"Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What If?

I have not written in forever. A couple of reasons but none that would actually be significant. I got busy preparing for a trip that we took mid-September and did not blog while we were traveling. When we returned I got busy preparing for another project that will take place next weekend.

So here I am. I do enjoy writing but just got out of the habit. I imagine many of you can relate to that. There are good habits and bad habits and this one happens to be a good one that I hope to continue.

Okay. I have rambled enough. Today my pastor encouraged us to not live in fear. His scripture reference was from Matthew 28:18-20 focusing on v 18: "Then Jesus came to them and said 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.' " Jesus has been given ALL authority and is in charge. Therefore we should have no fear.

He closed with these remarks: "We all live in fear of some kind. 'What if?' " and then he reminded us "Jesus is Lord over our 'What Ifs'."  

Most of us use the "What if" to preceed negative thoughts such as "What if I lose my wife? children? home? job? What if I get sick? . . ." You get the picture.

God convicted my spirit as my pastor spoke to make my What Ifs positive.

What if I turn this all over to Jesus? What if I do something for someone else today? What if I smile today? What if I don't worry today? What if I laugh today? What if I rest today? What if I say positive things?

Got the picture. Jesus has ALL authority. What if we believe that and chill out with HIM?

Hope you find some encouragement from this.

Thanks so much for taking time to read. I've missed writing.

Until . . .

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gator Attack!!!

I suggested to Charlie last night that we go fishing this a.m. since we had a rain that afternoon. AND it might be cooler.

So we got up and headed towards the back pond. It was a beautiful a.m. - cool, gently breeze blowing. After changing my "bait" to the same type of lure he was using - a popping topwater lure, I started catching a few fish along and along too. That always makes the fishing better.

After about 2 hours of fishing we decided to head back to bank. He had caught 3 and me 2. We have gotten to the point in our fishing now that we just enjoy being out there and catching them but not cleaning them :-)

So as we were headed towards the bank, he is paddling and I am casting, a four feet gator decided that my topwater lure looked like dinner to him. Charlie starts hollering "reel it in, reel it in!" I am reeling as fast as I can and he is hollering "faster, faster". 

About that time that darn little gator picked up speed, opened his mouth as if he was about to pounce upon the lure, raised his body somewhat and I yanked on the rod to get it out of the water. I also thought he was about to jump in the boat with me as he continued to chase the lure. Now did I mention he is about 3 feet from the boat. I screamed and jumped up and backwards and fell flat of my back across my seat and the seat behind me. 

Did I mention I SCREAMED? Did I mention I yelled shoot him, shoot him, shoot him? (P.S. - there is no gun in the boat)

After all is said and done, the gator turns away from the boat. I don't know if it was my screaming or his disappointment that he missed the lure. I am still flat of my back across two seats. Charlie is laughing - and laughing and laughing. After I realized that I was not hurt and that I was safe, I decided it was rather humorous. Notice that I said that "after I realized that I was not hurt and that I was safe" I started laughing.

I now have a mission. The gator has to go. I have a bounty on his head. Any takers?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It Just Ain't Right!


Have you ever seen it? Ever experienced it? Ever shown it?

Where have you seen it? At work? At School? In the Government? In the Church? In your home?

It's just not fair is it. I can say that when I am the one who is not receiving special treatment. I feel hurt. I feel rejected. Thoughts start running through my mind like: Why do "they" think that person is so special? They are not any different from me.

But what if I am the one showing favoritism? What are my reasons for doing that? Is it all of a sudden okay since I am the one doing it?

Scripture says: "My dear brothers and sisters,how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?" James 2:1 (NLT)

I have to ask myself: "What is my standard for how I respond to people?" Do I base it on how they are dressed? Whether or not they are clean? The way they talk? Does my first impression take priority over what it is going on deep down inside that person?

"There but for the grace of God goes I."  He extends grace. He extends mercy.

James 2:12-13: "So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.  There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you." (NLT)

Favoritism - It Just Ain't Right!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Live In The Moment

"Slow down, you movin' too fast You gotta make the MORNING last."

What did you do yesterday? Can you even remember? I am reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It has caused me to stop and rethink things - things that I take for granted.

What is a typical day for you? If you still have children at home, then you are operating under the word "hurry" - hurry and get up, hurry and eat your breakfast, hurry and get your clothes on, hurry so you won't be late for school . . . hurry, hurry, hurry! Depending on the season of the year you are hurrying to TBall practice/games, dancing lessons/recitals . . .  you get the picture. I remember those days or do I? I think most of those days were blurs and that is sad.

