Monthly Archives: October 2007

Live Thankfully!

“Praise the Lord O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

A few weeks ago, I embarked on a journey of “decided thankfulness”. To look at everything with eyes seeking the good.

That is hard to do at times. Maybe even down right impossible, especially on Mondays. Tough on Tuesdays too. Wednesdays are a bit better. Sometimes Thursday’s can throw us all the way back to Monday. However, when Friday comes, we get really thankful! That was until “Thankful Thursday” entered the picture.

As I read through the thankful posts of all the participating sisters in Christ, I see all the things in my life with fresh eyes. I see all the benefits I have been blessed with as a child of the King. I see my life that has been forgiven. I see my body that has been healed when I was sick. I see the mercy that has been shown to me time and time again, undeserving as I am. I feel the loving kindness of my Father as He loads me with yet more benefits from His storehouse of good things.

His Word says in Isaiah 40:31, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” In the midst of the difficult circumstances of our lives, if we put our trust in Him, wait on Him, trust in Him,— He will strengthen us. He will give us the ability to rise above the situation and look to Him, and not at our own strength or lack thereof. Instead, He will provide the strength we need to face each day—as each need arises.

I remember many years ago, a friend confiding in me the pain of a failing marriage. She had done all she knew to do. She had prayed as best she knew how. Although she was not a “regular attender” at church, she did know how to pray. She felt she had no one to turn to, and I wasn’t sure why she came to me, but I knew the Answer she needed. The answer was and is Jesus. My heart ached for her. I knew the only way to peace was through Jesus, and her turning the situation completely over to Him.

I shared some scriptures, I prayed, I counseled and I loved. I made myself available as best I could for her to talk. However, there were times when I wasn’t home. (This was life before cell phones.) There were times when I was up to my eyeballs in my own life problems. There is Someone we can go to for our problems that doesn’t require a cell phone signal, nor does it require waiting until He gets home! He is that Friend that sticks closer than a brother or sister! He is always home, He is always near, He is always ready to listen, love and deal with our situation.

However, there is a requirement. We must “let Him”. First, let Him in. Second, let Him clean us. The Bible says in Romans 3:10 “there is no one righteous, not even one”.

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 He looked beyond what the world sees on the outside, and He saw something in us worth giving His life for. When we ask Him to clean us, forgive us from all unrighteousness, from the sin that has invaded our lives, we can have the peace that only He can provide. Then give Him the problem….c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y. Don’t even hold on to a thread of it. (I am having trouble with this myself!) Only when we give it “ALL” to Him, can He take it and fix it.

Oh friend, I have so many things that needs “fixing”. My attitude (not everyday, just the days that end in “y”), my mind (the battle ground for the enemy), my thought processes (another battle field—especially when I get aggravated). I must continually stay on my knees before Him. Only when I have been on my knees am I then able to face the world around me with a smile. Because, He has replaced the burdens in my life, my heart, my mind with His peace!

The Lord can show us how to live “thankfully”, every day of our lives. He can show us how to focus on Him and His infinite love for us, rather than all the “ever changing issues” in our lives.

So, with all that being said….I am thankful for you—-YOU—-the one that took the time to come here today and read this lengthy post! I am thankful for the breath I breathe—for the plan of salvation —- forgiveness of my sins —– for my family —- my friends—-for good books to read —- for changing leaves and seasons —– for cooler breezes —– for rain that we need —- for responsibility —–for LWG —- for CWO —– for passion and dreams becoming reality —- for clean laundry —-for autumn sunsets—-for brilliant colors in the sky—-for pajamas that are loose fitting—-for nightlights—-for scented candles—– for dishwashers—–for irons and ironing boards—–for clothes that don’t require ironing! Many, many more things could be listed…..but you get the picture… thankfully! See everything with new eyes. His gift to us!

To read more “thankful hearts” visit “Crystal at God is in Control“. She will be our sweet hostess until November 15. Thanks Crystal! We will all be praying for Iris and missing her…but we promise to encourage one another and being thankful EVERYDAY!

Display of Color

This was taken last year when my friend got married!
She just celebrated her 1st Anniversary! Happy Anniversary Lisa and Lan!

Posted by Picasa

Loni’s Give-away!

Finding JOY in the Morning is giving away the book Emotional Purity: An affair of the Heart. Just for writing about it on your blog and leaving a comment HERE you can be entered in the drawing. Drawing ends October 30th.”

