more than you could retrieve all the feathers from a feather pillow that has been opened up and shaken out on a very windy day. Or imagine a board into which many nails have been pounded. You can remove the nails but you will leave many holes.James says that no man can tame the tongue. We cannot do it by our own willpower, but God is in the business of changing hearts and taming tongues. What about you? Are you working on bridling your tongue? I know that I still need a lot of help in this area!

Psalm 5

1 O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
4 O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
5 Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
for you hate all who do evil.
6 You will destroy those who tell lies.
The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
7 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.
9 My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with flattery.[a]
10 O God, declare them guilty.
Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
12 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.

Cute Kids



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Lord is my Shepherd

Tonight is Bible Study ~ Shopping Trip


Tonight is Ladies Bible Study. Please come and bring a friend! We will be studying James 4:11-17 ~ The Dangers of Pride.

On Saturday (the 17th) the ladies will be going on a shopping trip to Paris. We will meet at the church at 9:00 a.m. We will eat lunch first and then go shopping... Please let me know if you are planning to go!

One True God


I don't have a God I can put on a stand
Or a God I hold in the palm of my hand
I have a God that's holding me
And I don't have a God that I can create
In the place I live with the money I make
I have a God, He made everything
So I don't need a temporary man made deity
When I got the real thing
I got the real thing

He's the Lord of all the earth
The maker of all things
He alone is the one true God
Kingdoms rise and fall
But even through it all
He remains
The one true God

I don't have a thing that I got on my own
I don't have a care that I carry alone
But I have a God who's carrying me
I don't have sin that He doesn't forgive
And I don't have a heart that is worthy of His
But I have a God who still loves me
So I don't need a temporary man made deity
When I got the real thing
I got the real thing

Who is this King of Glory
The Lord strong and mighty
Who is this King of Glory
The Lord strong and mighty
Who is this King of Glory
Who is this King of Glory

Of Mice and Mules

(These are not our mules, but the are dead ringers for them for sure...)

What do you do when a little mule crawls UNDER a fence? Or, like recently, he craws THROUGH a fence? Don't laugh.. it's really possible... and do-able. Just ask Mike.. a little sorrel mule.. and his girlfriend Pat. They both are Houdini's in disguise. Don't be fooled, mules are smart. That's why they have the reputation for being cantankerous. They know things. They share it with each other. (They leave the horses out.)

They are not easy to catch when they get out... but if you feed the other little mule (who sometimes doesn't find the way out) and the horses... and then round up Mike down by the park office with your Dodge pick-up, you can "heard" him right into the open gate! Success!

How often do we leave our "pastures" in life to venture out... and realize, all we really want to do is to come back home~ to food and shelter and love. Jesus always stands ready for us. When there is a gap in our relationship with Him, it's always us, not Him making that gap. By our will, our choice, our "going through the fence." It's so much easier to just come back into the fold, back into His loving arms.