Daddy Daughter Day

March 31
The plan was for our son, who lives in Minnesota, to fly in for four nights over Easter with his 1 and 3 year olds.  His wife was on call that weekend.  The day before the flight the three year old fell backwards in a chair at Day Care and sustained a severe concussion.  Determined to make a go of it, they headed to the airport the next day in hopes the complications had subsided, but on the way he became actively sick and had to stay behind.  So, Daddy and daughter embarked on a five day excursion to Virginia alone!  We enjoyed watching the love these two share and having the opportunity to get to know this precious little personality a bit better.  (Like Mama Boo....this little girl LOVES to create!)

Yesterday morning I awakened to an empty house for the first time in eight days.  My thought was...I'm all alone.  Immediately the thought shifted and I felt God say, "You are never alone.
Today we are having a "Daddy Daughter Day."

This verse in Hebrews is not only a good reminder that God is always there ready to help, but it also gives some awesome guidelines for offering hospitality without a hassle.  I think I'll post it as a reminder as the Shiloh summer crowd arrives.

Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love.  Be ready with a meal or a bed when it's needed.  Why, some have extending hospitality to angels without ever knowing it!...Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, 'I'll never let you down, never talk off and leave you,' we can boldly quote,
God is there, ready to help; I"m fearless no matter what.'"
Hebrews 13: 1-3, 5-6

Please say a prayer as I have my yearly checkup and blood work review today.  
Pray I can clearly express to the doctor symptoms occurring and 
that I have clarity of understanding what she is relaying to me.
No fear here.  It's Daddy Daughter outing!

Lifes Extras

A Lenten Rose

March 30
Cleaning up before our Easter crowd arrived, I came across a small book published in 1928, which had been given to my grandmother by her best friend on Christmas 1951.  The title Life's Extras, by Archibald Rutledge.
He wrote, "...Creation supplies us with only two kinds of things: necessities and extras.  Sunlight, air, water, food, shelter-these are month the bare necessities. With them we can exist.  But moonlight and starlight are distinctly extras; so are music, the perfumes, flowers...The fascinating part about all this is not the tabulating of life's necessities and life's extras; it is rather the question, Who put them here, and for what purpose?"

"God made two great lights
-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.
He also made the stars."
Genesis 1:16

Spring is popping out overnight.  The trees will be shaking their tale feathers before we know it.
What do we do with the amazement of this time of year?  Let's allow it to take us into deeper relationship with the One who made all things and thank Him for all of life's extras!


March 29
Ok, so maybe this is a not a news flash, but...I love to create! Whether it's taking an old wagon and using it as an end table, mixing up some magic flavors in the kitchen, clacking knitting needles together or getting crafty with a flurry of materials, I find it relaxing and fulfilling.  (If I'm totally honest, I'll confess it takes a whole lot longer and has to be done in smaller increments in this post stroke body, but the desire is still in there.)

Building on yesterday's entry on Life's Extras, I looked up the dictionary definition of create.

" bring into existence. make or produce (something): to cause (something new) to exist using your talents and 
     imagination. cause a particular situation to exist" 

God obviously loves to bring things into existence!  One of my favorite things to do is cuddle up, one on one, with the grands and talk about the day God decided to create them and list all the unique features he wove together to make them be them!

"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 were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:14-16

Create something beautiful may simply fall under the definition of causing a particular situation to exist,  like the creation of a new friendship!

Match Up With Jesus

March 28
I made this matching bunny game for our grandchildren.  The tails are velcroed on so they can pull off and be matched up to the corresponding bunny.  The object lesson will be on how we are to live in a manner that matches us up with Jesus.  Living in a way that others know we go with Jesus.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

Easter Sunday-He is RISEN!

Not sure if you can see the three wooden crosses in the planter on the left.
This was such a simple decoration, but it tells such a powerful story.

March 27

Happy Easter
The Tomb is Empty
Jesus overcame death!
Sing Alleluia all day long!
Tell of His amazing love to another!

