Friday, November 22, 2013

Arms Wide Open

Photo: KsenKAT/deviantART. Some rights reserved. Licensed under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) License.

It's OKAY to stop trying. 

Righteousness, love, peace and joy 
cannot be earned, bought or legislated...

...Only welcomed as a GIFT. 

You know it's a beautiful day when you wake
with all the world to see...

We were never meant to be burdened 
by trying to live up to an impossible standard...

...Or someone else's vision
of what is certain reality.

God is LOVE.


Our highest calling in this life is to BE...
one with God
one with each other.
To live every moment with EYES and HEART and 
ARMS wide open.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Waking to Grace

© Copyright Terry Johnston licensed for reuse under Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

My sister and I made a new friend at Panera Bread yesterday.  After a chance encounter with a favorite high-school teacher, we were deep in conversation, catching up over what Panera does best:  Frontega Chicken Panini with Tomato Soup and my Roasted Turkey Harvest Wheat-Berry Salad, coffee and a strawberry scone (a mouthful to order, but so worth it.) 

Awkwardly, and without words, a silly girl wooed our attention. We didn't see at first
the brilliance of her light.

Pretending she was a zombie from The Walking Dead,
Madison "M-a-d-d-i-e" Grace stumbled by our table three times in hand-me-down clothes--as we found out later from her mother--before I said hello.

Our invitation was the very thing she hoped for. Flipping long blond hair out of big blue eyes she came alive. And without warning, jumped right into the fold of our hearts. We had the feeling she was a gift from the very beginning, in the way she spelled her name several times over so we would remember.  I Googled it just a while ago. Madison is from Matthew, and means, Gift of God.

And Grace, well, GRACE is a gift too...of favor and goodwill...

beauty and blessing ALL freely given.

GRACE is God permanently weaving Himself into the hearts of all His children, through the hearts of mankind, making LOVE known.

Our meeting with Grace wasn't a little thing.  She was bright and bold, and quite the drama queen.  Yet, she wasn't sure of her last name.  Was it her mom's or dad's or grandfather's?  One was from Russia, and another from Italy; and she was from ALL the other places, too.

We heard the message loud and clear--it resonated like a heartbeat, the joyful coming alive of our inner knowing--
from a little girl who worked so hard to be so known.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.  The song of this GRACE-child was especially sweet in the ears of We-Like-Sheep who, at some point, had lost our way and wandered as if all alone. 

Like M-a-d-d-i-e did with us, GRACE leaves the flock grazing in greenest pasture, on grass and forbs and clover--she left her mother and grandmother drinking coffee in a booth at Panera--to go and find The One. 

And we, like little lambs slung up around the shoulders, can rest and trust the heart of a Father who cares only for his sheep.  As his most loved little children, He will lead us home.

We can choose to fill our bellies full of GRACE today. 
We can become as little children and know as we are known--face to face, with nothing in between.

We can look within and see our WAY--the narrow path that leads straight beyond the Valley of Shadows.  And we will fear no evil.  For Perfect Love runs ahead to meet us where GRACE--a gift--always leads us.

beauty and blessing chase and feed us.

And where
child-like, we let go and learn to be ourselves again, wholly loved and wholly accepted, no strings attached.

GRACE is always free for the asking. She does what she has to to grab our attention, and then joyfully anticipates a welcoming "Hello."

Much thanks to Laura.  You can find this and other free printables at:  the albrechts blog.

Monday, November 18, 2013


To know LOVE like an ocean lapping at my shore, filling me to the full and wrapping me warm with all that LOVE is...

To listen to the music of family and friends, a songbird waking the dawn, the buttery smooth strings of a violin or acoustic guitar and our girls laughing, the telling of their stories, their calling me, "Mom"...

To be overcome with wonder, the extravagant beauty of nature, the changing of seasons, holding hands and remembering, dreaming, the flash of fireflies and stars dancing in the night sky, the comfort of my husband's shoulder...

To LOVE and be loved with such utter abandon, to live face to face with light, following a path that only we can take together with no thought of turning back and no regrets...

To share the ups and downs--the every day joys and sorrows, wins and losses, challenges and celebrations, the waking and sleeping--with a wonderful man at my side, one that just happens to be my best friend...

To give what I am--what a privilege-- to see our three beautiful and incredible daughters and one son-in-law bloom with their destiny, live life in the wonder of reality, knowing LOVE for themselves, and helping others to fly with

To rest content--like an eagle soaring--in who I am, in who I have yet to be... To carry the treasure of precious ones who have gone before me, knowing there is no separation. In Christ we are all one...

I am overwhelmed with blessing today. Love spills down my cheeks for all of you--everyone that I've known--you mean much to me.

My family...YOU are my joy. I love you more than words can say.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Last Dance
Photo:  Autumn Leaves by  Mark Schellhase CC Attribution Share Alike 2.5 Generic


When the light of harvest begins to dim
Cornfields and wheat fields expose their skin
And every fruitful tree reaches high with grace
 Bare arms still warm with October

Blue dome bleeds gold and crimson
Burning bush shouts epiphany, of substance running hidden
Through veins now scandalous with Autumn's farewell
Every leaf flashes fiery color
Like confetti in twilight they scatter and spin
Twirl their skirts and whirl with the Wind
Then fall breathless--I like getting caught in their rain--not wanting
The last dance to be over

Creation smiles, eyes wide with wonder
When Autumn's foliage pools at her feet, covers the toes of this beholder
Tempting me child-like to twirl and leap, to follow as she returns
Life-spent to the One who made her

Copyright © 2013 Melissa Campbell

Monday, October 21, 2013

On a Light-Beam, Dancing

Love comes soft as a sunrise,  
Flings wide every window of blue sky, 
Spins gold like Autumn leaves dancing 
On a light-beam. 

