Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thinking

From Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

"I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out~ plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."

Today I am giving thanks for God's deep abiding love, for the miracles he performs in our lives, for the mountains He moves to accomplish His will and purpose. For being able to rest in the assurance of God having my life all planned out.

Today I am giving thanks for each of you who visit my blog and the many blessings I have received in your comments here and the postings on your blogs. I am giving thanks that God brought you into my life as part of His plan.

Today I give thanks that 2009 with all its medical challenges is coming to a close, and that no matter what the future holds, I know who holds the future!

I am rejoicing and claiming 2010 as a year of healing! I look forward to the journey with God.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shelter

This week we had our first big snow storm of the year. Between Tuesday afternoon and early Thursday morning nearly 11 inches of snow fell and winds were at 25-35mph with gusts up to 52mph! We stayed snug inside our warm and cozy home with little evidence that a storm was raging outside. If we opened the door a cold blast would come in along with stinging snow, but as long as we stayed inside our sturdy home we were safe.


Thinking about how safe and secure our home was, took me back to when we lived in The Philippines and went through a powerful typhoon. Our home was built from cement blocks that were then filled with wet cement. It was not going anywhere. The winds were fierce ~ over 120 mph and the rains were torrential. The electricity went out, and as we sat in the dark there was little evidence in our home of what was going on outside. The only evidence was the water that kept seeping in under our front door from the heavy rain. As long as we swept it back outside we were fine. Safe from harm.


Kind of like our relationship with God isn't it. Storms come into our lives. It is really not possible to avoid them, but as long as we stay sheltered in the arms of our Lord, we will be safe no matter what comes our way. Oh, sometimes "water" tries to seep into our stronghold ~ maybe fear over a diagnosis, worry when money is scarce, or despair when a loved one dies. The results of these and other heavy burdens may find their way in under our door, but as long as we use our faith and God's strength to sweep them back out, we will be safe. Protected by our Heavenly Father's steadfast love for us. He is and always will be our shelter in the storm.

Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the shelter of the most high, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."

For more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays.
www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

I spend a lot of time in doctor's offices. Mostly for treatment of Lyme Disease but also for other problems that have come up in the last 3 yrs like a breast biopsy, trip to ER from a car accident, an abnormal EKG, cataracts, H Pylori stomach infection, reoccurring stubborn yeast and bacterial infections and a procedure today I choose not to name. I really do NOT like to go to the doctor so this has been a challenge for me. So how do I find thankfulness in all of this?

By going back to the same verse I mentioned in the previous post:

I Thess. 5:16-18 "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

I am not thankful for my present circumstances and the challenges ahead, but I am thankful that in these circumstances I AM NOT ALONE. God is with me and His will for me can be trusted. His will for all of us can be trusted.

So today, thank you Lord for the wisdom and skill my doctors have. Thank you for nurses who care for their patients and procedures that give us answers when there are so many questions. Thank you for a husband who comforts and reassures me whenever it is needed. Thank you that on every step of my journey Jesus walks with me!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

In All Circumstances

Last night I was rereading a post I had written on my other blog about both my husband Joel and I being crabby and out of sorts. I soon realized how down I sounded and started praying that Joel and I would find relief from our woe-be-gone attitude. Right in the middle of my prayers a verse from the Bible popped into my mind. On Sunday as I was watching Rick Warren's services online he talked about this verse in depth. Seems I needed the lesson before I even knew it...hmmmm God is always one step ahead isn't He.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (NIV)

Please notice He does not say FOR all circumstances....He says, IN all circumstances. There is a big difference. Our circumstances may be challenging and overwhelming at times, but we can still find things to be positive and thankful for IN these circumstances.

I believe it is okay to be in and acknowledge all our moods....they are part of who we are. We just don't want to take up permanent residence in that place of negativity. Focusing on the burdens only makes them heavier...so maybe we sit with them for awhile, and then we try to empty the bag of burdens by turning our focus to gratefulness, thankfulness, and joy. Like in the musical “Annie” we can remember that the sun will come out tomorrow.....and when we give thanks in all circumstances....we are even able to see a break in the clouds right where we find ourselves today.

For more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

Today is my mother-in-love's 92nd birthday. I must be honest and confess that I did not always think of her that way. She and I were at odds over the years due to probably nothing more than her son being my husband. She did not understand me, and I did not understand her nor take her suggestions or at times criticisms very well. I built a wall between us. Distance in miles and differences kept us apart. Then a miracle happened.

About 10 years ago I started writing a newsletter for Chronically Ill Christians. I managed to send this out to around 145 people for close to 5 yrs before I became to sick to continue. My MIL was one of those I sent it to. It changed our relationship as she began to know and understand me. As I began to let down the walls I had built up and I learned to understand and accept our differences, we became closer than I ever thought possible. At this time in our lives I can easily say I love her dearly and she ends our conversations by saying she loves me. Isn't God's healing power amazing!

So, today, I give thanks for the woman who birthed my husband, and taught him about our Lord. I give thanks for the years she worked hard to help her husband maintain their farm, and then sustained her three boys by teaching school when her husband died young. I give thanks for what she has taught me about faith, endurance, and "cutting corners" to save a few pennies. I give thanks that she tells us in every conversation that she is praying for us!

Happy Birthday Mom T. !! May your year be filled with an abundance of blessings.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Spiritual Sundays: A Time of Preparation

This Sunday is the first of the four Sundays in Advent. A special time in the Christian church when we prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus, God's son and our Savior.

Purchasing and wrapping gifts, sending out Christmas cards and letters, making breads and cookies, and decorating our homes and trees, are all a part of the preparations we make for Christmas. But we cannot stop there or we will lose sight of the meaning of this special season in all the activity and commercialism

When our children were home we made the effort to have special devotions every night starting with the first Sunday in Advent. We used an Advent Wreath with candles to light, told stories, read special devotions and scriptures, sang hymns, and prayed together. Each night one of the kids lit a candle or opened a "door" on the Advent Calendar. It was a time to stop, take a deep breath and center ourselves. The Christmas programs and special church services also kept our focus on waiting for Baby Jesus' birth. It was a time of anticipation and joy for all of us~ A time of expectant waiting. There are so many special memories of these times that I hold close to my heart. As empty nesters, we still make an effort to keep some of these traditions going. I am sure all of you have your own ways of keeping the "reason for the season" in your Christmas preparations.

