Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fullness of Time... Fullness of Grace

"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons." Galatians 4:4-5(NASB)
We as humans are procrastinators by nature. We say things like,"It's not the right time yet." We hear things like, "It was the right time, and the right place."
Approximately 700 years passed from the time that Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be born to a virgin and Jesus was actually born. We might ask, "What was God waiting for?".
The fullness of time...
He was waiting for the perfect time, in fact He had the perfect plan that was set in motion from even the beginning of time.
This Scripture tells us "at the fullness of time". God sent forth His Son. Do you fully realize what all this entails?
When Jesus was born there was a star that appeared in the sky that was so distinct that the Wise Men knew to follow it. That means that when Jesus spoke the world and the universe into existence, He knew that at just the right time, when He Himself was born, this star would be apparent to these wise men.
I look at it like a cup that is so full, it is about to run over. An egg that has the baby chick is born "in the fullness of time". At just the right time, the egg cracks. When a human baby is born, we as it's Mother have no control of when he or she will be born. At the "fullness of time" it knows when to come.
So, in the "fullness of time, God sent forth"... and Mary "brought forth..."
God in His love and mercy, "sent forth His Son" to us! He emptied His heaven of His own Son, so that we could be His sons and daughters also! God wanted to be a Father to us.
Abba, Father... Daddy.
He knew that we could not keep the law, so He sent forth one who could. He would live a sinless, perfect life so that we could be free! We could be adopted by God into His family! We have the awesome privilege and honor of calling God Almighty Father, Abba, Daddy.
We are redeemed, purchased by Christ. He bought us back. He reconciled us to God. Just like the line in the carol, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". ..."God and sinners reconciled", saved, redeemed, adopted!
I will join with the angels and sing..."Glory to the newborn King... God and sinners ( that's me) reconciled!" Glory to God in the Highest be praised, we have been given the most valuable Christmas present of all, Salvation and a place in God's family!
I thank God for His "fullness of time"... and fullness of grace.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Untangling Christmas"

Recently when I was sick I downloaded several free, or inexpensive Christmas books for Kindle. I have been reading, "Untangling Christmas: Your go to guide for a Hassle Free Holiday" by Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice.
Just the cover caught my eye with the Christmas lights tangled around the young woman's legs. That's a good example of how we feel as busy women during the holidays! Why do we do that to ourselves?
Some good ideas she has are to talk to your family members and ask them what Christmas traditions are important to them. Even the dishes you fix. Does your family even like them? There are a lot of things that we put on ourselves during the holidays that maybe your family doesn't even like. So why not just let it go? You don't have to bake that fruitcake that nobody even likes! You don't have to do Christmas cards if it is something that takes up too much time away from what is important. Learn to let some things go!
One of the main themes in the book is: "Simplify, What speaks "Christmas" to you and your particular loved ones? Whatever doesn't... : LET IT GO. Just keep the Christmas traditions that unify your family and that are meaningful. So ask yourself, "What else can you let go of and not feel guilty about?"
Karen says, "Let's let go of "Perfect", our house doesn't have to look like it was featured on HGTV." We don't have to try to be Martha Stewart. ( She might need to get real anyway!)
She asks, " Are we trying to make memories and celebrate Jesus or are we trying to keep pace with the holiday crowd running beside us with no idea where they are headed?"
" Just where are you headed? Toward Christ and calm or toward clamor and chaos!"
I like the Chapter entitled "To Face Unafraid The Plans That We've Made". What kinds of grand plans have you made for you and your family for this Christmas? Can you face it "unafraid", or do you dread it because you have bitten off more than you can chew?
Karen had a great idea in her book about putting a box under your tree with pieces of paper that you have written things you want to do for Jesus in the coming year. Also put a nativity scene under the tree to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. I like this idea. I think we will incorporate this for our family.
I did send out Christmas cards this year, but not as many. This Christmas season let's take a time-out for ourselves. Time to pause, " Bible and heart opened wide, and ponder the wonder of Christmas- the Word- made- flesh who came to earth in a lowly manger so we might have eternal life."
So let's take this good advice from one of the Chapter titles and "Seek the Saviour", wise "women" do still seek Him.
Stop and ask yourself, "Am I all tangled up this Christmas?" We don't have to be. Take some time and reflect on all the things that you are trying to get accomplished this Christmas. You may want to cut some of these things out. Cut your to-do list. It's okay, give yourself a break. Your family and friends will not mind. They will still have a good Christmas, and they will still love you. No one is giving out super-woman awards anyway!
So, let's "Untangle" our Christmas. What do you say?!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jesus Christ, " The Branch"

What is one thing that rich or poor has to have during Christmas? I think it's probably a Christmas tree. I want to think about the meaning of part of the tree today.
The "Branch"
The part of the tree that branches out away from the trunk.
I have been studying prophetic verses about Christ during this Christmas season. Today I want to reflect on the "Branch" scriptures.
Zechariah 3:8 says, "... I am going to bring in My servant, the Branch."
Zechariah 6:12 "... Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD."
Isaiah 4:2 " In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the pride and adornment of the survivors of Israel.
Isaiah 11:1 " Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit."
Jeremiah 23:5 " Behold, the days are coming", declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land."
Jeremiah 33:15 " In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth."
The "Branch" is a "growth" or literally "sprout". This is a "sprout" of Yahweh (LORD) Himself. The righteous "shoot" (tsemah) appeared to be decayed or dead, but it was not.
Joseph came from the line of David, but his family had seemingly lost all claims to the throne because they were poor. But this dynasty of David's tree would burst forth like a shoot.
This ruler, Jesus. will spring forth, or bud forth as a Righteous plant. He is the blossom of the Jewish nation that will spring forth from what appears to be a dead stump.
The coming Messiah would be a joy and honor in the days of calamity to the Jews. But not only that, this branch became "beautiful". He sprouted and brought forth fruits of divine grace, righteousness, reconciliation, peace, pardon, adoption, sanctification and eternal life. He also became "glorious". He was glorious when He rose from the dead.
The gospel IS the fruit of the Branch.
This Christmas when you take off your ornaments that you placed on the tree, let's think about Christ "The Branch".
He needs no ornaments, He was the Branch, and yet He Himself was also the ornaments. He brought forth these glorious "ornaments" that I mentioned above. The peace, pardon, grace, salvation, etc.
These are the most glorious, and beautiful ornaments of all.
You and I as Christians have been en grafted into Jesus Christ, The Branch. Romans 11:16-24.
Who knows? Maybe next year when you put your tree up you will remember about Christ,
"The Branch", and you will stand back and look at this bear tree, think about Christ and all that He gave to us and say, " Thank you Lord that You are my beautiful and glorious Branch."
Let's think differently about the Christmas tree from now on. That the most beautiful part of the Christmas tree are not the ornaments... but the Branch.
( I credit part of this information which was gathered from commentaries from

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"God Make You Strong and Valiant Gentlemen"

The Christmas carol, "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" is over 500 years old.
It is a song of Joy and Celebration. We often sing Christmas Carols each year because of tradition
without knowing their meaning, and such is the case with this Christmas carol.