Love shouts madly from mountain tops,  
Writes symphony with wind and raindrops,
Calls from the wing of the eagle soaring, 

Love proves relentless in the romance of wildflowers,
Declares holy intention over the twisting of vine,
Promises forever with every sunset blazing
the wonder of ecstasy.

 I was blind,  
Now I see. 
I was lost,
But Love has found and flung me
High into blue sky.

I am not afraid
To find myself
In Love with all humanity
Soaring with the eagle,
Singing with the wind,
Spinning gold like Autumn leaves on a light-beam,

Copyright © 2013 Melissa Campbell

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Playing Dress Up

Photo: flickr-Some rights reserved by jenny818, CC BY 2.0
It can be fun to pretend we're someone else. But there is nothing better than TRUE SELF.
Behind all the make-believe lies a treasure waiting to be unearthed.  Buried deep, most have forgotten true identity.  Into the darkness Jesus comes to reveal what only the eyes of a child can see:

The "pearl of great price" is YOUR  authentic, beautiful self.  YOU are God's reality.
You are a daughter.  A son.  A forever free and full of light, formed in the image and likeness of your Creator "one."
You are "I Am."

Unique in your own, beautiful way, a living STONE, created to perfectly connect with every other in the Sustainer of ALL Humanity, you are equally loved, valued, celebrated and adored by the Father.

In this LOVE there is a way to be REAL, a way that originates and culminates in happily ever after.  Your story is His story.  Beginning and end, and all the chapters in between, have already been written on the pages of your heart by the Author who is Love.

Listen to your heart!  In the deepest darkness, God IS!  In he center of your being God dances and sings, and shines brilliantly with the revelation of YOU.

One need only get quiet and listen.  Open eyes to see.

Be willing to lose the layers, all the dress-up clothes that keep you hiding.

Let go of false reality, false identity, every lie, religion.

Stop hating and judging the one who God says is GOOD... the one that is wonderful You.

Hear and believe the truth for yourself.

ollow the Light into LOVE.  Behold LOVE...there in the center of you!

Be loved.

The world is (literally) dying to meet you, the real you, the beautiful, wonderful and amazing, all-set-free-by-Truth-in-LOVE you.

"Arise, shine, for your light has come!  And the glory of I AM rises upon you."  ~Isaiah 60:1

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Song Bird

Photo:  flickr-Robert Neff, Fifth World Art, CC By 2.0

Song Bird
There is much to learn from a bird that sings.  With no thought to an audience, she lives to celebrate her song.  Her voice surrounds in the sweet serenade of sunsets; her praise, awakens the dawn. 

Every day dancing to the sway of earth's rhythms, she forages, mates and procreates.  An inner knowing guides her in the building of a nest.  In the watching over her young.  In  teaching ancient melodies that draw her family in.

And these fledglings, all too soon pushed from the nest, their tiny wings learn to rest on a substance sensed, not seen. 
Reaching for sky, they soar. Feathers mirror sunlight--all iridescence-- when they are caught up one by one into the wonder.
Even on those days when only God listens, the colors, the flight, the fledgling songs--every note--all resonate with the sound of His singing, inviting the earth to be one with Him... know the love of Him... find rest in His rhythms... celebrate the life we have been given... make our own music that wakes the dawn.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Saved by Grace

Photo Courtesy: flickr/Rosino Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Are we saved through our faith in God? 
Or His faith in us?

The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."

The Greek word for "grace" is "charis," and means: gift, goodwill, loving kindness, favor, something that brings joy, pleasure, delight, and is freely given.

"Saved" is "sozo": to keep safe, rescue from danger or destruction, save from suffering, heal, make well, restore to wholeness, deliver from the penalties of the law.

Faith in the Greek is "pistis": conviction of the truth.

Paul uses, "it is the gift of God," to describe not just our salvation, but the faith through which it comes! Both are a gift from the One who saves us. (Rom. 12:3)
Long ago, when we lost sight of God, we forgot who He was and who He created us to be. In the darkness of our fallen condition, religion was born--our attempt to serve and appease an angry god, one created in our own image (and imagination.)

But in the midst of darkness, light shines!

Before time began--before we were created in our mother's womb--God came to our rescue! God became the way for us to be restored into Love and discover our true identities as beloved sons and daughters

Paul says in Hebrews 11:1: Faith is the "hypostasis" or substance of things hoped for, the evidence (proof, conviction) of things unseen. (Hypostasis is defined as: a setting or placing under; confidence; that which is real, has actual existence, substance, foundation, is firm, enables one to stand.)

Faith is not our struggling efforts to somehow reach up and touch God, to grasp hold of a lifeline and hang on for dear life.  Faith is God's embrace--His own faithfulness and assurance, His word and promise fulfilled in the finished work of Jesus--that He has saved us.

Jesus said, "It is finished!" In Jesus, everything needed for life and godliness has freely been given
to us, from the Father to his sons.  Jesus' faith becomes our faith. His righteousness becomes our righteousness. His victory over sickness, sin and death becomes our victory. His life and love and joy become our life and love and joy.

Jesus' relationship with the Father and the Spirit has always included us! We have been given a seat of honor and authority right beside Jesus! And this is how it has been from the beginning! We just didn't know it.

With God's gift of faith, we can stand at rest in his victory and know without a doubt that nothing can come between us and His love. In Jesus--the meeting place--we are reconciled with our Father in heaven--with this Creator who IS love, who from the beginning has never stopped loving and speaking life into all.

And heaven meets earth...within us, where God reality and substance and glory of what isn't seen. 

This is good news!