Decisions 101

Tonight, I spent possibly two hours working on a resumé from a template that comes with Microsoft Office 2016. I finally gave up in frustration because I wanted to delete certain items from the formatting and it replaced the empty space with descriptions of other things I may want to include elsewhere. After highlighting and deleting and then seeing other information show up, I’d move my cursor over to that offending entry and highlight and delete until it became apparent that the program was winning and I was continuing in a losing activity. So, I gave up.
I then went to a blank Word document and using an older resumé. I made up a new one with the homemade format. That probably took me half an hour or more of the two hours I mentioned above. The template may work for people that are more computer savvy than I am.
After all that work, I wondered if I will need the resumé soon or not. I saw an ad for a part-time job that sounded good to me. I told my grandson and a few others that I’m interested in it. At the end of a long day and after working on a resumé that mostly highlights writing, I began to think about this step I might take. When I told my husband about it he sounded enthusiastic about it, but he asked, “Do you want to take this job?”
I changed my schedule around in case I send the resumé out so I’d be available for the employer. Now, I need to think about the opportunity, pray about it, and consider my calendar. I’ve already prayed that if it’s not a good idea, don’t let them hire me, but that’s not exactly the way I want to pray.
I’m thinking of going to visit the place and check out the drive. It’s not right around the corner.
I have until September 13 to send out my information, so I have time to ponder. I don’t like to commit to something and then figure out I need to quit.
When I wasn’t sure about becoming a pastor’s wife, a young pastor gave me a Word from the Lord at the altar of the church we were attending. I was praying quietly about it and suddenly he showed up at my elbow and told me something to the effect that the Lord was saying you will be a pastor’s wife, you’re already acting in that capacity.
Friends gave me a plaque with the Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
What relief that gave me!
May God bless you.

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Comfort in the Storm

Today started out kind of weird for me. My mind began dealing with sad news I’ve heard lately, plus a miscommunication I had with an author at a writers’ conference years ago. I recently bought one of her books and it reminded me that we never got to talk after our first conversation.

I wanted to clarify my reaction, but she stiffened up and ignored me. Her friend got her to soften her demeanor but all I asked for then was her autograph on a fiction book of hers.

So, I read Psalm 27 on a paper on the side of my refrigerator this morning. I do not consider her my enemy, but rather a sister-in-Christ. I took comfort from the rest of the verses concerning God’s presence and His faithfulness and His protection when we find ourselves in a storm.

Speaking of storms, I’ve been praying for Texas with their unprecedented amount of rain. We used to live near Houston many years ago. We made friends and enjoyed the optimism of the people in Texas.

Our local Christian radio has played the song of a woman thanking Almighty God for the safety of her family. The car is flooded, the downstairs is under water, but they are high above the danger zone.

This photo is from: https://www.christianbook.com/page/bibles/translations/nkjv?navcat=Bibles|Translations|NKJV

Psalm 37 is also great and I thought that was the Scripture on my refrigerator. As it says in verse 23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.”

If I’m good at all it’s because of Jesus.

May God bless you!

 

Fresh Power

 

I read the last book in the Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire; Fresh Faith; and Fresh Power series.

The photo is from Christian Book Distributor and the book is copyrighted in 2001 by Jim Cymbala and published by Zondervan. Jim Cymbala and Dean Merrill wrote it.

A friend of mine from out-of-state recommended his books. What a treasure those tomes became to me.

At times, I didn’t want to finish the last one. It was either because I didn’t want the insights to end or because the enemy of my soul didn’t want me to finish reading it. There’s lots of meat in those books. The last one reiterates what I’ve felt for years.

The Holy Spirit wants to empower Christians if we’ll only take the time to seek God, to repent of our sins, to ask Him to lead us and help us to obey.

There’s probably four verses in that last sentence: 2 Chronicles 7:14, Matthew 10:28, John 15:16, and John 15:4.

Anyway, God is able to deliver us from evil and help us through difficult times.

There seems to be lots of Christian songs lately talking of holding onto God during hard times.

Laura Story, Crowder, and Mercy Me are just a few of the artists portraying God’s love in the midst of hardship.

Jesus said in John 15:20, (ASV): “Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.”

I hope you’re reading some great books.

May God bless you.

 

 

Marriage Can Be Fun

My husband and I celebrated more than 40 years of marriage this month. The actual day, we usually try to go out to eat and maybe take in a movie. It’s not as easy to choose a flick nowadays because the options are not as wholesome as they were in our growing up years.

