Friday, February 27, 2015

~Keeping The Peace~

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9

We will never be fruitful in our walk with God if we are not filled with mercy and purity of heart. In a fallen world conflict is inevitable. God intends for us to work through our conflicts to peaceful solutions.

It is because of us that there is no peace with God or with each other. We live in a sin filled world with spiritual warfare and unseen forces of darkness. Evil intent and satanic strongholds are all around us.

 You can count on the Lord’s help in the process of working toward peace.  He came that there might be peace between us and God.

Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, Chapter 20:
Seven steps to restoration:
1. Talk to God before talking to the person.
2. Always take the initiative.
3. Sympathize with their feelings.
4. Confess your part in the conflict.
5. Attack the problem not the person.
6. Cooperate as much as possible.
7. Emphasize reconciliation not resolution.
 This picture was taken on a boat ride with my grandkids, December 2013.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

~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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

~It's Okay To Grieve~

Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

There are days that the storm is in our own life and other days when the storm is in the lives of those around us. Is it appropriate for us to walk around with a smile on our face in the midst of the storms? Not at all even though there are smiles and blessings even in the midst of the storms when we handle our emotions properly.

These past few years have been my season to grieve. If I walked around acting as if it never happened and as if my heart is not broken then I would be deceiving others and myself. If I didn't admit my heartache then I would act it out in some other way.

Healthy grieving is good for us and will keep us healthy. When we don't grieve properly then we will get stuck emotionally. We need to allow ourselves to feel and grieve the loss. I have learned that the more we love the more we will grieve. 

Taken on my walk on the beach which is one of my favorite places
 to grieve and pray.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

~I Wonder~*

I wonder what would happen if

I treated everyone like I was in love

with them, whether I like them or not

and whether they respond or not and no matter

what they say or do to me and even if I see

things in them which are ugly twisted petty

cruel vain deceitful indifferent, just accept

all that and turn my attention to some small

weak tender hidden part and keep my eyes on

that until it shines like a beam of light

like a bonfire I can warm my hands by and trust

it to burn away all the waste which is not

never was my business to meddle with.

-Derek Tasker

A few months ago I saw someone speak with such cruelty and with no love in their heart. I don't ever want that same spirit to rule me personally so I made a decision to be kinder to others and show more love in my life!

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." ~Paul Boese

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

 This picture was taken on a car ride on March 9, 2010.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

~Hope For Tomorrow~

for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:23-24

God performed a miracle at the Red Sea and at Jordan by removing the waters so the Israeli nation could cross over on dry land. 

Then Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the children of Israel, one man from every tribe; and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’  Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:4-7

Today we have many ways to share God's goodness and blessings. For me personally I have my photos to always remind me of His blessings. I love to look at them and smile at all the good times of those I love even if they are no longer with me. My prayer journals where I have marked answered prayers is another reminder. I write about His blessing in my blogs to share His blessings with others. 

We really need those reminders of blessings when we are under attack emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc. When the darkness tries to take us we have all the blessings of the past to remind us of the hope for all our tomorrows.....

This picture was taken by my niece Theresa at Sanibel Island, August 2014. Her photos are a work of art!

Friday, February 20, 2015

~Holding On To Hope~*

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;   Psalm 46:1-2

Hard times come in many different ways for each of us. No matter who we are or what we have, we can expect problems. God is not promising us a life without it but instead letting us know that He will be our refuge and strength in the midst of any and ALL our struggles. 

Our hope is not in other people or even in ourselves but in Him. I find that comforting because I know that I don't always get it right. God has brought me through so many things that were of my own doing. God has also brought me through many more things that were not of my own doing. 

God is our only HOPE in everything!

This picture was taken around the historical area of Fernandina Beach,  January 2013

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Help Wanted: Holy Spirit

One thing I have learned is that I cannot control anyone or anything. When I was younger I believed I had the power to change the world. I'm not sure where I developed that thought process but I really did think I could. After raising my own children, I have certainly been humbled into knowing I can't control even a small child, a teen, or adult child. My children ALL have a mind of their own.

There are times when I want to control what others are thinking, feeling, believing, etc. I give it my best effort in trying to convince them of what I believe is the better way to think, feel, believe, etc. It sounds to me like I may have some control issues but I will write about that on another day. God has given everyone a free-will and we have to honor that in each individual.

Only God can change the heart of any individual. Allow God to change others internally because it's the only possible solution. It seems there are so many of us who try to be the "Holy Spirit" in the lives of others but that just does not work. First of all, when I am consumed with how others behave then I have taken the focus off myself and what needs to change in me. Secondly, if I am concerned over someone's actions then that should just be a reminder to bring them before the Lord and leave them there. It's God's job, not ours ~ so let it go! God may or may not change that individual but I guarantee He will change our own hearts in a way we never dreamed possible. ~

Life would be simpler and more enjoyable when we focus on God and His desire for our lives! Stay focused!

~ This is the day that the Lord hath made (Psalm 118:24a).....I don't want to mess it up!

This picture was taken of my youngest daughters little one on February 2013. She is wearing a dress that her own mama used to wear when she was the same age.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

~Help Others~*

All of us have had to endure some type of hardship or pain in this life. We can take that negative emotion or pain and hold on to it, be bitter and never heal. One of the best remedies to healing our pain and sadness is in helping others. We are better equipped to help others when we understand what pain and suffering is like for ourselves. Otherwise, it is difficult to understand the needs of others without it.

