Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Unseen Path of Life

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path - Psalm 119:105

Every experience God gives us, every person He puts into our lives, is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see. ~ Corrie ten Boom

The story of Corrie ten Boom who survived a Nazi death camp is a great example of courage and strength in the midst of the most horrific circumstances. Most of her family died in those death camps but yet she realized that her life spared was a gift from God. She stated that "there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still" and "God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies." At age 53, Corrie ten Boom began a world-wide ministry which took her into more that 60 countries in the next 33 years! She testified to God's love and encouraged all she met with the message that "Jesus is Victor." Take time to read her website: http://www.corrietenboom.com

When life seems hard take time to remember those like Corrie ten Boom who took their sacrifices of life and shared God's love, mercy and grace. We don't always see what God is doing in our own life to make us a better reflection of Him.

Traveling with the Lord is not about being able to see where our journey leads but trusting in the one who leads!

This is a picture I took of my grandkids that I had sitting on top of my desk at home, September 2013.
 


Thursday, December 8, 2016

What I Like About Christmas!

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year because of the festive decorations, parties and most people just seem to be in good spirits....I don't care for the shopping and spending money on things we would not normally purchase any other time of year but overall it is still one of my favorite holidays! With my kids and grand-kids I try to just spend time in celebration as much as possible and on the 25th I cook up a traditional southern breakfast.

This is something I have done all of their lives and it is the only tradition that we still carry on today. I am so grateful because it is a wonderful family time and we are in agreement to keep it going.  I feel it is the BEST part of our day together!

Some years my mother travels from Spain to spend the holidays with us so that makes it even more special. Also, I use as many family members things to add to the tradition such as my dads dishes, my grandmothers goblets & my mother n laws trays so their memories live on with us....It's just a magical time of year for us as a family ~ 

  It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.
- W. T. Ellis

 This picture was taken of one of my grandbabies in 2012!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

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.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Way of Love

I Corinthians 13
Love never give up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

This is the "love" chapter in the Bible and one of my favorites because I need to be reminded....

My friend, Jack Alexander, used to live by these words: It's more important to engrave your name in the hearts of others than any other tribute this world can offer.

This is a picture of my young niece Mackenzie holding a shell that she found when we were swimming together in the ocean.  It looked like the letter L was carved on the shell.

Friday, April 15, 2016

We Are Never Alone

 John 14:15-18 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

God's gift to us is the Holy Spirit who indwells in us and gives us peace in the midst of the chaos; which means we are never alone. The Holy Spirit is like a suit of armor that prepares us for life's daily battles. The Holy Spirit goes out into our daily conflicts and protects our front, backs, sides and insides; our whole being.

The Holy Spirit is God’s moment-by-moment provision for strength, courage, boldness, victory and the abundant life. It’s for us and it’s God’s plan for our life! 

Focusing on worst-case scenarios won’t keep bad things from happening. It will only keep us from enjoying the good things we have in the present.


"A godly woman is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at her."


This picture was taken at sunrise on the beach!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

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.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

My Love Life

“Which is the most important command?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. ‘This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.” Matt. 22:36-39

Life is all about learning to love and God gives us a lifetime to get this commandment right. We fill our life up with so many other things and even good things. For example, the first thing we do when we have a child is accumulate all that is needed for that child. The crib, the layette set, the diapers and all the beautiful little things we see in the baby stores for our little ones. We focus on accumulating the money needed to bring up that child, our careers and our children's education. All of these things are important and well meaning in life.

At this stage of my life as I look back and realize now that all those things and all those concerns were not really where I needed to focus. The best use of my life, my time and my energy for my husband and my children would have been a life of Love. Yes, of course I loved them all but was it really my primary focus each day? As parents, we do the best we know how to do but humanly speaking it can lead to much disappointment for them and for us.

If we really understood God's redeeming love for us then everything else would be fine. Why? Because if we believe in a God that is all about "Love & Grace" then we will reflect that same "Love & Grace." Do our children see our love for God and our love for others in our daily life? What would our children say was our focus? A million other things? 

