Friday, June 30, 2017

"Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.     {Jude1:1-2}

This is a picture of my niece Kim at her High School graduation 3 weeks ago. Her brother Zac is in the picture as well. How did they get so old? Time seems to stand still with my own children, but because I don't see these two very often, it seems as if they were just born to me. North Carolina is not around the corner, and it's not easy to find a way to get together more than twice a year.

I got home yesterday from driving my daughter to Virginia to meet my sister 1/2 way. She will have a nice time visiting with them, while I make sure everything holds together on the home front. My GPS took me through the heart of Brooklyn yesterday, which was different, but I didn't mind since the scenery was much better than the highway. Who knew there was a Brooklyn Museum, a huge  Union Square, and various schools there? I don't mean to sound naive, but I never saw these things before.  An adventure was had, while finding my way home!

I guess you would have to say I am not a Long Island girl, but a Suffolk county girl! Thank the Lord we won't have to find our way to heaven! We will find incredible things that we never knew existed, beyond our wildest imaginations, more soul capturing and fulfilling than we can think! The good news is that God brought heaven here, in His precious son. I can't even begin to understand what a sacrifice that was for God, and Jesus, to be separated by time, space and a sinful world. None of those things ever kept them apart before! Never before did separation exist between the God-Head! They wanted to experience this to understand why man sins. In order to be able to forgive.

They could have blindly forgiven sin, but they wanted to understand. They sacrificed all for that, to understand you and me. This humbles me, to the point of falling on my face before Him! I am still! Not even the most eloquent of words can describe the depth of His love and grace. There are no words in any language, and even an eternity of worshiping before His throne, doesn't seem like enough!

Monday, June 26, 2017

This old farm house had a very ordinary beginning, until a man named Pierre Dupont came along and changed it just a bit so that it fit his family. It wasn't given marble floors or crystal chandeliers, just a new section that was identical to the first. The only way you can tell that it is different is by the age of the brick.

It's funny sometimes to see an copy next to an original.  Only specially trained eyes can pick out the real thing. Every detail means something to those who are taught what to look for. This house was built in the late 1700's in the woods of Pennsylvania. The only reason Dupont bought it was because of the beautiful rows of evergreens that stand to the right of the house.

To see them today reminds me of tall green towers with straight brown fronts. The paths beneath them are covered with reddish colored pine needles, that squish when you walk on them. The soft blanket is better than any man -made walkway. The beauties of God stand out amongst the best efforts of man. This life is only a dim picture of the awe - struck wonder that will welcome us in the reality, heaven itself.

"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?                       { Psalm 8:3-4 }

Next to God we are but a minute dot of existence! What could ever give us value to Him? Only He knows, and only He could love us to make our existence valuable. His desire for people who He can have relationship with makes it all work for everyone. But I personally think we get the better end of the deal!

Friday, June 23, 2017

I am glad that I live in the age of modern conveniences. I can't imagine cooking over an open fire like this, especially in the summer! The women who did this had no idea what would come in the way of kitchen upgrades, so they didn't know that they were missing anything! It's like that with me too, and I'll bet you could say the same. We don't know what we are missing until we don't have it anymore.

I want to tell you about something that happened to some friends of mine. They moved to a new town, and every Thursday night they met after work at the gym, and then they went to a new restaurant. It was a fun way of getting to know the city. The husband left his car and got into his wife's car to go out. When they got back to the parking lot where his car was, his headlights were still on after being away for 3 hours!

She waited to make sure his car was ok, and when he pulled out she went home as well. When they met at home, the wife said to her husband, "You must have a really strong battery that your car was able to get you home like that!" The husband admitted, " It wasn't my battery, the car was still running and unlocked!" "Wow!" said the wife, I guess the criminals in that part of town didn't want an old man's Jaguar XJL! Can you imagine, I can, and I can't fault him one bit because I could do the very same thing!

 Sometimes we can be the ones looking at great riches that God has given, but like the people in this neighborhood, we don't get behind the wheel, and drive the car. We don't take hold of all that God has to offer us. Of course in this example they were smart not to drive this particular car, because they would have gone to jail,  but bare with me. Maybe we feel guilty about something we did, or didn't do, so we wait on the sidelines while others enjoy God's blessings. This is not God's desire, or plan for our lives! Jesus Christ came to give , and give and give! He gave abundant love, joy , peace, that nothing in this world can compare to. Can you pray this prayer with me now?

