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Showing posts from June, 2016

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." Isaiah 7:9b Ahaz, king of Judah, was afraid because he found that three other nations had aligned together to destroy him. The Lord sent the prophet Israel to reassure Ahaz. Previously in this passage, the Lord tells Ahaz, "Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood- because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah." How often do we look at the circumstances around us and begin to get fearful? How many nights do we lie awake worrying about finances, children, husbands, parents, and a host of other things? There are so many times that we can't see the end result of a decision we made and we begin to doubt. There are times that we don't see any progress in some of the things we are trying to accomplish. The problems seem huge and we seem small. This passage tells us that if we do not stand f

Twenty-Eight Years

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I love you Not only for what you are, But for what I am When I am with you I love you, Not only for what You have made of yourself, But for what you are making of me. I love you For the part of me That you bring out; I love you For putting your hand Into my heaped-up heart And passing over, All the foolish weak things That you can’t help Dimly seeing there And for drawing out Into the light All the beautiful belongings That no one else looked Quite far enough to find. I love you because you Are helping me to make Of the lumber of my life Not a tavern, But a temple; Out of the works Of my every day Not a reproach, But a song. You have done this Without a touch, Without a word, Without a sign. You have done it By being yourself. Perhaps that is what Being a friend means, After all. Twenty-eight years ago today, as young seminary students, we married.  I am so thankful that I made

Within My Four Walls

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As a mom, my heart strings are tied to my children.  I love them with all my heart and while I'd love to say that I'm a wonderful mother, there are times when I fail miserably.  I have the above plaque in my house and yet, there are so many times when I don't exemplify these words at all.  Last night was one of those times. I wounded one of my children with my words.  Instead of offering encouragement, I offered criticism.  Instead of being calm and kind, I yelled and lashed out.  Instead of noticing improvement in an area, I pointed out every fault.  I caused incredible hurt to one who is already hurting.  And that isn't the first time I've done that with one of my kids. I know that while I've gotten much better, I still quite regularly repeat patterns of behavior that I saw as a child and yet, that is no excuse.  I need to learn new patterns.  I must walk with different habits.  I have to do better.  We calmed down eventually, talked it out, and ask

The First Day of Summer

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We had a wonderful weekend, celebrating my nephew's graduation as well as Father's Day.  I'm treasuring these moments we have with family as we all are getting older and you never know how long you have with someone. So we spent the weekend chatting, swimming (some of us), playing tennis, going for ice cream, and enjoying one another's company.  I do wish was that we had another day so we could have spent some more time with Dan's sister and family.  The dads enjoyed their Father's Day gift.  I gave my stepdad and father-in-law a cookie of the month club "membership" and will be making and sending them a different type of cookie all year long.  Dan got a pie of the month since he loves pie and I don't have to ship those.  We left yesterday afternoon and got home around 9:30 last night.  It was a good weekend.  Emily has a final this afternoon and then school is done for her for the school year.  I'm looking forward t

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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When I listen to the news or at the struggles that friends are going through, there are times when I'd love to bury my head in the sand.  The sadness, hurt, and devastation that people are going through and even, I myself, struggle with at times causes me to want to escape. It's overwhelming. Yet, as a believer, I am called to minister to the hurting and to help the helpless.  I'm called to not always only pray about something but to also reach out a helping hand.  And the action part is the hard part because that requires me to give up my own selfishness.  Reaching out and helping someone means I have to step outside my routine and life and step into someone else's hurts. This has been a week of doing that and it's not always easy but certainly what is needed.  We have a young friend staying with us this week and probably most of the summer so she won't be alone.  She is going through a heart-breaking situation and needs someone to surround her with the

Blog Musings

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Dan & I went out for a walk yesterday afternoon and it was so nice to be out in the woods.  It seems to be one of the few places I go that I can truly just relax.  As I walked, I was able to think about some things that have been on my mind lately. I'm not quite sure what to do about this blog.  It has always been a mixture of family, home life, and inspiration and encouragement but obviously, as my family has grown, there isn't much going on in our daily lives that is blog-worthy.  Also, my children are at that stage when they don't always want me talking about them so there has been less and less about them.  At this point, I've limited it mostly to a place where people can come and find encouragement in their walk with God.  I try to be transparent so readers please don't think I have it altogether.  However, I'm careful to not be a venue where I vent.  As a follower of Christ, I will consistently point you back to the Lord because I be

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

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Isaiah 40:27-31 ~ Why do you complain, Jacob?      Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord ;      my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know?      Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God,      the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary,      and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary      and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary,      and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord      will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;      they will run and not grow weary,      they will walk and not be faint. When you feel weak, God is your strength. When you feel discouraged, God is your encouragement. When you feel empty, God can fill you. When you feel lost, God will find you. When you feel tired, God gives you energy. When you feel despair, God is your hope. When you feel failure, God lifts you up. When you f

