Monday, July 31, 2017

"The Lord reigns; Let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; Let the earth be moved! The Lord is great in Zion, And He is high above all the peoples.    {Psalm 99:1-2}

What can we say when we serve such a wonderful God? Music says it perfectly! Music was created for us to worship God, until the worship leader went south. Satan thought himself more glorious than God, and decided to change the very essence of music in heaven. Fortunately he didn't get very far. He has influenced music on earth however. We have seen the ravages of sin and death from these venues.

I can so identify with music bursting out from inside of me. It is such an incredible way to communicate a feeling, emotion, and thought. I have always been a music fan, and when I was a child I would dance freely whenever it played. Have I forgotten that joy from within? No. My dancing is only for the Lord to see, because I don't want any of you laughing!

He understands exactly what I mean when I am moved to the melody, or sing out loud. You don't need to see this, but I need to do it. Worship is meant to move all of our being, not just our mouths. It is so beyond comparison to know the God of the Universe, how can I keep it inside? I hope you have let it out too! Our hearts are not meant to hold this inside. Let there be an outburst of your soul!

Friday, July 28, 2017

"All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went his way.  {Luke 4:28-30}

Right about now I'm thinking to myself, why do I save pens that don't write. I want to write my thoughts so badly. I just found one to put down something unusual for me. I want to share with you a current event that is happening now as I write. President Trump, the current President of the United States is about 10 miles from here speaking about our gang trouble. Yikes, what gang trouble?

Why am I not thinking about this more often, why am I not concerned? My son and husband both attend court daily as a course of business.They tell me all the time about these things. Why doesn't it affect me? It does. I go to prayer. I have been organizing a group in our church for about 21/2 years that has been pressing in to God about our Island and revival here! This has led me to believe that you are either safe in God, or your are not safe at all. Sometimes before God can move things get worse, but that just gives him the glory!

In Luke chapter 4, we see Jesus speaking in the synagogue. The anger of the group caused them to want to kill him. Jesus went unnoticed, through the group and fled. He wasn't scared or fearful, but moved away from what was deadly. I wish I could say that this will happen to us every time, but it won't. We go through hard times, and their are dangers everywhere.

I don't want fear to run my life, and I believe you don't want it in your life either. Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world."There is this thing called wisdom that Proverbs reminds us of often. It means that we do all that we can to stay away from evil. Its important! Meanwhile, we pray for those severely troubled individuals who are violent and evil. Love to all.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I have to deal with this situation immediately! How many of you have said this to yourself? A child is spilling yellow food coloring onto his brother all around your kitchen! Another one is spraying Lysol  into the other's face! This didn't happen years ago, but just a few days ago. What is going through their heads? Any thought processes at all tonight?

I guess the brain is shut down after work. My husband tells me this all the time, especially on Friday nights. Rudy doesn't want to think, just veg out in front of the HGTV screen. I can understand this; I'm pretty tired too after a day of laundry, cleaning and cooking. I do manage to have thought processes though, because someone has to! Imagine if none of us were coherent?

It is just like our God! He provides in ways that we never imagine He would. This reminds me of the watchmen on the wall in Nehemiah. He worked for the King of Persia, as a wine taster because in those days Kings couldn't be too carful! This was a high honor! Nehemiah was a captive from Israel, and he wanted to restore Jerusalem to its original beauty. The wall around the city had to be rebuilt since it was almost totally ruined. The favor of the Lord was on Nehemiah and when the King saw how upset he was he told Nehemiah to go and build.

"Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other they held a weapon. {Nehemiah 4:17} Just after this Nehemiah said that the one who blew the trumpet was right next to him. Others were not in agreement with the building of the wall, and they did't want Israel to prosper again. If the trumpet blew, the people knew that the enemy was approaching. You know, you can't stop the work of God from happening. These people worked hard day and night to keep everyone safe, and to see God's city restored. They were on their toes, aware of the danger that lurked in the darkness.

Are you on your toes, keeping watch over your family? Prayer is essential to safety and wholeness. Our enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy, but Our God restores hearts, and lives by His mighty power. Be the watchwomen on the wall, and stay alert!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.     {James 3:16 -17}

I can remember many times when I only thought about me, myself and I. Before I knew the Lord it seems that I was consumed with me, but I didn't trust me either!  My foundation was rather shaky to say the least.  My desire to have a firm foundation lead me to Jesus!

There is no order when we think only about self. Happiness is elusive because this only comes when we are others oriented. Philippians 2:3 says, " Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than himself.

