Tuesday, January 31, 2017

These birds sit on the wall in our family room. I wonder if they ever tire of the view. Apparently not because they have never told me so! It's interesting sometimes what people will say to us, and what they might leave out. Everyday my daughter comes in the door at 4:02, and I ask her the same question, "How are you, what happened in school" etc. Her reply is usually, " Nothing." But when my husband comes in, the real story comes out!

"For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him."  {Isaiah 64:4}

We are a generation of people that hate to wait. We want the Doctor to take us immediately when we walk in their door. We want our food to be prepared swiftly when we eat out. We get mad if we have to wait in line at a store. Why are we in such a rush?{ Just to let you know, New Yorkers are really bad at waiting.} Seriously, what are we going to miss? Why are we a generation that is anxious?

God tells us if we wait for Him, He will act on our behalf. I can't speak for you but I think His way have got to be 100 times better than my way. I tend to go around in circles but God, He cuts to chase.
He is direct, accurate, and loving all at the same time. He's not so concerned about hurting our feelings as He is about  us hurting our lives. His ways and good and right not at all easy to swallow, but always in our best interest. Dying to ourselves, our plans, and desires isn't easy, it's necessary, and from this is life everlasting. If you want to see God move, put Him first, and watch Him do the incredible!

Monday, January 30, 2017

This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!    {Psalm 118:4}

Today, or any day is the day that God has made for us. He alone at times, knows the purpose for your day and how it turns out. Some say, I had a bad day, or I had a great day! I think as long as you learn from the situations in your life it is all good!

Today I took my dog, Lena to the Vet. She needs a shot once a month so that her steroid level will stay steady. I forgot to take her two months in a row! God had mercy on us, and kept her safe, but I couldn't believe that I forgot something that I have been doing for several years. Our Veterinarian told me not to be too hard on myself. I agree and would have said the same thing to someone else, but when it is yourself, Oh!

While looking at my calendar for November and December, I began to realize why I forgot. I had a whole lot going on, that isn't normally. I'm sure you can relate! Life can get so sticky with appointments, special celebrations and Holidays. Not to mention Birthdays, date nights, concerts, you know what is on your plate. In my quest to better organize myself, I go to the Lord, and ask for grace. I'll ask Him to give you the same. Did I mention that I am getting older, and my body is changing? Grace, and more grace, to keep us in the moment, the year and beyond. Love to you my friend.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Here's a blast from the past! Roses in my opinion, are always appropriate. They are coming our way soon, because June is just around the corner! It all depends how you look at it. I choose to  think of them as a soon and coming thing.

Lord, right now I put down my agenda, my plans and thoughts as to what you want me to say right now. Help me to make a difference in these ladies lives, as I love so much to write for them. Amen.

I need to tell you that I pretty much sit down at the computer and let my fingers fly. I do pray during the day about what to write, and I allow God to move through me, but it is a learning experience. My heart is for women, that they may know how much Jesus loves them, and wants to be with them in every circumstance, especially when they don't believe He is there. When we look back sometimes, it's when we see His hand in our situations.

I know some of you struggle with depression. I did for so long, and to be honest, once in a while I have a bad day. God is always close by to bring me out, but I know what it is like day after day to not see any hope in sight. Do not give up! You may get one good day, and then another, but they may not come in the same week, you may not feel any different, but you can make progress if you never give up. Fix your eyes on Jesus, and He will bring you out! Here is a verse that helped me a lot.

"You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you {God} brought us to a wide open place." This is significant because when depression lies to us, we can feel that we are closed off, in a tight little box. That is not true, don't allow the enemy of our souls lie to you.

Lord, I pray for my dear sisters in Christ. I thank you that your word is yea, and amen, which means that it is solid, steadfast and unchangeable. It will endure when the earth is no more. You tell us that we are free from the lies that hold us down. No one and no thing can have the power to bind us.
You have said, "Whom the son sets free is free indeed." This is our heritage as daughters of the King. Amen.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I think we have come to a day, when I just don't have a picture! I don't even have any ideas about what to take pictures of. Maybe I will show you some pictures of my friends, now that sounds like a plan! Please don't get upset if I show a picture of you; Please take it as a compliment!

"Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however , in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature."   {1 Corinthians 14:20}

I read recently about a way to think about others so that you can show compassion to someone who may be hard to love. Think about what they may be going through in their lives, or have gone through in the past. If we try to separate the person from the language, action or choice they have made we can be slower to judge their behavior.

