Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Heart, SIT. Stay RIGHT Here...

Where do the Streams {of Faith and Life and Love} begin?

Where is the fuel kept for this walk of Faith?

What keeps a heart Alive?

What is God looking for...in me?

How do I look/search for ...Him?

{Misty Speaks on Abandonment to God}

And a Response...Sing With Me?

"You are the one I hold on to
You are my love, Jesus (2X)


Hold me forever... in the midst of the shaking, Hold me together"

Sing to Him...Search Him OUT.

He will come...and ...

Make. It. ALL. right...

He will come.

This is SURE.

This is my ONLY, SURE in this "moment" of a Life.

And, in the giving all with passion, with abandonment is where I find...


He will come...

This I am SURE.

Love to you,


Monday, February 6, 2012

You can "smile up" ~ its O.K.... :)

 God is bigger than braces.  He is Greater than the "truth" of an ugly teeth mold and crooked x-rays.  Oh, yes He is. :)

 He also is greater than any financial situation....Could you believe such news in times like these?  This is what He showed us in a really special time with Him this past year.

That He is NEAR

That He longs to straighten what is crooked and broken in our life.

 That He can surprise us with goodness :)

That His "economy" is entirely dependable and safe.

That even the "smallest whispers" of prayers are heard and answered.

Around the time that Bruik's Sunday School teacher was healed, we had another incredible experience with teeth.  Funny, but it has been a year for teeth stories in the Tucker household.

This is my daughter, Ashley's sweet smile.

We took a plaster mold of her "unique smile" that, like so many teens needed some attention and covered it in braces in our last year in Franklin, TN. This was just before God called us out to Kansas City, MO. to be missionaries in intercessory prayer and ministry here.

The call out here has required a life shift for our family ~ and it is another story to be told :) but simply, has brought a downsize in home and budget ~ we are not complaining. ~ Every other aspect of this is a super-"up size" from our point of view!!

And, sweet Ashley's not one to complain either...she didn't about the braces--she thought they were pretty cool with the blue rubber bands, in fact. :) There was no complaint either as our new budget did not leave room for a visit to a new Orthodontist when we came into town here in Kansas City...(if you know her, you know that's so like her heart)...But, my mother's heart was concerned as I saw my precious girl's smile. She had only had one course of treatment and was going to need about 9 month's more treatment...and here... it had been 6 months with NO adjustments. It could be said it was a matter of money...

....that turned out to be a matter of faith...

...and a matter of a Father's Heart who cared as much  (more!) about every little tooth as I did...

One evening in this past year, we were in a praise time together at church and as I looked over at my Ashley, I whispered a simple prayer--there was NOTHING fancy or wordy or "correct" about it, just a handing over of her teeth and the money they would need for correction into my loving Father's hands. It went something like, "God, I believe you can straighten Ashley's teeth without need for these braces. Please, God, a miracle in Jesus name. Please come and straighten Ashley's teeth."

Here is a letter I would write about a week later to the Principal of our Christian school the day after a precious prayer time for the families at our school:


God is already answering prayers for financial/health needs  in the The Daniel Academy family...we have a report to share already!

Yesterday we went to the Orthodontist to re continue care for Ashley here in Kansas City. We had not had the financing to consider signing on with another payment plan for braces and so it has been 6 months since Ashley has had an adjustment. I felt troubled with this but we were in the place of just having to wait. Ashley's Ortho .back in Nashville said 6 months ago that she would be needing close to 9 months to a year more of treatment--this added to missing the past 6 months felt like a real set- back. However, last week I actually did pray a "weak"/simple prayer for God to please straighten her teeth regardless--adding this to asking for healing for me not having to wear contacts anymore...it was really faith unseen to ask such a thing, after all she still had the wires and teal rubber bands wrapped around her teeth!

