Faith Is Being Sure...


July 30-31
Escaping the heat, I accepted an invitation to lunch at a girlfriend's wonderfully comfortable air conditioned house.  We discussed how we'd been intentionally escaping the television and all the political news as well.  Prayerfully, the Olympics will go without turmoil and that occasion can be a reprieve from the political scene.

I was hanging out in Hebrews 12 looking for wisdom related to a neighborhood dispute and turned verses 14-15 into this prayer.  It is quite appropriate for the stresses of an election year as well.

Father, through the power of your Holy Spirit may we make every effort to live in peace with everyone and be holy. For we know that without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that none of us falls short of the grace of God and keep any roots of bitterness from growing up and causing trouble. May we relinquish control to You and pray believing in the power of Your name and stay mindful that with You all things are possible. Bring resolutions to squabbles and conflict in our families, our friendships, our neighborhoods, and our nation. May we love one another as You have loved us. In Jesus Name Amen

Here are two other great verses to meditate upon.
"But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet."  1 Thessalonians 5:8

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

Tomorrow

My husband says this looks like a fake backdrop, but it's our side yard and our son's rowboat.
Missing this boatload of fun.

July 29

My husband leaned over to kiss me goodnight the other night, which took effort as he's been battling terrible pain for 12 days from a tooth extraction and bone graft.  The pain meds they gave him have done nothing.  Take care of your teeth!  After he kissed me, I said, "What are we going to do for the next 20 years?"  I think the sleepy reply was simply, "Love each other."

Another Biblical reply could have been...

"..do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. 
Each day has enough trouble of its own."  
Matthew 6:34 

This led me to take a look at "tomorrow" scriptures. Most of us have some tomorrows ahead of us unless Jesus returns tonight!

In 1 Samuel 19 God uses Jonathan to warn David about a "tomorrow." God proved his capability to protect David, but sometimes it's nice to know a friend has your back!

"My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you.  Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there."

There's another powerful story in 2 Chronicles 20 where Jehoshaphat was warned of "a vast army" that was coming against him.  It says in verses 3-4  "Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah!  The people came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him."

I love the remembrance Jehoshaphat brings forth to the people in verses 6-9 as he addresses God.

Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’
Next enters the Spirit of the Lord speaking through Zechariah's son, Jahaziel. In verse 17 he says:
"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." 
 I kid you not, as I was typing the verse above, my email dinged to say I had mail. A friend had emailed me this exact verse!  Whew wee!  That got my attention!  
So, I close meditating on the words of Jesus' brother James in chapter 4:13-15 of his book, while
knowing God is on his throne.
"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" 

God holds tomorrow and he can handle whatever tomorrow holds within itself!

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize 
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:14


Relax, Go With the Flow

Real life with eight hot tired grands after lots of photo shooting.


July 28

The July 26th entry in Jesus Calling was titled "Relax and Let Me Lead You."  Sarah Young writes in the voice of Jesus, "Vast quantities of time and energy are wasted in obsessive planning.  When you let Me direct your steps, you are set free to enjoy Me and to find what I have prepared for you this day."

Whew, I was a planner back in the day as a young mother of six.  We had no computer, but I had one of those giant monthly calendars, like for an office, in which I slotted in all the children's events.  In addition to church and school activities we tried to limit each child to two other activities...that made 12 a week for me to get them to.  Our daughter, being the only girl at the time participated in a bit more...dance, piano/harp, and a sporting activity.  I carried a daily planner with me and have no clue what I would have done if I'd lost that thing.  I drove a 15 passenger van so I could participate in carpooling with other moms.  Thinking back on it, I have no clue how it all worked out.  Loving to make the most of every school break I scheduled trips way out in advance.  Seldom did I allow us to just sit and be still, except when we were at the lake.

Praise God for giving me a laid back husband, who knows how to live one day at a time and seek the Lord for that day.  I've learned great lessons from him on being content and realizing the best plans are God's plans, as He knows much better than we what is ahead for our lives.

Life tosses interruptions at us which have us throw our schedules and plans out the window.  I remember one of the first Christian T-shirts I bought had colorful fish screen printed upon it and it said, "Go with the flow!"  Follow Jesus. His plans are best.

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.  Psalm 119:35

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
Psalm 32:8

Makes Me Miss My Grandmothers

Love this long legged little one!