Make My Joy Complete

March 26
Six of the eight grands arrived at Shiloh yesterday as the temperatures topped out around 75 degrees.  Shoes came off and feet joyfully splashed along the shoreline. Please pray for the two children who weren't able to fly in.  One took a fall backwards out of a chair at school and has a concussion; the other one has a fever.

Just before dinner the adult children banished me to my bedroom for a little quiet time.  After about 2 minutes the grands joined me..sans the quiet. Pulling out books, crayons and coloring books, quiet play with one another ensued. Laying on the bed, with my husband beside me, watching the exchanges going on between these cousins, I told my man, "I could die happy right here in this setting!"  My joy was complete.

Scripture recall came into play as I thought of the phrase: my joy is complete.  This passage  below from Philippians 2 makes my heart sing! For a parent, seeing your children and grandchildren love one another is a rare, priceless gift.

I found myself reflecting on the discord which Judas wove at the Last Supper and in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Like mindedness had flown the coop. He had succumbed to Satan's lures and temptations, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Christ's betrayal.

"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." Philippians 2:1-3 

The Weight of the World

March 25
Felted eggs!
Let's look at the words expressing how Jesus felt in the Garden of Gethsemane.

"Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, 'Stay here while I go over there and pray.' Taking along Peter and two of the sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow.  Then he said, 'This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.' Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, 'My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?
When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep.  He said to Peter,  'Can't you stick it out with me a single hour?  Stay alert; be in prayer so you don't wander into temptation without even knowing you're in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there's another part that's as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.'"

Two components of this passage stand out to me.  One is the Peter encounter..."Can't you stick it out with me a single hour?"  Who has called on us to pray and we haven't even invested ten minutes lifting up those requests?

The second is the reflection on a couple life experiences I've had which come  minutely close to the exchange being expressed between Jesus and God.  One was natural childbirth. I'm sure I said, "God, if there's a pain free way to have this baby, please provide it."  The other would be having watched people I love die and pleading to God...  "God please don't let them suffer." Neither of those come close to the weight of the world Christ endured on the cross.

Elements of Easter

The sign should read...
The cross, Jesus, sacrifice for sins,
He is RISEN!

March 24
Some of our little peeps have arrived!  Today's egg hunt will be with Resurrection Eggs, which tell the story of Holy Week.  Our hope is to share various elements of the Easter story each day with the grandchildren. Today we will talk about the last supper Jesus had with his friends and how he tried to explain that he would be leaving them.  We will also talk about how he washed their feet.  

"It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had comefor him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him." John 13:1-5
Last night we hunted glow in the dark eggs.  The message was to be on how Jesus is the Light of the World, but the boys just wanted us to get out of the room so they could be in the dark with their eggs!  Mama Boo was tuckered out too, so we will attempt that lesson again tonight.

Jesus once again address them: "I am the world's Light.  No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness.  I provide plenty of light to live in."  John 8:12

It's About the Cross

March 23

I have to interrupt the regularly scheduled devotional for today to share a song and group which are new to me.  The Bell Brothers singing It's About the Cross.

Praying Jesus is oh so close to you this Holy Week.


"The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
'Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'
Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
Matthew 21:9

March 22
I'd just finished up a daily study in John 15 on "remaining in the vine."  Praying for God to direct my path related to a summer study here at Shiloh the phrase "an urgency for others" bellowed in my brain.  Whew! I got the willies, it was so clear.  Whatever we do needs to be done with a sincere love and welcoming to others, no bones about it, done in the name of the Lord!  Acts 20 from the other day echoed back in my mind.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me;
my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-
the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.
Act 20:24

Bingo!  There's part of the summer study...personal testimonies.  The other key element is teaching people to pray.  (Reflect back to the entry relating to the movie Gravity and no one having ever taught the astronaut to pray.)