Dear Precious Lord Jesus,  I don't want to miss out on anything you have for me. I believe that all of your promises and yes and amen in the work that you did on the cross. Please forgive me for not taking what you have rightfully given to me. Help me to believe your love for me and that it has nothing to do with what I have done, but everything to do with what you have done.  Have a great weekend, my dear friends!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Don't you love this picture? This is a real tree house at Longwood Gardens. No one lives there ; it's just for our enjoyment. This was taken in April so we can see the beautiful weeping cherry tree next to it. It almost looks surreal.; As if it is not from this earth. It's funny how we can confuse reality with heavenly things or vice-versa.

I know you have heard people explain something as if it was out of this world, or say, "heaven can't be better than this"!  It is human to see only what's before you, but it is spiritual to see what is to come. If God pulled back the curtain between this world and the next, we would be very surprised!

God's goodness far exceeds what we know, because we don't always know all of the details. When we trust Him, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." { Romans 8:28}  How do we know if we have been" called according to His purposes? Our desires line up with His word. We want what God wants, and we want others to know Him as we do.

Our job as christians is to bring Jesus to the lost, to be His hands and feet, and to live with His heart. This is heart-breaking, because His heart is broken for the lost, the sin, and destruction that people call their lives. He never intended for divorce, gender confusion,  and sickness to claim our bodies. When God breaks your heart, He resurrects us to His new life, and He is able to shine! We all go through hard times, but when He is in your life, it works for good!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"Let all that I am praise the Lord; With my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. { Psalm 103:1-2}  NLT

This is Bethany Beach a few years ago. I love to watch the sandpipers run up and down the water's edge as the water moves in and out. What a boring life! You and I would not enjoy it, but maybe for a little while. See how the sand looks like glass where it's wet? A picture can be deceiving.

I came home from the store and my daughter wasn't feeling well. She asked for a cup of ginger tea. This is unusual since she doesn't drink tea, but what's even more unreal is that I had put a ginger tea bag in a cup a minute before that. Ok, well not such a big deal. What amazed me was the fact that I hadn't planned on buying ginger tea today, but it caught me eye at the last minute, and so I purchased it! I told her that God is so good, since He was the only one who knew her need, and took care of it!

I know that is a trivial matter, but God still took care of it! That is my point. If Jesus cares about the little things, which He does, than how much more the major situations in our lives. He is forever faithful and true. No one could ever be what Jesus is to me and to you too!  When you think of all the issues in this world, and that He still has the desire to be "with us" it can boggle the mind.

All that we see and enjoy in nature was created for us to see a glimpse of heaven. Not the reality, but just a taste.  Heaven, without sin, darkness, fear, sickness or death, will be the place our souls are longing for. Even better, He can give us joy, peace and rest here today in our circumstances! What a wonderful Savior, and Almighty God! A taste of Heaven on earth.

Monday, June 19, 2017

"The Lord made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. Praise the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. Yes praise the Lord, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will! Praise the Lord everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom.    {Psalm 103: 19-22}

It doesn't take much to see that our  society is taking a nose-dive. The level of anger and disregard has come to an all-time high. Violence in the streets because of political differences? What about tolerance for another opinion? These things don't make any sense to me. Does God look down in surprise and say, "I never thought this would happen? No. He knows the beginning from the end, and He knows that the hearts of men can be wicked, and evil.

His desire is to come into those hearts and change them, give them true riches and everlasting life. Those who don't care to follow Him will come to destruction, and will forever regret that decision.The Lord rules over all regardless of what man's plan are. Those who praise Him, love Him and serve His purposes will be forever praising Him in His everlasting kingdom.

The Bible tells us that there are legions of angels, which comes to about 144,000 per legion. I don't have any clue as to how many legions there are,  all I know is that if God were to pull back the curtain that held this world from that, we would be overcome by the size, power and  and extent of what we would see. Not for me to see right now. I'm fine with that. Just think about the minute problems here on earth compared to the vastness of Heaven!

This is what we long for, and cry out to God to bring to earth. Order, fairness, consideration for all, completeness in our hearts. We have much of this as christians, but the fulfillment will be far greater than we can imagine. There is a song on the radio that has been playing in my head today. It is by Big Daddy Weave, and the name of it is "The Lion and the Lamb" It goes like this:" Who can stop the Lord Almighty, Who can stop the Lord? Our God is a Lion the Lion of Judah, He's roaring with power and fighting our battles, And every knee will bow before Him! You can look up the rest. Let your hearts not be troubled my precious sisters, because who can stop the Lord Almighty?

