Wednesday, May 31, 2017

This is not in Spain or Italy, but right here in the U.S., on the property of Disney Springs in February. It was warmer there in February than it is here in May.  My husband went into his office yesterday and declared: Summer is over! I'm sure he was met with a lot of groans. This certainly doesn't prove global warming, and since this has been a steady change over several years I would say it disproves it. I know there is more to it than our local weather, just saying.

I went to visit Dorothy in the Nursing Home yesterday. She is my friend Joann's Mom. Although she has only been saved for about a year or two, she loves the Lord and wants His ways. I was so blessed to pray for her, and bestow a blessing upon her. It wasn't me, it was the Lord. Such a sweet octogenarian, {My Dad called himself this all the time: someone who is in their eighties}she has a job to do while she is in a place where others cannot reach. The Lord made it clear through prayer that she could touch lives inside those walls that others won't be able to .

I am in awe of our Almighty God, who uses people wherever they are, doing simple loving things, saying simple needed words. She can say to a lonely sick person, I know how you feel, and they will believe her! She can share Jesus, and speak with decisiveness about how wonderful He is. We all can be used even in the worst situations, which is how the Kingdom of God works. Isn't it marvelous how the world will think that one person is so important, but God sees us all the same. In His Kingdom, Dorothy's acts of kindness are on the big screen T.V., with angels rooting her on!

 He gives us the grace to overcome, and love others that we never could in our own strength!  He reveals to us how important every life is, and how they can fit into His plan. Our time here is measured by God, we don't know what that means, but we can be ready to share and do for Him. Even giving a cup of cold water on a hot day can speak loud and clear how we care.

"Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!"[Hebrews 13:2} NLT

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

"Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.   {Proverbs 22:6} 

What do you think of when you see all different colors of flowers mixed together? Someone might see a mess, and miss the beauty! Me, I don't mind a little mess when it comes to flowers, or anything else I guess. I have learned to live with a little dirt on the floor, or some laundry in the basket.

What I don't like are piles. You probably know the kind, dirty clothes that stand as tall as you do. Dishes that flow out of the kitchen sink, or dirt that is ground into the carpet from someone's cleats? These are the things that women can get a little crazy about. Have you ever left some "grown-up" kids at home while you went away on vacation only to find that there was an out of control party in the back yard the night before with kids throwing up in the bushes? I hate to bring this up, but I know some of you can relate. That summer left me with wanting to turn right around and going back to wherever we had been.

Many tears have been shed over irresponsible actions that lead to harsher consequences. But God! But God, He knows the start from the end, He knows the path that has been taken, and He only knows the way out! His faithfulness knows no end, and He will surely hear and answer the prayers of a mother's heart. The son who had the crazy party had a serious conversation with another godly young man last night about how they as professionals will impact the Kingdom of God with what God will give them. Responsible! What a difference a few years can make!

I'm not saying that there won't be some rough waters ahead still, but I thank God for allowing me to see that He is working in the lives of my children. Maybe you haven't seen this yet in your child. You have prayed for years and still you are not aware of any change. God knows! Call upon Him today, with all your heart, and ask Him to show you some progress in their lives, and then please share it with us! We love to hear about the wonderous works of God!

Friday, May 26, 2017

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. {Psalm 48:1-2}

These arches are on the inside of a small atrium that is on the property of the Longwood Gardens estate in Pennsylvania.It was owned by the Duponts, who added it onto the original farm house that came with the property. They were careful to keep things authentic so that they matched with the farm house style.

After we returned from our trip to Pennsylvania in April, we found a show on the DIY network called Stone House Revival. Guess where the man, {Jeff Devlin} who does this work is from? You guessed it. The same region of Pennsylvania that we just came from. He loves to unwrap the old stone walls to find what treasure from the past is hidden inside. We really enjoyed the back roads where these beautiful stone houses and barns were meticulously preserved, some dating back to before the revolutionary war era.

It felt similar to being in a foreign country, because we never knew about this part of the area! I was raised in a home where history was a big deal, and then I married a lawyer who studied history and enjoyed it, along with two kids who followed in his footsteps. Some may say that we are nerds, but I like to say that we are history buffs. All of this brings us back to the walls. How is God tearing down walls in my life? What have I learned that is contrary to god's ways that can crumble under His love?

