An Unusual Day

Today we usually have a Ladies’ Bible study, but I suggested we get together for fellowship and a craft day. I invited a recent widow who attends another church via voicemail on her cell phone and didn’t hear from her.

As I entered our church, there she sat with a few other ladies. I brought sewing supplies and books and Bible and tea, etc. Later, I read Psalm 34 and spied her wiping away a few quiet tears. Then when most people were leaving a gal arrived who hadn’t slept much the night before. So I decided to camp there in the kitchen and visit for a few moments before cutting out a pillow cover with a sports motif on it for a Christmas gift.

She had received a cute fleece scarf from one of the ladies and decided that would make great gifts for her grandchildren, so she wanted to go to a somewhat local fabric store. If we have any stores within a half hour drive, most are quilting stores with 100 % cotton material only. I want to make my grandson a pillow with the super hero The Flash on it. I thought possibly the Lord was saying to go with her, so I did. We ended up going further to a Walmart because two fabric stores were closed today. So I bought an extension cord and two boxes of Christmas cards.

I am quite the optimist. It’s already December 21, 2016 and last night I realized that when my computer got cleaned up earlier this year or late last year, my Christmas addresses got deleted. So, last night, as exhausted as I was, I promised myself a half hour transposing the addresses from my paper-bearing planner to the computer. I don’t know if I used an electronic planner if it would be transferable to my computer. I don’t want to know at the moment. Lol

So off we went to the fabric department and while she chose fabric I texted my son in another state and asked if a check for his little guy would work. I kept looking for The Flash fabric and just couldn’t find it anywhere. He has a birthday after Christmas, so I’m going to get online to see if I can find some within reason. I bought a pillow form at the big box store, so I’m a third of the way there.

I cut out a purse for my granddaughter, but lent the sewing machine to the other lady and I took the time to type for my client. I believe his project will be done by Saturday and I even texted him to see if he can meet to pick it up.

So here I am at our church typing this blog at 11:00 p.m. Very unusual – in fact I’ve never done this before in my life. So, now I’m ready to pack up the computer and head for home. Then I’ll send it out and set a small goal for further addresses. I mailed three Christmas cards out today to out of state family and one cousin’s in Canada. There’s no way she’ll receive hers before the twenty-fifth. I try to give hers more time to make it, but if I don’t write it down for late November, it doesn’t get done.

I can’t wait to get started on our dis-organized support group. I’ll write more about that at another time. Right now, I need to hit the road.

May God bless you. 🙂

 

Jewish Messiah

 

Our ladies’ Bible study had a Christmas brunch today. We invited all the ladies of the church, but only one non-regular attendee showed up.

Her mom used to attend our church years back. She decided to return and people welcomed her with lots of hugs.

After many months, her daughter came to our church a few weeks back. I didn’t expect her this morning, but it was good to see her.

This afternoon I read in Romans 9-12. The Apostle Paul writes of his beloved people, his nation, Israel and how God called them to Himself. Not all wanted God and in the book of Isaiah God laments that they would rather worship idols made of the same wood that they baked their food over:

Isa 44:13, (KJV):  The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.

Isa 44:14  He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

Isa 44:15  Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.

Isa 44:16  He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:

Isa 44:17  And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.

Isa 44:18  They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

Isa 44:19  And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?

Isa 44:20  He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

Isa 44:21  Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.

Isa 44:22  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Isa 44:23  Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

Isa 44:24  Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

Isa 44:25  That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

Isa 44:26  That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: …

The Apostle Paul continued speaking of his brothers, the Jewish people and said that God sent him to the Gentiles in order to make the Jewish people jealous. He said that the time of the Gentiles will come to an end and that the Jewish people would begin to recognize that Jesus Christ, (Yeshua) is and was and will be the Jewish Messiah, first and foremost. That the Jewish people will come to understand the Lord Our God is One; is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

My mom used to say that something was as clear as mud. I hope this is as clear as crystal seas.

May God bless you!

“Love in the Social Realm”

Yesterday I wrote, “Today was a busy day from morning until night. I got invited to my daughter’s so we could check out a coffee shop she liked. After she did her dishes,” (and then I stopped writing.)

To continue: We ate lunch so I could grocery shop on a full stomach – well, I was hungry by then, too.

