A Change in Techniques

I just got back from TN tonight. I went down to attend my granddaughter’s wedding, which was simple and relaxing and great! Our family stayed for a few days before and after, so once again I fell behind in blogging.

I decided with all the holidays and trips here and there being scheduled, that I would publish snippets of favorite things.

Here is a poem on a parchment gift from close friends with a matching Scripture:

The Grace of God

will enable you to be

what He made you to be

and do what He has called you

to do.

Then, there’s a pretty feather for effect.

Then, the Scripture:

“The one

who calls you

is faithful and he will do it.”

1 Thessalonians 5:24

May God bless you!

Full Focus

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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.

 

 

Going To and Fro

Modern Day Miracle?

I went with a friend to see another friend at the hospital today. We talked and laughed and then the nurse came in with a wheelchair. A heart catherization scheduled for 11 a.m. stopped our revelry. I asked if we had time to pray and she gave us the okay.

Three hours later, we began to fret. It was usually an hour-long procedure and no one knew if she rested in the recovery room or if they were still in surgery.

Her husband and son left the room to check the status board and we didn’t see them for a while.

Then the gurney arrived and she looked better than she had before the surgery.

During the operation, the doctor discovered there was no blockage in her heart.

Somehow, the blockage they saw in tests dissolved away. Perhaps the medical procedures did that. They don’t know. All I can say is that she had a large amount of prayers ascending to heaven after news of her mild heart attack reached prayer warriors.

When I told a close friend of hers, she got so excited and started bragging about the goodness of God.

She quoted Scripture from the book of John where Jesus said that His Father is always working. Then she said, “God doesn’t need rest like we do.”

Her joy and awe of God added a sweet touch to a great day.

May God bless you!

Encouraged, Exhorted and Rewarded

I went to a writers’ group last night. I left feeling encouraged with a plan for marketing and ideas for further chapters. That’s gotta be why the Apostle Peter wrote to Christians about not forsaking the fellowship of believers.

We need each other. Sometimes people can see we’re under spiritual attack and then they’ll promise to pray.

Besides, friends will listen to us and if they’re frowning, it prompts us to ask, “What’s wrong?”

Usually, I pray, “Lord, give me ears to hear what I should hear, and discernment to know what isn’t of You.”

When I used to volunteer at a ministry, I prayed the above plus asking God to limit what the other party said so I didn’t hear yucky things. Then, I’d pray I wouldn’t say things I shouldn’t say. That’s a prayer I ought to pray every time I interact with people. As a sanguine, my greatest gift can be my greatest weakness.

I was reading in the gospel of Matthew today and Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Matthew 16: 24-27, (NKJV)

I never heard the lie when I came to Christ that everything would be better and that prosperity is an entitlement for those who give money to certain ministries. I heard that God wanted me to be in relationship with Him; that was news to me. I heard that when you go through the deep waters, God would go with me. I heard that if I cast my cares upon Jesus, He would care for me. If I’m having cares to cast, that means things aren’t going my way.

One prosperous lady I knew lost her husband in their sixties after he became a born-again Christian. She stayed at the church, and made many friends. Then, she became a born-again Christian. She told me immediately, things got worse. She fell at a grocery store and broke both wrists. That made her helpless and vulnerable. She needed basic human compassion and care. Her son kept making lousy decisions and she would bail him out, time and again. Talk about family strife. The last major blow, she contracted Parkinson’s Disease. Yet, she had more joy over the latter part of her life than when I first met her.

She made friends that stuck by her for years. She had an incredible sense of humor. She was loyal to me and others. She knew heaven afforded her the closest contact with God and a reunion with her husband. She would have a new body in heaven. She wouldn’t ever sin again in heaven and Jesus said those who loved Him would have a mansion up there.

I moved away before the disease got worse. I would imagine she grew closer to God through the pain. I’ve seen some suffering saints glow with the love of God. I wouldn’t choose hard times, but I’ve seen the radiance and the peace afforded by them. So, there are compensations for those believers suffering on this side of eternity.

May God bless you!

Thanksgiving Wishes

Hi! If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you were able to enjoy family and/or friends, food, and able to give at least one blessing you’re grateful for this November.

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As we sat around a large rectangular table borrowed from the church, I looked at each individual adult and child and love filled my heart and mind.

 

As our middle grandson said our Thanksgiving prayer, I savored his quick acceptance to the question, “Who wants to pray before the meal?”

 

The adults and other children quickly agreed to his response and bowed their heads. It was short and to the point and it moved this grandmother’s heart.

 

Psalm 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Psa 37:4  Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. (NKJV)

 

May God bless you!

 

 

The Book of Job

I’ve been reading the book of Job, and I have to tell you, I am blessed by my friends. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place of hurt and had my friends say, “You sinner, if you’d only stop sinning your crisis would disappear.”

I have some friends I’ve known for the majority of my life. I have had good times and bad times in childhood and beyond, but overall, I count myself fortunate. God came into my horizon early. Some folks never hear of God other than in a swear word. I found that out some time ago in a small town in Upstate, NY.

I heard a little girl swearing up a storm. I asked her to stop using Jesus’ name as a swear word. She asked me what I was talking about, so I told her Jesus is God’s Son, or maybe I said, “God the Son.”

She never knew that and before I could say much more, off she ran. How my heart broke for her. We moved away so I never saw her again, but I prayed for that little one.

God knows right where she is and He loves her.

I hope this finds you well, and not suffering like Job, although if you have a relationship with God like Job did, you can count yourself very favored by God. Not that I understand everything about the book of Job and definitely not everything about God. I don’t think that’s possible.

