Tuesday, January 3, 2017

ROCK 2017!!

Everyone seems to be thinking about the new year and what approach to use to navigate through this year. Reading between the lines it seems to me we all have experienced or know people who have endured much difficulty, discouragement and disappointment last year resulting more in reactions than actions. Who doesn't have beautiful friends and family that no matter how much make-up is applied or how beautiful the clothes the empty eyes speak volumes. My heart breaks for some of the people in my life and I pray they find their way through the healing process needed to live well. Losses, hurt and pain in relationships be it family, friends, co-workers sometimes causes us to build walls of protection around ourselves but that is never satisfying and it doesn't work. It may feel safe for awhile but it is no way to live. We know that any broken relationship needs to be mended in order to have successful future relationships. It gives us the courage to be real and take the risk to share ourselves with others. Dr. Phil says that most couples who do this actually don't get divorced or get back together if they already have. Some thoughts came to mind today that made me think there are better ways than to discard people like kleenex. How about doing to others as we would have them do to us; not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought; loving our neighbours (that starts with those closest to us...our family) because love covers all wrong; deal with people in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. What if love was to be our motivation in all our thoughts and actions? It's a tall order but to be successful at this would ROCK this entire world! My prayer is for 2017 to be a ROCKIN' YEAR for everyone!!

Friday, November 18, 2016

It's About More Than A Warm Fuzzy Feeling....

Hebrews 6
Since my husband and I now have no living parents as of the end of last month, I often find myself thinking about them and the legacy they have left us with.  It always amazes me how people continue on with life after the funeral.  How is it possible that one so loved can leave and the rest of us can pick up and do life again without them and not completely fall apart?!  
Yes, we have family, friends, acquaintances and all the memories and photographs to comfort and console us especially initially. After some time we begin to take comfort in, and notice more than ever the similarities of character, personallity and physical resemblances in family that we may not have noticed so much before the loss.  This is what really intrigues me these days.  Every November my thoughts are full of memories of my mother since this is the month in which she died.  Within the past week as both my daughters baked cinnamon rolls and a niece let me know she was making "Grandma Eva's Stew" for supper I found myself thankful all over again for my Mom's love of the kitchen and passing that love on to her family. As my mother baked and cooked there would be music playing on the stereo or radio while she hummed softly and sometimes she would make her own music.  Often she would take coffee breaks without the coffee as she sat down with her accordian or a guitar and later the piano.  Our family eats well and loves music and it is because of her influence. 
By now you have read the words in the picture I posted.  I read this chapter in Hebrews this morning and as I read the last two verses I could hear my Father's amazing bass voice singing an old hymn 
"We Have An Anchor" based on this Scripture.  I wondered if I could still remember the words so I started singing... 
"Will your anchor hold in the storms of life, when the clouds unfold their wings of strife
...when the strong tides lift and the cables strain...will your anchor drift or firm remain?" 
and then on to the chorus 
"We have an Anchor that keeps the soul stedfast and sure while the billows roll
 Fastened to the Rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Saviour's love."  
I can't tell you how many years it has been since I heard or sang that song...it could be as many as forty-five years or more.  My Father's biggest desire in life was that he would introduce his family to God and he did everything he could to have us all come to the place in our lives where we would willingly allow God to have His rightful place in us.  (Ultimately it is each individual's choice to do this and every time one of us made that decision he couldn't wipe the smile off his face and the reaction was the same when grandchildren began making this decision.)  There was Scripture reading with explanations of it in our home as we sat together in the living room in the evening, and there was music.  I remember many gatherings with family and with friends that culminated in a sing song time.  The words of much of the Scripture read and these old hymns we sang at home and in church seem to be forever etched in my memory and I believe they go even deeper than that.   And when I think of my parents, I think about God.  They did their best to live their lives so that their faith would be demonstrated in every area and I think they did it well.  
This little post could be taken in many directions but my thoughts today are that if you are reading this and you are raising a family, consider what kind of legacy you will leave them with one day.  I hope you have this Anchor both our parents have passed on to their family.   The Anchor that encompasses your entire life so that a reading,  song, and a memory will all point to that One True Anchor that will give them the firm, sure hope of being united once again as family to spend all eternity together.   
...the last verse of the song...
"When our eyes behold through the gathering night
the city of gold, our harbor bright
We shall anchor fast by the heavenly shore
with the storms all past forevermore!"

