A Summer with Babysitting

I’m back North for a second stint of babysitting for my four grandchildren. The first day we readjusted to each other-a little testing on their part, me determining how strict to be.

Four Square fun https://www.playworks.org/game-library/4-square-switch-2/

            The last time I was here, in June we played four square with a red rubber ball. If some pushing or other roughhousing kept going on, I’d step in and tell the offender to sit on the porch and count to 120 while they composed themselves.

A few days later, the oldest came running in and said his sister needed to chill and count to 120. The others rushed in to tell their side of the story.

            My daughter quieted them down and said, “Use your words.” They all got a chance to explain.

            Turns out his sister didn’t need to count to 120. I thought, that was handled well!

            Please excuse the bragging on my daughter. I think following the Lord and being a Special Ed teacher helps her in raising her children. I’m back to reading Proverbs again, along with some other Scriptures. Not every day, but there’s so much meat in Proverbs, lots of good advice for relationships, for managing life, for handling money, and getting to know God.

            I hope you’re well. May God bless you!

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Privileges and Responsibilities of Being Christian

I’m sitting in a recliner with my feet up because a week and four days ago I went to the foot doctor to have a small biopsy taken off a toe. It hurts and daily there’s been a touch of blood on the bandage, so I decided I’d better take care of it.

To change the subject, I love being a Christian because God answers prayer, besides the benefits of getting to know Him. On Mother’s Day, our church gives each lady a carnation and some of the last of us divided up the leftovers, so I got four. After putting them in a wide-mouthed vase, they looked like they needed more flowers in there. I wanted more but not enough to go to the store, maybe because of my hurting toe.

On Wednesday I went to a place of ministry and the person in charge of it asked a few ladies if we could join her in prayer there. Afterwards, she and I pulled out a book we’re studying every two weeks together. Well, that’s the plan anyway. In an office, I noticed two bouquets of flowers almost out of water, so I suggested she water them. She bought them for two employees and one recently quit without notice. “Want one?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

I thought, God gives us the desires of our heart when we follow after Him. That might be in the book of Proverbs.

Also, we’ve been having a lot of rain, which fills half of our basement floor. In the book of James, it says, “You have not because you ask not.”

When we first moved into our place, the basement was dry. I’m not exactly sure what we did, but it changed. So, my husband took on another chore in his already busy schedule because the water is too heavy for me to lift.

With days and days of rain, my heart ached for my husband and I asked God to keep the water out of our basement. Because of His compassion, He did something. Our basement is dry!

I prayed a week or so ago for my husband and I to get away for a break. A couple of days ago, a lady at our church called me. She said she went to get a hair cut and it turned into a God appointment. The hairdresser is Christian and she and her husband have a heart for pastors and missionaries. They open their place in the Southern Tier for a small retreat for a donation. My friend said, “My husband and I want to pay for you to stay there for a couple of days.”

I tell you, that felt great to know they cared and God made a way. My husband is thinking about it and I told the Lord if it falls through, it’s okay. It’s just awesome to see how much He cares.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=free+picture+of+the+Christian+flag

Our lives are not perfect. My emotions get out of hand at times. Today, I called a friend for prayer because of another sinful decision our Federal Government made in the House of Representatives to favor one small group of Americans to the detriment of a larger majority of others. It’s causing me stress physically as well, which is not helping my toe to heal. So, I’m doing my best to cast my cares upon Him for He cares for me, as paraphrased from (1 Peter 5:7).

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=free+picture+of+the+american+flag

I’m asking God to influence the Senate and the President to keep this bill from becoming a law. I’m reading the Old Testament and I know God punished Israel for all the choices they made which America is making now. Our country is in a spiritual war and it’s heartbreaking. I’m praying Americans will write their Senators in Washington and vote their consciences in the Fall and may God have mercy as He continues to judge our land in an effort to get people to turn to Him for their eternal welfare.

So, I continue to lean into God and continue to learn lessons about the need to depend on Jesus and to rest in His loving arms. I saw a Christian program on YouTube last week and the host said he had a dream. Three times Jesus appeared to him and said, “I am coming soon.”

