Monday, April 28, 2014

~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.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Way Of Love

I Corinthians 13
Love never give up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

This is the "love" chapter in the Bible and one of my favorites because I need to be reminded....

My friend, Jack Alexander, used to live by these words: It's more important to engrave your name in the hearts of others than any other tribute this world can offer.

This is a picture of my young niece Mackenzie holding a shell that she found when we were swimming together in the ocean.  It looked like the letter L was carved on the shell.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

~Joy Killer Or Builder?~

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

Each day we have the opportunity to either be a "Joy" killer or builder to those around us. For some of us it will depend on our personalities and for others it will depend upon the circumstances. Romans 8:28 tells us that everything will work out for the good if we give it (the problem) and us (doing His will). 

Joy can be killed in us and in others around us by negativity, criticism and bad behavior. Joy can be built in us and in others around us by being positive, building each other up and trusting God in all our circumstances.

The scriptures are full of God's promises that no matter what is said to us or no matter what the circumstances that He (God) is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think within us according to Ephesians 3:20.

Joy comes when I let go of control for my life and give God the control. 

My prayer: Lord, please forgive me for killing any "JOY" in myself or those around me with my attitude or words and please help me to always be a "JOY" builder instead. 


This picture was taken when I was walking in Palm Beach in 2006.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Discipleship


 ...and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20

Discipleship is teaching others how to follow Jesus. We don't have to be great theologians to teach others how to follow. It's in the simple every day things that we do all day that we can teach those around us how to follow Jesus.
When my grandkids are in the car we always have a sing a long of Sunday school songs that I have taught over the years. Their favorite is "Jesus Loves Me" and we always discuss afterwards God's love and say the verse together John 3:16. I have been using my car rides with my kids and grandkids all of their life for a time to teach them about following Jesus.

May we leave behind a generation of men, women, children, and grandchildren who love Christ with all their heart!


 This is a picture of my great-nephew Corey as he pulls me along in my float
 while I am under an umbrella trying to protect myself from the sun in the 1990's.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

~Looking For Sunshine~

Many times as a young mother I would plan a fun-filled day for my kids. The best of plans would go awry with just one of them waking up in a mood. It's difficult to expect 3 children to all wake up pleasant. Maybe it would be an accident where one of the kids would have an injury or we all woke up to an epidemic of illness.

By the end of the day I would just want to sit and cry from my own disappointment and that of the kids. It would be one of those days that would be so out of my control leaving me feeling helpless and questioning my ability as a mom. To say I was discouraged and frustrated would be an understatement.

There were a few things I would do to help us turn our awful and depressing day into a good one: Singing silly songs with the kids would always make them laugh and laughter changes everything.
Building a fort in the middle of the living room for everyone in the family to sleep and bringing all our mattresses to lay on. Makes the fort more comfy! Reading stories together as we all lay in my bed and having the older kids read aloud too. Baking something fun and festive that makes it feel like a holiday. Creating crafts always seems to be something kids find stimulating and enjoyable. Even a simple trip to the library together made the day brighter.

There are so many ways to make a day pleasant even though it didn't work out as planned. Keep looking for the sun on your next cloudy day!

A picture I took of a storm approaching the coast and
 the sunshine and blue skies just beyond those clouds.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

~Land Mines Of Life~

When I was a young woman, I remember fearing certain losses or death of a loved one. Wondering if I had enough faith and trust to endure the land mines of life that I would see others having to deal with themselves. I would imagine some scenario in my life and think I don't think I would be able to go on if.......and filled in the blank. 

Looking back, some of those things did come to pass but many did not happen. Other things happened that I didn't or couldn't possibly have imagined and I realize that God did and will sustain us. It is difficult to imagine the grace that God has for us in the middle of what we would have thought would have destroyed us otherwise.

There have been moments in my life where we have been crippled but not defeated. We can't always understand what is happening or why but we can see God carrying us through the land mines of life!


This picture was taken of the brightest full moon 
I have ever seen over the ocean, October 2013