The Great Adventure into the Glorious Unknown



June 30
Watching our grandchildren venture out and try new things reminds me of Steven Curtis Chapman's hit back in 1990 called "The Great Adventure."  It speaks of following our leader into the Great Unknown.  No matter our age we need faith to do that every day.

"Just think-you don't need a thing, you've got it all!
All God's gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale.  And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus.  God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his  Son and our Master Jesus.  He will never give up on you.
Never forget that."
1 Corinthians 1:7-9

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVFPjIp6nkk




Celebrate

Happy Birthday to you!

June 29
I'm so glad God's Word speaks of celebrations!  The remembrance, the recollection, of who God is an all He has done for us is reason to jump up and down, turn all around, and shout praise!  David, a man after God's own heart,  was the ultimate when it came the exaltation of his God and King!

Read David's words in Psalm 145 out loud.

"I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.

Gret is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty-and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endured through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise 
his holy name for ever and ever.

Early Morning Light


Have you ever noticed how quickly the early morning light transforms.

June 28
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  
Show me the way I should go."
Psalm 143:8

Nuff said.  Not sure about you, but this is perfect for us!

Life's Simple Pleasures



These two little fellows had a blast running through sprinklers together last week!
Sometimes it's the simplest thing that brings about pleasure.

June 27
It's a double birthday celebration on this day in our family.  Our daughter and one of our grandsons are celebrating life and thanking God for creating them.
Birthdays are such a fun time to look back and remember the things that have brought us great joy during our time on earth.

"You make known to me the path of life; 
you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:11

As we remember these two lives today we thank God for giving them to our family. Our daughter certainly has been a joy bringer to many and our grandson always has a smile on his face and brightens the day of others around him.

"How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the 
joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?"
1 Thessalonians 3:9

My Life Verse



June 25-26

My life verse is "Be joyful always, pray without ceasing, and in all things give thanks."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The only way it is possible to do this is by living in the Spirit and that's not always an easy end road to reach for humans.

When we choose to live by the Spirit the result is..."love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."  Galatians 5:22-23
Doesn't that sound like a gourmet buffet for the soul?

On top of external issues which have had us shell shocked the past two weeks, I've encounter a health issue with my kidneys and my precious doctor is on vacation. Her partner has started initial lab studies, which should be back on Monday and put me on an antibiotic to cover possible bases. Please pray that these symptoms have come on related to the stress we've been under and that I am not having issues related to the stroke medication I am on.  Kidney damage is a possible side effect of this drug.

In the meantime, I'm being joyful, praying without ceasing and giving thanks to God in all these things because I know He is always up to good and finding creative ways to further His kingdom!

Fishing in a Fog


June 24

Maybe the reason I'm so drawn to this early morning foggy fishing photo I took this week is because the last nine months I've lived in a bit of a fog, as a result of the stroke. It  reminds me of the pillar of cloud God gave the Israelites to follow.

Life serves us up times which lack clarity.  Times we cry out, "Are you there Father?"

Holding in a lot of grief from a triple whammy of hurt the past 10 days, I went outside alone on our screen porch.  It's a place I love to seek the Lord. Hanging up from a phone call in which I was trying to stay strong, I burst into tears and sobbed.  At that moment, one of the most ferocious winds I've ever experienced burst forth.  The trees shook, our patio umbrella literally sailed through the air. I knew without a doubt it was God saying to me: "Do you not know who I AM?  I am the Almighty. Do not fear!"  I lifted my arms into the air and sang out praise saying "What a mighty God YOU are."  As I sang the winds stopped and the finest mist blew through the screens across my face, mixing in with my tears.  Never have I felt the Lord any closer than at that moment.  As my spirit calmed at the remembrance of who He is and where He has taken us before, the mist turned to a beautiful rhythmic downpour.

Picking up the phone I called my husband at work and said, "I've just been in the Presence of the Lord and on Holy Ground. It was amazing!"

Our problems aren't gone, the heartache is still deep, but by faith, I know God works all things together for good and am excited to see what He has next.

"...but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grown weary;
they will walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31


The storms will pass and we will see a rainbow soon.