July 27
My grandmother lived about 5 houses down and across the street.  Her house was such a safe haven for me and her love was sincere, sweet, genuine and definitely unconditional. Sitting beside her in church Sunday mornings, while she tickled my arm to keep me still through the sermon, is a precious memory.

In 2 Timothy Paul shares a grandmother memory...that of the faith of Timothy's grandmother, Lois.

"I, Paul, am on special assignment for Christ, carrying out God's plan laid out in the Message of Life by Jesus.  I write this to you, Timothy, the son I love so much.  All the best from our God and Christ be yours!

Every time I say your name in prayer-which is practically all the time-I thank God for you, the God I worship with my whole life in the tradition of my ancestors. I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion.

That precious memory triggers another:your honest faith-and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois, to your mother Eunice, and now to you!  And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed-keep that ablaze!  God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.  2 Timothy 1:1-7

We have a fabulous faith to pass on!

There's More to Come, Buddy!

We named this yellow butterfly "Buddy" a few years ago.
Yes, I know it's not the same butterfly,
but the grands love thinking he has been faithfully watching over us.

July 26
I was praying for someone who trusts without a doubt that God is working all things together for good and shaping them more and more into the image of Christ, although the process hasn’t been pleasant. I wanted a verse to pray over them and thought of Romans 5:4-5.  I first looked it up in the NIV, but just had to share The Message translation as our Bible Study has been in a praise and prayer mode.

"There's more to come:  We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know ow troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this,  we're never left feeling shortchanged.  Quite the contrary-we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!"  
                                                                                Romans 5:4-5

Amen?  Absolutely, AMEN!  May God find us all living in alert expectancy today! 

Now, off for my walk.  Buddy the butterfly is waiting. Yesterday, he followed us on a three mile walk!

Take Captive Every Thought & Wage War Differently

There are various modes of transportation around Shiloh.
Love these two early morning shots.


July 25
Weeding, watering and ironing are chores which tend to send my mind off wandering. For some reason in those environments my mind digs up situations which frustrate me.  Situations where I have remained quiet and didn't say what my emotions were leading me to express. Sometimes the Holy Spirit was most likely holding me back, other times it may have been out of fear. Yesterday, while ironing, I was hashing over a particular situation and really wanted to let someone have a piece of my mind.  God said, "Just tell me what you're feeling instead."

Laying down to go to bed the situation came back to mind, as did one from years ago involving a different individual.  The verse which came to mind was "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  2 Corinthians 10:5  Would me opening my mouth bring glory to God?

In this chapter, where Paul is defending his ministry, he also speaks the impactful truth...
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." v.3-4

My long time slogan of "Pray it, don't say it!" goes along with the above teaching.

The other verse that allowed me to go off to sleep was Philippians 4:8...
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." 

I can assure you the upcoming election, politics in general and terrorism were not topics to be thought about!  Instead I choose to think on these things....
Whatever is...
True                Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Noble              Missionaries sacrificing so much to spread the Gospel.
Right              The Word of God
Pure                God's unconditional love for us.
Lovely             Heaven
Admirable      Businesses/prominent figures who stand boldly for Christ
Excellent        The angels watching over us
Priaseworthy God's redemptive plan and every aspect of his character.

Let the Children Come


This may be the tiniest blue gill ever caught at our dock.
This sweet grandson had an ear infection and strep throat,
but was still trying to hang in there with us and make the most of his Virginia visit.

July 23-24
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"
Matthew 19:14 

Jesus is not physically walking on the earth today in His bodily form, yet he is residing in those of us, who have accepted him as Savior, in the form of the Holy Spirit. We need to live our lives in a way that little ones want to come to us.  From there, we need to build relationship and be Christlike to these children showering them with love and Good News!

One of our daughter's has no husband or children.  She has lived abroad and far away from family for many years now.  When she is home and around her nieces and nephews, they flock to her.  It's a beautiful example of the love of Christ radiating out of someone.


Captain My Captain

Somebody's been in Mama Boo's costume closet!
 Is this middle child of ours cute or what!

"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love."
John 15:10

July 22
Who is the captain of your ship of life? We have the freedom to choose the ship on which we sail.
I stand before you on the dock of life to testify that Jesus is the best choice with whom to sail through life. He is reliable no matter the weather!
Yes, He may require that you cast out your nets by faith and there will be days your faith is soaring and you step out of the boat to walk on water with Him.  The greatest comfort is in the fact He will never abandon ship and leave you figure out the course you need to take on your own.

