Monday, November 9, 2015

Critical In Nature

Judge not, that ye be not judged." Matthew 7:1

It is so easy to be critical of others and when I begin to go down that trail I have to ask myself: "When did I get to be so superior?" Am I so perfect that even though I have so much to work on myself personally I need instead to take time and thought to what others are doing wrong? I instead need to begin praying for those individuals and realizing they are in God's hands and take responsibility for myself. I think it is easier to see the faults of others than our own faults. We are fools if we believe we have it right and others have it wrong.


We need to stop believing we have the power to change others when we cannot even change ourselves. Let's work on encouraging others instead of tearing them down. Let's learn to take our focus off what others do and say so we can focus more on what we do and say instead.

Criticism has never accomplished anything but instead has brought pain to others. 

Criticism is a lot like cruelty, it leaves similar scars.


This picture was taken of the flowers in my yard!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Where Is God In The Hard Times?

Hebrews 13:5b I will never leave thee...

Everyone faces difficulty and no one is exempt from hard times in their life journey since the beginning of time. God has given us the Bible packed with stories of all the difficulty of the saints before us and how they handled their life circumstances to encourage as we face our own trials and tribulations. It is to encourage us no matter what life may throw at us so that we are able to work through and overcome any and all hopeless situations that we may have to face now or in the future.

A quote from German theologian Otto Dibelius, a leader of the anti-Nazi resistance movement in World War II: “God does not lead his children around hardship, but leads them straight through hardship. But he leads! And amidst the hardship, he is nearer to them than ever before.”


God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him ~ Hudson Taylor




This is a picture I took of my brother at the beach when he was visiting Easter 2012.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Weaver

My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside.

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

-Grant Colfax Tuller


John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled.


This picture was taken in Savannah, Georgia when we visited in March 2013.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recovering Resentment

 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! Genesis 45:4
 
Life is full of resentment and wounds when people hurt us instead of being a blessing to us. How we heal is more up to us than the ones who have wounded us. We have to learn how to recover from our resentment with God's help. 

Resentment is like cancer where it starts out small and needs to be released and removed immediately. If not, it will eat away at us and eventually destroy us.

Resentment focuses on the past. It replays the past over and over. It won't change the past but if not dealt with it can certainly have long lasting negative affects on our future. A happy, healthy life cannot be lived holding on to the past and certainly not holding on to our resentment.

Joseph had every right to be resentful of his brothers when they sold him into slavery but he recognized God's presence in his life even when things went so terribly wrong. In spite of all that was happening to him for so many years he trusted that God loved him and would be there for him. After many years, God blessed him and reconciled him to his family. It is impossible to have love and forgiveness where there is resentment. 

 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Genesis 45:8

 This picture was taken from my hotel window in Atlanta 
at night on January 2014.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

He Will Keep Us From Sinking

written by Tracey Schultz Graham:
This morning as I was journaling my time with God, I wrote down on my index card Matthew 14:30-31.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was frightened; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

As I was writing I focused on the words "frightened" vs 30 and "immediately" vs 31. There are times I become "frightened" just like Peter, then I start to doubt and just like Peter, I begin to sink. Then I feel guilty because of "my little faith." This verse tells us that although we start out with good intentions, sometimes our faith falters. But this doesn't mean we have failed - failing would be staying in our doubt. True faith is calling out to Jesus to save us, to keep us from sinking, knowing that he's the only one who can. 

Then I focused on the word "immediately" vs 31. Jesus "immediately" answered Peter's cry for help! How awesome to know that God will "immediately" save us no matter how many times we fail him. He may not change our storm right now but he will keep us from sinking. 

Sunset over Lake Okeechobee on one of our camping trips 2021.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Looking For Sunshine

Many times as a young mother I would plan a fun-filled day for my kids. The best of plans would go awry with just one of them waking up in a mood. It's difficult to expect 3 children to all wake up pleasant. Maybe it would be an accident where one of the kids would have an injury or we all woke up to an epidemic of illness.

By the end of the day I would just want to sit and cry from my own disappointment and that of the kids. It would be one of those days that would be so out of my control leaving me feeling helpless and questioning my ability as a mom. To say I was discouraged and frustrated would be an understatement.

