Sunday, December 27, 2020

Jesus is Victor!


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

 

Saturday, December 19, 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. 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 those around me 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 control or 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!

 

My Journal: It Just Feels Good!



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!


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!

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 our travels together!

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!

 

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, 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, 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.

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 Mach 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.

Friday, January 31, 2020

What Are The Voices 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 someone 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 I 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.




Friday, January 24, 2020

A Matter Of Perspective

This was written by one of my junior high teachers who is still in contact with me today thanks to facebook! She was one of my favorite teachers and now one of my favorite friends who I know takes time to pray for me and my family. I asked permission to use this on my devotional blog.

A Matter of Perspective! by Donna Sparks:
There is someone in my extended family for whom I have prayed regularly for years.  She is a Christ-follower…but seems not to be concerned about how others perceive her attitudes and behavior.
Realizing that it was not my place to correct or direct her, I prayed specifically about certain aspects of her character that I thought surely the Lord would want to work on to improve her image as a Christian.  Knowing that God knows more about her and can speak to her in ways that I cannot, I began to pray, “Lord, help her to see herself as you see her.”
I felt satisfied that I had hit upon the best approach to God on her behalf…until this morning during my prayer time.  I prayed as usual, “Lord, help her to see herself as you see her,” and then words came out of my mouth that I had never intended to pray—“and help me to see her as you see her.”  I literally jumped and almost said, “No, Lord, I meant to say…” But I stopped in awe of what had just happened…and conviction flooded my heart. The Holy Spirit had led me to pray in the way that I should have been praying all along.
God doesn’t need me to point out what’s wrong in the life of his children; Satan is already the champion accuser. Rather than focusing on the negative, I am beginning to look for things that God sees in this woman as praiseworthy, and then thank him for them, trusting him to continue to work in her life.  God needs me to see her as he sees her—his child under construction…just like me.
donna sparksDonna Pharr Sparks refers to herself as “an expired English teacher,” because after becoming a stay-at-home mom ten years into her career, she allowed her certificate to expire.  She still loves using her writing skills and has been published in several magazines, including Family Circle and Woman’s Day.  A native of Chattanooga, Donna lives with her husband, Ray, in Murfreesboro, TN.  She enjoys working with children at her church and cherishes fun times with three of her four grandchildren. She has to settle for Skyping with the fourth one, who
                                         lives in Germany.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Love Languages

written by Tracey Schultz Graham:
I could't sleep last night so what do you do when you can't sleep? You start a project. Mine was trying to figure out what to do with a box that I had yet to unpack - a box filled with books. I really need to invest in a bookcase but I can't seem to narrow it down on all the ones I find on Pinterest. Oops, I seemed to have admitted my addictions. Books & Pinterest (ok that's a whole other story). Anyways, as I was going through my books I came across a book that was written by Gary Chapman called, "The Five Love Languages."

According to this book, it tells you what your one emotional love language is. On a rare instance, a person may have two - guess who has two? Okay so I rarely follow the rules and never color inside the lines. What can I say? As I opened the book, skimmed through the pages, I saw right there in black and white my two love languages. Words of affirmation and quality time. I started thinking obviously these are my needs, my desires that I require to make a relationship work. Then I thought about God and if He is first in my life was I meeting His needs and His desires? In other words, does God have any "Love Languages?"


I love how God is faithful and answers in our quiet time if we just listen and meditate on Him. We always think of God as strong, powerful, almighty, not needing us, not wanting to be desired by us but the truth is that the Bible is a love story between God and His people. The most important thing we will ever learn about God is He desires a relationship with us!


John 17:3 says that they may know you, the only true God.


Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek me and find me when you search with all your heart."


That verse says to me that he wants me to pursue him. That God waits to be wanted. He doesn't want a "part time" relationship with us. He wants "Quality Time." God desires to share a life of beauty, intimacy & friendship with us. God also wants "Words of Affirmation" or Praise/Worship/Thankfulness.


Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always; Again, I will say, Rejoice!"


I Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."


Giving God Praise, Worship & Thankfulness is so important because it increases our intimacy with him. I always knew about God ever since I was a little girl but I didn't know God. We don't really know God until we step out on his word & have experiences with him and see his faithfulness.


God thank you for letting me see your "love languages" and remove anything or anyone that keeps me from you. Amen!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Be Kind

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

Just recently someone asked me what I thought they should do about their circumstance. It involved another individual and I really did not know the answer. I explained to them that right now there was no clear direction to the situation but for the moment I had some advice. First of all, pray that God would reveal the right answer and second of all while waiting for the answer, be KIND!

Kindness is always the right thing to do in any circumstance. I believe it has the power to heal. 

A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers! Ruth Bell Graham

 
This picture was taken on one of my walks on the beach where we live.