Tuesday, November 21, 2017



"Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  {Ephesians 5:19-20}


It's only two days until Thanksgiving. I have much to do as I know some of you do too. If I don't stop, and pray, and talk to the Lord, I will lose the peace in my heart. What is a season of thanks if the cook is out of sorts? It kind of defeats the purpose of the thanks in the giving. I can give thanks and I can give, if I am in tune with the Holy Spirit.

Yesterday I wrote about christians giving thanks always out of a joyful heart. It is impossible to do this unless you are in communion with Christ. I don't mean that you have to take communion every day, but that you be in contact through prayer 
and the Word.  This is true even more when we have very busy times, and everyone is counting on that turkey being better than life. It seems the more we think about "the turkey" the better we remembering it tasting. That can be a tall order to fill.

Thankfully, all of the special side dishes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and desserts can make even a not so good turkey seem fantastic. The excitement of having family and friends together for another year can also add to a turkey that might not be the best. It is for the gathering together that the season is for, not the food. I wouldn't say that to my brother-in-law though. He is all about the food. 

Giving thanks, it is a wonderful thing! It keeps our hearts clear of ugly things, that only trap us into believing lies. Our God reigns, and we are His precious children. No one can take this from us, unless we allow it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and try to keep things in perspective when the cranberry sauce spills onto your good white tablecloth. Lots of love,  Ann   




Monday, November 20, 2017



This is my turkey plate. It sits on the table near our front door. It reminds me of my Grandmother's dishes with the brown design around the edge. It can be odd what memories are triggered by seemingly innocent trivia. It's turkey time again, and yes, I have mine in the refrigerator, or on the table if you want to be literal.

Thanksgiving is a christian attribute. It is part of who we are as the people of God. It becomes part of our everydayness when we see what goodness He has placed in our lives. Why did He save me? Why did He call me to be His own? These are questions we can ask ourselves, but there isn't any answer, at least not now. It is His absolute goodness that we are in His family, and the fact that we chose to say yes to His call.
"I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are my servant', I have chosen you and have not rejected you."  {Isaiah 41:9 }

I am so glad that you said yes to Jesus to follow Him, to listen to Him, to obey His word. Maybe you can't say that you have said yes; there is no better time to do this than right now. The most wonderful gift of saying yes to Jesus, is that He cleanses us from ALL sin. All you have to do is ask Him! He has done the work, and He took your place as the sinless son of God. It is His gift to give to you.

Dear Jesus, I come to you now. My past is yours, my present situation is yours, and I want to spend my eternity with you in heaven some day. Please cleanse me of my sin, my wrongdoings, my shame, and make me free. I know that I have to do my part by staying away from those things that hurt me, and pull me down. Put a christian in my life that will help me to understand more of this new life. Thank you for making me new. In your name we pray, Amen.


Thursday, November 16, 2017



Here I am, in my kitchen again. I kind of like this picture because it doesn't show all the dirty dishes, and messy counters. When I look at it I feel there is hope. I'm just being silly, but having a corner of your space looking acceptable is a huge thing. I have piles in one corner or the next, and I feel accomplished when I dissolve one.

 I am trying to dissolve my piles, not move one thing to another pile. This means removing stuff from the house. Clothing,  old decor, things that appear, and you're not sure what do with them. When you have others bringing items into the house, the "I don't know what to do with this"pile can grow exponentially. There are many who need the items I don't need. We have a Mission on Long Island that gives and gives and gives to those in need. Most importantly, they give in Jesus' name.

During this time of thanks, we remember the giving part as well.
One goes with the other,  as the word thanksgiving exemplifies.
"And thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever."   { Revelation 7:12}

Because we have been given much we can give much. And our giving is not begrudgingly, but with thanks. Hopefully you can see my plate. It says, "Let our life be full of thanks and giving." We give thanks to God first, but out of this giving flows; a natural desire to bless, and the cycle continues. It is how God works in us, to do His will. See what you can do to give to someone today. Ask God to put needs into your path, so you can bless someone today. People are hungry for love and positive attention. You may be surprised how easy it can be.







Tuesday, November 14, 2017



" A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."  {Proverbs 25:11}

This proverb has given me a sense of completeness, as if now everything is right, and we can rest. You can almost see that shiny golden apples reflecting the deep silver finish of the bowl surrounding them. There is purity, and goodness here. The silver has been through the fire, to remove all the dross, or impurities, so it is ready for service. The apples have been chosen for their vibrant color, free of blemishes.

There is someone I know who is free of blemish, sin or stain. He dwells in misshaped imperfect containers, like you and I. His perfection made Him one with God, and obedient to come to our disgruntled, fallen world. His beauty shines so far beyond anything we have known on this earth, and yet He is humble, and mighty all at the same time. Just a glimpse of His beauty and we are overcome, undone by the vision of His Holiness.

Everything stands still for that moment, because we don't know what to do. Did we see Jesus, or was it a dream? Did He reveal Himself to mere mortals like us, or is there some mistake? Does He do such things today? Yes, He does, and He will if you look for Him. How do we look you say? Let your heart be open to Him, as you read His Holy word, allow the Spirit of God to move upon you as you pray. Live as if you have already seen Him.

