Sunday, December 27, 2020

Jesus is Victor!


Take time to read her website: http://www.corrietenboom.com

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

An Open Door


 

I took this picture when I visited Carratraca, Spain. The background page is made with book pages, crumbled up tissue paper and water colors. In the words of Helen Mirren, I love photography and I love the art of photography!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

His Infinite Understanding!


 
This is a picture I took of the turquoise colored lakes in Arielle, Spain. My sister n law wrote this blog several years ago which I placed on top of one of my paintings. The embellishment is a pretty orchid napkin I had in my art supplies. I love how all the colors blended so well together!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Reflections of a prayer!


 My Bible is my prayer journal! I found this as I was reading my devotions today. I took a picture of this prayer from 2005 and placed it on a background I painted. Added flowers from a vintage 1940’s card I bought in 1980! I love reflections of prayer!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Hang On!

To create this artwork I took this picture July 3, 2006 of the mythical horses fountain in Palm Beach, Florida. They were designed  by Addison Mizner in 1929. I put this picture on a background of a vintage 1940’s card that I bought in 1984. I free handedly drew the Mandala artwork while living in our Juno Beach bungalow in 2017 and took a picture to shrink and use as an artistic  embellishment. The blog was written January 27, 2014 during a season of grief when I found the story of Ruth and Naomi an encouragement for my soul!
 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Kindness Is Always the Answer!


I wrote this blog several years ago and posted on a piece of corrugated cardboard. I painted a heart and it’s background. The tea cup I inherited when my dads sister passed away. The bird on the teacup was a picture I took of a bird at St. Lucie Locks while camping. My art, my words, my photography and my keepsake all together for me to share with you!


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Strength For Each Day!


I took this picture of the flower from my garden in 2006. The background is textile art that I did recently. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Unmet Expectations

 


I wrote this blog last Sunday night while sitting in the woods of a beautiful state park in Ohio. The yellow background of this blog is a photo I took of a tree with its fall foliage. Then I placed a turquoise painting on the photo and included a mandala I sketched freehanded and also painted. The beautiful fall leaves this time of year inspire me!

Saturday, October 10, 2020

If I Had My Life To Live Over by Erma Bombech



This picture was taken of the parrots in my front yard years ago. Erma Bombeck was one of my favorite writers about being a mom and wife. When I would be overwhelmed with domestic responsibilities Erma would write something that would lighten the heart!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Keep Your Focus


This picture was taken from our campsite by the lake in R Schaefer Heard Campground while Jimmy was admiring the view. His silhouette on the water captivated me and so I captured that moment. There was something special in his looking at the beauty of where we were staying. I could feel he was grateful to be sharing this with me and thankful for our travels together!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Where is God in the Hard Times?


This is a picture I took of my brother when he visited me in Florida. I wrote this blog in 2013 during a difficult time within my own family.  I was claiming Gods promises in the midst of my own grief and sadness. As I reflect on that difficult time I see that God did bring me through and kept His promise to me. He gave me HOPE in the midst of my hopelessness!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Bloom More!


This is a picture I took of the bougainvillea in my yard and using for this background. The picture with scripture I took on a walk in Palm Beach at Bethesda by the Sea garden entryway. I wrote this blog during Hurricane season of 2006. Gardening is a lot like art ~ full of whimsical color!

 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Discipleship



The background is a sheet from my favorite stationary with an ocean view. I took this picture of me and my nephews swimming at Dubois lagoon when I was in my 40’s. This was our summers together with my youngest daughter Deena who was probably taking the photo. I wrote this blog in 2013 probably looking back and missing these moments. Art is my therapy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Courage!



This is a picture I took of a page from a journal I was making for my grand girls this past month August 2020. I placed the picture on a painting I did with acrylics and tissue paper on a background of book pages I decoupaged together. The small embellishment was a technique called dentritic monoprinting on top of book pages covered in a plastic bag from the grocery store. I wrote this devotional in 2006 which is when my boss Jared Hawkins set up my blog site Hurricane Empress and asked me to begin blogging. I had no clue or desire to do this but it was now part of my job description!
 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

A Surprise Package of Love!




This was a handmade thank you card I made of paper and fabric for my niece in 2013 when I wrote this blog!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Don’t Lose Hope!