At the end of the day I was too weary to enjoy the evening because I was already getting ready for the next day. Have you ever said "There are not enough hours in the day!" Oh my, oh my, oh my.

I am just getting started in the book so you may be hearing lots more from me as this is really speaking to me. One of her statements that spoke volumes last night was "I speak it to God: I don't really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done -- yesterday. . . . I just want time to do my one life well."

Wow! One of the things she began doing to focus on what I call living in the moment is she made a list over time over 1000 things she is thankful for. For her they were simple things. I have started doing that and I can tell you it is making all the difference in the world as to how I look at my day. I am LOOKING for things I am thankful for.  The key word being LOOKING. Another one of her profound statements for me was "Only because I was looking."

When you are not looking or expecting, you will miss it! Don't miss life! Live in the Moment!

Can't wait to share more with you as I have started this journery of One Thousand Gifts.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

There ARE scarier things than getting older!

I recently celebrated my birthday and this is the card my husband gave me:

And the sentiment inside: "There are scarier things than getting older." I loved it! Sweet, mushy cards are really nice but ever so often I need one that just makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. This did the trick. He's right - this IS SCARIER than getting older.

I had a fabulous day! I mean how could you not have a good day after such a wonderful start. I received phone calls, cards, FB wishes and emails all day long. I felt very special.

We drove to Montezuma, Georgia for lunch and ate at Yoder's Restaurant. Yoder's Deitsch Haus Restaurant and Bakery is a cafeteria that serves lunch and dinner. It sits along side a peaceful country road in Mennonite farmland.

Yep, this was my plate and I did NOT eat the whole thing! We met my Daddy, sister, and brother-in-law there. My daddy and sister have birthdays later in July. Don't know if I could handle going back that soon!
We rode a little further to William L. Brown Farms. Lots of fresh produce AND some yummy peach ice cream. They had a huge field planted in zinnias and sunflowers - I LOVE sunflowers!

When we left them, we did something that Charlie and I have always loved to do and that is ramble. So we didn't take I75 back home. I guess you could say we took the back roads. Proved to provide some interesting sites.

Train depot in Lilly, Georgia
Somewhere off Hwy 90 -  a Red Dirt Road.   Always reminds me of the Brooks and Dunn song: Red Dirt Road

A Perfect Day!
It was so good that I celebrated again the next day with Charlie's family. I am a blessed woman :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Celebration of Love

On June 17 Charlie and I celebrated 39 years of marriage. We decided to drive to Tallahassee and have lunch at Olive Garden. It was a special day and we periodically reflected on what was happening 39 years ago - what we were doing at different times of the day and special memories of crazy things that happened: like me forgetting to bring my "hang up" clothes on our honeymoon - that was interesting :-) We love to tell stories of how we met, our first date, how he proposed and of course it would not be fun telling them unless we did a lot of exaggerating!

Thirty-nine years seems like a long time but for some reason it doesn't feel like a long time at all. Charlie is my adventurer and he has taken me places and encouraged me to do things I don't think I would have ever done. We have been to Mexico on mission trips, traveled to London to be with our girls when they were doing some studying over there, traveled to Northern Ireland to visit friends he met on the internet (another story for another day), our trip last summer to Alaska, a 10 day ride on the back of his Harley - you get the picture.

It has been fun and challenging! There have been good times and bad. The good have definitely outweighed the bad. We have experienced "in sickness and health". I do not know what I would have done without him during some of the "in sickness".

I was a city girl and he brought me to the country. He has taught me how to fish and how to shoot a gun (still can't hit the broad side of a barn but I do pretty good with the fishing). I have bailed hay, picked peas, and shucked corn.

We have both grown in the Lord and he has become my source of spiritual wisdom.

He is my best friend. And I am definitely better for having met him, married him and loved him!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Things My Mama Taught Me

I am reading the book of Proverbs with a group of ladies during the month of June. Solomon wrote some very wise things for his son Rehoboam who became king after him. There is verse after verse about how he expected his son to live. Most of it deals with wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

It got me to thinking about the "wise" things my parents taught me. Even though I titled this "Things My Mama Taught Me", both my parents imparted tons of wisdom to me. I have been reflecting on what their "book of Proverbs" would have said.

