“The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.” Isaiah 32:16-17 NIV
It’s Try Something New Tuesday. Yesterday, my saved post disappeared. So, today, I’m trying a two-for-one special.
Have you ever thought “can things get any worse?” If you have, you are not alone. Unfortunately, the answer is YES! Take a look around. The more I listen to others, the more I realize things can be much worse. Yet, you may wonder why God’s people go through adversity. Jesus, himself, lived through horrible circumstances, including torture, before dying and being resurrected. Being a Christian doesn’t exempt us from adversity. However, adversity can further us in our spiritual journeys. We could never really understand the darkness others go through, if everything was always wonderful. Once we have lived through what we think is bad, we need to remember how it felt. Why? So we can be a blessing to others while they are going through the same.
Have you ever wanted someone to notice or recognize an accomplishment? Well, if your answer is yes, you are not alone. This is something I work on daily. When I have worked hard on a project, sometimes, I wish just one person would notice. The truth is they do. It is not necessary for them to validate my need for praise. Last week a coworker compared me to another person. She said we both needed attention, but I do good things to get attention. The other person, in contrast, does bad things to get attention. YIKES! I never thought of it that way. Although I said I was doing things to glorify God, I wasn’t bearing truthful witness.
What does it mean to be a truthful witness? It means you are someone who glows in the glory of doing God’s work. There is no need for praise or blame. Pure satisfaction is found solely in doing God’s work, whatever we are called to do. To bear truthful witness is to live in the peace of the LORD. Doesn’t that sound awesome! Although I’m not sure if anyone, other than Jesus, has been a perfect truthful witness, my husband is very good at this. Even if we are not always perfect, we can work to improve ourselves. This is one of the best ways to witness God’s love to others.
Today, imagine the Glory of God shining down upon you as you do his work. May God bless you.
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Luke 1:26-38 KJV
Happy Tuesday after Christmas Day! According to Wikipedia, today is Boxing Day, which is a secular holiday in Europe where the banks are closed. It is also known as St. Stephens’s Day on the liturgical calendar, which is the second day of Christmastide (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day).
I hope your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations were wonderful. We celebrated Christmas Eve by riding through town and enjoying the Christmas lights. Then, we attended the midnight Christmas Eve service at our church. The service began at 10 pm with Christmas carols, and handbells. The church service followed. We have many gifted singers and musicians in our church. The music brought tears to my eyes.
Then, the sermon touched my heart. It was about how God uses ordinary people, like us, to do extraordinary things. Mary was a young girl. She didn’t live in a palace, but God chose her to bring His son into the world. I have often thought of how hard it must have been emotionally, and how others must have mocked and scorned her. Joseph didn’t have an easy path either. His fiancé was expecting and the baby wasn’t his. Yet, he cared for her and Jesus by stepping up to the call. I also, thought of the young boy, David, who in faith fought and killed Goliath. Jeremiah was probably under the age of 25 when he answered God’s call. He said “behold, I cannot speak; for I am a child” (Jeremiah 1:6). Yet, God gave Jeremiah the tools he needed. So, when God calls us, we also need to step up. If God only used people who didn’t have struggle in their life, why would anyone else have faith? We would probably believe we could never measure up. The world might be about keeping up with Joneses, but God is different. Remember, on Palm Sunday people were expecting a worldy King riding in on a white stallion, but Jesus rode in on a donkey.
The service ended at midnight. As is the tradition in our church, candles were passed out to everyone attending the service. After communion, the candles were lit from the aisle. Each person lit the candle of the person beside them. The Church lights were turned out. Kneeling in candlelight, everyone sang Silent Night. While the service is past my bedtime and I know what to expect, every year I am glad I attended. Attending the service with my husband was my favorite Christmas gift.
Christmas morning, after very little sleep, my husband treated our family to Christmas brunch. His parents, our children and grandson were with us. It’s always exciting watching the excitement of Christmas through the eyes of a child.
I look forward to reading about your Christmas celebrations. If you are working today, or returning gifts, be patient and kind. Be the person who lights up the room with God’s love. God bless you!
But now, O Lord, thou art our father;
We are the clay, and thou our potter;
And we all are the work of thy hand. Isaiah 64:8
Happy Tuesday. I spent yesterday resting and reading, and today I am ready to go.
Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. It’s a time of waiting with anticipation. So, I posed this question to my Sunday School class. If Jesus walked in the door right now, and you knew it was Jesus, what would you do? I often see images on television of a soldier coming home and surprising their family. The family cries with excitement as they hug their long awaited son, daughter, husband, wife, mother or father. Would you run up to Jesus and hug him? Would you fall on your knees in adoration? Would you hide?Would you feel dread and regret? What would you do? Mark 13:33 tells us to “take heed, watch and pray; for we know not when the time is.” Does this mean we should dread every day because the end might be near? No. It means be ready, get right with God and live your life as a joyful Christian. I can’t wait to wrap my arms around Jesus with excitement!
Share what you would do and have a great Tuesday! God bless you.
I promised my friend Hayley of Red Letters I would share this video of her singing and playing the song recorded by Hillsong. It is beyond beautiful. I’m blessed to have become friends with her over the past year. Enjoy.
And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8
Wednesday is here! Do you feel alive or do you feel like you are stuck in a depression or darkness from which you cannot return? Do you feel like life is weighing you down? Do you have trouble believing in God?
I’ve shared before that I am a morning person. I love mornings and it drives most people insane. To me it is a quiet time to pull myself together before I start my day. I get more done before 10:30 a.m. than I do the rest of the day. I also like the morning because the world is so beautiful. Have you ever watched the sunrise in the morning? It’s amazing. Where we live you can see the dew on the ground and on spider webs that have formed in the night. On top of all that, the wildlife is out. We’ve been watching a wild bunny in our yard, and nearly every morning we are serenaded by birds of one variety or another. Squirrels are chasing each other and teasing our dog. It’s just beautiful and very peaceful. The air feels full of hope and new. It’s an opportunity for a new beginning.
This morning when I was asking God to guide me through today’s post, Matt Maher’s song “Alive Again” came on the radio. Have you ever noticed how the last song you hear on the radio just kinda sticks with you all day? Well, that happened to me. So, I watched his video that tells the story behind the song. All I can say is Thank You God for leading me in this direction. I could totally relate to how Matt explains faith, and maybe that is another reason I like mornings. He explains how even when it is dark and the moon is still out, in the morning you can see light on the horizon. You can’t see the sun, but you can see it’s light. That’s what Jesus is to me. You can’t see the Son, but his light shines through everywhere.
Today, I encourage you to step out of the darkness, embrace the light of Christ and share is love with everyone you see. God bless you.
When you go through deep waters I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2
This morning I’m drinking my coffee watching the television coverage of Hurricane Harvey. My prayers are extended to families affected by the storm and for the safety of those in the storm’s path. Living in Florida I understand how destructive and frightening hurricanes can be. I urge anyone in danger to take the precautions local officials are issuing.
Have you ever been on such a tight schedule that you have every minute planned? Do you feel like unexpected events throw you off course? Well, say hello to my life! Yesterday, I had rescheduled my hair appointment and had plans to get my shopping done, get home early and start cleaning house for a birthday party. Instead, in the middle of washing out my hair color, I received an emergency call to pick up my nephew from school. My poor friend and hairdresser had to rush. Before it was over I picked up another nephew and a niece. My time was gone. Add to that, that the past just keeps swiping me in the face. Sometimes it’s more than I can tolerate alone. I’m so glad I’m never alone. God has me. Perhaps this is what I was born for – to help and provide comfort to those around me, even though, I’m probably more broken than the others. So, this morning I’m looking at my dirty house thinking “does it really matter how clean the house is?” I’m reminded of the story of Martha and Mary. Martha wanted everything to be perfect for Jesus, but Mary soaked up his attention, not wasting a moment. Yes, some cleaning and preparations need to be done, but at the end of the day, people matter most!
Today, I encourage you to take a step back and put your priorities into perspective. God bless you.
Encourage each other and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Good Morning! Have you ever been so excited that you just can’t wait for something to happen? Tomorrow we are giving my grandson a birthday party. He turned three on the 18th, but I’m still excited. Funny, when I was a child it seem to take so long for birthdays to come around. Now, birthdays come around way too fast. We are so blessed to be able to see the world through his eyes.
I’m beyond happy this morning, but everyone does not feel the same. If you know someone with struggles this morning, build them up. If you are struggling, know that everything is temporary. I love you and God loves you. Never give up.
For he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Happy Monday. I missed you guys so much. We live in a rural area and the Internet has been out in our neighborhood since Friday. We still don’t have Internet service, but I came to work early this morning so I could post.
My good news is you CAN live without the Internet! It’s amazing how much time I had this weekend. This experience made me realize that digital devices suck up your time. I spent time reading, swimming, cleaning house and just resting. It was awesome! Yet, I must admit that I missed the Internet. I couldn’t work on my classes, post in my blog, couldn’t read your blogs, or keep in touch with others (well except by the old fashion landline telephone method). It’s really funny how dependent we are on the Internet. When I was a child the closest thing to a computer, anyone I knew had, was a calculator. No one had cellular telephones. In fact, my grandmother was on a party landline telephone. You could pick up her phone and hear the neighbor’s talking. It is amazing how far we have come. That brings me today’s great event – the eclipse. I was in middle school during the last eclipse. We made special devices in science class so we could view it. God is the best artist!