I wanted to exercise, so we walked for a bit and once again, I realized I need to exercise more often. We took some time to pray and encourage one another. I shopped at two grocery stores to take advantage of sales and then I went to a meeting at church. By the end of the night, it occurred to me that I’d lost steam. Blogging that night was going on hold.

Our church is seeking God for vision and mission and practical steps for a healthy church. So, we took a survey two weeks ago about the preaching and songs and relationships and outreach, etc.

I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do.

In Hebrews 13 my Bible entitles it “Love in the Social Realm.”

Hebrews 13; 1-6 (NASB) says, “Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your character be free from love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT SHALL MAN DO TO ME?”

How encouraging God’s Word is! Be Blessed!

Friends, Work and Entertainment

A friend and I decided we’ll go see a lady in a nursing home on Thursday. She had a stroke last year. So, my friend is bringing the lady gifts. We just found out it’s the lady’s birthday. How cool is that? We planned to visit and marked our planners weeks ago. Is that not like our God, to direct our paths to her on her special day?

Also, I started reading James Scott Bell’s new novel, Romeo’s Rules tonight after a busy day. I think I discovered his fiction after buying a non-fiction book of his on writing. My first purchase was Plot & Structure: Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish. It was published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH, copyrighted in 2004. The second writing book of his I purchased was The Art of War for Writers; fiction writing strategies, tactics and exercises. This title was published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH and copyrighted in 2009.

I’m going through my second reading of the first book and haven’t finished the second book yet. That one I use at a much slower pace. Digesting as I go, I guess.

As I wrote on my novel today, before dishes and vacuuming, I noted how relaxed and happy I was to be moving along on this new/re-write manuscript. I chose to change direction later in the day, and began Mr. Bell’s novel and got pulled into the story immediately. I couldn’t help thinking how much more I enjoy reading than watching television. Later, when my husband came home, he turned on the television and I got sucked into a show, so I quickly left the room. Later, I chose to join him and immediately got sucked into this other show. We watched a while, and I thought, television may drag me in, but it’s oh, so not satisfying. Two of the shows actually caused tension in me because the families were fighting. They made the dad’s look inept and sometimes mean.

I didn’t see much of those programs, but when he turned to a show we both like because we’re involved in solving the mystery, we watched a second one. I told my husband I didn’t want to let it go. I’m very glad we turned the television off. I wanted to blog and all that sitting hurts the older I get. I was paying bills and recycling paper as I watched tv, but still. Time fritters away.

We’re fixing our church where some flooring felt weak and we’re planning on remodeling upstairs as God provides. I sense such an urgency to get ready. As times continue to worsen, I think many will turn to Christ and we need to be prepared. I keep turning to Daniel in the word at random. I’m going to look for a Bible study on Daniel to do, because there’s lots of prophecy in there about the end times that we are living in now. I love seeking God’s wisdom on life.

Be blessed!

A Quick Word

Over an hour ago, I was asked by a family member when I was going to bed. I thought I’d blog quickly.

Here I am trying to compose answers to an award, and so I give up for the moment. I’ll get back to it on Monday. It is already Sunday here, I don’t like to blog on Sundays. 🙂

I get up early on Sundays for church and then later in the day I try and go to church again. Why am I telling you this? I don’t know, maybe because now I’m tired. It’s not about me. I go to church for God, for others and okay, for me. If I miss church, I feel like I’ve missed out, which I have.

Going to church with others to glorify God and learn the Word and possibly pray with someone who needs prayer or to receive an encouraging word from someone and to sing beautiful songs to Jesus, there’s no better place for me to be. That’s my opinion.

Hopefully, I’ll be here to blog on Monday. Enjoy your weekend. I’m already enjoying mine. 🙂

Easter – Resurrection Sunday

Hi! I wrote this for our church’s April newsletter. I’m copying it here because I love what Jesus did for everyone and because I’ve had a stomach bug three times in March and so I’m catching up on things as I carry on in life. God bless. I intend to share comments made on the blog on how to find the “right” spouse later this week.

Consider the love of God, which never fails. Romans 8:38,39 (KJV) says: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I remember going to Catholic Church as a young girl seeing the Stations of the Cross, as they were called, miniature three dimensional carvings of the steps Jesus took on the way to the crucifixion – ending with His dead body being held by loved ones as they began to place him in a stone hewn resting place.

