Saturday, May 31, 2014

~Changing Others~

If we had the power to change others what would we do? There are people in our life that we know exactly what they need to do to make their life the way we think it ought to be. The best way for change to happen in others is to pray for them. I would love it if I thought people who didn't care for me or have bullied me over the years still took time to pray for me. 


And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,  being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Paul's prayer was that they would grow in love; make wise choices, live with integrity and that they would become more like Jesus. A wonderful example of prayer for all of us to pray for ourselves, for others and especially our enemies.

 This picture was taken by my niece Theresa on a walk in Delaware, May 2014. Looking forward to my visit there with her and her husband.

Friday, May 30, 2014

~Grateful For Family~

The longer we know someone it is easier to take them for granted. We are not always grateful for the family that God has put into our life. We focus more on the bad memories than the good ones. We could all complain about something in everyone around us. There is certainly plenty in myself that others could and do complain about. We are all a mess!

We have to choose to be grateful for our family, our friends, our neighbors, etc. How do we show that we value those who God has placed in to our life? Let's be more thankful and not be guilty of  just complaining, making fun, nagging or criticizing them.

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Philippians 1:3


This is a picture of my Aunt & Uncle with their kids and grandkids in Tennessee at Point Park Lookout Mountain, Thanksgiving 2010 ~ this is a family tradition and many wonderful memories I have with all of them! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

~Resting~



Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3

Being brought up in Andalucia, a nap or siesta was part of our culture. When we moved back to the United States, my parents just changed our nap time but it was still a routine for our family. My parents were very active at home, work, ministry, education, athletics, music, etc. so they understood the importance of taking time to rest. 

As an adult I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone guilt another person by saying things like "Oh must be nice to be able to nap." As if naps or quiet times are not available to everyone. I really never understood that mentality but it seemed to me that they were securing meaning and worth by all their pursuits and not having to have any rest.

Resting (a nap or quiet time) is good and necessary not only for our spiritual welfare but also for our physical and mental. God gave us an example in these verses to go by and we need to listen in order to receive the blessings of a good rest!

 My son's daughter Isabella posing on a statue at the zoo on our visit in 2009.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Are We Good Or Evil?

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God. III John 1:11
 
Friend, don’t go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God’s work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn’t know the first thing about God. III John 1:11 (The Message)


It isn't difficult to be confused on who truly knows God and who doesn't. It is easy to see God's goodness in the life of others. When we don't see goodness in others then it's clear they probably do not know God. But what if they profess to be godly or worse are cruel in the name of religion? 

The scriptures are pretty clear that it is not the talk but instead the walk of a person that speaks volumes!

 This is a picture of my sons dog taken June 26, 2009.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

~Negative Emotions~

And the king took an oath and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, I Kings 1:29

Looking back on King David's life we know that God had delivered him from much anxiety, sorrow, pain, anguish, suffering, agony, torment, heartache and heartbreak. These are many of the same emotions we all experience in life at one time or another. We can trust God as David did with all of our emotional stresses. If anyone had a right to nurse a grudge it was David towards Saul who attempted to kill him. He trusted God with his life and knew that it would only do harm to himself and God's purpose in his life.

The root of anxiety and stress in my own life is always my own lack of faith. I am constantly repenting to God for my unbelief. Sure I have blamed a million and one other things or other people but when I finally am honest with myself it is always by my own doing, my own sin, my unbelief that God has taken care of everything for me. 


Friday, May 16, 2014

~Life's Losses~

Therefore David took hold of his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. II Samuel 1:11-12

David experienced great grief in the loss of Saul and Jonathan in this passage. David had spent years running from Saul who wanted to kill him. He did not rejoice in the death of an enemy.

Today death is so trivial because people are watching it every day on television or reading about it in the news. Experiencing losses comes in many forms: death, moving away, broken relationships, loss of a job or health, etc. A defense mechanisms that many people use in handling loss is to minimize its significance. We convince ourselves that the loss is not a big deal or get into some busyness to forget.

Others are going to hurt us intentionally or unintentionally. It is so difficult to not dwell on the pain that causes us emotionally and physically. David was able to grieve not just for his best friend, Jonathan, but for Saul who had been trying to kill him for years. David refused to get stuck in the past hurts that Saul had caused him.

This picture was taken on one of many walks I shared with my youngest daughter 
and my nephew James after school in 1996. James was killed in an accident at the age of 21.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

~God Wants Our Battles~

Judges 1:1  A time came after the death of Joshua when the People of Israel asked God, “Who will take the lead in going up against the Canaanites to fight them?”

Even though the people of Israel had won their battles in the book of Joshua there were still more battles to be fought. It is a reminder that no matter how long we have been Christians there are still personal and spiritual battles to be fought in our own lives. We never come to a place in our life where everything is figured out and all is well or we have arrived. There is always something within us that must be dealt with or conquered.