Are you dreading the drama this morning? Is your work world full of stress? Is Monday your least favorite day of the week? Is there someone you just don’t want to see? Are you afraid others will learn secrets from your past or worst yet, present? You are not alone. Many people get physically ill on Monday mornings. Stress has been linked to physical and mental illnesses, which can shorten your life. We all have skeletons in our closet, people who give us a hard time, and drama we have to contend with, at least a little on Monday. It’s okay. It doesn’t matter how bad things are, let God’s light shine through you. Others will see God’s work in you. As Jason Gray sings “the more broke you are, the more the light gets through!” Isn’t that great! Be happy and thankful. Shine for the Lord in all you do today.
Happy Friday! It’s a beautiful day to spread God’s love. We all go through trials and tribulations in our life, but we know that we can turn to God at any time for strength. It’s so comforting to know that we can always count on him.
Have you ever thought of what it means to be “full of God”? It means that his glory just radiates through us all the time. We just glow when we are full of God, because his love is bubbling out of us. Sometimes I think that is all we need to do, and our life is a witness to others. It doesn’t mean that we never make mistakes. It just means that we have God beside us, and we will always overcome whatever trials we face with his help.
I am truly honored to have been nominated a second time for the Liebster Award. This time I was nominated by When I’m with You . . . Whitney Ibe Blog. The author (Whitney) of the Whitney Ibe Blog is upbeat and full of sunshine. Whitney’s positive outlook is inspiring and I love to read her posts. If you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to do so soon, because her inward and outward beauty sparkles through in her writing. Thank you for thinking of me Whitney.
The Liebster Award is an Internet Award given to bloggers by other bloggers. The German word “liebster” means: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, and sweetheart. The Award is a nice way to recognize and welcome new bloggers, while allowing others to discover them, as well.
The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:
1) Acknowledge the blog who nominated you for this award.
2) Answer 11 questions the blogger gave you.
3) Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4) Nominate 11 blogs.
5) Notify them.
6) Give them 11 questions to answer
What made you start blogging?I love to read and write. I’ve always wanted to write books. I love the Lord above all. When I was growing up I was taught to share God’s love with others. The church I attended called the sharing I’m referring to “witnessing”. I was taught that witnessing was wonderful and that we should share the gospel through our lives and words everywhere we go. The Bible talks about spreading the gospel. That is what I did.
Over time witnessing has become politically incorrect. As a supervisor at work I was told that I had to be careful about what I said because my workplace and I could be sued. I could lose my home if I mentioned God at work. I heard others say it wasn’t appropriate to say “Merry Christmas”. “Happy Holidays” was the correct holiday greeting. Well, if you have ever had God’s love inside you like I do, you will understand when I say I was about to explode. The funny thing is, I didn’t have to say anything because God’s love just radiates out of me. Over time I just became miserable. So, I sought out another way to spread God’s love, blogging. It helped me to feel more fulfilled. I felt a little like Jesus must have felt when he traveled home and his hometown rejected him, because most of my friends and family refused to look at my blog. I have been told “that was a coincidence, not a miracle,” “you are to legalistic,” and last week “you’re a fanatic”. This doesn’t bother me too much. I feel like it’s their loss. I pray that I will have the opportunity to write and publish books in the future?
If you could visit any country in the world, which would you visit?I love to travel. If I could go anywhere, I’d visit the Holy Lands first. Books, Maps, Photography and Internet information is wonderful and I’m thankful, but nothing is quite like seeing and experiencing places first hand. I want to go to the places we read about in our Bibles.
What is your favorite food? Anything my husband cooks is my favorite food! He’s an amazing chef! I am especially fond of fish.
What is your favorite sport? I’m not a big sports fan. I enjoying watching my college alma mater football team play (Florida State). I also enjoy watching figure skating, and swimming and diving teams. During warmer months I swim and I walk year round.
Do you prefer digital or physical books? Both. It’s a wonderful convenience to be able to bring hundreds of books on a phone or tablet with you everywhere you go. It’s awesome. However, I still like to hold a book in my hands. I make notes in my Bible, so that I can pass them down. Likewise, I have a digital and physical planner. To me it sometimes seems like the digital world is fragile. I often think of the loss of information in the library of Alexandria.