Life according to Bill and Elvie:

  1. Family is important.
  2. I am special - I have a purpose.
  3. Respect: It is not a given, you earn it.
  4. Be honest
  5. Work hard
  6. Education is important. It is something that no one can take away from you.
I know there were more but these are the ones that stand out. This wasn't preached to us. It was a way of life.

Of course, Mama said all those things that we hear others say their mama said like:

As long as you live under my roof, you'll do as I say.
Close the door! You weren't born in a barn!
Don't EVER let me catch you doing that again!
Don't sit too close to the television, it'll ruin your eyes.
Don't talk with your mouth full!

I think you get the picture. Bet you have some special things your mom said to you too.

I miss her. She's in heaven watching me though :-) so I still watch my "p's and q's". (Don't know how somebody came up with that expression.)

I still have my dad and he is a blessing and an encourager to me.
Would love to hear some of the "rules of your house" as you were growing up.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just a Swingin

Any of you remember the childrens' book series Just Me and My Dad (with other Just Me and  . . . )? Well I got to do that this weekend. He and I got to do "just" what we wanted to do: sitting around the kitchen table and talking - that is his favorite place to sit and talk - or sitting on the screened in back porch swinging.

We have had some mighty special talks around the kitchen table - some serious and a lot of not so serious. One of my special memories of a serious discussion had to do with me going on my first "car date". Daddy sat there and talked to me and pretty much told me what he expected of me and what to do if things did not go well. (We always had a dime in our shoe in case we needed to call home. Yep, those were the days of pay phones and a dime would do it!) The whole time he was sharing his wisdom he had a pocket knife and he was scratching the top of our wood kitchen table. Yep, he scratched the finish right off the corner of it. I know now that was a pretty hard discussion for him :-) I now have that kitchen table in my garage. Memories, memories, memories.

We had some more talks this weekend just a swingin on the back porch.

"Precious and few are the moments we two can share."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My New Craft Area

I am so excited about my new/revised craft area. I found a great deal on a drafting table at Michael's and I used some of my "Mommy Day" money to purchase a few things to decorate it with in addition to some stamping supplies.

So excited about this drafting table. My sweet hubby put this together for me! It came with the cloth drawers. He had to attach the frame to the drafting table.
Some of my stamps - the rest are in the drawers under the counter top you will see later.
Found this cute little Media tower at Fred's. Bought me those colored canvas baskets at Family Dollar. I got some of the cutest things at places that I least expected to find them!

Part of my Mommy Day money for the note/picture board!

I already had these stacked drawers. I just organized my stuff a little better and then tried to put some items that I had on the top of each one to "accessorize".
Close up of the "decoration" on the top of this stack. That is my old Brownie camera - yep an antique - along with that old 45 rpm and that coffee pot is one that my mama use to make coffee with every morning. We've come a long way baby!

Yep, My Georgia Stuff :-)

Now I just need to find time to make some cards!

Friday, May 6, 2011

On Sunday we will be celebrating a very special day for a lot of women. It is a day that we honor our mothers. It is a precious day.

My mother taught me so many things: how to cook, clean, sew, iron. I bet most of you reading this never thought that you would need to be taught how to iron. Mama had her way of doing it. I never really thought there was a certain way to iron. As she showed me and explained why she did it the way she did it made sense. I don't think we do a lot of ironing these days but I know that when I do I can recall exactly how my Mama told me to iron shirts. (I remember ironing my daddy's T-shirts and handerkerchiefs. We even ironed pillow cases!)

There were so many other things that I learned that did not deal with physical needs - things that were character building: respect for others, starting a job and finishing it, no matter what the job is - do it to the best of your ability.

She lived her life in such a way that I knew what a hard working, loving, caring person looked like. She had high standards and she expected her children to live by them and we did. She showed respect to us and expected the same in return.

Needless to say when I became a mother I appreciated even more what she taught me.

I miss her. This was her in August 2005 at her 78th Surprise Birthday Party. She went to be with Jesus on March 14, 2006.

Give your Mom a great big hug - not just this Sunday but every chance you get. Do not take her for granted. Cherish the time you have with her!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Getting to the root of the problem

Well, I was pruning again. If you read my last blog you will remember I talked about the benefits of pruning - mostly that it allowed a plant to grow back renewed and invigorated!

During my digging process the next day I had a blonde moment. As I was digging I realized that the briars and poison ivy I was dealing with have roots also. So, if I prune them they will come back strong too. What to do? Obviously I needed to get the the root of the problem. As I was doing this I realized that I may lose some good stuff in the process because the roots of the good and evil were interwined.

