My Caregivers

Fun Flashback of a snow day with my oh so patient caregivers.

February 1
Not sure what's going on, but my head is definitely not right.  Dizziness and light headedness have taken the wind out of my sails.  I wanted to be in church today though and was so thankful I went. Unfortunately,  I came home and slept for three hours and missed a glorious day outside.
Our precious praise band from Liberty University sang the Hillsong song "Healer" and I wept as I sang along. I think it will be my "morning song" for awhile.

We know so many people facing major health battles and lifted their names to the Lord as we sang along.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.
Psalm 103:2-4 

At All Times

A friend loves at all times.
Proverbs 17:17

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
Proverbs 27:9
January 30-31

As I shared earlier the darkness was settling in, but God performed a rescue!  To lighten the mood, he impressed upon the heart of one of my closest church friends of 30 years to come visit at Shiloh.  When our children were young we were Sunday school buddies and lived only blocks apart. Several days a week would walk and craft together.   Then each  of our families moved away and she went back to work full-time.  We have missed one another greatly.  Wednesday night she called and said, "I have the day off!  I'm coming to visit and bringing lunch!"  It was a fabulous day.  I pulled out a couple small canvases, paints and brushes and painted for hours!  Afterwards, I went straight to bed with an exhausted smile on my face.

She is a treasure of a friend, who offers "heartfelt advice."  While we probably should have been doing something constructive like exercising, cleaning the house or cooking some meals for my husband, it was nice to sit and create.

I'm learning it's absolutely okay to be what I am right now.  I thank God for friends who love at all times without expectations.


"God spoke. 'Lights! Come out! Shine in Heaven's sky!
Separate Day from Night.  Mark seasons and days and years.
Lights in Heaven's sky to give light to Earth.'
And there it was.
God saw that it was good. It was evening, it was morning-Day Four."
Genesis 1:14-15, 19
January 29
Being remembered is a warm fuzzy.  Even though snow hindered my original birthday plans this week, being stuck at home in the snow was okay and probably a much needed recovery from the festive life that comes with grandchildren underfoot.

I started not to write this "journal" post, being that Boojoyful doesn't like to admit when she's not joyful. The enemy is so clever in his attacks and earlier this week, he took two statements from different people I love and smacked me into a hole.  Fortunately, Jesus is a fisher of men and has pulled me out.

A close friend of over 40 years, whom I adore and know would give me the shirt off his back, called with birthday wishes. After singing "Happy Birthday" to me he said in his chipperest of tones..."So, you are 100 %."  "No, Im not," I replied, "but am thankful to be progressing."  In telling me a story of another friend, who had gone through a trying financial time, my friend said, "He's like you, always positive and trusting the Lord."

For two days, over and over the enemy tossed those comments at me.  "Ha! You are not 100% and if you remember someone else told you this week you were being 'testy.' That's far from positive."

My thoughts drifted towards believing my head will always feel like this and most likely I will have another stroke.  Fears of never being able to fly or drive alone to see my grandchildren crept in and thoughts that I'll never have the stamina to make Shiloh the place of festive, joy filled activities it's been in the past clambered for a place in my mind.  The biggest demon in the room was the fact I've not measured up to everyone's expectations to be 100% by now.
For my birthday, our daughter in law sent me a  handmade Be Still necklace and a book written by a friend of her's.  Beginnings. The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life by Steve Wiens.  I'm thoroughly enjoying both.  Just as my joy quotient was getting lower and lower yesterday, I read:
"The Hebrew word for "seasons"  is moadim.  It means "appointed times" or "sacred seasons."...Though we want endless spring and summer, fall and winter eventually come-some times far too soon...embrace each season as it comes, without wishing it away or trying to hold it too long."

Am I 100%?  Yup, I'm 100% for today and am up for whatever God has planned for this day!

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens."
Ecclesiastes 3:1 

Keep On Keeping On

"Give thanks to God, he is good and his love never quits."
1 Chronicles 15:34

January 28
I like to finish what I started.  I had to put away a 2000 piece puzzle I had not completed because I had a toddler coming to visit and I didn't want to have to ban him from the puzzle area.  I realized, that puzzle was not of eternal value!

Currently, I'm trying to juggle three Bible studies and memorizing verses from these coloring pages and I don't want to leave any blanks! is not of eternal value if I have a blank space.