We visited the Red Bridge Orthodontist office yesterday just for a consult and to hear the cha-ching of how many dollars we were in for here...the Orthodontist was friendly. He checked out her mouth and very quickly asked us again why we had come. He then said, "Now I want you (he motioned to me) to walk around the dental chair and take a look in her mouth and tell me what you see. '

I looked and didn't know what to answer...."Teeth?"

"EXACTLY!", he smiled, " and they are perfectly straight now ...WHAT do you want me to do here?"

He called our situation, "special" and said he had even been going over Ashley's records from Tennessee where he had seen the long schedule drawn out for her teeth ...he kept talking about what a "special" situation this was.  He just stood there for a moment looking at the teeth molds on his office shelves and then turned around and stated that he normally does not make this recommendation but that the braces were to come off in the office visit today --she was totally complete....straight!!

As Ashley left, he made some small talk and  continued to show me his collection of teeth casts.

(Hmmmmn....a true picture of what straight does NOT look like!)

He seemed so familiar with each one. And, seemed to really like these ugly ole things ~ as only an Orthodontist could!

As he carefully picked each one up into a cradle hold with his hands, he pointed to pictures of patients with big teeth y smiles. -- This one is her, this one was him...He was completely engaged with these twisted up, ugly mold smiles.

It was entertaining....well, shocking....no,interesting... but in a sort of uncomfortable way :)...

He gave directions for Ashley to go to another examination room for her braces removal and as he watched her leave, he said, "The Daniel Academy, huh?

(and this was another answer to prayer --that God's glory was going to break out from our families and students-- and my favorite part of the visit)

"Yeah, I really see that. 

We service several kids from there.

You remind me of this one kid, do you know him? His name is T----- B-----. We really love that kid. You have the same ' thing' on your face that I see on T's face." (Yay, Jesus glow!!) Through talking about T., I began to talk about how that thing is Joy. He strongly said, "YES, that's what it is!"

I then got to share with him that it was T's love for Jesus that came out in Joy from him that so effected my little son, Anderson at a conference last year--so much so that Anders said that he thought T. loved Jesus more than anyone he has ever known --and how it make my little son hungry for Jesus... "

The name of Jesus cleared the room pretty quickly of the Orthodontist and the receptionist and left more conversation for another day :) ... BUT before His name was even mentioned,  it was breathed out through that "thing" (glory) on a young man's face. It was a treat to have the way paved to share about Jesus by someone else in God's family and it showed me one example of how our school's walk with Jesus is shining in our community....praise God!!

Make my girl smile at you tomorrow--freed teeth and a lighter wallet --what a sweet gift from God!!

Loved the prayer time with the parents--what a sweet, powerful time...the kids were impacted by the extra time in assembly as well --glad you chose to let it "go long" :)

Blessings, precious friend,


And here is our Ashley's smile now. :)

Yes, she is happy to have those straight teeth!!

And this is my sweet husband, Richard who is now with us in Missouri, at a Bible/Ministry school here, being trained in Ministy and Missions launching in to what God told us would be waiting for His son here...

Here is Richard sharing with the children his confidence in God's care and nearness to us, God's children...and that they can believe they will be well-taken care of for they are in God's hands:

Emmanuel :) not just a Christmas word.  :)  It is for our every day.  And as Richard says, its meaning is not God kind of near us, God sometimes with us...It means GOD WITH US.

And Jesus IN Me ... is the HOPE of Glory...

GOD WITH US...I could fasten all of life to that Truth...try it...Try bringing GOD WITH US into every little bit...and see what He fixes and straightens for you.  For don't we all need a little alteration here and there?  He loves to straighten out the curves in our path...Don't we all look in the mirror and see some things out of line? 

He is in the business of straightening what is crooked and fixing what is broken. 

And He's not afraid of an ugly mold.
In fact, He picks them up with interest and affection as Only a redeeming Creator can. He sees the picture.

YOUR picture of His destiny planned for you.





Without flaw

He ALREADY sees this for you...

