Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dying to Self ~ Living in God

This last week I wrote a poem about what was happening within me. Thinking about the process of dying in the natural helped me to maybe understand just a little of the process of dying to self.

There is a procession of organs that "shut down" in the body as it begins to die. Could it be that when we die to ourselves we also go through a procession shutting down our desires and cravings for the things of this world?

Here is my poem. Let me know what you think.

Dying to Self ~ Living in God

In foolish futility
I desperately grasp at
The waters of love
To keep as mine
All I treasure.

I labor to breathe in
The rhythm of the life I’ve made
As I want it.
Drowning in my self knowing,
Falling deeper into the well of me.

I press my heart to
Beat in time with my song,
My self energizing efforts supplying
A flood of little purpose.

I turn cold to this world
Its beauty
Its love
Its truth
Its comforts
Its pain
Its empty promises and false meaning.

i let go
i die to self,
i surrender my self .

You, Father, are the giver of life.
You hold life secure in Your hands.
You are the cup that spills over
Withholding nothing.

You are everlasting love
Pulsing faithfully
With a true and powerful purpose.

You are the breath of life abundant
Flowing in the rhythm of
cleansing and healing,
a refreshing fullness.

You are warm comfort,
Security, goodness and grace.
You wash away the chill of death.

You are perfect peace.

By Carolynn J. Scully
22 February 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009


Selfishness is a cruel dictator over my life. It demands constant attention and the awareness of my comfort and my desires. Escaping from its dungeon is near impossible without supernatural powers from a greater King.

The newborn is totally self-centered. Life revolves around his needs and wants. Maturity is part of the process of being released from egos' stranglehold. We must learn to wait, be denied, share and even tell ourselves "No." Though this process is a moving away from self as the center, the completion of the process cannot happen without another person or Deity to be set up as the central focus of our lives.

No human could fill the center of my life because all fall short of perfection. There are man -made gods or fallen angels that exert their control whenever possible, but they, too, are imperfect. There is only One who could and should be centered in our lives.

I, myself, cannot choose wisely for my life in every circumstance. I do not have all-knowing capabilities and certainly cannot control everything that influences my life. Because of this it is imperative that I give someone else the central position in my life. My maturity relies on the right choice of whom it shall be.

God, the Father and Creator of all things is my choice. He alone knows, loves and gives out of wisdom and goodness. He alone has proven His right to be the center of each life. He has humbled Himself and voluntarily became less so that we could be more. It is only right that we now become less so that He can become more!

My prayer today is that He will increase in me and that I will decrease.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Broken Lives

From the outside looking in we can mistakenly think that our neighbors or friends have it "All together. " We are not witnesses to everyones' heartache, trials and struggles. We perceive their lives as a finished puzzle with every piece in its proper place.

Do they see us the same way? Undoubtedly! Even if we share our failures they look longingly at the way we have handled them. We, too, have perpetuated the myth by embellishing the stories to show ourselves in the best light.

God sees the truth. He sees our hearts. He sees us in our darkest places. He sees broken lives and He offers Himself to bring healing.

It is to Him that our Lenten meditations should turn. Our healing and restoration depends on Him, not on ourselves. Once we begin the walk of faith we can lead others into the healing place.

My prayer today is that my brokenness will be transparent to others and My Lord Jesus will be revealed as my healer and restorer.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Live Out the Sorry

On my way home from dropping off my granddaughters from school, I listened to the end of a teaching program. I don't recall the Bible teachers' name but the program is Living on the Edge. He stated that in all our brokenness we must go to Jesus and tell Him we are sorry, and then we must "Live out our sorry."

Wonderful words! Live out my sorry! Don't do it again! Be different. Change what I need to change so that my "Sorry" becomes a new life!

Lent begins today and the traditional giving up of our vices does not always bring us a life walking closer to God. Could it be that Lent is about living out our sorry? We are broken. We can be sorry over and over for the wrong living that causes brokenness in us and in others. Today is the day to start living out our sorry!

The first step is to pray. All sin is against God first. Asking His forgiveness is the place to go first. Then we go to those whom we have harmed by our brokenness. From there God will guide our steps. One step at a time. One day at a time. All done in oneness with God, our friend, Savior, King, and Lord.

My prayer today is that the ashes of our brokenness be blown away by the Holy Spirit, to land in the nail scarred hands of our precious Savior and offered to our loving Creator Father for a re-creation in our lives.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wrong Thinking

Thoughts direct our actions. I am discovering how true this really is.

