"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you 'til it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer,never give up then,for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."
I will begin my entry with a verse from Luke 10:41-42.It says this: "The Lord said to her,My dear Martha,you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about.Mary has discovered it,and it will not be taken away from her."Are you Mary,sitting at the feet of Jesus learning,or are you a Martha doing all you can do,and trying to get all the details in life right? If I am honest,I have to say I want the heart of Mary,but get caught up in the details of life,and end up being Martha in this world. Here Mary was letting go of all the STUFF,and spending time with Jesus,and Martha is in the kitchen and running through the house trying to get all the things done.I think she thought she would make Him proud of her if she completed all she thought she had to do.How do we get so mixed up in this world? I want to sit at the feet of my Savior,and learn all I can about Him,but I struggle so much with trying so hard to make all things perfect,and pleasing to God. When we read this beautiful story of these two sisters, who couldn't be more different,it is a picture of our lives. As I read this story today again,it made me realize I have to let go of all the STUFF,and just turn to Jesus and listen to Him speak to me. In life we get so caught up in making things the way they should be,and then upset when they are not. We just have to let it all go,and put our trust and hope in Jesus.Live for Him,and let Him care for all the rest.All that stuff was not meant for us to handle alone.Mary had it so right.She didnt waste time with the little stuff,or even the big.She loved and trusted Jesus enough to know that He was what is really important,and He will take care of the rest. Martha was like a buzzing bee,moving around like a mad woman trying to make things perfect.I think she learned from Mary that day,just as I have learned again to just let it all go.
Do you ever feel like your wandering in the desert like an Israelite? I do,sometimes on a daily basis. The Israelites were blessed by God so many times,and would follow Him,then turn away,and wander trying to find their own way.God was leading them,He was loving them,but still they kept turning away on their own.I don't want to walk in the desert any longer.I feel like I have been there long enough trying to find my way through all the pain,and hurt of this world. We are just like the Israelites.They see Gods blessings and know He is there,then for some reason they turn away and try to make their own way.It never worked for them,so why is it so hard for us to grasp this? As mothers,and as women we are nurturing,we are fixers,we see things and we think we know how they should be done.We see the wrongs and want to make it right.That isn't our job.That job belongs to God,and only Him.If we are loving Him with all our hearts,His love will shine through us,and He and He alone will make things new,and bright.He will bless us.It may not be with the worldly things we so are after,but it will be blessings in our hearts.We shouldn't be lost, the only compass we need is Christ. He will lead the way out of the desert if we will get out of the way and allow Him to do His will and way,only then will we see what He is doing,and feel the blessings of our Father by knowing we are fearfully and wonderfully made,and putting all our trust in Him,and Him alone. The desert is a lonely place,full of hurt and burdens we just keep carrying through the desert that makes our trip that much harder.It is time to let all the hurt and burdens go,lighten our load,and let Jesus carry all that we were never meant to carry.Have you been in the desert too long as I have? Its time to turn our sandels in a new direction,and let Him lead us out.
Remember the saying"sticks and stones may break my bones,but words will never hurt me",well that is just simply untrue.Words cut deep down into our soul.A bruise quickly heals over time,but words cut way too deep and are not forgotten so easily.In scripture it tells of fools speaking without thought.It tells of people who are quick tempered,and it tells of how we should speak only things that bring praise and honor to God.In Proverbs 15:1 it says,"A soft answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger."If we go on down and read verse 2 it says,"The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness." We should think before we speak.If we simply do not have something nice to say to someone,or words to lift them up,we should just completly close our mouths. Words are a gift from the Lord.With our words we can share the gospel,we can lift a spirit,we can calm a hurting person,we can use our words wisely.If we do not choose our speech,and think upon what we say,we can hurt many loved ones,even strangers. Our words should be an example,showing Godly character. When we choose to cut another one down,we quickly kill their spirit. Although we forgive,words are not easily forgotten.It is words that we often remember about a person. It is the words that we use that often give a glimpse into our relationship with the Lord.We need to care about those we are speaking to.Love does not from hateful words,it is a seed of satan to destroy anothers.Love is sharing beautiful words with others,and talking with patience,and kindness. My mother always said she would rather someone just spit on her,or hit her,instead of saying unkind words. She would say the bruise would heal,but words can cause your heart to hurt forever.I agree with my mom. In this she was very wise,knowing from experience just what words can do to our soul. We cannot change others,or the way they choose to live or speak,but we can change how we speak and react to those who are hurting us with words. We can still show them Jesus,by having a soft answer,or just no answer at all.Fools tend to speak without thinking,and continue to talk without even caring what their words are really saying.I think even Thumper said it best,"If you cant say something nice,dont say nothing at all."
There is a saying that our eyes are the windows of a persons soul. Have you ever just gone window shopping? We go and look into the windows,and see things that make us stir.Things that grab our attention,or make us take a second look.Have you seen the movies where some lost soul is peering into the window of a family having a wonderful time at Christmas? When something happens outside at my mothers retirement complex,all the people go to their windows looking to see what has happened. We clean our windows so we can see clearly all that is outside. There is somethings intriguing about looking in others windows.We watch to see how others are living,we watch to see what is on sale,we observe the neighbors through our windows. It is so interesting to look at others,and at the things that make us dream.It is much easier to look out the windows of our soul,than to peer inside ourselves.It is much easier to take a glimpse of someone,and see how we may do things different.It is much easier to judge someone just by peeking in,and not seeing the whole view.Something obstrucks our view when looking in our own windows. Many times we only see what we what to see.We place things in our lives that make our windows look better.We can move things around to make it look more inviting.So those who are looking through the glass seem to think that everything is great inside,but in reality our glass is not crystal clear.We let others see what we want them to see,and keep the real stuff hidden from view.If God were on the other side of the glass what would He see? Would He see the real you? Do we even see the real us,or do we just keep decorating,and moving things around so things look neat and tidy?Its hard to keep our windows clean and keep all the smears off,so its easy to see through.We need to stop looking outside our windows,and take a deep look inside.We often look at other windows and wish we had those things,or that perfect life.Many times we have many blessings inside,but we are so blinded by what is on the outside we forget what is placed right in front of us.We need to stop window shopping,and start looking at what we have. We don't need to shop for more,we just need to take a better glimpse of what we already have.
Sometimes in life we are blessed with special moments that we wish we could capture for ever,some are on video,some in pictures,but the best are just close in our heart,and kept as memories forever. I think of all the little things my children did.Bringing me dandilions,little flowers from the yard,bringing me ragweed to put in a vase that I was severly allergic to.The times when they are sleeping with such peace on their faces, when they eat icecream,and it ends up all over them,when they color you that beautiful picture,that you have to ask,"What is this?" When you hear them pray for the first time all on their own. When they start to crawl,and move all over. When they lose that first tooth,and get that first haircut.When you first hear the words,I love you mommy. When they stand for each other,and cry when a brother or sister are hurting. There are so many priceless moments with our children that only last for a blink of an eye,and then they are grown.How did it happen so fast? Right before our eyes they grew into beautiful women and men.Each moment we have with them is priceless. Nothing can compare to seeing your child smile,and light up the room with laughter. These moments only last for awhile,and each has her own special moments to share.God has given us such a special gift, the love of our children,and a memory to catch a glimpse every now and then, when we pass by something and it brings a memory,or even just a smell, or a date. If we only knew then just how fast time would go by,we may have held them longer,hugged a little deeper,gave a few more butterfly kisses,and held each moment just a little longer in our minds. Take time with your children,give all you can give,and never take a moment for granit, for each moment with them is priceless.