As we begin once again this season of preparation, may we find joy and meaning in each and every day as we await the celebration of a small baby with the power to save the world!
For more inspirational posts stop by Spiritual Sundays: www.bloggerspirit.blogspot..com

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope and pray that your day has been filled with good food, good fellowship, and an abundance of blessings!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Spiritual Sundays

From Max Lucado's booklet, "Give It All To Him".


W O R R Y

"Worry is the burlap bag of burdens. it is overflowing with 'whaddifs' and 'howells'. Whaddif it rains at my wedding.....Howell we pay our child's tuition.....etc. etc.

The burlap bag of worry. Cumbersome. Chunky. Unattractive. Scratchy. Hard to get a handle on. Irritating to carry and impossible to give away. No one wants your worries......Worry divides the mind. The Biblical word for worry is the compound of two Greek words that mean 'to divide' 'the mind'. Anxiety splits our energy between today's priorities and tomorrows problems. The result is half-minded living.

Jesus said, 'You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.' (Matt.6:27)

Worry has never brightened a day, solved a problem or cured a disease!"

BUT JESUS HAS!

There is so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and at the top of my list is Jesus my Lord. Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate it in November!

For more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger's blog:
www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

Today I am giving thanks for my laptop computer that I have affectionately named "Libby" (Liberty) for the freedom it gives me. It was nearly a year ago that our family gathered together for Thanksgiving. Our oldest son and our daughter-in-love, and their 3 came a couple hours early and presented me with a huge surprise~ a laptop!! Our DIL had purchased it only a year ago and had decided to get a new one....she gave me her "old" one! I have been using it every single day since and love love love it. What a precious gift! My chronic illnesses come with a lot of chronic pain so having a laptop saves me not only energy, but higher pain levels. Since I am homebound, it expands my world!

Today I am giving thanks for surprise gifts and those who give them. I am giving thanks that I can sit in my recliner, all cozy and comfortable and be online...meeting new friends, and connecting with the world! I am giving thanks for Libby and all the convenience and community, and she brings into my life ~ and I am giving thanks for loved ones and their gifts of love.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


This pictures brings me such a sense of serenity ~ I wanted to share it with all of you.
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today and always. Amen
.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

One of my favorite things to say is, "So many books to read...so little time."

I love love love books! I am so very thankful for the gift of books and the privilege to read. Books provide inspiration, a fun escape, and teachable moments for me. I read some books to help me grow and others to help me forget.

Books let us into their souls, and lay open to us the secrets of our own."
William Hazlett
Living most of my life from my "sofa sanctuary" I have welcomed books as friends and a way to connect with the world outside my windows. Today I give thanks for all kinds of "friends"!

"You know you read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." Paul Sweeney

I am not one who keeps my books in pristine condition...I fold down pages, underline things I want to remember and write notes in the margins! I guess I do the same thing with my Bibles too. My Bibles are the most important books I own and being able to have several translations is really a gift, isn't it. Today I give thanks for having as many Bibles to read as often and as freely as I like.

"May the strength of God pilot us, may the wisdom of God instruct us, may the hand of God protect us, may the WORD OF GOD direct us."
St. Patrick

Books are part of my houses decor~ and you will find them in every room in our home...I remember once my brother telling someone that you can always tell when you are in a "D. home"....they even have books in their bathrooms! Giving thanks today for having so many books that I can spread them around the house!

"Books are not made as furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a home." Henry Ward Beecher

This Thankful Thursday I am giving thanks and praise for books~ !!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spiritual Sundays

Recently I read about Augustus Montague Toplady, a minister who lived near Somerset England during the eighteenth century. He is well known for the hymn, "Rock of Ages".

One day when Toplady was out walking he was caught in a fierce storm. He quickly took refuge inside a rocky area and while waiting for the storm to pass he composed a poem that eventually became a favorite hymn. The place he took shelter was not small, but was a massive cliff with vertical rifts. He protected himself in a fissure that was completely hidden by the towering rock. Nothing would have moved this cliff~ it was indeed shelter from the storm.

When David praised God in 2 Samuel 22:1-3 he said,

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence."

Both David of the Psalms, and Toplady from England understood well that we have nothing to fear when we hide ourselves in the Lord. He is our Rock for ALL ages. He is our protector, our shield in every storm!
Rock of ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee...
For more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger's blog, Spiritual Sundays at http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

Today the sun is shining, the temp is climbing to the mid-fifties, and I was able to go for a short ride with my husband, Joel, to buy some gourds. The fresh air and change of scenery was good for my health!

Today I am especially thankful for my husband of 41 years. We met at Bible College and married at the young ages of 20 and 22. Our years together found us living in several states and one foreign country. Through raising 7 children and doing foster care, and his careers in the military and ministry, we have moved 23 times. I am blessed to have a husband with a deep faith, strong commitment to our marriage and our family, and a loving spirit. When times are tough he is right there, when I was bedridden he took over my responsibilities and still maintained his own. He is loving, caring, solid, dependable, and honorable. Today I give thanks for God blessing me with Joel in my life. I am blessed.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spiritual Sundays







We were able to have a short but sweet visit with our oldest daughter, son-in-love, and two grandchildren this week. They drove 5 hours one way to visit with us for 24 hours and then headed back home. We are so thankful they were willing to make the trip! We played games, ate a hearty fall meal, and had a "candle" campfire on our porch. Grandpa lite his lantern and several votive candles. Everyone gathered round and told stories. Before they left we were being silly and took this photo with the grandkids.

We usually see our children and their families only a couple of times a year, making the memories of when our children and grandchildren visit extra precious. Those memories stay with us, bringing us joy whenever we return to those special times in our minds. Can you feel the smile on my face??!!

I Thessalonians 5:16 "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Joy! There are 216 verses in the KJB that have the word joy in them! Seems like God is sending us a message about how important joy is to have in our lives! It is there for us to embrace ~ whether in a candle campfire, a silly picture or the many other blessings God anoints us with on a daily basis! What brings you a bursting-at-the-seams kind of joy?