Of course this is not something a Police Officer can use because they need to enforce the law, but I mean, you and I can stay away from anger if we can remember that behavior isn't displayed in a vacuum. For example, what if that person just found out that that their bookkeeper stole a huge amount of money, or that their spouse has stage 4 cancer. They enter a store only to find that they don't have the item they came in for. We may have no idea what happened, but we could give them grace since we don't know.

This can relate to us as well. What if you don't feel like giving grace at the moment? Maybe you are the one who has had the wind knocked out of you. Pray! Pray Pray! Many times we are called to go the extra mile. Believe me, I have not given grace at times, but looking back, I always wish that I had. We will never be sorry that we showed compassion on another when we think back on a situation. The truth is; at the end of the day, we want to look back at our day and know that we did our best, even in small things. Blessings to you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

This picture was taken in the fall, and I love the way the brightness of the sun adds depth to it, and a brilliance of color that we would not see without it. The grey tree would only look dark and foreboding. The dry leaves would be brown, and the blueness of the sky would not be nothing but  dingy and lifeless.

This is our lives with the light of the gospel shining on our hearts. The light exposes the darkness, and so it eliminates it from our hearts. Whatever light touches is never the same again. For trees and nature it gives life-giving properties so that it can grow and be nourished. I believe the word is chlorophyll. Our nourishment is a bit more complicated, but just as important.We need to take in the plants to receive the nourishment. Processing of the plants damages the nutritive values and therefore doesn't supply the needed vitamins and minerals.

What happens next, well, every story is different. Depending on how many nutrients actually make it to the desired areas. This can be tough to see on the outside, but can be pretty clear when we consider how we feel. If you neglect the appropriate amounts of fiber in your diet, you may not be the friendliest person around.

How do you feel when you worship God and His love is shining down in megadoses on your heart, and you think that you may leave this earth any minute because He is going to rapture you? You are not concerned about leaving because if you go home you have to clean the garbage cans so this would be a much better idea! {Just joking}

 What if we don't go to church for a few weeks, or we don't put on christian music during the day, and Wow, we feel really not like ourselves? Let the sunshine of the Spirit of God pour into you everyday, because your spirit needs nourishment like your body does. The big difference is that you can't hurt yourself by being filled with God's peace, joy, and rest. There is no such thing as too much!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Does not wisdom cry out, And understanding lift up her voice? She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, Beside the way, where the paths meet. She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, At the entrance of the doors: { Proverbs 8:1-3}

What does wisdom say, as she cries out at the city gates and on the mountain tops?  She says in verse 6 and 7 "Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, and from the opening of my lips will come right things. For my mouth will speak truth. verse 10: Receive my instruction, and not silver, And knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than rubies, And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her."

In ancient times the cities had strong fortress like walls that surrounded them, to keep enemies and people that might start trouble out. Wisdom is said to be at the gates, and that is where the judges sat. No one got past their watchful eyes. They knew what to look for, and they knew the importance of their tasks.

You and I have gates that we need to be watching, we call them ears and eyes.Wisdom wants to come in, and give us life that will spring forth to touch the hurting and dying all around us. A kind word, a prayer or a conversation with someone who needs it but also so much more than that. Standing for righteousness, mercy and truth, even when it isn't comfortable. I know I have to force myself out of my comfort zone at times. It is always worth it!

As we look at the picture at the top, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight O Lord, " we see where the words come from. A heart that is fixed on God has something to say, and it won't be vulgar, or harsh, it will be " apples of gold in settings of silver."{Proverbs 25:11}  These are the words that bring health, wellness and strength, Let's be women of God who make a difference by what comes out of our mouths. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Monday, January 23, 2017

This is the chaos before the picture. We never were able to get all of us and the dogs into one pic! I'm glad that my daughters were able to make it work. They are 10 years apart and also just as opposite in personality.

" I will lift up my eyes to the hills - From whence come my help? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber, Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep."  {Psalm 121:1-4 }       

I want to speak to you about where our eyes look, and what they see. I know that I naturally look up when I am praising God. I noticed that my attitude dictates where I look. For instance, when I am looking up, I see the sky, and I don't think about "the sky" at any other time. That upward glance, reveals to me heaven because that's what "the sky" represents to me. I can feel as if there is no limit to where the heavens will take me. I feel closer to Jesus, and that there is nothing that He can't do.

