Friday, December 7, 2018

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.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

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.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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

Monday, December 3, 2018

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.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

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.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

One Too Many Things To Do

Why is it so difficult to say no to people? Most of us 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.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Reflecting God's Love

Let's LOVE Him and LOVE others because of the LOVE He has for us.

I Corinthians 13:13 tells us that LOVE echoes into eternity. It's the only thing that we do that will last for eternity. “Three things will continue forever: faith, hope, and LOVE. And the greatest of these is LOVE.”

People will forget all our work, our wealth, our hobbies, our trophies, our awards, etc. The only thing that will last forever is the LOVE we show for Him and for others. 

After work, pop pop still takes time to play! January 2014

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Perfection!

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8


God is more interested in our love for Him and our love for others than he is in our trying to be perfect.  It is impossible to be perfect. No matter how much we try, we will fail at perfection. It simply isn't possible to be perfect but it is possible to love.


Yet, we all strive to be perfect at something. Such as our jobs, in our churches, with our hobbies, in our academics and many other areas. These are all good things and we can be great at some and not so great at others. Yes, we should all strive to do our best but the Bible tells us that “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” 1 Cor. 13:3


Nothing can take the place 
of love and relationships!
 A picture taken of my Aunt and Uncle taken December 2013. They have always made me feel loved and adored.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

We Are The Letter From God That People Read

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

In my morning devotions I read today something that my Pastor wrote: When people inspect our lives up close it gives them a better chance to see the reality of a life changed by the power of God's Word. They are close enough to actually see the Word in operation in daily life circumstances.

My family ingrained in me the responsibility I have to those around me and that our influence always be something that makes the world a better place. As a little girl I was expected to behave and make sure I was being a good example to my little brother plus watching out for him. I took that responsibility very serious because I adored my little brother. Having this mindset as a little girl is much like my mindset today with anyone that God brings into my life.

We play a major role in so many lives each day so let's not take that responsibility for granted or lose an opportunity to make the world in which we live a better place!

Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing. -Jim Rohn


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

When Children School Us

While raising children I wanted to fill their eager young minds with as much knowledge as I had obtained through my own years of experience. I don't really have that same mindset now when it comes to my grandkids because I wish I had taught my children more about loving and less about life. I thought I could make a difference in the life of my children but I have learned I still have so much to learn myself.

Instead, my approach with my grandkids is more about what they can teach me. For instance, to see the excitement and joy of our visits together. Our time with tea parties where we dress up silly and wear funny hats. What I love about these innocent moments is that there is nothing expected, no judgement of others or even ourselves.


These little ones have such hope of everything. That their dad is their prince charming. They still believe in happily ever after. They have taught me to continue to laugh, to be silly and that just sitting in a room talking together is enough. I don't have to own the latest of anything because I am their grandma. They are not embarrassed by my aging face and figure or at what I am wearing. 

My grandkids have taught me how to love & laugh; dress silly & giggle; but more importantly to spend time listening and learning from them instead of the reverse. 

 This picture was taken of a photo shoot I was commissioned to do
 which was published July 2010.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Trust me

"He who trusts in himself is a fool. . ." (Proverbs 28:26).

written January 7, 2011:
Why is trust something I have to ask God constantly to forgive me for? One reason is God's ways don't always make sense to me. Also, It is difficult to trust in a plan that requires me to surrender all control.

You might say I am a bit of a "control freak" and so that may be one of the reasons I find it so difficult to surrender myself to God. Even though I know in my heart that He has my best interest at heart and knows best how to guide my life and yet; I am still trying to learn to surrender daily.

Some days I get it right and some days....well, the "control freak" in me gets it sooooo wrong!

Mother Teresa said, “You will never know that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you’ve got.”

 This picture was taken at my granddaughters birthday party 2012.




Saturday, November 24, 2018

Sharing Struggles

Recently I have been writing about my own personal struggles with fear. It was not easy for me to write about my own weaknesses and run the risk of being ridiculed. Instead, I was not prepared for the great wave of response from readers sharing their similar struggles and being encouraged by my words. 

These blogs have been a way for me to channel my struggle in order to help others who struggle in the same way. There have been thousands of views of my blog from people in Russia, China, Malaysia, Germany, Ukraine, Britain, Canada, France & Indonesia. In the body of Christ, we should be able to share our burdens and struggles with each other.  I have experienced a sampling of Christlike love in the feedback I have received.


Loving concern for each other becomes the evidence that we have experienced  His love!

 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples” John 13:34-35.




