Elation



July 31

Elated means : great happiness and exhilaration.  Some synonyms are: "ecstatic, elected, enraptured, entranced, euphoric, exhilarated, giddy, rapturous."  Such a fun, fun word!  While I couldn't find it in the Bible,  I did look up these two stories. One where Jesus told people, who loved him deeply, that some beyond belief good times laid ahead for them!  The other story takes place when the steadfast female friends of Jesus discover an empty tomb and then Jesus himself!

"The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost not time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples.  Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks.  'Good morning!' he said.  They fell to their knees, embraced his feet and worshiped him.  Jesus said, 'You're holding on to me for dear life!  Don't be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee and that I'll meet them there.'"  Matthew 28: 8-10  The Message

"When a woman gives birth, she had a hard time, there's no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth.  This new life in the world wipes out the memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar.  When I see you again, you'll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you.  You'll no longer be so full of questions.  John 16:21-23

Indomitable

Are these cute neighbors or what?

July 30

Yesterday's Merriam Webster Online Dictionary's "Word of the Day" was...
indomitable -incapable of being subdued: unconquerable.
It immediately made me think of Jesus!

In Job 36:26 Elihu is sounding off to Job about God...

"Take a long, hard look.  See how great he is-infinite, greater than anything you could ever imagine or  figure out!"  Yup, sounds like even long, long ago people recognized God's indomitable qualities!



Live Freely

July 29
Today's Biblegateway passage reads in The Message translation:
"What you say goes, God, and stays, as permanent as the heavens.  Your truth never goes out of fashion; it's as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up.  Your Word and truth are dependable as ever; that's what you ordered-you set the earth going.  If your revelation hadn't delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came.  But I'll never forget the advice you gave me; you saved my life with those wise words."  Psalm 119:93

We don't always want to hear truth do we?  I laughed as I looked back to Kelly Minter's word on God's truth in her Nehemiah study.

"But whether God's truth is acting like familiar hands gently steering me in the way I should go or tapping me on the shoulder when I'm straying-or beating my buns, it is my anchor. It is my freedom."

My goddaughter is visiting and her husband is a major in the Army.  She made two stoic comments.
One was that she had no clue how a military spouse existed day to day without a relationship to God.
The other was that there is a sense of freedom in being in the military in that you don't worry about where you will live next...they tell you!  A huge thank you to those who sacrifice so much for our freedom.

What a marvelous parellel to living in Christ...there is freedom in looking to the Word for truth and seeing how we should live.

A Serial Mistake Maker

July 28
Yesterday's She Reads Truth post held this quote...

"I like to think I'm not so much a sinner as a serial mistake-maker."

Most of us are slow to call ourselves sinners.  Yet, Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Romans 6:23 takes the issue a step further..."The wages of sin are death."


"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 
1 John 1:8-9

Yesterday, our beach was filled with over a 100 people who came to witness the baptisms of a dozen people from our church.  Each of the individuals being baptized have acknowledged their sin and need their need for a savior and professed Jesus as that Savior.  Until we see how holy God is, we don't see our sin as clearly as we should.



Set Apart

July 27
Recently, I had a discussion with some godly women on the Biblical challenge we have before us to be set-apart.  In addition to our day to day behavior being identified as quite different, maybe even strange, our minds certainly need to be set apart from the way the world thinks.  

"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on things of the Spirit.  Romans 8:5

Looking back to a prayer journal a few weeks ago when we were in crisis mode related to some family illnesses I asked the Lord..."What is my mind set upon...things of the flesh or things of the Spirit?  Calm my heart and give me wisdom.  Take way any resentment I might have towards others and their roles in this scenario.  Father, if I'm honest, I think part of my reactions have been related to fear...Use this situation for Your glory. Make us a beacon of light and hope for so many involved whom don't know you. And help us to learn from these painful situations.  At the end of each day, may we see where you have been glorified and lifted up.  In Jesus Name, Amen."

Trust Worthy Buddies


July 25-26
These are a couple of my all time favorite photos.  A few friends have said the first one looks like it could go from a love pat, to a push in the lake!

Kelly Minter poses this wonderful character desire. "May we seek to be people that God and others can trust, people whose deeds do not change whether we are in he dark or the light, whether we've been entrusted with little or much... When I have the assurance that a person's word is true, motives, pure and intents just, I have found a rare treasure indeed."

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  Luke 16:10



Self-Confidence

This sassy guy was strutting his stuff and blabbing his mouth the other day on a nearby farm.

July 24
Turning to my husband in bed the other night I said, "I don't think I've listened to the news in a month!"  "Good! Don't." He replied. "It is getting worse by the day." It made me click back to my confidence Biblegateway search and these powerful words on the downfall of self-confidence.