Trapped

The Munk
The little one...
UGH...the bigger one!
Happy Haulers
June 23

If trapping chipmunks is illegal, don't turn us in.  It's becoming a great summer past time.  We catch 'em. Feed 'em a good meal...this one enjoyed pretzels and cherries...and then haul them up the driveway to where there are no houses and let them go!  I think we should paint their tails to see if we are catching the same ones over and over again.  They are probably back down the driveway before the truck is!

Does anything have you feeling trapped?  Do you feel like the Israelites who have been forced into a corner and see no way out?  Cry out to God! He will make a way, when there seems to be no way.

"In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:6  
  

Left Alone


June 22
This father/daughter duo had the card game "Ice Scream" all laid out, but the two little fellows in whose honor the game was being played blew right past them onto another activity.  Entering the bedroom I found these two on the floor, my husband in his Krispy Kreme hat none the less, and so I took pity on them and joined them for three hands of "Ice Scream."

Jesus will never leave us alone.  He's ready to play and lead, whatever the game of life offers up.

"The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.  The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever."  Psalm 121:7-8

Bible-oploly

Enjoying these boys this summer.

June 21
I love it when I awaken and realize I've dreamed about being with Jesus. The other night it was more of an evangelism dream.  A monopoly game salesman had come by the house and in the dream our daughter said we'd listen to his spill, if he'd play our version afterwards.  In our version all the cards had scripture verses and on each space you landed were categories where you had to share how Jesus had been an example on how to handle that situation or how he had personally walked alongside you in that category.  Marriage, parenting, sickness, work, friendship, etc.

When I awakened I went online to see if such a game exists.  There is Bible-opoly, but I'm guessing the version might be a bit more historical, than relational, in format.

Funny, in the dream the whole time he was giving his sales pitch, I was trying to thread a needle.  Hmm, wondering what the message is behind that.  Maybe someone is going to rip their britches or pop a button today and I need to have my needle and thread ready.

Our minds are amazing and I find my dreams directly relate to what I've put into my mind recently.

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."
Isaiah 26:3

"For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.   Romans 8:5-6

Like Paul, I give thanks for each of you and bare in mind how you are allowing God to work in your lives.  And, Oh, how I long to see you!

"We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you!"
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4

Observant


June 20
Paddling out on the lake recently,  I observed an ingenious design for keeping tomato plants attack free, from the local critters. (Especially the deer).  This individual set all their tomato plants in pots out on their dock and then covered them with a netted frame.  They also had the dock entrance blocked by turning over a, chair.
Thirteen years ago this month, one of our sons was in a horrific accident.  It's a miracle he is alive or not paralyzed.  Our car, which he was driving, flipped four times and his neck was broken.  During surgery a nurse called to ask us if his legs were moving before surgery and informed me they were not moving at that time.  We think back on how strange that phone call was and wonder if it was an angel prompting us to pray specifically against paralysis.  All the people in that UVA ICU waiting room, family and strangers, stood, circled up and  cried out in prayer for God to heal his body. None of us will ever forget that scene.  The movement of all his limbs was restored!
When he was moved to our hometown hospital an attorney friend came to visit suggesting we sue the truck driver who ran him off the road.  While we chose not to go that route, the initial line of questioning he gave our son stuck with me.
Was he using a cellphone?
Was he putting a CD in the player?
Was he eating?
Then he asked if he could remember the make, color, or license plates of any cars around him, so that they could be contacted as witnesses.  I am so NOT observant to that degree while driving. I realized I probably couldn't name one car, truck or motorcycle we had seen on our drive to Charlottesville.  For months following the accident, I tried to be more aware of other vehicles on the highway. My observations are probably more keen on how many miles until we reach our destination, where the nearest rest stop is located, and if there are any TJMaxxes or Chick-Fil-A's on our route!

I'd define observant as being keenly aware or quick to notice things. Let's toss that tactic into the spiritual realm of our lives.  Do we take the time in day to day life, to observe what God is up to?
Have you ever stood in a store line and looked at the people around you and wondered what is going on in their life at the present time?  Do they know the Lord and how to call upon His name for guidance, for comfort, for peace, or to simply feel loved?  Is there a word of encouragement God is prompting you to speak over them or do you sense an urge to invite them to church?