What do you think of the book of Job?

God bless you!

13 Year Anniversary

Our Ladies Bible study celebrated their 13 year anniversary today. It’s actually two days from now, but we meet on Wednesdays.

We’ve been getting new people lately and I love how our group welcomes visitors. Occasionally, I jump too soon into giving a book away and the person never returns.

The latest person, a young college student, rearranged her classes so she could attend today.

She is going to memorize the worship songs and bring her guitar on Sunday with permission from the leader.

I sought out a stranger in town today and found out she’s this young girl’s mother. They both have the sweetest smiles and joy in their hearts for the Lord.

One never knows what a day will bring. Since I gave away our last spare book to someone that may not come back, I’ll ask this young person if she wants our Unglued tome by Lysa TerKeurst.

My husband said since we’re almost done and if she doesn’t need the help that book gives, she may not want Unglued.

I’ll ask her on Sunday. I’m going to try and remember to bring in a zucchini plant as well. Her mom thanked me for the cherry tomato plant one of the ladies gave her daughter.

So delighted over a plant, it sparked the thought, I have four zucchini plants and a small space set aside for a garden.

I offered her a zucchini plant and she smiled with such delight, it gave me a warm feeling inside.

No wonder the Lord tells us to be thankful. It’s good for our attitude and I imagine it gives Him joy to be appreciated.

Occasionally people scam other people – strangers or friends may steal. My dad determined in his heart whenever he lent money to hope for repayment but not to expect it. That way it didn’t get in the way of relationship.

With the way the world is going, we have chances to forgive people daily – even those we haven’t met in person.                                                              (photo from http://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVvRSUSZZpR8ADktjmolQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?_adv_prop=image&fr=goodsearch-yhsif&sz=all&va=praying#id=251&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.womensetapart.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2Fbigstock-Praying-African-American-Teen-47553724.jpg&action=click)

So, we opened our Bible study in prayer, as usual, but we included people we don’t know whose names or home cities were in the news. We prayed for victims and families of deceased victims and for perpetrators and we prayed evil ones would repent and get saved and stop hurting people. Then we remembered our loving, just, all-powerful God before we shared favorite Scriptures.

A little later we celebrated 13 years of Bible studies and prayed for a continuation for as many more years as the Lord allows. Praise His name!

May God bless you.

Curtailed

Occasionally I look at my life from an objective viewpoint, or as much of an objective viewpoint as is humanly possible. Lately I’ve noticed that people I saw regularly have been moved out of my life. I don’t see some due to sickness, some from changed circumstances so their time doesn’t mesh with mine much, and some from their lack of interest. I decided that there are seasons in life when people are nearby and seasons when they’re gone and then it changes, and they’re back again.

It doesn’t feel that way right now. I wonder if the Lord is trying to get through to me and I’m not hearing Him. Recently, when plans are made or opportunities come along, the door gets slammed shut. Not all of them, but some of them. I’ll make plans and move along to fulfill them and then someone calls and cancels. My husband and I accept invitations and then work demands more of him than he expected and he tells me we can’t go. Then one of us picks up the phone and apologizes. Either the Lord is trying to get through to me or He’s helping me to adjust to variations so I can be flexible.

On the other hand, I’ve also noticed how He orchestrates my steps. I’ve been on my way somewhere and think that we’re almost out of bread. I have time to stop at the store. Once there, I’ll run into someone I haven’t seen in a while and they need to know something I can answer, or I need advice or prayer and they’re there for me. I’ve seen it over and over again with different situations.

Today I intended to spend half the day at home doing chores. My husband and one volunteer have been working hard to get handicap bathrooms into our church. We’ve moved more than once in our lives, so I’ve learned how to paint. I intended to offer to help paint tomorrow. Then I realized they were painting today and my husband looked tired.  So, I ended up staying there to paint and another lady joined me. I got hungry before he did and the helper, an expert contractor actually, agreed that he could eat as well. I ordered pizza with my husband’s approval and that blessed the man that has so greatly blessed us. My husband calls this volunteer “The boss” because his level of expertise in building far surpasses ours.

Others have volunteered as well, but not as steadily.

Maybe the reason I feel like a bird whose wings have been clipped every time my expectations get dashed is because God wants me doing things for others that are more important than what I’m aiming for. I enjoyed painting today and getting to know a couple of people better.

I don’t have anything to complain about, I just feel a bit off-kilter. 🙂

I guess that’s a part of life.

How are you doing today?

May God bless you!

 

Showers of Blessings

When I went to a baby shower tonight, one of the games for the people attending was to try and match a sentence or two from the children’s book it belonged to. Sixteen classic books, from Winnie the Pooh to The Secret Garden to Peter Pan to I Think I Can to Horton Hears a Who to name a few.

The ladies throwing the shower requested we bring a children’s book with a message to the baby written inside the cover. What fun!

It’s amazing how impactful children’s books are. Those attending ranged in age from low twenties to the grandmother at age 89. So many of the gals shared contented sighs as they talked about their favorite stories from early childhood.

Jesus told stories. He told about the young son asking for his inheritance early in life, while his dad and brother were still alive. After he spent all of his money on “wine, women and song,” he became hungry and friendless.

After almost starving to death, he remembered his dad and decided to go home and ask to be hired as a servant. His father welcomed him with open arms and I’ve seen more than one movie made based on “The Prodigal Son,” as the story is called.

We, as sinners goof up and as soon as we ask God to forgive us and determine in our hearts to turn from our wicked ways, God accepts us as a loving, earthly father would do.

It can be found in Luke 15.

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