Monthly Archives: May 2008

Do You Pout?

Well, do you? I know I have. Puffed up and pouted. This is not exactly the best picture of Zackary….but it seems to be one that we see frequently. He is going through a stage. Lower lip out…you could sometimes walk a mile on that extension! Jason’s lip can take you even further! I have never seen such pouting. But it makes me wonder what God sees when He looks at us. When we don’t “get what we want”. You know….

Like the job…the house…the car….the truck….the vacation….the boyfriend…the girlfriend (if you are a guy reading this)…the perfect dress…the right shoes…I could go on and on….pouting covers a wide range of possibilities.

I think there may even be a preacher or prophet or two in the Bible that had pouted—a bit. I will get to that another time. But when I saw this picture…I had to stop and wonder if God had snapshots of me looking like that….or worse. Reflection of anger on my face? Rage—instead of gentleness….

I have to confess…I am certain He has seen me at my absolute worse. And after I got over it….whatever “IT” may have been….I am certain I fell on my face at His feet…feeling ever so horrible.

These next few days I won’t be “out and about” as much…really haven’t much in the past few days….I have a writing project I am working on….and I am so aggravated with myself—-okay—–do you hunt up things to do just to KEEP FROM DOING the very thing you NEED to do??? Well???

Just like today. I stood back in the laundry room—dreaming up a way to “rearrange it” for crying out loud! I know you are thinking—what would you rearrange? Switch the washer with the dryer??

Well, actually–our laundry room is three-quarters of a single car garage. I know that only because it used to be a single car garage. The front portion is a “closet” the back portion is the laundry room. And I want my “sewing stuff” in there. But we have a refrigerator and upright freezer…and 3 “storage closets”–not to mention the ironing board and the water heater–(this little old house we live in had NO CLOSETS when we moved in–Jeff has built me one closet for my clothes) And since it is not ours—but belongs to the District—there is only so much we can do.

Do you see what I just did? I am STILL focusing on the silly laundry room and NOT THE PROJECT! So—-I am asking for your prayers. I need my mind to “sit down” with me and work. I need my heart to follow the leading of the Lord. I need my fingers to fly over the keys as my mind—-which is listening to the LORD—type exactly what HE WANTS!

I need to be still and know that He is God.

Aimee and I both read from Psalm 62 last week. During a particular day of trials—it brought peace and comfort to us…I leave you tonight with this passage. Maybe when the fiery darts are whizzing past yours head next week—you will remember these verses.

I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken. . . . .Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. My salvation and glory depend on God; my strong rock, my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge. Psalm 62:1, 2, 5-8

Pray—sisters pray….

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Hearts following Christ…Thankfully

I am thankful….my brother made it home safe. Again. God’s mercies are everlasting to everlasting.

I am thankful for “mail surprises”….a delight to my weary heart!

I am thankful when problems arise in my life—or the lives of my family—God is my refuge. He is my strength and portion.

I am thankful for the WORD and the life and strength it brings me EVERY TIME I OPEN IT!

I am thankful for morning devotions with Aimee. For scriptures shared, a few tears, waterproof mascara, and traveling mercy. I am thankful for books small enough to fit into a purse that offer encouragement 🙂 I am thankful for you. Friends that take time out of their day to visit—to encourage—to love and fellowship with one another. —

I am thankful for peace that surpasses all our limited understanding of such. I don’t have to understand HOW—I just receive. Thank you Lord. For every blessing in my life.

I feel like this one is a jumble…but He is blessed by our thankful hearts…no matter how jumbled up it may seem to us!

For more thankful hearts…visit Iris —my dear friend who keeps us all going on thankfully—regardless of our circumstances —we persevere toward the goal–for the mark of the high calling of Jesus Christ. God bless you in your weekend—and as you finish out this week.

Yeah! My brother is home!

Even though I didn’t get to “see him” on Memorial Day…I know he has made it back stateside from the desert. Praise the Lord….from whom all blessings flow!
Yeah God!