Thursday, October 13, 2016

...afternoon pondering

As I sit in the quiet of my comfortable home today and think about my life, the good and bad, twists and turns, ups and downs, pure joy and indescribable sadness my mind can't help but consider all that is happening currently in and around me.  It could get extremely discouraging to dwell on the chaos around me and admitedly there are times all the sadness in the world consumes me for awhile as I wonder how it will all play out....not for long though...not any more.   
Since I made the choice to seek out real Truth which led me to faith in the Creator of all things, namely God, I have made knowing who He is and what He is all about my mission in life.  I am keeping this post reasonably short today which also means I won't be getting all that detailed.  Let me just say I am convinced that God is real and that He orders my steps daily and will until the day I die, at which time I will join Him in heaven for all eternity.  Having said that, I talk to Him daily, throughout the day and He speaks to me too in various ways.(1 Cor. 2:9-16)
I read my Bible most mornings.  At the beginning of the year, I usually decide on a format for a few months, or even for the year and that is what I stick to.  It could mean reading through the Bible in a year or choosing certain books in the Bible or researching a topic.  That is my personal time each day reading, meditating and praying.  Since I love to study with other people I usually am involved in a Bible Study with a few women.  This fall I decided on two studies.  One is in the New Testament and is a short book, the book of James.  Something that I find so thrilling and exciting about life with God is how He speaks to me through all the ways that I have chosen to immerse myself in filling my mind with His Truth.  For example what I study in James is confirmed by what I am reading in Thessalonians and that is cemented by how He leads me victoriously through three days of intense and difficult issues I need to work through.  The icing on the cake is often a coffee with a friend as she shares how God has spoken, taught, helped her along the same lines.   As I think about this I am reminded that He works all things out together for good to those that love Him, who are called according to His purpose.   God uses all our past, combines it with the present and uses it to conform us to the image of His Son.  
God has proven Himself faithful in my life consistently.  He has never failed me yet.  I have often failed Him though by running ahead of Him instead of exercising patience, choosing my own path and ignoring Him and thinking I know a better way but it always ends up being the wrong decision.  
The last number of years I have been challenged to truly believe that what I ask IN HIS NAME (to me this means knowing from Scripture what God would want in a particular situation considering who God is....for instance, as an example we need never doubt that God will help us extend forgiveness to another when He instructs us to forgive "70 X 7").  In other words, when I pray I have to believe it's a done deal and then act on it!  "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt...." (James 1:6). 
How interesting that this topic came up the first lesson in the study of the book of James I find myself in this fall.  
How interesting that after spending much time this week praying intensely my reading in 2 Thess. 2 today ended with "...stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you....our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word!"
It is good to be able to sit and think; to ponder and reflect; to remind myself where my roots of faith are grounded and to be encouraged by my Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God my Father and be completely satisfied.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My new vine surprised me by blooming right after I planted it!
Jesus had a past.

(oh, and this picture has nothing to do with this post….I just love this new plant in my garden!)

I have never thought long and hard about Jesus' humanity.  Most have heard the story from the Bible about the birth of Jesus…the MESSIAH…the PROMISED ONE…GOD'S SON….GOD IN THE FLESH.  Growing up I heard that every Christmas and then I heard about the ministry of Jesus the rest of the year.  I don't remember anyone teaching me about what Jesus the baby, toddler, child, teenager might have been like.  It almost seems sacriligious to talk about Jesus needing his diaper changed, having his knees roughed up by repeatedly tripping over his own feet, having all the same feelings and issues of all other teenagers.  Sexual urges even!  After all He is God!  