I recently received a devotional from "Girlfriends in God" and they were talking about the actual meaning of this. So I also researched it and it was interesting to find out the true, historical meaning of this carol.

To understand the first line of the hymn, "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," years ago, the words
"rest" and "merry" had different meanings. "Merry" meant strong or valiant, as
in Robin Hood and his merry men: they were not happy, but strong and valiant.
Rest meant, "to make." So the line means, "God make you strong and valiant,
gentlemen." The next line then makes sense, "Let nothing you dismay". How can we be strong and courageous in the face of difficulties? The next line tells us how.

"Remember, Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day." The coming of God to be
with us and that He might bear our sins is sufficient reason to be strong and courageous in this world. If God be for us my friends, then who can be against us?
So... God rest ye merry, Gentlemen (and women).
The real meaning of this IS "good tidings of comfort and joy!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness (Operation Candy Cane)

During this Christmas season people are hurrying and scurrying about. The people you encounter at the check-out line are barely acknowledged. I have watched as I stand in line how rudely some of them are treated. So I decided to let the love of Christ show in little ways.
Operation candy cane.
Random acts of kindness.
Last weekend I did some Christmas shopping and I decided that I would give a candy cane to every cashier that helped me with my purchases. It was such a surprise to them when I would give them a candy cane and a smile and say, "Merry Christmas!"
I love the way their faces would light up, and they would smile back. They would tell me, "Merry Christmas!", in return. At Starbucks I was getting myself a treat. I gave the young man his candy cane, and he got so excited he turned to all of his coworkers and said, "Hey everybody, look what I got!"
So, I am challenging you to participate with me in operation candy cane. Let's lift the spirits of the people we come in contact with during the remaining Christmas season. Whatever random acts of kindness you can think of will be great.
Pay for the person's coffee in line behind you at Starbucks. Hide a dollar bill inside the toys at the Dollar Store. People have really shown their worst side during this holiday time. (Just think back of the stories on black Friday). Why don't we as Christians show the world something different? Wouldn't it be great if so many people did this that they reported this on the news instead of the fighting?
Let the joy of Christ that we have in our hearts splash over on others. In some of the stores I go in frequently, the girls know me. Stop and ask their names. Befriend them.
I'm not quite done with my Christmas shopping yet. Instead of dreading it, I'm looking forward to giving out my candy canes!
So, next time you go shopping, give it a try. Give out some candy canes. You may find that you lift two spirits at once. Theirs, and yours!

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Christmas... where can I go to rest?!

Title of picture: "Come To Me"

Peace... that seems to be what everyone wishes for. You even see the sentiment expressed on Christmas cards this time of year. "Peace on earth, good will toward men." We are all looking for peace in a world where we can find very little of it.
Now close your eyes and picture the Christmas holiday time in America, or in your home. Do you think of peace? Are you thinking, I can't wait for Christmas this year because it is so peaceful? I know, it's just a dream right?
Well what if it doesn't have to be?
Recently I was sick and so I was forced to stay home. At least for this brief time, I wasn't running to and fro like a chicken with his head cut off! You know what I discovered (other than the fact I hate being sick)? I discovered "peace".
I discovered that I don't have to do all of the things that I think I have to do during the holidays! That's right, it was slower and it was sooooo nice.
I went online and downloaded some free Christmas books. I sat by the fire and read them. I read through the Bible looking for prophetical Scripture about Jesus birth. I made do with what I had without running to the store every five minutes. I became more relaxed, at peace. I was forced to rest.
In looking through the scriptures I found this verse yesterday, " Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls..."
I was meditating on what the meaning of this is. The Lord Himself was telling Judah to Stop, and think, as if they were at a crossroads. These paths crossed, or converged. Stop, and see, and then ask. Ask someone wiser which is the best path. There is a path that you can choose that is "the good way". It is a path that is ancient. God prepared it from long ago. He tells you if you choose this path, you will find rest for your souls.
Rest, peace, isn't that what everyone wants? This peace is an eternal rest. When you find it you will have a peace that passes all understanding.
What is this ancient path? This path leads to Jesus. The other leads to chaos and death.
Augustine said, " Our souls can find no rest until they rest in Thee."
Jesus said, " Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS." Matthew 11:28-29 My Bible has these words capitalized because Jesus is quoting Scripture and many believe He is quoting this text in Jeremiah.
Many people are uneasy because they are not at peace with God. They know and sense that something is wrong inside, but they don't know what the cause is. So what do they do, especially this time of year? They run for the "stuff"! They think maybe if I buy this new gadget, or the new wide-screened T.V. or anything you can imagine, fill in the blank, I will find peace. Then when they have it, they find out it didn't bring them any peace or happiness.
What is the answer? We find peace in Jesus. Jesus said, "Come to Me... and He would be the giver of rest. He would give you peace.
Go to the manger, take time out of your busy, hectic schedule and just draw near to the Lord. Spend time with Him in quiet reflection of what He did when He came to earth to be born as a little baby. He didn't come empty handed, He came bearing gifts. The greatest gift was salvation and the other was peace. Peace... why would anyone not want that?
Ahhh... peace and rest, now doesn't that sound wonderful?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hallelujah Light Has Come!

I was reading my Bible this morning and came across this verse," The LORD is God, and He has given us light..." Psalm 118: 27. The Psalmist is thanking the Lord for His light and all of His goodness in this Psalm.
I was thinking about this verse in "light" of this Christmas season. David spoke of a "light", but there was one to come whom Himself would be this light and bring this light. I wanted to list a few of these verses about this great "light".
Isaiah 9:2 (NASB) "The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them."
Isaiah 60: 1 ( NASB) “Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you."
John 1:4-5 (NASB)" In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
John 8:12 (NASB)"Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
John 12:46 (NASB)" I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness."
2 Corinthians 4:6 (NASB)" For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
1 John 1:5 (NASB)" This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all."
This God who spoke the words, "Let there be light" and light was. He Himself IS light. He had an only begotten Son who was also THE light. He wanted to bring light for us to see with our eyes, but He also cared and loved us so much that He sent His Son, the "light of the world", to illumine our hearts and show us the way. We live in a dark world, but we don't need to stumble around in darkness. God has provided that light for us in His Son.
In John 8 Jesus was speaking during the Feasts of Booths or better know as the Feasts of Tabernacles. One of the features of this feast is light. They would light up the temple, and people would also ascend the temple steps with lights. Can you imagine the scene when all of these lights are all around? Then Jesus says, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life. (Light of the living)
We have so much to celebrate as Christians this time of year! We have been given the greatest gift we could have ever received and that is the gift of Jesus Himself. He came to give us eternal life. This One comes with a light that never dies! It never needs batteries!
Hallelujah, Light Has come! We never have to live in the darkness ever again!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Don't forget to remember