This morning a friend gave me a piece of information from a story that blessed my heart. As parents,friends,family,the special people in our lives come in,we sometimes feel that all we have done or said gets overlooked,even unnoticed by those we love and are trying to reach. We often think no one hears us or even cares to listen to our advice. Maybe the love we have given is not received. We tend to ask,"Where are you God?"We sometimes think that all we are doing is for what? But as my friend showed me,God is working behind the scenes,and putting together a beautiful creation that is in progress. It often takes awhile for this to be seen. All the things we do may go unnoticed by others,but the Lord sees all we do,and He knows our hearts.He is creating,and using us for His construction team. We have to keep in mind that although many things are unseen,they are still there,and are at work in the hearts of others. Our efforts to share love, to raise our children in Godly standards,to share with the co-worker that is lost,to do all those things that go unseen,just like our prayers,God knows and He sees all things. Lets remember,it doesnt matter if we get credit for something,if someone notices the work we have put in,or if others just turn away. Our efforts are not in vain. God takes all those that we do for Him,and uses them for His glory. It may take along time to get the project finished,but its those that take the most time,and giving the love,and praying ceasingly,that produces the greatest creations for Gods glory.The next time you see a beautiful cathedral, or something that took years to build,think of thats how God works inside our hearts. We are a work in progress, and His creations are the most beautiful.Thank you to my friend who sent me the wonderful story. It is people like her,sharing blessings that help us grow,and turn in to that beautiful creation that God is using His hands to build with the help of loving people with hearts open to Him.
One of the hardest things in life is to let go of the ones we love,or something very dear to our hearts. Our hearts were made to love and to cherish ones we have passing in our path. God brings so much beauty to our lives.The thing is,it is His to give,and His to take. Sometimes letting go of a person,or a situation is the hardest things we do,but letting go and giving everything to the Lord,gives us a peace that we do not fully understand,but it is a sweet peace,that can only come from Him. Many times we may want to pick it up again,and do so if the Lord is telling us to do that,but if not,we need to let it go and trust in the Lord that all will be accomplished for His glory. He never said our lives would be without pain and hurt.Some just choose never to love,or let anyone in because they are afraid of hurt.What a sad way to live,and miss out on all the special things God has in store for us. Letting go,and trusting is not always easy.We know what should be,and how it should be,or so we think,but God knows best,and we have to remember everything is in Gods timing,not ours. The next time we are struggling,just let go,and trust in God.His hand is in everything,nothing passes through Him,without His knowledge,and we as His children must obey His words,although we may not understand everything at the time,God will share one day,and we will see what He has been doing all around us. Prayer is our closest way to knowledge,and understanding,if we will just quiet ourselves,and allow our hearts to hear Him,we too will be blessed. Don't be afraid to let go,and trust. No one else loves us more,or knows our needs more than our loving Savior.
If we do not have hope,then what really do we have? Nothing. Hope in Christ,and knowing He is in control of all things, is reasurring to me. It is comforting to know that we can have hope in Christ. If I had to wake tomorrow without Christ in my life, I'm not sure I would want to go on in this world. He gives us our paths, He sets His purpose infront of us. All we have to do is follow.We can follow in hope. He has our best interests at heart,He doesn't want us to hurt,He wants us to grow. Jeremiah 29:11.We can close our eyes at night,and know that God has His hand in everything.Nothing goes past Him, without His knowledge. We must open our hearts, and our hands,and give all to Him, and trust Him with our lives. I couldn't live without hope. Some put their hope in others, some put their hope in money or the stock market. Some put their hope in gaining fame, others put their hope in themselves,thinking all their gifts are because of themselves. We put our hope in a new president, a new government for change. Some even put their hope in horiscopes letting them know their future. Only God knows our future, only He knows what is to come. Only God is there all the time,at anytime. Don't put your hope in the things of this world. Put your hope in Christ,and watch how He moves you, and leads you through the trials of this life. We make things harder than they really are,with Gods hope, all is possible. He is giving us hope, are we taking it,or are we placing our hope in other things?
"But god demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."Just think how much God loves us, to die for sinners, for those so undeserving. His love covers all, His blood was our sacrifice, Him on the cross, dieing, was for us, so that we might have life.Jesus gave all He had to give to the people of this world, the people He loves. He was willing to follow God through to the end, which is really a beginning for us. We can see His love everyday around us. In the eyes of a child, the birth of a baby, the loving words of a friend,the tender touch of our husbands hand, the giving of others, the love pouring out of our Father is all around us. From the simple to the hardest trial in our lives, God is there with us to shine through. Why? There is only one simple answer. Love. Uncondisional love, freely given, and for all if they will only accept His love.
" I beseech you therefore, bretheren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Let us stand out, let others see the change in us. Let us move by the spirit as He molds us and changes us for His glory. We can resist temptation, and the things of this world by renewing our minds, and allowing Christ to mold us. We need to think upon things that are pure,and pleasing to God, letting all the worldly desires go. I want this kind of walk with my Savior. I desire to know Him more,and to learn from His ways, not the worlds. Let us remember to look away from temptation, and look toward God for strength to renew our minds for His glory.
Spring is such a beautiful time of year. All things are coming back to life.We can hear the frogs chirpping, the robin's are out in wonder, the rabbits are all in the yard, the deer are becoming mothers.The trees are budding,and beginning to bloom. The tulips,and daffodils are all ready to show their glory at Easter. The grass is green again,and the smell of fresh cut grass grabs your nose. The rain showers that come, are comforting, for we know it is giving life to Gods creation. It is a time to see rainbows, beautiful sunsets,and taking breaks out on the decks of friends with laughter. The whole view is changing. Butterflies, dragonflies, and bumblebees, are fluttering, and buzzing around. Its time to go to the zoo again, take a trip to the park with a great book in hand. It is a time of new beginnings, when all of Gods glory is sprouting new. You can open the windows and feel the fresh air. Hanging the sheets,and towels out once again to smell fresh and new. Yes, spring is beautiful, a new beginning. To wake an see the sun coming in, should let us know that God is all around us. Its time for walks in the woods, seeing the dogwoods come to life,and all the creatures of Gods design. We can take this new time, this new day,and begin fresh ourselves. Giving a new outlook on life, beginning a friendship, a new job, making amends with others who have left our fold. So many new things are possible with God at our side, and showing His love for beauty all around us. For if God can show us all this beauty, just think how much He loves and cares for us. His creation proves His majesty,His Glory,and His love. Let us look at this new season, as a new season of growth for us also. Let us look more closely at Him,and in a new,bright way,full of love,and thankfulness. If He can give Himself to us freely, show us His wonder in His creation, He is worthy of our love. Changes take place right under our noses during spring, we can watch them with our own eyes. Like a beautiful spring tulip budding out,and ready to shine, let us have that same wonder and awe for our Savior, and allow changes in us, and let Him shine through us also.
I found a verse this morning from 1 Corinthians 10:31a.It says"Therefore, whether you eat or drink,or whatever you do,do all for the glory of the God." I had to ask myself this question of whether I do that or not. Do I at times do things for selfish reasons? Do I do everything with wanting to bring glory and honor to God? In our lives it is so easy to get bogged down with so many things we forget why we are doing them in the first place. That is our purpose on earth,to bring glory and honor to God. So why do we seem to be moving away from that? We tend to put people on a pedistal, and raise them up.We tend to look at others,and see their talents, and want ours to shine also. Why do we want them to shine? Is it for God or is it for us? I taught my children when they were small, whether they were doing the dishes, taking out the trash, cleaning their rooms, or doing homework. Do all things as though we are doing them for Christ,and take ourselves and our gain out of the picture. When we can totally focus on Him,and Him alone, we are blessing Him. When we take ourselves,and our wants out of the picture,we are blessing Him. When we step up to the plate,and stand for others,we are giving Him glory. When we take time to touch others in a special way, we are blessing our Lord. He gave us the greatest example,why is it so hard for us to follow? For me, I have to keep my wants and needs in check. I have to remember daily my purpose,and to keep myself out of the picture. It is hard sometimes, the world teaches us that its all about us,and we deserve everything we can get. The world teaches that its okay to climb our way to the top, no matter who gets in our way. The world shows us pictures of families on television,degrading the father and making him look dumb, making the woman think she can do all,and be all, and she needs no one to help her. She is self absorbed with just me. The kids we see are always doing there own thing, often telling the parents how it should be. If this is the example the world is giving, can that possibly give an glory to God? I remember the "Waltons", "Little House on the Prairie", and other family shows, that they were a real family, showing love,and concern,and giving God glory in all they did. When the world started taking God out of everything, so many followed. Where are we in that stand? Are we making a difference, being an example,and showing the way? Life wasn't more simple long ago, it was hard, they worked as a family, they worshipped the Lord,and gave Him glory. We are not busier today than they were long ago, if anything we can say we have grown lazy,and selfish. The world is selfish,and thinking only of me. As I read that scripture today, I had to really think, is my heart in the right place,and am I giving all to him, and am I praising Him for all I have? Am I doing everything for the Lord,and putting my own selfish desires aside? I think this is a daily battle we fight with the armor of God. We have to die to ourselves daily,and remember who we are. We are children of God. For all He did for us, He deserves our best,not what we have left over. Too many times we take the best,and give Him what time we have left. I want the world to look at me,and see something different. I want the world to see Christ through me,and the only way that will happen is if I die to myself, and put God where He belongs. First in my life,and then all things will fall into place. The Lord touches us through many people,places and things in our lives. Blessings are all around us, if we will just open our eyes and see them. Today, in all I do, I pray I give glory to God in all things,in my laughter, my tears,my pain,and the trials of life. I pray I can see when I am wrong,and allow the Lord to put me on the right path. What about you? What do you want to give to the Lord today? Lets give Him our best,our love,and our praise for everything that enters our lives.