Writing these blogs is easy for me when I have pain in my life because I am driven to search the scriptures to understand what is happening to me personally. I am burdened by the idea that others are hurting in the same way and how I can help them through their pain and difficulty. I want to encourage others and bring hope when all seems lost because I know God can change everything.

Hope is what everyone is looking for in each crisis. When hope is lost it makes everything seem dark and life not worth living. Hope comes from God and we can find it all through the Bible. Our human minds cannot always comprehend hope in the dark hours but the spirit that lives within us when we have trusted in Christ certainly can restore our hearts and minds.

Whatever circumstances you may be in today no matter how hopeless ~ look around to find someone else who is hurting that may need your encouragement and understanding today! Difficulty is everywhere for everyone. Reaching out to someone else is the beginning of our journey towards HOPE ~

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

This is a picture taken in the gardens at Bethesda by the Sea on May 2012.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

God's Road Map For Life

      Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
                              And lean not on your own understanding;
                              In all your ways acknowledge Him,
                              And He shall direct your paths.

God has a plan and purpose for each one of us and wants to direct our lives in every way. We need to seek His will each and every day in order to stay on the right road of life. If not, we will lose our way and it can become very difficult to get back on the right road and will delay us to where He wants us to be......

My prayer: Lord, forgive me for not going in the right direction and please guide me today so that I will not get lost but instead be able to accomplish what you need for me to do!

The meaning and purpose you find in helping others will enrich and expand your life!

 A picture I took of the ocean in 2009.

~Have I Done Any Good?~

Psalm 96: 1-3  Oh sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

Psalm 96 in verse 9 says, "Worship the Lord with the beauty of holy lives." My thoughts on this scripture are "Does my own life demonstrate to others about God's greatness?" 

In my prayer journal I wrote on January 15, 2002 ~ My prayer is that Jim, myself and my children share be witnesses to everyone we meet. Have my children seen a holy life in me or did "I" get in the way?

The music and lyrics were written by my ancestor Will L. Thompson (1847-1909) ~ I found it on YouTube and it really spoke volumes to me today!  

Monday, February 16, 2015

~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.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

~Growing Faith~*

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

How do I grow my faith? The scriptures tell us by reading God's Word! It seems so simple and yet Satan finds ways to talk us out of doing something so simple as reading. Our lives get bogged down with stuff to do, people to see, places to go. Some of those things are good things too. We should never be so busy that we do not take time to read our Bibles.

The enemy is out to destroy our minds and we need the guidance of the scriptures to keep that from happening. How many times do you find your thoughts and mind saturated with negative thought processes? Prayer and scriptures are needed to fight that negativity so our minds can be used for something more useful in life.

When our faith increases then our life is more useful. We can grow spiritually and recognize when our hearts and minds are under attack. We need to protect our thoughts and trust God to take care of everything in our life. That will bring peace that is beyond our comprehension. If we are only taking in the negative of life then our life will produce negative. Let's saturate our hearts and mind with the Word of God! It brings good things.....

                 Peace is not the absence of conflict, but of inner conflict.

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. Joshua 1:88

Saturday, February 14, 2015


The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

Written on March 9, 2002:
Thank you Lord!
Last night when my youngest daughter kissed me goodnight. She whispered in my ear, "I'm glad you are my mom and thanks for trying to protect me." We had talked earlier and I had given her my opinion about how she chooses friends and made her cry so I was very surprised to hear this from her. 

Thank you Lord for giving her discernment. She clearly saw my motive. She is twelve now, hard to believe and adorable . I enjoy our days together! Thank you Lord!

 This picture was taken at a garden near my work in 2013.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Frugal Living

Matthew 6:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. 

A consecrated Jewish believer, Dr. Max Reich, gave this testimony: "When my wife and I were first married, we felt called to full-time Christian service, God blessed our ministry and many people accepted the Lord. Although our income was small and we had few worldly possessions, our hearts were full of joy. One day, however, my wife said, "Max, there's nothing to eat for dinner!'

I didn't reply at first but stood listening to the birds singing in the trees.

Suddenly these words from a well-known Gospel song flashed through my mind: 'His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.' Immediately I said, 'If our Heavenly Father feeds the birds, surely He'll take care of us!' Just then a lady knocked at the door. After introducing herself she said, 'My husband was a hopeless alcoholic. Every time he got his check he'd spend most of it to get drunk, so the children and I were often hungry. Recently he heard you preach the Gospel, and the Lord worked a miracle in his heart. Now he's a changed man! For the first time in years he brought home a full week's pay, and I was able to get a good supply of groceries. I thought as I was cooking, part of this food really belongs to Brother Reich. I was going to bring you some later, but I felt compelled to do it immediately. Here's half of the chicken I fried and some biscuits fresh from the oven!' 'We were so happy,' said Dr. Reich, that we sang, 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow!' To this moment the Lord has never failed to give us our daily bread."

Worrying can be helpful when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But if you’re preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem of its own.

 This picture was taken at La Mancha Spain 2007.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

~Feeling Worthless?~

There are many reasons people feel they are worthless. I know in my own life there have been times when I have carried the feelings of worthlessness. At those moments of utter disappointment and sadness I run to the Lord who picks me up, dust me off and shows me that I am not worthless. He helps me find my worth in His Word or at church from some sweet saint. Some times God will bring the perfect book into my life for me to read and reprogram my mind to undo all the harm done. Other days, it will be a sweet card in the mail, an unexpected visit or a kind word from someone. 

My prayer: Dear Lord, I want to always be an encouragement to those around me and never destroy their spirit with my words.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

This picture was taken after the afternoon rains last week, July 2014.