Holding Pattern

The Minnesota Gang
June 30
Flying to Minnesota for a birthday party for our grandchildren, we made great time and then the pilot came on and stated air traffic control had put us in a holding pattern.  Me, oh, my!  Life does that sometimes too.  That's a perfect way to express so many stages of life!
Holding on for healing.
Holding on for a job.
Holding on for a spouse or a child.
Holding on for Jesus to return!

What holding pattern are you presently enduring?
I think God intends for us to live abundantly, while in the holding pattern by holding onto Him!

Do something radical right now! Something out of the ordinary.  Stop and sing a praise song!
Step outside and tell God his creation is amazing!  Open your Bible and turn a Psalm into a song!

I have our windows open and our fans on allowing the fresh mountain air to permeate our house.
Just as I typed do something radical a cardinal flew onto the branch of a tree outside my window and sang his heart out.  Made me smile.

Grabbing an old Bible, which was on my desk, I stepped out our front door and randomly opened it. Parts of Psalm 37 were highlighted in yellow, so I sang them and the birds sang along! I felt like Mary Poppins.  

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn.
Be still before the Lord and wait patently for him; do not fret when men carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath...Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.  For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wait for the Lord and keep his ways!  (Psalm 37: 4-8, 27-28, 34)

Wait for the Lord!  There's the ultimate holding pattern.

Persuade

It took no persuading to get this 3 year old to ride a pony at his birthday party!
June 29

Sometimes I get a word and it just won't let go, so I head to the dictionary and to Biblegateway and start searching for what God might be trying to tell me.  He had me chuckling with the last Message passage!  Blockheads!

The dictionary defined persuade as "causing someone to believe something, especially after a sustained effort."

We have had to do a lot of persuading the past two weeks, with our loved ones, to help them agree to the medical care they have needed.  When we are faced with situations needing persuasion, we need the Holy Spirit in full operation.

Paul had a ministry of persuasion!  Dig in!

When Barnabas and Paul finally realized what was going on, they stopped them. Waving their arms, they interrupted the parade, calling out, "What do you think you're doing! We're not gods!  We are men just like you, and we're here to bring you the Message, to persuade you to abandon these silly god-superstitions and embrace God himself, the living God.  We don't make God; he makes us, and all of this-sky, earth, sea, and everything in them.  Acts 14:14-15

When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was able to give all his time to preaching and teaching, doing everything he could to persuade the Jews that Jesus was in fact God's Messiah.  But not such luck.  All they did was argue contentiously and contradict him at every turn.  Totally exasperated, Paul had finally had it with them and gave it up as a bad job. "Have it your way, then," he said.  "You've made your bed; now lie in it.  From now on I'm spending my time with other nations."  Acts 18:5-6

They agreed on a time. When the day arrived, they came back to his home with a number of their friends. Paul talked to them all day, from morning to evening, explaining everything involved in the kingdom of God, and trying to persuade them all about Jesus by point in out what Moses and the prophets had written about him.  Acts 28:23

Some of them were persuaded by what he said, but others refused to believe a word of it. When the unbelievers got cantankerous and started bickering with each other, Paul interrupted: "I have just one more thing to say to you. The Holy Spirit sure new what he was talking about when he addressed our ancestors through Isaiah the prophet:  Go to this people and tell them this:  "You're going to listen with your eyes, bur you won't see a thing.  These people are blockheads!  They stick their fingers in their ears so they won't have to listen; They screw their eyes shut so they won't have to look, so they won't have to deal with me face-to-face and let me heal them."   Acts 28:24-27

Even When the Rain Comes Down...

 Rainy days have purpose!

June 27-28
I told you all about the "scripture note hunt" the Bible study gals left in the house.  It was a day later before I saw this little fellow!  His tag reads:  "Even when the rain comes down...the Shepherd is making blessings bloom just for you!

"We can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."
Romans 8:28 The Message

AMEN!

That particular morning I also had a chat with God.  My thoughts sounded like this..."Why do you pile so much on us?  Like when my sister in law was found dead, then days later I had to watch my Daddy die, and two days after that Moses, our beloved bulldog, had to be put down.  God, the past two weeks have been a boat load to handle."  Ugh...here comes the response: "It's your tendency to lean towards self-sufficiency.  Sometimes it takes that much for you to really need ME.  Remember, I am a jealous God who wants to be in close relationship with you."  OK, I get it.