I clicked to the beginning. The show aired in 2017. Sid Roth loves the Jewish people and he said many in Israel are becoming Messianic Jews. They’ve determined that Jesus fulfilled the many prophecies of the Christ in the Old Testament. To God be the glory, thousands and thousands are coming to faith in other countries around the world.

If you are a born-again Christian in America, living out the faith as best you can, repenting and making amends when you fall, please join me in praying for revival to come to America. Please ask God to soften hearts. I’m asking the Lord to show me what He’s called me for and to strengthen me to fulfill that calling. If you haven’t done that, I hope you’ll do that today.

If you’re not sure if you’re going to heaven when you die, the Bible says in (Romans_10:9 NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

May God bless you!

Sad, and then Not

I wrote a blog last week that I hoped readers would find interesting. I also decided to author an article and a sidebar for a magazine I’ve been published in before.

Then, one thing after another grabbed my time. So, on this less hectic day I went to my desk and there’s the manuscripts for the magazine but no tablet with the blog.

I searched high and low, no luck! So, I began another and it didn’t set right, so I put a big X through both sides of the paper.

I try to write things out on a legal pad first. I feel like the words flow with the gel ink and the cursive letters.

A friend of mine suggested we watch a children’s movie from Walt Disney Co. called, “Inside Out,” on a DVD. My husband thought it was a deep topic for children. Maybe it’s because of the last week or so, but it made me feel sad. My youngest daughter stopped by tonight. She said her husband loved it. It shows how important emotions can be and he particularly liked “Joy.”

I did, too. Who wouldn’t? Today I told my husband I felt sad. “How come?” he asked.

Part of it is because I prayed for a young mom to get healed from cancer. I knew she was near death when we began praying for her. “You didn’t even know her,” he said.

That’s true. Things have a way of working out. I recently heard of a man marrying again after his first wife died, and the second wife was more compatible with him than the first. So, one never knows. I’m fully convinced God could have healed her. I’ve seen Him allow miraculous healings over the years. Plus, I’ve weathered blasts to my faith when prayers didn’t get answered with a “Yes” in the past.

Sometimes God says, “No,” and I find out later why. Other times He says, “No,” and I’m left pondering until I acquiesce to His sovereignty and then move onto something else to consider.

I trust God knows best because I’ve seen how gracious and kind He can be. I watched Christian television the day after this lady passed away. He said if a person has a burden from the Lord, it’s almost like being a little depressed over a life or death situation. He’d learned to get away to a quiet place and to pray until the heaviness of spirit lifted. Then, the ill person would recover or God would take them home to heaven having accomplished what He wanted done through the prayers.

I did feel that “heaviness” on Monday before she died, but I didn’t know about the “burden” praying or didn’t remember having heard it. My husband said, “How do you know that preacher is correct?”

“I don’t know,” I told him. “I just remember how I felt on Monday and it lifted by evening time.”

By then, she was already gone. My friend went to see her a week or so before she passed away. They talked about salvation and she prayed to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. That takes the sting out of death!

I don’t feel sad very often and, when I do, something happens and the melancholy state of mind lifts. For that and many other blessings, I say, “Thank You, Jesus!”

Spring is finally coming our way and the robins appear much fatter than normal to me this year. I watched one suck a long earthworm out of the ground one morning. In all my years, I’ve never seen that before.

http://allaboutbirds.org

God says His eye is on the sparrow and if He takes care of the birds and the lilies of the field in all their glory, how much more will He take care of you and me as we follow Him and endeavor to be righteous as He asks us to? That’s a rough and short paraphrase of Matthew 6:25-34.

May God bless you!

Remembering When

A few weeks ago, I drove north to spend a week at my daughter’s house because her kids had the flu. Whenever I told others I couldn’t fulfill my ordinary responsibilities and told them we’d have to cancel or ask them to fill in for me, when I said, “The kids have the flu,” these words came to mind: “but it’s sure nice talking to you Dad, I know we’ll get together soon, Dad. I’m sure we’ll have a good time, then.”

That’s how I remember the words to the Harry Chapin song, “Cat’s in the Cradle,” from a concert I heard many years ago at college.