Some of the plant that I was working with was so large and interwined with the root so tightly I could not go directly to the root and cut. I had to start at the top of the plant and work down.

That's the way it is with us. Sometimes we know where the root is and other times we are not sure. We have to start at the top and go down. It means letting go of a few good things to get there. Once you are there and cast out the evil the good will have room to grow again and multiply.

I was reminded of Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

While I was working so hard to get to the root of the problem God sent me a cool breeze along and along to encourage me and a tall glass of ice water - ain't He good!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So that's where they were!

I have been in the yard early in the morning the last couple of days to prune some Azaleas. Yard work is not one of my favorite things to do but what I really love about it is the fact that God always shows up and teaches me something while I am working. It is probably because it is one of the few times I am not running my mouth so He can do all the talking.

A couple of interesting things have happened the last two days. Probably the most unusual was that as I was pruning this a.m. this is what I found.
SO THAT'S WHERE THEY WERE! Yep, now I have been known to misplace my glasses but this is the weirdest place yet! They had to have been there at least 2 years because that is the last time I pruned this azalea. I have at least 6 pairs of reading glasses for this very reason. Now you know why you need to pray for me every day and poor Charlie because he has to live with me. (I have one more azalea to prune - reckon what I will find in it.)

The other interesting thing is that God spoke to me about the process of pruning. Most of us know that if you do not prune you will eventually not have any new growth. And with no new growth the plant dies. As bad as it hurts to cut those pretty long branches off my azaleas I know that next year and the next year they will bear more fruit.

John 15:1-4 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

I also noticed as I pruned that at the root of the plant there were many dead limbs. Because I had not pruned close enough to the root they eventually quit producing new branches and rotted. I could just pull them out of the ground.

There are things in my life that need to pruned - anything that keeps me from growing in the Lord. I may be bearing fruit for Him but I need to be constantly aware that His word tells me that even though I bear fruit He still prunes so that I bear MORE fruit. But HE needs to do the pruning - not me. He will show me.

If I don't allow His pruning then I will be just like those big limbs in my azalea that quit growing! I'll be just a big ole hunk of wood - no use to anybody.

What's in your life that you think God is working on to prune you to bear fruit for Him?

Monday, April 25, 2011


And I am not talking Pillsbury Grands Cinammon Rolls even though I do LOVE those. I am talking about our precious grandchildren - specifically grandgirls!

What a wonderful, fun-filled, busy, hectic week we had! Anna is 4 and Rebekah is 7 months. The week was filled with all kinds of actitivites with Anna. Rebekah pretty much got to watch big sister in action.  Anna started her week by putting on her princess crown (she loves anything that has to do with princesses) and going outside to build a Mud Castle. She use to just love to dig around in the dirt but now we have to add water and make mud.  I use to love to do that when I was little too. We have a picture of me and my sister covered with mud from our heads to our toes.

She and Grandad and her Mom went to the movies one afternoon. Then there were always trips to the backfield with Grandad on the golf cart to check on the turkeys in the late afternoon.

We did have a girls day out when we (including Rebekah) went to Diggity Dog and got us a foot long corn dog and then played in the park!

The week culminated with Grandad, Anna and Kelly taking a boat ride in Reed Bingham State Park.

Yep, we were busy from the moment they got out of the car until they left. It was way too quiet as they pulled out of the drive several days later.

Love my grands! Enjoy a few pictures I took. Think I will stroll down memory lane with you too.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Everybody has a Crazy Mary

I have been reading Max Lucado's A Love Worth Giving which is based on 1 Corinthinians 13. Most of us think of it as the love chapter because we are given some very specific adjectives for the word love. Reread it if you have time. Each of the descriptions of love are woven together to give us a picture of love and if you look closely the picture is that of God. Since each one of us is different I know that your picture of God is not exactly the same as mine but I imagine there are lots of similarities.

You know how God is - He puts things in front of you that remind you of things that have happened in your life to remind you how you should react NOW if that were to happen again. In other words, did I learn anything from what happened last time. I will confess upfront that I am a slow learner when it comes to the things that God would have me do.

Everybody has a "Meeting Henry" story whether we want to admit it or not. I read a devotion by Holly Good at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Here is the link http://devotions.proverbs31.org/2011/04/meeting-henry.html.  It is well worth your time to read and will probably help you understand where my thoughts are going.