Have a joy-full Spiritual Sunday!!
For more inspirational posts visit Ginger and Charlotte at http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

Today I am giving thanks that our oldest daughter, our SIL, and two grandchildren are coming for a visit...it will be a 24 hour visit....short, but so sweet! They are traveling a long distance to visit us~! Just being able to see them.... Yahoo!!!

Which brings me to the many blessings our children and grandchildren bring into our lives. What joy! Our four oldest and their families all have good jobs, nice homes, loving families, and are active in their communities and their churches. What more can we ask for????

Praising God on this Thankful Thursday that our children love the Lord and each other!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

For The Beauty Of The Earth



I love everything about Fall. The sounds, the smells, and God's paintbrush sharing with us rusts, golds, oranges, and greens. Beautiful! This tree is at the end of our cul-de-sac and graces us with it's vivid colors every year. How can anyone look at this proud, sturdy, vibrant creation and not believe in God!

As I look out my living room window over a blanket of colorful leaves on the ground, I see bushes and trees painting a picture without a canvas, and I can faintly hear the sound of geese honking as they fly overhead, heading back from the nearby river. Squirrels are scurrying around preparing for winter, and the wind speaks of colder days ahead. There is so much to enjoy about autumn.

If we just take the time to really see our surroundings, we can only bow down on bended knee, lifting our arms in praise! The hymn "For The Beauty Of The Earth" comes to mind.


For the beauty of the earth

For the glory of the skies

For the love from which our birth

Over and around us lies


Lord of all to Him we raise

This our hymn of grateful praise!



For other inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts

Another Thankful Thursday is here!

Today I feel led to tell you a story about when we adopted two of our children from The Philippines. We were living there at the time, as Joel was stationed at Clark Air Force Base. It was getting close to our departure date for leaving the country and we needed the courts approval to be able to finalize the adoption of our two babies and bring them home with us. Some of the legal system at that time was very dishonest, and the lawyers wanted us to pay them money under the table to get the signed legal papers that were necessary for us to leave.

About a week before we were to leave for the States, I went to my weekly inter-denominational prayer meeting. It happened to be at the base commander's home and I asked for prayers about this situation. After everyone shared their requests and praises, we began to pray. At this time the base commander's wife came over and motioned for me to go with her into the other room. She told me she wanted to help us, and handed me the phone. As I said hello, I found myself talking to the Ambassador at the embassey in Manila about our situation! Then I was connected to the Mayor of Angeles City, where we lived near the base. I shared my story once again and he told me not to worry. Just a few hours later my husband received a call from the lawyer apologizing to us and telling us we could have our papers that afternoon. He kept saying, "I did not know you knew the mayor....I did not know you knew the mayor."

God intervened! He answered our prayers in a "to God be the glory" kind of way, and we were able to bring our whole family back home to the USA just a few days later. At that time we were only the second couple to ever be able to adopt two children from the P.I. while serving in the military.

Today I am giving thanks for our two precious miracle babies who are now wonderful Christian adults with children of their own. I am giving thanks for a mountain moving God who loves His children beyond our own imagining. Praise His Holy name!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Happiest People In The World

Today I watched the Oprah show where she went to Denmark to interview several woman and their families because research shows that Denmark has the happiest people in the world. I know that Scandinavian countries are known to take care of everyone in their native lands and that family is the number one priority....but I found this fact about Denmark disturbing for one reason only ~ The majority of the country does not believe in God or a "Higher Power". This is stunning and it gives me pause. Does it give you pause, too?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dangerous Surrender

I have been reading Kay Warren's book, "Dangerous Surrender" and find I cannot put it down. Kay Warren is married to Pastor Rick Warren and they live in California where he is pastor of Saddleback Church. I really don't think there are too many people left who has not heard of Rick Warren and his book, "The Purpose Driven Life". I watch services online from Saddleback every Sunday morning, and I confess that had a preconceived idea of their life in Orange County.

"Dangerous Surrender" gave me a deep respect for Kay Warren because of all she has gone through in her life. She is very honest about the abuse she suffered as a young child, and the consequences of that abuse in her adult life. She talks about her struggle with breast cancer and how the chemo and radiation treatments damaged her body, and she shares with her readers how devastating it was to be diagnosed with Melanoma just two years later. The book is not about her health issues, though. It is about her desire to serve God as best she can with the time she has been given, and the amazing results of her surrender to God when He guided her to help those with HIV/AIDS. The courage she has, and her willingness to follow Jesus on a daily basis no matter where he sends her ~ this is what has inspired me.

This book has challenged me to serve God in spite of or because of my circumstances, and to do what I can to fulfill God's purposes for me in the time I have been given. It has me asking myself the following questions: Have I said YES to God before He shares His requests of me? Do I live a life of courage and obedience? Am I helping the "least of these"? What is God's purpose for my life as it is? In what ways am I rearranging my life so I can interact with those God loves? The answers just may change my life......and yours.




If you wish to read more inspirational posts, please visit Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays. Be prepared to be blessed! http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thoughts















Giving thanks this Thursday for my warm wool comforter, soft PJ's, and heated rice socks as I spend time recovering from a "crash". (Sometimes the Lyme and Co infections like to be heard, and this week has been one of those times. )

Giving thanks for the privilege and gift of reading. Oh, how I love to read and cannot remember a time I did not! I can remember reading Trixie Belden mysteries as an 11 yr old and to this day enjoy a good light mystery.

Giving thanks today for silly shows on TV that make me laugh. For having the ability to laugh at myself too! Laughter is really such good medicine.

Giving thanks today for a warm home, large windows and a view that brings nature inside. Just to be able to own our home is a gift most people in our world can never imagine. How blessed I am.

Giving thanks for homemade chicken soup, hot herbal tea, and gluten free muffins from scratch. Nothing like comfort food to soothe us.