It's ok to scrap a recipe which is going poorly, to toss out a knitting project or mow only half the yard.  Where I don't want to falter is in my faith walk.  God's love for us never quits and our faith in Him shouldn't waiver.  While the word quit cannot be found in the NIV, this verse about "keep on keeping on" spoke to me.

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

Real Success

Oh, my man I love him so.  We've been having fun!

January 27
Several times in my life I've had altercations with individuals which included the other person saying to me: "And you call yourself a Christian!" I'd like someone to take a snapshot of my facial expression when that is the defense shot at me.

Being a Christian doesn't mean we are perfect. While we desire to be like Christ, we fall way short.
Being a Christian means we are forgiven and we are to be forgivers!

The real life story of Joseph has always filled me with hope.  While altercations and sticky situations surrounded him, so did God.  She Reads Truth has a wonderful piece written on his life, which I think is really worth the read. The link it below.

"Real success is a transformed heart, mind, and life.  These are gifts of God's great grace. And God has already extended His favor to us, for He 'has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing' Ephesians 1:3.  So let us no rely on false measures, but instead look to measure our success by God's transforming grace."

Yesterday's Biblegateway verse in the NIV read:

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  
James 4:10 

Those words can be taken palliatively.
Read it in The Message translation and you might need a big gulp of milk to get it down.

So let God work his will in you.  Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quite yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out.  The fun and games are over.  Get serious, really  serious.  Get down on your knees before the Master; its' the only way you'll get on your feet.

Pretty Mama

Missing my girl.

January 26
A daughter is a treasure and it was a real treat to have this one home the past 5 days!  My husband was at school shoveling sidewalks in hopes of getting the students back soon and I sat quietly with a cup of tea doing a Bible study lesson.  One assignment was to write down the lyrics of a few hymns or praise songs that put you in a worshipful mood.  Boy did I have fun, singing alone in this house!

This is going to be lengthy, but I want to share a few...
 "Not For A Moment (After All)" by Meredith Andrews
You were reaching through the storm Walking on the water
Even when I could not see In the middle of it all
When I thought You were a thousand miles away
Not for a moment did You forsake me Not for a moment did You forsake me

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me Not for a moment will You forsake me

You were singing in the dark Whispering Your promise
Even when I could not hear I was held in Your arms
Carried for a thousand miles to show Not for a moment did You forsake me


And every step every breath you are there Every tear every cry every prayer
In my hurt at my worst When my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me 
Even in the dark Even when it's hard You will never leave me After all

"O Praise Him (All This For A King)" by David Crowder Band
Turn your ear To heaven and hear The noise inside
The sound of angels' awe The sound of angels' songs
And all this for a King We could join and sing All to Christ the King

How constant, how divine This song of ours will rise
O, how constant, how divine This love of ours will rise Will rise

O praise Him O praise him
He is Holy He is Holy (yeah)

Turn your gaze To heaven and raise A joyous noise
The sound of salvation come The sound of rescued ones
And all this for a King Angels join to sing All for Christ our King
How infinite and sweet This love so rescuing O, how infinitely sweet

This great love that has redeemed As one we sing

"Lead Me To The Cross"Francesca Battistelli
Savior i come quiet my soul remember redemptions hill
where you blood was spilled for my ransom
everything i once held dear i count it all as lost

lead me to the cross where your love poured out
bring me to my knees lord i lay me down
rid me of myself i belong to you
lead me, lead me to the cross

your were as i tempted and trialed human the word became flesh
bore my sin to death now you're risen
everything i once held dear i count it all as lost

The Advanced Slope

This is the first year we've attempted sledding on this advanced slope, which heads towards the water!
Praise God for a grandpapa who was willing to guard the bottom!

I opted out this year!

January 25
We live at the bottom of a 1/2 mile long driveway.  As the snow poured down Friday morning, I heard my husband say out loud: "There's no way a rescue vehicle would make it down here."  I haven't felt the best the past few days, not sure if it's the meds or fatigue, but those words started to make me anxious and then I quickly remembered whose in control.  My reply to that statement was..."Well, if something happens to me, just pack me out there in the snow until the funeral home can come and get me."

While I never mastered the black diamond slopes in my skiing days and will stay away from the advanced sledding slopes at Shiloh, I do feel like I've moved onto some advance stages in my faith.  Heartache, grief, fear and being generally out of control of life's circumstances tends to cause you to level up if you have a relationship with Christ.