May these verses related to observing speak to your heart.

How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all their heart.
Psalm 119:2

You have seen many things, but you do not observe them: Your ears are open, but none hears.
Isaiah 42:20

Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days-You would not believe if you were told.
Habakkuk 1:5

And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow: they do not toil nor do they spin.   Matthew 6:28

But He said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it."
Luke 11:28  , they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.


Headed Home



June 18-19
While this is not true for everyone, hopefully for most, there is a secure feeling as you approach home.  Living on the water affords us two ways to access home...by land and by water.  Both thrill my heart, as does the comfort of our own bed.

Can you imagine the emotions we will experience as we approach our heavenly home?

"For our citizenship is in heaven, 
from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."  
Philippians 3:20

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, 
but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household." 
Ephesians 2:19

"Silence is praise to you, Zion-swelling God,
and also obedience. You hear the prayer in it all.
We all arrive at your doorstep sooner or later, loaded with guilt,
our sins too much for us-but you get ride of them once and for all.
Blessed are the chosen!  Blessed the guest at home in your place!
We expect our fill of good things in your house, your heavenly manse.
All your salvation wonders are on display in your trophy room.
Earth-Tamer, Ocean-Pourer, Mountain-Maker, Hill-Dresser,
Muzzler of sea storm and wave crash, of mobs in noisy riot-
Far and wide they'll come to a stop, they'll stare in awe, in wonder.
Dawn and dusk take turn s calling, "Come and worship." 
Psalm 65:1-8

Suspicious Behavior







Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 
Romans 12:15

June 17
Heading home, from a time of weeping with those who weep, we were physically and emotionally exhausted, but so thankful we had made this journey. God was certainly at work in many ways.
A long lay over between flights tempted us to take a break in white rocking chairs.  We did not realize at the time we were sitting right beside the fight information board.  The chuckles started as we watched hordes of people walk up and stare.  Discretely, I placed my phone in the book I was reading and snapped pictures.  The lady next to me was aware of what I was doing and I was afraid I would get turned in for suspicious behavior.
We were punchy tired and my husband decided it would be fun to stand up and offer assistance to people trying to find their connection.   If only we'd had tracts to pass out showing how to make a connection with Jesus.

A Guys Getaway



June 16
These two grandfathers step outside and sailed away from a house full of grief this past weekend.
The beauty of God's creation brings such comfort in times of grief, as does the visit from a dear friend who is willing to share their tears with you.

"My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word."
Psalm 119:28

"I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother."
Psalm 35:14

"I am worn out from my groaning. 
All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears."
Psalm 6:6

"Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping my last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning."
Psalm 30:4-6

Triple Threat-Triple Treat

Congrats to our baby, the triathlete, another race done well!

June 15
Swim, bike and run!  Hmm, does that sound like fun?

Here's a triple treat verse.  Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 
 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and
 He will make your paths straight.

Charles Swindoll broke this down into three actions for our day to day living.
#1 The before part is to recognize Him.  (God)
#2 Our part then is to trust Him whole-heartedly, in every corner of your life, recognizing He is the 
     One in charge.
#3 The after part is His part. "He will make your paths straight."  Swindoll says, "He'll take care of each of those obstacles ahead of you."

SOUL

Soul



June 14
A dear, dear friend called last week with news of the tragic death of a friend.  Numb and in shock, we knew we needed to go be with the family.  Arriving at our destination we walked into the rental car lot.  Way at the end of the lot high above the other cars was a mustard yellow, boxy car.  I turned to my husband and said, "Watch, that will be our car."  YUP, it was.
I quickly uttered, "There is no way we can pull up in front of there house at such a sad, sad time in this bright yellow box."  My husband said he would go back and switch it out.  The heat and humidity were stifling and I didn't want to delay our arrive, so I said we'd just go.  Fortunately, there was a large hedge where we could hide the car and it was not visible from the front of the house.  Every other car there was black or navy.

