Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Attitude Needs Daily Adjustments

Hebrews 4:12  "For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Read this and thought it was worth sharing:

Dear Lord,
So far today, I am doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent. I have not whined, cursed, or eaten any chocolate. However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot of help after that. Amen.

I would like to read just a few inspired statements that will help us to understand how important attitude is. Here is one from the book Reflecting Christ, 303. "The character we cultivate, the attitude we assume today, is fixing our future destiny." What is it doing? It is fixing our future destiny. Here is another one. "His spirit, his attitude and actions, are delineated on the record above, and will determine whether or not he can be trusted with the eternal riches of heaven." Signs of the Times, February 20, 1896.

Attitude is important, of life-and-death importance.There are many things in life that reveal our attitude.The Word of God goes right to the heart to discern the thoughts and the intents of the heart. Now the intent of the heart is your attitude.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's way.   
                                                                   Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor.


This was taken of my grandkids at the playground June 2013.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

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.
 


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Wonderful Gifts 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.

Friday, December 9, 2016

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 us and it’s God’s plan for our life! 

Focusing on worst-case scenarios won’t keep bad things from happening. It will only keep us from enjoying the good things we 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!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

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.

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 one of my grandbabies in 2012!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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 6, 2016

The Mind Has Mountains!

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31


Sometimes, like mountains, our mind can seem overloaded with too much to do, fears, struggles, and heartaches. We can feel overwhelmed from all the noise in our heads. In those times, however, remember that we have a remarkable resource. We have a heavenly Father who stands ready to help us climb that mountain.  God is capable of handling the mountains in our minds that overwhelm us.

Dear Lord, I have too much going on in my mind and in my life. I have no idea where to begin or how to get it all done. I am tired, frustrated and worn out. Lord, give me the strength to do all that needs to be done and help me to know what I need to eliminate from my life in order to have the right balance. I am trusting that with your strength and wisdom, I will be able to conquer this mountain in my mind.

 This picture was taken when I visited Ronda Spain in 2012. Around the city of Ronda are remains of prehistoric settlements.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Wait!

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry. 

 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps. 
 He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
 

And will trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3

David is praising God for the time he waited for his prayers to be answered. How many of us are waiting on God for the healing of a loved one, for a prodigal child to return, for a family member to change, for our hearts to no longer grieve. Waiting is hard! As David looks back on his wait on God, he praises God for a hymn of praise in his heart. 
 
When God keeps me waiting I find that my prayer may not be answered but my heart changes and He does give me joyful endurance. God is able to help us to love and trust Him enough to wait with joy and to see it as an opportunity to praise Him anyways. 


Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still. 
 This picture was taken in my backyard of one of our 
little kittens napping in my coal bucket flower pot, October 2012

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Final Frontier

Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 

There used to be a frontier of exploration in this country. In this day and age it may seem there is nothing new to discover. I truly believe that this is probably how they felt during the Roman Empire and every generation before and after. 

God has still so much more for us to learn and we need to continue searching. Every day we hear and see new things being built and created. We need to realize that there is still a frontier of discovery within our own grasp! God created and continues to work in and through us. We need to be open and receptive to the gifts which He can bring into our lives each and every day. Imagine the possibilities! God is not done yet. 

We need to have the faith of those before us and not be defeated by the lies of defeat from Satan. Our God is still in the business of miracles if we will allow Him to use us as He did all those we read about in the scriptures. We are not in the "final frontier" of life so keep on working towards whatever it is that He may have for your life! Never give up, or give in to the thought of failure. God has our back!
  
Satan wants to keep you looking back so that he can keep you from moving forward. -Tony Evans.

This picture was taken when we visited Charleston, South Carolina ~ March 2013

Saturday, December 3, 2016

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.

Friday, December 2, 2016

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.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

One Too Many Things To Do

written March 7, 2011:
Why is it so difficult to say no to people. For me personally I want to be able to do everything and anything to be a help. I'm sure it is probably not a healthy motive but probably a common reason why most people take on too much responsibility. We enjoy being needed and involved especially when it is a cause or occasion that we like but too much of a good thing can some times be difficult to manage.

When we take on too much it can affect our outlook on everything. Personally I would sign up for everything so I usually ask my husband for his input before I make any decision. I sure wish I had done that early in our marriage because it would have eliminated so much stress in my own life. Unfortunately I believed then he was a "kill joy" so most of the time I would volunteer without his approval only to end up needing his assistance to help me accomplish the task. It's a wonder he didn't suffocate me in my sleep with all the added stress I'm sure I caused him but he instead took care of the situation and always made my work look better, now that's a good husband.


Everyone wants a life that is manageable and peaceful! It takes careful organizing and planning of our time. This is an area where I have always struggled and work on daily with the help of my husband who is more realistic of my accomplishments. God's plan for our life is not chaos and stress so let's pray for daily guidance and direction!


Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3


 This picture was taken of the Jupiter Lighthouse in May 2010.