Disappearances

My husband called to see if I could find a necessary receipt to prove we’d paid for something. Then I got online so I could let the agency know we’d paid. I looked at the clock and two hours had slipped away.

I went to the library today and got rewarded with a dark chocolate candy today because I “got caught” reading. While my friend dished out the sweet morsel, she got serious. I waited a moment and then she said, “*Marcy passed away at the end of April.”

“I’m so sorry to hear your mom is gone. I loved your mom.”

“Me, too,” she said.

I’m invited to her memorial service at the place where her mom worked because she loved it there and it seemed appropriate to her daughter and Marcy’s  boss is all for it. They had a lot in common.

Later in the day I did some typing for someone and the last time I worked, I put the info from the flash drive onto my computer. I thought, I don’t really need to do that, but there’s no harm in it and I think I have lots of room on the hard drive to save it.

Tonight I decided to type for at least an hour and when I searched for the thumb drive it was gone. I didn’t search high and wide because I didn’t want to waste time, but I couldn’t believe it wasn’t where I normally store it. After I post this, I’ll look slowly and thoroughly and if my husband is up I’ll ask him to check. He’s been known to find things that are in plain sight that I’ve not been able to see when it was right in front of me.

Sometimes I get ideas to do things that don’t make perfect sense to me and then I realize that it saved me stress and I thank God that I did that.

Well, I need to cut this short because I’m busier than normal because I prayed for work and God answered that prayer the very next day. Now, I have a commitment to do the work.

Speaking of commitments, I usually attend a Bible study on Fridays, but my husband’s cousin who has been sick for a long time now, gave up the fight and he’s no longer with us. I’d like to attend the funeral. I guess I’ll have to see if someone is willing to fill in for me on short notice or I’ll have to stay home and send my condolences with my husband.

A friend of mine tried to find me once and I was missing from all the normal places I might have been. Finally, I was able to answer her voice mail. She said, “I thought you got raptured and I missed out on it.”

I laughed and told her I was pretty sure if I got raptured, she would too. If there truly is a Rapture, when it occurs, there’s going to be lots of folks disappearing.

At the second coming of Christ, Jesus said to be aware and to be ready, for He is going to return like a thief in the night in Matthew, chapter 24.

May God bless you!

* Not her real name

Companionship

My youngest daughter called me this morning to see if she could spend the day. I told her it was okay but I needed to work on the kitchen. She needed to do some paperwork, so that would be fine.

As I washed some breakfast dishes, she picked up the towel and began to dry as we visited. When I cleared off the refrigerator to clean it, she chatted as I removed some items off the top. After I washed the door, she asked if I wanted her to work on a spot I missed. Of course, I said yes. 🙂

She and I were both heading to a meeting to hear a Christian speaker we enjoy and they ask for a snack from the attendees. So, we made banana bread. She mashed the bananas she brought from home while I blended the sugar and shortening, etc.

I needed to return a book to the library that was due today and she stayed at my house to start her paperwork.

Christian Writers Market Guide 2017  (image from https://christianwritersinstitute.com/all-books/christian-writers-market-guide-2017)

Later, I ordered the 2017 Christian Writers Market Guide, published by Christian Writers Institute and a couple of 2017 market guides published by Writer’s Digest publisher F & W Media, Cincinnati, OH which I’d been meaning to get to.

When we reached the home of the lady hosting the speaker and the group, there was expectancy in the air. As a worship leader strummed her guitar and sang the first song, “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin, many voices rose in reverence and praise. Two teenagers accompanied their parents, single folks and married couples attended, young to elderly folk interacted, Caucasian and African-American and one Jamaican held hands to pray. Some of the people have received the gift of prophecy from the Holy Spirit and words of encouragement or admonition were given in a loving manner.

I sensed a nudge from the Holy Spirit to pray for a lady that I’d never met before. Her throat was bothering her so I layed my hand by her neck and asked God to heal her throat and because I felt a lump I asked God to heal her thyroid. When we got done, she said that she’s been diagnosed with thyroid cancer but the medical community has told her to go elsewhere for treatment. She feels God told her He’s going to send many people to pray over her. I didn’t expect to pray for thyroid when I started.

One man was told that he has been empowered with the gift of bringing comfort to people, but that he needs to open his mouth and start speaking words of comfort to people. He hesitated so a pastor asked him to start right then if he pleased. He did and the speaker took hold of his hand and eventually asked his wife to take hold of his hand. They looked visibly moved.

I’m never sure what a day will bring.