The same God that watched over the people of Israel is the same God today to watch over all of us. God will guide us and help us to be more what He has created us to be......

 This picture was taken on one of my walks, January 2012.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

~Leadership~

These were chosen from the congregation, leaders of their fathers’ tribes, heads of the divisions in Israel. Numbers 1:16

God spoke to Moses in this chapter and orchestrated the first census to prepare them for battle. It describes exactly how they were supposed to go about it to see what each family was capable of doing. Tribes of people were chosen for battle and tribes of people were chosen just to protect the tabernacle. The leader was Moses and then there were leaders of each tribe and family. Everyone knew their position and their job to do in order for victory.

This is how I see the church, the role of our pastors and the leadership. If people believe that God has ordained them with the future and decisions of the church and don't follow the leadership of the pastor then it will not lead their church to victory. Our job is not to conjure up our own ambitions and missions for the churches we attend. We are to follow our pastors and his leadership. If we feel they are wrong then it's our job to pray for them because I believe God can make any wrong be right.

God has given us political leaders, parents, bosses, etc. and if this same truth is applied it will bring blessing!  

 This is a picture of a young girl leading the elephant at the circus that I
 attended with my grandkids on November 9, 2012.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

~Love And Forgiveness~

Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying,  “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock. Leviticus 1:1-2


God laid out the specifics for the people of Israel to atone for their sins. The sacrifice of animals were to symbolize their atonement. An action used for forgiveness. Love is an action and so is forgiveness. Jesus died for our sin so that we no longer need to sacrifice an animal. God still shows us all through the scriptures that love is an action and so is forgiveness.


I like to hear from my husband that he loves me. When he hurts my feelings or offends me I am grateful he has always apologized and asked my forgiveness. Where would any relationship be without those two actions? Easy to answer, there would be no relationship!

Our relationship with God is to be the same way in our showing our love in action and need for forgiveness in action. 


This is a picture of my youngest daughter and her husband when they were expecting their first little one, taken September 10, 2011.

Monday, May 5, 2014

When The Emotion Gauge Is On E

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart... Psalm 34:18a
 
My nephew Dennis had just spent time at a Cancer Treatment Hospital with his family and planned to go home and rest. He and his wife received a call that their aunt (my sister n law) was in ICU so they flew immediately down to Florida. After going in to see my sister n law on life support, Dennis wept because he had experienced so much pain around him at the Cancer Treatment Hospital and now this. He is such a joy to be around and has such a fun personality but at that moment his emotional gauge was on E. He and his wife spent time with their aunt and time with the rest of the family. Together we all were able to process our grief and bear our burdens together. Even though Dennis was empty emotionally his presence was enough to encourage us during this difficult time. I will always cherish the love these two have given to our family and grateful for their love and loyalty to each of us. We all needed to lean on each other emotionally because it was more than we could really bear alone.

Our entire family had a broken heart during this time when my sister n law was in ICU and struggling for her life. None of us were ready to let her go. I am grateful to Dennis and his wife Theresa for their love and support to my sister n law and to our entire family! 

God sends people in our life during our most difficult moments to be the hands and feet of Jesus...

This is a drawing that my sister n law's grandchild Mackenzie made to put on top of her Mimi 
when she was on life support April 2014.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

~We Need Others~

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; Genesis 2:18a

In life, I believe we all need each other. God created all of us to dwell with him and with each other. We think sometimes that we can do it on our own but I can tell you at my age I have learned that is impossible. I need the people in my life such as my husband, my kids, my grand~kids, my brothers and sisters, my nieces and nephews, my aunt & uncle, my cousins and that is just the family side of things. I also need my friends, my church family, my neighbors, my co-workers and that list is endless too.

Thank you Lord for bringing people into my life that I need and also need me. It makes life sweeter as we go hand in hand with one another through the good and the difficult of our journeys together!



This picture was taken after climbing Sleepy Bear Dunes while camping in Michigan around 1998  with my mom and my family from Spain.

Friday, May 2, 2014

~Handling Fear~

I Kings 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.”

Jezebel was letting Elijah know she was going to kill him.She was furious that he had conquered her pagan prophets and wanted revenge. Elijah had just won a great victory and was on the mountain top of life until he heard this threat. He ran for his life and found himself in the midst of despair going from faith to fear. 

Elijah was a great and righteous prophet of God who ended up deep in despair and depression because of fear. He was so overwhelmed with fear that he asked God to kill him. His emotions were more focused on his fears than on the victories God had given him just days before. Fear came while he was on the mountain top of life and immediately he was in the valley of despair.


Fear is a struggle that we all face in life and we need to encourage each other as God did Elijah.

My prayer: Dear Lord, please send me in my times of fear those who will help me more in my faith and not those who will only crush me in my weakness. Let me know how to encourage those in my life who may be struggling with their own fear.

This picture was taken as I was traveling through Arkansas with my mom in January 2010.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

~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.