I Love You

March 21
It was a wonderful birthday weekend for my husband.  A bit chilly, but we cozied up by the fire and watched basketball.  Throughout the day I found myself saying, "Have I told you that I love you?  Do you know you are my favorite thing?"
Then yesterday our church had a powerful, moving Palm Sunday service.  Holding my husband's hand throughout much of the service and as we walked to the car I became convicted.  Expressing that conviction I told him, "Yesterday, over and over again I told you how much I love you.  I think the only time I told Jesus I loved him was when I woke up."

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength."
Mark 12:30

"Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker."
Psalm 95:6

During this Holy Week let's be intentional to up the ante in our worship of the Lord.  May our voices to lifted in song, in sentence and in sincere sentiment as to the depth of our love for Jesus. May our prayer journals and Bible study pages exude written words of "I love You!"  xoxox's and heart icons.  As we, the Bride of Christ, express a deeper outpouring of love for Christ, may it be a life pattern that isn't just for Holy Week, but continues to grow daily in its depth of expression!  

"For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy."
2 Corinthians 11:2  

"Jesus answered and said to him,
'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him and make Our abode with him."
John 14:23 

Egg Spoon Race

These wooden bunny spoons will be used in a plastic egg and spoon race next week!

March 19-20
Do you feel like you are living in a rat race or has the pace slowed down and your wondering how much longer until you are facing the finish line?

God's Word is so rich concerning any topic that might cross our minds. Check out these related to the race of life.

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.  You were running a good race.  Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?  That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.  Galatians 5:6-8

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.  Acts 20:24

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.   2 Timothy 4:7

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance  the race marked out for us.   Hebrews 12:1

So, off we go!  Off to keep on keeping on with Jesus for whatever task he has at hand today.
The greatest prize we could ever imagine...wait the greatest prize which our minds cannot imagine...
awaits us!

No One Taught Me...

March 18
Channel surfing the other night, my husband landed on the dramatic ending of the movie Gravity.
The moment I laid eyes on it, I knew my nights sleep would be ruined. I actually awakened in the middle of the night with dizziness so SEVERE I had to grab hold of my man.  Unfortunately, I'm still spinning.

A monologue is haunting me from the movie.  It's when Sandra Bullock, the lone astronaut left on this mission, realizes she is going to die...

"No one will mourn me. No one will pray for my soul.  
Will you mourn me? Will you pray for me? 
I'd pray for myself, but I've never prayed-nobody ever taught me how."

Ugh.  How many people really feel like that? So sad. 

"There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.  But if from there you seek the Lord your God
you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.  
Deuteronomy 4:28-29

 I may have shared, a while back I had the opportunity to pray over a young woman. Afterwards tears dripped from her eyes and she said, "That's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me."  We all need to actually pray for and with people more. 

Come join us on Monday nights this summer and learn how to pray!
There are lots of ways!

Things that Grow

Do you like my egg heads?  I put dirt and grass seed in eggshells!

March 17
Whew! Maintaining things that grow. What a chore. My hair is way overdo a cut, it's getting more and more difficult to stay in that bent over position and trim my toenails, age spots are popping out all over, and my belly seems to grow just looking at food these days.

Outside weeds are popping up, the exterminator is on his way due to the possibility we have carpenter bees who have laid larva and the baby woodpeckers, who are growing, are feasting on is what they consider a delicacy.

Some things seem to grow rather easily.  What about our faith?  Is it stagnant? Is there a satisfaction in the thought process..."I've said the prayer and am in the door."

Hear the enthusiasm and encouragement in these apostles' writings as they spur believers on to grow in their faith.  Do we ever sound like this?

"I thank God through Jesus for every one of you. That's first.  People everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith, and every time I hear them, I thank him.  And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son-the Message!-knows that every time I think of you in my prayers, which is practically all the time, I ask him to clear the way for me to come and see you....I so want to be there to deliver God's gift in person and watch you grow stronger right before my eyes!"  Romans 1:8-12  

"Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, or sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you."    Corinthians 10:15-16

"Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully.  Why, it's only right that we give thanks.  We're so proud of you; you're so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you.  We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you."  2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

Who are we excited to see growing in their faith right now?  Are we celebrating this with other believers?  We cheer our children/grandchildren on in their worldly endeavors...sports, dance, academics, jobs....are we affirming them in how their faith is growing?  Are we feeding that faith?