Psalm 103:2 says, " Bless the LORD, Oh my soul, and forget none of His benefits;"
We can get so busy during this holiday time that we "forget to remember". This Psalm helps us to remember everything the Lord has done for us.
I want to take some time today on this Thanksgiving day to remember some of these benefits, or blessings.
In this passage of Psalms it lists for us some of God's great blessings to us.
1. Forgiveness, vs 3 says, " Who pardons all your iniquities." We can be thankful today that we have been forgiven by God. Not just some of our sins, but all of them.
I John 1: 9 says "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
2. Healing, vs 3 continues by saying, " Who heals all your diseases." Have you stopped to thank God for your healing of even the smallest of sicknesses? He designed our bodies to have "anti-bodies" to be able to fight off sickness. There are so many things that we take for granted that our bodies can do without us even thinking about it! We truly are "wonderfully made!"
3. Redemption, vs 4 says, " Who redeems your life from the pit,"
We have been redeemed by the Lord, He alone has saved us from the pit of hell! Thanks be to God for this! He purchased us by His own blood. Let's take the time to thank Him for this today.
4. Love and compassion vs 4 continues by saying, " Who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion;" As if being redeemed and being saved from the pit of hell weren't enough, He caps it all off by "crowning" us with love, kindness and compassion!
Our you aware of these wonderful gifts He has given you today?!
Salvation wasn't enough. He wants you to know His love.
1 John 3:1" How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
God's love is lavish! Extravagant! He gave His only Son because of His lavish love! Thank you God for your great love you lavish on us today!
5. Provision vs 5 says, " Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle."
Well if forgiveness,healing, redemption, love and compassion weren't enough, He also provides for us. The verse says that he gives us satisfaction in our years with "good things". This is very broad. There are so many "good things" to list, I'm not trying to sound like Martha Stewart, with her quote, "and that's a good thing.". I just want us to stop and think today of all of the good things that he has given to us.
It makes us feel so satisfied that it refreshes us so that our youth is renewed! I am not getting any younger, so this is a great encouragement to me. He is not saying that we will be young again. Believe it or not, I wouldn't want to be. He is saying we can still carry on with our life and be renewed in our spirit by "forgetting not all these benefits."
Lord, I want to take the time today to remember all your benefits toward me. This is just a small list. If I took the time to list them all this paper could not hold it all. But Lord, I do thank you for all of these things and more that you have so lavishly satisfied me with.
Thank you... thank you.... thank you... I will remember Lord, I will remember....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Graces

Thanksgiving Graces
You only are the maker Of all things near and far; You paint the wayside flower, You light the evening star. The winds and waves obey you, By you the birds are fed; Much more to us your children, You give our daily bread. We thank you then, Creator, For all things bright and good, The seed time and the harvest, Our life, our health, our food. Amen. —Matthias Claudius, 1740–1815
Oh my God, for providing senses to enjoy delights, for thy royal bounty providing my daily support, for a full table and overflowing cup, for appetite, taste, sweetness, for social joys of relatives and friends for opportunities of spreading happiness around, for loved ones in the joys of heaven, I love thee above the powers of language to express, For what thou art to thy creatures. Amen. —17th–century Puritan meditation
Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and may our meal by you be blest. —Martin Luther, 1483–1546
For health and food For love and friends; For everything Thy goodness sends We thank Thee.—Ralph Waldo Emerson,, 1803–1882
Blessed Lord, we pray thee to be present at our table hallowing thy gifts to our use; that eating to satisfy our needs we may remember those who lack. —St. Francis of Assisi, c. 1181–1226
For when we gladly eat our daily bread, We bless The Hand that feeds us; And when we trod the road of life in cheerfulness Our very heart-beats praise the Lord that leads us. —Henry Van Dyke, 1852–1933
(Borrowed from Women of Faith)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thou Shalt Laugh...

Knock knock... Who's There?
Doris Who?
Doris locked that's why I'm knocking!
You may like knock knock jokes, you may not, but I bet if you are a human you love to laugh!
Something I am thankful for today is LAUGHTER! Ha ha hee hee ho ho, or as I see on facebook Bwahhaaaha! Nothing is as good for you as a good, gut busting, belly laugh. It's like a tonic!
The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 " A merry heart is good medicine..." (KJV) in the (NASB), it says "a joyful heart." Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, " There's a time to laugh."
I am so thankful that God created us to be able to laugh. When God created man he said that "it was good." That means that everything that He created us to be able to do was good! To put it into a Biblical vernacular, it's like God said, "Thou shalt laugh."
I am a happy person by nature. I love to laugh and I love to make other people laugh. My family is the same way. My grandmother, Sadie Hawkins( yes, that was her real name), was quite a cut-up and she loved to make people laugh. My husband Steve, daughter Ashley, and my son Daniel also make me laugh. Whenever we all get together, we crack each other up!
When I get together with the ladies in my Sunday school class we are always laughing. Don't get me wrong. During our Sunday school time we are studying Scripture. But when we have our Sunday School Socials we are laughing and talking.
When I have the great opportunity of going to a Chamber Choir reunion with the group that I sang in at LU, the sounds that prevail are laughter.
Some great quotes that I found about laughter are:
"Laughter is an instant vacation." Milton Berle
"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." Victor Borge
" A good time to laugh is anytime you can." Linda Elerbee
"A laugh is a smile that bursts." Mary H. Waldrip
" What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." Yiddish Proverb
So if you want to feel better today, don't reach for the Valium, or other things that promise that you will feel good. Maybe instead you should watch a clean comedy, or go out with your girlfriends. Call an old friend that makes you laugh..
I bet you will start to feel better in no time!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jesus... Indescribable!