That day fell flat because we had obligations we couldn’t overlook. So, we decided to put off our date until later in the week. My husband was not feeling well, and that inhibited his enthusiasm. I offered to wait even longer, but our schedule is really full sometimes. We found a restaurant we both like in a little out-of-the-way town. Since we only stop every nine months or so, we’re always delighted with the physical changes the owners make.

My husband worked in the food industry for many years, so he especially notices when they re-pave the parking lot, put in new landscaping, add new décor, update the restrooms, etc.
Unfortunately, they must have hired a new cook, because our entrees lacked seasoning. If we stop again, maybe we’ll take the opportunity to ask if they still have the same cook and suggest a change in recipes. It’s a little awkward. We added condiments to help improve the flavor.

So, rushing to an appointment took some of the romance out of our date. We also got the chance to talk about our relationship a bit. You can bet he didn’t bring that subject up. 😊

I brought up the five love languages mentioned in the book by Gary Chapman:

found at: https://www.christianbook.com/languages-secret-that-lasts-new-edition/gary-chapman/9780802412706/pd/412706?event=CBCER1.

Our love languages are not the same, so I should remember what his choices are so that his “emotional bank account will be filled up,” when I meet that need, according to Mr. Chapman.
A few days after our anniversary, we opened our home to family for at least seven days. You might think that would interfere with our relationship, but since we enjoy our children and grandchildren so much, it actually drew us closer with the laughter and the challenges.
The youngest ones went home and now our son is staying for a few days. So, last night we drove to a bigger area to get my car looked at and watched a movie after our meal.

On the way to the car I began to hunt for my keys. They were somewhere in the mall. I thought of three places they could be, so the guys went back to our theater seats and I stopped at the concession stand. She called her boss whom alerted the cleaning crew and within moments the head cleaner removed the key chain from his apron.
It’s been a stressful week for me and for some of my friends. My mind was not in full gear. My husband said, “Well, you’ve never done that before,” after all was well. I tried to smile and then I almost cried and he shook his head gently in an it’s okay kind of motion.
It’s those kind of kindnesses that make me glad I married him.

Today, when under a time pressure and because of being tired and because sometimes I just feel ornery, I interrupted him to demand he listen to me. He waited while I got my point across and then started at the beginning of what he’d been trying to tell me. After I heard him, I realized he just answered my question and so I started on my last-minute project.
Moments later I replayed our conversation in my mind and by then he was in a meeting, so I texted him instead of giving him a call and apologized for being curt with him. Later, we talked and he said, “I don’t hold on to those things.”
He’s not perfect, I’m not perfect and I guess we try to accent the positive and downplay the negative. I don’t take advantage of his good nature, or at least I try not to take his attitude for granted. He speaks up if he feels the need to, which I appreciate.
A few years back, I helped an eighty-something year-old woman with her memoirs. She said, “I believe in laying your cards on the table. People need to talk honestly with each other,” when I asked her what helped her marriage last all those years.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a widow who didn’t wish she’d done more to show her love for her husband. One lady said, “He always wanted to open an Italian restaurant with recipes that came from Italy. You never saw that kind of food in our day. I held him back. I was afraid to take the risk. He was a great cook. I could’ve helped him with the books. I would have been better off today, too.”
She sounded like she was a great wife when she shared stories of their life together. One day, I told her my husband liked steak but it was so expensive. She was 79 and I was in my 40’s. She looked at me, “Buy your husband a steak.”
So, I did and he smiled when I pulled it out of the bag.
A 90-year-old grandmother at church lost her husband of 70 years in 2016. She credits a previous pastor’s wife for advice that improved her marriage. She was told to be a “helpmeet” to her husband, to do her best to meet his needs and show him respect. She said it revolutionized their relationship. Then she tells us, “We married for better and for worse. There was a lot of better and a lot more worse, but we stayed together and it was worth it.”
She’s quiet about her grief, but occasionally it overwhelms her and then she’ll tell us she can’t wish him back. He’s with Jesus and one of their sons that passed on ahead of them, and now he’s healthy and strong in heaven.
I can’t imagine being married for 70 years, but at the age of 20, being married 40-some years felt like a long time.
I hope you are doing well. If you love Jesus, keep looking up. Take advantage of praying for others, many people need it even if they don’t ask for intercession. One nice thing about being a Christian-Jesus said He’s up there talking to God the Father on our behalf.
May God bless you and protect you from the spiritual enemy of mankind.