"These are all warning g markers -DANGER!-in our history books, written down so that we don't repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel-they at the beginning, we at the end-and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were.  Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt.  You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless.  Cultivate God-confidence." 1 Corinthians 10:11-12

Confidence

July 23
This picture exudes confidence to me.  This little guy has his swimming attire, his shades and his boat, which he is about to launch!  With the word confidence on my mind, I dove into a search on Biblegateway in The Message translation.

Paul is pumping out some wisdom.  How I want to live in "love splash mode."
"May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with his followers." I Thessalonians 3:11-13

Then if you want to be pumped up for the day.  Just read this to someone over breakfast!

"We will tell you with complete confidence-we have the Master's word on it-that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind.  In actual fact, they'll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder!  God's trumpet blast!  He'll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise-they'll go first.  Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master.  Oh, we'll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words."  1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

Placement

Letting carp suck popcorn from in-between my toes.

July 22
Recently, someone asked me if I could have done any other job besides teaching and then getting married and becoming a mom, what would I have liked to do.  I thought for a moment and said I wouldn't change a thing.  "Just" teaching and being a mom/grandmom is where God has placed me.


"Never underestimate the importance of simply being physically present 
in the place where God wants you."  
Warren Wiersbe


Studying the women of the Bible this summer has been exhilarating.  The other day I took a peek at the women supporting (financially and physically) Jesus and the disciples.  Some stepped away from affluent social settings to walk the walk with Christ.  Motherhood may not be glamorous, but it is a calling.

Let is not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to  those who belong to the family of believers.  Galatians 6:9-10

Mary Magdalene, just thrills my heart with her elation when she encounters Jesus at the tomb.  She can't wait to tell others!  When we encounter Christ in the scriptures or  through a time of prayer are we busting with joy to give testimony to what we have learned about Him?

Mary Magdalen went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her."  John 20:18

Take the Plunge


July 21
These Old and New Testament scripture references on "taking the plunge" are worth the look.

"Then the Israelites, who had returned from exile, along with everyone who had removed themselves from defilements of the nations to join them and seek God, the God of Israel, ate the Passover. With great joy they celebrated the Feast of Unraised Bread for seven days.  God had plunged them into a sea of joy; he had changed the mind of the king of Assyria to back them in rebuilding The Temple of God, the God of Israel."  Ezra 6:21-22

Oh, how I wish God would change the hearts of some of our leaders and turn us back to a nation, whose standards and morals line up with those of the God of Israel.  The 1 Peter verse below is an excellent reminder concerning the eternal outlook!

(He gets the Last Word) "Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch  you napping. Keep your guard up.  You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world.  So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ-eternal and glorious plans they are!-will have you put together and on your feet for good.  He gets the last word; yes, he does."  1 Peter 5:8-11

Possibilities


July 20
These are our daughter's two blessings after a struggle with infertility.  She has had three miscarriages  in the last year two years.  Many people say, just be thankful you have these.
God says: Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4
Our desires can change during our life time.  When Jesus is our first love, all things work together for good.

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.   Ephesians 3:20

Team Work


Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up,
just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 4:18

July 18-19
These two little pea pods braved a tubing adventure together, encouraging each other all along the way!  Who have you encouraged today?


Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice!
Strive for full restoration, encourage one another,
be of one mind, live in peace.
And the God of love and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11




Lost My Father...NOT


July 17

Sitting at a marina Sunday night, our three year old grandson befriended a 91 year old and they tossed popcorn to carp and ducks.  This gentleman, from Gretna, VA, was delightful.  Of course I had to ask him if he loved Jesus, which he does!  He shared his heartache of losing a grandson to a car accident and a son to an aneurysm.  While talking to him I shared I had lost my father when he was 93.  Later that evening, I thought what a stupid statement for me to make. My father is not lost,  he is in heaven.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Hebrews 10:22

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

God is Awake!


July 16
This sweet thing asked me the other day if God sleeps.  I explained that He neither sleeps,  nor slumbers.  It was a hard concept understanding that God is not a super human, but a breed of being beyond belief.  Later that day this precious girl looked at me and said, "Mama Boo, God is awake!"

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.
Psalm 121:3-5

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5

Do We Address God Like This?

July 15
Sometimes you read the word of God and it stirs deep in your soul.  You yearn to exemplify a walk of faith like those in the Great Hall of Faith. Jehoshaphat's prayer in 2 Chronicles 20 challenged me to address God with this sincerity.

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.  

"Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not he God who is in heaven?  You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.  Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?  They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for you Name, saying, 'If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgement, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.'...We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."

Your Word


July 14
There are 176 verses in Psalm 119.  The four below give testimony to the value of God's Word and his ways.