When I constantly think about myself and even speak only of my point of view or how the situation affects me, I experience a snowball of emotions that grow into an ice cold selfish me-centered person. I don't like myself much when that happens.

The opposite is also true. When my thoughts are turned to God I am aware of others around me. I am merciful and kind. I glow with God's glory shining through me. It is Christ who lives in me. Others experience my warmth and are drawn to me so that I am able to point them to the Goodness of God and His love for them.

Dying to self is a process where we stop feeding selfish me-centered thoughts. It is not a one time decision, though I wish it were. I must continually take each though as it comes along into the captivity of Christ. It is hard work, and as I grow in doing this I hope it will become second nature, like hearing the voice of the Lord.

I don't like dying, but I am excitedly eager to experience life as it was meant to be lived: in the center of The Great I Am!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dying to Self

I've been thinking that the struggles we go through in our lives and the inner battles we fight are signs of the Holy Spirit revealing to us the places where we need to die to self. It is hard to recognize in ourselves, but God sees all. He also knows that dying to self will set us free to live the abundant life He wants us to live!

Think about this: When we are in a battle of our own or others' making don't we begin with a tirade of "I" statements? "I don't need to put up with this!" "I am miserable", "I am....whatever." The focus is on me and my uncomfortable situation. If we would die to that problem that comes against us, and die to our selfish ways, our vision of God would be clear and focused!

Dying to self seems harsh and against our natural instinct of self preservation. In God's kingdom the opposite is true: to be a leader we must become a servant, if we die we will live! God's ways are not our ways but they are always the best way!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Today I was part of a slightly heated discussion with five other women. The subject matter of the discussion is not the topic here today, but may someday find its way to these pages. Today I am interested in what Gods' perspective was as He listened in to our discourse.

In my humble opinion, the discussion was possibly a misunderstanding between parties. It possibly could be that both sides were either correct, wrong, or only partially so. From my viewpoint the subject was not brought to an agreed upon closure. It left much to be answered and so I have spent a better part of my morning asking God to give me His perspective.

He has not answered completely and so I must wait, and search His word for the answer. I do have a sense that His view of the whole matter was not my view, nor the others'. He will use it to teach and guide each of us and I am ready to listen!

Perspective can be a learning tool if we choose to see the other side. That includes God's side as well as the other persons' side. I am ready to learn. What is God thinking about my thoughts? good question!

Friday, February 20, 2009

God Sightings

Have you seen God today? What is He up to in your part of the world?

My day is only about 1/3 over and I have already noticed a few things.
1. He has made a change in our weather. It is chilly outside and the air is crisp! It is fall-like for those of you who live up north. to us in Florida it is winter!
2. He has worked forgiveness and peace in the heart of my granddaughter. She was angry at my discipline but today she was at peace and said she was not mad any more.
3. God is the giver of all good gifts and I consider smiles gifts. I've received a couple from people behind the counter at the school and the store. The most special gifts of all were the smiles from all three Grandchildren!
4. God is moving in the hearts of His faithful people. I've heard of red envelope day and have signed up to participate. If you would like to know more go to and join the move of God.
5. In my heart He has worked patience when I had to run an extra chore and spend extra money for a forgetful grandchild.
6. There are probably many more delights that God has placed in my path that I have overlooked. Oh how I wish I could be flooded with those delights and not push them aside!

What have you seen God do today? Join in the celebration of His delights, look for Him, praise him join in His work! You will never be disappointed!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gods' Standard

Recently, I heard a young woman declare that she was a "Good girl." It occurred to me that it may be very true to the worlds' standards but what about Gods' standard?

We label ourselves as "good" businessmen, church goers, Moms', Dads', Grandparents, friends, and on and on. Again we need to take a close look at what standard we are judging ourselves by.

Jesus explained "good" in an encounter with a rich young ruler. He said (Mt.19:17) that "There is only one who is good." The GOOD standard we must follow is Jesus.

When a young woman says she is a "good girl" we must look at her life to see if she is following Jesus' example of purity and goodness. The same holds true for the businessman, church goer, or anyone else to whom we see as good.

In my life this has been an awakening. I have been "good" by the worlds' standards. Only God and me know how far short I have come to reaching His standard. I am happy to know that Jesus has kept Gods' standard and offers His perfect life in place of my imperfect one. I am happy about that!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I am a jealous woman! I have friends who are dear to me, but I would love to have some friends I could really let loose with!