"I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my strength come from? My help comes from the Lord,the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber, indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you-the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm-He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." We need never to be afraid, nor should we question where our daily needs will come from. Whenever we feel lost,or alone. When things seem to be rough, when we cannot know what is to come, all we have to do is look to our Lord, for He, and He alone will give us all we need, and will give us the strength to get through that valley. Our circumstances change daily, but the Lord is always the same, never changing, but wanting to be our tower of refuge, and our source of strength. All we have to do is call upon His name.
Today while at home in my christian shirt and p.j pants, someone comes to the door. I see them pull in the drive, and start getting out. Two women and a little girl, probably in kindergarden or so. I think to myself, okay, I know who they are,and what they are doing. They came to the door with their books in hand, and I knew just by looking at them, what they were here for. They were Jehovah Witness' , they were here to share their faith with me. It was a family, a grandmother, mother, and daughter. They were dressed so nicely,and spoke with such love and care. The little one read a scripture to me, and shared that God loved me. She was a beautiful little girl, with her bible open, ready to share with me. I shared my faith with them, sharing in my christian shirt, I told them I am a christian, I believe that Jesus is my Savior, He came and died for my sins, and was coming again. I said, we have hurt, sickness,and war because of the sin in the world. I shared that I loved the Lord,and she agreed with the things I said. She even thanked me, for my honesty,and for being kind. She wanted to leave behind a book, I simply told her no thank you, all I need is my bible. They smiled and left, got in their car,and drove away. On to their next house I am sure. They were filled with so much joy,and they were ready to share with me, a total stranger. They cared enough to share the faith they hold so dear to them. As they left, I sat thinking, am I a christian who really is giving my all for God? As I sat, it just came so clear to me, that I am not doing all I should be doing for my Lord and Savior. I stand for the truths, I share, I give, I try to follow the Lord daily,but is that all I am to do for my God? I had to be honest with myself,and say I have never gone to a strangers door,and tried to share the gospel. I had to be honest,and say, I don't even share everywhere I go. Am I the example Christ has called me to be? No, I am not. Although I do not share in their beliefs, they are doing what I am not. They get in their car, and travel from place to place, meet people who are not so nice, and don't even really know what to expect when they knock on someones door. This left me feeling like a closet christian, one who says I am willing to give my all, share, and love no matter what the cost. But, thats not who I really am. We can put on our christian shirts,our necklaces, and go to church, but am I really walking the walk, and talking the talk? This family was an inspiration to me. They put their fears aside,leave satan in the dust, and they go,and go, telling everyone they meet about their faith. I had to ask myself,how many times have I had the opportunity to share,and I let it pass? How many times could I have prayed over a person, and let it go. I may have prayed to Christ quietly about them, but how much more amazing would it be for me to touch someone, and pray over them, giving them a special blessing and showing them who Jesus is? I want to be a Paul for Christ, I want to have the heart of David, and serve the Lord. I need to do more, I need to reach out more, touching others with God's love, and not letting my fears get in the way, or letting my selfish needs cover me. It was an eye opening day for me, a day when a little stranger had the love inside her to share with me, that God loves me. I want to be that little girl, with a child like faith. I want to live for Christ and give my all. How can I do that if I just sit by, and expect others to do it? In matthew28:16-20, we have the great commision set for us by Christ. It tells us to GO, and make discipiles of all nations. It tells us to teach them to obey everything God commands us. That everything is not just the things we want to do, we cannot pick and choose. We have to choose all or nothing. I cannot just give when I have time,or for those I love. The great commision was set for all to obey, for us to go and tell the gospel, sharing it with everyone we meet. I know I have wasted opportunites, I know I have let God down, for I have not been giving my all. We tend to give our all for those things important to us. This should be important enough to change us today. If we look around and see all the horror that takes place daily, watch the news and get a glimpse that our world needs Christ. How else are they going to know, unless we teach them, unless we share what we know to be true of Gods word? I want to hear my Father say, well done my good and faithful daughter. I know today, I have not given my all for Him, and am so ashamed. I should be knocking on doors, I should be out there sharing with the world. Not just concerned for my family and friends. One person can change many, it takes one to start the walk,wasn't Jesus that one person, who gave His all, and is the same yesterday, today,and tomorrow? This family made an impact on my life today, and I thank them for waking me from slumber. I thank God for sending them, and showing me in love that I can do more for Him. Christianity is not a religion, its a personal relationship with Christ. I want to make that deeper. I have been reading my bible, studying at church, doing a devotional. Why? So I can keep all that I learn to myself? We are to share what we have learned, and what we have in our hearts. We are to walk the walk, and talk the talk. Why do I wear a christian shirt, if I am not willing to give it my all? God gave us a purpose, and in that purpose it is to share the gospel. We need to do that with our hearts, and our feet in motion, how else will the lost know, if we do not show them the way? One little girl, had a precious gift today, to tell me that I was loved. What is standing in our way? That one little girl made a change in me today. What will it take to change us all, and give our all to Jesus?
As we fall in love with our best friend.On that day when they ask for our hand,and we say yes, we wait for that day that we stand before Christ to take those precious vows of marriage together. We take those vows,look into each others eyes,and promise to cherish, to love and to honor. We pray for that day,and for the rest of our lives, that we will be strong in our faith, letting nothing get in our of our love. We remind ourselves of that three strands of love tied together forever. In those strands, in the middle,is that strand of the Lord. We build our lives on a Godly foundation, living for Him,not ourselves. We promise to totally knock ourselves out for the other, promising never to keep score, and too be holy with one another. We look deep into one anothers eyes, saying the words, meaning the words, and praying for God to lead us. We hold hands with one another, promising to never take for granit the other, promising to always love one another. We share this moment in time before God, our family,and friends. Where do things go wrong? When do we stop giving all we have for the other? When do we take the other for granit? When do we start to think about ourselves first, and not the other? When do we let things come between us? When do we let go of that third strand holding us together? When do we just become so self absorbed that we lose track of ourselves,and forget how the other one feels? When do we stop saying "I'm sorry"? When do we really start to complain about the other,sharing with our friends how we really feel? Is it this world that changes us? The influence of other people? Is it that we just keep searching in all the wrong places for happiness? I think that is it. We tend to think the other is there to make us happy,and meet all our needs. That is Gods job. Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes by circumstances. Joy, that is something in our hearts that stays no matter what circumstances come. When we lose our relationship with Christ, everything starts to fall apart. We take our eyes off of Him, and put them on ourselves, forgetting the vows. We become selfish,not considering how the other feels, and we are no more trying to give 100% to our marriage, but to our desires of the world. Marriage is to be held precious, to be held at a high standard. When we let satan in,he will take peice, by peice of our lives, and soon before we know it we have fallen from our marriage into the arms of another. We begin not to see straight anymore, we cannot see what is true,and promising, we look the other way so we don't have to feel the pain of the other. We push the other away, so we don't have to see our guilt,and our shame. When do we forget to look up, look up to Christ as our Father, and our guide, and as our Savior? This world is full of evil, desires, and temptations. We must be strong and stand together, remembering those vows we took on that special day so long ago, that we couldn't wait for. The day we dreamed of, planned for, and shared with everyone. When will this world see the wrong in falling away from that promise, and notice that satan is there waiting to pounce on the weak, on those who have not made God their number one? Vows are to be held so sweetly,don't let them fall away, have hope, stand and fight for those vows. The only thing that should stand between you and your spouse is our Holy Savior.