Giving thanks for God's wisdom shared with us all through His Word, and the words of His servants. We are so privileged to have the freedom to worship and adore!! Praise God!
Have a blessed Thankful Thursday.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our Very Own Life Jacket

While living in The Philippines from 1974-76, we planned a trip with a group of friends from the Christian Servicemen’s Center located near Clark Air Force Base. Part of our trip was a tour of Corregidor Island, where the US fought during WW II. As we prepared to go across the ocean channel to the island, I realized we were going to be traveling in a small native bunka boat! Bunka boats are very narrow with outriggers to balance the boat in the water. They are run by a very small motor, and are just big enough to hold a couple of people and the person guiding the boat. Because of my anxiety around water I grabbed a life jacket before getting in the boat. Our guide could not speak any English and looked to be about 16 yrs. old, but Joel reassured me that with everyone around us, we would be fine.

Our trip over was uneventful, and we were able to see where important events in history took place, but on the way home the motor on our bunka boat quit, we began drifting, and the boat started taking on water. Soon we were taking old cans kept in the bottom of the boat, and bailing out water as fast as we could while we watched the other boats move farther and farther away. I was very grateful for my life jacket as Joel and I prayed and bailed and prayed and bailed, while the young man tried to restart the motor. After about 10 minutes we looked up to see a boat coming back for us. Our boats were tied together by rope, and we were towed back to shore as we continued to bail water. What a relief to put our feet back on sandy soil again!

The other day I was thinking about Joel’s and my 41 years together and this story came to mind. I remembered just how many times God, Himself, has been our “life jacket”. He has brought us through many trials, and with His help we have been able to bail ourselves out of many ”sinking” situations. Often I have panicked like I did that day in the bunka boat, and I have desperately prayed for God to save us. Panic did nothing to help me then, but certainly God did. Panic does not help me in my daily life now either. It does not help any of us.

It is a comfort to know we each have our own life jacket to wear no matter where we find ourselves. God is always with us. He provides us with the strength we need to “bail” ourselves out of deep water. More than that, He often rescues us before we get into “sinking” situations, and we have no idea at the time! How blessed we are to be able to put our trust and security in Him as our “life jacket”. Trusting God replaces our panic with His everlasting peace.

***Please visit Charlotte and Ginger at http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/ to read more inspirational posts.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday Thinking

Okay, first of all, I know it is not Thursday...it's Friday, but I have been wanting to start posting what I am thankful for and missed the day so with determination I am following through with Thankful Thursday thoughts on Friday :-).

Giving thanks for sunshine after a long week of dreary grey days.
Giving thanks for Joel being home.
Giving thanks for Joel getting disability even though it is not something we ever thought would be necessary!
Giving thanks for a warm wool comforter ~ my Woolie~ on crisp fall and winter days
Giving thanks for rice socks I can warm in the microwave to ease my aches and pains.
Giving thanks for talking to our oldest son on the phone nearly every day for the past month and seeing him twice and our DIL once.
Giving thanks for our family.
Giving thanks for a loving God who gently reminds me to not focus on the problem but on the PROVIDER!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Work of the Gardener


Isaiah 58:11 "You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring who waters never fail."

Most days I try to walk around our yard deadheading the flowers in our flower pots and small garden. Once in awhile I am able to water the plants and pull a weed or two, but mostly I leave that to my husband. We are blessed to be able to enjoy pansies, geraniums, day lilies, petunias, Mexican Wedding plants, mums, and more! In the more shaded areas we have pots full of pink, white, and coral impatiens.

The flowers do not bloom as well if left on their own. A lot of work goes into the care of the soil, because if it is not tilled, fertilized, and watered the plants will whither and die. In late Fall we cover the garden with leaves to protect the soil and perennial roots, and when Spring arrives the leaves are removed, the soil is turned over once again, and nourishment is added to prepare for the summer blossoms.

In our own lives God is the Gardener, and in love He prepares, nourishes, weeds, and gently cares for us. Often the soil (soul) needs to be stirred up and tilled, and sometimes transplanted. God knows what care we need to become more and more like Him. As our soil (soul) is tended, weeded, and nourished, we start to grow beautiful flowers (gifts to share with others), becoming more and more of the person God desires us to be.

A garden that is left untended soon becomes covered with weeds that smother the flowering plants. So it is in our lives also. If we do not turn to God in prayer, if we do not read His Word and nourish our soil (soul) we will produce more weeds than flowers, and eventually whither and die.

Let us open our hearts to God’s wisdom in tending to our souls. He is the Master Gardener and He has a Master Plan for each of us. With much nourishment and care, we,too, can grow to bloom into a beautiful garden.

To read more inspirational posts go to www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com where Ginger and Charlotte host Spiritual Sundays.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mountain Moving Miracles

I read Linny's blog, "A Place of Simplicity" and she speaks often of God as being a
"miracle-working, mountain-moving, awe-inspiring gasp-giving God!" While reading her blog I have been reminded over and over again of what God is capable of doing, and wants to do in the lives of His children. This mantra has touched me deeply and found a home within my soul.
I have started looking for mountain-moving miracles in our own lives, and I have not been disappointed!

My husband and I are "Partners in Lyme". We are fighting a difficult battle, but we know God is walking with us. Joel has had to apply for disability as he is presently unable to work. For two months our congregation paid what is called a medical leave salary for his position as Senior Pastor. He filled out paperwork a month ago and sent it off to the people who needed to also fill it out and send it off to our ELCA so that they could have their own insurance company look it over and decide if he was eligible or not. Unfortunately, our doctor was unable to fill it out and send it off when she received it, as it was put in his medical file when it arrived. Three weeks later we called the ELCA and were told they were waiting on the paperwork from our doctor, so after a phone call, things were set into motion and nearly a month later than expected, the necessary papers were sent off to the insurance company. We were told it could take another month to be approved. Joel had understood that he would continue to receive money from his employer for accumulated sick days and vacation days, but yesterday Joel was told that due to his application for disability, his position had been terminated and he no longer was employed by our congregation! What to do? We needed money for the mortgage, bills, and food. Our out of pocket medical costs for treating Lyme are unbelievable and we don't want to give up treatment. We know we are two of the "lucky" ones because we have options....but I must be honest and say we were pretty stressed out by this turn of events. We did not have to be.

It seems God had a mountain-moving miracle planned for us. Early this morning we received a phone call from the insurance company saying they had just received the paperwork and they were giving us a verbal approval for disability! Wow! No long period of waiting, no wondering if he would be approved, no worry, no scrambling to find money for our daily needs. God is a miracle-moving God and we experienced this today.

