Saturday, December 28, 2013

Any Bad Habits?

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!

What is a habit anyway? A habit is anything that we do that has a controlling influence on our lives...it becomes part of us. It could be smoking, drinking, excessive eating, chewing gum, twisting paper clips as we listen, saying "you know" every few words, drinking coffee every half hour and so on...

QUOTE: St. Augustine said, "A Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes a necessity." 

My doctor told me that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit or begin a good habit. She was encouraging me because of a new food regiment she was about to put me on and if I stuck to it for 21 days, it would become a good habit. For some reason that seemed possible when she put it that way.

I feel for people who are addicted to bad habits because I know how difficult it is to give up something that is bad for us. It almost seems crazy when you can't give up something that will eventually harm you right? But the bondage is so great so I thought my doctors motivating words might motivate someone else.

Habits are first cobwebs, then cables. 

The good news is that chronic worrying is a mental habit you can learn how to break.

 This is a picture I took of a lizard that lives in our yard in 2012.

Monday, December 23, 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.

Thursday, December 19, 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, December 18, 2013

~Taking Time To Encourage Others In Spite Of The Imperfections Of Life~

II Cor. 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Life's imperfections consist of health and emotional burdens like depression or anxiety, a heartache over some loss, death of a loved one or financial difficulties. Every sorrow and difficulty is common to every home. We all have problems and cares that can weigh us down. We don't all have wealth; but we all have burdens.

Many of us have been thru things that uniquely qualify us to help others. We can help lift a burden for someone by listening, caring and encouraging. We don't always have the answers or the ability to change the circumstances but we do all have the ability to care. Some times it's just the ability to show we care that is enough to encourage another person to keep going when all seems lost.

The ability to help others when we ourselves are burdened is one way to enjoy life in spite of the imperfections!

This picture was taken when we visited Savannah in 2009.

Monday, December 16, 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. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

*The Unseen Path Of Life!

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path - Psalm 119:105

Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see. ~ Corrie ten Boom

The story of Corrie ten Boom who survived a Nazi death camp is a great example of courage and strength in the midst of the most horrific circumstances. Most of her family died in those death camps but yet she realized that her life spared was a gift from God. She stated that "there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still" and "God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies." At age 53, Corrie ten Boom began a world-wide ministry which took her into more that 60 countries in the next 33 years! She testified to God's love and encouraged all she met with the message that "Jesus is Victor." Take time to read her website: http://www.corrietenboom.com

When life seems hard take time to remember those like Corrie ten Boom who took their sacrifices of life and shared God's love, mercy and grace. We don't always see what God is doing in our own life to make us a better reflection of Him.

Traveling with the Lord is not about being able to see where our journey leads but trusting in the one who leads!

This is a picture I took of my grandkids that I had sitting on top of my desk at home, September 2013.
 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

~Wonderful Gift's from God~

God gives us the gift of forgiveness. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

God gives us the gift of salvation if we will trust in Him. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 

Another one of God's gifts to us is the Holy Spirit the moment we become a believer. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, self-control and faith. These are the qualities that God says, I put into your life when you let me live through you. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

God also gives us the gift of special abilities which are called Spiritual Gifts. They are the abilities you need to get the job done that God wants you to do. “Each of you has been blessed with one of God's many wonderful gifts to be used in serving of others. So use your gift well.” 1 Peter 4:10 

Spiritual gifts produce spiritual results! 

This picture was taken January 2014 when I was teaching the kids a few 
weeks ago at church and we made these bracelets to help in memorizing John 3:16.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

*We Are Never Alone!

 John 14:15-18 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.


God's gift to us is the Holy Spirit who indwells in us and gives us peace that passes all understanding; which means we are never alone. The Holy Spirit is like a suit of armor that prepares us for life's daily battles. The Holy Spirit goes out into our daily conflicts and protects our front, backs, sides and insides; our whole being.


The Holy Spirit is God’s moment-by-moment provision for strength, courage, boldness, victory and the abundant life. It’s for you and it’s God’s plan for your life! 