My prayer list is currently laden with people facing the advanced slopes of life.  Battles that are truly ferocious.  Today, as I pack up my little sledders and thank them for coming to endure the storm with us, I will take the quiet of the afternoon to sit and before Lord with my list of petitions.

"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers an sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing."  
                                                                                                               2 Thessalonians 1:3

Be Prepared

Snow Equipment!
Kids Shovels and Creme of Wheat to keep them warm!

January 23-24
This past week people in our area have prepared to the best of their ability for the Blizzard Jonas to blow into town. He showed off some pretty funky stuff yesterday and its still coming down.  I didn't buy enough onions for soups or milk for the amount of hot chocolate being downed here, but we will survive.
The word prepared keeps hanging with me.  There are times you just aren't prepared; like strokes, heart attacks or a spouse up and leaving you.  We can always be prepared to turn to the Lord though.

Clicking on Biblegateway and entering prepared...established a great look at Christ.
An angel prepared Mary and Joseph to be the parents of Jesus.
John the Baptist was chosen to be a forerunner to Christ and was obedient to "prepare the way for the Lord."  Jesus was diligent to try to prepare the disciples for his departure and he had these words for us related to a heavenly preparation.

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?  John 14:2

In Revelation 8:6 we read..."Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them."  Whew, there will be some people who are going to wish they were better prepared spiritually at that point.

Are we prepared for the immediate role we are to be playing?  Wise men, who walked before us, recorded these God inspired words...

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect."
1 Peter 3:15

"Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction."  2 Timothy 4:2

Tunes Turned to God

The Night Before the Storm
Hanging Snowball Lights and Gearing Up For Snow Themed Games
Praising the Lord for our daughter and her two boys getting here safely today!

January 22
Soups on!  Cookies are baked!  And Papa has a new batch of beach tunes on the stereo.
As we listened to some of these old love songs,  I couldn't help but think of them in terms of my love for Christ and even the love the disciples had for Him.

 As we listened to "My Whole World Ended the Moment You Left Me" By David Ruffin, I told my husband that is what the disciples were singing when Jesus was taken away in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Then they could have sung...."I'm  Gonna Miss You" by The Artistics...

but as they thought back on Jesus' lessons of forgiveness a theme song for him could be...
"Never Gonna Give You Up No Matter How You Treat Me"  Jerry Butler

The best news for believers can be sung in these lyrics!
"Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics

If I've offended some of you by confessing we listen to beach music, I'm sorry.  It turned out to be a wonderful time talking about the Lord!  Stay safe in the storm!

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!   Proverbs 3:5-12

Sacrifice the Son

"But God demonstrates his own love toward us;
 in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

January 21
Who does that!  Who sacrifices their son for sinners?  God himself.  It's a complicated trio, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but a masterful plan!  I'm not sure when in life I finally grasped the concept and I know most of the time I don't live like the Holy Spirit is actually in me, but He is!

"Tell me the stories of Jesus, I love to hear," for there is no greater life from which to learn.
When was the last time you listened to or sang that whole song?

Click here on this link, as it has the lyrics and some pictures that will help implant in our brains the way Jesus lived and loved.

The third part of the Trinity is God Almighty.  Indescribable!  The most gracious Father and Creator of all things.

Sunday Morning Snow Showers

January 20
Sunday morning we finally had a few hours of snow. It was beautiful, but all melted away by noon.
Looks like we will get a whopper this weekend!
Our children live in six other cities and I have their weather forecasts on my phone, so each morning I scroll across to see what they are facing weather wise.  It's quite varied from Minnetonka, Minnesota to Tampa, Florida.
Then I begin to pray for their lives. There's not as much variety in the issues they are facing in life. While some have spouses or children and others don't, they all have hearts, minds, souls and a faith leading them as they wade through life's uncertainties.  I pray for some generalities, but then the specifics they have requested us to pray over.

Monday's Biblegateway verse was: "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."  1 Corinthians 10:13

There is such a comfort in God's Word.  He can meet all our needs.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

A little health update.  No more gallbladder attacks so far.  Keep that prayer coming.  Stroke recovery wise I continue to see improvement.  Big groups and taxing brain issues seem to set off the discomfort in the head.  With the threat of snow and being senior citizen day, the grocery store was a mess yesterday afternoon.  You had to wait for a parking spot and then numerous items were sold out.
Plus I was coupon shopping, which can really tax my brain trying to find the right brands.  My sweet husband had met me there on his way home from work and took part of my list.  We ended up checking out separately, as we could not find each other in the crowds.  Halfway through putting things away at home I knew I done too much and was fading.  So, down for the count I went and after about 30 minutes I was at a functioning level again.  I thank God for his healing power and continue to pray daily for stroke survivors. 