It may still be painful, but with our wonderful grace-giving God, He can enter into those hurts with us, and add the healing balm that will soothe, and not burn. He is so worthy of our praise! Allow Him to do the heavy lifting, and let it all fall into His hands. No one has to know, because this is between you and God. Pour out your heart to him today, and then share the victory with a friend, so that they can rejoice with you and be strengthened!

Thursday, May 25, 2017


"Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps.  {Psalm 85:10-13}

Oh it is a rainy day, but the birds are singing through the rain! How can they do that? They know that the sun is coming. They rejoice in their creator, and sing His praises whatever the weather. Just like you and I. We can sing, because He remains the same, steadfast, immovable, Holy and Just. There is no one like Him, ever! If you come close to Him, you can hear Him whisper, "I love You."

Praising God for who He is when life is still tough, and it seems as if everyone else's life is running smoothly,  only happens when our eyes remain on Him, and not our circumstances. I read a story lately about a young woman who had married and wanted children so badly. She had a few miscarriages, but instead of turning  away , she embraced a foster child, and gave her everything to him. Every day she poured the love of Jesus into this child even though she knew that he could be given to someone else at any time.

The agency was so happy with how she was able to bring joy to this little boy, that they called constantly to have others placed with them. One day her husband got a call asking if they would take 3 siblings who needed a home. He felt that for some reason, this was a different call than the others, and asked his wife if they could take in these three. She agreed that God had placed this on his heart, and so not even a day later the three children were in their home.  It was hard, but they consistently loved these four with everything in them. Finally they adopted all of them, and life was good.

I think you may know what happened next! The wife became pregnant again, this time, she was full term, and delivered a beautiful little girl. Life can be so funny, not in the ha ha sense, but in the strange sense. Why did these circumstances work out as they did? Only God knows what He was trying to say to them. They passed the test, of loving others, as their own, or maybe they needed to be strengthened. Perhaps these children wouldn't have had such wonderful parents if they didn't come first! The fact that they embraced whatever God gave is a testimony to their devotion to our Lord. I hope this story is a blessing to you today!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

" I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.  {Proverbs 8:20}

Where is this path taking you? If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? And who would you take with you? Hum, I didn't mean to get that serious especially this early in the blog! Everyone take a deep breathe, alright, that's better.

Really, do we ask ourselves often enough where we are going in life? Where will this job take me, where will this line of thought bring me in 10 years? Will this make me more like Jesus? What actions can I take to make sure I am healthy, spirit, soul and body? This can be challenging since we don't like to think this far into the future, but God is already there! You might say, where? He is "there" in the future! This is hard for us to wrap our minds around and comprehend because we don't know where "there" is right now.

What comfort it brings me, to know that even as I age, I don't ever have to be concerned because Jesus has it all covered! He is here, with me now, He was with me, in the past, and He will forever be with me in the future! I can be relaxed, knowing that whatever it is He will bring me through, as He has in the past. That doesn't mean it will be easy, but it does mean that I have confidence that is stronger, because of my history with God. You have a history with God too!

Maybe life didn't work out the way you thought it would? Maybe you had more pain than you ever thought, but God was still with you. Why? We want to ask, but we don't know all things on this side of heaven. Press into the comfort and mercy of God, and He will heal, and save us and redeem us from the worst of our past. He can take our worst memories, and make them not sting as much, and we can walk in newness of life, in Christ Jesus!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up."   {Proverbs 12:25}

Colors, shapes and fragrances, and each as different as the one before it. I might be speaking of flowers or I might be speaking of people but either one, God has fashioned after His delight and desire. Women especially are caught in the web of body image, and size, but I read recently that the skinny model is now not such a hot thing any more.

It just goes to show you that those things that we search after only become a passing desire until something else comes about.Why do we care so much about loosing weight to look slim or being tall or short? It is because of what we believe society tells us? When I was in my twenties, I thought my neck was way too long, and that it seemed out of place, until a girl I worked with told me that she thought my neck looked so nice because she didn't have much of a neck! I was floored! I never considered her to have any flaws, yet she noticed, {or someone else may have pointed it out many times,} that she had a short neck!