We Will Love

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My heart is breaking for the families of the victims of the Pulse night club massacre on Sunday morning.  As I've mulled over this all day long, I knew that eventually some of the hate groups would weigh in.  And sure enough, I saw on the news today that a certain church is rejoicing today over the death of so many in the LGBT community. Where is the love of Christ?  And sadly, this is the view that many people think Christians have.  I'm thankful that I'm part of a denomination where the desire to reach people for Christ is shown first and foremost by the mantra, "We will love" not by hatred and condemnation. My heart is hurting today.  I can't even imagine the pain that those parents, friends, family and neighbors are feeling.  I don't understand what drives some to kick, spit on, and mock those who are already devastated.  I do know that Christ is not reflected in those that do this. Please continue to pray for these precious families who a

Wednesday Words of Encouragement: Reminders in the Midst of the Storm

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Today I'm wrapping up the series I started a few weeks ago entitled, In the Midst of the Storm.  We are looking at Psalm 27 and find that there are four things we can learn from this Psalm. 1. We are to have Courage in the storm. 2. We have a Shelter in the midst of the storm. 3. We are to Pray in the storm. 4. We are to Remind ourselves of God's goodness during the storm. Psalm 27:11-14 (HCSB) ~ Because of my adversaries, show me Your way, Lord , and lead me on a level path. Do not give me over to the will of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing violence. I am certain that I will see the Lord ’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord ; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord . One of the things that I love about the Psalms of David is that in almost every single one where is he depressed or lamenting, he gives himself a little pep talk at the end.  He always reminds himself of what the Lord has done which point

Multitude Monday

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It's been three weeks since I last did a Multitude Monday post and I think I'm long overdue.  There have been so may wonderful blessings over the past few weeks and while I've been writing them in my prayer journal, I've missed doing it here. This week I'm thankful for blessings #2730 - 2754. 2730.  Revelations about myself. 2731.  Sunshine 2732.  Sitting on my deck in the cool of the morning. 2733.  Colorful birds singing each morning. 2734.  Digging my hands in the dirt. 2735.  The smell of fresh, growing things. 2736  The warmth of the sun on my face. 2737.  God's faithfulness in the midst of my unfaithfulness. 2738.  Raising half of what we need for our mission trip. 2739.  Dew that cause the lawn to sparkle like precious gems. 2740.  Preparing meals for my family. 2741.  God's word which is true and does what it says. 2742.  Tress full of blossoms. 2743.  Warm sweaters in a cool breeze.

Around the Yard

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Now that the weather is nice, I've been able to sit on my deck in the mornings with my coffee and my Bible to read.  However, I do get distracted at times with all the sights and smells around me.  :-)  Everything is blooming and beautiful.  Our yearly visitor was back the other day to lay her eggs in the middle of my garden bed.  I'm sure she was confused as it looks like the rest of the yard now since I didn't plant a garden this year.  It didn't stop her from digging a hole anyway! I had my knee surgery yesterday and it went well.  According to the doctor I need to sit with my leg elevated for a few days so I'm working on being an obedient patient.  I did check it out though yesterday and can put weight on it without pain.  Yay!  I have a retreat next weekend that I've been planning for our leadership team so I'm going to follow orders. Have a wonderful weekend!

In His Creation

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I sat outside on my deck this morning, and my brain was in a fog.  I didn't sleep well last night and as I tried to focus on the words on the page in my Bible, I realized I had been staring at the same page for about ten minutes without comprehending anything I read. So I sat back, sipped my coffee and decided to let my brain wake up before I tried to read. As I took in the sights, smells and sounds, I realized that there is so much about the character of God that I can understand just from creation. His beauty is in the details of everything. His creativity in the different types of animals. His kindness in the sun that shines. His mercy in the rain that waters the ground. His power in the storms. His sweetness in the flowers. His majesty in the mountains. HIs goodness in the food He sends. What a wonderful creator we have!

Wednesday Words of Encouragement: Prayer in the Midst of Life's Storms

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A few weeks ago, I started sharing from a recent talk I gave about being in the midst of the storm.  We are looking at Psalm 27 and find that there are four things we can learn from this Psalm. 1. We are to have Courage in the storm. 2. We have a Shelter in the midst of the storm. 3. We are to Pray in the storm. 4. We are to Remind ourselves of God's goodness during the storm. Psalm 27:7-10 (HCSB) ~ Lord , hear my voice when I call; be gracious to me and answer me. My heart says this about You, “You are to seek My face.” Lord , I will seek Your face. Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger. You have been my helper; do not leave me or abandon me, God of my salvation. Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord cares for me. God longs for communion with His creation.  He wants us to come to Him with our cares and concerns.  And He promises us that He will answer, and will not abandon us.  A few years ago, I remember going t