I'm thinking of the friends in the movie Mama Mia! They not only were available with a shoulder to cry on, but they also did funny things with each other, laughed and let loose with fun! I have the caring friends I can call on for most any emergency. I've been praying for the let loose kind of friends.

The problem with this whole matter is that most people don't know that I want to let loose! Most people see me as serious and "deep!" Well, I am that , but I also like to clown around a bit and it might take a friend to really help me to explore that side of me.

I am keeping my eyes open and I am waiting for that fun friend to come along and share life with a bit of flare! Could you be that friend for me or someone else you know?

Monday, February 16, 2009


I believe that every person has some creativity hidden within his/her makeup. Yes, I do think it is found in every person.

Creativity need not be limited to the arts or literature. It should include any new thought (or old) that is expressed in a new and unique way. Yes, there are those who seem to think in new ways naturally. I have seen people who say they have no creativity use their own abilities to complete a task or present an idea in an unusual way. It comes to mind those who build the buildings that the artist has drawn. Without the builders the architect only has a lovely picture. We need the creation of all . Creativity lives in us because our maker is a creator! We are made to be like Him. We create because He creates.

Our creativity does have limits but His does not! The Creator created the universe and stepped back to see its wonder and beauty and called it good because it came from Him who is good! I share that same delight when I join Him in creating something beautiful or meaningful.

I would like to see all people acknowledge their creative sense. I want to see everyone use the gifts within them, not for their own pleasure only, but for the delight and good of all! It is good for us to join our Creator in creating

Friday, February 13, 2009


What do you expect from your loved ones on Valentines' Day? do you anticipate a romantic day filled with sweet words, scents and tastes? Or is your anticipation on of disappointments and loneliness?

The good news is that if you have the right attitude neither of the extremes will be your Valentine holiday. I say it is good news because February 14th is just another beautiful day given to us to love one another, but our love is not the fading love of notes, flowers and candies. It is the everlasting love of God. when we are part of the body of Christ our standard of loneliness is not the same as the world. We can celebrate a love holiday even if we do not have a "significant other. "

BTW who really wants to be or to have a "significant other?" I'd much rather have a friend, a honey, a lover, or some other tender hearted and touching title.

The bottom line is that whoever you meet tomorrow, you can share the love that is in your heart with them. February 14th is your day to offer love because you have been given the greatest of love in Christ Jesus!

Happy Valentines' Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love Notes

Valentines' Day is a huge day for the greeting card industry. Little children give cards to everyone they know. As we grow older our list is much shorter but more intense. Sending a love note is a sweet way to restate or announce our feelings towards a person. I like to keep special love notes and revisit them once in awhile. For this reason our love notes should be written with great care and thoughtfulness.

A simple "I love you" can be expressed in many ways. Thinking of the recipient is always the best way to proceed with our choices. We can be funny or serious, romantic, or direct. Whatever words we choose we should ask ourselves, "What do they want to hear?" Putting ourselves in their shoes will help us better communicate our feelings to them.

Love note should not be a last minute after thought, so it is time for me to get busy with mine! Hope you have a lovely time writing to your love like I will!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love List

I received an email with Love List questions. It was fun and challenging to think about the answers I had. What foods do I love, to what do I love most about myself were the types of questions I pondered.

I think the whole idea of loving things versus people was the point the author tried to make. The list included more questions about the things we say we LOVE than it did about the people we love. Interesting that we even say we love this food or that kind of car. In all of that sort of thinking don't we belittle the truth of what love is and what God Himself meant it to be? Maybe, and maybe not.

God is love. I believe this is true, not only because God's word says it is true but also because I have experienced Him as love. He is the reason we experience love in the world and our relationships.

Researching the word LOVE has given me some insight into why we would love our food or our house or other material possessions. It seems that people have used the word LOVE to say that the person or thing that we love gives us pleasure. We give worth, affection and acceptance to that which we love, but we withhold our favor if they do not give us pleasure.

We are so unlike God in that way! He loved us even when were were still turned against Him. Because He is LOVE He could do nothing other than love us. We, on the other hand, have a choice. We are not forced into love when that is not who we are. We can choose to love or hate.