"So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus."  2 Peter 1:5-9 

An Advocate

March 16
The wake up word was advocate.  Okay, Lord, where is this going?
The dictionary defines advocate as "one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal; one that supports or promotes the interest of another; one that pleads the cause of another."

Yes, I'll take on of those please!

And there is one available to us all. His name is Jesus and is there for the asking!

The Bible says in 1 John 2:1-2
"My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

A Thousand Generations

Boo Boo bunnies in the making.

March 15
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God,
keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him
and keep his commandments.
Deuteronomy 7:9 

I'm counting the days until the generation, represented by our grandchildren, arrives for Easter!  
Six months ago, even two months ago, crafting wasn't happening with this brain, because it was too taxing sequentially. My husband says I've been a crafting machine lately.  The stroke related head pain is almost nonexistence (except on days I way over do and it's there as a reminder).  Yesterday, was a banner day. My four hour, solo, escapade  involved a doctor's appointment in Roanoke, a brief visit to a friend, shopping at Lowe's and on other store. My man stayed on the phone with me most of the drive home.  Then I crawled in bed and slept for two hours!  

The woman I visited has been a spiritual mentor of mine for years. As she walked me to the door, she said, "Remember you are not going out this door alone, Jesus is with you!"

While the cause of the stroke remains a mystery and recovery seems to have been a long time coming, I'm truly starting to feel like myself again and praising the Lord for the progress.

Listening to the political debates, which probably isn't good for my brain, one particular candidate consistently brings up the reminder of the national debt mess we are leaving to our children/grandchildren.  Had the stroke taken me home, our children would have been laden with a mess of things around this house. We've just spent my husband's spring break, cleaning our property inside and out.  

Of eternal value is the spiritual heritage we are leaving to future generations. They can divide up or dump the things. Do our lives exhibit exhilaration from knowing our God is faithful? Do the tales we tell speak of how God has kept his covenant he made to Abraham?  This Easter as grandchildren gather here, we will celebrate the beauty of spring, pick daffodils, wear bunny socks, eat marshmallow chicks, hunt eggs, and have treasure hunts, but the cross and other stories of Jesus are the true treasures we will pass on.

Don't Miss Something Wonderful

Dreaming for a Tar Heel win!
March 14
While watching a basketball game with my husband the other night, I needed to slip away for a few moments to work on the laundry.  No sooner had I stepped out of the room than a loud "AHHHH!" came from his mouth.  "Did I miss something wonderful?" I called back.
"An alley-oop slam dunk!"  he replied with pure elation.

Walking towards the laundry room I thought, there are going to be some gasps from people's mouths when Jesus returns to earth.  Some will be ecstatic with what they see as they are changed in the twinkling of an eye.  Others will realize they have missed something wonderful.

" 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 

What is to Come!

March 12-13
Right now the landscape is rather barren around Shiloh. There is still not a leaf on a tree, the pompous grasses are cut back and brown.  This picture from last year is a reminder of what is to come!  The spring equinox arrives March 20th. On that date, day and night are equal.

We anticipate what each season brings with confidence.  Is that how we look at heaven?
The best is yet to come!

But there's far more to life for us.  We're citizens of high heaven!
We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ,
who will transform our earthly bodies into glorious bodies like his own.
He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting
everything as it should be, under and around him.
Philippians 3:20-21

Doesn't get anymore exciting than that my friend!
Don't forget to spring forward into daylight savings time tonight!

Overcome and Dream On

March 11
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

Dreams can be so strange. I can't even remember the setting of the one I had the other night, but I was up in the middle of the night typing the punchline from it...."With Jesus we are Overcomers." Jesus always provides a successful way out...even if the way out of the dilemma is death...for the believer that is the ultimate way out because it leads to eternal life.