I have always loved butterflies and drangonflies. The intricate beauty,the delicate wings, the magistic flight. The butterfly and dragonfly both go through a metamorphosis. The butterfly goes through four changes,and the dragonfly goes through three. I was always just amazed at their beauty. My children always caught them when they were young,looked at their beauty,and let them go. I used to swim alot at a friends house,and the dragonflies would land on my tummy,and I would just sit and watch them.They have a peacefulness,a quietness about them.They seem to flutter all around with such joy. When you learn of the changes that take place within them,and knowing they first were little fuzzy catapillers, makes me look at my walk with Christ. As we start out on our walk,we too look like those fuzzy catapillers, just traveling along,trying to find our way. Then once we come to know Christ,He starts changing us. we move from looking for our way, to Him leading us,and we start our own metamorphosis. We begin to change. We go through stages of growth as a christian,just as the butterfly goes through theirs. We start out a little fuzzy, then we move closer to where God wants us to be. Once we begin our changing for God, the beauty starts to shine through,and soon we too, can take flight. We soon know where we are going and what we are to do. As He changes us, molding our hearts, just as the butterfly soon comes out of his chrysalis, we too lose our old way, we shake off the old fuzziness,and begin to spread our wings. God watches over us, as we begin to take flight. Our beauty now can shine so well, and so clearly, I believe nothing is more beautiful for Christ than to see His children take flight, and let their beauty be seen all over the world. If you watch the butterfly long enough,you will see him flying, fluttering from flower to flower. You can even see them together. That is how we should be, sharing, and going from place to place, allowing others to be touched by the beauty of our Savior.
As a person who loves to read, I go to the book stores alot. I search for the authors names, I see what is new on the shelves. Many times we look at a cover and it looks inviting,but once we start to read, we find out its not at all what it seemed to be. Sometimes we look on the back cover to read what the book is about, but even then it still is not what it seemed to be. I have gotten books that I picked up because the cover looked good, it looked fresh,and inviting. I have made that mistake many times, judging the book by the cover. Sometimes I even get a book, take it home,and start reading the first chapter,if it doesnt captivate me soon, I put it down and pick up another. That too, is a mistake. Sometimes it takes more than that first chapter to let us see the full picture of what is happening. Many times we do not see it until we get in the middle of the book. As we get to the end,things start picking up,and we finally see the truth of the matter. I have picked up books, and thought, okay, I will keep reading and see where this takes me. It is a blessing.Many times the blessing is hiding somewhere not on the cover,but in the middle. Books are full of pages, chapters, sequels. The saying "Never judge a book by its cover", is true. Some covers are beautiful, but they lack fulfillness. Just because the cover looks good, doesnt mean the book is going to be great. It takes alot of reading sometimes to understand the whole story, you cannot just skim through it, without leaving something behind. The next time you pick up a book, don't just look at the cover, or see how many pages it has. Look for a while, dig deep into the story,and see what you can find.
My husband tilled up our garden spot just a few days ago. I know this was hard for him,for he has a very bad shoulder, that needs surgery. I know it was painful for him to plow the garden. It is that time of year when the soil needs plowed, needs fertilizer, and much to begin to plant. We have to plow up the dirt first before we plant the seed. We have to bring in fertilizer before the seeds are in. We have to prepare the soil, the ground for all that we will plant. Some plant big gardens, some small, just enough for their family. We plant the seed, make sure it has lots of sunlight, water,and the plants need air. They need room to grow. We have to make sure the seed is spread apart, and it is deep down in the soil. It has to take root to grow properly. A garden is so beautiful, it is so full, and with all the different colors it makes it more so. You have to make sure you use the right tools, and tend to it everyday, picking out all the weeds, making sure they will not choke the plants. My husband loves the vegtables, me,I love the flowers. They both have their own beauty. It will take alot to keep our garden growing, we cannot just leave it to itself. It needs help,and love along the way. We can learn alot about our lives, our foundation, our truths, how to share Gods word, how to grow with the Lord ourselves, just by watching the garden. It is amazing how God has given us so much, He has given us great things to learn. We can learn by His creation,and by seeing all the beauty around us. I have learned we have to dig deep many times to make a difference. We have to put forth the sweat of our brow, through prayer, and love. For us to plant the seed in others, we first have to make sure our garden is ready, and growing steady. We can share with others how we keep the sin, the weeds, out of our garden. Its funny, everyone has their own way of planting, we can learn and share with each other, on how to really make the seed grow,and mature. The best part is bringing in the harvest. We bring in the best of our crops, we give them away, we share them with many. I enjoyed watching my husband with the plow, watching him till the garden. I imagine our father enjoys watching us tend to His garden, and helping it grow.
Sometimes we get lost in who likes me, why are they mad at me, what did I do wrong, am I doing enough for others, can I do things different? There are so many questions we ask ourselves. So many times we are disappointed in ourselves,and others. We seem to just want peace and joy, love and forgiveness. We tend to look for these qualities in people,and in ourselves. These are wonderful qualities to have,but none of us can do 100% all the time, and none of us are perfect. We lose friends, family,and sometimes we lose ourselves in all the pain,hurt,and junk around us. One thing I do know, no matter what, Jesus loves me. He is there for me, He will never leave me, nor forsake me. He loves me just how I am,and doesn't expect me to change, He will do that work in me. He knows I'm not perfect, He knows I try my best,when for others it is not enough. He knows my darkest and deepest thoughts. He is the one person who I can truelly count on. I cannot put my faith in people I love, I cannot expect them to be perfect. Jesus took care of all that on the cross. He would have gotten on that cross if it was just me. How many people do we know that can say they would do that for us? I feel Him with me everyday. I can call upon His name,and He will answer.I can still crawl upon His lap,and speak to Him like no other. He listens, and is never too busy. He never calls me names, He never stays away. He is always near me, wanting to be with me more. Jesus gave His all for me and for you. He is preparing a wonderful place for us to live with Him. No worries of this world, no one can take Jesus away from me, and no one can judge me,and take my name out of His book. He loves us so much, He is giving a party with an r.s.v.p. I have answered mine, how about you? He loved me, before I ever loved Him, He called me, before I shouted out His name. What an awesome God we have, who will love us no matter what, and take us like we are. I can praise Him everyday, for the love He gives that no other can give, and He gives it to me,one who is so undeserving, but by His mercy and grace, He loves me.
Last night my friend and I finished our redoing of our bathroom at church. We also finished cleaning out our decorating room, where we keep all of our things. It took awhile to complete. It took hard work and sweat. It took standing back and looking at things more than once.Its funny,when we finished decorating the bathroom,we turned the light off,and closed the door,so others would be surprised when they entered.But we stood there and opened the door,flicked on the light at least four or five times,just to see it for ourselves. The change that had taken place. The new look. Last week, even a little girl came in the bathroom,when it wasn't completed yet,and said ,"wow,what happend in here?" It was great, that even a little girl noticed the change before it was done. We even stood in awe of our new cleaned out closet. We just stood and looked at the progress that was made. We were proud,but humbled that we were able to do this work. This is like our lives also. The bathroom started out not looking so great, but with each step, it looked more beautiful. The changes that take place in our lives,and the trials that come, move us, they mold us into who Christ wants us to be. We can stand a little redecorating, some moving around of stuff,and some changes.We are not a finished work yet. Christ is still working on us, teaching us, molding us to look more like Him, more beautiful. As those changes start to take place in our lives, just the little things,people notice,just like the little girl,noticing the bathroom. As we allow those changes to come, we look more beautiful, and God stands back, takes another look at what He has created, and I believe He stands in awe sometimes at what takes place. It starts in our hearts,and works outward. Although we are not anywhere near finished, God is still working on His masterpieces. As we were proud of the work we had done in the bathroom,and closet,just think how proud our Father is when we allow Him to do His work through us. Others will too,stand back and take another look,and say something is different, and be in awe of Gods glory.