Friday, June 16, 2017

These are a few of my favorite things. You can't see the picture to the right, but that is my youngest. People are always more valuable than things from my viewpoint. We should always cherish those people that God has given us. Life is too short to hold grudges, and stay mad,
and that leads to harder feelings and more anger. Guard your heart diligently, for from it come the peace or anger, whatever you allow it to hold.

I was so saddened to hear that a precious sister in the Lord, and one of my all time favorite authors and  Bible Study leaders has lost her husband to drugs and adultery. She has tried for 18 months to save it but he is determined to let it go. After 25 years of marriage, five children and grandchildren, she has to let go. The pain and sorrow attached with this is mind boggling to me. But God, he always has a plan, and a way even when the best laid plans go awry. 

How I pray for her, and her husband, that God will turn him around. We know that this is possible. Please pray for my sister. Her name is Lysa. Perhaps you have met her through one of my Sunday classes, or heard me speak of her. She lives in North Carolina, and I will be going to her conference in July with my fellow writer Barbara Stephan. What should I say to her if I get to meet her?

I think I should tell her how much I appreciate her, and pray for her. I want to give her a hug and tell her that somehow, God will bring her to green pastures, eventhough that may seem impossible right now. She has been such an inspiration to my writing as I belong to her on-line writing program, so you have benefitted from her determination, and time spent before God on her knees. It is always worth it, when we cry out to God. He is ever faithful, especially through the worst times in our lives. That is when He makes Himself real, powerful and ever present. I appreciate your prayers for her! Embarrassment must be getting her a well, as she has relied this news to the world. Thank you my dear friends and readers. You are a blessing to me always. Love, love love to you. I'm blowing a kiss to you right now.Make sure you catch it!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This is Disney, the land that dreams are made of. At least that is what they want you to think. Many children believe this dream, and adults too, but this is a temporary high. It only lasts while you are there. Our God is with us, and for us and in us. He doesn't have a special place where we can be blessed only when we are there. " For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures to all generations. "     {Psalm 100:5}

Knowing God is the greatest experience that any person can experience, since He is the only one that can fill the void that sin made. The curse of sin is what loads us down, saddens our souls, fuels anger, and takes us off the path of blessing.

"What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make us whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus. O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow? No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus." This is a song I learned while teaching Sunday School many years ago. It speaks so much truth, and it never changes. Doctrines may change, ideologies evolve, but Gods word will always be alive and real. My Bible notes, next to Psalm 29:9 say "God's voice,  his hands extended."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, and the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy."   {psalm 123:1-2}

This scene looks so nice and cool, because it is inside. I'm not going to complain about the weather, please don't misunderstand me, but it was cooler in North Carolina yesterday! My daughter and I flew into LaGuardia airport yesterday at 5:30 and the pilot said, "The temperature in New York right now is 95." What?! I left here on Thursday and the temperature was 64.  I am not making this up!

It seems to me that so many people are trusting in their own strength these days, and that our children are being taught this by the world. I don't have any of my own strength, let alone desire to trust in it.  I don't really think that that is even a thing? Is it, did I miss something along the way, or am I ignorant? It seems if you look at scripture, there is a vast amount of God's kind of strength that never ends and doesn't fade, or even waiver. Why would I want to trust in my own strength that fails?

I am not perfect, by any means, and Yes, there are lots of times when I don't realize that I trust in myself. When you analyze it, it just doesn't make any sense. When Jesus says, I have everything you need. Not what you want, but what you need. AS I flew yesterday my ears were clogged and also my sinuses. I did not want to get on that plane. I would have much rather been curled up under a blanket somewhere safe, and took a nap; basically I felt miserable.

I knew my husband was counting on me to come home, and for that reason alone I got on that plane. I kept reminding myself of Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need." That is enough! My needs are taken care of, and if He said that, which of course I knew, I had no room to get upset or excited. It wasn't easy, or comfortable, but it was necessary. Do I always have this kind of wisdom, certainly not! I want to brag on Jesus, and His strength not anything of myself. If I can do it, then you can too! I know we are made out of the same cloth.

Friday, June 9, 2017

"Is not my word like a fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?"   {Jeremiah 23:29}

This staircase is in the farmhouse on the property of Longwood Estates. Actually this part is in the newer portion that the Dupont's added on later. It is too fancy for a common farmhouse, although the Duponts did a great job of making the new section look identical on the outside to the original house.