There were a few things I would do to help us turn our awful and depressing day into a good one: Singing silly songs with the kids would always make them laugh and laughter changes everything.
Building a fort in the middle of the living room for everyone of us to sleep and bringing all our mattresses to lay on. Makes the fort more comfy! Reading stories together as we all lay in my bed and having the older kids read aloud too. Baking something fun and festive that makes it feel like a holiday. Creating crafts always seems to be something kids find stimulating and enjoyable. Even a simple trip to the library together made the day brighter.

There are so many ways to make a day pleasant even though it didn't work out as planned. Keep looking for the sun on your next cloudy day!

A picture I took of a storm approaching the coast and
 the sunshine and blue skies just beyond those clouds.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Madness Of The Mind

 Where can we go up? Our brethren have discouraged our hearts, saying, “The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim there.” Deuteronomy 1:28

In the verse above the people of Israel were being discouraged by rumors of giants in the land. Instead of trusting God they were trusting the rumors of man. The words of men began to rule their minds instead of the Word of God. 



It's our choice who we listen to ~ God or Man?

I don't know about you but when I am discouraged by what others say or life's circumstances I feel like crawling in my bed and pulling the covers around my head. No matter what is going on in our lives my husband continues to move forward on whatever plans we have together and I have learned to just follow. When I look back in pictures I have taken of our times together I see what we have been able to do with God's grace. I am truly grateful for those memories instead of giving in to the madness going on in my mind!

This song is a wonderful reminder that we are not alone....


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

~Good Resources~

There is a sermon series that I listen to each day that I would like to pass on to those who follow my blog. These sermons are by Pastor Tullian Tchividjian http://www.crpc.org/media

He also writes a blog that I want to encourage you to read today ~ http://www.pastortullian.com/2015/02/27/christ-is-deeper-still-2/



This is a book Tullian Tchividjian has written that I wanted to recommend as well to those who are going through difficult times...




Saturday, March 7, 2015

Am I Listening?

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions. Proverbs 18:2

So what does this mean? Well for a start, people are more likely to listen to us, if we have first taken the time to listen to them. 

I told my son one day, "you never listen to me!" He replied, "I do mom, it's just you have so much to say!" Lesson learned.... 

 This picture was taken in Charleston, South Carolina when we visited March 21, 2013.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Leadership

These were chosen from the congregation, leaders of their fathers’ tribes, heads of the divisions in Israel. Numbers 1:16

God spoke to Moses in this chapter and orchestrated the first census to prepare them for battle. It describes exactly how they were supposed to go about it to see what each person was capable of doing. Tribes of people were chosen for battle and tribes of people were chosen just to protect the tabernacle. The leader was Moses and then there were leaders of each tribe. Everyone knew their position and their job to do in order for victory.

This is how I see the church, the role of our pastors and the leadership. If people believe that God has ordained them with the future and decisions of the church and don't follow the leadership of the pastor then it will not lead their church to victory. Our job is not to conjure up our own ambitions and missions for the churches we attend. We are to follow our pastors and his leadership. If we feel they are wrong then it's our job to pray for them because I believe God can make any wrong be right.

God has given us political leaders, parents, bosses, etc. and if this same truth is applied it will bring blessing!  

 This is a picture of a young girl leading the elephant at the circus that I
 attended with my grandkids on November 9, 2012.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

~Have I Done Any Good?~

Psalm 96: 1-3  Oh sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.


Psalm 96 in verse 9 says, "Worship the Lord with the beauty of holy lives." My thoughts on this scripture are "Does my own life demonstrate to others about God's greatness?" 

In my journal I wrote on January 15, 2002 ~ Lord, may Jim, myself and my children share Jesus....to be witnesses to everyone we meet. Have my children seen a holy life in me or did "I" get in the way?


The music and lyrics were written by my ancestor Will L. Thompson (1847-1909) ~ I found it on YouTube and it really spoke volumes to me today!  


Saturday, February 14, 2015

~Gratefulness~*

The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

Written on March 9, 2002:
Thank you Lord!
Last night when my youngest daughter kissed me goodnight. She whispered in my ear, "I'm glad you are my mom and thanks for trying to protect me." We had talked earlier and I had given her my opinion about how she chooses friends and made her cry so I was very surprised to hear this from her. 

Thank you Lord for giving her discernment. She clearly saw my motive. She is twelve now, hard to believe and adorable . I enjoy our days together! Thank you Lord!

 This picture was taken at a garden near my work in 2013.