I had assumed my girl friend's parents, whom I adore, would be at her house, but no, it would be necessary for us to drive this bright box over to their house.  They did not see the car when we arrived and assumed someone had dropped us off to visit.  The father, said, "Don't you need a car while you are here?  Please take mine."  I replied, "Oh, no.  We were given the ugliest rental car in the whole lot."  He wanted to see it and walked outside and chuckled for the first time in days.

Our children knew we were traveling and I sent them a photo of the car. One replied that she thought God did that to bring a little sunshine to a dark, dark time.

Not until we were at the airport returning the car did I see the name on the car...SOUL.

"Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also."
Psalm 31:9

"My should weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word."
Psalm 119:28

"Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield."
Psalm 33:20

"Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul."
Psalm 54:4
God is in the very details of our life!



Offer Hospitality Without Grumbling


June 13
A friend visiting recently said, "Do you feel like you live at a resort?"  Deke and I both immediately replied, "NO, we feel like we WORK at a resort."  Maybe she thought this property comes with a yardman. maintenance man, housekeeper and cook,  but she was looking at 'em!

"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."
1 Peter 4:9 

I'm so SLOW compared to my pre-stroke life. While I am quick to recognize this, it truly doesn't frustrate me. The question is will it frustrate our summer attendees who are used to be whizzing around accomplishing lots! 

The post stroke related headaches are easily identifiable and definitely related to sequencing activities and stress, but praise the Lord they come less frequently.  For my PT friends following this progress, I'll say (may have already) I was surprised that planting my pots with herbs and flowers and cleaning out drawers and shelves in my garage counted as sequencing, both brought on headaches about an hour into those projects.  Also, organizing/creating name tags with individual Bible verses, a class roster with contact information, seating arrangements for 26 women and setting the tables, unfortunately did a real number on me.  I'm guessing shorter periods of these tasks are better for me.  Made me a little sad to realize there are still issues, but although it is difficult, it's good for me to do these things. 

So, what will the summer of 2016 at Shiloh look like.  Different is my assumption.  I'm extremely thankful our daughter has arrived to help me launch into it and I know my husband has protective perimeters in place.

When the disciples were praying about a replacement for Judas they said:
"You, Lord, know the hearts of all." Acts 1:24

Help me have a heart of hospitality that overflows with love and joy to others. May I not be embarrassed for You to know that heart Father.  Also, help me to be able to see into the hearts of others who are visiting here, as You do, and love them immensely.

So far you've told me to have a Surrendered Summer, to seek to be transformed, and to love others immensely.  It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit these things are possible.

An addendum:  Over the weekend I asked my husband why he thought, out of all the areas of my brain which could have been damaged, it would be my strength that was weakened. That of being a good organizer and multi-tasker.  My husband replied, "You have other strengths. Would you rather have had your ability to love others so well lessened or multi-tasking?"  Sometimes it's good to have people around to evaluate things from a different perspective than you own, isn't it?

I choose LOVING!


ABC- About Me


June 11-12
Recently, my husband and I came in from our morning walk and I headed out onto the screened porch  to cool down and invest in some quiet time.  I told the Lord that in an hour walk we only got through the letter "N" during our ABC prayers for others.  The idea came to me to go through the letters of the alphabet and find an area of my life for each letter which could use some fine tuning.
The suggestions just flew into my mind!  Obviously, there's room for lots of improvement.

A-Be ANXIOUS for nothing.
B-BELIEVE
C-Cast all my cares on Him and be COMPASSIONATE
D-DWELL in the Presence of the Lord more often
E-EAT less and more healthily
F- FORGIVE quickly
G-GIVE GENEROUSLY
H-Be HONEST
I-INVEST in the lives of others
J- Do not be JEALOUS
K- Offer KINDNESS to all, especially strangers
L-LOVE LAVISHLY
M-MEMORIZE God's Word
N-Let nothing NASTY come out of my mouth
O-Offer hospitality without grumbling
P-PRAY without ceasing
Q-Be QUICK to listen
R-RESPECT others RESIST temptation
S-SHARE the gospel
T-TEACH my children/grandchildren about Jesus TAKE TIME to be still
U-pray for UNDERSTANDING of God's purpose for my life
V-VALUE others as God's cherished creations
W-WAIT on the Lord. Drink lots of WATER  :-)
X- eXAMINE myself and sinful tendencies daily
Y-YIELD to the Holy Spirit
Z-ZOOM through my chores so there's more time for the Lord and life!