When my emotions are on a downward turn, I don't think about the heavens. I am looking down, because I feel down. I am closed in, to a small space, and reaching out is not a thought. I hope I am not insulting your intelligence. I know these are very simple ideas, but they need to be acknowledged, because we don't realize what I am sharing, without saying it.

What if, I reached out from that simple small space, and looked up, what would I see. I would be released to see that the world is so much bigger than I could have imagined in my small box. This is where a lot of us are today. We are afraid to look up into the face of Jesus, because He might do something new and different in our lives.

I'm here to tell you that he WILL do something new and different, and He intends to take you out of the place that you are in right now. Maybe a comfortable place, that you are used to, but He is calling you out, to a big place where He can use you in ways that you never imagined. DO NOT be afraid, He will do the work, He will lead the way.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

This is the crux of the gospel message! Before I knew Christ, He wanted me in His forever kingdom. That may sound a little like a fairy tale, but so much of the truth is somewhat hard for our natural man to understand. Many of the Tales we know of today were originally a story about Christ and His Church. A love story told in a earthly form, but with a spiritual meaning.

Cinderella is a good example. The lowly orphan girl who is rescued from the mean step mother, and given a kingdom where she rules with her Prince. Snow White, who is under the power of the wicked witch, and is rescued with the kiss of the prince. Many women today do not relate to these because they were told that the prince is a man, not the Lord Jesus Christ, and because they don't need to be rescued because there is nothing wrong that they need to be rescued from. The devil is a liar.

All of us, man, woman, child, old and young need to be released from the power of sin that rules over us until we ask Jesus to be Lord. He has broken the power of sin and death so that we can experience all that He died for. If we would just realize a tiny bit of the freedom that He won for us, we would praise Him for ever!

As we seek after God's heart, He gives us a new and better heart that will shine with His glory and draw the needy to Him. Lay down your cares, fears, and worries at His feet. He has already paid for them so there is no need to carry them any longer. You will feel the weight lifted off your shoulders, and in an instant you can be changed, restored and made whole! He will rejoice with you because He loves to see His ladies set free!  Be blessed, healed and made whole!

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  {John 1:12-13}

Dear Heavenly Father, As I pray for my dear sisters, I ask you to move upon them as they read this. Let your love fall upon them as a gentle mist, and may they see your face. Help them to grasp your hand, put their trust in you, and receive a victory over those burdens that weight them down. May they be released in Jesus name. Amen. " Grace and peace  be multiplied to you, in the knowledge of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, as His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  {2 Peter 1: 2-4}

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

This picture reminds me of the book"A Shepherd looks at Psalm 23," by Philip Keller. Also "Travels with Charley, a book by John Steinbeck. A shepherd lives with the sheep, which is not a good thing since sheep are dirty, nervous, skittish, and helpless creatures. It give us a picture of what we must be like in God's perspective.

Thankfully, because of His great love for us, our Good Shepherd sees past our character, to see who we will be. He carefully lifts us from danger, brushes our "fur" to get the bugs out, and sets us by cool waters. I thought that being likened to sheep was a good thing, but I was really wrong! I remember how disappointed I was when I read about this! My thoughts were of cute little wooly lambs sauntering beside a pastoral lane.  Oh, how beautiful, but that's not the message at all.

Ok, Let me rethink this. God loves us enough that He looks past our sin, to save us, and then He works out our stuff. Those issues that don't look anything like Him, so that we can display His glory to others who still have their stuff. Now that makes sense, in a way that only God can make right.

"Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!  { Romans 5:9-10, HCSB}

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I am so sorry that this picture is sideways. I have been trying to get it upright for the past hour, and I knew you would understand if I put it in anyway. This is a quote by Lysa Terkeurst, my go to Bible Study lady. She has an app called The first 5 app that you can buy so that you get a 5 minute devotion first thing in the morning.

I have no idea why this picture is the way that it is. What went wrong and where? I did everything exactly the same as any other day, but sometimes quirks happen. Life can be quirky at times, I must admit, even though we don't understand it. The important thing is to not let it upset you. Don't let "the little foxes spoil the vine", as it says in the Song of Solomon. Let the little things go, and don't major in the minors, as the saying goes.

I try to look back throughout my day, when I loose track of my peace, to see where I lost it. It is usually a little thing that gets me distracted, off kilter, or just under my skin. Add a few of these up and you guessed it, you are not where you began. The important thing for me is to catch myself before I allow anything drag me down. I think this must sound familiar to someone reading this!

