Tuesday, June 28, 2011

#205 The Morning Altar

If this patio could talk, you would know everything you'd ever want to know about me. I live for this time of year. Not having the luxury of year-round warm weather, this Michigan girl longs for the days when I can have my quiet time outside.

Beth Moore taught me how to Believe God and Break Free on this patio. We studied our favorite subject of all time right here...Jesus The One and Only. Kelly Minter led me to rid myself of any other God but Him, and taught me through the story of Ruth, how important it is to leave a legacy for the future generations. More recently, Tammie Head joined me every morning and moved me from serving God as a duty, to an all out delight, in my relationship with Him.

For the first summer in a long time, I'm not going through a structured summer Bible study. I have felt the Lord leading me to spend time with Him...just Him...every morning. A time to read His Word, and only His Word, to see what He would have to speak to my heart and to my spirit.

Some mornings it seems as if He's not speaking at all. Do you ever have those times with Him? You read the Word, you pray, but it's just not happening? You don't get anything profound or earth-shattering in your reading? Especially if you find yourself in Leviticus or Numbers. So you pack up your stuff...your Bible, your pen, your journal, and get up and start your day. If no one has ever told you this before, let me be the first to assure you, that's normal and it's okay. God is tickled pink that you spent the time with Him. He is pleased with your commitment to give Him first place in your day.

As the morning rays of sun came through the trees this morning, I remembered other times here. This patio has seen me laugh with the Lord. He does have a real sense of humor sometimes. It has heard me cry and heaven knows, it has heard me cry out. I have mourned here. I have begged God here. I have been confused and laid fleeces here, searching for some sign of direction for important decisions. I have been absolutely terrified here, and had that fear replaced by peace right in this spot. I have put my knees to these patio blocks and worshiped on my face here.

When I look up at the morning sky, I often wonder how close heaven really is. Is it just beyond the clouds, painted on the blue palette that I can see with my naked eye? Is my Savior THAT close? When the apostle John was on the isle of Patmos he looked up and saw a door standing open in Heaven (Revelation 4:1). When Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran, he lay down to rest and had a dream. He saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and angels ascending and descending on it. And above it, stood the Lord. (Genesis 28: 10-13). Is God...is Heaven...that close? I wait, but the sky doesn't open above me. But I think that a little glimpse of Heaven opened around me.

The early morning sun was streaming through the trees.

I saw flowers that had bloomed overnight. Lilies were beginning to wake up and open into beautiful pink and orange trumpets.

Yellow flowers promise cucumbers.

There will be tomatoes and green beans for supper soon.

The breeze is blowing through the trees. A neighbor makes her way to the fence to chat for a minute. Butterflies flutter. Squirrels and rabbits frolic. Birds are at the feeder. A new day has dawned. Fresh. Another day. Another chance at life. Another adventure. Another sign of the faithfulness of my God.

That patio became a morning altar on which I worshipped. Somehow, a little bit of heaven revealed itself in my corner of planet Earth. Supernatural met natural in my own backyard. And it was beautiful. If the beauty of the creation is even one iota an indication of the beauty of Heaven, how beautiful Heaven must be. If the beauty of the creation is even one iota a foretaste of the beauty of God, how beautiful He must be!

Open your eyes and look around. God is giving glimpses of Himself and Heaven all around us. You may not spend your quiet time on a patio like mine, but whether you meet with God on a porch, or a farm watching amber waves of grain sway in the breeze, or a balcony in the city, or right there at your table, Heaven may not open above you, but it will be evident all around you. Right there is your call to worship. Right there is your morning altar.

"Oh praise the Lord!
This earth is crammed with heaven!
Oh, praise the Lord!
And, Christian, look around!
For every bush you pass with fire is flaming,
And every spot you tread is holy ground."
--Anne Ortlund

I'm listed at:
Beholding Glory

friday favorite things | finding joy


  1. These photos are beautiful and I love that He has provided a special place for you to meet with Him...
    Thank you for sharing with NOBH...
    ~Kara @ The Chuppies/NOBH

  2. Love how we get glimpses of heaven in the beauty around us!!

  3. I meet with My Lord anywhere...my thoughts are with Him and center there.

    Your patio is lovely and conducive to quiet moments with Our Lord.


  4. I’m so glad the Lord gives us glimpses of himself every day. Yes, open our eyes and we will see him. Thanks, Donna. Your pictures of God’s creations are lovely.

  5. I have a morning altar similar to yours, and I relish it too! Don't you just love those morning talks with Father Creator? They are priceless.

    Tomorrow morning, I'll think about you over there on your altar as I head to mine.


  6. Hello Donna,
    Your morning altar is very lovely!
    A garden is most conducive to contemplating the beauty of God.
    But it is true.. that whatever place we find ourselves turning to Him becomes beautified by His glorious Presence!
    Thank you for linking this with LACE.
    God bless you..Trish

  7. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into the Lord revealing Him to you. And thanks for linking up with Brag on God Fridays, hope to see you again.

  8. Beautiful post and pictures. It's good to see God all around us as He opens our eyes to see.

  9. Hi Donna,
    It's good to have a special place to meet the Lord and yes, there are pieces of Heaven all around us.The poem you quoted says it beautifully.
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  10. Donna,
    I love this post. I believe that there are so many lessons about the faithfulness of God in gardening. I'm starting to think that is why I spend so much time on my hands and knees working the soil.
    I went through Beth Moore's Believing God when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. That study {and Breaking Free} changed so much for me. It got me into the Word -- craving His truth.

    Thanks for linking up this week. Have a blessed weekend!


  11. Beautiful post and pictures. I live outdoors so the winter months are always hard.I'm more than glad it's summer time. And I love me some Beth Moore. I did the Daniel study a while back and learned a ton!

  12. Such a lovely place to be with our Lord. Your blog is a joy to visit.

  13. This is a perfect playdate! Just downright summer goodness. It's even better when we invite the Lord along, isn't it? Loved my visit today. Have a lovely holiday!