That song reminds me of a verse from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament in the New King James Version of the Bible:

Malachi 4:6  And he will turn The hearts of the fathers to the children, And the hearts of the children to their fathers, Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.

Luke 1:17  He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you.

Reality Strikes

Last week, I thought I’d return to Celebrate Recovery but that morning I woke up with rashes on my feet and hands. So, I stayed home.

Yesterday, I went to a doctor and he asked questions and listened for over an hour and a half. Looking at three blood draw results from the end of October, he said I’m definitely getting better, but I’m run down. So, he told me to continue resting and hydrating and eating healthy. He doesn’t know what I have, and he gave me another lab slip for more blood tests.

Last week, when the rash showed up, I told God, the great “I AM,” the Creator of the universe, that I give my health to Him. When praying, I’ve learned that in addition to having faith that God wants to answer prayer positively according to His will, that letting go of the results and trusting God-a prayer of relinquishment, can be one of the most important steps I take.

I’ve been reading in the book of Jeremiah for a while now, and God likes it when we turn to Him. He likes it when we don’t seek stuff and relationships with people and spend hours watching sports with rarely a thought for Him-when we don’t put those things before Him. He knows we need housing and clothing and food. He understands our need for close ties with people, that’s why He designed families. He realizes we need to unwind and relax. In the book of Matthew in the New King James Version it says:

Do Not Be Anxious

Mat 6:25  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Mat 6:26  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Mat 6:27  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Mat 6:28  “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;

Mat 6:29  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Mat 6:30  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Mat 6:31  “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Mat 6:32  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Mat 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Mat 6:34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

In my own case, I don’t think God minds me going to the doctor, and this particular one happens to be a Christian, and I have been praying and seeking God while I’m laid up. Yesterday, the doctor told me to continue to rest so I can recuperate and then don’t fill up my schedule. He doesn’t want me to relapse. So, apparently, I’m still on the shelf. I asked if I ought to eat some meat and he said it’s probably a good idea because my red blood cells are low. My husband took me to eat in a restaurant in town and I ordered a Reuben sandwich on rye bread. I could only eat half because my appetite has been low and I don’t have the room to fit too much food in now. Which is not a bad thing. I wanted to lose a little weight.

I hope this finds you well. I’m asking God to direct my steps as Thanksgiving is approaching and we’re expecting company. I warned my youngest daughter that I may not be as much help as usual. My family blesses me.Multi Generation Family Celebrating Thanksgivinghttps://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-multi-generation-family-celebrating-thanksgiving-image28082785

May God bless you!!

Feeding This Sheep

I’ve been reading A More Excellent Way: Be In Health by Dr. Henry W. Wright. The book is published by Whitaker House, published in New Kensington, PA and copyrighted in 1999, 2005, and 2009.https://resources.beinhealth.com/collections/frontpage/products/a-more-excellent-way-by-dr-henry-w-wrightA More Excellent Way by Dr. Henry W. Wright

It occurred to me today that I want to take some time tonight to read more of it. This book will have the author explain something that makes sense and applies to our bodies or our emotions, etc. Then he’ll give a Scripture that reiterates what he just said. Then he may give a scientific discovery that helps people’s health and once again, a Scripture fits the example and upholds what the scientists discovered.

A friend of ours bought some of these books and passed them out to those interested. I happened to be visiting. I’ve been asking God to bless her and her husband for their generosity. Just because the author has received wisdom from God and others to publish this big tome, doesn’t mean it’s an easy read. The Scriptures prod me to respond and question myself, am I obeying God’s commands?

If you get a chance to get this book and go through it, possibly with others, I think you will be blessed spiritually, physically, emotionally. I don’t feel like it’s legalistic. It’s inviting readers to test and see if the Bible verses are true. Is God a person of integrity as He’s portrayed to be in the Bible?

I’ve been sick and have missed church for the last five weeks. I’m finally going to see a Doctor instead of a Nurse Practitioner who is relatively new at her trade, on Monday, at her suggestion.