Your word, Lord, is eternal: it stands firm in the heavens.  v. 89

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.  v. 105

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.  v. 111

You are my refuge and my shield; I  have put my hope in your word.  v.114

Isn't there a credit card commercial that has the phrase...Don't leave home without it?
That's the way I feel about God's word.  It is fabulous to have Bible apps right on our phones, so we can search for wisdom anytime with the tap of our fingers.  In a study time last night, with my "Jesus Girls" (as my sister in law refers to them), we discussed the correlation of our joy to our time in the Word.

God's Word does not disappoint, it delights and directs!

Armour Hot Dogs

July 13
One thing I've watched the past few days, while we've had five young children in the house, is how quickly they imitate one another in word and action.  Unfortunately, while I was serving hot dogs one day, my husband started singing an old hot dog commercial jingle.

"Hot dogs, Armour hotdogs.  What kind of kids eat Armour hot dogs?
 Fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks.
 Tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox
 Love hotdogs, Armour hot dogs. The dogs kids love to bite."

Oh, my goodness!  They can't stop singing this and it certainly is not acceptable this day and time.

Our granddaughter, on the other hand was struggling to untangle a fishing rod mess and said, "Oh, Lord!"  Later, when I said, "Help me Lord," I realized I call out to him on a regular basis and she had picked up on this!

Our daughter was donning a really cute cover-up, Kool sunglasses and 2 very attractive dresses over the weekend and I found myself wanting to imitate her style!

Paul addresses whom we are to imitate in 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6 MSG
"You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves.  In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although heart trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!-taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble."

Courage to Face a New Challenge

July 11-12
Throughout life we are faced with new challenges, many of which take courage to face.  This past week our 4 and 6 year old grandchildren learned to knee board!  With each tow their confidence grew and now they are begging to do it!

Philippians 1:6 states: Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The Bible is chocked full of courages characters!  How often do we sit around and discuss the courage it took for Mary to carry Jesus, from birth to the cross? For Rehab to hide the spies and Esther to go before the King.  Those were some courageous women.  On the male side, there was David who took on Goliath with only a sling shot and Abraham who was willing to sacrifice his son. Noah withstood ridicule and constructed an ark, while John the Baptist lost his head for Jesus.  Daniel faced lions in a den and three names I can't spell trusted God in a fiery furnace.

Solomon faced a temple building task of great magnitude. His father left him with these words of wisdom in 1 Chronicles 28:20:
David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid of discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished."

Few of us in our modern day culture fear wandering in the desert and waiting for manna to fall from the sky.  Our woes waiver in magnitude compared to the Bible heroes we know about.  I believe God has grandiose endeavors for us to accomplish through his power, but we just don't have the courage to take on the task.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith' be courageous; be strong.  1 Corinthians 16:13

Going Home

 A boat ride can just plain...
 tucker you out!
Our three year old grandson cozied up in one of the boat's storage compartments!

July 10
The combination of a warm summer breeze, the rocking motion of a pontoon boat and a bunch of grand babies guarantees you a knock out!

Walk through a nursing home and you may see some warn out people too, those who are ready to go home.
Yesterday, Godtube.com posted a performance with Michael Buble and Blake Shelton  singing a duet of the song "Home."  The first time I listened I thought of the tedious life musicians and singers have on the road.
This morning, as I was praying for several families whose loved ones are moments away from going home to heaven,  I wondered how often do we long for the real thing, the glorious thing,  to be in the presence of Jesus in heaven!  My husband had the privilege this week to attend the funeral of my god-mother and also to pray with two elderly women on their death beds.  He leaned over these nursing home and hospital beds and whispered "You can go home" to these individuals.

Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You believe in God; believe also in me.
My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there
to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.
John 14:1-4

Life's Storms

Caught this amazing image out on the boat as we watched a storm go by.
The cut out of good weather reminded me of the breathers we get in the storms of life.
It may be a hug from a friend, a freshly baked cookie, or a powerful word from God that supplies
perseverance.  Below is a prayer a sent to a friend whose daughter in law is in a cancer battle and in need of a bone marrow transplant.  I know you all are facing battles too and hope it builds you up!

July 9
Lord, we love you, we trust you, but there are times when we are in the trenches and we grow weary. This morning we remember Your Word and where it says that through your mercies we are not consumed. Illness can be such a roller coaster ride. With hope and perseverance we pray for treatments that work better and more quickly.  When we face another turn in the road to healing, we turn our eyes upon you.  
We come boldly before You, because you tell us o your love and open door policy!  We know you know our needs before we ask, but today we unite and cry out for the perfect cure to bring healing to our loved ones body.  Lord, use the people and circumstances that will bring You the most glory and strengthen our faiths and give us the testimony to tell the world how You worked in our loved one's  life.  
We long or the day when we shout "Hallelujah, this disease is done with!"   With the positive expectancy of what You are about to do we praise as David did in Psalm 138:2 MSG and say, "Thank You!  Everything in me says, 'Thank you!' Angels listen as I sing my thanks, I kneel in worship facing your holy temple and say it again: 'Thank you!'  Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness; Most holy is your name, most holy is your Word.  The moment I called out you stepped in; you made my life large with strength."  In Jesus' Name, Amen

Pray


Our youngest granddaughter's prayer pose.
July 8
 Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed. Ephesians 6:18, The Voice

Prayer is the most powerful position we can take.  Now scurry off and pray!