Oh What a Night!

Our front planter early Sunday morning as the snow began to all.

January 19
Sniff, sniff, sniff. I awakened at 3AM with a startle at what I thought smelt like smoke. Calmly and wide awake my husband stated, "It's the fireplace. Our heat has been off for 2 hours and it's 12 degrees outside. The power company says the earliest they can get here is 6:30AM.  Maybe I should go outside and see if a squirrel got in the transformer?"

"What good would dead squirrel hunting in the below freezing temps in the dark do? Stay here in this cozy bed and pray," was my middle of the night advice. The first verse that came to mind in my prayer was "Lord, give us a peace that passes understanding." Philippians 4:7

 "Do you think we will loose our Homestead creamery ice cream?" was my only concern.  His most intelligent response, "All we have to do is set it outside!"

At 3:57 there were several dings in the room, as clocks, phones and computers reacted to power coming back on!!!!!  Praising the Lord and thanking those power company workers who work in such conditions, I spooned up next to my man and slept until 8:15 this morning. Bless his heart, he never went back to sleep.

Life is full of uncertainties.  We watched a rather disturbing, yet entertaining movie last night called, "Finding a Friend for the End of the World." It was totally void of faith, but it reminded me there will be an end to this earthly life, one way or another.  At that ending point all that matters is eternity.
Add to that the current study on Revelations I'm enrolled in and for those of us who are believers we should be boldly about the business of telling others about Jesus.  For it may be cold in Moneta, VA right now, but for many things are going to be scorching hot for all eternity.

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Romans 10:13 

The Fixer Upper

Brrr...frigid here this morning.  This snowman is surviving in my kitchen!
My email seems frozen though, so if you don't get an answer from me, I'm not snubbing you!

January 18

A girlfriend stopped by the other day with a little sign she saw in our local Christian book store. She said, "It just jumped out at me and said, 'Boo,' all over it."

The sign reads:  "I'm a mess, but I'm a beautiful mess. I'm His masterpiece and that's enough!"

We are all messes which need fixing up!  "Fixer Upper" is one of my favorite HGTV shows and it was so much fun to come across this article and read that Chip and Joanna love Jesus!  Be sure to listen to Joanna's testimony!  Such a precious story.

"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

I hope you can click on this link and see a photo of Joanna and Chip Gaines

No fear

"There is no fear in love, instead, perfect love drives out fear."
1 John 4:18

January 16-17
I was blessed to have an earthly father who was an amazing provider and problem solver.
His engineering mind solved many a stumbling block in a diversity of categories.  Because of these traits, I feared very little as a child.  Interestingly, looking back I realize he could never solve my mother's alcoholism or my sin...cover-up certain consequences yes, but not the heart issues.
Now he's gone, but You are still here Father.   You've allowed me to bask in your love, through all kinds of heartache, instead of face obstacles with fear.

Today, I pray for those who fear they will never marry or have children; for those sitting in nursing homes fearing no one will come visit or what death will be like; for those who desire to have a college education, but fear that reality will never come; for those who are fearful of legal complications and consequences from divorce, false accusations, or bad choices. Lord, may your love cover those who are trapped in the sex trade; addictions and famine not knowing where their next morsel of food will come from.  I lift up families facing horrific illnesses, which are robbing the life of a loved one and ravaging the families finances and peace.  Pour out Your love in ways which are unexplainable!  In Jesus' Name, the One who makes all things possible.  Amen


January 15
Meditating on these scriptures as I color has been quite therapeutic and positioned me to hear from the Lord.  As I colored in "For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain." I decided to look up remain on the computer dictionary.

Remain-"continue to exist; continue to possess a particular quality."

So even if this earth begins to pass away, God's love for us will continue to exist!

"He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them-he remains faithful (continues to exist) forever."  Psalm 146:6

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in (or continue to possess the quality of being my child and accepting)  my love.

 "I remain confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
Psalm 27:13

Worship His Majesty

"The Lord your God is with you!  The Mighty One will save you.
He will rejoice over you with .
You will rest in his love.
He will sing and be joyful about you."
Now there's a happy thought for today.