Have you ever heard a parent or grandparent describe a child by a flaw in their looks? I have, "you know my daughter, the one who is really short" or "Billy is my best reader, but boy does he have strange ears!" I just want to tell them stop, don't say that about them! Use a good trait to describe them, don't follow by a negative. It is so easy to be comfortable with those in our own household, but words can stick, and that's not fun for a child. My father used to check our noses as we grew, because he didn't want them to be the same shape as our mothers! What does that say to a child?

In our society today with instrgram, someone can write a harsh comment, and then it is gone, after two minutes, but it can stay in a child's heart for years. Writing things in e-mails can follow kids into their adult life. How important words have always been, but when we remind ourselves how dangerous they can be we can use caution. So easily they fall from our lips, but what will be the aftermath? I want to sow good seed, into good soil, so I will by God's grace! You will too!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Can you imagine walking inside this beautiful garden every day! It is always 72 degrees, and you would have 4 acres of flowers to observe!  Would you get tired of that? I don't think so. On days like today when it is pouring rain, you could be safe and warm, but also get a lot of exercise!

It would take all of my time and effort to get a tree like these three pink ones in the front. I don't know even then if it would resemble these.  My time is not to be spent on such a thing, but someone, who God created, is very good at what they do! We can't all be a specialized gardener, and by the way, my green thumb has left the state! I used to be able to grow a nice vegetable garden, and we all loved it, but in this house, there isn't enough sun to grow much in our backyard.

So I move on to bigger and better things. How I would love to take down trees and turn it all into a huge organic garden, but my husband would't like that, and the town would fine us because we can't touch any of the trees! Can you imagine that, WE own the property, but they tell us what to do! So what is my point, I said I would move on, but now I'm reminded myself of how frustrating it can be when things don't go the way we planned.

God has others things for me! If I did a huge garden, I would be preoccupied, and I might forget that God called me to write, and mother, and that kind of thing. I will keep my eyes on the one who made every star and keeps it in place. He's the one that I praise because His plans for me have always been much grander than mine. Outstanding would be an understatement!  Blessings to you.

Friday, May 19, 2017

"May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you; May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion; May He remember all your offerings, And accept your burnt sacrifice.  {Psalm 20:1}

It is simply amazing how good God is to His people. On our own, we do not represent any good thing that He would delight in, but He doesn't see us with natural eyes, He sees us with futuristic eyes. He sees what we will become, and He sees the blood of His Son. Does He answer in the day of trouble? Absolutely! It may not always seem like an answer, but He brings out of trouble, into rich reward.

I always look at the current situation around me, but I am learning as you are too, to remember what God sees and that he will bring me out. I have been dealing with awful allergies for the past few weeks. I have tried EVERYTHING, and even my allergist has said he can't do anything else for me. I am not stopped by this, only more determined to seek the Lord for answers. I know this may not seem like a big trial, but missing out on great weather, and family fun outside for another year doesn't make me want to jump for joy.

No matter what, I know God will use it for good in my life, and that is something to rejoice about! I can still write, and read, and exercise and mostly pray. We are such a needy society with anger that is unprecedented, and misguided people, who need Jesus! Prayer is the most necessary and important thing that we can do today! Ask God to have mercy on our President, Vice President, cabinet members and all those in governmental positions.

 Ask God to wake up those who sleep, who don't understand the heaviness of our times. Ask God to move in your church, that people will seriously love like Jesus did. Pray is what changes things, moves nations, and moves God to have mercy on us.
So don't be discouraged, ever, God wants to use YOU. Right where you are today. Tomorrow can be another step in the right direction! Blessings

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blessed is the man{or woman in this case}, who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But{ her} delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law {she} meditates day and night.   {Psalm 1:1}

Hibiscus grow in warmer climates, but occasionally you will see them locally. These were inside at Longwood Gardens which is a good thing because the day we were there it was chilly out. I wish I could have a big green house so I could have flowers all year round. My backyard is mostly trees and no sun, so even the tiny greenhouse that we have isn't working for us.