Do you know anyone who loves to clean? Well, I do. Yes, I have a friend who loves to clean. I think she would clean all day if she could. I think it gives her a peace inside to clean, and she just enjoys it so. She loves to clean windows the best. She has the cleanest windows of anyone I have ever known in my life. You can't even see a smudge anywhere.You can see so clearly that you could just mistake yourself,and walk right on through one. My windows get dirty very easily, and no, I do not like to clean my windows, although it is time. Windows can get so dirty you can't see through clearly. Sometimes you just can't see at all. Something could be right in front of you,and you still couldn't see it. You try to clear away the dirt,by wiping it away,but it just doesnt come off so easily. Our eyes are like this. When we get something in them in hurts, we want it out. Our vision blurs,and we cant see straight. Things that should be clear are not visible at all. Its like being in a fog. Many times in our christian walk, our eyes get blinded, we shut them to what we do not want to see. Even blinded to what others are trying to show us, that they can see so clearly. We start to get use to those dirty windows in our life, and just get content with the dirt there.Our eyes are very important. We see where we are going with them,but if something is in our eye,we can't see where to go,or how to get there. We need someone to lead us. We can often see the dirt on others windows, and say, oh my, they need a good cleaning. Why is so easy to see the dirt of others,when we can't see our own? My windows need cleaning, our eyes get checked yearly. They both need to be clear to see. Don't let the dirt build up on those windows, or your eyes. Get some good cleaner,and wash them good, until all the smudges are gone,and we can see straight through to the other side.
I am blessed to have a friend in my life who encourages me in everyway possible. She has words of wisdom when I am confused. She keeps me going with laughter. She gives the perfect gifts, and sends the perfect cards. She is so beautiful,and doesn't see the beauty herself,but others do. She is amazing. She is strong,and very talented. She lifts me up with her encouragement. She gives me strength when I am weak, and she is the little sister I never had. She knows how much I love her, but I'm not sure if she really knows how much I admire her. She is pure, she is truthful in a kind way,she is the one who will tell ya, those shoes are ugly,but lift you up at the same time,and know just what to say. When I am having one of those not so good days, and everything seems to pile on. I can write her,and she will take the time to write back, but send my letter back, and underline,and fill in with her words of wisdom. She is a wonderful momma to her beautiful kids. She makes time for the important things. She lets the Lord Shine through her, and not only shine,but live through her. She just doesn't talk the talk, she walks the walk. I am proud,and honored to be her friend,and her sister. My life would not be the same without her, nor would it be as exciting. She is one special girl,and if I was blessed in life to only have one friend, it would be her........
Often I hear people say,even me, that we are just too busy. "I can't help you with that,I have too much going on." "I wish things would slow down for me." "Things are so crazy right now,maybe later I can do that." Are we really that busy? Do we really have so much to do, we can't make time for more?I hear some say,even me,"I didn't read my bible today,or do my Sunday school lesson, just couldn't find the time." When I really sit down and think of all the things I do. I know I do alot, I do stay busy, and I do get tired,but the thing is, we get busy with what we want to be busy with. We do the things that we want to do,and we find the time to do them. When a favorite show is on,or friends are going out to dinner,do we really say no? If someone gave you free tickets to your favorite band,would you say,no, I don't have time,but thanks anyway.No,I would make time to go. So, my question is,are we making time for Christ? Are we giving Him the time He needs each day? Are we really living for Him, or are we running ragged for ourselves? That is a hard question, with an even harder answer. I think we all get caught up in doing so much stuff, that we soon forget what is really important. Jesus. We tend to leave Him on a shelf until we need Him,and then we pull Him out. Ouch. I should be spending more time with Him, more time listening,and learning with my God, than trying to do it all. Stuff will get done. We have to rest our bodies, the place where the Holy Spirit lives. We have to take care of it,and respect it. We have to take our time and use it wisely.I need to think of how I spend all my time.I am running to and fro,trying to get this done,and that. Yes, we have to work, we have to the important things,but you learn as you get older what is really important, and what can wait. We have 24 hours in a day. I have to ask myself,how much of that time do I spend with the Lord,and how much do I spend for myself? This world we live in teaches us we have to stay busy 24/7. Thats not true. we need to take our time, love those who we are with, share Christ,and spend time with Him. What are you busy with?
I have this amazing friend,who is not only beautiful,but wise in Gods word,and is the friend of mercy He has given to me to turn to in times of trouble. On a night a few years ago, I was in such a dark place, such a place I didn't want to be in. It was a place where at times I felt alone,and as though I was losing everything dear to me. It was a place that I found myselft on my back deck, crying my eyes out, not sure of what to do. It was a beautiful night, I remember it so well. The stars were out in form. As I looked up, I remember calling out to God,and asking Him do you hear me? Where are you? Do you see that I cannot go on any further? It was at a place where I didn't think I could take another step. I knew things were coming I did not want to face, nor did I want to realize. Life was taking a detour, on a road I didn't know,and didn't want to travel. As I sat on my back deck, I had my phone in my hand, and I dialed the only number that I could at the time.It was the number of my friend who is always there, who has always been there every step of the way. Who has stood by my side, prayed for me, lifted me up,and gave Godly advice when my heart was so lost. As I asked my friend,what should I do,she gave me a verse,that I have never forgotten, nor have I taken for granit.It is Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger." She told me to me speak with words that Christ would use. To speak softly, to know that God was with me. As she spoke, I cried, I couldn't stop that night. Sometimes we are so lost in our pain we do and say things we shouldn't. We turn into people, we don't even recognize. I hung on to those words, and as the night carried on, and as I faced the sharpness of my pain face to face,those words carried me through. Each thought, each word, each moment was all Christ. He was there with me, speaking for me,and lifted me through that night that I will never forget. No matter how harsh the words were coming at me, I continued with me verse I kept repeating in my mind over and over again. My words were soft,and they did turn wrath away for that night. My trial went on, for it still goes on today,but I know the Lord is with me,and so is my sweet friend who will always be a mercy to others, it is a gift from Christ. She can calm you with her hands on yours, she can sweetly say a prayer, she is a willing vessel for God to use to comfort others in there time of need. She is one of my best friends.I am so blessed to have her in my life, she has taught much,we laugh,we cry,we pray, we share everything. She is special beyond words, she is a gift, most of all,she is beauty, for she lets the Lord shine through her.
My church family is very special to me. They have truely become my family in every sence of the word. I have many close friends, who are like sisters to me. I have known many for years, and some have just started to become a part of my life. I did not grow up in church. So for me, church is my favorite place to be, for between the pews sits my family. We have grown together, we have cried together, we have laughed together. Our pastor gathers us, and our Lord leads us. I have the family I never grew up with. I have grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles,sisters and brothers. We do not always see eye to eye, but what family does? We have learned that if it doesn't have anything to do with eternity,then we should let it go. It is humbling to see people go the altar, kneel and pray. We do not leave them there alone. It is an comforting feeling to feel someone place their hands upon you and pray over you. We are a hugging church. Growing up our family did not hug. I never remember my parents hugging me as I was growing up. Nor did their parents hug them. So at our church to feel someone put their arms around you is just love. You learn not to tell someone your FINE. They really want to know how you are, its just love. My children have grown up in our church, one has married there. It is my home away form home.It is a place you want to be. Its a place we gather together to celebrate, have dinners, and its just home with the family.I cannot imagine my life without our church, I would be lost. We lift each other up, carry one anothers burdens, and are there for one another no matter what time of day or night. Our pastor gives all he has for the Lord.He is humble, he is giving, he opens his heart to us. He doesn't try to be someone he isn't. He is a wonderful example for us to follow. He is my pastor, my friend , and my brother. The elders of our church were our great examples. Some of them have gone home to be with the Lord.We are to be the examples to the youth of our church, so we can teach them to be the same for the generation after them. The Lord is moving in our church, our hearts are open to Him,and humble in His house. I pray we always follow, to whatever cost. It is an honor to say Jesus looks good on Bethel, they wear Him well. Let us serve our God with hearts of love and compassion, and let us keep hope alive.