To choose love is to choose God. Choosing love is not always easy for us fallen creatures. We struggle to make the right choice, but when we do, it is a God experience. The choice is ours. Gods' love is always available if we choose to live a life of love.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Yesterday I read an article about the legacy we are given and the legacy we ourselves leave. It challenged me to think about what I've been given from those who have influenced my life and contemplate what kind of legacy I want to leave to those whose lives I have a part.

I have been keenly aware that I have been given a treasure from my parents in that I have learned to love learning. Being a life-long learner is a legacy that I also hope to hand down to my children and grandchildren and anyone else who comes into my life. I hope I will impress upon them the love of exploration, investigation and discovery of the wonderful world God has created for us.

The love of the arts is deeply rooted in my life and the lives of my family. Color, shape, sound and movement all delight my senses and touch my soul. If I can bring that delight into others I will be leaving a legacy of beauty.

The most important legacy I can think of to leave to others is an awareness and love of God. Putting God first in my life and loving him with all my heart and soul and strength is the grand prize of what I can offer others. My life should daily reflect my belief , trust, and love of my Creator, Savior, Friend and soon coming King.

My life, filled with God, beauty, and learning is my legacy to be handed down to whomever will accept the gift. My prayer is that my legacy will be handed down through many generations!

What is your legacy?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hearts and Flowers

This week everyone will be thinking ahead to next Saturday, Valentine's Day. It can be an exciting day for some couples and for others it can be a lonely, sad day. How should this day be celebrated? For what was St. Valentine known?

I remember from my Catholic school days that Valentine sent love notes while he was in prison. He wanted people to know the love of God. It was not just for couples. His message was for all people.

Maybe this year we can follow St. Valentine's example and send some love messages to the lonely, the hurting and the needy along with those we love so much. Let's share God's love with the world.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Laryngitis is making its rounds! I substituted teaching a bible class for a friend who has had laryngitis for the entire week, and my grandson is also affected.

It is a strange phenomenon that when someone has laryngitis or begins to whisper everyone tends to speak to them in a whisper! When I think about it, the opposite is also true. When we raise our voice to one another, the other person also raises their voice. It is like follow the leader.

The simple act of lowering our voice when someone is angry can help to calm the person and possibly bring a sense of common sense into the situation. Smart idea! But the credit goes to God. He has decreed that a soft answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1) I think I'll try lowering my voice and see what change I can effect in the world around me!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Re-gifting can sometimes seem rude and sneaky. Maybe it is, but there are times when re-gifting means a lot to the giver and the receiver.

A couple of years ago I attended a women's Christmas party where the hostess asked everyone to bring a gift that means something to them to re-gift to someone in the group. We were to be prepared to share the story of the gift. How did we get it? If it was a gift , who was the first giver? etc. She explained that we all have many things that we keep because of sentimental value but we do not use for one reason or another. Why not give it to someone else who may appreciate the gift and the story behind it.

This year I've been looking around my house and in my jewelry box to see what I can thoughtfully re-gift. It is like shopping in my own home! Sometimes I need to do some digging but when you are looking for treasure digging is where you start!

I have decided to start small this year. I have chosen two people to whom I want to re-gift. Maybe next year I can find something for all my children as well!

The thoughtful giving of a gift, even a re-gift, is always a treasure of the heart. There can be no greater gift than a piece of our heart.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Everywhere we look there is a label. Labels on our food, clothing, and just about everything we buy. We also have labels for people. Some are very helpful, but others can create a stigma for the person labeled. Mister, Mrs., President, father, mother, sir and other labels like these are signs of respect, if not for the person, at least for the position he/she holds. Then there are labels that reflect our sin like murderer, thief, prostitute, and liar that are black blotches that take time and hard work to blot out. Labels tell a story about us, or do they?

As soon as we are born a label is placed on us. "It's a Boy!" or "It's a girl!" is the first label we wear. From that moment the labels come at us white/ black, cranky/peaceful, cute/not-so-cute, funny/serious, happy/angry. Some stick and others don't. We become a friend, fiance, spouse, widow. In school we can be gifted or slow, troublemaker or good kid, maybe even a Phd.

Labels can stick on us long after the reason for the label has been put behind us. Some people will not let the labels on others be removed. That is where I find a deep sadness, because I've been on both ends of that story. Neither side can find peace, understanding and hope for the future.

In my estimation labels should be positive if at all possible. I also believe that if we must name a person with a not so positive label, we should always be willing to look for the opportunity to drop that label. If the label is truly from the past then let us keep it there. Like our Moms' used to say, "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all."