What is the biggest problem you encounter while writing? I want my writing to be perfect grammatically, and inspirationally. The days I feel my writing falls short, seem to be the days I have the most positive comments.
What color are your eyes? Green. Most of the time the whites of my eyes are red from Sjogren’s Syndrome, which makes them look even greener. I’ve had people tell me that my eyes look like they are bleeding sometimes.
Recount a brief childhood story. What happened? When I was a teenager I worked for the County School Board one summer giving swimming lessons. Five days a week my parents would drop me off at 6:30 in the morning to catch a bus that would take me and a few other brave teens to Blue Springs. Blue Springs has ice-cold water in the middle of the day. When we arrived the sun wasn’t high in the sky yet, and the trees shaded the edges of the swimming area. So, most days we spent half of the time trying to get wet above the knees.
The children we were teaching varied in size from kindergarten to I haven’t been able to graduate yet. So, some of my students were larger in stature than I was. In the middle of the swimming area was a floating dock about fifty to seventy-five feet from the surrounding three shorelines. All the experienced swimmers would hang out in the middle. So, it was my goal to have my students swimming to the dock and back by the end of the summer. The problem was most of the students couldn’t put their face in the crystal clear water when they started lessons, and the shorelines dropped to about twenty-five feet deep about ten feet away from the shore.
All summer I worked with the students until the last week of lessons had arrived. I was determined that I would have at least one student swimming to the dock successfully. However, I only had one who could dog paddle a few feet. On the last day of lessons I looked up into the eyes of my six-foot tall most successful student and proudly proclaimed “today you will graduate because you are going to swim to the dock! Isn’t that great!” He shook and looked worried. So I reassured him by saying “don’t worry, I’ll be right beside you and I can save you if you can’t make it.” I was about five foot three and weighed a little less than a hundred pounds. My student looked to be about three hundred pounds. I wasn’t worried at all though. He could dog paddle now.
We made our way side by side toward the floating dock. I was glowing with pride. After all, I had taught this football player to swim. As soon as we were about waist deep, he began to panic. So, I told him to just stand up. That should have been my sign to turn back, but I was convinced he could do it, and I was a “good” swimmer who had mastered life saving techniques. We continued across. It wasn’t long before the water was deep and my student knew it. He was on top of me like I was a floating log. It’s times like these that you realize the lifeguard’s are also students, who in this case were obviously not paying attention because they would have seen me bobbing up and down with a football player on my back. I’m guessing he wasn’t as popular as he thought either, because no one was trying to save him. Finally, I slapped him as hard as I could and said, “get a hold of yourself, the water is only a foot deeper than your height. If you go down, you can jump up off the bottom.” I don’t really know why he believed this, because if you looked down, the water was clear enough to see that it was easily twenty feet deep where we were swimming.
So, we kept inching towards the dock, with my student trying to drown me. I was thinking that I probably needed to ask for assistance to get him back to the shore, if we survived the trip over. Suddenly, he began to swim with great vigor. I looked at him and realized he was looking at a beautiful face on the dock. The girl waved and smiled. I guess you could say he didn’t want to seem embarrassed, because he pointed at me and said, “hey, I’m teaching this girl how to swim. I’ll be there in a minute. She’s having trouble.” I couldn’t believe my ears. I started to speak and he said “shut up. Just get me there and I will find my own way back.” That day I learned that love will find a way. He made it to the dock and spent the remainder of the time with this young lady. Then, he swam back to the shore. The best part of this story is the two later married and are still married today.
What type of music do you like to listen to? This is a tough question for me. I love praise, gospel, hymns, pop, 70’s and 80’s tunes, and classical music. I like some country music.
Do you collect anything? If so, what is it? Yes. I love books.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself writing books, teaching and comforting others. In my free time, I will spend time with my family.
But the LORD stood with me and gave me strength. 2 Timothy 4:17
I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Saturday. My sweet grandson has spent the day with me while his mom sleeps. She’s a working nurse on midnight shift. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with him all day, but the LORD gave me strength.
A few days ago I was provided an opportunity to do something I have wanted to do and prayed about for many years, teach Sunday School. Isn’t that great? I feel like this opportunity is something God is providing me, and conversely I think I might be an answer to someone else’s prayer. So, what’s holding me back? Only one thing, am I able to make the commitment physically? I know it sounds like virtually no exertion is involved, but for me just getting there takes a great deal of effort, and I want to honor my commitments. I know the answer, but hesitate because I know I have limitations. I also know that God will let me run around in circles like the Israelites in the desert as long as I can, but avoiding the opportunity only hurts me. So, I will ask God to stand with me and give me strength. Have you ever been in a similar situation? Please share.