November is here already! I want to take some time this month to share some thoughts of gratitude.
Thankful for Jesus my Saviour.
The Door
The Bridge
Mighty God
Peace speaker
Grace giver
Burden bearer
Spotless lamb
My Shepherd
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
Healer of hurts
Lifter of my head
Lover of my soul
Justified the unjust
Glorifier and the Glorified
Magnifier and the Magnified
Name above all Names
Jesus... Indescribable!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Week of NO weakness

This week I am attending "Week of NO weakness". This was the idea of Kenlie Hall, a Christian young lady in Hocutt's Youth group. She is doing this for her Senior Project. I want to personally say, "Thank you Kenlie, we are very proud of you at Hocutt." "The future of Hocutt will be in good hands with young people like you."
"Week of No weakness" is where you wear a wristband that Kenlie had made. It says, "Week of No weakness, Joshua 1:9". The idea is to wear this wristband for the week of October 24. But I am sure many will wear this well beyond this date.
Kenlie has 886 people signed up to participate in this event. She has given out 1,400 wristbands to people all over the country, and also Ethiopia, and Afghanistan.
If you are not familiar with this verse it says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
I love how The Message reads, " Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take."
God is saying here that He has already told them to be strong. In Joshua 1:6 " Be strong and courageous..." Joshua 1:7 " Only be strong and very courageous...". So when we get to verse 9, God has already said this twice before and He emphasizes this for a third time. Do you think He was trying to drive His point home? I think if someone repeats something three times, they mean what they say, don't you?
I know as a Mom, I would do that with my children when they were little. I would repeat myself to make sure they were getting what I was saying to them. Sometimes I would even have them repeat it back to me!
How can we go through life and not be timid, or tremble with fear? Especially in the world we live in today? God Himself answered that for us in the last part of verse 9. Our great YAHWEH God is with us wherever we go! Every step we take in this unsteady world, He is right there with us. In fact, Isaiah 41:13 says, " For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."
So in conclusion, not only does our personal God go with us every step we take, but He holds us by our right hand. If we stumble, or slip, He has our hand. I can rely on His strength when I am weak.
He will not let me fall!
He gave them a command and it was "Be strong",banish fear, and take your courage! After all, the commander of the great army of God, our God Himself, is with us and holding our hand! Praise God, even when I am "weak", He is strong! He gives me strength in this journey called life.
Let's march on in His strength!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Koinonia Reflections

Just returned from a Women's Retreat at Fort Caswell on Oak Island, N.C. I thought I would share some thoughts about our "shared" experience this past weekend.
I believe that we not only experienced a greater "oneness" with the Lord, but also the true "Koinonia". A oneness in spirit with one another.
I looked up the definition for Koinonia and it means: fellowship, to share with one another a possession held in common. What is shared, received, or given becomes the common ground through which Koinonia becomes real, and this past weekend I believe it became real. Real to me, and real to many of women there in attendance.
I am reminded of the friendship between David and Jonathan in the Bible. The Bible says in I Samuel 18:1 that David and Jonathan were "one in spirit". That is how I felt with the women that I "retreated" with. One is spirit... How can this take place? We can be one in the spirit because we have the same Spirit that dwells in each of us! It is The Holy Spirit communing with the Holy Spirit in the other Sister in Christ.
Reflecting "retreat" thoughts...
deeply loving
shared memories
glorious victories
saved marriages
spoken truth
sweet prayers
carried burdens
wee-hour discussions
good food
fed souls
hidden talents uncovered
belly laughs
long walks on the beach
God's magnificent creation
wind blown faces
kissed by God
refreshment in the Word
lessons learned
tear stained faces
Christ exalted
enduring bonds...
lasting friendships...
deeply loving
from the heart

Monday, October 10, 2011

Poetry in Scripture

I have fallen in love with poetry lately. My eye is just drawn to it. Poetry in the turn of a word or phrase. Poetry in nature. Poetry in many things in my life.
Today I read beautiful words in scripture. Poetic words from the Psalmist David.
" When you lie down among the sheepfolds, You are like the wings of a dove covered with silver, and its pinions with glistening gold." Psalm 68: 13 (NASB)
Can you imagine the beauty of it? A dove is a beautiful creature, especially the all white ones. Can you picture what a dove would look like that is covered with silver and his wings are gold? The imagery of this is breath taking.
"When you lie down among the sheepfolds..." Jesus is our sheepfold. He is the shepherd that lies down at the entrance of the gate. We enter through Him. He has made a way for us to enter to this place where we can find rest. We get to lie down and be at peace and rest in the Lord. He provides that rest for us. He beckons us to rest.
Gratitude for...
The shepherd...
Gratitude for...
Poetry in Scripture...
in nature..
in life...
Gratitude for...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Grace Space

grace space...
a space in your soul
reflections of Himself...
His image
cracked the space
Still reflecting...
God did chase...
made you whole...
With His grace...
He filled...
His place
with Himself...
what wonder...
magnificent, undeserved
grace space
" But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2: 4-5

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I Hope...

i hope...
Two powerful words...
i hope... this seed will become food.
i hope... this bulb will be a beautiful daffodil
i hope... my baby will be healthy
i hope... my child will love the Lord
i husband will always love me
i hope... my cancer will be healed
i hope...I will not lose my job
i hope... We won't lose our home
i hope...I will make new friends
i hope... to be loved and accepted
i hope...I will always hope
i the Lord
Hope is something we need. It makes us put one foot in front of the other on the days we feel we can't go one. But in pondering the word "hope", it is essential to life. When a person "gives up hope" they don't have anything to live for.
I believe that hope comes from the Lord.
Psalm 119:49 "...for you have given me hope."
Looking at an acorn. I don't think the acorn is saying ," I hope... I will be a mighty oak tree." The tiny acorn may fall to the ground and without thinking about it, or concentrating.
It will...
crack open...
grow and grow... until...
It's a mighty oak tree.
It's becomes what it was created to be. It has what was placed within it by God...
the code.
So, I will have faith in what the Lord has given me...
His hope....
His love...
His eternal life... both now and forever more.
Psalm 13:3 "... put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Book of Remembrance