Cling to the Rock

You know those little cards that fall out of magazines the moment you pick one up to try to relax just a minute?
Just a breather.
That is all you need.
Just a few quiet moments in your favorite chair with your pillow and blanket and new magazine!

Then out of this magazine, several little cards float to the floor and you feel you must pick them up before you can relax and enjoy perusing your newly arrived treat!

Annoying isn’t it?

A few months ago I was a subscriber to several country decorating magazines….along with a few “how to” magazines, even a health/fitness magazine. When one would arrive, I would be so excited! The first thing I would do is stand by the garbage can and shake it real good to let all those annoying little cards fall out! Some needed more encouragement to “fall”. Some I ripped out because they made the book fall open to the same place every time I picked it up. I didn’t want my magazine to choose where I read, I would do the choosing thank you very much!

Anyway, back to my story….this is supposed to be about rocks you know.

I flipped open another annoyance and ripped it from the book and started to toss it in the trash along with its friends when something on one side caught my attention. It was a woman scaling a rock….a mountain! I could suggest you purchase a health/fitness magazine for women and maybe you would find what I found, but you might not find it. Indeed, I think I found it that day for a purpose.

I was leaning back too far from my “rock” trying to see how much farther I had to go in the journey I was on.

Let me share what I learned from the article and from the Word of God.

According to expert rock climbers, focus on balance is the utmost importance in rock climbing. They say the “center of gravity” is always the rock and you must stay close to it at all times to maintain proper balance.

No leaning back!

Proper gear is also very important. A helmet to protect your head, sturdy harness, ropes and even the type of shoes are important. For rock climbing you don’t need heavy boots as you might for hiking. In climbing a rock face, you need to be able to get your feet into cracks and crevices of that rock for added security. Are you getting the picture?

Psalm 27:5 says, “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 61:2 “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalm 62:1-2 “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. “

Over and over again in Psalms and in much of the Old Testament we are told that God is our rock. He is our fortress, our deliverer. In Him alone we can find rest for our weary souls. Battle scared from the day to day war zone that is many of our lives. The war is with Satan. But we serve the Commander of the Army of God!

Paul instructed the people at Ephesus, to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Ephesians 6:10 NIV

Sounds like they were gearing up for some rock climbing! Maybe it should be “rock clinging”. For with my whole heart I cling to my Rock. The God of my salvation!

Remember, no leaning back. It doesn’t matter how much farther you must go, it matters only that you travel “with” Him as your guide.

He will instruct you as to where your feet must travel.
Go where He leads.
He will never lead you astray.
Try trusting Him.
He is the rock after all.
The “Center of our gravity”.

Immeasurable Thankfulness

e I am thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ. He has filled my life with more blessings than I have time or space to write.

e I am thankful for my husband, my daughters and their families! For all my family! God is good!! AND especially thankful for time with my mother and sister!

e I am thankful for my church family —- where fellowship abounds and godly relationships are formed. AND especially thankful for sweet sisters-in-Christ at other churches—that allow me to be a part of them! (Sneads First Assembly YEAH!–Sister Janice–you are so precious!–and my home church—that will always be called home—Carmel Assembly of God!)

e I am thankful for the new friendships formed in Blogville. Sweet new friends discovered here ….I started typing names and realized I would take up the whole page! I am so blessed to have found this “village” of encouragement and love! Girls…if I told you I am praying…I am praying. For you!

Every Thursday, I when start reading all the Thankful Thursday posts. I soon realize how many things I should have listed! I soon forget the problems at hand. I am encouraged by every life that I get to peek into. When someone shares what the Lord is doing in their life or what He has done in times past, it renews my faith. My walk with Him is steadied. I have new strength! From some difficult experiences in my life, the Lord has shown me His great love and I have been strengthened in tough times.