Snappy



June 26
When these sweet grands were visiting last month Papa brought home a turtle he found in the road. They named him Snappy and caring for him brought them great joy. They took him out for walks a couple times a day. In the last photo they are sitting patiently in the rain as they watch him stretch his legs!
Sitting in the hospital this past week with my father in law, watching his 91 year old body try to recover from complications after surgery due to a fall; and staying in contact with our son in the hospital in Puerto Rico, as we patiently awaited his blood and hydration levels improving to where he could be discharged home to Tampa has taken lots of patience. It's been similar to Snappy out on a walk.

While we were in shock the first few days, our minds finally acclimated to the situation and we were able to trust in the Lord and believe He is always up to good.  Now we are looking beyond the obvious and asking God to show us where he is at work.  We've made some wonderful ICU friendships that will last a life time!  Deke's father remains there in stable condition.

The Lord is my strength an my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. 
My heart leaps for joy and with my song I praise him.
Psalm 28:7



It's a Good Mornin'

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself; 'The Lord is my portion, therefore I wait for him.'"
Lamentations 3:22-24

June 25
You may not want to hang with the whole 4 minutes of this Mandissa video, but after a minute you will be steppin' higher into this day.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WPZ7LPNX&utm_source=GodTube+Today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=06%2f22%2f2015

Yesterday morning, we had some Shiloh chores to address. One was towing a boat over two hours away with our SLOW pontoon.  My husband began the hook up process around 5:30AM and by 6:20 we were on our way.  I took my camera along and it was such a time of refreshment for us both.
We left the boat at a marina, where a dear friend agreed to pick it up and take it even further up the river for us, allowing my husband to  arrive at work on time and make it to the hospital to see his father.

 Love this long legged fellow.

 One of the sailing clubs.

 Mountain Views


The Note Hunt


June 24
As a child, my two favorite activities to do with my grandmother were Easter egg hunts (year round) and coloring together.  Monday night, even though we were at the hospital, I told the Bible study ladies to let themselves in and have study at our home.  We arrived home before they departed and got to say a quick hello.  They cleaned up all their dishes and headed for home, so we could head to bed. Remembering I had started a load of laundry 5 days and forgotten about it, I texted a couple of the ladies and asked if they would start the wash over. I headed down to see if it needed to be placed in they dryer and there on my dryer was a sweet note and Psalm 91 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord-'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'"  Psalm 57:1b "I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed."
Next I came upstairs to the bathroom and there was another note! "The Lord is My Protector. God is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; He won't leave you. Don't' be intimidated. Don't worry."   Deuteronomy 31:8
Entering the kitchen, another note was on the kitchen table. "Be merciful to me Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my should and body with grief."  Psalm 31:9

By now I realized these sweet woman had covered our home in notes of encouragement! It was better than an Easter egg hunt. I don't know when anything has been more of a soothing balm to my soul!
I will NEVER ever forget this kindness!


God the Rescuer


A couple of our granddaughters.

June 23
I'm devouring the She Reads Truth study called Women in the Word. The beauty of women's Bible study is learning from all the different perspectives which God reveals to us.  There were three key women surrounding Moses' life.  His mother, Jochebed, who put him in the Nile in a basket in hopes of saving him.  The princess who rescues and adopts him as her own and his big sister, Miriam.  You can read about the amazing rescue in Exodus Chapter 2.
The Nashville based author, Annie Downs,  who wrote the entry on Miriam for this ministry took us on an interesting twist as we gazed at Miriam's big sister role.  She stayed a paramount influence in Moses' life from infancy until his death.  Downs takes us to Numbers Chapter 12:1  Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married.   God became angry with them for not recognizing Moses' dependence for direction from God and caused Miriam to contract leprosy.

Downs wrote a reminder to us that "God is the rescuer. Jesus is the hero. You don't have to carry the burden for all your people, you just have to trust that Jesus does…We need grace to let go and let Him triumph."

That goes for mamas as well as big sisters.  The innate coddling gene that overflows in many women can be difficult to control.  May God always get the glory for the great things he has done and for being the Rescuer He is!

Yesterday's Biblegateway verse was Psalm 121:7-8
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.