But things won't get straight on their own...We need to bring them to God and let Him work on us in His wisdom and love.

Bring Him your broken things.  He is safe to open up our smiles and grin all at him with all the craziness/ugliness that might be found in there.  He is not scared off by our "toothy grins"!  No, our God LOVES to fix broken things...He BROKE HIMSELF to fix what is broken.  Perhaps whisper your own prayer up to Him this week? 


Smile at Him?  and let Him peer inside and fix all the crooked things? 

You don't need to keep that ole mold of your crooked heart...cause God is straightening up...making new lines of fresh new "teeth" in there.  I see it for you...for me...

Have you ever thought of how God might behold you?  Even before things are "straightened out?"

" Behold, you are beautiful, my love. Behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is as a flock of goats, that descend from Mount Gilead.

"Your teeth are like a newly shorn flock, which have come up from the washing, where every one of them has twins. None is bereaved among them."  (Song of Solomon 4:2)

He longs to love your heart. 

Smile up, its your Father waiting for you.

Love, Gillian

Friday, February 3, 2012

Teeth!  I love em.

And they are first in our  Fresh Faith February stories today...

As is this guy

With the Brilliant Smile.

And Precious Heart.

God teaches me so much from my son Bruik. Especially when he bows his head and speaks so clearly and simply to God. He simply asks for what his heart desires. And God, being a good and loving Father responds to His little son.

Sometimes...Many times... I learn from Bruik for his requests seem like "BIG" ones to me. There is no hesitation with this little one. He just reaches out his hand in response to a sickness need with a "well we need to talk to God about that" and then he clearly says the need to God and expects God's hand to heal, to change, to come, to provide.

He "gets" the simplicity of prayer ~ that it is speaking God's heart back to Him. And he has understanding of how mighty yet responsive God is to answer His children. After all, if Bruik is hungry and he asks for food, his mommy gives him food ~ how would God be different? Is he not the BEST of the Fathers' hearts?

In this one, I begin to see that mustard seed that Christ spoke about ~ that belief that may seem small but that GROWS into a mighty tree that provides shade to all around it--that grows up and then the birds come and land and rest inside on the branches. Although God has given me my own little seeds to steward and plant,I do find myself resting on the "branches" of my children's faith at times. Jesus gave us the example of a little child as being the greatest in the kingdom of God so I do well to seriously study their little hearts and to see how my faith needs to grow more in their way...

But, among the adult hearts I know, how many times do we truly ASK for what we need? Why could it be that Jesus needed to say, "You do not have for you do not ask." ?

What seeds do we need to pick up and sow into the ground of asking and believing prayer?

What inquiries could I be making of God ~ that will astound and bless my heart when they are all grown out and mature?

This little seed...what fruit could I one day be picking? What shade to rest in?  What sturdy branch to swing from?  What other seeds to sow?

Why at times did I pull my hand back from the bowl of seeds, and place it back in my pocket.. not daring to ask, to envision, to dream this way with my perfect Father??  What happened to my heart???!!  How did I believe wrongly? What good is a seed unless it is planted in the ground?  What made me spill my bowl of seeds at times and hold them carelessly, not planting, just turning them over and and over and wondering over them.  Who  taught me to take a magnifying glass to each one in search for the life inside (for the "what ifs"....what if it doesn't come to life?...what if you don't get healed?...what if after the wait God doesn't come through?)

  When God speaks of asking,... of Faith, He has promised that ANY seed sown within His will,  in faith is a viable one.  It contains the life of what IS to come in Him. For faith IS SURE,  "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see" (Hebrews 11:1)  And so I too...can be SURE.  I am heard, I am loved. That the seeds of my faith will be answered by my loving Father. 