Two Answered Prayers

 

This past weekend, we got invaded by children and grandchildren.
It’s so quiet now it’s almost surreal.
They called me earlier and I wasn’t home so I called their mother at 9:30 p.m. and they answered the phone. It must be summer. They’d better enjoy their laid-back schedule.
As hard as it seems to believe, school starts soon in New York State.
Yesterday I prayed fervently, “Please God, help me to find the lost library book. I don’t want to buy a new one to replace it.”
When the grandkids first came in the door on Saturday, I told them I’d give them fifty cents if they’d help find the picture book.

http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.U_zcfijNUNeAFZa-qSLRdgEsCo&pid=15.1&w=173&h=9

6&p=0
The second oldest set to work right away. I thought being here would stimulate their memory and in moments the tome would be in my hand.
He worked so diligently I treated him to shopping at a dollar store. They’re young and pleased with a small amount which helps Grandma out.
He scurried under beds, peeked in closets and even dumped the toy box as he thoroughly searched the premises. I stayed by his side and helped picked up toys and placed some items in a give- away bag. After half an hour, I told him we had to stop. I felt ready to drop. They didn’t get there until nighttime and I’d had a busy day already.
Once the other children heard of his trip to the store, they wanted to help. Only one got the chance, so the others helped mommy clean her vehicle. They earned more from her and worked a bit longer.
His sister helped the next day and she ended up waiting for me to get ready. We didn’t look for the book this time because I’d spent so much time already on my own, I couldn’t think of any other place to look.
I set the timer for 30 minutes and gave her the same amount of money to spend. She’s not as easy to shop with as her brother. I almost gave up after 45 minutes but I allowed her to go to a second store even though I told her earlier we were only going to one place.
When it seemed she wouldn’t find anything there, I told her we’re leaving and I’d give the money to her mom for them to get something later.
Then she looked in earnest. She found six items compared to his two and received 50 cents in change back as well. He took maybe 15 minutes to decide; she took an hour and 45 minutes before we left for home!
He got new stuff, she chose used stuff. I’d rather take him because she kept trying to up the payment and didn’t want to take “No,” for an answer.
I love them equally, but from now on I think I’ll choose visits to the playground for an outing instead of down a toy aisle.
Anyway, God certainly answers prayer. The book sat in my house in their luggage hidden in an outer pocket of their suitcase. Unfortunately, they didn’t find it until they drove home.
I asked her to mail it directly to the library. Who found it? The second born son. “Grandma, I found the book. Am I going to get 50 cents?”
“Yes, you are,” I told him.
“Get to bed,” I heard his mom tell his siblings.
Others wanted to talk and my daughter spoke into the phone, “I’m sorry, Mom. They have to go to bed.”
“That’s okay, I know it’s getting late.”

Two answers to prayer today. At the dealership for my car I asked God very sincerely, “Please let the repair be free or for a very low cost.”

About a month ago they replaced a part in my car because the horn beeped for no apparent reason, sporadically. Once, in the middle of the night.

I paid their hefty labor bill and a tiny amount for the part and thankfully they needed very little time to exchange the parts. Still, at the small shop I go to they charge about $40.00-$50.00 per hour less than the place I went to today.

Which is why I prayed today.

They kept the automobile for about 40 minutes and checked every wire and every part of the system attached to the horn and couldn’t find anything wrong with it. So, they gave me the paperwork-N/C, $0.00 on the bottom. No charge, “Thank you very much.”

And to Jesus I said, “Thank You, Lord!”

God is good.

May God bless you

Soccer, Anyone?

Little boy playing football | Flickr - Photo Sharing!http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.w8ewEE5uYEYhJ7YyPBWtOwEsDH&pid=15.1&w=173&h=114&p=0

Last week, my husband and I drove a couple of hours north to see our children and grandchildren. The eight year old got placed in the defensive section of the soccer field after having had a taste of offense and the heady experience of kicking the ball into the goal. I noticed he stopped an aggressive players well placed boot which would have caused another scored point. He effectively sent the black and white sphere in the opposite direction to one of his waiting teammates.

I congratulated him on a game well played. “I didn’t make a goal this time.”

“I know it, but you stopped their team from getting the ball to the goal posts twice.” Then Grandpa added, “You kept your focus.”

Mom said, “You stayed in position, and that’s important.”

She played soccer for many years, even though at a young age she wasn’t sold on the sport. Her dad asked to stay on the team for the season and then if she didn’t like it, she could quit. She is our oldest and I was inclined to let her off the hook. When he explained that her team was counting on her, it made sense to me to have her stick it out. She agreed and after a few more games, she fell in love with the sport.

