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One Woman's Pilgrimage

    by Linda Bush Cannon

November 7, 2010

Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…”

I was speaking with a friend today about dealing with some of the painful struggles we’re asked to go through in life… those dark times that seem unbearable. We want to break away from the pain, and find escape somehow, but God often calls us to instead sit with the pain for awhile.

Sit with the pain? I don’t want to sit with it, or spend any more time with it – I just want it to be over,…  ( Click for more )

2 Corinthians 4:16 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

I would like to celebrate…. today.

In NJ, today was cold, rainy and gray. Okay, I’m a freak – I LOVED IT! I absolutely loved every minute of it – the coldness biting into my skin as I walked to my office from the parking lot at half-past dark thirty, watching the wind bend the branches like a virtual ballet of leaves at lunchtime, the raw “rake through your skin” breezes. I ate…  ( Click for more )

Proverbs 1:29-31: Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my life, and reflecting back on my earlier years in my twenties and thirties. It’s painful… because those are years I walked away from the Lord and chose to live exactly as I pleased by my own wisdom, rules and standards. I wasn’t about to be “fenced in”. I wince and shake my head…  ( Click for more )

February 1, 2009

Psalm 37:5 (The Message) “Open up before God, keep nothing back…”

In my Psychology of Stress class this week, there was a quote from the Greek philosopher Epictetus, who wrote that death was a “common consequence of chronic perturbation”. I looked up the word perturbation, and found that it meant:

a. The state of being perturbed; agitation.

b. A small change in a physical system.

c. Physics & Astronomy Variation in a designated orbit, as of a planet, resulting from…  ( Click for more )

As I wrote on my blog, one of my favorite things at Christmas as a young girl growing up was the Christmas Advent Calendar. Each December 1st I would receive one from my family, and I can remember running downstairs in the morning anticipating the surprise of what I might find beneath that day's little door which I would open.

I have tried to create that little bit of Christmas fun by writing a series of devotions on Luke 2:1-20) and putting them in the form of an electronic advent calendar, which can be found at: Just click…  ( Click for more )

May 11, 2008

Psalm 51:3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

Once upon a time I was in the yard of my Father’s house. It was a beautiful day, and I was just happy playing and enjoying myself. Outside the gate I spotted the cutest little stray puppy. He sat at the gate, and I could see him between the wooden slats. He had big eyes and just whimpered a bit. He was cute as a button, and when I didn’t come over, he barked to get my attention.

I walked over and reached my hand through the fence, and he nuzzled against it and licked me with little…  ( Click for more )

Because it feels good

Because it makes me alive

Because it kills the pain

Because it makes me feel loved

Because it helps me forget

Because it’s a quick fix

Because it’s what I’ve always known

Because I’m afraid to take that step of faith

Because I’m not as strong as you

I want to believe

I want to be different

I want to stand for Christ

I want to choose the right way… this time


Because Jesus loves me

Because I am forgiven

Because I’ve screwed up for the 1,000st…  ( Click for more )

February 24, 2008

9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and…  ( Click for more )

February 17, 2008

I have an old mirror in my bedroom, sitting on top of a bookcase. It’s one of those vanity mirrors that has the main panel, then two side panels that fold forward a little, so you can see three view of yourself. I’m guessing it’s probably an antique, with permanent smudges, scrapes and worn spots borne from years of wear and tear. But it faithfully continues to echo back my reflection whenever I am near it.

This morning I was lying in bed, talking to God as we met for a quiet time together before my day began. He was listening, as He always does, while…  ( Click for more )

February 10, 2008

1 Corinthians 13:8a – “Love never fails”

Valentines Day – to some, it is an opportunity to celebrate with their special someone. To others, it is a painful reminder that they are alone. It can bring joy, romance, ambiguity, or a deep sense of loneliness and regret. However, instead of a harangue of hearts day, why don’t we celebrate loving – generally and specifically?!?

Think of people in your life that matter to you. For a moment, put aside the memories of relationships that have hurt you or disappointed you. Turn your focus…  ( Click for more )

February 3, 2008

Psalm 30:5b: “…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

I had come home from church on this beautiful, sunny Sunday morning. There was a break in the bitter coldness that had engulfed our area, and the mildness was rich in the air. The sermon had been meaningful, and I was feeling good. It was one of those “all’s right with the world” moments, when you’re smiling and happy and calm. I half expected some little cartoon animals to gather around the car and begin singing… okay, maybe that’s…  ( Click for more )

January 27, 2008

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

I began a new job today, and it feels like January 1st “fresh start” time again. I realized that I was walking into this company with a clean slate. No one knows me – no reputation to be upheld (or lived down), no mistakes to overcome, no regrets. I have a clean canvas upon which to paint the next scenes of my journey. It’s almost heady – I can be anything, anyone, they have no idea who the real me is yet. I could…  ( Click for more )

January 13, 2008
1 Peter 4:10-13: Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. DOXA Dare I come and Offer myself to You, to Xamine me And show me all that does not bring You GLORY Dying to self, I Open my eyes to and…  ( Click for more )