 This picture was taken when I was driving
 through Arkansas in January 2010.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Rejection

The Father gives me my people. Every one of them will come to me, and I will always accept them.”  John 6:37

Everyone has faced rejection at some time in their life. It may have been a parent, a spouse, a business partner, their kids, classmates, etc. No matter what you do or say, someone is not going to like you. People may not accepts us or like us, so it is important to understand that God always loves us. 


Once we realize that we are in the same predicament as every other person in the world then hopefully it will help not to take any rejection so personal. People who reject others are usually struggling with their own hurt and insecurities so rejection becomes a pattern in their life. We do not have the power to change people or heal their hurts. In many cases there is nothing we can do or say that will make any difference. 

What we do have control over is our attitude because of that rejection.  Love doesn't rub it in, it rubs it out.  You don't have to approve of everything people do but you do have to love them. “Accept one another,  just as Christ accepted you.” Rom. 15:7 

God has put so many different types of people in our life and we need to enjoy the blessing of our differences. We will miss out on so much if we don't open ourselves up to others. I have learned to pray in my time of need, "Lord, bring into my life those you think I need today." It is always a blessing!

Everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. 1Timothy 4:4

This picture was taken over a ridge at sunrise from
 my hotel room in Georgia, December 2013.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Power Of Words

"The tongue has the power of life and death." Proverbs 18:21

Our words can create life or create death. We can speak blessing or speak curse. What are we saying to those around us? Are we complaining or are we rejoicing? The words of negativity can kill our spirit and the spirit of those around us. Is there any bitter speech coming from our lips? Are we building up those around us? 



With our tongues we can lie, gossip and argue or we can be honest, uplift others and be a  peacemaker. Children automatically begin to say the word "no" as toddlers. It is in our nature to do wrong so we have to live intentionally to do right. We need to remind ourselves to keep our speech pure and right. The scriptures are telling us the importance of the words we speak.

Have you ever been around anyone whose words make you feel ill? We all know people who speak with such toxic words that we cannot be around them for very long. We really need to evaluate our own speech to be sure we are not the person guilty of spreading toxic words to those around us. 

"Keep your mouth closed and you’ll stay out of trouble." Proverbs 21:23

 Flowers in my garden June 2013.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Simple Life

Psalms 37:4 "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your hearts desires."

We all long for more time to enjoy the simple things in life such as a sunrise, a sunset, a walk on the beach, to read a book, time with family and friends, traveling, etc. Instead we spend most of our time working to obtain all the things that will actually keep us from doing the things we truly desire to do. It's almost as if we sabotage ourselves with trying to get ahead and obtain all the things we believe we need to have for our life.

Pursuing stuff can harm our time, cause stress and lack of peace. A simple life these days has to be done intentionally. We can't give in to what society thinks we need in order to have a better life. God's plan for our lives is simple ~ love Him and love others! There are so many opportunities to show our love for God and our love for others. We will not have time to do either if we allow things to control us. The sooner we learn to let go of things, the sooner we can begin to have a LIFE!

How do we begin? Prayer is ALWAYS  the key to change. Pray, asking God to guide you daily in everything you do. It's a daily walk with God!

This picture was taken at the beach May 2013.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Wearing Woes!

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

We need to remember that everyone has problems, fears, anxiety, betrayal, and this list is endless. No one is immune to difficult circumstances. No one has the monopoly on problems and issues in this world either. There is enough to go around. We can't control the difficult circumstances that come into our life and we can't always control how we wear our woes.

woes

definition
1. grievous distress, affliction, or trouble.

All the positive thinking in the world will not work to help overcome the wounds life may bring but God can heal us in ways we don't expect.

When in the midst of conflict or problems in my own life, God sends reminders to me of all that is good. For example, I can hang around one of my grand kids who hugs me so tenderly and tells me they love me and all is well in my world. My husband and I have moments when the young adults at church will say or do something for us that our hearts become overwhelmed with joy. God has provided nieces and nephews in our life that lift us up just by hanging around them. We thank God constantly for the sweet relationships He gives us each day. My husband and I remind ourselves to take time to reflect on all the good that God has provided and we want to wear our gratefulness. Is our life perfect? Of course not, but most days it feels pretty close because of the relationships God gives to us who become the hands and feet of Jesus in our life.

My prayer today is to thank God for all that is good today and to trust Him with all that is not...

 This picture was taken by my mom in Spain of a poppy field in 2006.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Courage and Blessing

Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. He was of the house of Caleb. I Samuel 25:2-3

Abigail was intelligent and beautiful but her husband Nabal was a fool and cruel according to these verses. How many times have we seen two people married where one is delightful and the other grates our nerves? 