A friend emailed and her email address reflects Ephesians 6:10…perfect reminder!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

My Man

June 22
 I thank God for the Father of my children and for his reliance on his heavenly Father.  We sat in the hospital all day yesterday as doctors prepared us for the passing of Deke's father, but he has pulled through so far. We are headed back to the hospital after a good night's sleep.  We praise God that our son has been released from the hospital in Puerto Rico and today should be returned to his home and a doctor's care there.
Each day God has provided me amazing verses on which to cling.  Sweet remembers of who He is and how much he loves us and knows what is best for us.  Today's verse is perfect:

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.
Psalm 121:7




Remember


June 20-21
When hit by unexpected tragedy, we often go mentally numb.  Not knowing what was going to happen with our loved ones in two hospitals the past few days, I've had three bags packed and in the car. One for Puerto Rico, one for Roanoke, VA and one tote with my purse, computer/iPad and Bible study books.  Nothing has been utilized.  I feel like all I did yesterday was watch my phone for messages from PR and stare at heart rate and blood pressure numbers on a vitals machine in ICU.  Somewhere along the way, I think I realized my brain couldn't even pray coherently and I hoped my spirit was.

My flotation divice has been the scriptures people have texted and the sustaining email devotionals God has sent, which have reminded me He is still aware of my situation.  Prayerfully, today I will move out of shock mode be used by Him.

This exert from the devotional below pricks our senses to remember the faithfulness of God.  

For years I’ve wanted to collect a pile of small river rocks, wash them, and then write key words and a date on each one to remind me of an answered prayer or a “God moment.” Then, when I’m tempted to forget God’s faithfulness, I can pull out a rock to remind me of a special experience with my King—and I could fall in love with Him all over again.
Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to collecting the rocks, so I use my journal to help me remember His goodness. A few years ago, I wrote a note to God after recalling some of my story with Him:
Knowing you has been the most exhilarating, painful, beautiful, difficult, lovely, desperate, treacherous experience ever! We’ve lived a grand adventure, haven’t we, God? Sometimes I’ve felt that my heart would burst from pain, and other times I’ve felt it would overflow with so much song that I couldn’t stop singing. Life with you has all the elements of a great love story or an on- the-edge-of-your-seat movie. Life with you is an adventure worth remembering.
In Psalm 77:1-10, while experiencing heartache, Asaph momentarily forgets God’s faithfulness instead of remembering His goodness. With gut-wrenching honesty, he asks, “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” (Psalm 77:7-9).
Finally Asaph’s faith returns, and his heart softens when he writes, “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds” (Psalm 77:11-12).
Even during desperate disappointment, Asaph chose faith over unbelief in God’s faithfulness. As a result, he experienced hope, peace, and acceptance instead of a hardened heart.


Pillowland

Pillowland makes for fun on raining days or when you need your spirits lifted!
I'm headed there.
June 19
More details to come. Right now just pray. Our son working in Puerto Rico was hospitalized yesterday with Dengue Fever.  We were trying to get flights to PR yesterday when a call came that my husband's father had fallen and been taken to the ER.  He broke two ribs, which ruptured his spleen.  The trauma team debated operating on a 91 year old, but felt it was necessary.  He made it through surgery and we are headed back there now.  Just talked to our son.  His wife is flying there now and his company has offered to air ambulance him home if he wants.  God has provided an amazing doctor and a fairy godmother in PR to care for him.

I just opened emails and read the In Touch devotional for today about our "Caring Father."  I hope you can go to their site and read it.

Intouchministries.com

The Road Ahead

Three of our grands running on a friend's horse farm.
June 18
We have no idea what the road ahead holds for us or our children, but we can have faith in the One who holds those plans.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, 
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

The greatest gift we can give our children is 
the knowledge of our faith in God and our genuine love for Jesus.

Today's Biblegateway verse is Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; 
instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Our son is waiting to be taken to a doctor today. I had to share this beautiful scriptural prayer sent by one of the teachers from the school where my husband works.  She said it came from Stormie Omartian's book The Power of a Praying Parent.