This picture was taken September 2020 while camping in Kentucky. It was the first sign of fall to us. I placed this picture on a dendritic monoprinting technique that I painted just recently. I wrote this blog during Hurricane Season 2006.

 

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Life Lessons

Proverbs 14:26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.

My parents were missionaries in Europe and they took me to church every Sunday, Wednesday night plus any other nights of the week for music practice, studies, events, etc. My Aunt Betty and Uncle Darrell also raised their own children in church and since I was at their home so often I went along. My senior year of high school I trusted in Christ as my personal Savior. I knew all about God in my head from growing up in church but I didn't have a personal relationship with Him in my heart until January 28, 1976.


God called me to ministry at 21 years of age and I also took my own children to church every time the door was open. I never let any other school or sport event interfere with church because I felt it was a priority. We have some amazing memories of our time together as a family and growing up in church.


Church is a place for children to learn how to do LIFE! There isn't any other institution here on this earth that teaches exactly what our children need in order to handle every situation for their future. There are still no guarantees that your children will turn out right but it gives them every opportunity to know the way....



This is a picture I took of my husband playing the drums with our daughter
 and her husband in 2012. They have all been involved with the Worship Team
 for many years. It is a joy to watch them all as they share in ministry 
and I am able to enjoy the music while holding my little grandchild. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Laughter Is Good For The Soul

Luke 6:21 Jesus said, "Blessed are ye that week now: for ye shall laugh.

written November 30, 2010
This past Thanksgiving I laughed more than I had in a very long time because my mother, Aunt, Uncle and cousins are so hysterically funny. I laughed so much my throat hurt but it felt so good to my soul.

I have been blessed with family members who know how to tell good stories. It is just a lot of fun to hang around them and listen to the stories over and over again.

Worry, negativity and criticism is just not a part of their nature but instead they are uplifting and loads of fun. Now that I am an adult and I see how dark and negative the rest of the world really is I see the importance of laughter. My mother and aunt were not as fortunate but instead grew up with my grandmother who was very negative and difficult. Instead of complaining about their childhood they have found a way to talk about it in such a humorous way that it keeps my grandmother's memory alive, which I love.

How wonderful to have such a gift of laughter in my life given to me by my family and I am forever grateful!


I took this picture of my Aunt Betty and my mama during Thanksgiving in the 1990's. We would stay in rustic log cabins in the Cumberland Mountains and spend our days telling stories, laughing, singing and playing Rook! Just having these two ladies together is all you need to enjoy yourself and have fun anywhere!

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Need Some Joy?

Job 8:21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.  
 

We all need joy in our life in order for life to make sense, right? Otherwise, how miserable it would be to just exist and feel no joy at all. We have all met people from time to time that have been robbed of their joy due to life's circumstances. I think it is disheartening  when I meet people who rob themselves of their own joy. No matter how much you try to help them see the good in life they see the negative, always complaining and in a state of major self pity. Let's be honest, we are all guilty!
 

There are people who should not have any joy because of life's circumstances and yet they do have real joy.  That is amazing to me because they manage to enjoy God's blessings in the midst of it all. 
 

Joy comes from God and He gives it to anyone who wants to receive it and even when life happens and bangs us up, it will be where we least expect it. 
 

Joy has come to me in many forms....some times from a scripture, a child, a friend, a flower, a butterfly, the ocean, artwork, etc....and when I least expect it! 
 

In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag. - W.H. Auden
 This picture was taken on one of my walks on March 31, 2008.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Different Path

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. Exodus 13:17a

As children we begin to dream or plan of what we want to be when we grow up. When I was young I believed that I would be a missionary in some far away country leading people to Christ and a better life. I never saw myself married or having children. Instead I have been married, divorced, re-married with 4 children and 11 beautiful grand~kids. I have served in ministry since the age of 21 here in South Florida and to some people this is a far away country. God had a different plan for my life and it is not at all the plan I was making in my head. 

When I read the passages of scripture in Exodus it reminds me that God controls our destiny as He did the destiny of the Israeli nation. Life brings us things that we do not always understand what the purpose is in our lives and the lives of those around us. This is where our faith comes in and we must trust God in what He is doing. 

Everything God does in our lives is about His Kingdom so I have learned not to take it personally when my life takes a different path. There are many things I did not plan such as dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction. This is an area of difficulty for me to watch family and friends who are ruining their lives with their addictions. I used to believe I had all the spiritual answers to assist them to change their behavior only to be disappointed. I now realize I can't change anyone not even myself but I can continue to pray for them and help when they ask.