I used to get frustrated with computer skills, until a friend pointed it out to me, and I realized it was not worth it to get off course. My composure is so important to me, and to God, because it is from the place of peace that I am a good witness of His grace. The things that used to throw me for a loop now teach me to have patience, and learn how to fix the problem, if I can. I have learned more about my computer because I tried to make it work when it didn't.

Catch yourself, before a situation causes you upset, and see if I am right. It can work for you too.
"Then I heard the Lord asking, 'Whom should I send? And who will go for us? And I said, Here I am. Send me! {Isaiah 6:8} I want Him to send me, so I can't be tied in knots when He's ready to use me.  

Father, Help every one of us to live lies that are meaningful to you. May we be ready when you give us a needy person to speak to, or a soft word will turn away anger. We need to gather your grace as we more throughout our days, so that grace will spread to others, and not our anger or fear. Especially Lord, when we are tired, and with family and it is easy to say the wrong thing. Help your goodness to shine through. Amen. You are greatly loved Ladies.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Thank God that this is true. How many times have I leaned on the Word of God to give me strength because I didn't think I could do all the things that I needed to. Being a mother of four, serving God in whatever capacity He has given me, and keeping our house and my husband moving forward has been a full time job for me.

I know some of you have done this, plus worked a full time job and that is a monumental task! You need the grace God much more than I do, God bless you! He sees it all and nothing is forgotten or missed by Him. He understands when no one else does. He is the giver of grace, strength and peace, even when you don't feel like He is there. He promises to never leave us or forsake us, because He is in dwelling, for all who call Him Savior and Lord.

"Trust in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." Isaiah 26:4

My younger daughter Stephanie is a quiet girl of 15, but as most girls her age she can get rather emotional, to put in lightly. One night, she came out of her room, and I could tell from downstairs that she was hysterically crying. I remember saying to myself, oh, she is really upset, but I waited because I thought, maybe I'm wrong. She would get upset, if I asked her if she was upset, because that is the way girls are! She came running down the stairs and had to catch her breath before she could tell me what happened.
A boy who left her school called to say he was going to bring his gun to school and shot her and everyone else. I was shocked, and called the police right away. I got her to calm down, but I was feeling as if this was surreal. Soon after a friend calls to say that he thought she would have recognized his voice and that he made the call. He was only joking. The police were not convinced. They came to our house to talk to Stephanie, and also spoke to this young man. His parents assured the officer that this would not happen again. 
What do you do with this kind of thing! I didn't panic, but I did call the school to alert them as to what went on. Thankfully it was just a prank, but one that none of us will forget for a long time. I knew that God was faithful through it all, I just wasn't  sure how it would play out. What a relief, but my emotions went for a ride! You never know what a day may bring! I don't want any more days that bring the police to my door, Thank you Lord!

Friday, January 13, 2017

This is my amaryllis! It is even nicer today because it has two flowers. What a difference it makes in January, to have this beaming red flower to look at! I am grateful for it. Can you be grateful for small things?

Do you notice the things that everyone else misses? Can you hear God's still, small voice? Yesterday I shared about hearing God as the thunderous voice of His word. Today I want to delve into hearing what can be easily overlooked.  Everyone can understand the content of what the Word of God says, but can you sense His heart intent as you read the pages?

We can understand what the words say, but do we feel or sense what the Word of God is speaking to our hearts? Is it real to you when the Song of Solomon says " My beloved spoke, and said to me: 'Rise up my love, my fair one and come away. For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, '" {Song of Solomon 2:10-12a}

God is speaking to us, about His love for us, and about our safety in Him. He wants us to come away with Him where we can be stable, unmoved with the craziness of this world. He wants us to come above the noise and the confusion of life, and just sit in His presence. Only the Holy Spirit can allow us this treasured experience, every day. Come away, my beloved!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

This is another set of friends that hang out at my house this time of year! They want me to eat cookies, but I tell them no! The holidays are over! I have to be stern with them. Ha! Ha!

I wonder if you have given any thought to hearing God's voice. The Bible talks about His voice in several ways. "The voice of the Lord is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The voice of the Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
{Psalm 29:3} God wants you to hear His voice. When we see "over the waters" in this verse it is referring to the Word of God. We hear Him best through His word.We can become familiar with His voice. Not an audible voice, but the voice of His spirit which comes from the Holy Spirit, as we pull apart what He is saying to us.

My mother used to ask me why I read the old testament ? I remember telling her that we learned about God's character through who He was to Israel. He was protective, guiding, loving, watchful, jealous, powerful, and redemptive. His love for them knew no end. The authority that He placed on them caused them to be victorious in a miraculous way. Remember Joshua and the wall of Babylon for instance.