I like it so much because of the window and the chandelier in the same picture. What's up with the door on the right?  As you come down the stairs, the foyer opens to a beautiful enclosed courtyard with huge plants and greenery. Why is there a door there I think to myself? Is it just a closet or does it lead to some grand room that we aren't supposed to see? Is the room being worked on, or is it a room for employees only?

Why do I care about this dumb door when there is so much beauty around me? What about the deep set window, what does it look out to? I could write a story, "The Chandelier, the Staircase and the Window." Forget about the door, but I can't! It seems strange to me that all of these items show up in one picture. I would have been fine if just the stairs window and chandelier were there.

Curiosity can get the best of us, in this case, I will have to wait until we go back to Longwood to find the answer. Gossip can try to show its ugly head, and act the same. Curiosity can cause us to walk into dangerous talk that hurts someone. Curiosity can cause us to open doors that need to remain shut. It can get us into a dark place that we never intended to go to. Think about what catches your curiosity.

What do you think about when you are alone? Do you have day-dreams of things that could entangle you to fall into sin, or ruin your marriage? I used to be entangled in my thoughts, so much that it pulled me down and wouldn't let me go! Until I looked deeply into the eyes of Jesus! There was no way for me to be free from the sin that I was in. Only Jesus can break the chains that hold us! I didn't know that He would do this for me! I believed for everyone else, but He desired to release me as well! What a everlasting Savior and Lord!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

"Catch for us the foxes the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that that are in bloom.                {Song of Solomon 2:15}

The most exciting thing about spring for me is to see what's yet to come. I think of this when looking at this picture, two flowers but many more yet to open and face the sun! The expectation is what makes it interesting! Unless you have gardening problems like me! Every year more trees encroach on our property from the woods behind us. My son Matt has been clearing out the small saplings so that we don't have woods up to the back door!

The other problem is ticks! Although the woods are beautiful and cool in the summer, they bring these tiny little critters into our house via dogs, and people. We have declared war on ticks! No more of these pests in our home, or on our people! Our town is known to be badly infested, and this year  worse than previous years. We don't have to just sit around and take this! Dogs are covered internally through medication, but what about us?

There are lots of pesky, little things that can cause us to lose patience,  joy or peace. We are not going to allow ticks to rob us of any of these! You can see how things can easily escalate from worry to fear, to overwhelming terror.  Not here. Life is too short to allow such things to run our lives. Do we do everything possible to keep them away, Yes. We protect ourselves as in all situations.

Do you have something that is running your life? Does it tell you when to go, or stay? Does it dictate where you will go and how? God loves you so much and He doesn't want you to be subject to lies or fears that bind you! Life is to be lived without fear of harm or trouble. Ask Him today to release you from such things, and fill you with His unmeasurable peace and freedom! He is the chain breaker, and He has already won the victory for you! Take hold of it today my friend and dear sister!  Love to all.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

" I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who was and who is and who is to come, the Almighty."   {Revelation 1:8}

This verse commands power and completeness just by reading it! It lays out everything from one end of time to the other. It speaks authoritatively,  and stands on its own, without any help from other scripture. It leaves no room for imagination! It stands as strong as any planet or created thing in the universe or galaxy. It commands attention!

Everything within me shakes when I look at it. The truth has that effect on us. Who could declare such a thing and have it to be true? Only Jesus. Nothing compares in any way shape or form to His majesty and greatness, His power or authority. All of heaven and earth stands still at His command, by His very word He created all that we see. Could this really be the God that we serve? Yes, He really is all of this and more!

Our words don't come close to expressing His beauty or holiness. Worship Him in spirit and in truth! Lift up your hands to the Lord God Almighty, and give Him praise! No one will ever  be able to describe all that He is, and all of what He has done for us. We will enjoy being in His presence for eternity! Bring heaven to earth through your praise of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

Don't wait for some incredible thing to happen, thank Him now for all the victories He has already won for you! Thank Him for the things He is about to show you, and the blessings past and future! He is ever interceding for His children, He is alert, awake and on the job! He never sleeps nor slumbers! {Psalm 121:3-4}  Read all of this psalm, it is wonderful! His eye is always on you and He can't stop loving you every minute of every day! Get to know Him better, and He will start you on a faith journey that will blow you away. Pray !