  
An unplanned route will often strengthen your faith!

 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Home is a Sanctuary

II Corinthians 6:18 "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters," says the Almighty.

written July 22, 2001:
My 21 year old daughter told me today at church that during her devotions this week she found a verse that reminded her of me. Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge. She said to me after I read the verse, "that is why I come home so much...it's my refuge."

Our home should be a sanctuary for every family member, parents, children and even the dog. Thank you Lord for allowing my home to be a sanctuary, a refuge, a safe place.

 This picture was taken in my home March 18, 2012. The Amaryllis are from my garden.


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Who Am I?

Written May 2013:

I Peter 2: 9-10 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;  who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

 There have been years of my life where I have been a wife, a mom, a grandma, etc. Also, a time in my life where I felt like my life consisted of being a taxi driver for my kids and all their social events. As a wife and a mom you tend to lose your identity in the family and forget who you were or why God created you in the first place. 


In order to gain perspective and find myself again I would take a trip with my own mom or visit my family and friends in Tennessee. There I would find myself again. It was always good for me, refreshing and gave me the strength to come back home and begin again with a renewed spirit.


My mom is great to travel with because she makes it a fun and enjoyable time for me and for everyone who comes along.Visiting family and friends consist of laughs and memories that we all share. Laughter is always good for the soul and this is just one way to keep me balanced! 


John Maxwell wrote: If you desire to change yourself, then start with your mind. Believe you can improve, that you can change into the person you desire to be. 


Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." If your thinking changes, then everything else can follow.

I've always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.~Lily Tomlin


This picture was taken from my driveway watching the sun set in 2012.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Surrounded by Joy Takers!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

A prayer I wrote on February 11, 2004:

Dear Lord,
I appreciate the scripture up above because today I have a wounded spirit. My day began with a reprimand from a loved one that was not deserved and very hurtful. Other situations arose today and now I feel beaten down. Lord, give me the strength to do what needs to be done. I am tired, sad and discouraged - only emotions that I know you can heal. So will wait and continue on to do what needs to be done. 

Lord, give me the strength to keep going and to want to keep moving forward. I cry, I pause, I pray, I wait! It's only pain, it's real but nothing compared to the pain Christ suffered for me. I don't always understand what plan God has for me but I just trust in faith and continue to walk in His will for my life. 

My heart is broken today! I have been surrounded by "joy-takers". Too many for me to handle all in one day. I remind myself that even though I may be down I know God is still working. So I cry, I pause, I pray, I wait. Lord, only you can restore my joy! Thank you Lord.....

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8


This picture was taken at Bethesda by the Sea Church in April 2013.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Making Decisions with Prayer

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established. 

My husband and I pray together daily and separately about any and all decisions in our life. Some are big decisions and some are not very significant but that is how I know God's will for my own life. Usually God brings us ultimately to the same decision and really how often does any married couple agree on anything? 

That is how I know it is God working in both our lives and the key to those decisions is prayer. Rarely does my husband decide differently than I do. If that should happen, I will usually follow his decision because I believe God can make a wrong decision right. These are the moments that I have to trust God no matter how I may feel. Easy to say but not always easy to do. 
 
Usually my husband and I will not make a final decision on something of significance until we are both in agreement. It may take a few weeks but if we continue to pray we can see how God blends our hearts together in the same direction. We have managed to do this for several years now and find that no decision has been left unanswered by our Heavenly Father. 
 
We both know how difficult it is to agree on what color to paint a room or something as simple as what to watch on tv. So when God works on our hearts to come to the same conclusion we know without a doubt that it can only be God!

Few things in life transform your character like making a commitment to pray together!

A picture of St. Andrews in Tangier Morocco taken by my 
father in the late 1950's or early 1960's.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Not Giving Up Yet!

Written in 2013:

Galatians 6:9 tells us not to get tired of doing what is good. Because at the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up!

The beginning of this year was a difficult one for me personally. I felt like the gates of hell were opening up to swallow me whole. I asked everyone I knew to pray for me because I was afraid for my heart, soul and mind. Those prayers gave me strength to just keep pressing forward with the things that God had for me to do. I trusted that God was doing something in my life because Satan was so hard at work to destroy me.


