Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Spirit Gives New Life

John 7:38 Jesus said,"If anyone thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

written January 14, 2011:
Jesus' statement about "rivers of living water" is a reference to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our power source.We may need to be reminded of the purpose and power of the third Person of the Trinity.

Our home was built in 1959 and one of the bedrooms was old and in need of major repair. Jimmy went to Home Depot and purchased paint, crown molding, baseboards, etc. We painted the ceiling & walls, replaced the fixtures, added crown molding & baseboards. The room is clean, fresh and beautiful! We turned a useless old room into a beautiful art work room/guest room!

 This is the best way to describe what the Holy Spirit does.....let's just say that we are the old room. Jimmy is the Holy Spirit and he goes to Home Depot to get the materials, so the Home Depot will represent God. The Holy Spirit will renew our hearts and lives just like Jimmy did the old room. It is the power we have inside of us to restore and renew us!


I read this recently: The spirit deals with man in a unique way–through inspiration!

 This picture was taken on the coast of Spain in 2007.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

I Am Asking "Why" Too

written February 9, 2011:
I walk around with all the "WHY" questions like everyone else
and stay unsettled in the not knowing just how it all goes...
there are days I am strong and the WHY's are just there
then the days that my grief is just centered around all
the "WHY's" that are hanging around....

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

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

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

"WHY?" Because I care about you..........




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

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

 

Monday, March 23, 2020

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.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

My Southern Roots

Ephesians 6:14-17 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

There is a book that I was reading that described southern women as being strong as oaks but sweet as honeysuckle! The author also described them as confident, strong, keepers of tradition and history. That is what I love about growing up in Tennessee. You are taught to stand up for yourself, be proud of who you are and not compromise your beliefs. Those are just a few things that I inherited from the South but there are many more.

Growing up in the South, especially the Bible belt of the country gave me a wonderful Christian heritage. I was able to hear some of the greatest preachers such as my own pastor Dr. Lee Roberson and others such as R G Lee and Billy Graham. Wonderful memories of great sermons and seeing so many decisions being made for Christ in my own lifetime.


Traveling with my uncle, Evangelist Darrell Dunn and watching hundreds of souls coming to know Christ a long the way to Colorado, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Teaching me the importance of courage in a godless world. God lead my young life so precisely to prepare me for the road ahead in my adult life! I can look back and see how God was training me each and every week as I grew up under the preaching of His word to give me what I needed for today! God thinks of everything!





Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Conflict Resolution

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

Every conflict between friends, families, etc.  boils down to one thing: self-centeredness. Children are so adorable as babies until the terrible two's come to play and it loses it's cuteness. How many adults do we know that seem to have never outgrown those toddler terrors? Disagreements come about because we so often are just thinking about ourselves much like a toddler. A toddler is only concerned with his own needs because they are the center of their own universe.  

So often, our solution to solving conflict is avoiding the people we’re having conflict with. We move out of the neighborhood, we change friends, we stop going to the same events that they attend. We figure that our universes can’t collide! But the right solution, the godly answer, to this problem is to bring the other person into the center of our universe.  

We don't teach our children to cut off their siblings when they are small? No, that would only cause emotional anger and pain but instead we teach them to forgive, make-up and be friends again. 

If we begin to put other people into the center of our universe, and they put us in the center of theirs, then there is unity! We miss out on so many blessings when we don't follow God's best for our lives.....

This picture was taken while walking on the beach November 12, 2012

Friday, March 13, 2020

Restoration!

Psalm 33:18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love.

written January 11, 2001:
My 20 year old daughter was sharing with a friend of hers, who was going through some struggles, the principle of restoration. She said that restoration should be like every time she returns to our church because everyone there always welcomes her back with open arms and no questions asked.

I thought it was a very powerful statement and says a lot for our church. No matter where she is spiritually, she always feels welcome when she comes to worship. That is what church is all about ~ Grace!

Grace, grace, God's grace... Grace that is greater than all our sin...

 This picture was taken in my kitchen March 18, 2012. I picked these Amaryllis from my garden.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Do You See What I See?

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 


written January 11, 2011:
Nothing is really ever as it seems, I always say! I have learned to not look at the circumstances of life because that will just side track you into believing all is lost and abandoned. In reality, life still happens in the darkest hour but our minds don't exactly wrap around that idea.

The human mind is so capable of wrong perceptions, missed perceptions and of not being consistent even at times with reality. If we are not careful our perception will become our reality.



Watch out for people around you they will typically point out what they see in the natural. Don’t allow fear to cloud your sight.


Renew your mind by changing the way you think!


 Jupiter Lighthouse taken in 2011.


Friday, March 6, 2020

~ B Positive Blood Type ~

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

written January 28, 2011:
My husbands jokes with me that my blood type is B positive. When he first found  out what my blood type was he replied, "Of course it is, because she is. Most of the time he enjoys my positive spirit unless he is feeling negative, then it just bugs him.