The best thing about God is that He has no labels. (Neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female...) He also washes away those sin labels with the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and He has put them as far away as the east is from the west. WOW! The labels we see in scripture (children of God, apostles, prophets etc. ) are there for our benefit, not His! He sees us as we are. He calls us by name. Maybe all He sees is the love He has for us when He looks into our faces.

Love. Now that is a label I'd like to wear!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


In today's world romance is the expression of love between a couple. In the dictionary it is first described as a narrative or verse that tells about the adventures of knights and other chivalrous heroes. It is funny to me that most men that I know run away from the word romance claiming that it is a woman's realm.

Okay so what is romance to a woman? Is it the flowers and candy or diamond gifts that bring true romance into our lives? I have to admit that those things are nice and certainly can be a part of a romantic gesture. I don't think it is the essence of romance to a woman though.

Flowers or candy given to fulfill a duty cannot possibly be felt as romantic to a lady who is waiting for her man to prove his love through strength, and sacrifice. A lady waits and watches for the signs that she was really the only one on his mind. Are the flowers her favorite color and kind? Has her knight listened to her, learned about her, and loved her with the things that delight her?

A lady's knight must prove that his adventures and exploits (his pleasures and work) are done with her in mind. That proof is romantic to her.

A quick story of my knight fighting the battle to prove his love for me came the week of 9/11. I was in Colorado with my daughter who was expecting our second grandchild very soon. She was on bed rest and so I went to aid her in taking care of our first granddaughter. Our anniversary was four days after that brutal attack. My knight had planned to come for the weekend but with air traffic suspended he thought it would not happen.

The attacks did not stop him though. He braved the fears, the delays and cancelled flights to be with me. Yes, he was a day late, but his arms around me were the ribbon on a romantic gift I will never forget! Romance is an expression of sacrificial and personal love that is meant for only one. Yes, for men it is an adventure and a heroic act. For us women our men become romantic and a man worthy of our attentions by slaying the dragons that stand between him and his love!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Labor Pains

I don't really know what to write today. I have many thoughts but they do not seem to really go anywhere. Each thought gives me some measure of unease, and I sometimes wonder what God is doing in all those areas of my life.

I liken these uneasy moments to labor and childbirth. I know that may sound odd, but they do come in waves like labor pains. It is nice when they ease off a little, and I get a rest from the struggle of whatever is coming. There is expectation but also a sense of loss. Whatever Gods' plan is for my future, I know that I will labor to believe in the fulness of his plan and my part in it. The end result will be something new and because God is in on it, there will be life!

Okay, so I'm being somewhat cryptic in this writing. It is not my intent to be secretive, but I really don't know all that is going on or what God has in mind. I only know that I have mixed emotions and uncertainty in what direction to go. The only thing I trust is Gods' goodness, His love, His faithfulness and His life living in me!

At this time in my life I am looking for signs of God working around me. He is everywhere and He is wanting me to join Him each day. As I do, I will move forward with Him.

Monday, February 2, 2009

God's Gift of Me

Sunday at church this question was posed: What is in me for God? It was a question that I think we all may ask at some point.

When we contemplate God's greatness, His immense being, what could we possibly have inside of us that we could give God? The answer begins and ends with God. If it didn't then He would not be God at all!

God wanted us to be able to give Him something. He knew that we would desire to offer Him something in return for the many blessings He has given us. In His great wisdom He gave each of us a unique blend of talents, personality, ability, passions, gifts, and experiences. Within the combination of these, we find a treasure that we can offer God.

Finding our gift for God is a lifelong quest. The gift is not meant to be given one time, but over our lifetime! Yes, I am still searching for all I can give Him! He has worked miracles in me and around me and He deserves my best! When I meet with Him in heaven I pray He will be pleased with what I offer Him.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Bullies come in all sizes, ages, and genders. It does not matter who they are, their aggressive, belittling behavior must be confronted. The victims of a bully must be protected!

Bullies most likely have their own problems. They may think that putting down others by showing their own strength in a bully fashion will make them feel better about themselves or their situation. The truth is that in acting out this way they reinforce their own lack of character. They are foolish to believe that pushing others around will lift them higher.

God has said that if we would be great we must be the servant of all. Having servants is not the way to be great or feel great. Bullies are people in need. One small step in service to other's needs is one giant leap into finding the greatness within themselves.