This day was filled with more accomplished in the kitchen, a great day with part of my family and some special time with God in the Word and then in fellowship with believers I don’t normally run into. The speaker and his wife flew to NY from FL. I felt privileged to hear him share what God had been teaching him lately and to hear his encouraging words.

A different pastor read a Psalm and said it was for me. Then a man spoke about re-writing my novel. I don’t know if he was prophesying or just suggesting it, but he did say God would help me with it, so it might have been half a prophetic utterance. God knows.

There were a number of pastors there, now that I think of it and all from different denominations or non-denominational houses of worship.

May God bless you.

Flexible Moments

My daughter called today to see if I could head north to fill in for an unexpected childcare need.

I got ready to go and had half the stuff needed in the car for a sleep over when she called to say one of her appointments wasn’t going to work out. So I quickly backed out when she said I could still come up for a visit.

I had started to clear the pantry before leaving. I also wanted to grocery shop, so even though I was disappointed, I re-adjusted my plans back to the original.

Then, just before I left the house a second time, a good friend called to catch up and we spoke for almost an hour. I did some straightening while we visited, so that was a plus.

The weather forecasters said we were in for a big storm tonight and tomorrow, so I felt better about staying home after I heard that. Some of the store shelves were empty, especially in the produce section. The first time I saw empty shelves at our store I was startled. It’s a rare occurrence. People must have shopped earlier because the store wasn’t that busy.

Sometimes I thank God for His provision because I’m mindful that some people face hunger due to shortages where they live or because of a lack of money to buy food. It’s a wonderful thing when people help others out. Jesus spoke of helping the poor. Matthew 25:31, (KJV):  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Mat 25:32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Mat 25:33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Mat 25:34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Mat 25:35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Mat 25:36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Mat 25:38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Mat 25:39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

I hope you are having a great day. May God bless you.

 

Cold Up There

We drove north today and got to see my daughter and most of her family. The kids were sick last week, so it was nice to see them so much better.

Leaving the nursing home after Bible study today, I almost entered my car when I saw my son-in-law’s stepmom, so to speak. I called out to her and she didn’t recognize me at first. Then she remembered me from my daughter’s wedding. She was about to walk about three miles in the cold to her home and I was heading that way. So she asked what direction I was going and we ended up swinging by her place. I told her it was a God moment. She wasn’t even wearing a hat.

It was cold but not snowy, probably 20 degrees Fahrenheit out at the time. Not icy either which I prayed about because we’ve been getting rain the last few days and then the cold arrived. I went to the library on Wednesday night to see an Alaskan writing professor. Our 20 degree weather in winter, he said, is balmy compared to their weather. Their temps may be minus 20 degrees F to minus 40 degrees F. I can’t even imagine!

I get cold in winter in NYS; 40 to 60 degrees lower blows my mind. So that is why the man lives in Alaska and in Louisiana. If you live in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere I hope you are keeping warm.

May God bless you.

Made New

I was talking to my husband about journaling in accordance with a book on organizing. He said, and I’m sort of quoting here, “whatever happened to 2 Corinthians 5:17, (ESV):  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come”?

So, I sighed in relief and then called my older sister to ask about the past. 🙂 We had a nice visit. One of the concepts in different books on organizing is paying attention to where your time goes. Forty-five minutes later or more, I hung up the phone.

I was delighted when my youngest daughter showed up unexpectedly and I offered to help her with some writing projects. Then I got a bit cranky because time was moving right along. She asked what was going on and I told her, so we got that straightened out and chose to meet at a later date. She was tired, I was getting tired.

This morning, I took some stuff to the library to work on without interruption, but I didn’t get there early enough. Interruptions kept me from leaving the house. 🙂

Tonight because my daughter needed to send her writing to my e-mail account so I could print them out for her, I ended up checking out my e-mail after she went home. I don’t even want to think about how much time I spent on that.

God is good. He’s helping me to be more aware of poor choices. This morning I kept texting people or calling people when I could have waited until later or even later on in the week.

I did some cleaning before I left and that felt great. So, I think I’ll end here, consider my planner for today’s priorities and possibly do one or two small chores or a joyful thing like read a bit. I asked God to direct my path today around 1:00 p.m. and I got some groceries that blessed my husband. I got to see my son-in-law for a few moments when he stopped to see his wife. I want him to do something for the house – he’s a contractor and he’s somewhat of a perfectionist, so the job gets done well. He tells me he’s amazed at the changes in his life since he accepted Christ. He never thought he’d be a businessperson, for one, or married to the pastor’s daughter, for another.