David was still on the run at this time from King Saul and was in the area where Nabal had his sheep so they protected them from any harm. It was customary at that time to be compensated for the protection of your flock but instead Nabal was rude, critical and refused to do anything for David and his men.

David was upset and set out to go up against Nabal for his foolishness. Abigail met him on the road with her servants and compensation for David and his men's protection of their flock without her husband knowing. When she told her husband the next day about what she had done he was so upset he had a heart attack and died. David found out what happened to Abigails husband and asked her to be his wife and they were married.

This is a great love story but more than that it is about a woman who had the courage to do right and God blessed!

This picture was taken while visiting Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, October 2014.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Vengeful Counsel

Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself.  David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, ‘Behold, David seeks to harm you’? I Samuel 24:8-9

Saul listened to the lies in his head and the lies from people who liked to stir up trouble. This is a parents worst nightmare when it happens to their own children usually in the teen moments of life. The hormonal changes tell them their parents are out to destroy their life and their fun. Wrong influences of friends begin to feed your children the same lie. Television, music and all the negatives of this world that bombard our kids to believe more negative than good. Unfortunately, it also happens in adults too.

Our families and society are being crippled much like Saul was at that time where all he wanted to do was to hate and destroy a man who had never caused him any harm. His mind and his poor counsel had led him to believe that he needed to destroy an individual who had actually always been good to him. What deception our own minds can be and added with the negatives of those we choose to listen to and anything is possible. 

As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’; but my hand shall not be against you. I Samuel 24:13 David chose not to hurt King Saul but instead treated him with respect because of his position of authority. He trusted God more than his own thoughts and especially more than the vengeful counsel of others.


This picture was taken when we visited Longwood Gardens with our niece Theresa, October 2014.

Monday, November 12, 2018

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!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Pain Of Grief written October 31, 2014

This past weekend we celebrated the life of my sister n law who recently passed away. It was a beautiful celebration for someone who gave herself to her family. When I married my husband she treated my children from my first marriage as if they were her own family. These past few years we were getting together weekly to spend time with our granddaughters and do some special things. Just before she became ill we had made plans of all the things we were going to do with them in the upcoming months but we are not promised tomorrow. I am eternally grateful to her and for the memories she provided for myself, my kids and grandkids.

Grief takes over the mind and spirit when there is a death in the family or anyone close to us. The grief comes in different forms such as deep sadness, anger, numbness, anxiety and stress. It will manifest itself in different forms physically and mentally. When we are at our weakest is when Satan and our enemies become more vigilant in their attacks. With God's help we have to guard our hearts and minds when we are grieving.  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

Grief causes the mind to imagine the worst and feel as if we are in a choke hold. The pain from grief is deceiving and the imagination of all is lost can be overwhelming. We can't resist those negative emotions and feelings on our own. We have to draw near to God who will give us what we need  to renew our minds according to James 4:7-8a Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 


This picture was taken of my sister n law Glenda fishing with her granddaughter Mackenzie. A great reminder that life is like a vapor which appears for a little while and then vanishes away...James 4:14

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Too Much Weight

Whether the burden that weighs us down is one of guilt such as the one that consumed David’s thoughts in Psalms 32, the fear Peter experienced in Matthew 26, or the doubt Thomas carried written in John 20. Jesus has invited us to bring them all to Him: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.

We are not built to bear our burdens alone. When we cast them on the One who wants to bear our burdens,  He replaces them with forgiveness, healing, and restoration. No burden is too heavy for Him.

Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. 
Psalm 55:22

We can hug our hurts and
make a shrine out of  our
sorrows or we can offer
them to God as a sacrifice of
praise. The choice is ours. 
~Richard Exley

 This picture was taken of my youngest daughter in 1991 sleeping 
with one of her poofies that Aunt Glenda bought for her.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Uncertainty!

Often I am asked, "How am I supposed to know if it is God guiding me or just my own thoughts?" There is no simple answer to know for certain but there are some ways to seek where God is leading. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek God first and He will take care of the rest. If we take time to seek God each day then He will make it more clear to us. When we have a burden to do something out of the ordinary that will benefit someone else besides ourselves then most likely it is God. I think we have such a selfish nature that when we begin to concern ourselves with others it has to be God. 

Will we always have the certainty of where God is leading? Not according to the scriptures as in the case of Jonathan who said these words when he was up against an army and it was just him and his armor bearer....I Samuel 14:6 b.... it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.” He wasn't sure if God wanted him to take this chance but he trusted that God could bring him victory even if it was just two of them against an entire army. God didn't make it clear to him what to do but he visioned a possibility of defeating the army on his own. It could have turned out so horribly wrong but it didn't in this case because God gave him the victory.