Don't tell Bruik you are sick or have some other need and expect to not get loved on.  Expect a little hand to be laid on you and our "Gift from God" (his name's meaning") to reach out in prayer for you.  And expect to be propped up in the comfy recliner in the den to be promptly covered in blankets and stuffed animals--its cosy under those layers, let me tell you! :)

We have been noticing as we are reading through the gospels this semester as a family how this was Jesus' way as well. He would stop important meetings to attend to a little daughter of a gentile military commander, or a sick women who reached out in a press of people, or a blind man that he healed even though it was the Sabbath, or the short tax collector sitting in a tree with a heart in need of a fix. Some of my favorite verses are when Jesus looks over the crowd, knowing all of their needs--individual and collective and "had compassion on them for they were like sheep without a shepherd."

He stops to feed a multitude. He stops to heal the one. And often the Bible says, "He healed them ALL."  And not only the "holy" ones who think they have most favor with God...not only the worst cases...but even the cases that might seem small...but have aggravated them for years...even those...His heart is to heal them ALL.

Do a little study to see for yourself--the day I did I no longer doubted this part of His character--he longs to heal us to make us whole in EVERY way, including physically. (Matthew 12:15, Matthew 4:24, Luke 4:40, Luke 6:19, Matthew 15:30, Luke 6:17, Psalm 103:3...)

We are blessed to have Bruik's example here . His pure faith that moves God's heart ~ here's an example of  one gift that God worked through little Bruik's faith in Him this year...and how it effected my own heart to reach for more...

It was a normal Sunday morning a couple months back and in the flurry of dropping off and picking up of each of our little ones into their individual classes, we usually only get short visits with each teacher.  But this Sunday our teacher, the husband of the couple that teaches Bruik's class yelled down the hall as we came toward the classroom. "Come HERE, Come HERE!! I GOT to tell you something!!!"  He pulled on our clothing and moved us along through the door.  He was EXCITED.

Jimmy (name changed)  told us that recently he had been in a car accident.  At the time of the accident his jaw and mouth had slammed in to the wheel and dashboard of the car.  His jaw was injured and his teeth were push up into his mouth -- impacted in there.  He had been living with great pain.  He had been to a dentist who had taken x-rays and examined him and said that he was going to need dental surgery to make things safe and right in his mouth.  Disheartened, he signed up for a surgery appointment for the following Monday and spent that Friday and Saturday in a lot of pain.

  On Sunday, he almost did not come to church because of all the pain he was in.  But he chose to push through and showed up to his class of Kindergarten and first graders.  While he was going through the Sunday School time, he mentioned that his teeth really hurt and that he was going to get them fixed at the surgeon tomorrow....

He said, the moment he mentioned this, Bruik sprang into action mode.  He started calling out in class, "Everyone gather around.  Right now!  Lay your hands on Jimmy and lets pray for his teeth."  He pulled and arranged all the little kids and had the whole class stand around Jimmy, laying their little hands on him. And then he proceeded to ask God to heal Jimmy, to straighten up his teeth, to take away his pain."

Simple prayers, simple hearts, lots of love and urgency to pray.

Jimmy was really ministered to by the love of his Sunday School students.  And the gift was "germinating" for God was pleased to answer their prayers!

Jimmy recalled to us as he squeezed our arms and hugged Bruik and yelled out praise all unashamed and completely without any sense of bashfulness in that busy hallways with other families all pressing around us to pick up kids...that AS HE DROVE home the pain started to diminish IN HIS MOUTH.  By the time he was home he was almost out of pain.  By that evening there was no pain.  His teeth looked fine!  He was confident the prayers had been answered!!!!

He went to the appointment the next day at the Surgeon's office who now could find NOTHING wrong in Jimmy's mouth.  The Surgeon is a Doctor who believes in God's healing power and he said that there was no doubt about it that God had done a miracle here.

Not only did Jimmy have a healed mouth and a testimony to God's goodness but he was not going to have to pay for an expensive surgery--this had been a great burden to think about previously.

"Look!!...LOOK in my mouth, he shouted!! I'm healed!!  I just can't get over it!  God is SO good!!"