Anyway, at the end of the day it’s kind of nice to look at the blessings of the day. I’m certainly glad I got to blog tonight, because I miss it when I don’t. I get to see what the other bloggers are up to when I send something out.

May God bless you and encourage you.

 

 

 

 

Retreat

My husband used to go on a men’s retreat two times a year with a group of men from the city we lived in at the time, some from the same church, some unchurched, some from smaller churches. Most were believers in Jesus Christ and went to seek God on a deeper level and to enjoy camaraderie with others. They spent three days in the Spring, if memory serves me correctly, and five days in the Fall.

At first, I resented it. I was a stay-at-home mom and he worked a ton of hours. I sensed God’s Spirit saying to let him go. So, I agreed, hardly wholeheartedly. I didn’t hide my feelings. When it was extremely difficult to let him go, I would wipe away the tears. He would hug me and say, “I love you. We’ll be praying for you.”

Then he’d surprise me, once with a plaque of an old-fashioned beautiful mother with her long flowing gown, ministering to her young ones. The bottom of the picture quoted a Scripture from Proverbs 31 praising the wife. One other time he brought me a bouquet of flowers. It always surprised me because of the randomness of the gifts, but the greatest gift was his safe return and his growth with God and with his friends. Our marriage improved, too.

All these years later, he is going with the friend that took the first trip with him. They walked Mt. Washington along the road with bags of provisions attached to cheap backpacks up and hiked the trail down. Yowza. Over the years they discovered great camping equipment, maps of the trails, dried food, light weight clothes, and their favorite restaurants along the journey.

Now, his buddy for over thirty years has an RV and they’ll take the trip with less physical exertion. We wives will wait at home and pray for them and they’ll seek God and hopefully find their favorite bakery, and a great pancake house that gives portions beyond belief.

These two men are so different from each other that they bring out the best in each other. His friend gets him laughing like none of his other friends, and they discuss God and His characteristics, and they share things no one else is privy to, or so he’s led me to understand. I get it, I have friends like that. What a blessing.

So, I’ve decided to take a few days to go visit one of my kids and the grand-kids, yet I plan on getting home before him so I can see the missionary and his wife who’re coming to our church.

Sometimes, it’s just good to go away to get refreshed and to seek God in another environment. I told my daughter I am not bringing any books to read or any writing assignments. I’m going to relax and maybe help her out some around the house and then turn around and come home recharged. That’s the plan. She’s free to sit with me in her church which is much different than ours, and that will be re-energizing as well. That’s what I’m thinking anyway. 🙂

May God bless you.

God of All Creation

On Sunday, Alistair Begg, speaking on October 5, 2015 on a You Tube video, encouraged students to turn to the Scriptures every day to hear from the Holy Spirit.

Why am I listening to Alistair Begg on You Tube when normally I’m getting ready to worship God? It’s because I drove north to see my daughter and her family. The oldest sounded croupy and I thought, He really shouldn’t go to church.

Before long she said, “One of us needs to stay home because he’s sick.”

I volunteered. Then he said, “Let’s get online and watch church.”

This is an elementary school boy. He heard me bragging on him and then he told me his mom suggested we catch it online. 🙂

Alistair Begg quoted Philippians_2:10-11  “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (ESV), as Paul wrote.

“There is no ideal place to serve God except where God places you,” Alistair said.

“Beware of the appeal of ease and easiness. Read Road to Character by David Brooks,” he also said.

He told everyone that he would have preferred to stay in beautiful Scotland rather than come to Cleveland, OH all those years ago. He left behind family and friends.

He then told those young people “to settle in their hearts what they believe about Jesus Christ, their mission, the church.”

Then he closed with a beautiful prayer at the Chapel of a college.

My grandson waited patiently through all the “loading” times. We started trying to watch his church on the computer, live, but those downloads caused us to miss chunks of time and parts of the songs and the sermon. So we looked at You Tube instead.

My grandson wanted me to tell you about “Zootopia,” which is totally off topic, a movie he recommends.

We watched that on Friday night and then went to the zoo on Saturday. We got to see a living sloth, one of the characters in “Zootopia.”

He was hidden in a barrel apparently sound asleep. Below are some pictures I took at the zoo:

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The lion pictures couldn’t copy, for some reason. They were amazing.

We couldn’t help but remark on the incredible diversity and beauty of the animals. The

giraffes’ colors and design keeps them from being sunburned, according to one of the friendly zookeepers we met.

May God bless you!