I remember in ninth grade, I think, she got up at five a.m. to practice soccer with her dad in the summer hoping to make the team. He went to college to be a physical education major, played soccer throughout high school and whenever he could after graduating, and he coached soccer teams for many years as a volunteer. It amazed me that they were so dedicated. I wondered if her coach had any idea how hard she worked, only to be cut during the tryouts. At her young age, she was philosophical about it. “Mom, you should see the girls I competed against. Their talent and speed surpasses mine. I get it.”

I forgave the coach, but I saw him at a meeting once and he came across as a person that made up his mind and there was no changing it. I felt better after she explained the circumstances. Then the next year she tried again, and that coach apologized to me for having to cut her. She went to a smaller college in her freshman year and they put her on the team, so I rejoiced with her.

As I watched her oldest face competitors, he took it all in stride. I don’t know whether he’ll continue playing soccer or if he’ll go for swimming like his dad. He loves to read and he’s a deep thinker, so he may not pursue sports at all. Only God knows what his future holds. All I know is that I’m privileged to be a grandma.

May God bless you.

 

Secretariat

This photo is from http://movies.disney.com/secretariat.

 

My husband and I intended to celebrate our anniversary last night but he wasn’t feeling 100% so we stayed home and put in a DVD to watch. If ever you feel a need for encouragement when the odds are against you, this is the movie to watch.

Walt Disney productions started Secretariat, rated: PG, and released on October 8, 2010 with Scripture; God is speaking of the horse:

Job 39:19, (GNB):  “Was it you, Job, who made horses so strong and gave them their flowing manes?

Job 39:20  Did you make them leap like locusts and frighten people with their snorting?

Job 39:21  They eagerly paw the ground in the valley; they rush into battle with all their strength.

Job 39:22  They do not know the meaning of fear, and no sword can turn them back.

Job 39:23  The weapons which their riders carry rattle and flash in the sun.

Job 39:24  Trembling with excitement, the horses race ahead; when the trumpet blows, they can’t stand still.

Job 39:25  At each blast of the trumpet they snort; they can smell a battle before they get near, and they hear the officers shouting commands.”

Disney may not have started the introductory speech at the beginning of Job 39:19, where God calls Job by name, but the Scripture is quoted powerfully at the start and finish of the movie.

It’s very apparent that Mrs. Tweedy, aka Penny Chenery has faith in God, but it’s very subtle. The movie is about the amazing “Big Red,” as the owner likes to call Secretariat. Yet, it significantly portrays human struggles and risk taking and dreams placed in the heart of a child by her father. The race took place in 1973 and the American culture is being shaken to its roots by anti-war protestors and the hippie movement. This movie abounds with strong personalities and loving confrontations and respect for individuality in the midst of exciting horse races.

Secretariat is based on a true story and it made me want to get out of my chair and do something big with my life.

The only thing I had to guard my heart against was the slights to housewives which I also encountered occasionally over my years at home when many of the moms were off to the workplace.

Writers Mike Rich and William Nack showed Mrs. Tweedy’s servant heart at home in a positive light as well. The link by the photograph tells all the wonderful actors and other movie personnel’s names with useful information.

May God bless your day.

Mindfulness

9781594862748: Speed CleaningThis photo is from: https://pictures.abebooks.com/isbn/9781594862748-us.jpg.

 

I thought I’d start a blog about cleaning and use a quote I got from a book in our library called Speed Cleaning. The book was published by Rodale Press in 2005 and written by Jeff Campbell and the Clean Team and copyrighted from 1985-2016. Their website sells some products for less cost than those that I bought elsewhere. I obviously don’t know the quality, but that was impressive. Their website is www.speedcleaning.com.

I can’t give the author’s exact quote, but it was about being mindful of what I’m doing when cleaning so I’ll enjoy it more. Keeping focused on where I’m standing, what is nearby so I don’t trip over it, and paying attention to what I’m doing throughout the job came up as well.

I’ve heard it said that people find fulfillment in whatever they’re doing if they give full attention to the activity (if it’s not a painful thing).

So, when cleaning the refrigerator if I concentrate on the fingerprints disappearing and a shine taking their place, the endorphins in the brain should get released, right?

On another subject, on Saturday night, I made a mayonnaise cake and when I finished it, it felt so good to see it completed and not sagging in the middle. I went to bed after blogging about it. At midnight, my husband noticed it sank to the middle but he didn’t want to disturb my rest. One of the ladies at our church is such an encourager. She told me it really didn’t look bad. I ended up running out of mayonnaise and used a substitute vegan style for the last half cup. I ran out of white sugar and used a little less brown sugar instead. It tasted the same as normal and looked similar. I ate a bit too much of it, so I put the left overs in the freezer. Out of sight, out of mind. That’s one food item I don’t want to be mindful of. I gained weight after eating it two days in a row.

