Sunday, July 8, 2018

Don't Be Afraid

If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139:9-10


When God pushes you to the edge of difficulty,
Trust Him fully,
Because two things can happen:
Either He'll catch you when you fall,
or He will teach you how to fly!
~Author Unknown 


Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms us instead. Fear grips our hearts and minds when we least expect it.  It can overcome us, paralyze us and depress us. Thank God for Jesus!






Monday, June 11, 2018

Sanballat Syndrome

But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews.  Nehemiah 4:1


Sanballat set out to discourage and defeat the Jews. He made fun of them, mocked them and then went to battle against them. He even had Jews from within the camp that were helping give him information to help him overcome them. He became obsessed with their defeat because he was filled with so much hatred and despised them.

Does that sound like anyone in our own life? Unfortunately there are people within our families, communities and even churches that suffer from the Sanballat Syndrome. They have made it their quest to set out, mock, destroy and conquer others. They may not have an army with shields and swords but they have many other destructive tools. Gossip, slander and sarcasm are used to destroy one's spirit and reputation. Not acknowledging people or treating them as if they have no value is another method.

God protected the Jewish nation from Sanballat and God will protect us too! Some days it feels as if we are being defeated but no matter how things may seem always TRUST GOD!

 This picture was taken in the Everglades, May 2013.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Do We Care?

“Don’t be interested only in your own life, but be interested in what concerns others too.”  Phil 2:4

As a mother of young children I found it so frustrating and hurtful when my children did not care or appreciate each other. It seemed as if they could only focus on what the other siblings had that they didn't have. We are so much like our children in that we too focus on the blessings of others instead of the blessings God has given to us. 

It's human nature to be blinded by the great gifts we receive each day when we see someone else receiving something more. As parents we try to bless each child but our children only see what they have not received. It's a terrible character flaw within all of us when we think only of ourselves. We need to be thankful for our blessings but also for the blessings of others.


A picture taken on one of my many walks on the beach, March 2013.

Monday, June 4, 2018

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

Friday, June 1, 2018

Opposites Attract!

Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:14
 
My husband and I are extreme opposites in every way. We think completely different in just about every single thing. What he notices, I don't and vice versa. We were brought up differently. We are wired and think differently too.

When we were younger we did not appreciate those differences. Our pride and immaturity caused us to argue over those differences more than appreciating our differences. We have learned over the years to trust and respect each other with our opposite approaches. We have learned each others strengths and to put aside our own pride. To allow each other to make choices and do things that are contrary to our own response. 

 This is a picture of my husband that I took October 14, 2012.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

~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! 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Taking Pictures of Life!

There is nothing in this world that I enjoy more than taking a picture of something or someone. The pictures that I take now or have taken many years ago encourage me in my daily life. They were all taken at different phases of my life that I am so thankful for and all good memories. I love looking back at the good times and I look forward to the good times ahead. No matter what time in my life that I look back on my pictures I remember more the joy of that time than the difficult circumstances because of those pictures.

We don't take pictures of the ugly or the mess of life but instead of the moments we want to cherish forever. The pictures we take are wonderful reminders of the joyful times. When I look at pictures of my kids when I was a single parent and all their smiles and our celebrations together, it makes my heart smile. We struggled then financially and emotionally but we still had fun too! The things we did together then are priceless memories that I love to reflect on again and again.

My pictures are a constant reminder of the joy then and the joy now! I thank God for my dad who recorded my entire childhood to remind me of the good family times we all had together. I am also thankful to be able to take pictures of my own kids and grandkids to cherish all our memories together. Most of all I am thankful to God that as I grow older I have become more forgetful of the less than joyful moments of life!

Psalm 30:5b Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.



 This is one of my grand~girls popping bubbles on Easter 2014.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

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, April 27, 2018

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.

Friday, March 23, 2018

One Moment At A Time!

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

This is advice I often give that has helped me during those difficult days where you feel you cannot handle one more thing. Some days we can only handle one day at a time. Some days it may only be one hour at a time. During a stressful life event it may only be handled 15 minutes at a time.

Don't look too far ahead when times are difficult because it can be too crippling. Instead break life into small pieces that can be handled and asking God to take care of the rest. Stress can exacerbate any physical or emotional problem and make us feel we are defeated before we even begin. Planning in our minds only moments at a time as we are going through any difficulty will ease up the pressure and worry of the future.