"Lord, because You have instructed us in Your Word that we are to pray for one another so that we may be healed, I pray for healing and wholeness for _____.  I pray that sickness and infirmity will have no place or power in his life. I pray for protection against any disease coming into his body.  You Word says, "He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions" (Psalm 107:20).  Wherever there is disease, illness, or infirmity in his body, I pray that You, Lord, would touch him with Your healing power and restore him to total health.  Deliver him from any destruction or injury that could come upon him.  Specifically, I ask You to heal his body of this fever. If he is to see a doctor, I pray that You, Lord, would show him who that should be. Give that doctor wisdom and full knowledge o the best way to proceed.  Thank you, Lord, that you suffered and died for us so that we might be healed.  I lay claim to that heritage of healing which You have promised in Your Word and provided for those who believe.  I look to You for a life of health, healing and wholeness for this child. (Young man)."  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Be Real



June 17
Your baby is always your baby.  Have no clue what spiritual insight I was supposed to impose upon you today, but after a 6AM text requesting me to call our son, who is working in Puerto Rico right now and has been battling an illness since Friday, my time turned to prayer and figuring out ways to get him the best medical help. He was in the ER Sunday, but is still battling fever and needs to see a good doctor.

So, life stops its normality for the moment; and as my heart aches, it also thrills at his latest text which read "Your prayers help the most."

Please pray for God's healing hand to be upon him and for his company to get him excellent medical attention immediately.

Here on my desk lays a copy of the lyrics to "What Faith Can Do."  Time to put on some praise music and pray the promises of God.
"Everybody falls sometimes, gotta find the strength to rise, from the ashes to make a new beginning.
Anyone can feel the ache, you think it's more than you can take,
but your stronger, stronger than you know.
Don't you give up now, the sun will soon be shining, you gotta face the clouds to find the silver lining.
I've seen dreams that move the mountains, hope that doesn't end even when the sky is falling,
I've seen miracles just happen. Silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new,
That's what faith can do.


Hope this link takes you to Youtube and Kutless' video



Remember, It's Exquisite

This child is exquisite!
June 16

"Isn't it exquisite to trace the hand of God in history?" She Reads Truth.
In addition to being defined as extremely beautiful, "exquisite" can mean intensely felt.  Studying the Old Testament is an exquisite experience.  It is like a watching the stitches of an elaborate tapestry come together.   God's timing of a princess finding Moses, as an infant, in a basket.  Esther being chosen as queen at just the right time in history to save the Jews.  Manna falling from the sky and sea waters parting to save God's people.  We need to reflex back and remember who God is and all that he can do!
My earthly Father had a daily ritual of going through a couple scrapbooks he had made. While the process brought him great joy, it also helped his mind to remember life, as he lived into his 90's.  I need to make such a scrapbook. God has given us his scrapbook in the form of the Bible. We need to read this exquisite book daily and REMEMBER.

I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
Psalm 143:5

Open Ended Questions


June 15
A week ago we had the privilege of entertaining 26 Winshape (Chick-Fil-A) Counselors at our home for the day.  While these young people had impeccable manners and hearts full of gratitude, they also exuded strong character and evident integrity.  In addition to all those qualities, which had landed them these summer jobs with a very reputable company, they also had depth and were trained to ask open ended questions.  These questions, which took me back and produced a head nodding of approval and respect, are a great example of how we should all be living.

Surface questions of where are you from, where did you go to college and what do you do, afford an opportunity to connect, but they really don't go deep.
Two questions posed to me made me think!
1) What do you see as the greatest need in your community?
2) What did you like about your job as a teacher?

Jesus asked open ended questions.  One website I went to added a modern day translation to some questions, which we may want to toss out sometime.
"What is it that you want to have most?"  Mt. 20:21
    or "What goals do you have for your life?"
"Who do other people say that I am?" Mt. 16:28
   or "What spiritually-related news headline has gotten your attention recently?"
"What is written in the Law?" & "How do you read it?" Luke 10:26
   or "What absolute truth have you been convicted of recently?" & "What is God telling you to do
   because of knowing this truth?"

The Gang

7 of the 8

June 13-14

The Kirk Cameron video above includes a clip of him sharing the gospel with a group of gang members.  What is revealed five years later is exciting!  Keep sowing.  We may get to do some reaping, but it is God who will provide the increase!  Be joyful that the kingdom is growing!


Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.  Thus the saying, "One sows and another reaps is true.  I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have down the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.  John 36-38

Day in Life of Princess

 Precious
 Pensive
Perplexed
Petrified

June 12
We are children of the King and we have very real emotions.  God's Word addresses all the adjectives found in this photo shoot with one of my favorite princesses.

Precious in the sight of the Lord... Psalm 116:15

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  Psalm 139:2

And the peace o God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.   Isaiah 41:10

My Kind of Happy

These are three gifts we received in 2014.
Some of the older ones were not certain about sharing "lap time."

June 11
Even better than loving on a litter of puppies, are the hugs and cuddles from a lap full of grandchildren in soft pjs!   I tell you what…this is my kind of happy!

The other morning, this body was moving a little more slowly than usual. My husband overheard me say, "Me oh, my!"  He replied,  "Nehemiah?"  Ha!  They do sound similar. Our women's summer study series is on the Book of Nehemiah.  The past three days we've been digging into chapter one and there are some mighty applicable lessons within.
So, "Me oh, my, Nehemiah…You have left us some snippets of wisdom. Thank You."

Sorry this would not cut and paste…I'll put in the snippets from Nehemiah chapter 1, The Message later today!  It's a great story.

Nehemiah 1 The Message
The memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.
It was the month of Kislev in the twentieth year. At the time I was in the palace complex at Susa.  Hanani, one of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some fellow Jews.  I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem.  They told me, "The exile survivors who are left there in the province are in bad shape.  Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is still rubble; the city gates are still cinders."  When I heard this, I sat down and wept.  I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of Heaven.
I said, "God, God of Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands: Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your servant that I'm praying day and night in intercession for your servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of Israel. And I'm including myself, I am my ancestors, among those who have sinned against you.
"We've treated you like dirt: We haven't done what you told us, haven't followed your commands, and haven't respected the decisions you gave to Moses your servant.  All the same, remember the warning you posted to your servant Moses: "If you betray me, I'll scatter people from wherever they ended up and put them back in the place I chose to make with my Name." "Well, there they are-your servants, your people whom you so powerfully and impressively redeemed. O Master, listen to me, listen to your servant's prayer-and yes, to all your servants who delight in honoring you-and make me successful today so that I get what I want from the king."  I was cupbearer to the king.


Ice Cream on the Lawn


Seven of our eight grands.
This one year old's first ice cream cone!

June 10
Taking the afternoon to be in the Word with Jesus was more yummy than ice cream!
She Reads Truth is currently doing an online study called "Women in the Word."  Yesterday's entry was about the life of Rebekah.  I just had to pass along the meat of this message.

"The truth is, we are all Rebekahs, assuming control of circumstances that are not ours to control.  We are all Esaus, wondering what we've done wrong when the "not fair" moments of life come our way. And, praise the Lord, we are all Jacobs, given the Father's blessing when we've done nothing to deserve it.

Sisters, our plans do not save us!  Our mad hunting skills and Bible-reading savvy do not merit the Father's blessing.  Certainly, our scheming and our sin, no matter how well intentioned, are not our hope.  Our salvation only comes from the hand of our good and sovereign God-
"not from works but from He who calls."  (Romans 9:12)

Don't you love learning or at least being reminded of truths we may have placed on the back burner!

Break My Heart with What Breaks Yours



June 9
The excitement was exhilarating, as if we had all just returned to summer camp after being apart for a year!  The setting…Women's Summer Bible study at Shiloh!  The rains let up enough for everyone to get out of their cars and come inside for supper.  Afterwards the praise began.
Our study is Nehemiah by Kelly Minter.  The topic…"A Heart that Breaks."  We sang "Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord" and then "What Faith Can Do" by Kutlass.  We finished by basking in praise through the words of the song "Hosanna!"

"I see the king of glory, coming on the clouds with fire.
The whole earth shakes, the whole earth shakes.

I see his love and mercy washing over all our sin.
The people sing, the people sing.

Chorus: Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.

I see a generation, rising up to take their place.
With selfless faith, with selfless faith.
I see a near revival, stirring as we pray and seek.
We're on our knees. We're on our knees.

Chorus

Heal my heart and make it clean, Open up my eyes to the things unseen.
Show me how to love like you have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am for Your kingdom's cause.
As I walk from earth into eternity.