January 14
Rolling over in the dark, I rummaged my fingers through the clutter on my bedside table, trying to find my phone.  I'd been in early morning worship mode and the Spirit gave me a little poem. I knew if I didn't write it down I'd never remember it when the sun came up.

"This is not a season for "anx" and fear,
but a time for turning to God in praise and prayer."

I may have already shared that our pastor has called on our church to pray at 7AM, 1PM and 9PM every day in January.  He sends us a text at those times, which says "I Believe".  The emphasis of our 7AM prayer time is to be worshiping the Lord!  This morning, as I began that time, a song from the past came to mind, so I checked YouTube for Majesty.  Found it and spent the next 3 minutes with my arms lifted in praise singing this song out loud!  Join in!

How Deep and Wide!

January 13
Well, my New Year's resolution to keep Sunday's holy and restful was blown out of the water the first Sunday, but I need to remember that phrase "imperfect progress." There are more Sundays ahead.
A study of Revelation, which I'm currently enrolled in through Bible Study Fellowship, has prompted me to practice the process of worship and praise more often.  The teaching leader shared a story of a young man who took a challenge from his peers where whenever they gave him a specific sign, no matter where he was he was to hit the ground.  How much fun would it be if we as brothers and sisters in Christ, we had a sign we gave one another that when we saw each other we were to lift our hands in praise to the Lord no matter where?  I'm so wanting to do this!

For now, as I may not find many takers on the impromptu public praise parties, I want to memorize Revelation 7:12 and recite that first thing every morning and again before I close my eyes at night.  Vistaprint has shipped 100 cards I've had made which I can give to friends to keep in their wallets and pull out and recite together when our paths cross!  This should put a spark in our step!
(Or have people running from me.)

Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.
Revelation 7:12

Ephesians 3:18, on the coloring page above is another good remembrance verse!  

"May you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, 
how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is."

Send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you want me to mail you a few after they arrive!
 Boo Andrews 500 Moonriver Lane, Moneta, VA 24121
I'll have them on hand at Shiloh.

A Banner Day

January 12

Yesterday was a banner day!  Absolutely no head pain all day!  Even went out to lunch with a friend and was gone 2 1/2 hours!  w00T!  Thank You Lord for progress!

A great day to sing Psalm 136..."Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever."

The Wild Ride

I love these photos from a weeks ago.  
There was no holiday snow, so these three hiked the hill at Shiloh and went leaf sledding!  

"Be  joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
Romans 12:12
January 11

Being a bit anxious about this week's impending surgery, I felt such peace when I read this quote.

"Your rest is not to be found in figuring your life out, 
but in trusting the One who has it all figured out for your good and his glory."  
Paul David Tripp

The clocking was ticking in on the time I'd need to go off the Plavix (a week before surgery).  My favorite nurse on the planet and two cherished friends, all made their surgery concerns known on the same day.  The consensus was for me to visit my primary care doctor and share these concerns. God opened the door for an appointment the afternoon of the next day, which was when I had to stop taking the medication. The concern. which really caught her attention. was going under general anesthesia less than four months after a stroke of unknown causes.  The gallbladder surgery would be considered "elective" at this point, so she said, "Let's wait six months." Knowing she loves the Lord, I replied, "Let's pray I never have another attack and don't have to have surgery ever!" She chuckled and agreed.

So thanks be to God, whom I can trust,  for using godly advice and concern from dear friends at this time.

The night before I saw the doctor, my husband and I were praying and I asked God to give me another attack if I was to move forward.  My husband about jumped off his seat.  DON'T ask for one of those attacks!!!!!  I said, "Well, that would make it clear to me."  This plan is more appealing!

Do You Feel Loved?

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail.
Lamentations 3:22

Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love,
just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2

January 9-10

Recently, we had the blessing of a visit from a very cute toddler.  This little man cruised and climbed through our home with great agility, while proudly toting around items that he found in his path.  I feared for his bare little toes or a possible hernia, as I watched him strain to carry a 10 pound hand weight.  Later on, I tried not to panic as I saw him entered our tiled family room carrying a large, ceramic cross.  Within moments I watched it crash onto the tile and break.  This little fellow had older siblings in the room who stood bug-eyed awaiting my reaction.  The older brother said, "We can fix it!"  Calmly, I picked up the pieces and said, "Accidents happen. This was from a dear friend, but it's only a thing."  The whole incident and item was forgotten until a couple days later, my husband came through the door from work carrying the same cross?  "There's no way you could have repaired that," I exclaimed totally puzzled.  "When you decorated my office years ago, you placed this cross in there.  No one will miss it in my office," he lovingly replied.  After dinner, I thought back to his actions and told him, "I felt so loved by your thoughtfulness in bringing that cross home."