One important way we can be His hands and feet is to give. There are so many ways to do this, because the needs are all around us. Ask God to show you what He wants you to do, and do it. Don't tell anyone, so that you get a pat on the back. Let it be between you and the Lord. It will be your own apple in the pitcher of silver, and you will be blessed. Thank Him that you are counted worthy to pour out his beauty.


Monday, November 13, 2017



I know that God has given me grace in many areas, but the one area I notice it most is in my kitchen. I used to get upset easily when the dishes would pile up in the sink after I thought I had cleaned up for the night. I take it in stride now, simply because I'm glad that my kids are cooking for themselves. Should I get after them to clean up after themselves, yes, But I'm glad that anger isn't my first reaction. Someday I may wish they were here again, so I will take this inconvenience in stride.

Most of what I consider an inconvenience may not be a big deal to anyone else. It all comes down to our perspective, and what we think is acceptable or not. We might loose our tempers if someone cuts us off on the highway, when someone else finds it annoying, but not worthy getting angry over. Perhaps it comes from our storeroom of peace within. If I pray in the morning before I start my day, my outlook tends to be positive. My perspective is more other oriented than self oriented, but I can't stop praying about this. Do you find this to be true in your life?

A heavenly perspective loosens us from the grip of self, and causes us to see outside our own little, closed in corner of life. Yes, there is much more going on that we need to explore. This season is one of Thanks, but all you see in the public square has to do with filling ourselves with our own care and desire. Caring and giving only come when our eyes become unglued toward selfishness. God is glad to remove the glue that holds our eyelids shut, by getting us in His word, which dissolves all selfishness and self awareness. 

When we realize that we can influence our world for eternity's purposes somehow our own little world shrinks to nothingness.
I didn't say this would be easy, only well worth it. Peace will cover us in mountains of inner rest and contentment. Following in God's ways here on earth fulfills His plan and gives us a soul that is content and happy.  "Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
                                  Look full in his wonderful face,
                                  And the things of earth will grow strangely                                        dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Friday, November 10, 2017


 

"Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.  {Psalm 57:1}

Do we understand the difference between mercy and grace? I was told that grace is getting what you don't deserve, and mercy was not getting what you do deserve. In other words, grace is a blessing, and mercy is put into place to keep you from being judged for your sin. Mercy is the picture that Jesus draws for us when He cries out for Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me."  { Luke 13:34}

Our first verse is a child of God calling out to God. The second is God calling out to His children. This is a perfect picture of how our relationship with God works.We call, He hears and answers according to His plans and purposes. As we grow in this relationship, we begin to realize that His hand is extended purposely to mold us into who He wants us to be, and as we grow, we yield to His hand. My problem, and I think you will agree that it fits you too, is that I have thoughts in my mind and plans about how I think my life should go.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."  {Proverbs 27:17}

God sharpens us and the pressing that He puts on us will form us into useful servants for the plans that He only has. When trouble comes, and it will, we can rest and be safe under the shadow of His wings. With a world full of more evil, and death than we previously realized, we can be sure of God's will to be done in our lives, whatever comes our way.






Wednesday, November 8, 2017



"Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."  {Proverbs 16:18-19}

I was embarrassed, and a little humiliated last night, which was all my own doing. It was Election Day, and I went to vote with my husband and two of my children. Not a big deal, one would think, except it became one for me. I am not the neatest person around, and I tend to do things quickly even though I might spill, or drop something. I had a relaxed attitude when given my ballot to fill out, and not really giving much thought to it.

As I complete the ballot, I see that I made a mistake. I cross out the mistake, and place the ballot into the voting machine. The machine rejects it. I try again. No good. I am told that I need to get a new ballot, and start over. The 5 people sitting at the table where I had to return my invalid ballot were not amused. They became my judge and jury. They explain the process all over again, and then give me a new ballot.

This time I feel that I will get it right, but I'm still not so careful. I proceed to fill in the little ovals with the black felt pen, Oops, I accidently made a little pen mark in the wrong oval. Oh no, I said to myself. Maybe it will be alright. I place the ballot into the machine. No good again. At this point I am mad, not at myself, but at the silly process. Why can't we have the machines with the little levers that we had for years, I am saying in my head. What about the days when we used pencils and you could erase! I dread having to go back to the judges and explaining again, what went wrong. I get a lecture about how to do this simple task, and this time I am told I won't have another try if I fail to make this right.

One of the ladies in the judgement seat didn't hear that the men told me this was my last attempt. She started to tell me again and I said, yes, this definitely is my last time, because I'm not doing it again, even if you tell me I can! I was mad, and feeling a bit stupid at this point. I got it right, and we were on my way, but I was not happy about my attitude. "Oh Lord, I really got mad about nothing." I said. My attitude was foolish, and a bit haughty for sure. I didn't regard this process as an important thing, and I took it lightly. To make matters worse, one of the men in the judgement seat recognized my husband from his television commercial, and was fawning all over him. Sigh,.

All I could say to the Lord was, "I'm sorry. Please forgive me." When I thought I was something more than I was, I fell, flat on my face. Oh yes, and I am thankful for it. I don't want a prideful heart. I need to be reminded that anything I am is because he paid the price for me. What others think or understand is not important. Only what's done for Christ will last for eternity. Thank you Lord.

BTY- One of the "judges", said that I wasn't the only one who messed up a ballot. That does help.