Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday's Scribbles

Another week has gone by in this corner of the world where the sun shines, the cactus grows, and the desert air beckons you to stay longer.  Arizona has its own beauty to share.  At first Joel missed the green (which is now snow) of the Midwest but now he has embraced the landscape, especially this area of Gold Canyon where the mountains are your neighbors and hills are the norm when biking or walking.

Speaking of that, he has biked daily and often walked with me daily, too along with Jan and Lanny.   A coyote crossed our path as we walked the other day, and quail greet us in the yards.  Joel has come across a couple coyotes but no big cats or rattlesnakes, thank goodness.  Too chilly.  I never tire of the views and wonder if those who call this area home feel the same.

It has been a busy week with shopping, a mini High School reunion of my classmates at our friends, Jim and Linda's, and a trip up into Tonto National Forest to see Canyon Lake.  Stunning views.  On Thursday we visited dear Linny and Dwight's home and shared a meal with the family.  Amazing fun!  Friday was another visit with Jim and Linda.  In between there were meals eaten out, shopping, playing cards, worship at Jan and Lanny's church, swap meet, art festival, walks in neighborhood and to the coffee shop, and  much more.  Plan to share pics when I return.....We will be resting from this vacation when we get home!

Speaking of home, my flatlander hubby says he is not ready to go home to winter. I agree. Especially with the snow forecasted for Iowa and other places in the Midwest.  Ugh.  We were fascinated when it rained here for one night and a day and washes and gullies started to fill with water and there were flood advisories!

Off to enjoy Akaushi steaks and another sunset.

Until next time......

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday's Scribbles

It is Saturday morning and the weather outside is delightful in my sister Jan's corner of the world.  Phoenix is heading for a high of 78 degrees today with relentless sunshine.  After two chilly (?) days in the low sixties we are anticipating "shoveling sunshine" instead of snow today, as our friends Linny and DW like to say!

Speaking of Linny and Dw, we will be hugging on them soon.  We will also be gathering with our friends, who are our oldest daughter's Godparents, plus a few of my classmates who live in the area.  We spent a couple precious hours visiting with friends from Canada on our way to Phoenix.

We have been walking and Joel has gotten out on his bike some.  With close views of the Superstition Mountains, Our eyes are filled with all things beautiful. Having a backyard that overlooks a brush gully, you get night time visitors like mountain lions.  My sister and brother in law pointed out the paw prints pressed deep into their rocky sand the first day we arrived.  Okay then.  A little too close and personal for this flatlander!  Joel?  Thrilled!

We have been able to get "business" out of the way~~~Joel found a new pair of boots and a really nice hat at two of the western wear shops in Mesa.  Even riding in the car through endless traffic on our pursuit was enjoyable as we spent time laughing with family.  God is good.

Today we are celebrating Joel's three year anniversary of his overnight healing.  PRAISE GOD!

We drove 1900 miles in exactly 3 days to get here.  We stayed in my sister and BIL's townhome in Wichita the first night.  Then the predictions of two storms merging to create heavy snow sent us south instead of West, so we stayed in Sweetwater Texas the second night. I found out later it is known as the rattlesnake capital of the world.  Okey dokey!  After hours of endless Texas landscapes, we crossed New Mexico into Arizona, staying in the town of Wilcox.  Beautiful views!

I plan to write in detail when time allows.  For now I'm off to another adventure, and to hug on my sister Jan.  Life is good, God is great!

Until next time....

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday's Scribbles

"It's a beautiful day in the a beautiful day for a neighbor...won't you be mine...won't you be my neighbor!"  Remember Mr. Roger's Neighborhood?  Such a sweet show, a favorite for our children, especially our oldest son.  But it is a beautiful day here in corn country!  We are heading for 43 degrees today.  We have been able to walk outside a few days this week, which is usually unheard of in January.  Love that fresh air! The other days we headed to the local mall where walkers outnumber shoppers in the morning.

Speaking of shopping, my sweet cowboy preacher brought me home a nice surprise this week.  I had been walking by a store that displayed a darling brushed corduroy dressy turquoise jacket and coordinating scarf for a few weeks.  I kept thinking when it went on sale I would get it. as I do not like paying full price for anything.  Every sale.   On Tuesday afternoon Joel surprised me with the jacket and scarf. He figured I would want to take it on our trip and if we waited until it went on sale, it would be gone.  What a great guy I share my life with!

The world continues to be a bit off it's course with the violence, crazy weather, since the beginning of time government and political junk, warnings about flu,  and the warnings of climate change continuing to come our way.  It would be easy to jump on the panic train.  But it is better to put our trust in the One who gives us life.  Here and in the hereafter!