This was an outrageous statement to my flesh. When I first got saved this seemed to be unattainable, unrealistic, and just all wrong! It took many years for me to see the truth in it. Then it took even longer for it to be worked out in my life. The more I look at Jesus, the better I was able to apply it, because His unfailing love had me in the most stable environment. Taking our eyes off of self opens a whole new world to the believer, and the joy is endless.

This new way of living freed me to see others as better than myself, but not superior. God sees us all as the same, but when we make people a priority it all falls into a healthy focus. I am free to give, because I have allowed Him to freely give to me. My needs a met, so the overflow goes to whomever He puts in my path. Be free today to pour out His love on those who come along to you!

Monday, July 24, 2017

I don't know where to begin! I have so many good ideas, thoughts and plans whirling around in my head right now. I came home yesterday from the "She Speaks" Conference that was held in Concord North Carolina, and I need a few days to process all that I heard. The most important thread of information that every speaker made perfectly clear is that Jesus is Lord! There are no celebrities or famous christians. We are all the same.

This means a lot coming from well-known names like Chrystal Evans Hurst, and Liz Curtis Higgs.What they all had in common was that it is all about the Kingdom of God, not our kingdoms, not our plans but the plans that He established from the beginning of time. What a beautiful truth! This bring peace to me, and to you too, I hope. He already knows what will happen in our lives today, tomorrow and the next. Knowing that He loves me, and has my best interests at the center of His will for me brings calm, joy, and rest.

I do not call my blog whole hearted lady because I think I have everything all together. No, just the opposite. It is not me, but Jesus that pens these words. I have nothing to give anyone that will bless them or give them peace, but it is only because I follow close behind my Savior that you would ever want to read a thing that I write.

Striving ceases at the foot of the cross. Mercy flows as a continuous river. Love pours down as a scarlet stream, never loosing it redemptive ability. We fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus. {Chris Tomlin, We Fall Down} He is always there- with arms outstretched, ready for us to enter. What was He thinking! Allowing the throng to take Him to the cross? He was thinking of you and me.Why? Why would He do this? We were the ones who needed Him to take our place. He calls us His Beloved.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sorry this picture is on an angle. I guess I didn't hold the camera straight. This is Wilmington North Carolina, where my sister Allison lives. These old shops are so cute, bringing back memories when people shopped up and down Main St.. This market was closed when I took this picture, otherwise I would have gone in. Italian food is hard to find in this area, but you can find some good places. Lots of New Yorkers have moved to this city, so they are leaving their mark.

When I was growing up, I thought every one of my classmates were from an Italian family. I thought that we were the only outsiders. When I entered Middle School, I met some Irish and Jewish friends, but I was still convinced that the Italians held up Long Island. By High School I knew of other cultures, but still wanted to be Italian.

When I met my husband and he brought me home, I found that his mother was Irish and Polish, and she knew a little about Italian cooking from her mother in law who had long since gone.What was a girl to do? My sister learned to make sauce from a La Rosa family member, who were a major pasta company for many years. Alright, now I can make sauce!  It has taken many years to perfect, and then Mama Lombardi bottled her sauce and sent it to Costco!

My family likes it better, so I guess I will go back to being Ann Migliore,  the christian , the wife, mother, writer, dog keeper and anything else that fits. I'm fine, I have learned to adapt, and be the girl from America as my mother used to say.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

See the places where the ground is bare? That is where my flowers used to be. This is the work of moles! They go underground, and steal my plants by pulling them down by the roots. My dog got one of them, but I know there are more. Every year this happens to me, and every year I forget , or think,"that won't happen again!" It does though.

Why do I just believe that this won't happen, and allow it again and again! I can see this in my life when I speak to my children. I say the same thing over and over, but they don't move until I apply the pressure! You know, I have taught them to do that, not on purpose, but they know from past experiences that I won't "apply pressure" until x amount of times.

It works with wounds, we can't stop the blood flow until we push into a cut area. I wouldn't wait long at all if I saw one of my children bleeding profusely, I would take immediate action! Our enemy the devil knows how much we will take from him before we say"enough is enough!" Do I tend to wait and let him have some ground into my victories before I say, Get lost, Creep! You know he will test us every time we declare victory to see if we really mean it.

Don't give him the time of day! He is a defeated foe and he knows it. He wants to try at every turn to pull you away from God and His life-infusing ways, so that he can take over. Tell him to scram! Use the Bible to set him in his place! "This is what the Lord says: 'Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,' declares the Lord"  {Jeremiah 9:23-24} Nothing can stand against the Lord Almighty! He reigns! Apply pressure on the devil's lies today!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I hope that you have been able to do this already. Maybe you won't get to celebrate until August, but make sure you take this summer, and make it memorable! None of us have forever here, so I want to make the most of the time I have. I'm sure you do too! My husband wanted to put a white picket fence around our vegetable garden so that our children would have that memory from their childhood.