A friend came to me recently and said, "As I was praying for you God said to share with you this phrase, 'Readjust your sails.'"  She went on to say, she didn't know what that meant.  I told her it was a perfect message, for we had been going through a decision making process and in a three week period we had had to readjust our course several times.

Expressing concerns about my health, she went on and expounded on the dangers of stress, especially when we bury it deep down inside.  We talked about the difference in going with the wind, versus fight against it.  Life is full of daily readjustments!  With Jesus at the helm there is smooth sailing ahead.

"For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 
and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. 
He is the head over every power and authority."
Colossians 2:9-10 

Bootie


July 21
This diving expedition for underwater treasure may be one of the most spectacular hunts to date at Shiloh!!!!  The little ones thrilled at all the bootie brought up from the depths.

As much as our hearts thrill here on earth with all the goodness we find, it cannot compare with the riches which await us in heaven.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, 
and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.:
Matthew 6:19-21

...Nor the riches of wisdom and knowledge of God!

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!   
Romans 11:33 

For us here on earth the greatest treasure we can find is an understanding of who Christ is!

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.
Colossians 2:2

Challenge



July 20
Life is full of challenges and some the physical ones we face appear to be insurmountable. The sighs of the women in our Bible study group are audible when a sister in Christ shares of a new found cancer battle for a friend or the battle ahead for a friend who has had a stroke or in one case lost a leg in a motor cycle accident. Equally as debilitating are the concerns for those trapped by depression or grief.

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

A Mix of Young and Old




July 19
Ever season has its perks!  Summer is such a joyful time for me as I watch our children and grandchildren enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  Schedules are tossed out and we just go with the flow and the weather. Last week was a wild mix of sunshine and down pours.  Whatever happens we can trust in the Lord, praise His name and go through it together.

Both my husband and I have physically slowed down. We don't even think about skiing or wake boarding ourselves...kayaking, paddle boarding, yes,  but we are less graceful in our mounts and dismounts. He can still shoot some amazing hoops and snap a football better than anyone I know.  Fortunately, we are able to laugh about it, but even more fortunate is the way our children have stepped up to the plate and helped us out around Shiloh! We still tackle enormous projects, but most of the time, we wisely wait for someone else to be around to assist.  Our grandchildren are starting to get old enough to help as well. The cycle of life is grand.  We may be physically slower, but mentally a lot wiser!

When I plugged in "getting old" into Biblegateway 1 Samuel 8 appeared.

"When Samuel got to be an old man, he set his sons up as judges in Israel."  That didn't turn out so well, because the sons wanted to be ruled by a King, not by God. May our sons and daughters have wisdom to know the value of living a life obedient to Christ and respecting and valuing life lessons from those who have gone before them.

A  respectful and congenial mentoring mix of young and old is a good recipe for life!



Delighted With the Storm

I sat out in one of our rocking chairs and watched a ferocious storm last week.
While many of the trees waved their leaves and branches during the uproar,
the magnolia tree and the hydrangeas seem to drink in the goodness and refreshment the
storms rains brought.  We should live like that?

July 18
Having just been through a stormy time, which we know could once again erupt at any time, in the current aftermath I've realized I need to keep the urgency that I've had in my times with God.  There are still reasons to fall on my face, reasons to cry out loud and lift my arms to him.  Times to sing songs of lament and songs of praise.  Times to look with expectancy on where He is showing me to take the next step.  This is a level of fellowship I should delight in maintaining.


"The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
I was young and now I am old, 
yet I have ever seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread."
Psalm 37:23-25


Faith Can Be Fun

All these characters are godly women (one godly man) who love the Lord.
These also love to have a good time.
These two are married, so the kissing is okay.


July 16-17

Knowing Jesus brings joy!
On our early morning walk, one morning this past week, my husband and I decided instead of praying we would praise God and call out his attributes.  It was SO much fun, I wish I had written them down.  We did laugh as we got to "D" and we both shouted "Deliverer" the next words out of my mouth were darling and dashing. Possibly, more appropriate for my husband.