Focusing on worst-case scenarios won’t keep bad things from happening. It will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present.

"A godly woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her."



This picture was taken at sunrise on the beach!

"What I Like About Christmas"

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

written December 10, 2010:
Christmas is one of my favorite times of year because of the festive decorations, parties and most people just seem to be in good spirits....I don't care for the shopping and spending money on things we would not normally purchase any other time of year but overall it is still one of my favorite holidays! With my kids and grand-kids I try to just spend time in celebration as much as possible and on the 25th I cook up a traditional southern breakfast.

This is something I have done all of their lives and it is the only tradition that we still carry on today. I am so grateful because it is a wonderful family time and we are in agreement to keep it going.  I feel it is the BEST part of our day together!

Some years my mother travels from Spain to spend the holidays with us so that makes it even more special. Also, I use as many family members things to add to the tradition such as my dads dishes, my grandmothers goblets & my mother n laws trays so their memories live on with us....It's just a magical time of year for us as a family ~ 
  It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
- W. T. Ellis

 This picture was taken of my youngest grandbaby in 2012!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Category 5 Storm

2 Corinthians 4:8-9,
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

According to the weather report all is quiet in the tropics right now and as I was reading this I thought how great it would be if we all had a radar to watch to see when a storm of life is about to come our way personally. Unfortunately life is not that way at all so we have to be prepared spiritually each and every day as we may face a new day where all may be quiet or we may face a day where we have a Category 5 coming. One never knows what each day may bring but we can take comfort in knowing that God knows and watches over us and is able to protect and prepare us for the storms we will be facing.


Life is so full of storms it seems, just like hurricane season they come when you are not ready and when you least expect it and you are never prepared. Who can prepare for the day to day dramas that affect all of us in one way or the other except to trust in God to take care of us in the midst of each crisis. The hope we have that he is continuously holding on to us as the storms of life are knocking us down and that we will be able to get back up and go on with our life once again.


I think about the young men and women giving their life in the war for all of us here to have a better quality of life and the men and women before them. Personally, I have not had to give up my life for anything or anyone. I feel blessed and privileged to know that there are people I do not even know who are fighting for you and me. That encourages me to keep going no matter what storm I may be facing today. These are people who see something bigger than themselves and are willing to take a risk daily for something they believe in.


During the last few years of hurricanes, like everyone else has experienced, every plant in my yard died except one bougainvillea. It actually bloomed even more after the hurricane and that reminded me so much of people in my own life that persevere through it all. They are such an encouragement  to me and my family as they bloom in this garden called life!


My prayer and challenge today is to be more like the bougainvillea and that I may bloom more after the storms passes. (written in 2006 during Hurricane Season)


I took this photo when Hurricane Sandy 2012 was miles 
from our shores on it's way North.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Seasons Of Life

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1


There are dozens of seasons in our life. Here are some of the seasons according to Ecclesiastes 3:2-8.

A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace.


Ask yourself in whatever season of life you are in today, "What can I learn from this season of my life?"  

Prayer: Lord, I want to trust you in every season of my life ~ good and bad!


This picture was taken at my work 
when it was decorated for Christmas in 2008.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Good Or Evil?

Romans 8:27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Everyone has the feeling they are always fighting the good angel and the evil demon on their shoulders. When I hear the evil demon telling me what to do, I know it is my own wicked flesh talking. When I hear the good angel telling me what to do, I know it is the Holy Spirit living within me.When I give in to my flesh it always gets me into trouble. When I listen to the Holy Spirit it leads me to a path of peace.

We don't always know the right thing to do but the Holy Spirit living inside of us does so we need to  listen and obey. Pray for God to make all things clear and it will be made clear. Listen for God's voice in your heart and life to direct to what is right. It will never be contrary to God's Word. Listen carefully and completely. 

How do we hear? 
 Through prayer, God's Word and obeying His Word!

 This picture was taken when I was traveling on 
the coast of Mississippi in 2009.