Another miracle is in the making in our lives too. A crisis that I choose not to speak about, has been causing our family a lot of stress and worry. Prayers have been raised for God to step in and perform a miracle in the lives of two little ones we love and care about. Today we saw a glimpse of that miracle God is working out. It brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart to feel His love and see the "mountain" beginning to move. We are praising God for the miracle we know is coming!

I am forever grateful for the mountain-moving, miracle-making, awe-inspiring, gasp-giving God that Linny reminded me of. In my battle with chronic illness, I had forgotten the great power of our loving God. Do you have awe-inspiring stories of our mountain-moving God? I know you do! How blessed we all are and may we never forget the miracles God is waiting to perform in our lives!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Messenger From God

In the early 70's I found myself struggling with my faith. I did not feel close to God and desired a better relationship with him. One evening my husband and I went to a church service with friends and at the end of the service the pastor called people to the altar to pray. I went forward with the hope that I would find some peace of mind in my conflict. Members of the congregation were praying with all of us at the altar, so when someone took my folded hands and lifted them up in praise, I raised my head and opened my eyes to see who was with me. I was surprised to discover I was all alone, even though I still felt the warmth of someone holding my hands in theirs. I believe that someone was not an earthly being, but a messenger sent from God to bring assurance to one of His children during a time of turmoil. I have never doubted God's love for me since that night so long ago.

"Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine..... Oh what a foretaste of glory divine...."



For more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger's blog at http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Cabin In The Woods

During the late 70’s I saw a movie that remained a favorite of mine for years. “The Adventures of the Wilderness Family was a story about a family that moved to the wilderness of Alaska to escape the overpopulated and smog-filled big city they were living in. My children used to groan out loud when I would pull the video out to watch yet one more time! It was not the many “dangers” they encountered in the wild that drew me in, it was the beauty of their surroundings, and the lifestyle they chose that was so intriguing. Ever since seeing that movie, when life seems to overwhelm me and I want to escape my difficult circumstances, I often respond with a “cabin comment”. I might be heard saying, A cabin in Alaska is sounding better and better…” or “Where is that cabin in the woods when you need one!”

Just recently I found myself reading The Message translation of Psalm 55. I laughed right out loud when I came across these verses:

“Get me out of here on dove wings

I want some peace and quiet

I want a walk in the country

I want a cabin in the woods

I am desperate for a change

From rage and stormy weather”

I guess I am not alone in my desire to escape to a cabin in the woods! Although there are a few who choose a remote lifestyle (I have read plenty of books about them), most of us cannot leave our stressful lives or difficult circumstances behind to find a full time place of refuge in the wilderness. But a refuge does await us when we turn to our Lord for help. The Bible tells us that God is our refuge and strength, our help in times of trouble. When we turn all our problems over to God, and trust Him to care for us He provides a way of escape….. He is our “cabin in the woods”!

If you wish to read more inspirational posts visit Charlotte and Ginger's blog, Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mending Broken Hearts

At one time or another we all experience a broken heart. Loss is part of living and death is a part of life. Today our Daily Guidepost devotional spoke about how we can help mend the broken hearts of others. Writer Marilyn Morgan King answered that question in her devotional by using the word HELP.

H: Hold…. the hurting one.

E: Encourage the hurting one to talk about their pain.

L: Listen with all your heart, soul and spirit.

P: Pray for their wholeness (and healing).

May God be with each of you who this day are helping others or are yourselves mending from a broken heart, whether it be from the death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, or one of the many other reasons a broken heart occurs. May you be reminded this day of God’s love and compassion.. He, too, waits to hold you, encourage you, listen to you, and bring you healing and wholeness.

If you wish to read other inspirational posts, please go to http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Think About Such Things

Philippians 4:8 "Finally by brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."


At times it is easy to think the worst about others, ourselves, or a situation we find ourselves in. We become all "gloom and doom" in our thinking.
Maxine sends us a good reminder in this cartoon:
















For more inspirational posts, go to http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/ Spiritual Sundays.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Spiritual Sundays: Move Over

“Move over, Renee, and make more room for God.”


I was reading the book “The Shack” this week and in one part of the book where God speaks about how He lives inside of each of us, I started thinking about whether I allow God, who lives in me, to do what He needs to do through me. The words above popped up in my mind clear as a bell, “Move over, Renee, and make more room for God.”

I sometimes let fear rule my life. I can waste a great deal of time worrying about things that usually do not come to pass. My own narrow-mindedness can get in the way of me seeing the good in people, seeing GOD in other people. Seeing the good….and God in myself! I need to consciously and with persistence, move out of the way and make more room for God. With Him as my guide I can let go of worry, fear, or critical thinking. In doing so I will be able to become more and more as God intended. More Christ-like. More loving. More forgiving. More at peace. Making more room for God actually transforms me to be more like God.

Romans 8:9-11
"But if God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than Him….It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God sent God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he will do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself. When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life."

Be sure to stop by Spiritual Sundays for more inspirational posts.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Good Attitude

"Attitude is your thought life turned inside out."

Joyce Meyer

Today I started my morning by listening to Joyce Meyer speak about the importance of maintaining a good attitude. I have to confess that too often my inner thoughts dwell on what I am worrying about. Being often alone and homebound, I can find myself struggling with negative thoughts or dwelling on how I am feeling. If someone were to ask, I would say I have a good attitude most of the time....but Joyce Meyer's quote above gave me pause. Does my attitude reflect my inner struggle with worry?

I chuckled when she asked her audience what song was "theirs" of the four she named:


"Make the World Go Away"

"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head"

"I'll Do It My Way"

"Oh, What A Beautiful Morning"


I could claim all four at different times in my life...sometimes all four in just one day! I expect we have all felt this way at some time or another. Ephesians 4:23 gives us an idea of how to keep an attitude of gratitude, no matter what comes our way. "Be constantly renewed in the spirit of our minds...." (Amplified). Yes, the Bible gives us the tools we need to be able maintain a good attitude. And with the renewal of our minds ~ including a positive attitude, we will be able to sing more about beautiful mornings than raindrops!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

God's Details

I never cease to be amazed at all the beautiful flowers God has made. Every single one was created with delicate detail ~ sizes, shapes, and colors unique to each. Some grow well in the shade, others in full sun. When they get just the right amount of nourishment and sunshine, they flourish. Each flower is unique, not unlike people.