Every living thing needs light, including our souls.We need the light of God's word to keep our souls  bright and thriving. Have you ever met someone whose soul is starving or even dead because they don't allow God's light to shine into them, and penetrate the darkness that collects there when the light is gone. There are other things that like darkness, like mold and mildew that grow well in dark places. None of those things are what we want anywhere near us, especially within us.

The more time we spend reading the Bible, and absorbing what it says, the more life and light of Jesus will flow out of us. Try loving an unloveable person in your own strength. You will be worn out in no time. Leaning on God's word and restoring your soul every day will make you strong! There is a funny commercial that's been on lately. A little boy opens the refrigerator door and yells, Mom what's for dinner? The mother yells from the background, "water just water! "All he sees inside the refrigerator are bottles of water. Their point is," you wouldn't feed your family just water, so why give your plants just water."

We need meat, and vegetables, and carbs, and other things to stay healthy. Vitamins and minerals to make everything work in sync. We need proverbs to help us in our daily dealings with people. We need the old testament to remind us that God's faithfulness never comes to an end and to realize the character of God is genuine, and compassionate. We need the new testament to learn how to seek after God and keep His commands, how to pray and develop a relationship with God. We
 need the meat of the word to keep us from falling into sin.
If you still aren't convinced, read all of Psalm 1 and keep going. You will understand. Love and blessings to all-

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the depth of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me.    {psalm 139: 7-12}

How awesome is our God, that he made this fragile beautiful hibiscus flower, but yet also made the towering rocky mountains! The depth of His creative power knows no end! And so he shows us every time a newborn comes into this world, or a flower blooms just how different He can make things. This is in a fallen world, just imagine how incredibly mind blowing heaven will be!

God is faithful especially in this verse today, to remind us of His everlasting presence. It is as if He is saying, Why have you ever doubted my love for you? Don't you know that I have promised many times in my word to never leave you or forsake you? You are my precious daughter, and I can't take my eyes off of you because you mean so much to me.

How do those words make you feel? Do you believe that they are true, or do you doubt that He really means what He says. Maybe it is easier to believe that He loves other people, but when it comes to yourself, it just doesn't connect.Whether you believe them or not they are true, and it's the Lord's desire that you really grab hold of His love and know that He absolutely positively wants you to enjoy a heart-felt relationship with Him.

 Every rational father gives good gifts to his children, how much more the maker and creator of all the heavens and the earth! He wants your life to be a time of getting to know how wonderful He is. Right here, in the middle of your everydayness, and bills to pay and children to care for. He will make it all so much easier.

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for every woman who reads this today, that she would be overcome with the depth and power of the awesome reality of your love for them. No matter what they are living through right now, that you can give them the helping hand they need. Relying on you to provide in all things, and even when life doesn't go as we have planned, that you are still with us. In the Mighty Name of Jesus! Amen.

Monday, May 15, 2017

"Those who trust in the Lord, will be like Mount Zion which cannot be moved, but abides forever.   {Psalm 125:1}

Another Mother's Day has come, and gone and still many don't understand the importance of mothers. It runs much deeper than the menial task of keeping a house. It runs deep to the core of every child and husband. Someone has to be the heart of the home. Someone has to be able to pull everyone together when life isn't all light and roses.

I know many of you know about this first hand, and I never want to stop repeating myself on this one. Mothering is the back-bone of a civil society. "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" is a poem written by Willian Ross Wallace in 1865, but it is just as true today as it was then. Citizen Go, a foundation that stands for traditional christian values asked for petition signers to send a message to the UN that would tell them that motherhood is not a burden. It can be ridiculously hard at times, overwhelming at others, but not a burden. The UN wants to make it illegal in some countries for mothers to stay home.? What actually do they think that will do?

It has been proven that a society where mothers are home, caring for their young ones is a nation that raises strong, resilient individuals that can stand during the tough times, and take action when it needs to be taken. When that nurturing is missing something vital is missing in young people's lives. Teachers can see the difference in their classrooms, as lawyers can see it in their clients.

Those who are raised believing God and trusting Him with their lives have nothing to fear. A mother who imparts the truth to her babies has done her county a great service, because those same children, will make considerable contributions wherever they are. God's ways are forever the same, and a nation that fears the Lord will stand whatever comes it's way.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Today I have a true tale of my Mother's life. She actually wrote about it in a journal that she was a part of when she lived at Leisure Village in Ridge N.Y. She called it "The Consolation Prize"
Marilyn, her younger sister and only sibling was getting married. There was much rejoicing and celebration, and my Mom who had just broken up with a steady beau, was lost in all the excitement.