This may not be something we need today but we may know someone who does and we can pass it on....

 This is an old barn in Tennessee when I visited January, 2010.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Faith Of A Mustard Seed

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.

written December 30, 2010:

God's role, His promise, is to care for us. To worry is to try and usurp God’s role in our life. It's so easy to keep God out of our lives and to control our own life. Then life becomes out of control and gives us something that we ourselves see no way out or no way of controlling and we want supernatural power from above. We've all been there one time or another, then what do we do?

If we have the faith of a mustard seed, all things are possible. You know how small a mustard seed is?  My father gave me a silver charm bracelet with a mustard see charm when I was a little girl to show me the example of how much faith I needed in order for God to work in my life. That was a wonderful way for me to learn this lesson and I have passed that bracelet on to my grandchild, Veronica.


Let's give God control of everything!



Joy comes from the Lord who lives in us, not from what's happening around us.


This picture was taken of an orchid on the hood of my car in 2009.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

God's Got The Power

God's power can transform our lives. Our finite minds cannot comprehend an infinite God. God's power changes us!


...that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  Ephesians 3:16-17

We limit God's power in our lives because we don't fully understand or trust Him. We begin to worry, fear and doubt. We limit God's power with anger, unforgiveness, gossip, sarcasm, cruelty and bitterness. If we are truly rooted and grounded in love according to these verses then there would be no room for any of those things.

Our sin keeps God's power from transforming our lives!

This is a picture of my youngest daughter on a swing 
at a carnival with my grandkids, November 17, 2012.

Monday, February 19, 2018

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.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

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!


This picture was taken at sunset while visiting Fernandina Beach 2014.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love Is Time!

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her Ephesians 5:25

Busy lives cause us to forget what is important. The best expression of LOVE is time. The most valuable thing we can give to anyone is our time. This is an area where I need to improve and has always been more a weakness than one of my strengths.


My husband is very good at giving me his attention. He is also good at giving attention to my children and my grandchildren. He gave more of himself to his family than to his work or any other thing in his life. There was never anything he preferred doing or had any desire to do more than just being around all of us. When the children all left the nest he especially enjoyed our time together. He still reminds me when I get too busy with making plans to be sure to schedule plenty of time for just us.

I used to be at a Mock 4 with my hair on fire on a daily basis but many things have come into my life to make me change my perspective on time. My priorities have changed for the better and I make plenty of time to do the things that really matter most. I don't always get it right but I do have a great example that I live with who gives me good counsel when I begin to find myself too busy.

God blessed me with a man who will give me all the time I want or need ~ He shows me that I am his priority and that he values me. Time is a special gift!

Each week after work my husband takes time to have a tea party with each of my sons daughters. They love having him sit at their little tables and sharing their drinks and snacks. He loves it too! This picture was taken February 2014.

Monday, February 12, 2018

God's Promise!

 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods. Joshua 24:2

God made a promise (also called a Covenant) with Abram in the book of Genesis. The covenant with Abram is to show us that God will bless anyone no matter who they are. At that time Abram came from a family background of people who worshiped false gods and yet God chose him to bless. It is to encourage us that no matter what kind of background we have or what sin may have been in our life God wants to bless us. The same promise then is the same promise of blessing God wants to give to us and to our families if we choose to trust in Him.

God also used the apostle Paul in a tremendous way and he was an executioner of anyone who professed to be a Christ follower. These are two people in the scriptures that had terrible and damaging background checks but God changed their future. That should give us hope that no matter what God can change all that is negative about us and use us for something great!


This picture was taken on my walk June 11, 2014. I had to ask God to 
forgive me for not taking more time to enjoy all the beauty around me.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

God's Control!

And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. II Chronicles 15:2

King Asa decided to trust in men and his own riches to protect him instead of God and was defeated.


The bad news is we are way weaker and worse than we think we are....the good news is that Jesus is way stronger and better than we could ever hope or imagine....a quote from Pastor Tullian


Be brave and trust God to take care of everything!

 This picture was taken on a walk October 20, 2012 at Morikami Japanese Gardens.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Seek And You Will Find Him!