As I got older, on Good Friday at noon, I read the Bible’s account of Jesus’ betrayal and then His journey to the cross and to His death to my Mom. It was our tradition. I wasn’t born again yet, but the sacrifice Jesus made for my sin touched me deeply.

Resurrection means to be revived from death. After hearing that Jesus’ choice to endure the suffering and agony at Golgotha would enable me to be in a right relationship with God, I eventually understood salvation and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior!

He rose from the dead after three days in the tomb. My flesh came alive to the Spirit of God after many years of hearing His Word and many months of listening to an evangelical friend that didn’t give up on me. She prayed for me, she gave me nuggets of truth five school days of the week.

There are so many lies about Jesus – He’s not God, He’s just a prophet, a child of God like we are. Satan loves to deceive people; ensnare people with hurts, offenses, addictions; kill people with lies about suicide offering a peaceful alternative to this world.

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 abundantly.”

It’s never too late to experience God’s love, His deliverance, His protection, His provision, His still small voice welcoming you to get to know Him better.

Positioned with Christ

We had a guest speaker at our church two Sundays ago; Pastor Al Craig and his wife, Sue, visiting from North Carolina. He asked my husband to sit on a chair at the front of the main aisle. If you looked way over his head, you would see a huge wooden cross. Empty of the living Savior.

Pastor Al told us that God is our provider.

One of the most important things God provided us with was the gift of grace. If we will just believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, repent of our sins and ask Him to be the boss, the Lord of our lives, He promises to be our grace giver, the Savior.

I’ve heard it said, “When the time comes to stand before God, the Father, Jesus says, ‘This is a child of ours, Look at this one through My sacrifice.'”

Jesus died after He took on all the sins of the world. He gave Himself, the perfect god/man as payment for our sins so mankind could be free from judgment. Once we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, He tells us that He is in us and we are in Him, a great mystery of the faith. Pastor Al said, “Being in Him places us in heavenly places, according to the letter of Colossians.”

So, as an object lesson, we saw my husband sitting in a chair. As long as he sat in the chair, in Christ, He’s seated at the right hand of the Father. He’s sitting high above evil. If he should get off the chair, walk up the stairs, take the nails off the cross and choose to live in the flesh, he chooses to become lower than the heavenly places. He’s a Christian choosing to not sit in heavenly places and become subject to being in the world and turning his back on God’s provision and protection and power.

“Never mind, God, I’ll handle my life on my own. I don’t want to bother You. I want to live with bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart. I want to get drunk tonight, I want to live with someone outside of marriage for a while, I want to hurt them as bad as they hurt me,” etc., etc.

There’s more to this sermon, and this is a distillation of my notes, which missed some of what Pastor Al preached. But, being alive in Christ feels like a fresh fire to me after service on that Sunday. We need each other, believers, to stir up the gifts that God has given us. Today Is A Fresh Start. Jesus will let people repent and start over again, but He knows our heart. If we’re fooling around, playing at being a Christian, we may harden our hearts against God, and never get back on that heavenly chair. The enemy of our souls wants that to happen, since we remind him of God and he hates God.

We are made in the image and likeness of God and we will never be the holy and perfect God, but He treasures us. If we keep our relationship with God, He gives us position with Him. He promises us many things as joint heirs with Christ, and nothing beats the love of Christ and of the Father and of the Holy Spirit.

Just Show Up

Sunday night after church I got thinking about this blog. Crazy week, last week. When I went to the Montrose Christian Writers Conference, SuzyQ made a point of telling me if I was going to blog to make sure I showed up. So I’ve been trying to write once or twice a week. I didn’t make it last week.

I went to a doctor on Thursday for a small problem, he got telling me I needed to know every procedure I ever had done and what the blood results were. I rely on the doctor’s records, even though a friend told me years ago that I should keep a journal of medical stuff. I thought it was a good idea, I just never did it.