We bear hugged and tears welling  over the Goodness of Jesus to answer the prayers of little ones to heal this man's mouth.  There was great JOY in the Sunday School hallway that day!!!!

Bruik  smiled kind of bashful but really happy for his friend.  He did not look too surprised at the news.  Of course he got healed , was his expression. :)

That request, that has come to your heart.  It CAN be attended to in the name and power of Jesus. 

May we encourage you to take a seed from the "bowl" of your heart and plant it in prayerful faith in Him?

I can see the tree...

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

(Hebrews 11:6)

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (from Ephesians 3)

Love, Gillian

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cloud Play

             Fresh Faith February

“He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.” ( Job 26:8)

The winds of Winter are usually so much colder in Missouri.  Yesterday it was in the high 60's!  Springtime on the last day of January.  The children played outside in short sleeves and even some bare feet in the sandbox. One was stung by a bee who must have decided to come out and start busying herself with Springtime chores!!  We are not complaining over the temperate winds and the happy sun brightening our faces!!

And the Clouds!  Oh, my. 

“Day after day they pour forth speech.”

Did you know THIS about clouds?

How much does a cloud weigh?

A typical cumulus cloud (the most common cloud) is about 1 cubic kilometer in volume and 2 km above ground. Air density is estimated to be at about 1.007 kg/m3. The clouds (water droplets) are less dense and come close to 1.003 kg/m3 (which is also why they float). There are estimated to be 1,000,000 cubic meters of droplets in an average cumulus cloud.
A cumumus cloud
A cumumus cloud weighs over a billion kilograms
The weight can be calculated using this equation (density by volume by a factor):
1.003 kg/m3x 1,000x 1 km3 = 1,003,000,000 kg
Which is over a billion kilograms of droplets or close to 2.2 billion pounds.
Assuming a  blue whale is close to 160 (160,000 kg) tones in weight, a cumulus cloud weighs as much as 6,268.75 blue whales!

ARE YOU KIDDING ME???????????!!!!!!

And, Yet they don't drop on my head???!!!

How GOOD God is to keep them there, displaying His glory, and His Creative Handiwork that dazzles my eyes, makes my imagination soar.  How GOOD He is to build up moisture to replenish a parched world's thirst.  To hold up the clouds with protective strength and yet to be so gentle, so Fatherly and tender.

To have them empty out in a way that does no harm but gently washes our upturned faces.

One of Richard's and my favorite things to  love doing with our family is to lie on our backs on a blanket on our lawn, perhaps with an arm round one of the kids and look up at the clouds.  We imagine...and in just a moment we SEE... pictures and stories and watch them change shape into other newer stories romping and playing,warring, galloping across the sky...

As a little girl I made a request--I would have said, a DEAL with the Lord.  That one day I could PLAY with Him in the clouds.  Have you ever wanted that?  To jump and to leap through wide open spaces and land softly on them?  To dive through them perhaps like waves?  To take a ride next to Jesus in ALL that majestic Beauty?

Oh wow!! it REALLY gets my heart going!!  I REMEMBER the first time, as a little girl on a Passenger plane heading  to Switzerland, sitting in my window seat... and first witnessing as we broke through that first layer of cloud cover and to SEE what God had in store up there...the glory of what God has created in solely for His good pleasure ..               {.for who else SEEs up there... above where even the birds fly?}

That's when I knew, that I knew why clouds had always moved my heart...Oh, yes, God, we were going to play up there one day, you and me, God on our own special date...And ever since, it has been the same,

Coming home  to the sky over Washington D.C. ---how clean and calm it is--how PURE above all the deliberations and life in that grand city underneath--

Looking from cloud level at the patchwork quilting of the farmlands of America as I came in to my college town...

Peering down in a trip to Holland upon all the intimidating, watery expanse of  Atlantic ocean water reflecting all that glory back to the sky...