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

Last week I taught our kids at church this verse. I explained that if you seek God first then He will take care of everything else. We named all the problems that could happen to kids under 10 years of age. I explained that God wanted to take care of all their concerns but He wanted them to seek Him first each day.  The simplest way that I could think of to teach this life application of seeking God in their young lives was to teach these 3 steps:

1. Pray
2. Read Your Bible
3. Obey (asking God to help them obey their parents, teachers, etc.)

These were the 3 steps I told them they would need to do in order to seek God first every day. It's the same with us too. We need to pray, read our Bibles and ask God to guide us and strengthen us to be obedient to Him in our pursuit of seeking Him.


My daughter took this picture of her children playing
 on the beach while visiting New York several years ago.

Friday, February 9, 2018

God Changes Things!

And He changes the times and the seasons; Daniel 2:21a

The story of Joseph is such an encouragement to me when life doesn't make sense. I think about when his brothers threw him into a pit to kill him and then sold him into slavery. Then his encounter with Potiphar's wife and getting thrown into prison. There were so many things that happened to Joseph that were so terribly wrong and yet he never  let the circumstances change his trust in God. Joseph trusted that God's hand was upon him and moved forward every day doing what ever needed to be done. Many years later God blessed him by making him 2nd in command to the great nation of Egypt. He was reunited with his family and everything changed.

There are many stories in the Bible that show us that God uses the good and the bad for his purpose. We can't always trust in the circumstances of our life but we can always trust God. It should give us hope that no matter what difficulty we may have that God has His purpose and His plan for us too. We can trust Him to make everything right no matter how impossible it may seem and no matter how much we have messed it up.

God can take our hopeless circumstance that we are facing today and make it  our blessing for tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. 
He brought us life from death 2000 years ago....

 This picture was taken at the Historical Fernandina Beach on January 2014.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Unloved!

When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. So Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, “The Lord has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.” Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped bearing. Genesis 29:31-35

Jacob didn't love Leah but instead loved her sister Rachel. This story is usually told according to the perspective of how Jacob and Rachel must have felt at being tricked by her father Laban into marrying Leah. Let's take time to consider how Leah must have felt having to marry a man who was in love with her sister. No matter what Leah did right, her husbands heart belonged to Rachel. That takes sibling rivalry to a whole new level.


According to these verses it sounds like she held on to some hope that he would come to love her eventually. She really shows unconditional love to her husband because you don't hear her complaining.
God blessed her for her faithfulness to her husband by giving her so many children plus a longer life than her sister Rachel and she was buried with her husband Jacob. He did come to the end of his life treating her with great respect and the honor she deserved.

Leah teaches with her life to trust God no matter the circumstances. To never lose hope and especially to never complain of the situation you find yourself.  God allows these trials in our life to refine our faith or the faith of others!


 This picture was taken in Savannah, Georgia on March 2013.



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Love Others

John 15: 12-13 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Love is the greatest gift you can give to anyone and it is God's gift to us through Christ Jesus. God sent His Son to die on the cross to pay for our sin and He is asking us to love others. The cross was the ultimate sacrifice and Christ suffered, bled and died. His parting message to us were in those two scriptures as a command because loving others is a priority to our Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What Are The Voices Inside Your Head Saying?

You are NOT pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, gifted enough! The negative thoughts that come into our head can be an obstacle to deal with each day before we even begin to face the day. What do we do with those negative voices in our head that make us feel that we are not able to do anything, accomplish anything, or have any purpose?

This is a good time to begin to "pray!" If the negative thoughts are about someone who is now living rent free in our mind then we need to pray for them and that will begin to hush those voices. Meditate on God's Word. Read something that you enjoy. Be sure to surround yourself with positive, sweet, caring people because the negatives can cause those voices to scream instead all the poison you are hearing. Some times this means we have to disconnect kindly from the negativity of family or friends to have more peaceful thoughts.

Life is too fragile to fill it with anything that will only take away your peace! God wants us to live in a way that is pleasing to Him and not overrun by others and their own destructive patterns. Live purposefully in a way that makes those around you feel the blessing of your friendship!

There are steps to take to hush those negative voices in your head and it works! Here are some suggestions:

1. Pray
2. Meditate on God's Word
3. Go to church (it's free therapy)
4. Listen to good music and read a good book
5. Join a Bible Study Group
6. Helping others by serving in a ministry or community outreach.
7. Choose wisely with who and where you spend your time - such as a park, the beach, any place that makes your soul smile!

 A picture I took of the top of one of my granddaughters December 2013.




Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sacrifice!

I John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Anytime we begin to hear ourselves talk about all we do for this person or that person, sounding like a martyr, a red flag should go up! A healthy individual is not someone who believes they are the only one who does anything in their family or community. There are moments when we believe we alone are the only ones making sacrifices in the relationship. We only deceive ourselves and usually blinded in the contributions of others around us.

This verse tells us about God loving us so much that he sacrificed his only son. This verse also tells us that we should do the same for others. I am sure there are moments in my life where I have felt that I have sacrificed for my children or my spouse but in all honesty have I really ever laid down my life for them or anyone else? 

Let's remember God's sacrifice to us the next time we are in a place feeling that we are the ONLY ONES who give our all because realistically we have not given enough.


This picture was taken of a Hibiscus flower in my back yard in 2006.
.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Eclectic Relationships

written 2013:
When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you. Ephesians 4:29 

I have decorated my home in an eclectic style from a broad range of memories and inspiration. I have used what I love instead of what someone else says that I should or should not use in my home. My home reflects good memories, people, places or things that have inspired me along the way.   I have things around the house that bring back wonderful memories of places I have traveled and been inspired to use my creativity. When I look around my home it all comes together in my mind according to my personal journey of life!

My relationships are much the same way as I decorate my home. I also have friends that I have made good memories with and have inspired me much in the same way. There are so many types of friends in life who we meet growing up, at school, at church, our neighbors, at work, etc. The one thing that I find important in any friendship is someone who gives affirmation. Not someone who just tells me what I want to hear but someone who I know loves me genuinely to build me up instead of tearing me down.

Over the years I have had all types of friends but the one thing that I have learned from watching my own children is the importance of choosing your friends more carefully. I spent years giving my children affirmation to help reinforce their self esteem and confidence only to have them choose a friend who can undo all the years I have invested with their criticism. One of my grand kids confided in me how one of their friends brought them to tears with their harsh words. I began to affirm her and thought about how all of my own children had been defeated so many times by the negativity and criticism of others.

Later on that same day I witnessed as one of my kids was being criticised by one of their friends in a sarcastic remark.   I knew that no matter how much I tried to correct that situation and affirm my adult child in that untruth that the damage was already done and it would be to no avail. It makes me sad to think that all those years of affirmation could be damaged by people who are critical in nature. It also teaches me to be careful in who I personally choose to be around too. I can only pray that my own children and grandchildren do not allow others to destroy their self esteem and confidence. I can't control what others do but I can choose to decorate my life a lot like my home with eclectic relationships that inspire me!

Michael Minot tweeted: Your value doesn't somehow decrease just because someone else doesn't recognize your worth. 

T
This picture was taken when I was walking on Peanut Island, May 2013.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Don't Worry!

Matthew 6:31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?"



We know as Christians that we shouldn't worry if we trust God but there is plenty to worry about for everyone in this crazy world. The problem is how do we not let that worry defeat us? In the scriptures above, Jesus is giving us some examples of what we worry about such as our health (what shall we eat & drink) and our possessions (what shall we wear).

Some people believe that these types of worries are only for the poor but actually the rich worry too. The poor worry about how they will get these things, the wealthy worry about losing them. Actually there are so many things we could spend our days worrying about in our relationships, job security, family, health and the list is endless.


Worry is stressful to our mind, body and soul and can make us physically sick. It can also take away precious time from our life if we spend too much time worrying; such as hours, days, months and even years. Is there really anything good that comes out of worrying? I can't think of a thing!


If we want to stop worrying then let's begin to take action steps to change this unhealthy pattern. First of all we should pray....then we need to ask others to pray for us too.  Once we have given that worry over to prayer we should begin enjoying creation and taking the time to look at what is beautiful in the world. The ocean is the place where I like to take my worries and my sadness because I feel God's presence; and I pray that I am able to leave them there! 


God has provided so much beauty around us to be able to enjoy and see His goodness. He provides us with His Word to give us hope of uncertainty. He provides us with good people to help us sort out the chaos and assist us in making sense of what is truly important. 


We cannot control those things around us....and most of the time I can't even control my response to those things.....but God has a way of guiding, teaching and comforting while in the midst of the worry....


I took this picture October 2013 of the typewriter in our office that I have used since the early 90's - I love the wheelwriter 10 and get a kick out of it when young people come in here and look at it as if it is something out of Jurassic Park.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Don't Give Up!

