Sunday, August 31, 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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

I Am Asking "Why" Too!

....with the death of my sister-n-law Glenda ~ I felt the need to re-post this devotional....

written February 9, 2013:

I walk around with all the "WHY" questions like everyone else
and stay unsettled in the not knowing just how it all goes...
there are days I am strong and the WHY's are just there
then the days that my grief is just centered around all
the "WHY's" that are hanging around....

Amazing I get anything done trying to solve this mystery of
life and yet we all go along without knowing just "WHY" and
everyone works and everyone plays ~ even though we all
struggle with all the daily questions of "WHY"~I don't know!

Yes, I don't know "WHY" today or any day but have learned
that by faith to just trust that the God that I serve doesn't
need me to know all the answers right now but one day we will and
then we may be glad we didn't know - just sayin' it could be
so.....just my theory I know.....

WHY do you ask, do I believe such a thing and I have to
reply with the same as before, I don't know but I do.
I trust and by faith live without the question of "WHY"
being answered today.....hope you do too.....

"WHY?" Because I care about you..........written by Donella




When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

This picture was taken on one of my walks on the beach 2007.

 

I Am Asking "Why" Too

I walk around with all the "WHY" questions like everyone else
and stay unsettled in the not knowing just how it all goes...
there are days I am strong and the WHY's are just there
then the days that my grief is just centered around all
the "WHY's" that are hanging around....

Amazing I get anything done trying to solve this mystery of
life and yet we all go along without knowing just "WHY" and
everyone works and everyone plays ~ even though we all
struggle with all the daily questions of "WHY"~I don't know!

Yes, I don't know "WHY" today or any day but have learned
that by faith to just trust that the God that I serve doesn't
need me to know all the answers right now but one day we will and
then we may be glad we didn't know - just sayin' it could be
so.....just my theory I know.....

WHY do you ask, do I believe such a thing and I have to
reply with the same as before, I don't know but I do.
I trust and by faith live without the question of "WHY"
being answered today.....hope you do too.....

"WHY?" Because I care about you..........written by Donella



When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

This picture was taken on one of my walks on the beach 2007.

 

Friday, August 29, 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 by our office.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

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. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

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!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

~Feeling Safe~

Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand. Psalm 73:23 

When I was a little girl I would hold my dad's hands and it made me feel safe. At night I would wake up from having nightmares and crawl in bed next to my mom, again feeling safe. As a child our parents help to calm our fears and insecurities. Then I became a mom and it became my responsibility to do the same with my own children.

At my age you would think I would have worked through all my fears by now but I find each day brings on something new to stress over. It is so important for me to be reminded each day that God is in control and help to calm my anxieties, worries and fears for today. If it is a day with additional problems that seem too overwhelming to handle then I reach out to my prayer partners to pray for me.

God is in control always but especially when I hand over my control! 

This picture was taken of me with my parents in 1958 Tangier, Morocco.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

~Less Than We Should Be~

Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.”  “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ Deuteronomy 1:28-31

The world tells us we don't do enough, we don't do it right, we can't do it and fill in the blank....it seems that in life I notice there is so much more disapproval in everything that we do than there is approval.  All around we are getting negative messages about being a bad child, a poor parent, a disappointing spouse, an inadequate employee....all around we are being accused of being less than we should be.....it's exhausting!

People are so judgmental, mean and cruel. Let's not be the one's with the critical spirits of this world but instead be the beam of light and hope to those around us. Life has enough set backs and disappointments. Our encouragement may be the one thing that makes an individual feel like they can go on because someone cares or someone believes in them.

Ridiculing, sarcastic remarks, disrespect, criticism are all prevalent everywhere. You can find it when you are not even looking. It wounds me deeply when someone close to me does any of these things to me personally. Oh, I'm just kidding or you know I didn't really mean that will follow but the wound has already been made. 

If I had to raise my children over again I would have been a better example and I would have taught more the importance of being kind and gentler to others.  

My father took this picture in the early 1960's of Valle de los Caidos near Madrid Spain. 
Valley of the Fallen was conceived by Franco to honor and bury those who fell 
during the Spanish Civil War. 



Thursday, August 14, 2014

People Problems

Exodus 2:14-15 Then he said, "Who made you a prince and a judge over us?" So Moses feared and said "Surely this thing is known!" When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.