Coming in to the tropics of Florida  alongside the afternoon rainmakers, rolling in besides me...

and one of my ultimate favorites...

The African sky...

Which everyone should really know...is just as beautiful and stately in magnificence from the ground as it is from a sky viewpoint--It is the crown jewel in my heart of cloud collections on this Blue Earth.

And ALWAYS as i look up,

I am brought into awareness of the one who says He

“Rides on the Clouds”

Searching for...the ones who are

Searching for Him.

The One who creates objects in the sky as HEAVY as  6,000 plus Whales is commanding them as His ride...His chariot of the sky...to use as He searches for those 

“Whose hearts are turned toward Him.”

 See me, God.

Find me.

Faith ever searches for the God who CAN be found.

And when He comes...He is looking too...for the one who is looking for Him.
Simple but true!

And how do I find Him?  By "looking up".  By expecting that what He says about Himself in the Bible is truly TRUE. .That He is looking to be enough for me ....In every part of my life.  And that my powerful but gentle Father is not going to squish me with Revelation of Himself.  When He comes, it is often a showing of Himself as glorious as the white clouds, bright enough for me to squint up in wonder at all of this Glory--knowing there's even MORE to find in His higher places.  He comes and attends to my questions and needs with gentle rains.  And though He could be one I could fear with ALL that power and weight of glory and holiness...He ministers Life to me---a rain fall at a time--cleansing me, refreshing me,restoring me in such a restrained, loving manner.

I believe that King, God hides Himself so that He MAY BE FOUND.

And it will take a princely heart to find Him...

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”  (Proverbs 25:2)

If you have ever played hide and seek with children this is easier to understand.  What parent or caregiver hides themselves from earnest little searchers in hopes to stay hidden away for keeps?
No!  The joys and the heart-thumping part of the game is in the FINDING.

And what do we find?


And HE will be enough.  Jesus IS enough.  For ALL of Life.

Over the last 37 years of loving Him, and even quite recently I have found that what He says is true.  IS true.  It can be found and tested out.  Tried and relied upon.  And that so much more awaits me in Life in Him than I have ever dared to dream about before.

This wind and these clouds above me, absolutely pregnant with moisture, remind me of another wind that blows across my heart in this New Year.  "Tell the stories" I sense on my heart.  It is time to share-- to tell of the ways that God has "broken in" to our "normal" and made it more... How He has made Himself known, REAL to me personally.  

In my heart

In my relationships

With my children and for them directly
In healings

In hearing His voice and being His friend.

In miraculous provisions...

Now, I see that look in some of your eyes.  I have had you on my heart for I hear you say....

"Well, that's all fine and good and prettied up, Gillian, but you DON"T....you can't know MY LIFE."

"Jesus may be ENOUGH for you...but, really, what about my sickness that has gone on for years?...or healing for my heart from miscarriage?...or my child's struggles?...or that situation that I do not think could EVER be restored...there's just SO much water under the bridge...and its been such a long journey...what about our finances?...have you SEEN my CHECKBOOK?...and my energy levels?...have you ever felt so tired you could not bear the thought of another day's weight?...What about that?  Take that...tell me about THESE things!!..."

Oh, friend, come and sit on my blanket on this Springtime lawn for a bit this month.  I hope you  consider looking up with me...to consider how faith grows and asks and connects with God's heart...and brings His amazing gifts into our lives.  It is so real.  I have LIVED it and am JUST at the beginning of all this wonder. I'd love to share some of my stories of how God has met me, with you this month...and while I do know they are not your stories..God has promised that He has no partiality...that what He has done for me...He can do for you...

I will start the stories tomorrow. :)

Blessings this first February day of 2012.  I pray for you:

“Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring." ( Hosea 6:3)

You won't mind getting a little wet, will you?

Fresh Faith to you this month and for always,
Love, Gillian

Source for Cloud info.:    http://greenearthfacts.com/weather/how-much-does-a-cloud-weigh/