My "Meeting Henry" story is about a lady I met in Mexico about 15 years ago that the locals called Crazy Mary. She would always come to church when she knew Americans were going to be there. She came and sat down next to me in the service. I didn't know anything about Mary at the time. As the service progressed she put her arm around my shoulder. My husband was sitting on the other side of me and I looked at him as to ask what should I do, he just smiled. Later she reached over and took my hand in hers and would rub it ever so gently. Finally she laid her head on my shoulder. At the time I was very, very uncomfortable. She stayed like that until the service was over. I have to be honest. I was ready to leave and leave quickly when the service ended so I did not tarry. The locals seemed to think that she thought she might get something from me - money, food.

But my sweet husband shared with me that God had come to me as Crazy Mary and just wanted to love on me a while. I have tried to be more sensitive to those who do not receive love and have a unique way of begging for attention. I confess that I still do not love the way God does - unconditionally. I am trying but I have to be reminded through stories like Meeting Henry and my Crazy Mary. I know there are people in your life that are annoying - maybe you have a Crazy Mary or a Henry. They are in your life for a reason: to be loved by God through you.

Who is your Crazy Mary today?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


How many of you save "stuff" because you never know when you might be able to use it or part of it again? I imagine a lot of you reading this will have to say Yes!

I was making a card this afternoon and needed a very narrow piece of ribbon to finish my project. I rambled through some ribbon I have purchased and remembered that I have a box of ribbons and asundry items that my Mama used when she was working on some of her craft projects.

My mama loved to sew. When she first started sewing, it was pretty much from necessity. It was cheaper for her to make our clothes than to buy them and because she did like to sew she didn't consider the cost of her labor. Many evenings my sister and I would wash and dry the dishes after supper so Mama could get to her sewing machine and finish something she had cut out during the weekend.

I was one blessed girl. She sewed for me and my sister right on up until we married and then some. She made both of our wedding dresses. Now, you gotta love to sew to do that. I did some sewing when my girls were in elementary school but I didn't have the passion for it that my Mama did.

One thing she did was to save her scraps - scrap material, thread, buttons - you name it and she kept it because she never knew when she would need it for another project.

My Mama's love for creating things continued but turned more to making porcelain dolls and yes she dressed them too! You see some of those scraps came in handy.

When my Mama passed away five years ago, I brought home some of her scraps along and along. So I have my little stash of stuff that I am using as I create some of my cards. As I rambled through this little tin can of scrap ribbons, it brought back such special memories of her.

We might think hanging on to scraps may be a lot of clutter and sometimes it is. But sometimes it's just pure joy to find what you need among scraps. I found sweet memory scraps of my Mama hidden away in the most unusual place - a tin can on my card table. Thank you Mama - it was the perfect color and size.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Busy As A Bee

Have any of you ever really watched bees? It is not my number one choice of entertainment. Specifically, have you ever watched carpenter bees? They get their names because they use wood bits to form partitions between the cells in the nest. A few species bore holes in wood dwellings.

We have a swarm of carpenter bees at our house. The male bee is harmless because he does not have a stinger. And did I mention they are huge which makes them even more intimidating stinger or not! However, that does not make me anymore comfortable when I hear them. And that is the point. They make the loudest noise when they are buzzing around. They are forever busy - buzzing and flying around. I know they are around but I don't always see a lot of results from their activity.

I have to ask myself am I like that - buzzing and flying around and no fruit from the labor. Would my friends be more likley to describe me as a Martha or a Mary? Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being busy as long as I am productive. But to be honest, sometimes I am just busy being busy - you know what I mean? Lots of actions and no results. There is an old expression: "Don't just stand there, do something." Well, if the truth is known sometimes we just need to just stand there and do nothing!

I have been studying some of the Psalms in a book written by Lisa Harper, A Perfect Mess. Yesterday's Psalm is probably one of the most memorized - Psalm 23. Truly one of my favorites because it sums up completely how I am to live.

In the busyness of my world, if I do not rest in the Lord then I will be of no good to Him or anyone else. The scripture says: "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." (Psalm 23:2) You know sometimes He just has to do that - "make" me lie down. The making part is the part I don't like because that usually means I have come to the end of myself and I am feeling pretty hopeless. But when I am lying down then I am looking up - to Him. When my body is weary, I am not good for anything or anybody. That's why I need to rest and by the way so does my spirit.