My Grandparents wanted to get her away from this scene, and they booked her on a six week tour of Europe, by herself. That didn't go over very well with my mother, and she protested, but finally went. She cried as the ship left the dock in 1952, but she made friends quickly. Europe was beautiful and fun, even though Germany was still in ruins from the War.

They toured the countryside in buses, and Mom was really excited when they came to France. She had graduated from college with a degree in french. Now she could communicate with the locals and not wait for an interpreter! They stayed in an elaborate hotel and were told that there would be a formal dance that evening. Alright, that could be fun she may have thought.

All the American girls dressed appropriately and came into the ballroom. Not as a whole gaggle of geese, but you know as they were ready. Mom was a little socially awkward, and I can't imagine how I would have felt in the same situation! They began to mingle with the others there. One tall young man came over to her, and asked her to dance. He was very quiet accept to make known his displeasure with how American girls danced! He thanked her for the dance and escorted her back to her table.

Well, that was different, she said to herself. The next morning as she was packing to move on,  she noticed a few very  official  cars with flags flying from them.  The young man that had asked her to dance got into the back seat. She asked one of the employees at the desk about the mysterious man. Oh, that man? You don't know who he is? That is Prince Rainier of Morocco they said. I think my mother may have wanted to faint at this point! She told the others in her party who confirmed that this man was he.

So what is my point in telling you this story? I think that God can surprise us with something special just to make us feel special. My Mom didn't know the Lord then, but I know that He will do things even for the lost, that show them of Himself. And Mom told that story to all the family when she got home. Maybe some didn't believe her, but I think God wanted to lift her out of the everyday with something that not many could boast of.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!    {Psalm 118:24}

It is so wonderful to wake up to spring, and sunshine and the leaves being out on the trees! I have gardening to do, weeds to pull and plants to plant. I'm not going outside. Not today. Maybe tomorrow, but I will have to see. I just had some groceries delivered, because I can't get to the store. I'm not that sick that I can't function, but I do get dizzy when the pollen is coming out.

The sinus infection is over, and all the meds are done, but I am fighting with every natural remedy I know, and trying to be patient. I seemed so much better yesterday, so what did I do differently? Trying to figure this out. Praying and waiting. Patiently. I have cleaned out closets, folded mountains of laundry, cooked meals, and talked to my family, some really good conversations. 

I am not running out the door. Whatever needs to be done, will get done at another time. Drinking lots of ginger tea, and taking supplements. It all helps, somewhat. I am enjoying some "not so busy"time and enjoying God's goodness to me, but hoping that tomorrow will be a better day.

Do you ever have times like these? I'm sure you do. Tomorrow will be a better day. I know it will.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

" being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you is able to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.   {Philippians 1:6}

I hope that you had a chance to read about my friend Gabrielle yesterday, because this is a continuation of that. I left the hospital with not having much to say to this girl, but I was praying that my presence meant something to her. After she moved to the Veterans Hospital, my friend Rebecca went to visit her several times there but she was out of her room having therapy. Gabby knew that she had come, and said to Rudy, "Why does she come to see me?" And Rudy told her, "because she cares and is praying for you." Rudy often told Gabby about the many people that were praying. She still didn't seem to have any comprehension as to why people that didn't even know her would do that.

Some healing took place in her body, so Gabby was able to go to court, and stand before a judge. She was visibly shaking with fear, and most of the time she came alone to stand before the Judge and District Attorney with her Attorney. The DA's office wanted her to go to jail for three to eight years. Rudy asked several times for less time, but the DA was not budging. Suffolk County is very hard on drunk driving and since there was a fatality, they couldn't send her away with a lesser amount of time.
UGH, we were praying and we asked the Lord, why, it seems so harsh, and He always quieted us with his peace. He was clearly in control.

 She was able to go into a local L.I. program for her first year, because the Judge had a compassionate heart towards her, and that would count and she would get the physical therapy needed as well. She is suffering from post traumatic syndrome, and gets flash backs to the accident, but I know that I can trust God to bring our prayers to fruition in her life. 