Last Saturday we buried a sweet, dear woman of God. She lived with Alzheimer's disease the latter part of her life. I loved watching how her husband and children cared for her and doted on her. She would come to church on Sunday nights with her husband and she would do her best to follow along and pay attention. They usually sat behind me so I was privy to hear what she would whisper to her beloved. She would usually say, "What book was that?" What chapter did he say?" She was still eager to learn about the Holy Word of God.
So when the Lord lead me to the book of Malachi a few days before she passed away, I paid special attention to a particular passage. Malachi 3: 16-17 (NASB) says, " Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who esteem His name. "They will be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "on the day I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him."
The Lord is speaking here and He says that those who fear the Lord, (another version says "reverence my name"), spoke to one another. This is saying that if you reverence the Lord and you are talking to one another about Him, He has someone writing these things down in front of Him. This is a book of remembrance. It says "the LORD gave attention and heard it", or "He hearkens to hear it", as if He is stooping down, to hear everything that you are saying in honor of His name. Lastly, the scripture says, "They will be Mine," (KJV) says," they are my jewels". Oh my, I have to tell you that this was like taking some kind of tonic for my heart! It just made my heart leap for joy to read those words!
I am in awe that the God of the universe cares about my little conversation with another Christian. When we hallow His name He has it written down in a book of remembrance. He also calls me one of His jewels! This is almost more than I can fathom! How could anyone not love a God like this?
So, to tie this all together, Betty Lambert could not remember a lot of things in her latter days, but God had it all written down for her. When we can't remember, He does, and that's such a comfort to me. He knows that Betty once talked about Him and how much she loved Him. Even when she couldn't remember, God kept these memories for her and stored it in a beloved book of remembrance. But now that Betty is in heaven... She remembers everything and she is seeing her Saviour face to face. The Lord may have said something like this, "Welcome home my sweet jewel, I remember you and love you and that's the most important thing." "Your mind is fully restored and whole again. "Enter into the joy of your salvation."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Skipping Isn't Just For Kids

Have you ever watched a child skip? I have, it caused me to wonder why we stop skipping when we are adults. When you watch a child skip they effuse so much joy that it becomes contagious. With abandon they skip, not caring what anyone thinks of them. Something within them makes them want to do this. Like something is just welling up within them.

I came across an obscure scripture this morning and I have just been meditating on it all day. It says, "But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall." Malachi 4:2 (NASB)

Another version says those who revere My name. When we have reverence for God, we want to honor and magnify Him. We love Him. We want to keep His commandments, we pay attention to Him and His Word and we want to obey Him.

I believe that this sun of righteousness is none other than Jesus the coming Messiah. He is who we place our hope upon. Now we look for His second coming with great anticipation!

Have you ever watched a young calf skip about in a field? My Dad had cows when I was a little girl. They are so cute when they skip around. When they are let out of their stalls into an open field they just skip around in delight of the freedom. When we belong to the Lord we have freedom in Christ. He alone has the ability of giving us what our hearts truly long for...real and lasting joy, freedom and happiness. He fulfills the longings of our souls. We are content in Him.

Suddenly I feel like skipping! Who would like to join me?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Slow Cooker Rosemary-Garlic Beef Roast

I love this cool weather! One draw back though is my herbs are not looking so great, so I have been looking for recipes to add my herbs to. Here is a recipe that I found that I think is a keeper.

Slow Cooker Rosemary-Garlic Beef Roast


1Tb. olive or vegetable oil

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

5-6 lb. beef boneless roast

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 Tb. chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

1 medium onion, sliced

1 cup beef broth

3 Tb. chili sauce

1/3 cup all purpose flour


In a small bowl, mix oil and Worcestershire sauce; brush over beef roast. Rub roast evenly with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. In slow cooker, add onion. Pour 1/4 cup of the broth over the onion. (Can also add other veggies i.e. mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, etc. if you add a lot of vegetables, put them on the bottom and then the roast, must also add more liquid. About 2 to 3 cups of liquid to cover the vegetables.)

Cover and cook on Low heat setting 8 to 9 hours. Can also cook on High for 4-6 hours.

Remove beef from cooker, cover to keep warm. In small bowl, mix remaining 3/4 cup broth, the chili sauce and flour, stir into hot mixture in cooker. Increase heat setting to High. Cook uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Serve gravy with beef. If you want to make this lower in calories, just skip the gravy.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Poetic Reflection From My Daughter of September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001... We can all remember what we were doing that day. I watched this nightmare all play out on T.V. After the second plane crashed into the second tower, I thought, "Oh no, this is not an accident!" My second thought as a Mom went straight to my kids and wondering if they were alright. How would they be affected by this? What are they thinking and feeling? Well, later that day when my 14 year old daughter, Ashley came home, she wrote a poem about what she felt that horrific day. I have kept it for 10 years and would like to share it with you today.

United We Stand

September 11th, that was the day
When hate unleashed itself'
And innocent people had to pay.

Out of the depth of hell
Came terrorists filled with rage
Along with the towers they fell
They let evil out of it's cage.

The evil that was let go
It was hateful and savage
It was felt high and low
And through the towers it ravaged.

All the people who were killed
In the planes and towers there
Have ultimately instilled
A tremendous need for prayer.

Evil left thousands dead
It caused fear that made us blind
Because we can't see what's ahead
And we can't get free from what we've left behind.

This had also revealed
Who is weak and strong
At the wreckage they peeled
And searched all night long.

Amidst the hate they gave compassion
They taught us not to fear those
Who thought hate was the fashion
These are true heroes.

We are now filled with sorrow
But lessons are what we've gained
Because we aren't promised tomorrow
And that can not be explained.

It's only by God we can get through
This evil that has no face
He is the only way that's true
He carries us with His grace.

This tragic day of September
It has touched one and all
But one thing we must remember
United We Stand- Divided We Fall.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back to School God's Way

I always looked forward to buying my children the back to school supplies. There is something about the new freshly sharpened pencils and the clean, white paper that just says, "Fresh start",. A new beginning. I'm not sure if the kids in school feel this way. I wanted to write a note of encouragement to them and to us all.
l. God is your most important teacher in your life.
Psalm 32: 8 says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you." God is speaking here. What a privilege and honor, to have the most capable, intelligent, best teacher and instructor we could possibly have for our life. Yes, listen to your earthly teachers God has given you this year and learn from them. Make sure, above all that you listen to your heavenly Father for His teaching and guidance in your life.
2. Commit your work to the Lord.
Proverbs 16:3 says, " Commit your works to the LORD and your plans will be established."
I challenge you this year, if you have never done this to pray over your work. Whatever homework, term paper, or test coming up, pray and ask the Lord to help you. Ask Him to help you as you study. Ask Him to help you do your best in all of your work and see how this year turns out.
3. God goes with you to school.
I have seen many posts about how God has been kicked out of schools. In a way that is true. But in another way it isn't. Yes, they have taken prayer out of school. But they can't stop you from praying to yourself. If you are a Christian student you take the Lord with you everywhere you go! Psalm 139:7 states, " Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? No matter where you go as a Christian, you cannot get away from God. He is with you wherever you go. He is there to guide you, counsel you, fellowship with you all day. Don't forget about Him while you are at school.
A. Represent Him well.
Because of point number three, you need to represent the Lord at school. If you say that you are a Christian, act like it! Because the Lord goes with you everywhere, you should be sensitive to His Holy Spirit within you. Ask yourself a few questions.
1. If I say this, use this language, will it be pleasing to the Lord?
2. If I speak this way to someone will it build them up, or tear them down?
4. Give it your best.
When our kids were young we drummed this into their little heads. Whatever you do in school, all we ask is you do your best. Do your best in your school work, for the Lord. A great scripture to remember is, " Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men." Colossians 3: 23. Forget about pleasing Mom, forget about pleasing your teacher! No, you read that right! Let me put it this way. If you do your best in your work and do it as unto the Lord, you WILL please your teacher, and your parents! Notice this verse says "whatever you do...". This means notes, school work, whatever you are doing in this stage of your life. For a young person, that means your school work and being a good student.
I would like to close by saying a prayer for you students for this coming year.
Dear Lord, I pray that this year the students will remember that you are their teacher and guide. I pray that they would realize on a daily basis that you go with them. You will never leave them or forsake them. I pray that they will represent you well at their school. That other students and even their teacher would be drawn to you because of these student's lives. Lord, help them to commit their work to you in every assignment they would ask for your help. Help them to do their work as unto You Lord. Help them to have a successful school year, but success found in and through You. Thank you Lord for who You are, and all that you will do in these student's lives this school year. In Jesus name I pray.
I am so excited for you. Now, go back to school... God's way!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