The book Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart is one that I have not read, but intend to search out! Teaching our children and grandchildren the value of purity is top priority and much neglected in many homes today.

Thanks Loni for sharing this opportunity with us!

Tuesday—In "other" words—on Purity

Loni, of “Joy in the Morning”, has chosen the following timely message:

We women must realize how visual men are, and because of that we should wear modest clothes. Not because we don’t have the right to wear what we want, but for the benefit of the spiritual life of our brothers in Christ.

~ Heather Arnel Paulsen ~
Emotional Purity:
An Affair of the Heart

This goes with something I hear frequently on the Focus on the Family radio program. I will tell you right up front, I was brought up to dress modestly. My mother made almost everything I wore. But I also learned by example. Coming from a heritage of godly women, I was blessed beyond measure by the examples that were set before me. I am thankful for each of my grandmothers, my mother, as well as her sisters.

It was difficult in bringing up girls to keep them in line with what I believed to be appropriate. Pressure to “show more” than necessary is everywhere you turn. Teaching them that “showing more” tells a lot about the inside of the person. It is apparent to me, that some women seem unaware of the “disturbance” their clothing or rather, lack of, causes. I say that simply because every part of the world is different and hold a different view on such things. I cannot judge their heart. Only God can do that. He can speak to our hearts with such tenderness and mercy that we immediately know “what–and how”. I feel “convicted”, if I can use that term, of shirts or dresses that I feel are too revealing. This “conviction” stems from the way I was raised. I am glad of it though. Every woman has not had that “advantage”.

Girls, we can be cute….and STILL be modest! It may take some searching through the garments on the racks….but it can be done!!

I cannot say anything else that hasn’t already been said….and very well said might I add! Visit each participant from Loni’s site.

A Song for the Season

We are unusual. Some may even go so far as to say “weird”. I mean how many families do you know that actually “plan” a get-away weekend to purposefully enjoy one another’s company and be with the Lord? But that is exactly what we do. And the Lord blesses the trip! Pictured top left, my mother, my aunt, me, and my two sisters on the steps of the Country Cottage Bed and Breakfast.

When we arrived at the main house, we were greeted with beauty. The owner, Martha, has such a beautiful heart, and her heart goes into every detail.

After a wonderful night of rest….we arrived back at the main house for the most delectible breakfast imaginable! The atomsphere is serene and peaceful. When you walk inside, it feels as though you should take a deep breath and relax. There is a reverant feel to the air. All around the place. Both inside the house and the cabin and even while walking in the woods and down by the creek.

As you can see by the photos, we are surrounded by beauty and grace. Martha is extremely talented, and knows exactly how to make you feel at home.

As we gathered at the table, I prayed the blessing over the food, fellowship, our hostess and yes, even for the Lord to “bless” our shopping! The food was like nothing we prepare at home in our day-to-day lives. It was pretty to look at and absolutely wonderful to eat!

We started off with delicate pieces of fruit served in individual crystal bowls with a light sweet cream sauce on top. (Unfortuantely, in our excitement to begin, I forgot to take a picture of that!) But you can tell the breakfast was fit for a king! Or in our case, daughters of the King!

Martha, our sweet hostess and a precious friend, is a blessing in my life. She and her husband, Tom, started this Christ centered Bed & Breakfast several years ago. Jeff and I have been blessed by their love and fellowship for many years.

We stayed at the cabin—my favorite place in the world! So cozy and delightful. You feel the peace that seems to surround the entire place! It is the peace of God.

I forgot to take detailed pictures of the porch…so this will have to do! The cabin is a very relaxing place to be.

As you can see…..some of the leaves are changing! What beauty the Lord surrounds us with…if we will only take the time to see and enjoy what He has given!

Two years ago, as we traveled to this same bed and breakfast, the Lord gave us a song to sing. We had to call someone else for the words….but she came through! The song is called “I Still Have Joy”. Each one of us had been through some tough times, had a rough year(s). Nevertheless, we had found joy in serving the Lord—even though the traveling at times felt as though it were all up hill.

In the past year and a half—many more battles have been fought with the enemy. Each one of us bear scars as proof of battle. Some took longer to heal, some went deeper. Some are being healed even now. But God continually applies His healing ointment.