Just like the stairs that we see in this picture! I am praying for God to make himself known to her. He has begun a work in her heart, even if she doesn't understand now, and it may take a life-time for her to realize the truth. One step at a time, as He has done in our lives. I don't know about you, but the first time I heard that Jesus loved me, I was very skeptical. It takes time for each of us to let down our guard, and allow Him to love us. Will you pray with me for my special friend?

Dear Heavenly Father, we ask you in Jesus name, to touch Gabby, to heal her heart of all the awful hurts and pain  that have happened to her. Be her Father and Mother, and cause her to realize that you have placed loving people around her because you love her! May she cry out to you in the lonely times, and when she remembers this terrible accident. As Pastor Miller visits her may she respond to his understanding of her situation. We know that you are more than able to write the next chapter in her life to be a positive one. Amen! Thank you.

Monday, May 8, 2017

"And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.    {Philippians 1:6}

 I haven't been able to share this story with you until now, because it is emotional for  both my husband and I but I want to share it because I believe it has value for you. You don't mind if I splash a few tears on to my keyboard do you?  Good.  It all began when a 20 year old girl named Gabrielle called my husband from Stony Brook Hospital. She was in critical care, after being in a serious car accident, and was badly injured. She wanted my husband to be her Lawyer and defend her in court, because she was the driver, and had been drinking, and her best friend had died.

My husband got there as quick as her could, and found that Gabby didn't have any family visiting her, and hadn't had many visitors, except for the mother of her best friend who passed away. He was gripped by her story, and when she offered to give him the $2,000.00 that she had he said no, I will defend you because I want to. She cried, and could't believe her ears! Why would he do this? He said "Because God takes care of me, so I can take care of you." Rudy called me as soon as he left, and was overcome with Gabby's story. I cried when he told me about her, especially about her financial need, and his provision. "This is why I love you so much!" I said through the tears.

My first step was to call prayer warriors to pray for her. She had a long way to go before she could stand in court. The I went to the hospital with a christian book in hand, ready to share Jesus with her. She had fractured her spine, both ankles,  her femur, and a few ribs. She was a very special girl for sure. When I shared  my book with her, and told her how much Jesus loved her, and that he was not angry with her, I expected her to cry. She didn't. The look on her face went from pain, to fear. She now looked at me as if she were a six year old girl. She had no understanding of what I was saying, and couldn't comprehend why I would come to visit her. She said that some man in the hallway had called her a murderer, and cursed at her. Oh, my heart fell, "that's not true, you didn't do this on purpose!" She shrugged her shoulders, and looked more child-like than before.

Gabby had been in the U.S. marines when she was discharged with a back injury. She wasn't your typical 20 year old, out drinking. She had a boyfriend who broke up with her, and she was hurting. Sure she had made some wrong choices, but when you don't know anything about Jesus, and his plan for you, where do you go? No parents around, only kids her age. She had been on her own since she was 16, and  her question to us was,"where were you when I  was 12, lived in a car, and ate out of the trash?" I visited Gabby again in the hospital because I knew she would be transferred to the Veteran's hospital which was further away. I have to say it was hard for me to make conversation. I didn't know what to say, but wanted her to know that we cared about her. She told me about her friends who prostituted themselves, were gay, and didn't have much going for them. What could I say? I don't think I can get through this without more tissues.    To be completed tomorrow.

Friday, May 5, 2017

I am so glad to be writing to you today! I want to tell you about the time I was asked by a friend if I would speak at a women's retreat in her place because she had other plans for that weekend.  I was honored that she thought I could do this, but I prayed about it because I never had done anything like that before! I led Bible studies, but this was a lot more than that, and anyway, who would want to hear what I had to say? Apparently, God thought that someone would.

So I packed my bags and picked up my friend, and off we went to speak to these women, none of whom I knew. I had spoken to the secretary of the church who was trying to get a women's group together, and she said that I would be speaking the Saturday night and Sunday morning. Fine. I prepared and prayed. I was nervous! It's one thing to speak to people you know, it's a whole 'nother ball game to get up in front of women you have never met!