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. 
I Samuel 1:10

Hannah was being tortured by her rival and in a very dark place in her life because she wanted so badly to have a child.

But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara which means bitter for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. Ruth 1:20


Ruth was bitter because of the death of her husband and two sons. 

These ladies responded with their emotions weeping in anguish and a bitter heart. They didn't walk around with a smile on their face and trying to think positive. They were in the darkest place as we so often find ourselves in times of crisis. Hannah cried out to God bargaining with him for a child. Naomi worked the fields and still did what she knew had to be done to put food on the table for herself and Ruth.


They could not see or imagine how wonderful their futures would turn out in spite of their emotions. God blessed them both in a great way that they could not have imagined. When all was lost for them both, it was only the beginning of their story.

Our lesson is to hang on in spite of the emotions of grief, bitterness, heartache and loss. No matter how much you feel your emotions are not showing your faith and trust, God will still move in your life. Sometimes we find ourselves in a difficult situation but don't give up!


 This is a picture taken of Palm Beach Island and the connecting bridge I took April 13, 2008.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Be Considerate Of Others

“Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourself.”  Phil. 2:3b

Can you imagine what kind of world this would be if people would treat others better than they would treat themselves? It would change all relationships within the family, the church and our nation.

Instead we , disrespect, mock and treat each other as if we do not value each other. When I hear someone make fun of another person (especially if it is towards one of my kids) my heart grieves. I have made it clear that I HATE sarcasm and the excuse I get from people is.....oh, it's just their way of joking, it doesn't mean anything or my favorite reply, "don't be so sensitive." My answer is, what gives you the right to treat me or someone else with such lack of respect? It's no one's right to criticize or humiliate another person for a laugh!

 This is a picture I took of the water from our backyard fountain.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Matter Of Perspective

This was written by one of my junior high teachers who is still in contact with me today thanks to facebook! She was one of my favorite teachers and now one of my favorite friends who I know takes time to pray for me and my family. I asked permission to use this on my devotional blog because it was such an encouragement to me personally and I know will be to you too!

A Matter of Perspective! by Donna Sparks:
There is someone in my extended family for whom I have prayed regularly for years.  She is a Christ-follower…but seems not to be concerned about how others perceive her attitudes and behavior.
Realizing that it was not my place to correct or direct her, I prayed specifically about certain aspects of her character that I thought surely the Lord would want to work on to improve her image as a Christian.  Knowing that God knows more about her and can speak to her in ways that I cannot, I began to pray, “Lord, help her to see herself as you see her.”
I felt satisfied that I had hit upon the best approach to God on her behalf…until this morning during my prayer time.  I prayed as usual, “Lord, help her to see herself as you see her,” and then words came out of my mouth that I had never intended to pray—“and help me to see her as you see her.”  I literally jumped and almost said, “No, Lord, I meant to say…” But I stopped in awe of what had just happened…and conviction flooded my heart. The Holy Spirit had led me to pray in the way that I should have been praying all along.
God doesn’t need me to point out what’s wrong in the life of his children; Satan is already the champion accuser. Rather than focusing on the negative, I am beginning to look for things that God sees in this woman as praiseworthy, and then thank him for them, trusting him to continue to work in her life.  God needs me to see her as he sees her—his child under construction…just like me.
donna sparksDonna Pharr Sparks refers to herself as “an expired English teacher,” because after becoming a stay-at-home mom ten years into her career, she allowed her certificate to expire.  She still loves using her writing skills and has been published in several magazines, including Family Circle and Woman’s Day.  A native of Chattanooga, Donna lives with her husband, Ray, in Murfreesboro, TN.  She enjoys working with children at her church and cherishes fun times with three of her four grandchildren. She has to settle for Skyping with the fourth one, who
                                         lives in Germany.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Struggling With Fear

“Fear not!” is the most repeated command in the Bible. Fear is no doubt one of many  problems that people are struggling with today.  It began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned and hid themselves from the Lord. The Lord called out for Adam, and Adam replied, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself" Genesis 3:10

Everyone has fears and doubts for a variety of reasons. We must always be considerate of the doubts and fears of others. Our own fears may seem rational but the fears of others don't always make sense to us.  

For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ Isaiah 41:13


 This is a picture of a necklace that I bought in 2009.