Just to know we are on someone's mind means so much. Way too seldom, do I call or email someone when the Lord prompts me to pray for them. How that would lift their day.  The simple touch of a hand on my shoulder or a hug from someone when I've been lonely, grieving, or burdened has been interpreted as the arms of Jesus more than once. My arms need to reach out more often.  Having been an educator and being in love with one at the present time, I find myself praying often for teachers to have eyes to see into the hearts of their students and colleagues and know how to make them feel loved and appreciated.  I pray a similar prayer daily for parents and spouses.

The other morning my family members and their workplaces came to mind. I prayed that in each case they would be appreciated by their bosses and colleagues and they would look forward to going to work.

Human love will fall short and disappoint, but God's love is steadfast, filled with compassion and forgiveness. We can always look forward to entering into His presence.

Generational Fun

It's basketball season! Three generations showing off their shooting techniques.
Ole Papa still has the magic touch!

January 8
Genesis 10 is titled "The Table of Nations."  Did you realize the whole earth was populated from Noah's three sons?  Reading this genealogy I wondered what there was for me to glean.   In chapter nine it mentioned Noah planted the first vineyard. I actually googled "How to grow grapes."  Looks pretty complicated, especially on a deer ladened property.

We have five sons who have married and moved to various parts of our country.  There have been times I've wished we'd had a family business for them all to go into and they lived close by.  Looking at how God sent Noah's sons off in three different directions to populate the world, I realized God has a purpose in how he stirs our hearts. I'm thankful our five sons have found wives and careers which are purposeful and fulfilling. It's always good to see their faces come through our door and feel the warmth of their hugs, but this mama is glad they've found their way and good women to stand beside them.

In a way, we have passed a "family business" on.  The business of loving and living for the Lord.

Noah passed the important example of obedience onto his sons.  She Reads Truth writer, Erin Davis writes:
"But the torch of faith was passed through the generations, and that flame can be traced back to this spark. 'And Noah did everything that the Lord commanded him.'  Genesis 7:5  Obedience to God was the gift Noah gave to the next generation.  When we obey God, we are storing away treasure for those who will come behind us...We can affect future generations, but we have to make peace with the marathon of life, refusing to settle for the sprint.  Noah's story urges us to make peace with wanting the Lord to be glorified in his timing."

Some of my dearest friends do not have children, but they have lives of great influence and a legacy to leave.  God has gifted them in very different ways and is using their lives to impact others of all ages.  They have the time, energy and flexibility to be an example in places I will never go.  To God be the glory for all he has done and continues to do!

Do It All for Jesus

Unusually warm temperatures made for some great outdoor fun the 1st weekend in January.
The brrrrr that is going on now had not occurred!

January 7
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

Why do we study the Bible?  Some seek knowledge and desire truth, others want wisdom.  How many individuals open the living Word with a selfless attitude of total obedience,  truly believing the hope they hunger for, the peace they seek, and the answers they need will be found through a life of surrendering?

"We were not made to live independent, self-directed lives.  We were not meant to exist according to our own little self-oriented plans, living for our own moments of glory.  No, we were created to live for him." 
Paul David Tripp 

Most of us head into work awaiting instructions.  Even as teachers/instructors there are  guidelines and goals to accomplish. Each time we open God's Word, let's expect to find instructions from Him on how to live the days ahead in way which will bring him glory!

Where will we step today?  A meeting, the library, the grocery store, a carpool line, a doctor's office?  Will our eyes, ears, and hearts be zeroed in on what we want to accomplish for ourselves or will they be focused outward believing with heavenly expectancy that God is as work and may have an assignment for us that can bring him glory?

Regain My Sight

"...Jesus said, 'What do you want Me to do for you?' And the blind man said to Him, 'Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!' And Jesus said to him, 'Go; your faith has made you well.'  Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road."
Mark 10: 51-52
January 6
One of our pastors preached on the perseverance of Bartimaeus, the blind man, who cried out over and over to Jesus.  His punch point was for us to "Have great faith and follow Jesus."  When the Mark passage above flashed up on the big screen at church, the words 
"I want to regain my sight" grabbed me and took me in the direction of evaluating how easily I can get off track from the vision to which God has called me.  Those visions, directions, paths, etc. have changed more often than the foliage on the trees during my life. Some which He has called me to  which I may need to allow to be re-birthed.  Others, I'm sure He found someone more obedient to carry through.