Saturday evening came, and I shared my life testimony and about how God brought me through Post-partum depression. It seemed to be well received, and a few ladies came up afterwards and I encouraged them to continue to seek the Lord. Then one of the ladies gets up and says, "there seems to be a mistake in the schedule. Ann is not speaking tomorrow we have a special worship leader coming. " All the ladies cheered for this person who they knew and loved. My heart sank! I had prepared for so long, and fit my message into two sessions, and now I wouldn't have a chance to complete it! I felt bad because I knew I had been asked to speak for both days. What do you do in a situation like that!? I tried to smile, and hide my hurt but I was embarrassed! I had just finished telling these ladies that I would come back and finish my session on Sunday.

That night one of the ladies came to me and gave me a check and said she was sorry for the mix up. I wanted to cry, but I didn't. I thanked her and said I was sorry that I wouldn't have a chance to finish. I felt that I was dismissed, but we stayed the night, and went home the next day. I said"God what was this all about? Why did I come out here, and give my time and effort? What are you saying to me? I felt Him say"Ann, you did what I asked of you. Isn't that enough?" I had to say, "Yes, Lord it certainly is." I learned from this as I look back on it. My obedience was great, since I was not a speaker, but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and see where it would take me. And it has brought me to you! And I am so glad for that! I hope that you are too!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethern, love one another fervently with a pure heart.  {1 Peter 1:22}

All of us have that one person, maybe they are a neighbor, or a family member, but they know just how to push your buttons! All they have to do is look in your direction, and you think that they are ready to say something that will make you angry. Nothing is ever said about this, but you just rub one another the wrong way sometimes. Maybe its a parent or spouse, and that can make it ten times harder!

Jesus never told us that we were to do what we can, or make the best of it. He said to love one another. Ugh! "But you don't understand Ann, this person is horrible!" It's not me that said to love one another, it was God. That puts all of us into a pickle doesn't it!

When Jesus says this to us, He doesn't want us to try to do this! It is impossible to love in our own strength, especially cousin so and so, Oh if you just knew what he is like! All of us have a problems with one or the other during our time here on earth, and that's why we need Jesus so darn bad! If we relied on our own strength and love, nothing would happen and God wouldn't get the glory! You just try to love someone who is unlovely in your own strength!

There is incredible power in weakness.The Apostle Paul was told by the Lord, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." {2 Corinthians 12:9} That sounds so ridiculous, how can power and weakness give us anything that's good? In God's economy, it all makes sense! He takes our inabilities and makes us able! Next time you meet that person, take a deep breath, and ask God to give you words of life for them.  Not fake words but His words.You will see how fast things will turn around!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

"Come and see the works of the Lord; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. 
{Psalm 66: 5}

Here I am in the Longwood Gardens Conservatory. Four acres of flowers, plants and trees for all over the world, some have been here for over a hundred years! My husband has wanted to return to this place since he first came in 1976. Don't wait that long to do the things you want to do. We plan on going back next month. Take time to smell the roses as the saying goes, but yes, you really need to!

When God created the earth, He spoke it into existence! He said, "Let there be light, " and there was light, Genesis1:3. He said, Let there be land and sky and sea. It is all recorded for us in Genesis chapter one. God is very practical! He doesn't use more than what He needs to accomplish something.
If all He needed to do was speak, that's what He did. The centurion who needed his servant to be healed understood authority so he said to Jesus, "If you just speak the word my servant will be healed." {Matthew 8:8}

It worked in the beginning of time, and it worked in Jesus time, but how come we don't believe to take God at His word today? Do we believe that Jesus loves us when someone says so, or do we cower back and say, I guess so, on the inside? I was like that for too much of my christian walk. "God's love for us is not based on us, it is simply placed on us," as Lysa Terkeurst says. We can't do anything to change that, which is so beyond our natural minds to comprehend. He doesn't need for us to understand it, He just wants us to receive it, as He so willingly reaches His loving hands in our direction.

 I love the faith of this centurion who simply accepts that Jesus' authority is enough. I am not in the habit of thinking about the authorities over me, but in those days it was made clear, and the Romans made sure of it. Power and authority has been given to us, simply because we obey God. His love for us is the most powerful thing ever! Tell Him that you wholeheartedly believe it today!