Do I write this because that is exactly what I did or do now? No, I write this because I didn't get it right at all and want others to learn from my own mistakes. My blogs need to expose me for all my own sins and my own mistakes, not the sins of others. There is much to be learned from just my mistakes, trust me! Thank God I am redeemed at the cross for ALL my mistakes in the past and ALL my mistakes in the present and future. 

Romans 7:18-20For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 


This picture was taken many years ago of our family when we stayed in the Cumberland Mountains ~ wonderful memories!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Love The Shepherd & Prayer

During our most difficult days when my husband was suffering from renal failure. It was our Pastor and his wife that were able to embrace our grief along with us. There were others who had good intentions but could not handle our situation, then there were others who wanted us to rise above it. Most days we were lucky if we were able to rise out of bed much less rise above our circumstances. People are not always equipped to handle each others emotions especially when it comes to something life threatening and we understood. 

 My Pastor requested many to pray for us during that time and so they did. Pastor and his wife took time to pray with us and for us. I requested prayer from everyone I could think of because I believe so much in prayer. Praying became difficult for me personally after so many years because I had lost the strength and didn't know what to even say anymore. I would pray, Lord, you know who and what we need today more than we do. I was grateful to know prayers were being lifted up in spite of me and there were many days we felt those prayers.

Now I pray for many others who are going through their own difficult circumstances because I know they too may not feel up to praying some days. Our own journey through the valley of the shadow of death has opened our eyes to the hopelessness and fears people are facing during those dark times. Pastors have to take care of many in their congregations who are suffering from all types of serious health issues. We want to remember to pray for our Pastors and their wives as they come along beside others and as they have their own situations with health issues. Let's consider that our Pastors, their wives and their families walk through the valley of the shadow of death with all of us so let's make sure we are continuously praying for them, encouraging them and walking along with them in their own personal valleys in life.

Thank you Lord that you sent others in to our life to be the hands and feet of Jesus. You brought us hope when and where we least expected during every hard and difficult moment. Thank you for loving us through others and through your Son who bore the cross for our sin and all our shortcomings.

This picture was taken at a church graveyard while visiting New Castle, Delaware in 2014.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Keeping The Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9


We will never be fruitful in our walk with God if we are not filled with grace and purity of heart. In a fallen world conflict is inevitable. God intends for us to work through our conflicts to peaceful solutions.

It is because of us that there is no peace with God or with each other. We live in a sin filled world with spiritual warfare and unseen forces of darkness. Evil intent and satanic strongholds are all around us.


 You can count on the Lord’s help in the process of working toward peace.  He came that there might be peace between us and God.

Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, Chapter 20:
Seven steps to restoration:
1. Talk to God before talking to the person.
2. Always take the initiative.
3. Sympathize with their feelings.
4. Confess your part in the conflict.
5. Attack the problem not the person.
6. Cooperate as much as possible.
7. Emphasize reconciliation not resolution.
 This picture was taken on a boat ride with my grandkids, December 2013.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Help Others

All of us have had to endure some type of hardship or pain in this life. We can take that negative emotion or pain and hold on to it, be bitter and never heal. One of the best remedies to healing our pain and sadness is in helping others. We are better equipped to help others when we understand what pain and suffering is like for ourselves. Otherwise, it is difficult to understand the needs of others without it.

Writing these blogs is easy for me when I have pain in my life because I am driven to search the scriptures to understand what is happening to me personally. I am burdened by the idea that others are hurting in the same way and how I can help them through their pain and difficulty. I want to encourage others and bring hope when all seems lost because I know God can change everything.

Hope is what everyone is looking for in each crisis. When hope is lost it makes everything seem dark and life not worth living. Hope comes from God and we can find it all through the Bible. Our human minds cannot always comprehend hope in the dark hours but the spirit that lives within us when we have trusted in Christ certainly can restore our hearts and minds.

Whatever circumstances you may be in today no matter how hopeless ~ look around to find someone else who is hurting that may need your understanding today! Difficulty is everywhere for everyone. Reaching out to someone else is the beginning of our journey towards HOPE ~

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

This is a picture taken in the gardens at Bethesda by the Sea on May 2012.

Friday, January 15, 2016

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!