Moses had killed an Egyptian to protect a Hebrew and now they were turning on him. How many times do the people we invest ourselves in turn on us?

When Moses fled from Egypt he met his wife and began his family. God used a bad circumstance for good and Moses became more spiritually prepared to lead the Hebrew people. When we find ourselves in a situation where we are rejected or let down by people we need to let God be the one to make it right for our life. I personally believe that God is able to use the pain and hurting emotions to fuel us to do something that will benefit others.

Remember God didn't put us here to fulfill the purpose of others but instead His own purpose for our life!


This is a picture taken of the view from my mom's house in Spain, 2006

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Noah!

All I Really Need to Know, I Learned From Noah’s Ark

Written by Miscellaneous Contributers

  • Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
  • Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.
  • Don’t listen to critics - do what has to be done.
  • Build on high ground.
  • For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
  • Two heads are better than one.
  • Speed isn’t always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
  • If you can’t fight or flee - float.
  • Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth.
  • Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat.
  • When the doo-doo gets really deep, don’t sit there and complain - shovel.
  • Stay below deck during the storm.
  • Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.
  • If you have to start over, have a friend by your side.
  • Remember that the woodpeckers INSIDE are often a bigger threat than the storm outside.
  • Don’t miss the boat.
Found this on http://powertochange.com/life/learnfromnoah/

And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him. Genesis 7:5



This is a picture I took of the Mediterranean Sea 
when I visited Nerja, Spain in 2007.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Press On!

There is always a circumstance in life that makes it difficult to move forward. How often have we tried to achieve our goals for the day when life brings the unexpected. I don't know about you but I find that my days could be consumed with problems. Usually it is just one phone call that gives us devastating news and we feel hopeless, powerless and out of control.

We all have those days or those moments and realistically how do we plan for them? Life consist of problems and difficulties. It's called LIFE! 

Now I don't believe that those circumstances should dictate our day but instead we should continue to "press on!" We can't ignore how we feel but we can learn to not take on all the difficulties of life. Here are some things to think about the next time LIFE happens!


          1. when given difficult news - don't try to fix it but instead give God the opportunity.
          2. all bad news isn't necessarily bad given time.
          3. how often have you worried about things that never happened?
          4. life is too short.
          5. learn to keep your mind free of tormenting possibilities.


For  God  has  not  given  us  a  spirit  of  fear,  but  of  power  and  of  love  and  of  a  sound  mind.  II Timothy 1:7



Monday, August 4, 2014

What To Do With My Life

I Peter 5:2a Shepherd the flock of God...


written October 19, 2007:
Time is fleeting. Time is short. How are we supposed to use our time? I like how Barbara Johnson put it, don't let your life speed out of control. Live intentionally. Do something today that will last beyond your lifetime. I don't know about you, but I want to do more than survive life. It's not enough to just flap my wings a little before I hit the ground and get plowed under. I want to mount up like the eagle and glide over rocky mountains, nest in the tallest trees, dive for nourishment in the deepest of mountain lakes, and soar on the wings of the wind.

Serving God is a life long adventure as you watch how God puts together not only the pieces of the work He has for you but also the pieces of your life. I am amazed at how God pours ideas and resources from places that we would not expect. No one can keep up with what God has but it is fun to try. I love to watch Him work in the most frustrating and impossible situations. Are we satisfied with our life, or do we find ourselves longing for something different? Let's seek what God has for us today! Pray expecting God to show up....



This picture was taken in my living room. The amaryllis were from my flower garden.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Facing Failure!

Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be a light to me. Micah 7:8

Micah said, when I fall, I shall arise. I may stumble, I may make mistakes and I may fail, but with God's help I am determined to get up and keep going.  Life is full of failures for all of us!

Failure comes in many forms such as not living up to our own expectations or the expectations of others. There are times we have been a disappointment to others or to ourselves. There was once a man who said, “We are either failing, or living with the consequences of failure, or recovering from failure, or facing failure in the face, or living with the fear of failure.” 

In almost any area of our lives, we can feel like a failure. We may have failed our parents, our spouse, our kids, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors and the list goes on.  A great reminder of failure is the verse, Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  

Failure is not just something for a limited few but instead is common to everyone.


These are treats the kids at church made on Sunday, January 2014.