The Lord wants us to encourage one another continually. IThessalonians 5:11-18 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

More encouragement and thankfulness than you can imagine is found over at Iris’ place—“Sting my Heart“. Take some time over the Memorial Holiday and read all the Thankful Thursday posts. Remember all that He has done for you in times past. You are loved dear one. You were worth dying for blessed child. He loves you more than anything. Focus on Him. Count your blessings. They will outnumber your problems. Mention your blessings to someone. Whether it is a found sock that was missing…or a broken washing machine that is fixed…it is worth praising God for! He cares about every.single.detail of your life. Tell Him thank you! Tell us about it!

What’s the Title of YOUR Book?

Every life is a story. A book written by you. Lived by you. Determined by you. What is yours about?

Mine has been a roller coaster ride! Up—down—twists—-upside down! But thankfully, years ago….I found Someone to ride that roller coaster of life.

As a rule, I DO NOT LIKE roller coasters. I have only been on two in my life. Promised myself there would not be a third. It’s just not my thing. It wouldn’t be featured in my book. Too many sharp curves. Too many steep hills and then…..doooowwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnn you go…..and it is so fast it takes your breath away and you scream!

Sometimes life is that way. You are thrown a curve, the hill you were going up seems to disappear and suddenly…..the bottom falls out from under you. What do you do?

Glad you asked….

Call on the name of the Lord. Psalm 145:18-19 says “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.”

Verse 14 of the same chapter says “The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.”

When you fall…it is not the end. The enemy wants you to think that. He wants you to believe you are so covered with the filth of this world (sin), that you could never approach the throne of God again…that’s what he wants you to think. If you believe it then your book title would be “I Believed a Lie”. Not a very good title. Doesn’t sound like one I’d want to read.

One of the prayers of David recorded in Psalm 86:15-17 tells us that David knew and believed that the Lord was compassionate…a God that would not turn His back on us when we fall…

“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.”

Don’t be mislead by anyone. God is ready to hear your repentant prayer. He is waiting for you to be honest with Him. He will help you up, wipe you off, dry your tears and hold you close. The title of your story can now be “I’ve Been Made Clean!”

Spend time with Him. In His Word you will find the peace that you need. At His feet you will find rest and healing. For mind, body and spirit.

. . . “Following Him”. . .that would be my choice for a title.

The above post came from the archives of “Renewed Day by Day”. It was one of several I have written for our youth group blog.

Talking among the weeds

Did I say weeds?? Yes I did. You see, on Saturday, Jeff helped me build 3 flower beds. This was my “Mother’s Day” gift. This was all I wanted.

Working in my flower garden has always been wonderful therapy. And I need me some therapy. It’s true. You sweat…which gets out impurities in your body…and you (me) can spend countless hours on your knees weeding, not only unwanted growth from the garden, but unwanted growth from our lives. Unwanted growth. I have a lot of it. AND I NEED TO BE WEEDED!

So, as I was getting an area “grass and weed free” and Jeff was off getting fill dirt for the raised flower bed, I began to talk to the Lord about my current ailment. It’s all about the heart. What my heart is feeling. Or not feeling. What my heart is longing for. And what His purpose is for my life. I began to see some areas that needed attention. As I lay my heart open before Him, He began to pull out the “unwanted growth”.

Then He plants fresh seed. New growth. But it must be watered, tended and fertilized. So that is exactly what we did on Saturday. Then we watered. And I prayed. Now, you may think that is silly. But girls, I have ALWAYS prayed over my flowers, and my little plants and shrubs. I love it when I see the growth take root and flourish! HE loves it when He sees us take root and blossom for Him!

I also did some container planting for my entrance and the patio. I will show you pictures of them later this week. This one picture is from last year’s container planting. I planted, prayed, watered and then one morning as I left the house, my plants at the door seemed to smile with gratitude! I smile with that same gratitude at the wonders and blessings that I see all around me—thankful that my Father “knows what things I have need of before I even ask”. And He sends.

Have a blessed week! Take care of the weeds…before they take over the beauty of the garden in your life!