Chorus

Hosanna in the highest."

Let's pray today that we all can have compassionate hearts that break for the hurting.

I am for Joy!

June 8
Walking out of a post office one day a lady said, "Is your name Joy?"  I was baffled at first and then she pointed to the license plate on my car.  Ha Ha! " No, I replied my favorite scripture verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:16  Be joyful always!"
The plate is an accountability tool.  Another day in the Kroger parking lot a young woman commented,  "I like your license plate."  I needed the reminder, as I'd just left the checkout line, frustrated by they lack of joy in the check-out girl.  One grumble bumble can take you down quickly.  Our joy is not dependent on our circumstances, but on what our Savior has done for us!

Today's verse on Biblegateway is an excellent correlation:
Though the cherry trees don't blossom and the strawberries don't ripen. Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheep less and the cattle barns empty, I', singing joyful praise to God. I'm turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God's Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I'm king of the mountain!
Habakkuk 3:19 MSG

My Days

June 6-7
Summer is upon us! Here at Shiloh it is HIGH SEASON! We've already had a family reunion and are hosting our first ministry event today.  As we age, it becomes a bit more difficult to keep up and we have begun inquiring of the Lord just exactly how long we are to continue in this stage of life.  These scripture passages remind me that God is totally aware of what is happening and will direct my days!

For you created my inmost being; your knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me where written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13-16

A person's days are determined;
you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.
Job 14:5 

But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, 'You are my God." My times are in your hands.
Psalm 31:14-15 

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

Launch into Bible Study this Summer

This Dad,  fun uncle and Papa are training the next generation in water balloon launching.

June 5
Three more days and we launch into our 13th summer of women's Bible study here at Shiloh!
This year we are studying the book of Nehemiah and having "a heart that can break."

I've also launched into the newest She Reads Truth study called Women in the Word, daily taking a peek at Old and New Testament women.  After studying a bit on Noah's wife, who had to be a REAL trooper and devoted to her man, the study directed readers to meditate on Psalm 37. I scripted a list of wise instructions from this writing.  Mrs. Noah probably did all of these.
Don't fret.
Don't be envious.
Trust in the Lord.
Do good.
Dwell in the land (ha, or on the boat) and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord.
Commit your way to the Lord.
Be still before the Lord.
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Refrain from anger.
Turn from wrath.

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, 
will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ
displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7

Twinkling of an Eye

Love these bathing beauties!

,,,in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:52

June 4

This past week some very dear friends have had their lives changed "in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye."  One's son was in a car wreck, another's husband had a stroke, and another listened as his father took his last breath.

Cherish the moments we have together and use words and actions which leave warmth after we are gone.

Here's a funny aside related to life everlasting and honesty of feelings.  Two of our grandchildren are spending the week. Today, I realized maybe there was a bit of controversy brewing as they have been vying for my participation in different activities. While I was cleaning the kitchen, I overheard the sweet younger sister saying, "Let's play a game where I kill you and send you to heaven with God." I immediately put down my rag and took them off to read the verses from yesterday's devotional entry!

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

Amusement


June 3
Six, four, four, three, three, one, nine months, eight months!  Those are the ages of our grandchildren with whom we've been hanging out the past week.  As I've tried to assimilate how I find such elated amusement in this chaotic compilation, it hit me that it mirrors a fraction of what God must experience when he looks down on the interaction of his children fellowshipping with one another.

These little ones live miles away from one another, but their parents are committed to bringing them together a couple times a year so they can establish a family connection.  How much fun would it be if they ended up in college together!  I pray over the years they and their parents will encourage one another and listen to the wisdom Paul passed on to the early Christians…

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 15:7 

Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another.
Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
Romans 14:13

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

May the relationships they build benefit their lives ...

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

The rocking chair position, of sitting back and watching the next two generations of our family leave their mark, is quite the comfortable view for me.  Rock and pray the day away!




The Eight

June 2
But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-
with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
Psalm 103:17-18

Today, I give thanks for this past weekend and our children's children experiencing life together!

Danger




June 1
This sawfish is amazing!  Another over the top creative moment for God! I would hightail it out of the water though if I saw him approaching.  Interesting to stop and think what are the dangers facing us today and what are we doing to curtail the threat.

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Proverbs 22:3