The dream had to do with situations that kept stumping me.  The only one I can remember was the Peeps arrangement above.  How could I use Peeps, candies and fresh flowers in an arrangement.
The obstacle was water and soil for the grass, so I needed a vase within a vase!  Ugh!  Middle of the night thoughts.  Any who...all that led to remembering Jesus is my All in All.  I opened up Biblegateway looking for the Corinthians verse above and found this as the verse for the day.

Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

The song Breathe just came to mind.  "This is the air I breathe...I'm desperate for YOU!"

It's always a good time with Jesus, even in the middle of the night!

I kid you not, my husband just rolled over (the clicking of the computer keys must have awakened him) and said, "I just had a dream I was driving a tractor trailer and got pulled over and the officer was not nice to me at all!  What did we eat last night to lead to all this dreaming?

Prayerful Hearts Free of Hatred

March 10

Recently I overheard someone firing off how they hated one presidential candidate. They were quick to sing the accolades of another.  My guess was if I approached this person and asked for specific stances, which were evoking these strong emotions, they would not be able to pinpoint many positional statements.
The boldness of this individual eventually brought them to inquire of me, as to whom I voted for in the primary and also seek to see if I held hatred for the same individual they did.  My response was that while certain personalities were "not my favorite" I had to realize that God has created each of us with a purpose and I couldn't comfortably say I hated one of God's creations.  Absolutely, I'd rather have a like minded, God-fearing, humble individual leading our nation and I take my responsibility to vote seriously, but I need to remember the Lord is sovereign and has a plan.  That plan doesn't include me expressing hatred for others.  That was the end of our conversation.

While Psalm 101:3 instructs us...
"I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it."

Matthew 5: 43-44 states:
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.'"

Paul's word in 2 Timothy 1:9 is a great reminder that God has a plan and a purpose for each of us.
"He has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.  This grace was given us in Christ Jesus..."

A She Reads Truth writer wrote:
"In Christ's presence, we are able to see the world as it truly is. We also begin to see people-all people-as made in the image of God, full of dignity and worth. By His Spirit, the Savior opens our eyes to eternal things, teach us to walk by faith, not by physical sight."  

God, help us get through these next eight months of this election year with prayerful hearts on the forefront of our lips.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.

In Every Situation

March 9

I'm embarrassed to say I've attended a satellite Bible Study Fellowship class since the fall and can't tell you the name of the lecturer on the video.  She is very good.  Shh, I know it's not popular, but she was speaking on sin and God's wrath recently.  
She stated, "Sin remains when we love it more than we love God."

She went on to express how people like to feel they are basically good.  They may say, "I like to find the good in every situation." When they should be saying,  "We need to find God in every situation." 

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:11

"...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:23

Things that Make Me Smile

Sweet Tea with my Sweetie

March 8
A perfectly brewed jar of sweet tea will always be a favorite of mine.  A glass of refreshment!

Sunday night, I opened Biblegateway and read the daily verse over and over again, because it brought me such joy and made me smile.  
Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, 
for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.
Isaiah 25:1

Yup, that's an ever after verse to memorize. A verse you can say after every situation!  What a wonderful wake up call that would make.  "Wake up!  Praise the Lord. Today is going to be amazing because in his perfect faithfulness the Lord has done and will do wonderful things that were planned long ago!  So get out there and see what He's doing!"

One of the other things that makes me smile is our seven year old grandson sleeping right by my bedside on a chaise lounge cushion with his favorite blankets!

Who Am I?

March 7
A lovely lady approached me at a Bible Study and said, "Do you know who I am?"  That stumped me!  My slow brain thought..."You are a lady who attends Bible Study.  You are a child of God."
Before I blurted out those things, she explained that I knew her son and didn't know if I'd made the connection between the two.

The phrase "Do you know who I am?" stayed with me.  I decided to toss it out to my husband when he arrived home that evening.  It took him back! He said, "Well, you are you!"