It was humid and towards the end of the walk I was sucking air going up one hill.  My husband graciously said not to worry, talking so much had winded me.  The impending letter before us was "U" and in unison we said, "Unbelievable."  There was a short time lapse as we searched our brains for another word.  Then I said, "My body and brain are both tired, all I can come up with is "upholsterer."  His reply, "Well, He does cover us!"

It was such a good time with God.
"On your feet now-applaud God!
Bring a gift of laughter, sing yourselves into his presence."
Psalm 100:1-2



I AM Here




July 15
Our women's Bible Study is being intentional in sitting before the Lord and listening. One member wrote last night how she had slipped away for an alone time with the Lord and was going over His many amazing names and He said to her, "Remember....I know your name!"  Isn't that fabulous!!!

Our prayer lists are laden with huge requests. From unbelievable terrorism and seemingly impossible presidential elections, to cries for relief from physical pain, heartache and much needed salvation, we could grow weary if we didn't know that nothing is impossible for our God.

Personally, I've been in a seeking zone for several weeks.  For the past two days I've done nothing, but cook a couple meals for my husband, praise the Lord, pray, and listen.  I've sat in a stupor, all the while knowing God is omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and has shown himself to be faithful throughout my life, yet I still have had a pit in my stomach with all the unknowns facing us.  It's one of those times in life, at the fork in the road, we genuinely want to be obedient, but what we think obedience looks like seems to change, even hourly.

UGH. I go back to a recent study on Moses and how he had to wander and wonder for a mighty long time.

God knows so many ways to speak to my heart.  Randomly, without people having a clue what we are going through, God has used phone calls, emails, thunderstorms, creatures and creation to pour out His love over us at just the right moments.

My husband didn't arrive home until around 7:30 last Thursday.  He called me on his way and just moments into our conversion the phone went dead.  I waited and he didn't call right back, I texted "Call me back!"  Then I began to WAIL.  I cried out, "Abba, Father, do not take him from me!!!! Sobs of fear poured from me."  I was crying so hard and then from the phone I heard, "I'm here. Hello?"  He said, he'd tried to call back four times, but the line was busy.

He ate his supper and then I said, "Can we head out on the water and hunt the blue heron?"  He replied, "Grab your camera!"  The photos reveal what a wonderful time we had cruising around on our old pontoon with our daughter's "Love Songs" harp CD playing and watching this bird sore!

If we take the time to be still, to sit before Him and seek Him with all our heart, He will reveal himself to us!  The answers usually aren't what we are expecting, but they are what He knows we need.  How blessed we are to have a God who is HERE!

"He says, 'Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'"
Psalm 46:10

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Philippians 4:6 

For today, we have peace with the direction we are headed...there may be stops and twists and turns along the way, but the final destination will never change! And it is there He will be with us for all eternity!  Praise the Lord, oh, my soul. Praise the Lord.

What I Have to Have

These two left their little ones with us and slipped off for a date night.
It's good to keep love alive!

July 14
Stealing away to our screened porch on a date with Jesus I heard myself say, "Lord, wherever You send us next, I have to have a screened porch to meet with You." Yuck, "that was snooty" was my next thought. In reality, all I have to have is a mind steadfast on You Lord and that can occur anywhere.

Those thoughts turned to the prayer requests of fellow Bible study ladies, which encompassed individuals who struggle with debilitating depression, excessive pain, dementia, Alzheimers, and other limitations where their minds can't focus God's Word. We need us to cry out for them.  One woman shared she was so thankful she had memorized scripture and had it in her heart before severe depression set into her life years ago. Having scripture implanted in her heart enabled her to call upon those verses in the darkest of times.

"But He answered and said, 'It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, 
but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"
Matthew 4:4

Yup, what I have to have is the Word of God and a big scoop of Jesus.




Anticipation


Waiting for the Ice Cream Boat

July 13
One of the most greatly anticipated moments during the summer here at Shiloh is the daily arrival of the ice cream boat.  
I have a sweet friend who is battling cancer and she is presently awaiting the arrival of Jesus to usher her to heaven.  Yesterday, I was listening to Fernando Ortega's song, "Give Me Jesus," and asked her daughter to please play it for her and give her a kiss from me.

Saying Good-bye



"Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth
by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm!
Nothing is too difficult for You."
Jeremiah 32:17

July 12

Each day we've had to say good-bye to a child or grandchild and it just causes me to sob from deep in my heart.  How can there be such a connection to another human being?