I encourage you after you read this to read Psalm 23. Go find your own green pasture and spend some time with Him - listening to Him speak to you through the stillness around you so that He can restore your soul. Hang out with Him for a while and your cup will run over!

Psalm 23
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

Tumbled glass, Broken china, Chip sapphire, Peeled paint. What do those words remind you of ? A house renovation gone wrong?

They are actually ink colors that I use when I make cards. I had a sticky note on my desk with these colors listed as possible combinations. I'm thinking I am going to have to change the names of the colors so I will not feel so depressed when I am using them. The names remind me too much of how I could feel if I concentrated on the implications of their names.

 Attitude. It is a choice. I can choose to live in the gloom and doom that 24 hour entertainment news provides us every day or I can choose to live in an attitude of gratitude. What are the top five things (not people) you're thankful for right now?

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 Being thankful instead of anxious isn't as easy as it sounds. It is a choice. When things happen in my life that are not smiley, feel good events, my tendency can be to focus on the negative. I really don't know why I am like that but I am. How about you?

I am reminded of an old hymn "Count Your Blessings" that I have much to be grateful for.  I just need to turn off the "gloom/doom" news and focus on my blessings: I have a loving family, a home where I can lay my weary head at night, a car that can transport me where I want to go, food on the table, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet and money to pay my bills. Thank you Lord for your blessings on me! "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Gratitude can change my attitude. (I love verse 19-20 in Psalm 34)

Psalm 34
1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.
 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

You're In Good Hands

I'm not usually scared of being by myself but sometimes there are things that go "bump" in the night that will make me second guess my safety. I start thinking about where the closest thing is that I could use as protection. I don't particularly like walking around in the dark when I am in new surroundings either. The fear of the unknown can be quite intimidating.

Fear can keep us from enjoying life. Oh to see life through the eyes of a child! Most of them see no fear. They frolic and play. They get so excited anticipating visiting new places. They do silly things. They have tea parties and imaginary friends. When our four year old granddaughter Anna was two, she use to talk about a friend of hers a lot. Her name is Sally Boola. Don't you just love that name! She was always expecting Sally Boola to come to her house or she always had plans to visit Sally's house. As Anna is growing up, she doesn't talk about Sally Boola anymore. That makes me sad because we had such fun talks about Sally. I think I miss Sally more than Anna does. I love the imagination of a child! I love their freedom.

I need to be free. I do not need to be afraid. Sometimes I lose sight of God's glory and forget what I have to look forward to. I do not need to be so consumed with trivial inconveniences of everyday life that I forget that one glorious day all our trouble and pain will vanish. I need to live each day knowing that I am in good hands and that each and every day He gives me should be an anticipation of joy!

I'm thinking I may just have to call Sally Boola and ask her to come to my house for a tea party. Would you like to come too?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Righteous Anger

When was the last time you got really mad because of someone else's meanspirited behavior? It's one thing to get mad because of something someone has done to you but when someone else gets hurt because of another person's meanness then it makes me even madder. The kind of instances that come to mind quickly for me are bullying. I despise seeing someone being picked on.

Psalm 83 is a call to God to take action against those who are banding together against (picking on, bullying) Israel. He even suggests how God could bring the bad guys down.

However as people of God there are too many scriptures that remind of us of how we are to behave when we are hotheaded. (Romans 12:19, Colossians 3:8, James 1:19-20)

We should be angered at something unjust or wrong. We should do something about it. We should take action against these wrongs and in so doing being a part of the restoration of people. God permits us to express anger, but we aren't to sin in the process. "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26

Lisa Harper, A Perfect Mess, writes: "God's love frees us to express righteous indignation and anger, then channel that emotion into redemptive action."

I know there have been times when you were red-in-the-face furious and lost your temper and you wanted to get back at somebody. It is hard to walk away from a situation like that and not say something.  Let God take care of it. "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord." Romans 12:19  

It is really hard to walk away from a situation where you or someone you love is being unjustly accused or berated about something. We always want to get in the last word. According to scripture: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:20 In other words, kill them with kindness. That is mighty hard to do too.

In the end those who have hurt you usually realize it but it takes a change of their heart and God is the only one that can do that. Do not let the anger and bitterness overcome you. There are too many examples in the bible where God's team wins!