Sometimes We Just Need to Get Away


June 10
Numb and emotionally exhausted from the triple whammy of heartache we are facing, I headed off to find solace before the Lord.  Exodus 14:14 (The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet) was still solid in my mind. I told the Lord I trusted Him with the hurt and with the battle. (This wasn't the case throughout the night as my mind schemed ways to be heard. It was not pretty.)
In my Summer of Surrender journal I wrote:
I have bitterness in my heart Lord, please forgive me.  I know You are able to provide a way and place us wherever you want us on the path of life. I'm surrendered and trusting. In Jesus' Name.

There was peace from the prayer, but what followed next restored my joy!  On the top of the very next page of my journal was Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.

I penned these words: Whew! I am not pure of heart, but I want to be.  Then I crawled into my kayak and turned the playlist on my phone to shuffle.  Are you ready for this...I promise, in the stupor I am in there's no way I could have come up with these three songs. No one could ever convince me that God is not personal and fully aware of every moment of our lives.  There is purpose in every painful situation we go through. God has allowed me to hurt to point out a darkness that needs to be removed from my heart and a lack of trust that He is always up to good.  The good news is it used to take me months to realize I need to get away and surrender. Yesterday, I got there in less than 24 hours!

Check out these songs.

"All You've Ever Wanted Was My Heart" by Casting Crowns
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea-uQFPcvaM

"Always" by Kristian Stanfill  One stanza says...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yb4VvNq8WEM
"My foes are many. I will not fear. My help is on the way...He will not delay. My God is on the way. My God will come through always." Are you kidding me?

"I Will Follow" by Chris Tomlin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI
"Where you go, I'll go. Where you stay, I'll stay. I will follow You."

Heading back to the boathouse,  I clamored like a beached whale onto the dock,  grabbed my journal and wrote down the names of the songs and a thank You to God.  "I've had a good cry," I told Him, "but now I am strengthened by Your Word and these songs."

Yup, sometimes we just need to get away and listen to Jesus.
Thanks so much to all of you who've been praying. The prayers are being answered.

Unraveled


"The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent."
Exodus 14:14

June 9
The day was filled with chores and responsibilities.  Rushing to pick up my computer and an assortment of other items from the end of the bed, I felt where it was saturated. Immediately, I looked to the ceiling to see if there was a leak.  Next I leaned down to see if there was an odor. Neither investigative tactic revealed the source of the problem.  Quickly, I began to strip the bed, tossing the blanket and comforter into the dryer and sheets to the wash...not on the day's schedule.  Remaking the bed I looked at the upper edge of our beloved Egyptian cotton blanket. It was a frayed mess.  My solution was to turn it upside down.

That is what has happened to our lives lately...they've unexpectedly become unraveled...turned upside down.  The triple whammy has hit leaving us only one way to look...UP! 

While many suspect car travel as the source of my stroke, I've wondered if a hidden stress from a hurtful conversation a few days before could be the culprit. So, with all we are facing I know it is best to lay our troubles down at the Lord's feet for HE is ABLE and each of these problems has the signature of the enemy written all across it.

"Be alert and of sober mind.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
1 Peter 5:6 

I do not think it is coincidence that my memory verse for this week in summer Bible Study is:

"The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent."
Exodus 14:14
In each of the scenarios we are facing, my human instinct is not to keep silent, but to be heard and to issue a warning to others surrounding the situations. That's not what the verse says to do.
It's 1:30 in the morning, I cannot sleep due to all the places my mind is racing.  I know this is not good for my health or living in obedience to the Lord.

My path crossed with one of our pastor's wives moments before life started unraveling.  I asked her to pray for us as it felt our lives were being bombarded.  I will go back to bed with the verse she sent on my heart...
"The Lord your God is in your midst. A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, 
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."
Zephaniah 3:17 

Pray I can keep silent and trust in the Lord. Help me, by not calling and asking what is going on, but remind me from whence our help comes.