As God's children we are created by Him with amazing detail; in all sizes, shapes, and colors. We also “grow” and “thrive” in different environments according to our needs and God’s purposes. When we get the right amount of nourishment and Sonshine we also flourish! Whether a beautiful flower, or a beautiful human being, our Creator knows exactly what we need.



Stop by Charlotte and Ginger's blog, Spiritual Sundays for other inspirational posts.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Keeping A Memory Box

I have started keeping a Memory Box. I took this idea from another blogger, Linny, at A Place Called Simplicity. She keeps a memory box filled with reminders of all the answered prayers, blessings, and miracles that have occurred in their family’s lives. Recently I decided to do the same in response to the many times God sent to us in a variety of ways, the verses of
Isaiah 40:28-31.

"Do you know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God. The Creator of the ends of the earth. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

For two weeks after my husband's diagnosis and our realization that we were now “partners in Lyme”, we received these verses through 3 different email devotionals, a Guidepost prayer, a Sunday sermon, and more than a couple devotional books. We received two more just today from Rest Ministries Daily Promises and an email devotional that came this afternoon! It made me laugh out loud with amazement. I have printed off or written down these reminders of God's love to store in our Memory Box. The box sits on my kitchen counter and when I walk by it my focus goes back to our Lord and the assurances His promises provide. When necessary I can open it and re-read the many examples of God’s grace in our lives. I look forward to filling it with an abundance of God's reminders.

Do you have somewhere special that you keep track of all the blessings God has given you ~ maybe in a journal, your Bible, a gratitude journal, or maybe your own Memory Box? However you are able to store those nuggets of gold, keep them close to your heart and available for whenever discouragement comes your way. It is a great reminder of the faithfulness of our Lord!

For more of God's grace go to Spiritual Sundays.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Simple Pleasures

If you wish to read more Spiritual Sunday posts, go to Spiritual Sundays.






My husband Joel has been home resting while he goes through the first few weeks of treatment for chronic Lyme Disease. Being out in nature is very healing for him, so he is spending a lot of his time sitting on our back deck or front porch.

Just this past week Joel was reading on the back deck when he noticed a hummingbird flitting all around the yard. Soon it found its way up onto a branch of our locust tree and he saw a very tiny nest in the tree. With our camera he was able to zoom in on the nest and watch the female hummingbird sit on her eggs. (this photo is magnified 8x).
Joel has spent a great deal of time observing and taking several photos of our resident feathered friend. What joy this tiny little bird has brought into his life during this difficult time. A true gift from a loving God.

Dear Lord,
We are giving thanks today for bringing us joy through nature, and for the simple pleasures that restore our balance and bring healing into our lives. Let us never tire of being a gentle observer of all that you have created.
In Jesus name,
Amen

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Leap of Faith

It is Spiritual Sundays time once again. A time to share our faith with others. Speaking of faith, I would like to share a few words by author Elizabeth Gilbert that has given me pause and a deeper desire to share God's love and gift of salvation with others.

"There is a reason we refer to 'leaps of faith' ~ because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a might jump from the rational over to the unknowable....If faith were rational, it wouldn't be by definition, faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be....a prudent insurance policy."

The entire 11th chapter of Hebrews speaks on faith, but today Hebrews 11:1 comes to mind for me. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of who we do not see....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Firm Grip

For the past 25 years I have lived with chronic illnesses. Two years ago my world shifted off its axle when I was told I had Late Stage Neurological Lyme Disease that had gone undiagnosed for 23 yrs. After 2 years of treatment progress has been made, but my doctor tells me I will be fighting this for the rest of my life along with CFS and other illnesses.

In early June of this year my husband, Joel, was also diagnosed with Neurological Lyme Disease. His illness probably dates back 10 years when he was fighting a mysterious sickness for 6 months that was labeled “Post Viral Syndrome” due to all blood tests being negative. Like me, no one ever checked for Lyme at the onset of our illnesses.

We are stunned and finding all this difficult to grasp. Joel is Senior Pastor of a larger congregation and due to my health issues he commutes to work an hour away. He is also my caregiver as I am housebound and mostly live my life from my sofa sanctuary. Our world has been turned upside down and at times I find myself worried about how we will get through this turn of events.

The morning after Joel’s diagnosis God comforted me with the familiar words of Isaiah 40:28-31.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is an everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, the will walk and not be faint.”

As I clung to these verses and prayed for God’s strength, I picked up The Message to read a different translation, and my eyes were drawn to Isaiah 41 where God is speaking to Jacob.

“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There is no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you………….That’s right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting you go. I’m telling you, don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.”

It became very clear to me that God was in the midst of our situation, and He wanted to reassure us that we could rely on His promises to be with us.

God being such a loving God, has continued this week to remind us of His promises in Isaiah through devotionals and a sermon I listened to live at Saddleback Church, where Buddy Owens spoke on “desert experiences and how God meets us in the desert, giving us the strength we need to walk through them. He also promises a place of spiritual growth and God will be glorified in it. Isaiah 40:3-5 gives us that promise:

A voice of one calling: In the desert prepare the way for the Lord……And the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken”.

We do feel we are going through a wilderness experience, but we have already found “streams in the desert” that God has provided which are nourishing us along with way. Joel’s gift of paid medical leave, a wonderful Lyme specialist, an allergy practitioner who is helping us heal, encouraging and faithful friends, my blogging and support groups who understand the journey, and the prayers of our family and friends have all nourished and strengthened us. We are truly blessed.

Throughout all our lives, there are times when we all have desert experiences. We don’t know what the future holds for us, but we do know WHO holds the future. And we also know who holds us in His firm grip. He has promised to not let go. He has promised to give strength to the weary and power to the weak. He will meet us in the desert and not only will we soar on wings like eagles, but God's glory will be revealed!! We are blessed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spiritual Sundays

Lately I have been spending quiet time with my Lord and visualizing a garden where I go to sit quietly and wait for God to speak with me. The first time this happened the words "be content" came to mind but I did not want to hear them. I was not content with our current situation and wanted things to change. The second time I heard the words, "Be willing".......Willing, Lord? Willing to be, to do, what Lord? Willing to be content? Today as I visualized sitting in the garden the words that came to mind were..."be silent".