Jeremiah 29:11-14For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you,’ says the Lord." THE WALL OF IF ONLYS I smash my fists against the Wall of “If Onlys” The bricks of … If only I had made this decision …  ( Click for more )

Matthew 6:33 “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”

As with so many around the world, we begin a new year with new goals and resolutions. Weight/health goals, financial/material goals, relational goals, career/education goals. I want to weight X amount, earn X amount, get a new car, develop a deeper relationship with my spouse/significant other/children/family member, get a promotion, get my degree… All these things are good, and important, and we should start off the fresh pages of 2008 with clear…  ( Click for more )

December 23, 2007

Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

In his study on Luke 2:1-20 entitled, “Acclamations of the Birth of Christ”, Hampton Keathley, III, Th.M. writes:

The word “pondered” (vs. 19b) is the present of continuous action. Pondering the things of Christ must become our practice—a constant part of our lives. “Pondered” is the Greek sumballo and means “to cast together.” From this it came to mean to cast thoughts together in the mind, to reflect, to meditate. The suggestion…  ( Click for more )

December 16, 2007

Luke 2:12 "This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

A sign – the Greek word used is “semeion”, and it also means mark – that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others and is known. The signs of Christmas are all around –houses and lawns decorated with brightly colored lights, a pine tree filled with ornaments, special events at schools and houses of worship, parties, and of course, the endless commercials vying for your attention and dollars! Subtle holiday…  ( Click for more )

December 9, 2007

Luke 2:7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The theologian J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M. wrote in his essay “Acclamations of the Birth of Christ (Luke 2:1-20)”:

“… to her first-born…” Note again the careful emphasis “her first-born,” not Joseph’s. Joseph was the legal father by adoption, but not by conception. Once again, God’s Word carefully guards the doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ (cf.…  ( Click for more )

December 2, 2007
Psalm 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. In Hebrew the word weeping is a transliteration meaning bitterly, continual weeping, flowing. From the NetBible footnotes we read, “Heb “in the evening weeping comes to lodge, but at morning a shout of joy.” “Weeping” is personified here as a traveler who lodges with one temporarily.1 The Hebrew word for joy translates “a ringing cry, in proclamation, joy, praise. I have had a visitor in my life for some time now – his name is Weeping. At one…  ( Click for more )
November 25, 2007
Psalm 141:3 “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips.” The word in Hebrew for door is deleth, a feminine noun. It can also be translated as gate or lid. Three other possible definitions that caught my eye were “of crocodile jaws”, “of chest lid”, and “of an easily accessible woman.” Hmmmm… this got my mind going. A feminine noun… had to be feminine, didn’t it? An easily accessible woman – while I like to think of myself as accessible to others, I don’t…  ( Click for more )
November 18, 2007

Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us…”

In Ephesians 3:20, we are told that the Lord is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. The words FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY in Greek are “huperekeina” (5238), and mean beyond – in one of the notes I read it means “the regions lying beyond the country of one’s residence.”

Come with me for a moment to someplace you know where you can see – someplace…  ( Click for more )

Psalm 34:18 "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Often times when we are hurting, the first place we go to is a trusted friend who will hold our hand while we tell our tale of woe, or just wrap us up in their arms until the weeping subsides. There is something about talking it out that helps… even if our friend doesn’t have a definitive answer. It’s the knowing that we’ve been heard.

But there are other times, late at night when we are all alone, that we find ourselves crying in the darkness.…  ( Click for more )

November 4, 2007

The world around me rages A never-ending storm The pressures, stress and heartache Each day new pain is born But in the midst of all this A seed of peace is grown I lift my eyes toward Heaven And find Your sweet shalom A calm beyond all logic Begins to bathe my heart If only I will be still My anxiousness departs Oh Master of the ages That You would notice me? That You would note my struggles That You would set me free My thoughts I place before You Now captive to Your will All strongholds now are broken Obedience fulfilled The lifetime peace I fought…  ( Click for more )

October 28, 2007
Ever since I committed to walking/talking Philippians 2:14 ("Do everything without complaining or arguing"), it seems every waking moment has been a test for me to blow it --- in a big way. Little things and medium things - thank God, nothing earth-shattering... but a litany of life leeches that daily bleed you to death! About 3 o'clock yesterday, a work incident that had been simmering all day finally boiled over into a full-blown fire drill. By the time I left the office, the stress was churning inside me like hot lava waiting to explode. Can I tell you how tempted I…  ( Click for more )
October 21, 2007

Bigger this and more of that Nasty wants wrapped in “I need” Newer, better, more improved N’eer the wrappings, it’s still greed

A pair of shoes to match that purse I haven’t got a thing to wear Extravagance don’t mean a thing When third world country feet go bare

Faster laptops, shiny cars Books, CDs and gourmet meals Redecorate, upgrade, expand it Numb your conscious till you can’t feel

The little empty spot inside you The whisper of the Voice within That lovingly reminds you softly, “My child, greed…  ( Click for more )

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