Psalm 83
1 O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God.
2 See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.
4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
5 With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you—
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them to reinforce Lot’s descendants.
9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor and became like dung on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.”
13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God, like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, LORD, so that they will seek your name.
17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD— that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hanging on to Hope

Ever had a bad day? There is a children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst that I used as motivation for my students. I taught high school for 29 years. And if there is ever a group of people who need motivation and hope it is high school students. The story starts out with Alexander having a bad morning with gum in his hair, then a bad school day, followed by a bad shopping experience (now ladies we can really relate to a bad shopping day) - you name it and it was bad. He kept saying he wanted to move to Australia after each experience. You know the feeling. Get me out of this mess. Just take me anywhere but HERE!

Life is filled with disappointments and hurts. When these occur we tend to reflect on the "good ole days" and wish we could go back to those days. But if the truth were told there were hurts in the good ole days. It's just that compared to what's going on now those hurts didn't seem so bad.

Because of your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days you have a faith story. You are here now because you are hanging on to hope even when life is hard. Psalm 42 is a song of lament. It expresses sorrow and remembrance. The writer is having a pity party. Ever had one of those? Well, the best thing you can do is admit you are having one and pour out all that messy stuff instead of keeping it all in. Tell God where and why it hurts. Do what you have to do to get it out - cry, scream, shout but get it out - don't keep it in - and He will draw close to you. Then hang on to the HOPE we have in Him.

What a faith story you will have to tell! I would love to hear yours.

Let's hang on to our HOPE rope!
Psalm 42
1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm Sorry

I'm not sure how many of you reading this will remember a very popular 1970 movie, Love Story. The line that most people will remember from that movie is "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Now love can go a long way but there are times that our trash talk gets us to a place that the only thing that will fix a relationship is to confront that issue and admit what you did and tell that person you are sorry. Henry Winkler who played Arthur Fonzarelli - The Fonz - on the sitcom Happy Days had difficulty admitting when he was wrong. The Fonz use to drag out the word wrong: "I'm wrrrooooong" because he was just too cool to ever be wrong about anything.

Some of us are that way too. Either we do not recognize when we are wrong or we are too proud to admit that we are wrong. When we do not admit that we are wrong then we are slowing up the healing process of forgiveness not only from the person we wronged but ultimately the flow of grace from God.

David wrote Psalm 51 acknowledging that he had been wrong in many things and that ultimately it was God that he had sinned against. By admitting our mistakes we are brought back into His glorious fellowship. Our sad songs are replaced with praises to Him.

Contrary to the line "Love means never having to say you're sorry", love means you do say I'm sorry so that forgiveness can begin with God and the individual you have wronged.

Why do we hold back from confessing to God and others when we know we have done or said something that was wrong? I think it is because we think that the person we wronged will not forgive us. And you know, that may be absolutely true. But when you come before the Lord and the person you wronged with a sincere heart, I know what He will do. He will forgive. Your restoration will begin from the brokenness. I can't tell you what the person you wronged will do.

Lisa Harper, A Perfect Mess, writes "God's love frees us from the muck and mire of guilt so we can walk in the sweet fragrance of the forgiven."

I want to be able to dance before the Lord in the glory of His grace and forgiveness. How about you?

Psalm 51
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
18 May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

God Don't Make Junk

Is there anyone that knows you completely - the good, the bad, the ugly? I think that even if you said yes to that question that there is still some little something in your life that you have not shared with that person. That's just the way we are.

I believe we are trying too hard to measure up to others expectations and we would die if they knew there was something about us that would disappoint them. We are trying so hard to seek approval - to be a part of a group - to be accepted - to be understood.

Take just a moment to read Psalm 139 below. If you have never read it, I know you will be blessed after having done so. And if you have read it, you will be blessed abundantly again to know that "God don't make junk".

He knows all about us. That's a little scary - he knows what I am going to say before I say it. He will not only know the good I will say or think but He will know the bad too! We are never alone. He knows right where we are all the time!

He knows the good, the bad and the ugly about us. I like this from Lisa Harper, A Perfect Mess: "The awesome right-now application of this passage is that you and I can rest in God's great affection -- even on those days when we're tempted to cut people off in traffic, when our fat jeans are too tight, and when it looks like we're in last place on this world's scoreboard -- because He views us through rose-colored glasses, tinted by the blood of Jesus. Now, that is an Amen and Amen!

No  matter whose approval you are dancing the hardest for on this earth or whose opinion matters the most - you and I should rest in the knowledge that God is clapping His hands the loudest, shouting the loudest to cheer us on! We don't have to perform for Him. He knows everything about us. God don't make junk!