Then I threw it out to myself looking in the mirror..."Do you know who you are?"

Yes, I am beloved.  A am a child of God.  A am an heir to the King. I am forgiven. I am God's creation. I am a servant of Jesus Christ. I am to be a citizen of heaven.

But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven!
We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, 
who will transform our earthly bodies into glorious bodies like his own.
He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is 
putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
Philippians 3:20-21 

Interesting to think...we really don't know who we will be in that perfected heavenly state
for we shall be changed!

I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,
nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Listen, I tell you a mystery:
We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-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 15:50-52

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us 
and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts
in every good work and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 

Old and Crazy

Pulling out a box of Easter decorations, I came across these playing cards and the titles
really spoke to me...Old and Crazy!

March 5-6
The Bible Study Fellowship lesson this week on God's justice and mercy spoke to me as well.  One day in the midst of studying, a baby woodpecker was pecking away on our house. Usually, for the big birds if I simply knock on the window he/she takes to flight.  This baby was too ignorant to see me as a threat.  The joke was on me, as the scene played out.
I knocked on the window, slammed the door, hooted and hollered, and finally got a broom and frantically swung it in the air, as this wee one totally IGNORED me!  I probably would have gotten a BB gun, but there were numerous windows in the vicinity and I felt sure I'd hit those and not the bird.

Giving up I came back inside and thought about the lesson I'd just read on being merciful.  There wasn't a ting of mercy on my mind related to that destructive bird.

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

God's mercies are new every morning.  Are ours?

A Privilege with Great Purpose

Our 30 year old son, celebrating his birthday with a swim!
He's like the Pied Piper.  Kids just flock to him, because he's willing to be where the action is!

March 4th
My father was a very busy businessman, heading up a road construction company. His work required him to travel to bid lettings, out of town to job sites and to numerous conventions a year, but at least four times a year he would take my mother and me along on fabulous trips. When possible he would leave work to attend my sporting events. When he was in town He was present and interested. His presence made me feel so loved and brought me such a peace and confidence.  Tennis matches made my mother nervous, so he'd carry a couple folding chairs (allowing them to sit away from the crowd) and a cooler with Tab (the diet drink my mother liked) and cold Gatorade for me.  When he was at home, he was my homework helper, always encouraging me to do my best.  He took me clothes shopping more than my mother did!  He sacrificed his free time and gave it to his children and did it with great joy.  

"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, 
bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
Ephesians 6:4

My husband's career is in education/administration where he pours himself into the lives of other children. We were blessed that our children could attend the school where he worked, which afforded him the opportunity to be very present in their lives thus setting an excellent example for our sons.  Watching our children parent is such a blessing.  They genuinely enjoy their interaction with their children and have a strong presence.  They see their children as a treasure and worth investing in.

The phrase "take notice" just came to mind.  When these dads walk in the door, or attend a child's event they TAKE NOTICE of that child.  There is eye contact, verbal interaction and discipline when needed.  They have wise spouses who know the importance of them decompressing with some alone time as well and also plugging date nights into the calendar to keep the romance burning.

For year's my husband carried the haunting lyrics to "Cats in the Cradle" in his wallet.  A good reminder to make the most of the fleeting impressionable years a parent has on a child.

Take the time to encourage and spur on a young father you know to be joyfully be present in the lives of their children. To count it as a privilege with great purpose.

Sacrifice-It's Clobbering Me

March 3
It's popping up all around me...the word sacrifice. Even in church Sunday one song was about...

Sacrifice-"the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone; an act of offering to a deity something precious; destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else.

(It's a great word to have in your head when you are decluttering. "Oh, I'll sacrifice that and let someone else have it!)

What are we willing to sacrifice for Jesus, who gave it all for us?

Those who cling to worthless idols forsake faithful love, but as for me, 
I will sacrifice to You with a voice of thanksgiving.  
Jonah 2:8-9

So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time,
not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:28

Whew! Thank You, Jesus. I don't know about you, but I'm so thankful we don't have to take a critter to church on Sundays and sacrifice it.