Jonathan had a natural doubt and uncertainty on what steps to take but he continued to move forward in faith. That is the lesson when we are up against our own war or wars ~ move forward, take the steps and let God give us the victory!

This picture was taken of a pumpkin I carved 
with my nieces and nephews in Delaware, October 2014.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Overwhelmed?

We all have moments when we are overwhelmed or we don't think too much of life or ourselves at that particular moment. That is when this verse gives so much comfort: “ Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.” Psalm 138:6

Even though the feeling of being lowly may not always be where we want to be it is usually where we need to be. God meets us there and what better place to be than where we find God. 

Oh, I love being on top of the world and all is good in my days but I have learned not to dread the days that are less than perfect. I find that life is sometimes the opposite of what we believe. A perfect day feels great but I have also felt that my less than perfect days can sometimes be better. When the bottom has fallen out and I have found myself in the land of the abyss it is God's mercy and grace that pulled me out. I can look back in pictures remembering the blessings that came from the difficulty of that moment in time. A good example is when my husband and I look back at the 9 years when he suffered renal failure. We are amazed at all the activities, trips and special moments with our kids and grandkids. It seems to us we shared more together than any other time in both our lives. That was a gift from God because there is no other way to explain how it was even possible.

This picture was taken as we were driving through the state of New York, October 2014.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

We Forget About God Too!

The prophet Samuel reminds his people about how their ancestors forgot about God much the same way they were doing at that present time. I Samuel 12:9-10 And when they forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of the army of Hazor, into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.  Then they cried out to the Lord, and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and Ashtoreths; but now deliver us from the hand of our enemies, and we will serve You.’

They were no longer grateful for the protection and provisions of God. Recently I was speaking to a young father who was complaining about his circumstances because he felt unappreciated. It was easy for me to see that he lived a blessed life if the only complaint he had was not feeling appreciated. God had given this young man a beautiful family, a home, a job, friends, etc. but his complaint was that he was not appreciated enough. How often do we ourselves not see God's blessings because of a feeling? 

We forget about God when we are complaining to ourselves or to others about our feelings when they outweigh our gratefulness. Let's have an attitude of gratefulness no matter the circumstances and let God know how grateful we are for all He has provided each day!


This is a picture of my husband with our niece's dog when we were visiting in Delaware. I thought the dogs frisbee had a great message.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Opinion Of Others!

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, once said, “I am sick of opinions. Give me a humble, gentle lover of God and man – a man full or mercy and good fruits, without partiality or hypocrisy. Bigotry is too strong an attachment to our own creed of opinion. How unwilling men are to allow anything good in those who do not agree with them in all things. We must not narrow the cause of God to our own beliefs, but rejoice in goodness wherever it appears.”

John Wesley had to deal with the poor opinion of others as did King Saul in I Samuel 10:26-27 And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched. But some rebels said, “How can this man save us?” So they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.

God had chosen Saul to be King and still it was not enough for these rebels who despised him for no apparent reason. There will always be those who despise us too. Let us not be guilty of retribution to those who do but instead hold our peace as Saul did and let God deal with our enemies. My son was being picked on by a neighborhood bully when he was young. I told him to pray for this boy and after several years they became close friends for many years. God has a way of changing our hearts and the hearts of others.....

This picture was taken by my niece Theresa when we were 
vacationing in Canada October 2014.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Samuel's Sons

This week I am reading the book of I Samuel which tells a story of a grateful mother who gave her son to God when he was very young. He grew up to be a prophet and leader for the people of Israel. Unfortunately, her grandsons did not grow up to be anything like their father according to I Samuel 8:3 But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. Samuels sons did not walk the walk that their father had set as an example of being a servant for God. How disheartening it is to raise children in church and watch them turn away from what they have learned and go against their faith in God. Then I see children who come from a home that showed no glimpse of God and grow up to be Pastors and leaders of the church. 

We learn from what we see in this story as well as the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where everything was perfect and they had the perfect Father ~ every child has a free will to do what they choose. As parents, we are not so powerful in what we do or don't do that guarantee our children will turn out perfectly. We are all broken living in a broken world so if anything good comes from our children, it is God's goodness and grace. 

Satan uses our children as a tool to beat us down and convince us how much we have failed in all that we do. We will fail that is a given but God can restore and we can only place them in His care. There are so many parents I know my age that I am praying for because of their children right now. Seems to be a similar epidemic of pain in our society. We are all trusting God always for our children and grandchildren.

This is a picture of me with my "grand~girls" taken at church October 5, 2014.