The fact remains though that Jesus left heaven for earth and in essence that was God coming to meet us where we are at.   As Creator of all that is, He could certainly have come as royalty, a king and a ruler,  however, He came in a way that we could understand.  A baby born in the usual way, needing to be wiped and cleaned, screaming to get the air into His lungs….helpless, in need of love, care, provision and protection from His parents!  Jesus was a toddler, a child and a teenager and all that goes with that. He worked along side His father, learning the carpentry trade and he was taught their way of life and beliefs, especially as the first born son in the family.  He increased in wisdom throughout His growing up years.  His family most likely did some planting, sowing and reaping in order to put food on the table so he probably knew about that too.  Living and growing up in Nazareth He knew about poverty, hardship, and family that stuck together through hard times.  He observed family and friend marriages and enjoyed friendships and he experienced the human condition through physical realities as well as emotions.  He got tired, hungry and thirsty and He cried.  Jesus was not God playacting.

His past fashioned Him into the instrument God needed for the salvation of the world!

Does this grab you?  Do you want to know more?  Read your Bible.  That's what I do.  There are also some other great books written by people who have done much research and I try hard to be selective about which of those books I read, making sure they do not disagree with the Bible.  Much of what I have just written in this blog comes from a book I am currently reading.  Although I do not agree with all his interpretations of Scripture I am thoroughly enjoying some new ideas and thoughts and have in some of the above written almost word for word what he says.  The book is called JESUS A PILGRIMAGE by James Martin, SJ.    It's the account of his journey to get to know Jesus better and I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  1. This song so aptly describes the real desire of my heart I just have to post it here.


In the quiet of this hour
As I kneel before You now
I believe Your promise
To be faithful
I don´t always understand
What Your perfect will demands
But I learn to trust You more
In Your presence Lord

In Your presence
There is comfort
In Your presence
There is peace
When we seek to know Your heart
We will find such blessed assurance
In Your holy presence Lord
There can be such sweet reward
When we wait upon the Lord
As we take the time
He gives His perfect wisdom
To be found in Him alone
All our deepest secrets known
We´re surrounded by His grace
When we seek His face

In Your presence
There is comfort
In Your presence
There is peace
When we seek the Father's heart
We will find such blessed assurance
An ever open door
To know our Savior more
In the presence of the Lord

Thursday, November 14, 2013

…across the room to share my recipe…..

…the plate was full….
…yes, the plate WAS full but now it is empty.  Because it was just THAT good!

I made a pasta dish today that was so awesome I just have to brag about it a little.  I just made it up so there is no recipe except for the fact that I'm going to document here what I did so that if I ever want to make it again I will at least have an idea what I did.

Since I didn't know what I was going to make I took 3 cloves garlic and smashed them, added 1/2 chopped onion and one stalk celery.  I sauted this in some oil and then added 2 chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh dill, and black pepper.  Then I poured in some white wine and let that cook for a few minutes.  Meanwhile I sprinkled some shrimp quite liberally with a lemon pepper mix and added them to the tomato mixture.  When the shrimp was almost done I added some heavy cream to the pan, more black pepper and finally some freshly grated parm cheese.

I served this over a very thin vermicelli noodle.  DELISH!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

...across the room to post "Grace Tells Another Story" by Mercy Me

They say don’t waste your time
You simply cannot find
An ounce of good within the heart of man

They say we’ve got to lay
In the bed we’ve made
And live this life without a second chance

But I’m inclined to say
There must be something more

We’ve been told that the heart is just too far gone to save
But grace tells us another story
Where glory sends hopelessness away
Oh grace tells us another story

They say we cannot change
There is no other way
Get used it cause this is all there is.

They say don’t raise your voice
Cause we don’t have a choice
We’re dealt this hand so learn to live with it

Well I have to believe
There must something more


And though we may not understand
Why You’d give us another chance
We praise You who lets us start again