As far as celebrations are concerned, as God's people we always have much to celebrate! Our God rules the heavens and the earth, and He loves us, wants to see us be victorious over the enemy, and live in the power of His Holy Spirit.  All we have to do is say no! No to our will, our plans, our ideas.

We need to be so convinced that God is who He says He is, and that He will do what He said He will do before we come to the end of ourselves and bend our knee. We convince ourselves that we can't trust Him, and that we know what we are doing. This only leads to our demise. When we give our everything to Jesus, He takes all that He has given to us in the first place and brings it into technicolor. My life was black and white until I met the Lord. Now there is color, life has dimension, and meaning.

I remember life before my relationship with God, and I can see His hand on me, keeping me from some heartaches, and allowing others, and no matter who you are you will have hard times. The difference is whose hand you hold while you go through it, and what they whisper in your ear. "My beloved spoke and said to me, "Rise up , my love, my fair one and come away. For the winter is past the rain is over and done. The flowers appear on the earth; the time for singing has come.  {Song of Solomon 2:10-12}

Monday, July 17, 2017

I always thought this was a crown, but as I look closer I think it depicts the trinity. Oh well, whatever it is precious to me and it has hung on my kitchen closet door fro 6 years. I expect it will be hung there a while longer. I was praying this morning and the Lord kept saying lovingkindness and tender mercies, so I looked it up, and found this:"He redeems me from death and crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is restored like the eagle's!" { Psalm 103: 4-5}

I have said that I never would want to be young again, because I knew so little. As I get older though it seems the more I know the less I know. There is so much more to understand and learn, that it becomes impossible to know anymore. Does this make sense? Can we trust God that we know what is truly important in life and leave it at that?  If we allow Him to crown us with these true riches what more could we want or need?

This verse sums up life for a christian. He saves us, blesses us, and gives us strength! Why do we look any further? Is it curiosity or lack of faith, that causes us to slide off the path? Do we loose our foothold because we don't hold on tight enough? I have to say for me, it can be any of these. Lazer focusing on Jesus is the only way to commit to following him. It is not our strength that saves us or blesses us or makes us right before God. It is only because HE holds us and wants to, that we are restored.

I remember when I realized that even when I let go of God, that he was still holding on to me. I was recovering from post- partum depression, and I was listening to a Beth Moore bible study. She had us hold our wrists, one hand to another. Then she said, now let go of just your right hand. The other is still holding on. That is how God feels about you. He still holds on, when we let go of Him! It was an ah ha moment for me. This truth impressed upon me exactly what I was feeling, but I had it all wrong. He hadn't let go, I had.

Friday, July 14, 2017

This is my cat. I have had her for 6 years. She is the perfect pet. No feeding, and no hair balls. Also no meows or soft fur, no sweet purrs. Hmm, maybe not the best, if you want a pet that can give back to you. At least my dogs don't chase her. Who would settle for a picture when they could have the real thing?

Of course the real thing comes with responsibilities, costs and needs. You have to commit to caring, feeding and cleaning out the litter box. I like my cat better for now. I know this sounds odd, but sometimes people will settle for a picture of Jesus, instead of the real one. They are glad to know about Him, but don't want to have Him lead them, influence them and give them direction. He can get in the way!

 It costs something to follow the Lord, no it costs us everything! Knowing Him will cost you your life, but then without Him it is non-life. He is more real than anything that we can see in this world. This reminds me of chapter 10 in the book of Jeremiah, where God is speaking to the prophet. He tells him about the wood that is taken from a tree and some of it is used in the fire, and some of it is hewn to form an idol. People bow down to it and worship it, but do not realize that the same wood that warms them is used to form an inanimate figure, that has no mouth, ears, and cannot hear or see!  

I used to think that money was an important thing. My family thought so too. I was raised by a father that  had no knowledge of God, and therefore fell into idolatry, the love of money. He held on to it so tightly that he treated family like outsiders, so those who really loved him were turned away. It was a snare, a trap that made his life miserable instead of happy. Putting anything above God makes for a lonely existence. All other things turn to dust, and become what they originally came from, dust. Those things that come from above last forever. A relationship with God, eternal life, love, truth, compassion. "But the God of Israel is no idol! He is the creator of everything that exists, including Israel, his own special possession. The Lord of Heaven's Armies is his name!"{ Jeremiah 10:16 NLT}

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

This is a not too good picture of my daughter Stephie and I at Easter. She always looks lovely, but I think I look a little confused. I think it is what my day was all about today! Most of you know I was in North Carolina and flew home last night. Today was a catch up with reality kind of things. Things were moving rather smoothly until I took Stephie to a friend's house.