When your trying with all your heart to reach someone,and there is no response,do you keep trying, or do you give it God, and wait for them to come to you,and then you open your arms wide and receive them? Its hard to keep trying, to keep putting yourself out there, when in return, are you really making a difference? Love is not always easy. Love hurts sometimes, love brings anger, but with love comes forgiveness. We are to show the same grace and mercy to others that Christ showed to us. How many times do we keep trying, keep forgiving? seventy times seven. I wouldn't want someone to give up on me, but sometimes we have done what we can do,and we have to open open our hands to Christ and trust Him with those we love. He can reach them,He can touch them, He can turn them around and bring them back to Him. He will leave and go after that one sheep who has lost its way,and bring it back safely. As moms, we tend to hold on too tight, at least I did. We want to protect, and only God can truly do that. We want to teach from experience, but they have to learn on their own also. We can give our advice, our teachings, our wisdom, but they have to find it on their own. They have to want it, they have to die to themselves,and open their eyes and ears to the truth. Often teenagers, even adults only see what they want to see. We tend to change Gods word to fit our own needs and wants. Our lifestyle,the way we see things. If we are going to live as christian women, we have to open our hearts, show mercy, and be willing to feel pain to show the love we feel for our children. Isn't that what God did for us? He freely died, suffered for His love for us. He gave all. What greater example do we have?
I have been reading this wonderful book from Karen Ball called "A Test of Faith." It has been the most amazing, eye opening book for me. It could have been written about my life, a time when my faith was tested. Do you go through those times as I do? As parents we want to be the best we can be, we strive to do right, we want the best for our children. But in that time that I was striving to do my best, to do what I thought God wanted me to do, I let my own desires get in the way. Sometimes as parents we think we know best because we have been there and we have gone through all those things,so we want to talk to our children,and lead them in the right direction. Sometimes, I just needed to be quiet, and listen. I think I could have learned. God teaches us in many ways, and I learned from my children also. In being a parent and striving to be the best, that can get in our way. We don't always have to be the best, we don't always have to win, and we don't always have to be right. If we think back to when we were teenagers, we thought different, and learned in different ways. We hear the saying," I wish I knew then, what I know now." It took us a long time to get to that place where we could figure things out and look at things through Gods eyes, not our own. I am still learning today in my early 40's, and I pray I stay humble and learn more and more from my Savior. We can't expect our children to get it all at 17, when we didn't get it either, just because we get it now. I know I was always there for my girls, but was I always listening, really listening? I think there came a point that I heard only what I wanted to hear. Our children make mistakes, we make many mistakes. I still hold guilt from the mistakes I made as a teenager that affected the rest of my life. I have learned we have to let our children fall, we have to let them make mistakes, we have to let them choose, and during this time we are their example, their rock at home, the one they can come to with anything at anytime and share with us, and not blow up because they didn't meet our standards. Do we meet Gods standards? I believe we all fall short of His glory. So how can we expect our children to go above and beyond? During this time, my girls were teenagers. This was my test of faith. I cried out to God day and night for strength, for wisdom,and to make our family whole again. You would think a person could run out of tears, but you never do. I would walk past their door, and place my hand upon it, and pray, cry, and just sit in the middle of the night asking God,"Why are you not answering my prayers?" This was not just a short time,this was about four years. I really felt that God had left me, I felt angry, I felt jealous even of others for having wonderful homes. I thought I had done everything right. We all made mistakes, satan was attacking my family, he had set out to destroy us,and it was happening before my eyes. If someone would have told me that this would have happend in my family, I would have never believed it. Satan can touch anyone,and its usually when you least expect it. I have a little wall hanging in our daughters room. It says "Angels abide here". It is for our three girls who are no longer at home now. As time has gone by some things have gotten better, some have not. One thing is for sure,my faith was tested,and it survived,and it strengthend. The Lord never left my side, nor my daughters. He was right there with us, through every step. I have learned more in four years, than I have in the last twenty. I have grown with my Savior, I know He either calms the storm or He calms the child in the storm.He has done both. My children are the most precious thing to me on this earth.They are so beautiful,smart,and gifted. I still go in their room when no one is home and just sit, remembering the love,the shared laughter,and so many wonderful gifts I hold dear to my heart. I still make mistakes, no one is perfect, and I know now that no matter how much you try as a mom to be perfect, its impossible. You have to let go of the control, open up your hands, and give to God what belongs to Him.Trusting Him with what is precious to you. I still have hope that God will restore my family,and I know He is in control,and that His Hand is in everything. We will all have our faith tested at one time or another. Don't give up, don't let go, and just believe. We are still a work in progress, with our hearts open to Christ, anything is possible with Him.
"Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock."
There is just something special about having your windows open,letting the warm breeze in,watching the curtains flow with the air. The smell of fresh cut grass, the country smell of the woods around you. You have all your cleaning supplies out,and you think, oh my,where do start? What room would be easier? Maybe,I could even put it off for tomorrow, and just enjoy the breeze and maybe just read a good book. You begin in the living room, where everyone gathers for fun, and chit-chat,this is the easy room to start in,then you can move on.It always seems we leave the bathroom for last.No one wants to clean it very much. I have been cleaning all over my home for two days now, with the radio on christian music,lifting me up,while I do dirty work. It seems to help make it easier,and it makes the time go by.I will even pray and sing along,think about Christ and what He has done for me. Spring cleaning is kind of like having a revival at home in your heart. We are cleaning out all the junk, making room for fresh,clean things to be put in order. We are listening to God speak to us through music,and worshipping Him.Its not always fun to clean. I know some who love to do it everyday,and enjoy cleaning so much,but I can think of many things I would rather do.The same is with our hearts.Do I really want to look inside at what needs to be cleaned out? Do I really want to hear all the things I am doing wrong? No, we like to hear what we are doing right, we like to do things the easy way. Some are even blessed to have maids come in and clean for them,I am not that fortunate. Don't we like to do that with our hearts? We like so much to clean out others hearts and put them in check, but we really don't want to do our own. Cleaning is hard work, no one ever said it was easy, and just like cleaning out our hearts, its hard and it hurts sometimes to really get in there and get all the dirt and grim out that has been in there for awhile,and has built up over time.It has even become to where we are use to it,and we live in it,just like at home. Oh my, but how good does it feel when we are all finished cleaning our homes,and we can sit down and take a look around and see all that has taken place from the hard work we have acccomplished? It's amazing how it feels. It is almost a peace inside, you can breath, and you are proud that you worked so hard, and humbled to know that our hearts are just the same. As we dig out those closets, and clean out those ovens lets look inside our hearts and see what needs to be cleaned out. Even though it may hurt, and you may not like what you see, as much as me, your heart will be refreshed, revived, and if we learn to really clean more than just one good cleaning a year,and do it everyday,what a difference it will make in our lives.To open our hearts up to Christ daily,and let Him show us what we need to clean out, and put in place, we will learn a whole new way of staying clean and cleaning out the cobwebs won't be so hard.