I heard him speaking to me in these historically correct stories that He wanted to give me even more than what they had. He wanted to live within me, and I said, "Yes Lord, come in take all of me."He said He would lead me by His eye, which simply means that he was personal and relational toward me. Sometimes I don't want to do what He says. I'm sure you have been in this place too. But when I obey His voice, His written word, I am overcome by His presence of love, joy, and peace so it is so right to do what is right!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This old couple is hanging around my house. They seem to think that there will be more snow. We will see, although they are usually right. What fun to make a snowman and decorate it with various things! Good job for the young ones.

What is on your heart today? Do you feel glad to be back in routine as I do, or are you longing for the holidays to come back? No matter where we might be Jesus is the answer to every need. He promised to be our all in all. His is our joy and song, our redeemer, our provider our Prince of peace. The list goes on and on. He said that we would be complete in Him, so why do I feel so mixed up?

Often for me, I loose my focus and get off into some unknown territory because I have allowed a fear to grab hold of me and before I realize it, my eyes are on it. Next, my head moves down, and I am looking at my circumstances, and not at God. As soon as I realize this I turn back and look at Jesus, and declare that He is sovereign over me.

Fear can only grab us if we believe that it is true. I try to do the thing that I seem to be afraid of so that I can see that there is nothing to be afraid of. Of course this isn't something that I can always go head to head with, but it has worked when I can do it. I used to be so afraid of getting up to speak in front of others. The only way to break this was to do it, so I did. It's not my favorite thing, but I am more relaxed now. I used to hate calling people on the phone, so I forced myself to call others, and now it doesn't bother me. My point is that God's word tells us not to be afraid. There are 365 fear nots, in the bible, one for each day of the year. Believe God's word and put fear to rest.  "If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31b-32

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This bird reminds me of a little chick a dee that I saw in my garage yesterday. It was scampering around looking for food, and it probably found some crumbs in my garage! This is not the first time this has happened. I need to get some seed and put it out, away from my dogs who think everything is for them.

We think that everything is dead in the winter. I don't see it that way at all. The other day I watched four squirrels chase each others bushy tails as they played in the woods. What a winter wonderland it must have been for them! We can just imagine what they would be saying thanks to cartoons.

My point is that even when things seem dead, there is life working in them to bring them to fullness. Maybe you are going through a dormant season spiritually. Every time you pray, it seems like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. It doesn't seem as if God is hearing you and you wonder what is going on!

It is in these times that we are growing the most. The struggles bring us strength just as exercise builds our muscles. Nothing good happens without some good work put into it. So it is with our relationships, especially with God, because we can't see Him with our physical eyes. His presence is ever real and closer than we can grasp, but we have to put on our spiritual armor so that these truths are not stolen from us. Read the Word of God, meditate on it, keep it in your pocket, or close at hand.Ask a friend to pray with you over the phone, or through texts. I have heard some of the most beautiful prayers in a text message. Just as real and as useful as if it is spoken.  love you so much!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and that you are braving the cold. This is my houseplant that I have had for over 10 years. It never gets too big because I haven't allowed it to. I want it to stay this size because it is easier for me to have it this way.

Sometimes I think about repotting it, but there are always more important things to do. I hope that I don't think this way about my relationship with God. Do I have more important things to do than to grow in the Lord? This is a daunting question. No, I don't think so!

I want to grow in God, and I put Him first everyday, but sometimes it takes just a little bit more prayer and studying the word to get to another understanding of His grace and truth in our lives. This doesn't have to take time out of our busy schedules, it can be as simple as carrying cards with pertinent scriptures on them to read when we have a moment.

Sometimes I will take a prayer break in the middle of all the activity by closing my eyes for a few seconds and checking in with God. This helps me to remember that I am centered in Him, and that He is closer than I could ever imagine, because He lives inside me. {I don't recommend that you try this while driving!}

My life is hid in Christ, but that doesn't mean that I am not heard or able to influence. My influence because I am in Christ is much broader and more impactful than ever before. Even in the mix of adult children living in my home!