I told him what I remembered. He told me it wasn’t good enough. Never met a doctor quite like him. His first question to me was, “What are you doing here?” It seemed to go downhill from there. After a thorough exam, he decided I needed to see a different specialist. He told me a couple of things I didn’t know, which I appreciated. Then he began telling me that I was an unhealthy person. I saw my regular doctor the day before and she was telling me how good things looked. So I told him I was healthy, he told me I wasn’t. Back and forth a couple of times. Unbelievable. Laughable today, no where near laughable last week.

It’s a funny thing, my husband asked me if I wanted him to come along. I told him I planned on stopping at a few different stores and having lunch somewhere. He agreed to all that and when I came out of the doctor’s office, my emotions all messed up, it was nice to have someone to lean on.

Sometimes you just have to show up. I’m learning that with him. Sometimes I just need to be there to listen and not say anything. I appreciated him being there and giving me insights that the doctor might have been trying to get across. And he listened without saying anything after his initial response.

He showed up on a whim. I’m very aware that God’s word says that He orders a good mans’ steps. (Psalm 37:23)

Yay, God!

Crossroads in Life

Have you ever come to a crossroad in life? Do I change jobs because I’m constantly at odds with the company’s policies? Do I continue dating this man or tell him we need to part ways? Do I continue to follow Christ when all my friends tell me I’m no fun anymore? Do I spend this money or save it toward a specific goal: education, better food, clothes, transportation, to help someone in need? Do I continue working tremendous hours or do I spend more time with my loved ones?

Life gives us so many opportunities. When a crisis hits, we can pivot and change priorities radically or in increments. Sometimes a crisis will so change us that folks that haven’t seen us in years will feel they don’t know us anymore. Tomorrow at church I am going to give a word that I’m sure God has spoken to me, in His still small voice. It is the second time I ‘ll say the same thing in a short time span. “I’m coming quickly,” that’s what I believe Jesus is saying. So many biblical prophecies are already fulfilled. His quickly may not be “my” quickly, but then again, it might be. So I consider my writing. Spend a ton of time on finishing my novel. Spend more time blogging. Continue placing ads for freelance writing for individuals or businesses.

What do you think? Part of the word is to stir up the gift within you that God has given you, now is not the time to lie dormant. Do you want to share your opinion?

Savoring the Magic

Today started like any day might, but it turned into a day of joyful encounters with unexpected friends at a family reunion picnic. My sister invited a good friend and her daughter to the event but didn’t let me know. What a delight!

Then within a half hour or so, my daughter and her four children arrived. She drove her brother, my second son, to the picnic as well. More joy. Seeing extended family and family-like friends, plus my sister, Barb, made my day.

My husband and I drove on a newly paved highway through the valleys of upstate New York. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend accompanied us and we discussed the hilly terrain. Are they small mountains or high hills? I tried to find out on the internet, but it was inconclusive, in my opinion. So, I’ll do more research. That’s what writers do. We care about details that others may find boring or a waste of time. Then we ponder the wonder of it all. Give it our perspective and possibly turn it into a poem or a children’s story or consider it for a setting in a novel. Sometimes I have to remember to live in the moment because my mind starts fashioning new worlds and pretend people and I realize I missed what someone was saying, or I didn’t glance at the stars when I went from the car to the house.

If I live in a fantasy land, the important can be neglected. I remembered saying I was going to read the book I bought at Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference, entitled, “The ABC’s of Who God Says I Am,” by Kolleen Lucariello. So, I read chapter one this week. I thought of the vulnerability she displayed as she described an incident in her high school years. Marlene Bagnull taught at a writers’ conference in Rochester, NY, possibly in 1991. My first writers’ conference. She told us that vulnerability in an author is a key component in good writing.

I look forward to reading more of Kolleen Lucariello’s book. It made me think. I left its pages feeling encouraged.

If you get a chance to spend time with family and friends, savoring their smiles and the sunshine on a creek, hoisting little ones to view the seaweed and the black and jade-colored dragonflies, do it. Live in the present, and if you’re a writer, capture the magic of life.

When the reality of life gets hard, a story can catapult me into another time and place. I return with renewed vigor and hopefully some nugget of truth I never appreciated or understood before. Life needs balance.

Tomorrow morning, I plan to go to church and sing songs that remind me of the goodness of God. I expect it’ll be as most of the Sundays that have come and gone, but one never knows what God may orchestrate. 🙂