In life we seem to have those really great days when everything is beautiful,those mountain tops that we sing praise to our God. We also have those days that pop out of nowhere that shake everything in us, those valleys we go through that we're just not sure if they are ever going to end. Where ever we are, on the mountain tops or down in those valleys God is always with us. He never leaves us behind, He never forgets us, He always knows our innermost thoughts, and our deepest secrets.I have learned on those mountains, but I think I learn the most through the storms in life, the valleys that seem never ending. Its those times we feel alone and we call upon Jesus. When we realize He is all we have, He is all we need. My Savior lives, is always there for me, and He's always gonna be. He is my strength when things seem to get so hard and I feel as though I cannot go on. He picks me up with His whispers of love, His touch of forgiveness, and His everlasting love. He never fails me, He never leaves me, He never lies to me, and He never slams the door. He is there to take my hand,and lead me to where He knows is best for me. Sometimes the best place is going through those storms, He sometimes quiets the storm, but other times He quiets us while the storm rages on all around us. The best lessons in life are those hardest learned, those that have a piece of your heart, those that take us to our knees in prayer, and let us realize we cannot do it on our own. I have learned I am a humble sinner trying to live a christian life for my Savior who died for me. I mess up everyday,say things I shouldn't say, do things I shouldn't do, and I don't give as much as I should give. We all have are limits though of what we can take, and Jesus knows those limits and He is there to lift us up, guide us, and send others in our life to help us grow along the way. Each day of my life is a learning experience, I learn something new everyday. I have had long years, long months, and long days when I thought I would just go crazy not knowing what to do, or if God was listening to my prayers. He has brought me through, He has carried me,and walked with me,and I am better for each trial. When those trials come, don't be afraid, face them head on, with Gods strength, His wisdom, and His love will get you through,and teach you much along the way in this journey we call life.
I love each time of year when hunting season comes. It is a time for me to spend time with my husband, and a time to spend outdoors with God. I love being in the woods. The smell of the trees, you can hear the birds chirping,and the squirrels are all in the leaves,making you think a deer is coming upon you.You can hear the woodpeckers knocking on the trees close by and the air is cool, your in so many layers of clothes you can hardly move, you have your drink next to you,mine ofcourse is soda, and my husbands is coffee. I love the smell as he pours it, but just do not like the taste. We can sit quietly for hours and just listen to Gods creation, and be in wonder of it all, sometimes we will just sit and talk quietly or laugh at something funny that is only between us.This time with my husband is so special. He has taught me everything I need to know about shooting. The deerstand has been a great place for me and my husband to share and to grow. Just to be together is wonderful. Sometimes I would even take a book back in the woods and read while he cut wood, and just listen to all the sounds, and watch the clouds go by. Seeing nature is seeing God up close. It is witnessing all He created, and it makes me feel so humbled. If God created such beauty, and cares for even the sparrows, oh my, how much more does He love me? I am blessed beyond measure when I walk into the woods with the man I love, to be in awe of the Son who loves me.
As I grow older, I feel homesick for home with my mom and dad. Sometimes I can just have a dream or a memory, a smell, or a feeling deep inside. I can look back in time and see our house. See the decorations my mom so delicately created, I can see my dad laying on the couch after a hard days work, waiting on dinner. I am in my room, dancing, or playing teacher with all my stuffed animals as my students. Its funny, with my home and family I am content. I am so very happy. But there is something about home,when you don't feel well, or you just had a bad day, maybe its the holidays and you can picture in your mind how things were when you were a kid like me. I climbed trees, and played outside until dark catching frogs in the cool night air. We used to get a jar and catch fireflies, and see how many we could put in one jar. Its funny, as you get older, it isn't so much the big things you remember, its all the little moments of time you wish you could have back for just a moment. My mom fixing us breakfast, even watching her hang out all the clothes on the line, and me running through them all. Riding my bike so fast, the wind felt slow. Playing on the softball league and riding my bike to the games,and hearing my dad cheer me on. Time goes by so quickly, without my dad, my mom lives alone,in senior apartments. I believe she also misses home as well. Things in life change daily,and we change with them. Many times we don't really have a choice in the matter. Do you ever long for home? I even long for my home in Heaven that I know is waiting. I think we are to look forward to that day when we hear that trumpet, and we all go home. This world is not our home. The sights and sounds that become so familar, are so near to our hearts,but our heavenly home should be close to our hearts, and we should be yearning for that home also. We have our home we grew up in, and have those memories of the past, and we have our heavenly home, with our future,and Father who will guide us with His love into another place and time that we will worship Him for all eternity. Home, it is a word that carries love, for me it does, I was blessed to have a wonderful home, and an amazing home to look forward to.
I was daddys little girl growing up. I grew to look just like him,with his hair,and eyes that change from blue to green,depending on how I feel. He was an amazing man, who gave me safety, gave his love,and taught me many things,especially in his last days. As a child, we would play, and he would give his time even after a hard days work.My dad worked in a factory,and was a foreman,that he was proud of. When I was young my daddy taught me how to dance to country music. His favorite singer was Loretta Lynn. I remember standing on his toes and him leading me in a dance. He taught me how to fish, he loved spending time on the lake,river,or pond fishing.After he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, he never kept another fish again. He would catch the biggest fish I have ever seen, and let all of them go. He taught me how to respect my mom, he showed her affection in front of me,and I knew how much he loved her. As I grew into a teenager, I was not the greatest kid. I gave my mom and dad so much trouble,not realizing at the time the consequences on them. My actions not only hurt me, but hurt them very much. As I got older, when my dad was diagnosed, we didn't dance anymore. He changed as a person, and closed up inside in many ways. Sometimes I believe that was to protect me. He felt that if he kept me at a distance, it wouldn't hurt so badly. Oh, how wrong he was. I remember my mother staying at the hospital, never leaving for 3 weeks until his death. She never even left his room. The day she left, was the day my dad died. I was at home, laying in the sun, waiting to go see him, I had to work that afternoon,so I was planning to go to the hospital on my way to work. I had called to check on my dad, and my mom said he was doing great. See, he was to come home the next day,and hospice was going to come in. As I remember, the sun was so beautiful, the heat was very hot in April already. My Uncle Bill pulled up with my nephews, as I saw them, I felt happy, for I knew he was going to take out my parents bed, for the hospital bed coming. As he came to me, I sat up, and he looked into my eyes and told me, my daddy had passed away. It felt as though time stood still, I couldn't even move, and I had to have him repeat it again, and again. He asked me to get ready to go to the hospital. I went inside the house, and didn't even know what to do, I called my boyfriend at the time, and broke down before words could even come out.He knew,just me crying gave it away. He met us at the hospital. It seemed like my uncle drove so slowly, but what was my hurry,what did I expect? I expected to see my daddy, ready to come home. I still could not face the harsh fact that he was gone. My family said it would be best if I went in and spent some time alone with my dad. I thought this to be absurd,but as I opened the door,there was my daddy, so quiet, so peaceful,not in anymore pain, not gasping for breath.He was no longer here. How was a daddys girl to make it in this world without her daddy? I sat by him, told him thank you, I was sorry for all my wrongs, and I would miss him so much. As I left, I winked and gave him a thumbs up, and said good job daddy, you were the best. The days following were so hard. I couldn't cry, I had to be strong for my mom. I was only 19, and without my daddy. My mom was hurting so bad, and I didn't know how to help her. See at this time in my life I was not a christian. I knew there was a God, but didn't have a relationship with Christ. The pain was almost unbarable for me. At times I really didn't think I could or would make it, but I did. As I became a christian I began to get glimpes of my past where Jesus had been. He was there with me the whole time, He carried me through that time in my life.I didn't know Him, but He knew me. Later, I found out that my daddy was saved the day before he died. He accepted Christ as his Savior. Everyone is born to die once on this earth, but I have the comfort in knowing I will again dance with my daddy in Heaven. With both of my fathers. My Heavenly Father, and my earthly father that I was so blessed to have. Some say they would rather not love at all, and not have to go through pain. I wouldn't have missed the dance I had with my daddy for anything, even though it was only for a short time.