God is speaking... are you listening?

Yesterday Virginia experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. People from surrounding areas felt the movement of the earth. My husband Steve said it shook his chair, and office. I called my family in VA and my sister said her chair was shaking. Even without any real significant damage this has a way of "shaking" us up.
As I was thinking about the earthquake and the impending hurricane that may be headed our way in N.C.,I began to think about some scriptures that I think are becoming very significant for our time.
Haggai 2: 6 says, "For thus says the LORD of hosts,'Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land." In Luke 21:11 it also says, " and there will be great earthquakes, in various places, plagues and famines, and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven." There is a terrible famine right now in Somalia. People are fleeing to Kenya to try to get food. There are huge refugee tent camps now in Kenya for these people that are literally starving to death. This scripture is being fulfilled right now.
These are signs that the birth pains are coming for the End times. I believe that we can be terrified during these times, or God can use it to wake us up. If your world was "shaken" yesterday and you are fine, God is giving you grace. He is giving you another chance to get right with Him. So many people want to say, "Oh, God is not fair!" God is more than fair! He is giving warning, after warning. If people do not heed His warnings it should not be God that gets the blame! God is fulfilling what He said that He would do in Scripture. God always keeps His promises and His Word.
If you are a Christian in name only, it is time to get right with God! God is gracious and merciful, always abounding in love. He will be faithful and just to forgive you of your sins as it says in I John 1:9 if you confess and turn from your sin and back to Him.
If you are not a Christian, time is running out for you to have that chance. Please turn to Him and place your faith and trust in Him and receive Him as your Lord and Saviour today. Today is the day for your salvation. Do not put it off. We are not promised tomorrow, and you need only to look around at these signs being fulfilled. Read your newspaper and see the events that are taking place. The riots in the UK and the uprisings in the Middle East. Matt. 24:12 says, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." People are breaking the law, and it is causing those of us on T.V. that watch it to become numb to it. We are being conditioned to except this as the norm. We yawn, and say, " Oh well, that's just how the world is today." Ho, hum... PEOPLE WE NEED TO WAKE UP!
Awake from your slumber people! God is speaking to you. The God of the universe, that created the world and all that is in it including you, is trying to communicate to you! Are you listening? Are you on good terms with Him? Did you speak to Him this morning or at all yet today?
Listen, He is speaking... in the earth as it trembles.
Listen, He is speaking... in the sea as it roars.
Even in judgement, there is still good news for His people. Joel 3:16 says, The Lord roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble. But the Lord is a refuge for His people..." Even when the earth shakes and the seas roar all around us. We can be sure that if we belong to Him, He is a refuge for us. I thank the Lord for this.
Listen, He is speaking in the still small voice.
Are you listening? Do you hear Him? Listen... while you still have time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to stay married for 30 years or longer

Steve and I recently celebrated our 30Th wedding anniversary on August 8Th. Also, I recently had a manicure done and the lady asked me, " How long have you been married?" I told her 30 years, and she said, "How do you stay married to someone for that long?" So, I decided that I would try to put the answer to her into words for anyone to read that may be interested.
l. Love is the biggest ingredient of course. You stay with your mate because you love them and you want to be with them. In fact, you couldn't imagine living your life without them! Along with this would be respect. You should show each other respect. This is a two sided coin described in the Scripture. Eph. 5:28 says, " So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself." Eph. 5: 33 says, "... and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Show each other the respect and love like you did when you first got married. There are several ways to keep your love renewed.
a. Don't forget to touch. Keep on hugging and kissing y'all! Enough said.
b.We go on a weekly date. We have gone to lunch together every Friday since our children were little. This is a standing date that we look forward to each week.
c.. We are courteous to one another. ( Consider each other's feelings, treat each other with the kind of courtesy you would at least give to a friend, such as saying please, thank you, good morning, good night, and always kiss each other good night.)
d. We keep no record of wrongs. The Bible speaks about this in I Corinthians 13: 5 "... does not take into account a wrong suffered." Don't bring back up things that happened in ancient history. Let it remain ancient history and in the past.
e. Don't always have to have your own way. Don't be selfish! You don't always have to have everything your own way, always have to be right, or always have to have the last word! Your marriage is asking for trouble if this is describing you! Again, I Cor. 13:4"... seeks not it's own way."
f. Be free with your "I'm sorries". If you have a problem in your marriage that is your fault and you never apologize, this causes resentments to build up. It is like building an invisible brick wall one brick at a time. Until you just cannot be heard when you speak. Your mate may soon begin to treat you like you are invisible!
g. Keep the lines of communication open. Keep on talking to each other! Steve and I have coffee together every morning outside, where there is no T.V., no phone, no distractions, and we just talk about different things, i.e. plans for the day, politics, the church, all different subjects. You need to practice talking, and don't just talk about the children.
h. R& R. This does not stand for rest and relaxation ( although that does not hurt either) This stands for reminisce and remember the good old days! Think back and remember why you fell in love with your spouse in the first place! What was it that drew you to this person? What were the qualities that you admired in your mate? Remember all of the fun things that you have done together. Be nostalgic!
2. Keep Christ in the center of your marriage. This is the most important thing. Steve and I are not a two stranded rope, but our marriage is a three stranded rope, with Christ in the center. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, " Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly (easily) broken." When Christ is at the center of your marriage, He will strengthen it. Rely on Him to help you.
I would love to lead you in a prayer of commitment that you could pray for your marriage:
O Lord, we want to grow in spiritual intimacy in our marriage. We commit ourselves to spend regular time together in Your Word and in prayer. Help us to be faithful in this commitment, and show us how to be accountable to one another to do it. Help me to pray for my mate even when I am angry with him. Help me to be loving and respectful of my spouse. Make us a strong, three- stranded rope that will never break. We ask this in the strong name of Jesus, Amen!