 

Ninth

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” is the Ninth Commandment found in Exodus 20:16 (NKJV)

When character Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables races Gilbert Blythe in a bicycle race they exchange verbal volleys. One of my favorite quips from Gilbert is, “Liars never prosper.”

Those two characters are so cute together. Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote a series of books about the orphan Anne coming to Prince Edward Island to live with the elderly Cuthbert siblings.

The characters in those books felt so real, I hated to finish reading their stories. My sister-in-law gave my oldest daughter the book, Anne of Green Gables many years ago and that was the first time I knew of Anne and Marilla and Matthew.

If you’ve never read the book, I may spoil the story here. One of the reasons Marilla decided to adopt Anne was the fact that she thought Anne might be a heathen, having never been taught how to pray.

Anyway, another popular saying I’ve always admired is, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive,” by Sir Walter Scott.

Once people catch us in a lie, we’ve lost credibility. They may never trust us again. As a child I heard the story of the boy who cried wolf. He got bored watching the sheep and so he cried out that a wolf was after his sheep. After many false alarms, the townspeople stopped believing him and when a wolf did show up, he didn’t get any help from them.

What a mess lying causes.

God bless!

 

A Merry Heart

Proverbs_17:22, (KJV)  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

 

I’ve had a chance to see my grandchildren lately and I thought I’d tell you some of the funny things they told me or their parents mentioned.

 

One of my children took a trip South, about a fourteen hour journey by car not counting rest stops. In the very beginning of the trip, the youngest girl, age five told her older brother, age seven that he should ride his bike to the Southern state.

 

The oldest son told his mom that they should arrive at their destination within an hour. When the other adult in the car said, “You’d better get comfortable in your seat. We’ll be in the car for two days.”

He shook his head in the negative. “No, we’re almost there.”

“How can you say that?”

“Oh, I’m always right.”

His mom said, “Oh, you are, are you? I don’t think so.”

“Mom, I’m always right, you know that.”

His mom cracked up laughing because he’s so innocent and so sure.

 

My son says a prayer before eating: “Lord, thank you for this food, bless the hands that prepared it and protect us from anything harmful that might be in it. In Jesus’ name I pray.”

The kids couldn’t understand “bless the hands that prepared it.”

So they started saying “hands for the parrot.”

They do it now at almost every meal, and now they say it at bedtime, too.

 

 

Well, that’s all I can remember at the moment.

 

God bless!

 

“What Took Me So Long?”

We know lots of interesting people because we’ve met so many over the years.

A lady in our church loves Jesus even though she’s a widow and within the last few years she watched her youngest daughter battle cancer. The thirty-something year old daughter died after a rigorous fight, holding onto God through the ups and downs.

Through the trials, the mom prayed more, read the Bible more, became more concerned for her family’s salvation and that of others.

Eventually her older brother became ill. He might have been in his late seventies or early eighties. She took every opportunity she could to talk to him about Jesus.

His submissive wife doted on him even though he cheated on her, gambled their money away, and liked his alcohol. His sister said to a few of us at church, “Please pray, I’m going up to see my brother. I hope he doesn’t throw me out. I have to tell him about salvation through Jesus and only through Jesus.”

We prayed as his health failed. Finally, one day he decided to repent of his sins and ask Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. “He did it! He gave his life to God!”

What joy. She glowed as she shared her story. “Do you know what he said?”

We waited expectantly. “What took me so long?”

He stayed a disciple of Jesus for the months he had left. His wife and daughter – followers of Jesus – felt such relief at his funeral. He’d found his way to Jesus, the Lover of his soul, Who never gave up on him.

Every once in a while I think of her brother’s question, “What took me so long?”

So many people I know live life without loving God and receiving His gifts of love, mercy, strength, forgiveness, wisdom, compassion, self-control, healing, provision, peace, joy, patience and the ability to go through the storms of life with Him nearby.

Gal. 5:22,23 list the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There are no laws against these traits.

Proverbs start out with a father imploring his son to listen to him and to the boy’s mother. It is one of the wisdom books in the Bible.

Why did it take my friend’s brother so long to come to faith in Jesus? Only God knows but He was faithful until the end to keep drawing the man to eternal life. How kind our God is.

2 Peter 3:9 (NIRV) says, “The Lord is not slow to keep his promise. He is not slow in the way some people understand it. He is patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. Instead, he wants all people to turn away from their sins.”

This includes the interesting people and those who may be less interesting. All people interest God because He made them. He knows how they tick, as the saying goes.

Have a great day!