This weekend, the song was different. It is strange how I thought we’d sing the same song. I even called my friend to make sure we had the words right before we left. However, God had another song in mind.

I come from a background of music loving women. We sing praises to the Lord in our homes, our cars, our churches and to each other! Many of the women in our family are gifted with the ability to play the piano and sing. Unfortunately, I can only sing….and usually, only sing for the Lord! But I enjoy singing to Him and do so with great gusto (most of the time when I am alone!)

Before we left home (it was pouring rain—but that did not damper our spirits one bit!), we joined hands in the vehicle and prayed. We prayed for safety. We prayed for peace, for restoration of joy in our spirits, for traveling mercy, protection, for a good time, for shopping wisdom and for spiritual growth and healing. Maybe not in that exact order, but God handled every detail of our trip. What a Travel Agent! It was awesome!

As I drove (I always get bus driver duty), we shared what we needed in our lives, we listened to some music and a Beth Moore (introduction of series) teaching session. I remembered a song I wanted my sister, Aimee to hear because I had tried to “sing” it to her while we were waiting for our new niece to be born about a month ago….I was beyond tired….we were in the back of her SUV (the one we were in on this trip) —- and I could NOT remember the TUNE!!! But this time I had the CD. So I popped it in. You will remember the song. I blogged about it because it had stayed in my heart and on my mind for weeks after I heard it. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”.

I don’t have to tell you the Spirit of the Lord absolutely filled every available space inside that vehicle. I don’t have to tell you “that” became the song for the weekend. I am adding the words to the song at the bottom of this post for a time of reflection.

We arrived at our first stop, intending on going into the Antique Mall that we fell in love with last time. But after we ate, we saw a new “Thrift Store”. The next three hours flew by! We found some wonderful bargains! We were all wise shoppers! (That was the only place I spent any money!)

After we completely exhausted ourselves, we drove on to the cabin. It was less than thirty minutes away. We unpacked, looked around, and prepared a scrumptious feast for supper from things we had brought from home. (My mother believes in “bringing” from home—always a good idea!)

After we cleaned up, some took baths then, but we finally all settled into the living room. We began to share with one another our burdens. We unloaded. We shared things we wanted to “see” God do in our lives, and what we had a burden to do for Him. We shared heartaches and prayers that needed answering. My sister Aimee had brought an old “red back Hymnal” (that’s what we call them), full of all the old songs of our youth—and even further back! We sang and then began to pray. As we prayed for one another, the Lord filled that cabin with His Holy Spirit like you could not believe. He bathed us in His presence. We prayed for a long time. When we were finally finished, it was as if no one could move. We had moved back to our seats and the instrumental worship music we had put on for the meal was still playing and I got up and put the CD on with “our song”. It was like God put His finishing touch on our evening.

Before we went to bed, my sister, Wanda had us each share our passion and dream. By that I mean, she first asked, “what is your passion?” Well, I couldn’t really answer that. I was not sure. Then she asked me “what is your dream?” Then she said, “well, that is your passion”. I saw it clearly then. What would I need to do in order to “see” my dream, my passion, become a reality? Well, first much prayer. I am leaving it to God. If my dream is something that He desires for me as well, then it will become a reality.

As I opened my Bible to find a scripture to use here…..this is what I turned to. When I first opened it!

1John 5:13-15 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—-we know that we have what we asked of Him.

James 4:3 reminds us that when we ask and do not receive, we may be asking with wrong motives, for our own pleasure and for “ourselves”. God is not glorified in this. But I believe that when we seek to do God’s will, and seek to glorify God with all our hearts and everything we have and do, He hears us and desires to bless our lives with His best!

What is the song for this season of your life? Listen to the tune of God’s music in your life. See what lyrics He may be trying to write. Most of all, honor Him. Glorify Him. Praise Him. Live for Him. He will bless your life in ways you cannot possibly imagine!

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
by Isaac Watts
When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God,
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head
His hands His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ere such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown.

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul
Demands my soul
Love demands my soul
My life my all….

Today you will find me here….

Be sure and visit the Laced with Grace site for a new devotion for each day!

May God bless you on this journey!

And…..we’re off!

I am thrilled to be telling you that early in the morning—my mother, sisters, and aunt are off for a wonderful flea market/antique mall adventure. Mix that up with much prayer, lots of fellowship, bible study and don’t forget the “eating”!

I will share and post much when we return! I love each of you!