Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Surprise Package Full Of Love!

Let all you do be done in LOVE.  I Cor. 16:14

Recently my husband and I have been burdened for individuals that we care for and taking time to pray for their difficulties. It wasn't within our control to be able to do anything but we can always pray. We are grateful to those who share their hearts because they do not want to bear their burdens alone even if all we can do is listen and pray.

This was a particularly difficult week and in the midst of it we received a surprise package. Our niece Theresa had sent a box full of gifts for us from Delaware. Our hearts were overwhelmed because we were not expecting it and it was so nice to know that someone had us on their heart. God knew we needed to be shown love that particular day and he used her to bring us joy!

My husband received clothes which are always his favorite and I received a beautiful piece of artwork that she had done herself. I had chills when I opened up the framed flower she had put together because she inspires me with her beautiful work. I put it somewhere I can see every day as a reminder that God is faithful to show us His love through others. It was the encouragement we needed and we are grateful!






Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Life Lessons

Proverbs 14:26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.

My parents were missionaries in Europe and they took me to church every Sunday, Wednesday night plus any other nights of the week for music practice, studies, events, etc. My Aunt Betty and Uncle Darrell also raised their own children in church and since I was at their home so often I went along. My senior year of high school I trusted in Christ as my personal Savior. I knew all about God in my head from growing up in church but I didn't have a personal relationship with Him in my heart until January 28, 1976.


God called me to ministry at 21 years of age and I also took my own children to church every time the door was open. I never let any other school or sport event interfere with church because I felt it was a priority. We have some amazing memories of our time together as a family and growing up in church.


Church is a place for children to learn how to do LIFE! There isn't any other institution here on this earth that teaches exactly what our children need in order to handle every situation for their future. There are still no guarantees that your children will turn out right but it gives them every opportunity to know the way....



This is a picture I took of my husband playing the drums with our daughter
 and her husband in 2012. They have all been involved with the Worship Team
 for many years. It is a joy to watch them all as they share in ministry 
and I am able to enjoy the music while holding my little grandchild. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

~Strength In Weakness~

2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.


It's okay to be weak because God is strong ~ It's okay not to have all the answers because God knows it all ~ It's okay to be wrong because God makes all things right!  Know that God has allowed it for His purpose and for His kingdom. It's not personal even when everyone around us seems to be against us. It is God who can work through us in our darkest hour. 


We can do ALL things through Christ 
who will strengthen us!

This picture was taken when I visited the country of Spain in 2007.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Laughter Is Good For The Soul

Luke 6:21 Jesus said, "Blessed are ye that week now: for ye shall laugh.

written November 30, 2010
This past Thanksgiving I laughed more than I had in a very long time because my mother, Aunt, Uncle and cousins are so hysterically funny. I laughed so much my throat hurt but it felt so good to my soul.

I have been blessed with family members who know how to tell good stories. It is just a lot of fun to hang around them and listen to the stories over and over again.

Worry, negativity and criticism is just not a part of their nature but instead they are uplifting and loads of fun. Now that I am an adult and I see how dark and negative the rest of the world really is I see the importance of laughter. My mother and aunt were not as fortunate but instead grew up with my grandmother who was very negative and difficult. Instead of complaining about their childhood they have found a way to talk about it in such a humorous way that it keeps my grandmother's memory alive, which I love.

How wonderful to have such a gift of laughter in my life given to me by my family and I am forever grateful!


I took this picture of my Aunt Betty and my mama during Thanksgiving in the 1990's. We would stay in rustic log cabins in the Cumberland Mountains and spend our days telling stories, laughing, singing and playing Rook! Just having these two ladies together is all you need to enjoy yourself and have fun anywhere!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Need Some Joy?

Job 8:21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. 
 

We all need joy in our life in order for life to make sense, right? Otherwise, how miserable it would be to just exist and feel no joy at all. We have all met people from time to time that have been robbed of their joy due to life's circumstances. I think it is disheartening  when I meet people who rob themselves of their own joy. No matter how much you try to help them see the good in life they see the negative, always complaining and in a state of major self pity. Let's be honest, we are all guilty!
 

There are people who should not have any joy because of life's circumstances and yet they do have real joy.  That is amazing to me because they manage to enjoy God's blessings in the midst of it all.
 

Joy comes from God and He gives it to anyone who wants to receive it and even when life happens and bangs us up, it will be where we least expect it.
 

Joy has come to me in many forms....some times from a scripture, a child, a friend, a flower, a butterfly, the ocean, artwork, etc....and when I least expect it!
 

In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag. - W.H. Auden
 This picture was taken on one of my walks on March 31, 2008.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

~Practice Makes Perfect~

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

written during Hurricane Season 2006:
When tropical storm Alberto formed in 2006, I thought it would be a good time for a practice drill to be sure we have our hurricane preparedness plan at home working. I asked Jim to show me how to work our new shutters which all we needed to do was close, pack and leave. I like the sound of that, don’t you? Anyways, we pulled the shutters together, easy, easy, easy and then I asked, why is there a lock on the handles? He said, because you need a key and then I asked, where is the key? He looked at me as if to say, I thought you had it. When you have been married as many years as we have, you don’t have to speak because a “look” speaks volumes. I looked back at him and I said, "No, I don’t have the key so where do you think it might be?" Oh brother, we failed miserably our first hurricane practice drill and a few weeks later when the next tropical storm formed we still had no key.

My life is a lot like this story, I can have a plan on how I think it should be but if the main "key" is missing then I am left feeling stressed instead. I personally always make the mistake of trying to plan my own life because I become so wise in my own eyes. Then I realize when I can’t get it right that I just need to stop looking to myself but instead look to my Heavenly Father. 

We had to have new keys made for our shutters so hopefully the next practice drill will be smoother.....

This picture was taken at "Vizcaya" when we visited in 2012.