Friday, January 6, 2017

This tree is so sweet! Decorated by children and outside for all the world to see. I hope you have had a really good week. It went fast for me, but I suppose that is always good because if you have a bad day, you know it will be over soon. A new day will come shortly and God is good to start us off afresh and anew.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I trust in Him!" {Lamentations 3:22-24}

I never expected to find this verse in Lamentations! It is so full of life, and I thought this book had a lot of crying. It does, but you never know when you will find a nugget of encouragement among hard times. In fact, some of my worse times in life have been the times when I received the most life-giving truths. I remember when going through post-partum depression I was looking out the window at the grey skies and feeling the Lord say to me, I am always just above those clouds, no matter what the skies may look like, I am always shining down on you. That was almost 15 years ago, and I still remember it clearly.

Even in our hard places we learn of God's faithfulness and love that never gives up on us. We may give up, but He is still holding us, and He never lightens His grip. What faithfulness from the Almighty one who give us grace upon grace. Sing His praises loud and clear, He is more than enough for you!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

This coffee shop is in Stony Brook, N.Y. and at Christmas time children decorate the trees put outside for them. Mostly girl scouts troops and the like. It's nice to walk around and look at each one. Yesterday it was 49 degrees in N.Y. ! For January, that has got to be a new record.

My daughter Rachel is home until Sunday, so I am taking every moment to be with her. Nothing too exciting, regular errands and a few outings like that. She works in the Chicago court system on her way to being an attorney. Life around here is very slow paced compared to what she is used to. It's good for her to be here, where she grew up.

Having a grown child who lives in another city is challenging. I pray, trust God for her life, and know that He is working in her a far greater work than anything I could imagine! Do I miss her, of course! But again I'm trusting God to do what I have been praying for all her life, that she will be all that she can be for His honor and glory.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight."  {Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV}

We don't like that word, submit, but please remember we are not referring to any person here, but to the Lord God Almighty who is faithful and true, and loves us with an everlasting love.  He is not a man, who will lie, and deceive, NO, this is the one who formed you out of dust, and gave you your own individual looks, abilities, and strengths. Any time He wants to help me to be more like Hm, I want to obey.

Lord, help me to say yes, when you want to kill the fleshy part of me that gets in your way. I know my sisters who are reading this want to obey you too. BY your Holy Spirit, we can live a life that is far greater than our own lifeless ways. You fill us to overflowing so that we can give a drink to those who are weary along the way. Amen.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I know it isn't summer, but I enjoy looking at pictures from my garden. I can look at the barren ground, and imagine what will be in a few months. How would I admire the flowers if I had them every day? The butterfly was a one day event. How miraculous this little creature is, when we think of humanity and the great intricacies of our brains, but yet God made these tender creatures as well.

What wonders of God's kingdom are about to  be lavished on us this coming year? What riches of His grace will we uncover in His word, or hear in church? What miracles will we see that perhaps we have been praying about for years? We cannot limit God to our circumstances when He wants to pour out Heaven on us, and show us His glory.

Scripture says,"We have not, because we ask not", or we ask incorrectly. When our will lines up with God's best, you can be sure that He will "open the windows of Heaven and pour you out a blessing."Scripture can be distorted when we think that God will give us according to our lustful desires. This is not at all like Him, and will not happen.

Winter can be seen as bleak and lifeless, but it actually is full of potential! Inside of every tree and bush is the nucleus of life, just waiting to happen. It is unseen, for now, but will be revealed at the right time. So it is with the untouched that God has placed in us! All of His potential has been made available by His Holy Spirit. All we have to do is cooperate. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth.   Selah   {Psalm 60:4}

Banners have always been about celebration. As we pack up Christmas, and unpack a brand new year, we can celebrate that God celebrates over us with love. It says in Song of Solomon, 2:4 "He has brought me to His banquet hall, And his banner over me is love." That is a banner that all of us long for, and He has given to us, because we seek after him. As His child, Jesus wants to keep us safe and as we obey His word, we are kept. We are not given this place of rest because we earned it, but simply because we walk in His precepts.

Life can be so terribly complex when we wander away from truth. I have been sick this past week, and I can tell you for sure, when you're body isn't well, it can effect your spirit. We are interconnected, spirit, soul, and body. When you add to that changed schedules for the Holidays, kids getting under each others skin, and family visiting, life can seem out of order, ah, yeah, because it is.

This is an ornament from my tree. I was admiring it, and it slipped out of my hand and broke. I am glad that my joy, love, and faith do not depend on that ornament! How easily things can change and burst into pieces if we are not careful. Put people in tight quarters, with lots of cookies, and things can go awry!

Think of this month as a great jumping off point. A clean slate, a place to get alone with God, and receive your marching orders for a new year! There is excitement, joy and adventure in God, because His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!