Her friend is relatively new to us so I went into the house to speak to her Grandmother. We were having a trivial conversation when I was just about to leave. She asked me if her Granddaughter had told me about her mother. I replied yes, she died of cancer two years ago, and her Father has never been in the picture. She then said, It has been really difficult for us since then, could you pray for us? That is when I was blown out of the water, the record player needle ripped across the record, my bubble burst, you know what I'm getting at.

I prayed because I can do that in my sleep, but when I left I cried! How often we go through our days, forgetting about those who are really struggling to keep themselves and their families together! There is a void in this family, but they know who to go to! They know that God is good, even when He doesn't do what they want. They still hold on to Him tight, because there is nowhere else to go. " Then Jesus said to the twelve, ' Do you also want to go away?' But Simon Peter said, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

All who know Him know that He heals, and wounds and loves all the time. The wound is to be healed, but with it comes compassion, caring and knowledge about what it is like to be in despair. It allows us to reach down to someone else when they can't look up. It allows us to say, "Come, I know it hurts, but we can trust Jesus." His strength wins out over heartache, and His love holds us close when we are able to open up again. Will you pray for this family?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Hope this day is finding you well. My husband and I flew to North Carolina on Friday to pick up our daughter, Stephie. She has been visiting my sister Allison and family, and we will be on our way home tomorrow. It is currently raining and thundering here, which happens almost every day in the summer. We all got ready to go to the beach, and as we pulled into a parking spot at Wrightsville Beach, the rain poured down! It was still fun for me, because of the beautiful homes in the area.

It is funny when you leave one state for another how different things can be. It is only 700 miles from home, but life is definitely different. Slower pace, young people seem to be nicer and respectful. There is an expectation by the adults to be called mame, or sir. That's what makes the difference! It is expected and taught at home. I wish I had taught my children this, but then it wouldn't have been supported by our culture, but does that matter?

It's not the words,but the actions that make the difference. My older children are respectful, and courteous to others, so maybe it's more of a mature mindset. As Jesus taught his disciples, they witnessed his life 24/7.  There was one thing that they asked him to do.  They asked him to teach them to pray. Luke 11:1 says "Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

Jesus couldn't teach them as John did, because Jesus wasn't John! Jesus taught in a very different way than I imagine John would have, and Jesus included all the important things that He knew His Heavenly Father would want Him to. He said Honor God's name above all else, and pray for my Father's will to come and be done on earth! Give us what we need each day, forgive us our sins, as we forgive others.Don't let us yield to temptation. I was taught to say "For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever!" Jesus doesen't care what you say, as much as how you say it. Your sincerity, and heart felt devotion to him is much more important than getting every word right because he already knows what you will say.  He wants your heart. It has to be real.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Do you find this to be true? Most of us have experienced heart break and loss of those whom we loved. First its a grandparent, then a parent, then all of these are gone, and you are the top dog. Please don't take offense at this term, I don't mean it to be offensive, just a little comical. Our hearts are first broken by a High School sweetheart.

When I was in 10th grade, and very nice boy used to sit next to me in the library every 3rd period. I had a break, and so did he. The only problem was he made me very nervous, because he sat and watched me, and I found him much too hungry for a girl friend. I told him after a few weeks to go away. He asked me when he could come back, and not very tactfully, I answered"never!" I was so mean! Oh boy, anyway, the next year he was no longer a skinny kid, and He made the football team. I was really sorry then! It's funny to even remember how young I was!

Thank God that He makes it clear to us in His Holy Word, that He loves us with an ever-lasting love. It doesn't fade, or grow cold, but stays alive even when our hearts are not. I can be much too up and down, but Jesus, our faithful Savior, does not waver, which is why we need Him so badly. When I concentrate on troubles, my faith falls head-long into despair. If I focus on Jesus, all of those same troubles melt into nothingness. Why, because my eyes change their focus. If I meditate on the truth, then I walk in truth. If I look at all of the despair and trouble in the world, my faith forgets that God has a plan, and He always has!

His plan will continue to be rolled out like a scroll, as the book of Revelation has said. Jesus will return to this earth, this time not as a suffering servant, but as a victorious King! And while we wait for Him, we patiently hold on to Him, love Him and complete what He has for us here. His love defies expectation, and will continue to amaze us, as our awesome, wonderful God fulfills His best plans here on the earth.The enemy is angry, but he is defeated. As he rages, we come closer to the day when "he is coming in the clouds, and every eye shall see Him. {Revelation 1:7} What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see, and I look upon his face, the one who saved me by his grace when he takes me by the hand and leads me through the promised land; what a day, glorious day that will be!
Hymn: "What a day that will be" by Jim Hill 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

These are the hydrangea by my driveway. I am so happy because these bushes haven't bloomed in about 5 years. Apparently, you can only cut them back during a certain time of the year. I will have to find out when that is so, that I don't have to wait 5 years after this to see them bloom again! Who knew that they were so particular.