My husband asked me if I’m going to church in the morning. All I can say is, I’ll see what the morning brings. I’ve spent more time with God in this laying around the house mode. Hopefully, I’ve learned some things He’s been wanting me to learn. I’m going to get ready for tomorrow preparing my mind and heart to attend, and I’ll ask God to help it come true. My life is in His hands and I’ve never been as aware of that as I have been lately.

I hope this finds you well, and may God bless you!

Full Focus

https://fullfocusplanner.com/wp-content/themes/fullfocusplanner-v3/images/v3/ffp-stack-white.jpg

I ordered Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner. When I made the purchase there was a special offer of free training videos, which I appreciated. I went through the training and filled out a couple of goal sheets which have similarities and differences from others I’ve used over the years.

Something I’ll find helpful is the limit of 7-10 goals for the whole year, 2-3 goals for the quarter of the year. I chose work around the house for one and writing for number two. My third goal will be holiday preparations and I’m delighted to break the whole into small steps.

I got invited to a seaside home and requested the last part of September before the cold weather hits. We’ve had extraordinarily warm weather this Fall, although yesterday the temperature dipped down to our ordinary cooler days and nights. Today stayed the same, and I wore a couple of jackets when we went out. Tonight, in our heated home, I left one of the jackets on and put on a knit cap with ear flaps and tie strings for under the chin. My husband suggested I take a selfie and put it out on the blog. I looked in the mirror and decided it didn’t look too bad. He glanced up and smiled big time. Well, laughed really. I had already told him I’m not putting a picture of me in this warm cap online. I mean, why would I? 😊

So, at the end of September, near the lake, we boarded a pontoon boat, with a wide sturdy dock which suited this grandma perfectly. I wore a raincoat even though it was significantly warmer than today because I know I get chilled on the water unless it’s around 75 degrees F or higher. A breeze kicked up from the lake and we turned around to stay on the smaller waterways leading to the bigger body of water. I’ve been wanting to get on a boat, but I didn’t tell anyone. I thought of the verse that says if we’ll delight ourselves in the Lord, He’ll give us the desires of our heart. I’m not perfect at delighting myself in the Lord because I get my mind on self or responsibilities, but I do appreciate God for Who He is and how He blesses me. I thanked my friends personally, but I’ve been writing on my planner for days now, send a thank you note. They said it’s not necessary, but my mom always stressed sending a handwritten thanks to someone who did something nice for you. And the folks I went to visit provided a pleasant place for a sleep over, pleasant company, pleasant food, a pleasant dog and a pleasant cat who purred while sitting cozily next to me.

The only downside was going home to reality. Not only did we eat at a delightful soup and sandwich shop, which my co-visitor treated us at on our last day, but we stopped at some local stores with friendly workers with low costs compared to my neck of the woods. After I got home, it was my turn to cook, clean, do laundry, figure out the menu, etc. So spoiled. But, as has been said many a time, “home is home and it’s always wonderful to be in your own bed,” and with people you’ve grown fond of and see regularly.

I’m still reading Isaiah, going through the book, and it has harsh warnings and wonderful promises. A friend said today that true Christianity is a religion that embraces questions and thinking and reasoning, which is based on a verse in Isaiah: (Isa 1:18, CEV) “I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool.”

I hope you are well. May God bless you.

 

 

Changes Discussed

 

Image result for how many lightbulbs does it take to change a person?https://www.newhopepublishers.com/shop/how-many-light-bulbs-does-it-take-to-change-a-person/

 

In our Ladies Bible study yesterday, we were on Chapter 12 in How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? with the subtitle: Bright Ideas for Delightful Transformation. It’s written by Rhonda Rhea, published by New Hope Publishers, Birmingham, AL and copyrighted in 2011.

The title of the Chapter is “Sometimes the Key to Change is…Change”. I almost anticipated her talking about pennies and dimes throughout the whole section, but I guessed wrong.

One of her favorite things is chocolate and it made the pages once again. She mentions candy bars and the various sizes available nowadays, but she got to the point of the title. We can’t change unless we’re willing to change. We have to shift gears and think differently, she tells us at one spot. God helps us with that, if we’re willing.

Then she quotes Jeremiah 29:11: “‘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.”