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

This is a scene from Disney in February. I went all over taking pictures. I even heard someone in the crowd say, "look at those tourist taking pictures of flowers!" It seemed too basic for them to consider picture-worthy, but to me, it was glorious! One man's treasure is another man's trash, or maybe just alright. Anyway, it is 64 degrees and rainy in N.Y. It says June on the calendar, actually the 5th to be exact.

Jesus is coming very soon. What makes me write this? Look at our world today. Terror attacks all over the western world. They seem to come out of nowhere, but then research after the fact finds that there were signs. We need to read the signs of the times, and be vigilant about sharing them, in love so others may be saved. Have you ever seen anything like this? A news reporter said yesterday that we have to remember that militant Islamic terrorists are not looking for peace over all, like the rest of us, they want to kill us.

That doesn't bother me any, because we, as Christians have always had an enemy, and he wears different hats in various generations. This one happens to be more intense than any I have ever seen. Is God faithful to be with us in the storm?  Even babes in the Lord know that He is. Justin Bieber, a popular singer among youth said during a benefit concert in Manchester England, " God is good in the midst of evil." Can you believe that he would say this? You never know what has been planted inside. He was raised by a Christian Mom. Bring your word forth Dear Jesus!

Those who will listen will be comforted! The Spirit of God is near to all who call upon Him. He is waiting, because He wants every last soul who will listen and trust Him to be saved! Pray for your loved ones, and neighbors to come into His Kingdom. Know that He is good, no matter what the situation that man has allowed to come about. Jesus is a gentleman, and He won't come unless asked. Call upon Him today!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Can you imagine? These flowers grew in a crack between my front step and the house. They have been coming up for about 4 years now.What about the seeds that I planted a month ago, they died! It is too funny how these things happen. One is planned the other just shows up! I like them but I would rather put them someplace else.

So it is with our souls. We may leave a little crack open for jealousy, or envy to come in and before you know it, it takes over! We weren't trying to cultivate the negative, destructive things but they just show up! I must be diligent to kick them out before they take root. Sometimes I'll say, "Lord, I thought I had that taken care of," and He will let me know, "It was taken care of, we are just going down to a deeper level!"

"Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." {Proverbs 4:23}

Just the smallest thing can be an irritant, and cause us to loose our guard. Instead of allowing hurt, fear, emotional pain to enter in,  I can say "no."That's all you and I have to do. It may have been alright to allow that nasty thought in before, but now I am following after God, and it has no place in me! I want the light of Jesus to shine through me, and so there is no way you, insecurity are allowed back! Get out with all of your evil friends, because you are not going to tell me who I am!

Jesus defines who I am, and He says I am His, and that He is working in me to display His glory and honor! There's no time for playing around with such things any longer! I hope you, my dear friend can say the same. Who wants to waste time going around and around with negative actions or words. We have better things to do with our time!   "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  {Matthew 5:16}

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Look at the height of this Conservatory! It is such a beautiful place! It's called Longwood Gardens and it is in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. It is about a 4 hour drive from L.I. depending on the traffic around NYC. Rudy and I went there in April to celebrate our anniversary. It was a Dupont Estate, but it is not lavish by any means. A 300 year old farmhouse graces the property, but I won't tell you any more, because I want you to go there and find out all the goodies for yourself!

Jesus told a parable about the weeds that grow along with the good seeds in gardens. You can read about it in Matthew 13:24-30. I thought about this several times when I was planting flowers today. Some of the plants were full grown and I wasn't that concerned about the weeds around them because I knew I could get rid of them at another time. What concerned me was when I planted seeds, and the many weeds that weren't expelled from the place where I wanted to put them. I frantically dug at them and pushed the soil away that held so many tiny little weeds , not even a 1/4 of an inch in height.

It is so true that these weeds were not planted there, or wanted, but they took the liberty of raising their little heads right where I had weeded in the past! How dare they! Well, so goes the story that Jesus told. The only way for me to stop weeds would have been to change the soil, and that wouldn't have been a permanent solution! We know Jesus wasn't telling fishermen this so that they could turn to farming, no, He wanted them to learn about people, and their true motives and hearts.

When it comes right down to it, we cannot know exactly if everyone who says they follow Jesus with all their hearts really does, and it is not up to us to find out either! There are times when we need to say something about ungodly behavior, and there are times to be silent. Knowing the difference is where prayer comes in. Surely when we love others we want to warm them of danger, so that they don't end up in turmoil. This is why we keep our eyes on Jesus, and not on others. Pray for God's wisdom, He will give the grace! Who knows, maybe some of those tares will become wheat!