Plants, like humans come in all shapes and sizes, and with certain likes and dislikes. No two are exactly the same.We know this, but recently it has been proven by genetics. Every cell has its own DNA, its own individual code by which it is to live by. When we think on this, it is amazing how intricately we have been "knit together in our mother's womb"{ Psalm 139:13} Cells that we cannot see are already designated to perform in a set way, and are ready to go into action when appropriate.

How much more does God care for us, our emotions, health, and well being! If He finds it necessary to direct each cell to do its job, so that we are all that we need to be, how much more does "he guide us with His eye," according to Psalm 32:8. This is not just a nice sentiment, But a promise to always be there for us, to direct us so intimately, that He is watching in love to give us whatever we may need at that moment. If we think that God is not involved in a personal way in our lives, we miss out on many blessings He wants to give.

Lean on His never failing arms and you will see miracles! This society that we live in is always pushing us to" trust your gut," or "do it our way." This always leans us down the primrose path, and then leads us into darkness. When we realize what's happened, sometimes we are stuck for a while until we can remember that our Father in Heaven loves us with an everlasting love, and will take us back if we humbly ask for forgiveness. If you are in that place right now, stop everything and run into His arms! You will find grace there.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Sail away with me, the best is yet to be! This is a drawing that Stephanie, my daughter drew when she was in 4th grade. The first time I saw it, I immediately posted it on the closet door in my kitchen. It is there to this day! I may never take it down! I love the cat with the blue whiskers and the boat that sits on top of the waves!

Imagination can take us anywhere, and especially when we are young. I remember when I was in elementary school, starting 1st grade, and in a brand new building. As I walked down the hall for the first time, I saw cubbie holes and I thought they were for food, sort of like an auto-mat from the 60's.
They were actually mail slot for the teachers, but in my young mind all I could think of was food!
Maybe you have some memories from your early years and they don't have a happy tag attached to them. I know I surely have.

Jesus knows about all things that have happened to us, and He can take the sting out. No one can rescue us from the past except Him, because He is Lord of all! My Pastor has said many times, don't go back without holding His hand. Painful memories can only be redeemed by the grace and love that Jesus pours out on the hurting heart. In my daughters picture, she wrote,"Sail away with me." And I added, "The best is yet to be!" With God, the best is always ahead. He doesn't ever put us in retirement mode. As long as we are here on this earth we are valuable and have purpose. Maybe it's to pray, or show love and support to others.

Life from God's perspective, is a whole different story. He values the things that the world might throw away. He values our thoughts and desires to make them pure and good, for our sakes, so that we can receive more of His life giving truths. He wants to pour out His best on us, but we have to be empty of everything else. We have to yield to his tender nudge. Maybe He's saying to you, "Come my dear one, come away with me!" {Song of Solomon 2:10}  All we have to do is say, YES!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Hi! I chose this picture because it depicts a crazy ,wild scene and instructs us not to give up! This is a picture of our world, that seems to be out of control, with no clear direction or purpose. If we chose to put all the broken flower parts into a pile we could make them whole. We could place the leaves decoratively around the flowers and then this wouldn't look so precarious.

It's the same with our lives. God has a plan, and its a plan to prosper us, and not to harm us. Too often I have thought that God's way may cause me some pain, which might be true, but after the pain comes growth and a deeper peace. Why do we ever think that His plan would be anything but good?

 We have fallen into the lies of the enemy, and this world that try to tell us our flesh should rule and we should do what we want. This is the direct path to hell, and its devilish plans. Time and time again, we see lives that have been stolen away by the enemy who doesn't want good, peace or joy to be our portion. He figures if he has to suffer we should too. Don't buy into that!

Christ Jesus, the Savior and lover of our souls has conquered every lie, sin and untruth for our good. I don't want to fall into believing anything that won't be helpful and will bring disruption, fear, or torment! My son Rudy once drank a gatorade in the refrigerator that I thought I had clearly labeled, colon cleanse. He thought it was regular gatorade, and drank it down with no problem. His lack of care caused much discomfort later on. Using more restraint and care before we do, or say anything will in the end make for happy results later on. God never gives up on us, so we shouldn't give up on ourselves. He knows the beginning from the end, and how to get us there! Praise God!