"My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth."
Psalm 121:2


"The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.
'Trust in the Lord forever, For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock."
Isaiah 26:2-4 

Seeking Transformation




June 8
Whew, wee, watch out! I snuck off to be alone with Jesus and he was quick to point out some squeakie parts in my life that need transforming. As part of our spring house sprucing up, we used WD40 on our doors and they sound so much better.  Wish it was that easy to make me sound better.

Monday night we kicked off our women's summer Bible study series and I found myself asking,
"Why do we do this?"  My response to myself was that we are seeking the Lord, so that we might be transformed into more of the likeness of Christ."

"But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
'The Lord is great!'"
Psalm 40:16



This was the verse I selected to turn into a prayer for all of us.  Ran out of time though and I didn't give it to them.

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen each of us with power through his Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. And I pray that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Ephesians 3:14-21


Dwelling Place


Our daughter, Jiewon's, new dwelling place in Chattanooga!

"Yours, Lord, is the greatness and power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, 
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.  
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
1 Chronicles 29:11
June 7
After years of college and graduate work, our daughter has her PHD and will be a professor of French at Covenant College. June 1st she made her journey from Minneapolis, to her new home, to her new dwelling place!

"How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,  your dwelling places, Israel!"  Numbers 24:5

Her furniture has not arrived and she's on an air mattress. Still probably more comfortable than the Israelites!  She has running water, AC and a swimming pool!

"My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."
Isaiah 32:18

Over and over the scripture speaks of God's dwelling place in heaven.  A look into the future, through Revelation 21:3 brings exciting news to us...

"And I heart a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Look!  God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."  

Wherever you, God's chosen one,  are dwelling right now cannot compare with the heavenly home that awaits you in heaven.


Peace Like a River


June 6
If I want to aggravate my husband, I sing "It's a Small World."  It's probably the closest thing to nails down a chalkboard for him.  We are so different! That was probably one of my favorite Disney rides with the children, when they were younger.  The boat and air-conditioned indoor setting provided a chance to sit down and cool off from a hot day at Disney.

Caution...this song could have that "stick in your head and drive you crazy" effect on you, but it's where the Lord took me as I looked out our bedroom window at the stillness of one of the rivers which forms our lake.
"I've Got Peace Like a River"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NlZO57W0eE

The song doesn't attribute that peace to any source, it just draws a symbolic correlation between peace and a river.

God's Word has some good insight into how to have peace.

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you."
Isaiah 26:3
         
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. 
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  John 14:27

May you have a peace that passings understanding this day.

Life Can Change in a Flash


Ryan LaSource went to be with Jesus June 3rd.
June 4-5
Friday was an example of how life can change in an instance.  A couple friends had asked me to teach them to knit. Two hours before hand, a text came through from one saying, "I've been in an accident with a F250." Thankfully, she was not injured.

Then my prayer partner in MS contacted me with the news that three year old, Ryan LaSource, whom we've been praying so long for, had died and was now with Jesus.  This child and his family have truly fought the good fight against Leukemia for over three years. Their faith, love and hope and this little one's courage have touched and encouraged 1,000's of people who have followed their story.

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

Our lives are brief.  Let's take time to cherish others, love lavishly and invest in the lives of others.

Alone



June 3
On my morning walks, I pass this tree standing all alone in a large field.  I contemplated the word alone in reference to who God is.  My computer dictionary defined alone as:
"...having no one else present; without other's help."
While some may argue God has never been alone, because of the Trinity, I'd think we can agree God is alone in his uniqueness of being.  There is none like Him!

The alone contemplation took me to these verses affirming there is no one like Him.

"In peace I will lie down and slow, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

"Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure."   Psalm 16:5

"I will come and proclaim your might acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone."  Psalm 71:16

"Praise be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds."   Psalm 71:18

"Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord-that you alone are the Most High over all the earth."  Psalm 83:18

"Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name?  For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous  acts have been revealed."   Revelation 15:4

You want regret slipping away and worshipping the Lord with this rendition of "There Is None Like You" by Hillsong.


Tell of His Blessings & the Wonderment of His Ways





These three really love each other.