I've been studying in the Book of Acts and think back to Paul's journeys.  Quite often, farewells were anticipated as final farewells.  There was no Face Time, nor emails, texts or even phone calls to be made to touch base with fellow believers.  

She Reads Truth writes: "Paul's last address to the Ephesians invited them to see the world in the light of eternity, to make much of little things, because our goodbyes in this world are many and often. Knowing none of them would ever see his face again, Paul slowed everything down to cry and savor their time together.  Some of Paul's last words to them were simple:

"But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God's grace."   Acts 20:24

Over the 4th weekend my husband gathered everyone together and said when it comes down to the nitty gritty, the most important thing is that no one (our children or grandchildren) miss their appointment with Jesus.  Our earthly lives can be finished in a flash, but let's be certain those farewells can be withstood knowing we will spend eternity together in heaven.




The Lost Boys



July 11

The contraption in the photo above was one of the obstacles for our yearly obstacle course.
For some reason watching these four "follow the leader" made me think of
Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.

"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."  
Luke 19:10

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 
'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.'"
Matthew 16:24

What a comfort to know that as followers of Jesus we are always "found" in Him!

What a Gift

This guy or gal is enormous!  Over two feet long and at least 18 inches wide.



July 9-10
The kids and grands have all cleared out for a few days and the guest we had expected for the weekend had to cancel. We decided to pace ourselves and spread out the clean up process from the two past fabulous weeks.  After working on the house a few hours yesterday morning, I sat down on the porch to do my Bible Study and I fell asleep for three hours!

Arriving home from work my husband and I were having a heart to heart over some tough issues facing our lives. Deciding we'd move our conversation to the dock, I stepped out onto the screened porch to check the temperature and was shocked by what I saw on the patio.  All that came out of my mouth was a whisper of "Get the camera, get the camera."

For the past 19 years, I have spent summer and early fall keeping an eye out for this old tortoise.  Last summer I was elated to watch a new young turtle swim in our beach area. Never have I seen these creatures out of the water.  I can't imagine what drew him or her to the patio where such chaos has been abounding, but it truly was a gift from God on a day we could use some confirmation of his presence, his power and his protection.

"Then God said, 'Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures.'"
Genesis 1:20 

Never will He leave us, never will He forsake us! God is always up to good.  Today's Biblegateway verse is one of my top ten favorite verses!  Getting to see this tortoise face to face was more than I ever could have imagined.  When we followed him back to the water, my husband said, "I think he just waved to us!"

"Now to Him who is able to do far  more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:10-21


In The Message translation:
"God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!  He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church!  Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!  Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia!  Oh, yes!"






Jesus In My Heart


Our daughter writes: "This spot has always been one of my favorites. Even more special now, as it's where Harrison prayed to ask Jesus into his heart. 
#hisgraceissufficient#praisegod #adventureawaits #neveralone — at Smith Mt. Lake."



July 8
Praising the Lord for this precious child's decision accept Christ.
His name means "strong leader" and how wonderful that he will be trained up to serve the Lord
and hopefully lead others to believe as he does.
 

"M" is for Marvelous


Do you see the "M" in the cloud formation, right over the mountains?

July 7
"In that day you will say: 'Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name,
make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.'"
Isaiah 12:4
What if when we turned on the news each day the anchor began by saying:
“I just want to lift the name of the Lord on high this morning and thank Him for his faithfulness.  When I look back on this past week and some of the tragedies our nation has faced and the evil we have seen play out, It has been comforting to see God at work through the churches and His people.  How amazing after that horrific storm, the sunshine broke through and people came together to help one another. I have heard of so many lives being changed!  We are so saddened over the death of _______ but the message that was preached at the funeral was a life changer for many.  Oh, we don’t know the ways of the Lord, but we do know he is always up to good!"
Probably won’t ever happen on national TV, but that sort of proclamation can come out of our own mouths.