I am about half done with the scarf I am knitting, and have enjoyed it very much.  I like having something to do with my hands while watching TV.  I expect when we travel having something to knit will be a good thing, too. 

Yesterday we ate lunch out with my sister Kay and BIL Dan at the local HyVee grocery.  They have a great variety of  good food in their deli and their restaurant area was crowded with people who must think so, too. 

I finished Derek Prince's book, "God's Word Heals", began studying about praise, my one word to focus on for 2015, and picked up another light Monica Ferris mystery.  I still have been pondering the book "Wild" and the love-hate relationship I had with the book and the author.  sigh.....We enjoyed Bethel church's new video/music film recorded on a mountain top in CA, and a couple of teachings by Charis Bible and also Heidi Baker.  TV was much the norm.  Still enjoy Madam Secretary a great deal.

So, how was your week?
Until next time.........

Thursday, January 15, 2015

There Is Nothing Generic About Praise!

"I will bless the Lord at all time, His praises 
will continually be in my mouth."
Psalm 34:1

"From sunrise brilliance to sunset beauty
Lift up his praise from dawn to dusk"
Psalm 113:3

I am linking up with Bonnie Gray today over at Faith Barista as she begins a new Thursday link up entitled, "Faith Brews".  Bonnie has written a beautiful book, "Finding Spiritual Whitespace" and I had the privilege of being part of her online launch team.  The book was really helpful on my healing journey, and I am so grateful that she has shared her story to help others.

Today Bonnie asked us to share what word for 2015 we had chosen to reflect on.  I wasn't sure I was going to even seek out a word, but when God shared with Joel and me that 2015 would be a pivotal year for us, I felt maybe it would be important to have a focus word.  Was the word "pivotal"?  Not that I could discern.  Then I heard twice in two days from different two sources the statement, "A year without fear".  Ok, maybe this was where I was being led, but it did not seem to sit right within.

Eventually the word praise popped up....again, and again, and again.  I confess, I tried to ignore it, even after I asked for confirmation and it jumped out at me two more times!  Praise.  It just seemed soooooo been there, doing that generic. It seemed so that is, until I read Ann Voskamp's post on anxiety, and how the answer to anxiety is adoration of Jesus ~~in the form of gratitude ( Ann wrote a wonderful book on this topic, "One Thousand Gifts") and praise.  Adoration.   Then I read a powerful statement I came across out in cyber space.
 "Praise brings God into every situation." 

It all came together for me.  I just love how God is in the details of our lives.  Isn't it comforting?  You see, at times I deal with anxiety, and lately I have been seeking ways to release it.   Any of you have that problem?  My body responds to stress quickly for reasons I have shared before. Even though a great deal of inner healing has taken place, the body seems to like to hang on to it's hyper-vigilant state.  While asking God for more peace and less reactions, God in is perfect love presented me with an answer.   Praise.  He is pretty amazing isn't he!

I decided to research praise and discovered that just the word alone has 380 references at Bible Gateway.  One of the verses  I came across is Psalm 22:3, which goes along with the quote above. 
"God inhabits the praises of His people." 
Psalm 22:3

I like this idea.  Of course, we know He lives in us, but having Him dwell in our praises is kind of awesome, isn't it.  Also during prayer, praise builds us up.  We are told in the Bible that using our prayer languages (speaking in tongues) edifies us.  Builds us up.  And Nehemiah 8:10 tells us, "the joy of our Lord is our strength."  We are strengthened in praise.  Out of love, God blesses us even as we praise Him.

Having just begun this study on praise, I am excited about where God will lead me on this journey with Him.  Among other things, I have already learned there is nothing generic about praise!


Monday, January 12, 2015

"Hello, It's Me, Jesus!"

Late yesterday afternoon while walking at the mall, my cell phone rang.  It was our oldest daughter calling.  We cut our walk short and headed for a quieter place to talk...first the car and then our home.  It was delightful to visit and catch up on what is going on in their lives. When at all possible, if one of our kids calls, we put everything else to the side to visit with them.  What could be more important?!

This morning during our devotion time, I pondered how important it is to Joel and I to hear from our kids.  Emails are nice, texting is great, but when real time hugs are impossible, hearing the voices of those we love has a powerful effect on us. It nourishes our souls. 