Matthew 4:19 says"Then He said to them,Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." What are you fishers of? Are we working towards things for ourselves, to see what we can get? Our we just taking our time,and not really paying attention to anything around us? Maybe we are fishing for others, for popularity, for wealth, for happiness, for great stature with others? These disciples dropped everything and followed Christ? What are you willing to drop? Are we even willing to follow with all our heart, or do we just want to ride the fence? We cannot have it both ways. We either follow Him with everything we have,or we follow ourselves and everything we want. What a great thing to be, fishermen of men. To walk with Jesus, and talk with Him, give all, and reach out to everyone we see. Not just those we like, not just the pretty ones, not just the cool ones, the ones who can get us something,but reach out to all. Can you see how unhappy people are as they are driving in their cars? When they are in Walmart, and they are checking their list, and they have to put things back,because they cannot afford them? We work with people who are mean in every way possible, we meet people on the streets and you can see the pain on their faces. People are searching for something, they are searching for love and something that satisfies their soul. The sad thing is, they are all searching in the wrong places. Jesus is their answer. He is what they need, we are what Jesus needs to bring them to Him. He needs us to be fishers of men. We can fish all day, and all night for the things of this world that do not satisfy,but only for a moment. We need to teach others what to fish for, and we need to dive in now. So what are we waiting for? Can you picture your family, the kids at school, your co-workers, people in their cars, the people that do not know Christ?Are we waiting for someone else to do our job? What happens when it is too late, and we don't have another chance? Lets open our eyes to what fishers of men really are. Are you ready to get your feet wet.
"Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." So many times we tend to try to figure things out on our own. We think we got it all under control, and just when we think we got it, its gone. We tend to look at life through our eyes, the worlds view, but we should be looking with the Lords eyes, and through His word. We are to hide it in our hearts, walk in His ways, and acknowledge Him. Its just all about Him, not us, not me. If it doesnt have to do with eternity,let it go and let God take care if it. We cannot understand everything, we cannot even trust our own "feelings" feelings change day to day, minute by minute. If we can gain Gods wisdom and understanding in much, we are well on our way. He will show us at different times along this road we travel. We cannot learn all in one day, it takes a lifetime of growing in Christ, to really know Him. We have to be able to open our hearts and let Him in and show us our ways, and teach us His wisdom. Lets not waste time being fools. Lets search Gods word, Proverbs is an awesome place to start, its like a phonebook, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, its our roadmap for life. If you were going to go cross country,wouldnt you take a map? If you were training for a new job, wouldnt you study your manual? If your hooking up your new thousand dollar sound system, I believe you would read the instructions. Thats what Gods word is for us. Don't try to figure it out on your own, go to the master, the king of kings, the all knowing. Let Him show us the way.
In this dark world we live in, do you find it easy to walk and find your way? Sometimes it is so hard. We try and try to do what is right, but sometimes the evil in this world seems to get us down. Have you ever just been standing somewhere and felt the evil? I have, I believe we all have. So how do we live in this dark world? We put the light in it. We cannot let the evils of this world get us down,step on us, and try to crush us. Its not always about fixing it, nor is it about winning,its about being the light upon a hill. We cannot change others, but we can show them the way through our example. The next time you enter a dark room, do not be afraid. You can do it, you can conquer anything with Christ on your side. Let Him live in us, and be the witness to the lost. Put on your armor, and face those giants, your never alone, He is in step with you all the way. So make sure your heart is full of joy, fill your mind with Gods word, and you have everything you need.
I have written of my husband before, and no he isn't like Raymand. He is very special, and I am blessed to have him. He is always giving, and I really don't know if I give him as much attention as he deserves. I always have other things to do, during the day, and at night. My husband is out of work right now. He has been for almost eight months. He is such a hard worker, and really liked his job,although he worked at night. He took care of his family, and took pride in that. He not only is out of work, and will never be able to go back to his job,since the company has merged with another, but he is in much pain with a shoulder injury,and is now suffering from vertigo. It has not been an easy road for him. I feel so very proud of him,to get up everyday and go and search for work,that is very humbling for a man to do. No one knows what that feels like unless you have been there. Our family has gone through so much in the last four to five years, but the amazing thing is,is that God always brings us through,and I know with all my heart He has a plan for us. I pray for my husband all throughout the day. Although he is not working and things are hard, he has not given up. He still keeps going, and is trying to care for his family, that I know he loves so very much. He has sacrificed much, and given much to us. I heard someone say today, they would not want a husband, heard another say, she doesn't need one, she is self-sufficiant. I dont have a husband because I need one. I have a husband because we fell in love eighteen years ago, and we share a life together. I couldn't imagine life without him. He has carried me to the hospital, held my hair back as I threw up, cared for me for weeks with migraines, and after many surgeries. He has held my hand when I have been afraid, and has helped me walk when things were hard. He is my partner. He is my friend, and he is someone I respect and think is just amazing to give so much for your family, and never ask for anything in return. I am blessed to have a husband who helps me with everything, and can do just about anything. Thats why he is my best friend,and my husband. Love changes and grows in many different ways as you get older and grow together.Some think it is their job that defines them, makes them who they are. That just simply isnt true. It's who we are inside, that defines us, how we treat others, how we share our love, how we give. My husband does all those things ,and I would define him as a man after Gods own heart. A man who stubbles daily, who stuggles with life, but in this race he never gives up,because he knows God is on his side. I am so proud of him,and hope I make him proud, as I myself stumble and do not always give as I should. Thank you Lord for my husband, a man who strives to always do his best.
Like snowflakes,and animal prints, our fingerprints are one of a kind. They are unique, they are special, and different in their own way. They are beautiful. They all tell a story. Where have your fingerprints been? Have you made a mark on this earth in a special way, or do you keep your gloves on, wash your hands of things and not really pay that much attention to what is around you? God gave us such beautiful gifts to share, we cannot share those unless we place our fingerprints all over the land, and touch those around us.
Years ago people who had leprosy were outcasts. They had to leave their families,and their towns.They felt all alone,carrying the pain with them,with no one to reach out and help, or take a stand.Praise God we do not have leprosy now,but what is a shame,is that we still have outcasts. They are those who serve God, have loving hearts,stand for the right things, and are just themselves,but the thing is, they don't and refuse to fit into a click. They refuse to conform to others ways just to have them like them.They are those who want to grow with the Lord, want to grow in so many ways,and share their faith and friendship with others,but are not allowed to. Why? Because they choose to be different and not conform. It not popularity they are after, its not the cool crowd, its not even being accepted by everyone. Its just plan having respect for you. Having the love and respect that you yourself would want. How do we treat others? Do we make fun,talk about them behind their backs, and even hurt them right infront of them by doing things that you wouldn't want done to you? Everyone deserves to be respected and showed the same compassion and love that we want and give to our closest friends. How many times do we not speak to someone because they are different, maybe they go to a different school, maybe they dress different,live in a different neighborhod, or maybe just if we were friends with them, it would cramp our style,and we just couldn't have that? Should we have any outcasts as christians? Should we be making fun of others,and calling them names to make ourselves feel better? Why is it that we treat people this way? Do we seriously think we are better? As christians we should be the example, we should be the leaders,we should be lifting people up, not tearing them down. No one knows what others are going through, or just how hard life could be for them at the moment,and when those mean people do something that has no character at all, it hurts, and just brings them down that much more. We tend to think its funny,to give a remark to others, or give our opinion when it is not needed. No one thinks about those words or deeds done to others, until it is done to them one day. We dont need outcasts. We need christians to stand with each other, help each other,and change this world together, one person at a time,but before we can do that, many need to take a good look at themselves and see what they are really doing to others.Would you want to be the outcast? I didn't think so,I woudn't either, and nor would any person, christian or not. People should be treated with dignity,and kindness. Have we forgotten what a christian is? Treat others as you want to be treated. Don't stand by and let anyone be an outcast. Just because someone is different or not in the "in crowd", doesnt mean they are less of a person. If anything they are more mature,and they care a whole lot more. The next time you see someone treated unfairly, stand up for what is right. That is the cool thing to do. Its uncool to make someone an outcast.