The pastor preaching referenced the phrase "imperfect progress" used by author Lysa TerKeurst.  She writes, "So many times I vowed to do better but failed. I'd be praising God one minute and then yelling and screaming at my child the next.  Then I felt the shame of that destructive behavior...It dawned on me what kept me from change was the feeling I wouldn't do it perfectly. It's okay to have setbacks.  Just keep moving the line forward.  Change will come. And it will be good."  

That's how imperfect progress works and God tolerates this process! Oooooo, He's already calling me back to move forward and complete a project I abandoned several years ago.  Will I be found faithful?

Very, Very Old and Patient

New Year's Eve by the Fire Pit
January 5
Narrowing in on the four month post stroke mark, I keep wanting things to be back to normal.
We had four fun days with one of our sons and his family, but at the end of day four my head was splitting.  Same ole, same ole. I do well, pacing myself, then think I'm good to go and push past my limit and pay for it.  Oh well, it was worth it!

Studying Genesis is worth it too!  Yesterday, I was in chapters 6-7 and wrote in my notebook...
"Okay, God, I'm listening. First of all, You did this amazing ark construction with a 600 year old man.  At 58 I'm already feeling like I've lived a full life and need to just ride out the remainder of my days enjoying my grandchildren. NOT.  Today one of my best friends started a new 9-5 job!  Another friend had to go back to work full time at 57.  I need to live expectantly and look for what it is You want me to do.  Living in a retirement community messes with that mindset. Forgive me Father. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I need to stay ready for action."

Noah was 600 years old when the flood came and water covered the earth.
Genesis 7:6

The other news alert for me was Noah's patience.  How long did it take to gather all the supplies to build the ark?  He didn't drive to Lowe's to pick up his boards and nails.  The 40 days of rain  has always been a focus when I think of the ark adventure, but digging into the nitty gritty with some math skills I realized it was more like 374 days on the ark!

Oh, me of little faith. Give me an assignment Lord and find me steadfast to the finish.

The Power of Sin

January 4
Camping out in Genesis brings the quick reality of the power of sin.  While it didn't take long for Adam and Eve to taste of that apple, my sweet tooth relates to that temptation.  But Cain killing his brother, Abel, saddens me to great depths.  Sibling rivalry riveted the first family!
If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?
And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door;
and its desire is for you, but you must master it.
Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, 
that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
Genesis 4:7-8 

From early on, I've told our own whatever you want to be, live wherever you want to live, but I ask two things of you...
1st   To love the Lord with all your heart.
2nd  To love and be there for your siblings forever.

Now that they have married and many are parents, I'd add...
Be faithful to your spouse, make them smile and feel loved, and keep your marriage bed pure.
Be present in the lives of your children, teach them about Jesus and love them with a love that is contagious!

There's More Than This

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  
In the world you have tribulation, but take courage;
I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

January 2-3
Looking out at a new year, brings refreshment, which often accompanies the hope for change.  Looking back on the past four months, I certainly hope 2016 isn't filled with health issues for anyone in my family.  Yet, John 16:33 reminds me there will be tribulation!  So, my plan is to live by faith expecting the up and downs.  While on the mountain tops, I want to pray for those in the valleys and when in the valley myself I want to recognize God is there with me and he places beautiful lilies in the valley that shouldn't be missed.

Over our Christmas break I read a "Can't put it down" book, Cancer Mom, written by our pastor's wife, Susan Briggs Parris.  Below is the review I placed on Amazon.

"Currently facing health issues of my own and having walked alongside family members battling cancer, I couldn't put this book down. Susan Parris takes you face to face with the heartaches of REAL life, but ladles it with first hand hope from a very REAL and believable faith. This is a great gift to put in the hands of others facing hardships, health or otherwise.  The added inserts from her husband bring a boatload of wisdom and tangible tools to take hold of for caregivers, who often struggle and wear themselves down when a loved one is facing such a huge health issue.   Of added importance, the issue of being your own advocate or having a good one walking beside you when it come to medical decisions and administration is addressed. Well done, good and faithful servant!"

So 2016, ready or not, here we come..with Jesus at our side!  We trust the plans He has for us, to prosper us and give us a hope and a eternal future in our heavenly home.