Psalm 139
1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Grab a Piece of the Rock

What's that old tag line - "Get a piece of the rock"? Prudential, right. Tag lines are good because they make us remember products like:
I can't believe I ate the whole thing - Alka Seltzer
Think outside the box - Apple
Don't leave home without it - American Express

Psalm 62:2 "Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken."

I love to collect rocks. On all of the trips that Charlie and I take I am always looking for rocks. They don't break and crumble. They have unique formations - no two rocks are alike. I have a rather large rock from New Mexico that has markings on it that remind me of a shark. Some of them become smooth from the wear and tear of the weather and others still have their rough edges. But they stand firm in the storms of life.

So what do you do and where do you go when there are attacks on you or your family?

Psalm 62:6 "Truly he is my rock and my salvation;  he is my fortress, I will not be shaken."

I go to the rock of my salvation. There is an old Dottie Rambo song that says "I go to The Rock for my salvation. I go to the stone that the builders rejected. I run to the mountain and The Mountain stands by me. When the earth all around me is sinking sand, On Christ the solid rock I stand. When I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to The Rock." That's powerful!

Notice verse 2 and 6 read "I will never be shaken and I will not be shaken." Lisa Harper writes " . . .if we put our confidence in God, then we'll be able to stand firm in the storms of life. If we rest in God's worthiness, then we'll be like those Weeble toys: we might wobble, but we won't fall down." I love that!

When have you felt completely safe and sound in God's care?

Let's grab a piece of the rock!
We might wobble but we won't fall down.

Be blessed today!

Psalm 62
1 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
3 How long will you assault me? Would all of you throw me down— this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 Surely they intend to topple me from my lofty place; they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse.
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
9 Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion or put vain hope in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
11 One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God,
12 and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done.”

Friday, March 11, 2011


There is one particular road that we use that has numerous potholes. Now I know you know what a pothole is - that spot that just doesn't seem to bear up under the weight of the traffic and creates a hole in the road. Sometimes you know where they are and you know how to maneuver around them and other times - BAM - you hit them and it causes you maybe to jerk that wheel slightly - hopefully not causing you to lose control.

I have started reading A Perfect Mess by Lisa Harper which is a journey into a few of the Psalms.

Psalm 1 is all about walking right - watching out for those potholes - watching out for people in our lives that will cause us to jerk the wheel and lose control. Do you know any of them?

I know that as I was growing up my parents always cautioned me about "the company you keep". We can be easily influenced by those around us if we are not grounded. I taught high school students for 29 years and I always tried to instill in them good work ethics. An illustration I used was to have one of them stand in a chair and another student standing on the floor. I would tell the student in the chair to pull the other student up while the student on the floor tried to pull the student in the chair off. You know who won.

It is harder to pull someone up than it is to pull someone down. Be careful of the company you keep - beware of potholes. There are people in our lives that we listen to when we need advice. We don't always like what they have to say but we know they have sound advice.

How have you been driving lately?

Watch out for those potholes.

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Our Morning Walk

Charlie and I are trying to be good stewards of our bodies by walking and exercising more. One of the things I do enjoy is to actually get out and walk when the weather is cooperative. We had really gotten out of our routine the last couple of months for first one reason or another. 

However, this past Monday we got out and walked about 2.5 miles. We have also changed our route. We usually walk on the road but no matter what time of the morning even out here in the "country" people are whizzing by going somewhere. I don't really like to deal with the traffic so we decided to walk around the farm. What a refreshing view!

Here are a few pictures. So sorry you will not get to hear the birds chirping and feel the coolness of the morning breeze - they really added to the moment.

We started out walking down our drive. Here is our Crab Apple tree in bloom. God does such beautiful work.
He didn't too bad either when He created this man just for me :-)
We haven't had our Bradford Pear tree too long but it is finally starting to have blooms. They have been gorgeous down here this year. When they bloom in the spring they look like new fallen snow.
Headed down the lane to the backfield. See in the country we have "lanes" and they are not asphalt :-)

Our destination and turning around point - the back field~
Always have to go by the pond.
Anna calls this the Deer Castle. This is a place that Charlie fixed for the kids to hunt with their Grandads :-) Don't know if you can tell too much about it.

All I can say is "Oh what a beautiful morning!" I am so blessed and have so much more than I deserve but I am ever so thankful that He saw fit to do what He does for me.

So, now it's your turn! Put on your walking shoes, get out and see what God is doing.