Dead Heading


July 7

Each summer I buy at least one petunia plant for the purpose of "dead heading."  As I pluck off each dead bloom, I ask the Lord to pluck out the sinful ways in me!  Putting the phrase get rid of  in Biblegateway I game up with two passages which have really spoken to me today.

In Ephesians 4:19-24 we read that "The Old Way Has to Go."  It's an intentional process on our part.

And so I insist-and God backs me up on this-that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God but with reality itself.  they can't think straight anymore.  Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
But that's no life for you.  You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus.  Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything-and I do mean everything-connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through.  Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life-a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.


This next passage really clarifies something for me concerning the difference in...making a practice of sin  and those who are repentant and seek forgiveness for sin, desiring change.

All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless for sin is a major disruption of God's order.  Surely you know that Christ showed up in order to get rid of sin. There is no sin in him, and sin is not part of his program.  No one who lives deeply in Christ makes a practice of sin.  None of those who do practice sin have taken a good look at Christ. They've got him all backward.  1 John 3:4-6

Spur One Another On!




July 6
These four successfully completed our Fourth of July Obstacle Course.
They cheered one another along and were able to concentrate on bettering their own time and not beating one another.  What a great trait for us to imitate as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Spurring one another along in the specific task God has called them to and not allowing envy or jealousy any space to fester, but instead thanking God for what he is up to in their lives!

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Hebrews 10:24

Joyfully you'll pull up buckets of water from the wells of salvation.  And as you do it, you'll say, "Give thanks to God.  Call out his name.  Ask him anything!  Shout to the nations, tell them what he's done, spread the news of his great reputation!    Isaiah 12:4  MSG 

Happy Fourth



July 4
God Bless America!

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
Psalm 33:12

My thought process this morning went something like this...I imagined our founding fathers starting their meetings praying fervently for this nation.  I contemplated if Irvin Berlin prayed before composing "God Bless America."

Wikipedia says:
" 'God Bless America' is an American patriotic song written by Irving Berlin in 1918 and revised by him in 1938.  The later version has notably been recorded by Kate Smith, becoming her signature song. 'God Bless America' takes the form of a prayer (intro lyrics 'as we raise our voices, in a solemn prayer') for God's blessing and peace for the nation ('...stand beside her and guide her through the night...')

For years we have sung that song at hockey matches, baseball games and football games, yet there are rumbles of those who want no mention of God in relationship to our nation.  That saddens my heart, for I do want God to bless America.

Happy Fourth, be sure to mention God and maybe even pray with your friends on this day where we give thanks for our nation.

A Verse a Day

My favorite boat captain!

July 3
EARLY yesterday morning we were out kayaking and our six year old grandson calls out, "Mama Boo, what verse are we going to memorize today?"  UGH, conviction caught me!  Good question.
I quickly put "This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it" into a melody!

Today, I think we will tackle Deuteronomy 6:5-7

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." 

I thank God for a godly six year old accountability partner!

What Will Their Lives Be


July 2
Flipping back through some photos, from a recent descending of the grands, left me pensive and prayerful. Their parents span the country from Utah, to Minnesota, to Nashville and VA Beach with careers are as varied as the soil upon which they live.  The personalities of these eight are as diverse as those of our seven children.
I have no clue how long God will keep me on this earth, but I plan to prayer without ceasing for these precious ones and always have an open door for them to come through.

When I look at how the world has changed in my 58 years, I can't imagine what they will witness in their life times.  Hopefully, Jesus coming back!  Until then I will pray Proverbs 3:5-6...that  they can trust in the Lord with all their hearts and lean not on their own understanding; but in all their ways submit to him and watch him make their paths straight.  Also for them to live Romans 12:3 remembering to never think of themselves more highly than they ought, but rather think of themselves with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of them.
Romans 12:3 

Wild Child


July 1
Everybody needs a "wild child" who lives life to the fullest! I think our "wild child" may have one of his own!  Does her little face just exude JOY or what!

Yesterday's Biblegateway verse in The Message translation is one I need ingrained in my heart for "wild times."

When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand strike my foes, with your other hand save me.  Finish what you started in me, God.  Your love is eternal-don't quit on me now.   Psalm 138:8

Searching joy in The Message this great verse popped up!  I"m telling you there is no better place to HANG out than in God's Word.

But what happens when we live God's way?  He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard-things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity.  We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.  We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.  Galatians 5:22