Let me get real here okay? I do suffer from negativity too. Now you know a dirty secret about me and I am not proud of it. You see, God created me with the need to protect those around me. I feel a responsibility to everyone around me to keep them encouraged and hopeful. In other words, if the sky was falling inside myself I would be freaking out "THE SKY IS FALLING!" On the outside though I would see someone that I don't want to devastate with my news so I would be all smiles until I figured out how to keep the sky from falling or how I am going to protect them from the falling sky. That is how my mind works!

Strange huh? Well, it is the way I am wired and I know that God wants to protect us when we feel that the sky is falling in our own world!

We need to work on managing our day and live more positively!


This picture was taken in San Fernando, Spain in 2020






Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Practice Makes Perfect

Written 3/5/2013

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

written during Hurricane Season 2006:
When tropical storm Alberto formed in 2006, I thought it would be a good time for a practice drill to be sure we have our hurricane preparedness plan at home working. I asked Jim to show me how to work our new shutters which all we needed to do was close, pack and leave. I like the sound of that, don’t you? Anyways, we pulled the shutters together, easy, easy, easy and then I asked, why is there a lock on the handles? He said, because you need a key and then I asked, where is the key? He looked at me as if to say, I thought you had it. When you have been married as many years as we have, you don’t have to speak because a “look” speaks volumes. I looked back at him and I said, "No, I don’t have the key so where do you think it might be?" Oh brother, we failed miserably our first hurricane practice drill and a few weeks later when the next tropical storm formed we still had no key.

My life is a lot like this story, I can have a plan on how I think it should be but if the main "key" is missing then I am left feeling stressed instead. I personally always make the mistake of trying to plan my own life because I become so wise in my own eyes. Then I realize when I can’t get it right that I just need to stop looking to myself but instead look to my Heavenly Father.

We had to have new keys made for our shutters so hopefully the next practice drill will be smoother.....

This picture was taken at "Vizcaya" when we visited in 2012. 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Where Do We Find Hope When We Feel Hopeless?~

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

Encouragement comes in many ways....a kind word or deed, a beautiful sky or the ocean, the scriptures, poems, books, art, music, etc. In this journey called life we have days where we feel such a devastating blow to our hearts and emotions that cannot be explained and we may feel hopeless. Hopelessness is a very dangerous place to be and a time to make the necessary steps to do what we can to find hope and encouragement.

One of the best places to find hope is to find a good church and attend regularly and you will be amazed at the difference in your life, your mind and emotions. I always tell people that cannot afford therapy to go to church where they will receive free therapy.

We live in a day and age where we have access to every song or book imaginable on hope. Helping others is also a way to bring perspective to our hopelessness because we will always find others who are worse off than we are and in need of what we are able to offer them. These are just exercises in finding hope because it does exist for everyone!

Often we just need to be reminded where to look for it....HOPE ~
                                                                                      Healing
                                                                                      Of
                                                                                      People
                                                                                      Everywhere


I took this picture of my youngest daughter with her husband and little one January 5, 2012.




Thursday, February 27, 2020

I Am Phone-A-Phobic

written January 4, 2011:
Hebrews 4:16  “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Seriously! My family and friends will tell you that I do not like to be contacted by phone, it makes me crazy....I have actually felt this way most of my life. It would make my dad so mad, he would say, "what if I have a medical emergency?" And I would reply, "call 911!" So glad he loved me enough to not stay mad too long....

The only thing I can figure out is that I am ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) so I lose focus easily. Most people carry a phone to be able to get more work done but  I would accomplish less on a daily basis. I would be too distracted. I see the phone as one more thing on my to do list. Bondage in other words. I have given up trying to make the phone a part of my personal life and embraced my weakness in this area!

I read this today and thought it appropriate for today's devotional:  Just as your cell phone has an open line to your network provider to gain access to service, prayer is an open line to heaven to gain access to God. Are you connected?  


Don't let the noise of this world keep you from hearing the Voice of God!




Monday, February 24, 2020

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.

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. So 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.

Friday, February 21, 2020

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.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

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.....I don't want to mess it up!

This picture was taken of my youngest daughters little one on February 2013.


Monday, February 17, 2020

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.

Friday, February 14, 2020

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.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

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 Christian. 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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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

Trust God to take care of everything!

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

Monday, February 10, 2020

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.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

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.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Frugal Living

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

written January 6, 2011:
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.


Monday, February 3, 2020

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.



Saturday, February 1, 2020

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.

Whenever we find ourselves  feeling resentful for the sacrifice we are making for others ~ we need to keep in mind God's sacrifice for us was on the cross.  

Friday, January 31, 2020

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.




Thursday, January 30, 2020

Sacrifice!

Written January 2017:
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.
.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Eclectic Relationships

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. 

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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.

Monday, January 27, 2020

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.