Monday, August 1, 2011

God's Laser Level

A few days ago I went to church to put up a Bible verse on our wall in our Sunday School class. This was the kind that the verse is written out and you rub the words onto the wall. There were some important tools that I needed to be able to put this up successfully. The most important tool that I used was the laser light leveler. As I was using this level, I would get the bubble in the middle to make sure that the verse would be on the wall straight. Looking with my eye, the verse looked very crooked to me. I am not a handyman, (or handy woman), but I do know that you are supposed to trust the level. I did just that. I trusted what the level was telling me, and I put the verse up according to the levels' instruction. Then when I stepped back and looked at it, guess what? It was straight! The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, "This is a good lesson for you. Do not trust in your own feelings, and what your eyes see. Trust in Me instead. I will not lead you in the wrong way. In fact, I am never wrong about anything!"
Two wonderful verses that go along with this is, " Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NASB)
Had I trusted in my own eyes, and my own judgement looking at the verse I was putting up, it would have been put up crooked on the wall. There is a wonderful lesson in this. Trust the Lord instead of your own judgements. He sees the whole picture. He knows everything. He knows what is best for you. He is the best laser level so to speak ( He was also a carpenter). Leave it in His hands because He knows how best to handle your life. Do not trust your own eyes, they may lead you in a crooked path.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

When our children were little we would pack up the trusty mini-van and head across to Springfield, MO to see my husbands family. One reason for the mini-van was so that they could each have their own seat and we didn't have to hear " He's touching me" the whole time.
Anyway, I thought that some of you young Mom's may want some ideas on how to survive a long car trip. So many families will be traveling this Summer to see sights, or family so I thought it would be a good time to share a few ideas that worked for us.
I packed a small cooler with drinks and snacks so that when the children were hungry we didn't have to stop everytime for a snack. Pack popcorn, fruit, things that aren't that messy. Also bring along a roll of paper towels and wet-wipes.
I would buy little toys, like travel games, books on tape, ( I know that is probably obsolete now), I wrapped them in wrapping paper individually. Every two hours, I would pull out something new for them to play with to keep them occupied. Now that we have the Dollar Tree, you can find things really inexpensive. Ashley being older, I made her a travel notebook with sheets that I ran off, of " Find All 50 States" license plate, and she would check it off when she found them. Also, I did a sheet on the State Capitals and she worked on that. She had a head's start on that for the coming school year. I bought several new "Sing along" type things. She learned the Books of the Bible by a "Sing along", don't remember the exact name of it. I also, had a book of lame jokes, a book that taught you how to do yarn tricks, How many of you remember how to do "Jacob's ladder"? Also, lot's of "How to draw" books. These are just a few of the things that I can remember, I am sure there were more things, but my memory is failing me after all this time.
I enjoyed those long road trips, except the parts when Daniel kept saying, "Are we there yet?" Even with my failing memory, I still have some good, sweet memories of us in the car singing

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This is my Silver pendant that I made. This picture goes with my "Choice Silver" blog

Choice Silver

I recently went on vacation to see my Mom and Dad. Down the street from them there is a little Art studio where you can take classes. So, like last year, I signed up to take a class. This time I took the clay and metals jewelry class.
The instructor gave us a small piece of clay that is mixed with silver. This silver is actually purer than sterling silver. We are given a small square of it. It is ours to do with as we wish. There are all kinds of designs that can be done, but since I love birds so much I decided to make a pendant with a bird on it.
After you have fashioned it like you want it, you then put it into a kiln specially made for the microwave. It is heated at about 1300-1400 degrees for about 2-3 minutes. When it comes out it is rather disappointing because it looks like baked clay. But once I, (the maker) starting buffing it with a wire brush and it was buffed by a cloth, something miraculous happens! It starts to shine! That was exciting how something so plain as a piece of clay could be turned into a thing of beauty.
The Lord spoke to my heart and said, "This is how it is with your life... there are times when you have been through trials and you can't see or understand what I am doing but trust me. I am shining you up and making something beautiful that I can use for my kingdom."
God's Word says, " He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver... and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness." Malachi 3:3
When a silversmith refines the fire He holds it. The Master artisan knows just the right amount of time the silver must be in the fire before it melts. You may ask, "But how does He know when the silver is ready? He knows when He can see His own reflection!
Lord, I thank you that when I have gone through the fiery trials, I know that you are right there with me, holding me, shining and polishing me into your image. If you can see your own image, I am beautiful to you! May I present my offering of righteousness to you, Amen.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sorrows End

" And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, " Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes: and there will no longer be any death: there will no longer by any mourning, or crying, or pain: the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, " Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, " Write, for these words are faithful and true." Revelation 21:3-5 (NASB)
Many tragedies have happened in recent weeks and months. We experienced tornadoes in our area in Raleigh. Violent tornadoes hit Joplin, MO and practically wiped out a whole town. We have seen on the news flooding in the mid-west, and wildfires in Texas and Arizona.
We are touched by tragedies in our own lives with family members receiving the bad news that they have the dreaded disease of cancer. Today I received news that a dear friend of mine lost a loved one. This brave young man died from his wounds he received on the battle field.
Sometimes it just seems so overwhelming to hear, much less to experience these sorrows. Recently I was reading a devotional written by Randy Alcorn and I thought it would be a good time to share this.
"God promises that one day there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. As we are acutely aware, that day has not yet come. But notice how Jesus caps off His promise to His disciple John: He says John should write the words down because they are "trustworthy and true." In other words, He is saying, " John, my beloved friend and servant, you can take these words to the bank: I'll stake my life on them, In fact, I already have."
Christ promises- in writing- a resurrected life on the New Earth, an eternal life without sorrow and pain in a glorious new world. Talk about light at the end of the tunnel!
Devastation and tragedy feel just as real for those with faith as they do for those who have none. But knowledge that others have suffered and learned to trust God anyway gives the faithful strength to keep going. Because they do not place their hope for health and abundance and secure relationships in this life but in an eternal life to come, believers' hope remains firm regardless of what happens.
And on the other side of earth, God promises that all who know him will experience acceptance into His holy, loving, and gracious arms- which is the greatest miracle, the answer to the problem of evil and suffering. He promises us an eternal kingdom on the New Earth, where he will wipe away every tear from the eyes of those who come to trust him in this present and temporary world of pain. "
( Devotion written by Randy Alcorn from the devotional book, " 90 Days of God's Goodness"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ladybugs, a Gardeners best friend

