921. Hooray!!!

I just finished up all the things I needed to get done while on my break from full throttle blogging, and so starting tomorrow, I’ll be back. I hope all has been well with everybody while I’ve been gone. Love, Natalie

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The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  ~Psalm 18:2   ✝

**Image above via Pinterest

869. What a lovely thing a rose is! ~Arthur Conan Doyle

A rose is an argument.
It proclaims the triumph of beauty over brutality,
of gentleness over violence, of the ephemeral over the lasting,
and of the universal over the particular.
~Alain Meilland of the
Meilland Rose Growing Company of France

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How perfectly and neatly opens the pink rose
this bright morning, the sun warm
on my shoulders, its heat on the opening petals.
Possibly it is the smallest, the least important event
at this moment in the whole world.
Yet I stand there, utterly happy.
~Mary Oliver

A happy heart makes the face cheerful… ~ Excerpt from Proverbs 15:13  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

648. Make friends with the angels, who though invisible, are always with you. ~St. Francis de Sales

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us,
and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to
visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.
~George Eliot

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Kind words, considerate actions, comforting wisdom, encouraging praise–all or some borne on the breath of warmhearted, consoling voices–are no less than the sweet sound of Grace falling on the ears of those in need of reassurance or salvation or deliverance. And what a blessing are they are, these angels chosen to deliver God’s grace for their tender voices and caring kindnesses penetrate all manner of despair. And these divinely appointed “earth angels,” often come from the ranks of ordinary people, but in rising to a divine calling they are lifted up to the realm of the extraordinary. And how they honor the Christ by answering His call to serve!

The human heart is an altar upon which one can and does lay a multitude of things. But, it is not meant to be a personal shrine for self-centered collections of worldliness. Nor should it be defiled with traces of anger, jealousy, or hatred. The altar of the heart should be blanketed with empathy, compassion, kindness, gentleness, non-violence, and love. Only then will it be a place that Holy God can find the fruits befitting angels and use the bearers of such as instruments of His grace and mercy. It’s not always an easy task to prepare the heart’s altar in such a way, but what an honor it is to realize that on the altar of one’s heart there is something worthy of being used by the Lord God Almighty.

Here’s to all the “earth angels” out there in the blogosphere who share their hearts and gifts with those in need.  I recognize your grace-filled hearts and I adore you…Natalie

May God grant you always…
a sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you,
laughter to cheer you,
faithful friends near and far,
and whenever you pray, His ear to hear you.
~Irish Blessing

Bless the Lord, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. ~Psalm 103:20   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

422. The wings of angels are often found on the backs of the least likely people. ~Eric Honeycutt

Angels deliver fate to our doorstep–
and anywhere else it is needed.
~Jessi Lane Adams

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My back and knee are hurting more so than usual today, and I’ve been fighting off feeling sorry for myself. Thankfully it doesn’t take long for me to snap out of that invitation to a pity party when I remember something that happened a year or so ago. James and I were going to a movie downtown, and as we rounded a corner, I who was lost in a “blue funk” heard a voice I didn’t recognize say something. I looked around to see who it was and encountered a man missing both legs sitting in a wheelchair. And he, a homeless and crippled black man, said again with a huge smile on his face, “God bless you!”

Amazing! A man, asking nothing of or from me, with no home, not knowing where he’d sleep that night nor where his next meal was coming from was asking the Lord to bless me, an obviously ambulatory and much more financially secure white woman. Now, how glad am I that I remember that man, his smile, and his blessing on days like today when I’m inclined to feel discouraged from my long and ongoing bouts of chronic pain. Whenever I think on it, it reminds me that every day is an opportunity to honor God for His gifts and His “angels unawares.” I pray that wherever this man is today that he’s greeted with a host of smiles and that he still finds reasons to rejoice and be glad in the day the Lord has given him.  For how well clothed in God’s compassion was he the day our paths crossed!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. ~Colossians 3:12   ✝

Thank you, Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.

** Mixed media image via Pinterest