I think know what God is trying to tell me. I need to be content with our circumstances, be willing to let God's plan unfold before us, and accept our tomorrows ...but God, this is not what I had planned! Be silent.

And with the words, be content, be willing, and be silent, Psalm 46:10 comes to mind:

"Be still and know that I am God."


You can find Spiritual Sundays at www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com

Friday, July 3, 2009

Encouragement Award

Jan Lyn over at Off The Beaten Path awarded me this "true heart award".

"Those who receive this award are of the sweetest nature. They are kind, friendly, funny, loving, eager to share their love for Jesus with others, and brave in their efforts to reflect Him to this darkened world. They are the kind of folks you're blessed to know, even if it's only in the bloggy-sphere."


How nice of you Jan Lyn. Thank you so much for thinking of me. I would send it right back to you. A blessing you are to everyone who visits you! I would also award this to Lisa at Lisa Buffaloe. I know I can always find serenity, hope, and encouragement interwoven within their love for the Lord expressed in the written word.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prayed Together

Our 41st anniversary is this week. 41 years! I feel so very blessed to have Joel as my soulmate. It is one of the reasons why I know how much God loves me! He brought Joel into my life.

Speaking of God, the story of how we met and married is a good one. In 1966 Joel and I both attended The Lutheran Bible Institute which later became Golden Valley Lutheran College. On parents weekend my older sister who raised me came to visit with her good friend from our church where they worked together. They visited the dorms and campus on their own and then met me at the commons building. As we talked from the second floor balcony, they said to me, "Oh, Renee, we met the man you are going to marry! He wants to be a missionary in Africa and we can just see the two of you working there together." I was curious and asked who it was.... Just then Joel walked through the downstairs door. They said, "There he is!" My reply? "You have got to be kidding! He is loud and obnoxious, and he wears boots!" They both just smiled and said, "We will pray about it."

Just 3 mo. later we started dating, 9 mo. later we became engaged, and 6 mo. after that we were married. A farm boy who wore cowboy boots married a city girl who wore suede go go boots! It was a match literally made in Heaven and 41 years later we still rejoice in the prayers that brought us together. It was not part of God's plan for us that we go to Africa, but it was part of His plan that we spend our earthly lives together.
Oh, by the way, Joel still wears cowboy boots...but I gave up my suede boots a long time ago!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Parched

Lately I have been walking through the desert feeling as prickly and dry as the cactus in this picture. I cannot seem to pull up anything inspirational to write about. I read or hear something inspirational and pick up a pencil and paper...and that is far as I get. I am definitely in a dry spell. I have tried to figure out why, and lately feel God has me in a dormant state of stillness to teach me. I believe He is asking me a rhetorical question...."How can you write and inspire others when you do not quench your own thirst with my Word?"
I am in need of spiritual waters. I am dry and prickly because I do not nourish my own soul.

Isaiah 35:6 says, "Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.

I am clinging to this verse today. God is waiting for me to feed my soul in His waters. He will make streams in the wasteland....streams in the desert when I am obedient to his teaching. My "muted tongue" will once again shout for joy, and I will return to my deep desire to write again with inspiration.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Worth The Wait

We lived in the Philippine Islands from 1974-76 while Joel served as a meteorologist in the Air Force. He forecasted weather for the pilots flying to such places as Japan, Viet Nam, or the U.S. Clark Air Force base had a population of about 40,000 at that time. It was a small town with its own college, churches, library, etc. All our food was brought in by plane, or on big ships to Subic Bay and from there came on trucks to Clark. There was only one grocery store for the whole base and going shopping on pay day was more than a challenge! It was a waiting game. First of all it was important to get there early because it took about an hour just to get in the door to shop. With the heat and humidity it was always good to bring along something to drink....and a good book! Shopping was not so bad, but when it came time to check out, the lines were yet another hour long. And yet knowing we needed food to sustain us, it was"worth the wait". Somethings in life are worth the wait.

There are important times in our lives that require patience and remembering that "all good things come to those who wait". Times when we just need to bring along a "good book" to read while we wait in line....Those circumstances in our life when God answers our prayers, not with a yes or no, but with wait. We know that God wants what is best for us~ the "Good Book" tells us that he has a plan for us...a plan for good and not for evil....that God loves us so much he gave His son to die for us....so if we focus on what His Word tells us, we can trust that the answers to our prayers will come...and they will be worth the wait!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Aha Moments


I have been re-reading one of Max Lucado's books today and neon lights have been going off, giving me a few "aha" moments. Don't you just love when that happens??!!
Today my thankfulness focuses on those aha moments that God blesses me with.

Thank You Lord For The Aha's :

The aha of realizing that my new glasses have given me a clearer view and I can not only read easier, but enjoy nature much better from my window!

The aha moment of realizing how privileged I am to be able to read. To not only have all the time in the world to thumb through the pages of a book, but having the ability to read. I have always believed if you can read, the world is at your fingertips...you can do anything!

The aha moment of realizing how much God loves me ~ sending me encouragement in the form of the prayers of others, devotionals, and your Word. Also the words that pop out and grab me through the Internet, books, and even the TV.

The aha moment of realizing that God loves me so much He wants what is best for me AND He wants me to be the best I can for Him. Not only encouraging me but teaching me. For His glory. To be a witness for Him.

The aha moment of realizing once again that my God is a powerful, mountain-moving, earth shaking God!

The aha moment of realizing that I have had more aha moments in my lifetime than I can ever count!

May you be washed in aha moments this day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

For Love Of Pansies

Pansies are one of my favorite flowers. My love of this velvety flower started when I was a child~ ~I remember planting pansies at school for our mothers and presenting this gift to my mom on Mother's Day. The joy she expressed stayed with me for many years. When she died at age 92 we had pansies at her funeral. They hold a special place in my heart and every year Joel gives me pansies for Mother's Day at my request. Here are photos of this year's bright colorful array! Aren't they beautiful?
The Pansies we grow today originated in England and were created by cross breeding several plants. They are ancestors of the viola and wild Pansy, and their name is derived from the french word, "penses" which means thought or remembrance. I have also heard them called "Hearts-ease", and that they are. A little tidbit for you: they are edible!