Do you have something you’re struggling over? I remember reading a book on weight loss by Steve Arterburn some years back. He took time to taste his food and enjoy the meal. This is a more recent book by him that I haven’t read, but it sounds good. Lose It for Life: The Total Solution--Spiritual, Emotional, Physical--for Permanent Weight Loss  -     By: Stephen Arterburn, Dr. Linda Mintle
 This photo is from: https://www.christianbook.com/solution-spiritual-emotional-physical-permanent-weight/stephen-arterburn/9780849947261/pd/947260?event=ESRCG#CBD-PD-Description.

I believe it’s an updated version of the book I read with more offerings: exercises and other beneficial information.

I hope you are keeping your eyes on Jesus in this world with the turmoil and with the good. I heard my daughter read some Psalms today after telling me she’s concerned about her elderly and much loved cat. He’s not eating well. God’s Word is a comfort. She’s experiencing His peace in the midst of her trial.

May God bless you.

Love Conquers Hate

 

I heard the news about White Supremist’s group gathering in America in Charlottesville, VA  and the tragedy of a person’s reaction to those standing against the ideology of white supremism.

 

This is a quote from Reclaim Our Republic blog on WordPress.com at the address:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/693245/posts/1559598312 : “Some have suggested that the violent atmosphere and lack of police presence was a factor in the decision and ability of 20 year old white supremacist James Alex Fields to drive his 2010 Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32 year old paralegal Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.”

 

Some time ago, then-President Obama said that America is not a Christian nation any longer. Our country has never been perfect even when considered a Christian nation, but it is becoming increasingly worse since many are trying out new philosophies.

 

The New Testament of the Bible in 1 John 4, (GNB), says this,

“1John 4:7  Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God.

1Jn 4:8  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1Jn 4:9  And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.

1Jn 4:10  This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.

1Jn 4:11  Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another.

1Jn 4:12  No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us.

1Jn 4:13  We are sure that we live in union with God and that he lives in union with us, because he has given us his Spirit.

1Jn 4:14  And we have seen and tell others that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

1Jn 4:15  If we declare that Jesus is the Son of God, we live in union with God and God lives in union with us.

1Jn 4:16  And we ourselves know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love, and those who live in love live in union with God and God lives in union with them.

1Jn 4:17  Love is made perfect in us in order that we may have courage on the Judgment Day; and we will have it because our life in this world is the same as Christ’s.

1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.

1Jn 4:19  We love because God first loved us.

1Jn 4:20  If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen.

1Jn 4:21  The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also.

 

There is no racism in God’s kingdom. God made every person in the image and likeness of God. See the beginning of the book of Genesis.

 

Also, God is no respecter of persons, it says in 1 Peter 1:17.

 

Here are verses with 1 Peter 1:17 included, in the CEV version of the Bible, a little easier form of writing to understand:

 

1Pe 1:13  Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears.

1Pe 1:14  Behave like obedient children. Don’t let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be.

1Pe 1:15  Always live as God’s holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy.

1Pe 1:16  That’s why the Scriptures say, “I am the holy God, and you must be holy too.”

1Pe 1:17  You say that God is your Father, but God doesn’t have favorites! He judges all people by what they do. So you must honor God while you live as strangers here on earth.

1Pe 1:18  You were rescued from the useless way of life that you learned from your ancestors. But you know that you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don’t last forever.

1Pe 1:19  You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb.

1Pe 1:20  Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days.

1Pe 1:21  And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honored him in a glorious way. That’s why you have put your faith and hope in God.

 

God loves variety. He may have created different skin tones and types of hair that differ from one group of people to the next, but nowhere does it show that one race is superior or inferior to another. I’ve blogged about George Washington Carver. He sought God about knowing things in the universe and supposedly God said it was too big for any human to comprehend. So God chose to answer Mr. Carver with lots of information about the peanut. I’ve heard it said that God tells us in His Word that he gives people witty inventions. Professor George Washington Carver came up with a multitude of uses for the peanut–some in food products, many for businesses, with paint thinner as one example.

 

Neo-Nazis, KKK members, all who say they are Christians had better read their Bible. God is against hatred and Jesus said in John 10:10, (KJV):   The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 

God, please help our country to be unified by love and kindness and graciousness towards each other, I pray in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.