June 2

I'm currently in a study on C.S. Lewis' book The Screwtape Letters with a group of ladies.  Each week we begin with a sharing time of praise and prayer.  One woman gave testimony to the numerous ways God had shown up the past week as their family faced the surgery her daughter in law was having for a cancer found in her mouth.  She listed off step by step, from tiny to big, the ways she saw the Lord show up!  It was fabulous.

Picking up a journal some girlfriends gave me after the stroke, to use as my "Surrendered Summer" journal, I read on the front John 1:16

"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another."


Do we tell of those blessings?

My body feels totally beaten up right now from the two accidents which occurred this week, but instead of having the mind set of "How could God have allowed those things to happen?" I am overwhelmed with the protection surrounding me in each scenario.  Tuesday night, when my husband arrived home, we went back to the dock and discussed what had happened.  The water level had gone down almost a foot!  Had it been like that when the kayak flipped my face would have smashed into the rocks and being on a blood thinner that could have been disastrous.  I am blessed.

A couple of the discussion questions in the C.S. Lewis class,  led us to remember, our ways are not the Lord's, we are not even capable of understanding the magnitude of His greatness.  We think within our worldly confines and seldom are able to comprehend the way God is working for our own good.

Sarah Young wrote in Jesus Calling, June 1,

"I am involved in each moment of your life.  I have carefully mapped out every inch of your journey through this day, even though much of it may feel haphazard.  Because the world is in a fallen condition, things always seem to be unraveling around the edges.  Expect to find trouble in this day.  At the same time, trust that My way is perfect, even in the midst if such messy imperfections. Stay conscious of Me as you go through this day, remembering that I never leave your side.  Let the Holy Spirit guide you step by step, protecting you from unnecessary trials and equipping you to get through whatever must be endured.  As you trudge through the sludge of this fallen world, keep you mind in heavenly places with Me."


"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 
Do not fear; I will help you."
Isaiah 41:13




The Rescue




June 1


"Is anyone crying for help?  God is listening, ready to rescue you."  Psalm 34:17

We had terrible storms Monday night.  Tuesday morning I looked on the dock and the hibiscus trees our daughter in law had potted had totally uprooted and were upside down on the dock.  Grabbing my gloves and trowel I headed down early in the morning to beat the heat. Walking onto the dock, I saw that our umbrella had flown over the rails and landed in the lake.  Still in my workout clothes I decided to attempt this rescue from a kayak for fear of slipping on the riprap and falling totally in.

Monday morning I'd had a little accident while cleaning out the garage.  My angels did an amazing job of keeping a large glass and metal lantern, which fell off a top shelf, from breaking my shoulder or collar bone and /or cutting me and having me bleed out.   All that to say it was a plus and a praise that I'd taken a Tylenol before heading to the dock, because of my shoulder and neck pain.

Getting the kayak off the rack alone, with a wounded shoulder, was the first poor choice I made.  The lake was smooth as glass with absolutely no one in sight, as I paddled around the boathouse and docks to where the umbrella lay.  I knew I had to lift it from the top, which was in the deeper water. My plan was to drag the umbrella to the shore and then go up on land and pull it out, but the kayak was in the way, so then I decided to try to lift the umbrella up and across the kayak.  That was the second poor decision, for the weight of the umbrella caused the kayak to flip on top of me, hitting me on the head. Yes, I was wearing a life jacket.  Disoriented momentarily, I staggered to where I could stand and looked at a waterlogged kayak and umbrella.  No, one came to the rescue.

I told Jesus it was just the two of us and I needed some guidance.  Pushing the kayak, I swam it all the way back to where I could tie it up, get out of the water. and call for help.  By the time my neighbor arrived I was sobbing, not because I could have easily drowned and ruined the place my grandkids adore, but because I knew I'd messed up.  I should have called for assistance before attempting to resolved the problem myself.

What a perfect picture of how we try to live.  We think we can live this life and head to heaven on our own merit, but we can't.  We need a rescue and God sent it in the form of Christ.  He's there for the taking, but we have to CALL out and ask Him to save us.

...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, 
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will  be saved."
Romans 10:9