On a personal level, I have always been fascinated with how delicate pansies look, but how strong they really are. They have such narrow stems, I am amazed that they can hold up such a large flower. I have watched them droop and close down in a rain, or be blown around in the wind, but they come right back up and stand tall sharing their beauty with us again when the storms have passed. They are very resilient.

Of course I can't resist comparing these delicate but sturdy flowers to those who live with chronic illness or other challenges. We often have a delicate body and find ourselves blown around by the wind or bent over with the heavy rains that come into our lives....but with God's help we are able to be strong ~ sharing our own beauty ~ the gifts we are given and what we have learned on our journey ~ with others. We are resilient.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We Walk By Faith

Sometimes the way before us is filled with a mist. We are unable to see clearly and may find ourselves struggling to take the next step, not sure of what lies on the path ahead. We may become frightened and question what is waiting for us, and we may imagine that terrible things are ahead, so we refuse to move until the way is clear. We become bound by fear. And when fear moves in, it takes control and robs us of any lasting peace.

2 Timothy 1:7 tells us we do not need to have a spirit of fear! And throughout the Bible God tells us over and over again to "Fear not".

2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us we do not walk by sight. We walk by faith. We believe even though we do not see. We know that God has a plan for us...a plan for good and not for evil and with each step we take forward into the mist....into the unknown, our fears subside and our faith gives us the courage to keep moving forward on the journey God has laid out for us.

We walk by faith.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rooted In Faith

Our neighbor planted a beautiful flowering crab tree last year. I am able to see it from my sofa sanctuary and right now it is in full bloom. It looks like such a delicate tree with it's tall skinny branches and small trunk, but when the wind blows it just bends with it while the deepening roots keep it safely in the ground.

We may at times feel as fragile as this tree's branches and trunk look, but with God's strength we are able to bend in the wind of our troubles and stay rooted in our faith. And with God's love we are able to grow in our faith and bloom right where we are planted~ just like this wonderful flowering crab tree that brightens my view.

It is a great reminder to me that God can use me in all my circumstances, even when I am weak. Maybe more so!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Grateful/Thankful Thursday

Today I was reading a blog I enjoy, A Place Called Simplicity and the author, Linny, spoke about a book she and her husband are reading entitled, The Encore Church, by Wayne Cordeiro. She quoted the author below:

"Gratefulness, is different. It can only be developed intentionally. It begins with a spirit. It's an attitude, a disposition that we carry whether or not things go our way. It's being content before any gifts are given. It's breathing a silent "thank you" regardless of what the circumstances are. It's the hallelujah with no guarantee of a blessing. It is the confidence to accept whatever God brings."

Linny and her family has gone through many challenges in the past few months that would break down the average person. And yet, they have made the choice to be grateful regardless of what their circumstances are. Accepting whatever God brings. Grateful BEFORE any gifts and answers to prayers are given. They are an inspiration for us all.

Today on Grateful/Thankful Thursday I am giving thanks for people like Linny who are willing to share their journey of faith with us. I am giving thanks for what I have been reminded of this day in regards to gratefulness. I have so much to be grateful for....it is time to take out my gratitude journal and start writing!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cleansing Rain

Psalm 51:7 "Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow." Ps. 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O god, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

It is raining hard today. There is thunder and lightening in the sky at times, and a good old fashioned steady rain is helping the grass and spring flowers to grow. The rain is washing "winter" dust off the house, roof, and decks ~making everything clean. The often used quote, "April showers bring May flowers" is ringing true here in the Midwest today.

At times I feel the need for a good old fashioned rain to rid me of my "winter" dust, while making me clean again and helping me grow. There comes a time when we all are in need of renewal. Our bodies may need a rest, our hearts may be in need of healing, or our minds just might need cleansing and reordering. Sometimes in our brokenness we need all three.

In such a time as this, God will cleanse and heal us when we come to Him with arms outstretched. He will restore us, renew us, and sustain us, just as a cleansing rain restores the earth.



Thursday, April 23, 2009

Giving Thanks This Thursday

It is a beautiful day here with sunshine and unusually warm temperatures. The grass is green and tulips and crocus are lifting their heads up in praise. I just stopped over to Debi's site,
Who Says Eight Is Enough and enjoyed looking at the photos of her family. It reminded me of the many blessings in our own. We have raised 7 children to adulthood and three in-laws have enriched our family. We now have oodles of grandchildren that bring us great joy. We have 2 birth and 5 adopted children, making our family multiracial and international. As in all families, sadness has touched us more than once. Our 3rd son died of congestive heart failure when a virus attacked his heart. He was only 25. Our 4th son was adopted at age 7, diagnosed as a child without a conscious at age 13 and as a sociopath at 18. Due to his violent behavior he is "estranged" from the family. The rest of our children are doing well and raising their own children to know Jesus as their Savior~ they are good, loving, faith-filled people...what more could I ask for??!!??

This Thankful Thursday I am praising God for the many family blessings in my life. For each and every one of our children, in-laws, and grandchildren and what they have taught us about living a life of faith.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fall Afresh

The past couple of days a song has been going through my mind and I find myself humming or singing a few lines...

Spirit of the living God............fall afresh on me

Spirit of the living God............fall afresh on me

Melt me ........mold me........fill me........use me....

Spirit of the living God............fall afresh on me

Part of our purpose here on earth is to serve and glorify God in all we do. To me, this song is a request for God's help in our quest to become more Christ-like as His followers.

Fall afresh: Send your spirit to renew me Lord.

Melt me: I surrender all to you precious Jesus.

Mold me: You created and shaped me Lord with a plan and purpose in mind.

Fill me: Come, thou Holy Spirit, fill me with all I need.

Use me: Lord, I am your servant, use me according to your purpose to tell others about You, and glorify You in all I say and do.

Lord, give me the strength to fulfill the dream You have put in my heart.