How are we to live sacrificially?

Let's see if the Lord wants to speak to us through any of these verses related to living sacrificially.

What does our checkbook/financial statement say about sacrificial giving?
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.                   Proverbs 3:9

What lifestyle changes have we made that please the Lord? Is that something that needs to go?
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.                Proverbs 21:3

How could we say we have lost our life for Jesus? Does Jesus come first?
For whoever wants to save their life will lost it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
                                                                                                                                     Luke 9:24
What have we sacrificed for a friend lately?
Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one's life for one's friends.                John 15:13

Have we sacrificially given love to the Lord, by loving someone else?
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 5:2

Are we invested in the lives of the Body of Christ, even if it means sacrificing worldly social status?
Years ago, a neighbor commented about us. "They go to church EVERY Sunday and Wednesday."
They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.                                                                                                                           Acts 2:42

Does the path we walk exhibit sacrificial living with a joyful attitude?
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. Job 23:10-11

When the Spirit stirs in us today and we are called to sacrifice our time, our money, or our love may we be found faithful to do so with a huge smile on our face and joy in our hearts. We are oh so blessed to be connected to Christ in a way that affords Him the opportunity to work through our lives!

Motives & Portions

"You do not have because you do not ask. 
You ask and don't receive because you ask with wrong motives,
so that you may spend it on your evil desires."
John 4:3

March 2

A She Reads Truth writer emailed in reference to the verse above:
"Ask for the fatted calf. Ask for your Father's gifts. Ask for whatever you want in His name,
and ask regularly, faithfully.  But ask for it knowing this, He gives exactly what you need when you need it. Daily bread, not a lifetime's worth. Today's portion, not tomorrow's. Thanks be to God."

Our God knows all our needs. He knows what lays ahead.  This took me back fifteen or more years ago when we were trying to sell our home of 25 years, to just live at the lake.  It took two years for that home to sell, but now I can look back and see God's protective hand.  There were many times we needed that home.  One was after our son broke his neck in a terrible accident.  While initially he was at UVA, eventually he was moved to our hometown hospital.  All our children had returned home to support him and numerous friends came to visit.  Having that big ole home, just a mile from the hospital, to house/host everyone was an incredible convenience.  My guess is when we stand before the Lord a lot of the pieces of the puzzle of life will make sense!

So, we keep on praising and praying, but we pray with the right motives.  Are we motivated by selfish desires or as servants of the Lord who trust in His provisions and desire to see His kingdom magnified and Him get the glory?

I Know and Believe

Carousing Cousins

March 1
At night when I crawl into bed, my husband is usually already asleep, but I lean over him and whisper, "You're my favorite thing."  The other morning I was sitting in the silence with Jesus, doing Bible study and I journaled, "Lord, I must stop and tell you that being alone with you is my favorite time of the day!  I get just plain thrilled being with You and I wish everyone could know that experience."

Opening my She Reads Truth email for the day I was jumping for joy as the author wrote:
"Prayer is not just about the act of asking and receiving; it is the act of being.  It is the act of knowing.  It is the act of coming near to God with integrity (authenticity) with a  heart that is whole and undivided in its attentiveness to Him.  It is knowing and believing that He is near and He hears us, that He is always faithful in His love for us, even when we don't feel it."

"Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your loving kindnesses,
for they have been from old."
Psalm 25:6

Prayer is less about the words we say and more about the availability of our Creator and our King and the opportunity each of us has to call on Him."

That is so well said!

Soon after the stroke, I began to fear returning to Shiloh and being alone for so many hours a day.
Whether it is a personality change or the injured brain, I find sitting alone in the quiet can be a comfort. I'm not afraid, because I know and believe angels are encamped upon this property, the Holy Spirit is in me and Jesus is omni-present with compassion and loving kindness.  Whatever is ahead next for me I realize this is preparation time, which has been prepared in advance for me by the One who loves me most!