Check out the July 5 Jesus Calling.
Draw near to me with a thankful heart, aware that your cup is overflowing with blessings.  Gratitude enables you to perceive Me more clearly and to rejoice in our Love-relationship.  Nothing can separate you from My loving Presence!  That is the basis of your security. Whenever you start to feel anxious, remind yourself that your security rests in Me alone, and I am totally trustworthy.
You will never be in control of your life circumstances, but you can relax and trust in My control.  Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, seek to know Me in greater depth and breadth.  I long to make your life a glorious adventure, but you must stop clinging to old ways. I am always doing something new within My beloved ones. Be on the lookout for all that I have prepared for you.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me?  Psalm 56:3-4

See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.   Isaiah 43:19

Let’s Pray:
Father, we come before you this day with thankful hearts!  We rejoice in the blessing of knowing You and knowing nothing can separate us from Your love.  We put our trust in You and relinquish the desire to control life.  We want to know You more and become aware of all the new things You are doing in our lives. May we be found faithful to tell of Your love to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Sunset Boat Rides




July 6
What a way to end the day.  Our old pontoon boat has been ever so faithful to us for many years now.
We can remember as youngsters making fun of people who cruised slowly along on a pontoon. Now it's our happy place!  There is something so peaceful about putting away the dinner dishes, bathing the grands and donning their pjs and heading out to watch the sunset.

There is always something new to see out on the lake or up in the sky.  One day there will be a New Jerusalem and sunset cruises will not exist.

"And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' 
And He said, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.'"
Revelations 21:5

"And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb."
Revelation 21:23 

Bros



"How good any how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!"
Psalm 133:1

July 5
These two little fellows worked so hard helping their Papa unload a truck full of sand.  They were sweating, but had fabulous attitudes.  They are as different as night and day, but their parents are doing an awesome job of teaching them to treasure one another.
God chooses siblings and desires for them to love and support one another...to even dwell together in unity.
Thank God for your siblings today!

Happy Independence Day





Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord
the people he chose for his inheritance.

July 4th
The dictionary defines independent as "free from outside control." Because of "the brave" our nation has experienced freedom like no other.  Our nation has stood proudly as a "nation under God."

The phrase "United States" jumped out at me this morning.  Looking up the word "united"  I was struck by the definition on my computer's dictionary:
"joined together politically, for a common purpose, or by common feelings."

Besides the hotdogs, hamburgers, watermelon and fireworks, may we be intentional today to teach future generations the importance being joined together for the common purpose of freedom for our nation.  May we teach them the greatest thing we can do for our nation is pray that we elect leaders who desire to be one nation under God for therein is where our blessings lie.



Future Generations




July 2-3
Gardening is good for the soul and the soil.  Every time I'm out clipping, snipping and pinching away dead growth I stop to realize it's good to allow God to do that to me as well.  There is so much mess hidden behind the facade of our faces.

On this particular morning, I was pulling away old dead blooms from a gerber daisy plant and underneath, tightly bound, were future blooms waiting for just the right time to stand tall and burst forth with their beauty.

It made me think of the future generations who have so much to offer.  They are hidden behind our lives, watching and learning how to live.  I want them to see the importance of recognizing the dead and diseases areas of our hearts and ridding ourselves of these things by confessing them to God and turning from our wicked ways.

"The counsel of the Lord sand forever, the plans of His heart from
generation to generation."
Psalm 33:11

"For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 100:5 

Trust In Jesus


Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you'll live as you were meant to live.
Acts 16:31

July 1
When a resent trial first erupted, the memory verse for that week in my She Read's Truth study on Moses was:

"The Lord will fight for you; be quiet." 
Exodus 14:14

The experience has drawn me into the Presence of the Lord in a way I will never forget.  Along the way there have been moments I thought for certain the Lord would call me home and that was ok, because He is the ultimate!

Some of my Roanoke girlfriends came and took me to lunch a few months ago and gave me a  journal with a scripture verse on every other page.  I decided to use it this summer. The verses have carried us through a tough journey.  I had to read ahead a few days to see what God was preparing us for. His sustenance has been spot on.
These verses will be printed off and placed in my Bible and kept as a reminder of his faithfulness.  

"Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God."  
Matthew 5:8

"With God all things are possible."  
Matthew 19:26

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  
In all your way acknowledge Him and he shall direct your paths."  
Proverbs 3:5-6

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord for he is good!  For his mercies endure forever."  
Psalm 107:1

"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith-
and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." 
 Ephesians 2:8

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

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation,
the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
Hebrews 13:8

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

"And we know that  all things work together for good 
to those who hare called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28

"For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations."
Psalm 100:5

"Mercy unto you, and peace and love be multiplied."
Jude 1:2

"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

"He fills my life with good things, so that I stay young and strong like an eagle."
Psalm 103:5

"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people,
but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord."
Leviticus 19:18