This past Easter was one of the best that I have ever celebrated. I was involved in getting together our Easter Egg Hunt and breakfast for the church. All the volunteers at our church took care of everything that needed to be done and it was fun. The turn out was better than we had planned and 14 people were saved. Two of those people saved were visiting family members.

What a sweet and wonderful day! Two people who I love and adore will be sharing eternity in heaven with me some day.....Praise God!  

This picture was taken Easter Sunday of me with my cousin David Dunn visiting from Tennessee!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Reading The Bible

My parents read the Bible to me when I was a little girl and had me in church every time the door was open. My Uncle Darrell taught me to read the Bible from beginning to end when I was a teenager. I was fortunate to have been taught to have daily devotions from the very beginning of my life and something I did with my own children. 

When you read the Bible from the beginning to the end it is wonderful to discover something new each time. I don't care how many times I have read through the Bible it is like a new novel each time. I believe the scriptures are so alive that they teach us constantly if we will just take the time to read and meditate. 

The Bible is a book that comes alive with stories and practical truths for us to carry with us each day. I remember my young nephew James asking me when he was a little boy, "what is the meaning of life Aunt Laly?" I said, read the Bible and it will answer that question and any others you may have growing up. He loved our time of reading the Bible together and I always loved his feedback about the lessons in the scriptures. My granddaughters are now at the ages where they are having devotions and will FaceTime me so we can do together. I have no greater joy!!! 


Thy word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against Thee. Psalm 119:11

This picture was taken when we visited Amelia Island this past summer 2014.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Strength In Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.


It's okay to be weak because God is strong ~ It's okay not to have all the answers because God knows it all ~ It's okay to be wrong because God makes all things right!  Know that God has allowed it for His purpose. It's not personal even when everything around us seems to be against us. It is God who can work through us in our darkest hour. 


We can do ALL things through Christ 
who will strengthen us!


Saturday, July 4, 2020

The Simple Things

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I Thessalonians 5:23

God is constantly ministering to our spirit in some way. A touch, a sentence, a scene, a flower, an animal, a person, a sunrise, a sermon, a sunset, the ocean, a lake, a stream, a sweet memory and the list goes on. There are so many ways that God lifts our spirits and fills us with joy each day. I seem to find His touch in the small and simpler things of life! 

One of the most amazing revelations of God comes when we learn that it is in the commonplace things that the Deity of Jesus Christ is realized. ~Oswald Chambers

I want to take time to notice how God is speaking to me today and may it guide my day differently! The scriptures describe that God speaks in a still small voice which I believe can be drowned out in the clutter of my every day life. Where will God reveal himself to me today?  

I took this picture of my husband and grand~girl a few years ago during their play time together....I love watching these two.....they are soul mates and understand each other....

Saturday, June 27, 2020

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 myself 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

Saturday, June 20, 2020

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.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Growing Faith

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

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

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

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



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


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


Monday, April 27, 2020

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.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Praying For My Kids

No matter how old my children are I still struggle with fear and worry for them. All my friends that have adult children say the same thing. In fact, I believe the fear and worry increase as our children grow because life throws so much at them. As parents we sit on the sidelines praying they overcome each struggle they are faced with each day. My kids Nana gave me a verse that I love and helps calm my fears when I worry that is below in the picture. We need to always pray for our own children and each other......I am grateful for the prayer warriors in my life who are also praying for them!



Friday, April 10, 2020

"Too Much Negativity?"

Do you know any "negaholics?" I get up every morning planning to have a "peaceful" day because I believe stress is the number one factor for any health issues. According to an article that I read: In humans, chronic stress causes overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol which, in turn, increases the formation of coronary artery blockages. Chronic stress also decreases estrogen production-one reason that stressed women sometimes have irregular menstrual cycles. This disruption of estrogen production by the ovaries can contribute to coronary heart disease in women.


The economy, war, daily news report. Let's face it, daily things that go wrong for each of us can feed the addiction of "negaholics!" Negativity is everywhere and we all recognize those individuals in our life because they zap the life from us. For me personally it can make a "peaceful" day go to hell in a hand basket.

How do you determine if your negativity is excessive and dangerous to yourself and others? Consider the thoughts that enter your head. What are you dwelling on? Are the majority of your thoughts positive or negative? If negative, how can you change the negative to a positive? Remember excessive negativity can kill relationships and so much more.

Philippians 4:8-9
8 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. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.