The reflections continued as I studied God's Word.  Just like with those we love and care about, we need to take the time to connect with our Heavenly Father, Papa God.  Zephaniah tells us that our Creator, our Father, our Everything delights in us.  He rejoices over us with singing, just like we do with our own children (and grandchildren).  So when we "call" Him and He hears our voice does He smile?  When we have a conversation with Him does it fill His heart with love the way it does with us when we talk with our children?  Of course it does!  He loves us deeply.

And what about our feelings for Him?  What if we answered our phone and we heard, "Hello, it's Me, Jesus!"  God desires to have a relationship with us on an intimate level and there is no better way than through spending time with Him.  We talk.  He talks.  Yes, He does.   He may not call us on our cell phone, but God speaks to us in His Word, in our minds, in our hearts, through nature, His powerful presence manifested, and much more.  He waits to for us to come to Him, and certainly He comes to us.  Be open, be still.  Be still and know that He is God.

For the past three years most mornings I take time to sit back, close my eyes, and go into the "garden of my heart" with Jesus, Papa God, Holy Spirit, or all three!  I am a very visual person and it is such a blessing for me to have these God-guided times of imagining.  Today when I went into the Garden I sat in the grass down by a stream, and deliberately made my mind and body still as I waited for Papa God.  It is not easy for me to be silent or keep my mind in check,  as I usually have an agenda for these morning gatherings, but as I sat In the quiet I felt peace come with Jesus.  What happened next is not for me to share, but I could not help but feel how much we are loved, how much He wants to have a personal relationship with us and bless us fully in that relationship.  It is not much different than when we nourish our souls through a conversation with our children.   How blessed I am, we all are, to freely come to Him for a chat.  It nourishes our souls!

Next time your phone rings, check caller id.  You may hear, "Hello, it's Me, Jesus!"

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday's Scribbles

It is Saturday morning in our corner of the world and the weather has been the main topic of conversation.  The past two weeks of my blogation were not spent on the beach!  They were spent right here at home in Iowa, where temperatures are beyond cold, with wind chills hitting -35 and a blizzard that caused several accidents and at least one death.  More than one church service and meeting were cancelled for us, schools closed. Roads were terrible, so we stayed close to home and the fireplace.  We did get out daily to walk.....but inside of course!  I am back to walking over a mile, which feels good. 

Besides the weather being crazy, it seems our world has reached a new level in insanity with all the horrible senseless violence.  This attacking "soft targets" is so cowardly.  So is going after every police officer because of a few who abuse their position.  So.  Not. Okay. 

Our cleaning lady went in to have a kidney stone removed and ended up having major surgery for kidney cancer.  What a shock for her.....we are certainly praying for her full recovery.  With Joel and I cleaning this 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house on our own, I must say I have a  new appreciation for
what she does here for us.  We don't know if she will be coming back to such physical work or not, so we wish her good health and a blessed 2015. 

I made a new stew this week, chicken and sweet potato stew with apple cider and apples.  It was not our favorite so back to the drawing board.  Note to self:  Next time you make a new recipe, cut it in half so you are not eating something you don't care for more than twice~!

We stayed home New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.  I was just not up to any activities besides eating out, which we did both days for lunch.  We also watched two movies....the first, "And So It Goes" was ..."ok".  We like Diane Keaton, but it was a bit raunchy for us.  The second movie, "The Hundred Foot Journey" was fantastic.  I highly recommend it!

2015..........Remember worrying about all the computers crashing when we left 1999 behind for 2000?  Nothing was going to work....utilities, etc. water shortage,  etc. etc.   We stored up water just in case.....Now it makes us laugh, but it was a big deal then.....and here we are into 2015.  We have a sense from God that this will be a pivotal year for us.

I have been reading a few Monica Ferris light fiction books, and the main character owns a knitting/needlepoint shop.  It put me in the mood to knit again , so I have started a winter wool-blend scarf.  It is more a practice piece since I have not picked up knitting needles for at least 20 years!  I am finishing up Derek Prince's book, "God's Word Heals".  I have enjoyed adding the Passion Translation to my daily devotionals.  The whole Bible is not yet translated, but I received several books of the Passion Translation for Christmas.   It is very poetic and Spirit focused.  It is not a study Bible, but a nice addition.  Especially the Psalms.  We are back to watching our favorite TV shows and teachings at Bethel and Charis/Andrew Wommack Ministries. 

I am not making any New Year's resolutions.  I am focusing more on a "word" or a "statement" for this year.  God has been speaking me to me about it, but nothing clear as of yet. 

We are excited to plan our trip to AZ.  Will be great to see my sister and her hubby, old friends, and new ones!  So what is happening in your corner of the world?

Until next time...........