I love that Scripture. There are days when I need lots of hope, maybe more for others than myself, when I hear of losses and diseases from friends and on the news. Not that I don’t have stuff rear its ugly head, but I’m blessed with support from my family, our church, and friends. Scripture gives incredible comfort and prayer does, too.

I know some folks that sell or own essential oils and they’ll offer me a chance to inhale whatever fragrance that might help my mood to improve. I’m not against that, but today I anticipated someone saying, “Oh, you’re stressed. Let’s pray.”

They didn’t. They kindly opened first one bottle of diluted oil mixture and then another, suggesting I give it a try. I did feel better, but I think it was more because the person listened to me and the stressing agent wasn’t nearby. The aromas probably helped some, but it wasn’t a scientifically proven result.

Now I’m home, ready to continue my day. I haven’t written much lately because of housework and working on a story for children and babysitting grandchildren and practicing guitar for Sunday’s service with a pianist friend, etc., etc.

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you!

If I Get to Heaven

Sisters Summer Child Girls Childhood Cute(photo from: https://pixabay.com/en/sisters-summer-child-girls-931151/)

 

One of the nice things about my sister living near me is that sometimes we get alone time to talk about things. On Saturday, on our way to one of her favorite stores, she asked me about by last blog. “Why did you write, ‘if I get to heaven’? Do you think you’re not going to heaven when you die?”

I told her I should have explained what I was thinking.

I believe that God keeps those believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who asked Him to be their Lord and Savior, and repented of their sins. In Ephesians 1 it tells us that God seals His followers forever and calls them heirs of His kingdom.

So, realistically, all born again Christians sincerely loving God and obeying His commands are secure in their relationship with Jesus. Colossians 1 tells us we are already seated in heavenly places. The Gospel of John shows us Jesus’ words about belief in Him.

I’ve read the Old Testament time and again. Believers in God, including Solomon, got off track and began worshiping other gods. In Ecclesiastes, it appears that Solomon got through the depression of leaving God and returned to the faith of his father, King David.

So, even though I’m secure in Christ, I’m also aware of letters from the Apostle Paul in the Epistles of the New Testament. He told disciples of Christ to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. He warned the believers in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 not to be deceived. Neither covetous people, neither those having sex outside of the marriage of a male to a female, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, nor men behaving like women will inherit the kingdom of heaven. I would imagine women acting masculine fall into the same category.

Paul, speaking to Christians warns them if they’re living in the aforementioned manner, they will not go to heaven.

I believe Christians have free will to walk away from God, because one of the prophecies of end times is that a multitude of people will come to Christ and a great number of believers will find their love growing cold and will walk away.

The only reason I said, “if I get to heaven,” is because if I get persecuted, I don’t know if I would wimp out and reject Jesus.

I don’t think I’d do that because of God’s promises to keep His own and because I backslid once and I was miserable without God and I promised Him I’d never turn away from Him again. I understand the consequences better now-hell is worse than anything that I’d suffer on earth. Also, I’ve experienced ups and downs in life, and going through many experiences with Jesus makes the joy sweeter and the sorrow bearable.

I shouldn’t have said, “if I get to heaven,” I suppose, but my dad used to say, “only God knows who’s going to heaven.”

He said that because he saw some phonies in his lifetime. I don’t trust myself, but I do trust Jesus. If I get weak I call out to Jesus and that’s not going to change.

“I hope this helps,” my sister.

May God bless each reader!

Seeking God

 

I went to a ladies’ meeting this morning at a church thirty minutes away and just before leaving the house, I felt as if the Lord said, “Seek Me.”

So, it got me pondering, what does that really mean?

I decided it means don’t just cruise through the Bible when I’m reading it. Ask God for help in understanding what He’s saying.

My husband says, “God is interested in two things, our relationship with Him and our relationship with others.”

Then, I figured that Jesus went away from everyone and spent time alone with His Father. That certainly helps a person to seek God.

Later in the day it seemed good to ask God to help me to seek Him.

In Matthew 6 when Jesus is telling His followers not to worry about food and clothing and needs of life, He says in Matthew 6:33 for us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

May God bless you!