Finished painted ladybug (Pots of mint and parsley)

Painteded ladybug

Finished painted fern frond

Painted fern frond
Pot before paint (Pot of basil)
I love ladybugs! (Just don't want them in my house). I decided to paint on some of my flower pots. Painted a lady bug on the double pot. I wondered about what the purpose of a ladybug was so I thought I would look it up. Here is what I found out. (Written from a ladybugs point of view.)
Did you know that I serve as the "Ultimate Gardener Helper?" Gardeners and farmers love to use me instead of pesticides, because I too can save plants from being destroyed, except I do it in a natural way! I like to eat aphids and other bugs that eat plants. By making them my dinner, I can protect crops from being eaten themselves!
Even my larvae eat aphids and other plant eating insects from birth. Did you know by the 6th week of life, we already consume 5,000 aphids?! It's a pretty cool method of pets control don't you think?!
My pretty Elytra (wings) is actually used to make me not looks so good to predators. My bright colors tell them that I am not so good to eat. I can actually secrete a foul tasting, orange, fluid from joints in my legs, and will even play dead, if I am threatened by a predator!
Did you know that I come in many different colors scuh as red, orange, pink, yellow, white or black?
Did you also know that not all species have spots, and those of us who do have spots, lose our spots as we get older?
My antennae have a special purpose as I use them for touch, smell, and taste! Which reminds me... Did you know that my feet also have a sense of smell?
Well that's about all the info I have for you today. So the next time you see a little ladybug, just marvel at God's creation, and know that I am there to help you! See you in the garden!
(gathered information from fair)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Home for flip flops

Home for the flip- flops

Finished product

Beginning picture
Have felt like doing a few little projects. Our family had flip-flops scattered all over the house, so I thought I would corral them into one place. Found this galvanized bucket at Carolina Pottery ( I love that store!) Then decided to paint "flip flops" on it. It's a little off center, but if it was perfect, it wouldn't be me! I think I will post some other projects I'm working on in the next few days. Maybe this will give some of you ideas for what to do with yours. Don't you just love this time of year when your main shoe choices are which color flip-flops to choose? I love my rainbows!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Hot! Where Can I Find A Fountain?

Fontana dell' Ovato, Tivoli, Italy

It has been so hot here! It is only June 10th and the weather has been in the 90's this week. When the children were little we would let them run through the sprinkler on a day like today. The goal is just to stay cool.
I was reading this verse this morning and pondering on what it means. " The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life..." Proverbs 10:11. I was looking up some famous fountains and reading the descriptions of them. One of them said it was "refreshing". Once, I saw a romantic movie where the couple jumped into the fountain. It looked refreshing, like it just invigorated them! In pondering this I was wondering how we as Christians, if we are righteous, can be a fountain of life?
The answer is found in Psalm 36:9 " For with You (God) is the fountain of life...". So if we stay close to the Lord, we seek Him, we get to know Him and ask for His wisdom, we will have the "fountain of life", and because of that we, in turn, can be a fountain of life to others.
Our joy will be bubbling over, and we will be so refreshing to be around. Like a fountain on a hot, sweltering day. Wish I could find one to jump into!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sowing Seeds of Light

I was reading the Bible this morning and these two verses jumped out at me.
" Light is sown like seed for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart. Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones, and give thanks to His holy name." Psalm 97: 11-12 ( NASB) In the Holman Bible the translation is, " Light dawns for the righteous...".
This time of year we plant seeds, another term for that is "sow". I relate this verse to sowing seeds. When you are a Christian who tries to live righteous and godly, you are sowing seeds of light. You may not see that light immediately, but eventually you will. When you sow the seed of righteousness, you will harvest the bounty of gladness. You will be glad in the Lord when you are living according to God's commands and His will for your life.
Does this mean that everything will go smoothly for us all the time? NO! but even in the dark valleys, we can have a contentment and have joy and gladness in the Lord.
The last part of verse 12 calls for others to give thanks with you. Let all creation give thanks and be glad in the Lord. We as individuals are called on to give thanks, and then we want to lead others in a praise chorus of thanksgiving to the Lord!
When Christ died, He sowed that seed for us. That seed is bursting forth, and this light, The God of light shines forth in our hearts! I am so very glad today and thankful! Will you join me in a chorus of gladness and thankfulness today?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Is Your Soul as Watered as Your Garden?

My Herbs



Mint (on left)

Parsley (on right)


Red Gerber Daisy

Yellow Dahlia

I love this time of year when I can plant my flowers again, and have fresh herbs from my own garden to use in my cooking. But one thing is for sure, if I neglect them and I don't water them (especially on days like yesterday when it is in the 90's here), they will certainly shrivel and die.
The same is true if we neglect our relationship with the Lord. We will become dry and parched in our souls. If we have a garden or flowers, we tend them and take care of them by watering them regularly. Are we caring for our souls as diligently?
In the Old Testament, in Jeremiah, God calls himself "The fountain of living waters..." Jeremiah 2:13. In the New Testament Jesus says."but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."
If we stay in close fellowship with the Lord, we will feel that our souls are nourished and fresh. We have a joy within us that the world cannot give or understand. When we read His Word daily and stay close to the Lord through prayer, we feel like our souls are being given a good soaking, like a parched plant. We drink it in, and we are sustained for another day.
The Holy Spirit within us can "blossom forth", and our joy can splash over on other's that we come in contact with.
John 7:38 that if we believe in Christ, ..."From his innermost being will flow rivers of water." We can't help but water those around us with these rivers of water. They splash over from a heart that's overflowing.
We shouldn't keep this "Life sustaining substance" to ourselves! Let's go out and "splash joy" on other's today!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daniel's Chicken Pot Pie

Today is my sweet son's 21st Birthday. For his birthday lunch, I made one of his favorites. I start receiving the requests for the recipe. So here it is.
Chicken Pot Pie
Boil 4-6 chicken breast tenderloins
1 bag or box of mixed vegetables frozen, cook according to package directions
1 can of sliced mushrooms
1 1/3 cup of chicken broth
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Boil chicken and cut up in bite sized pieces. Set off to the side.
In large bowl, mix the 2 soups and the chicken broth, then add the cut-up chicken, then add the cooked mixed vegetables and the mushrooms. Add salt and pepper. Mix well. Place this in a greased 13x9 dish.
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup buttermilk or regular milk
1 stick of butter melted
Mix all of this together in a separate bowl and pour over the chicken pot pie mixture.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
(Serves 4-6 people)