Saturday, December 30, 2017

The first snow


In God's Eye's

"You are the God who sees me."           
Genesis 16:13

When I was a teenager, rushing out of the house to meet my friends, I would invariably be stopped at the door by my father who'd say, "Joni, I want you to act as though someone were always watching. Don't forget that you're an Eareckson."
That irked me. I didn't want someone peeking into my life, observing everything I was doing. There were private, teenage things I wanted to keep hidden. What an embarrassment to have some friend of my father's encroach on my Saturday night turf to say, "Hi there, how's your dad doing?”

But now, many years later, I'm comforted by the idea that I ought to live as though someone were always looking. It's an incentive to live an honest, responsible life. Besides, someone is watching. Your life and mine are an open book before the Lord.
If you love the works of darkness, that idea will embarrass you. 

If you love the light, the idea that God never takes His eyes off of you will be a comfort. 

For those who are obedient, the watchful eye of God will seem tender and protecting. 

For those who disobey, the open book of your life incites resentment and embarrassment.
"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" 
Hebrews 4:13
Fear must never be an incentive to obey, for it will only breed burdensome rule-keeping behavior. Please don't fear the watchful eye of God but draw comfort from His scrutiny into your life. Let Him protect you, let Him guard you with His eye.
See me, Lord, and know my every thought and action. I invite You to look into everything I do today, everything I decide or say. Watch me, please, and may Your steady and loving gaze be my incentive to love You steadily in return.

-Joni Eareckson Tada
Diamonds in the Dust, December 30

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

All was calm - for 30 minutes

Wolverines do calm down once in a while.

This is our rowdy 8 month old little boy kitty named Wolverine.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Though He was God, He made himself nothing so that through Him we might have everything

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." 
Philippians 2:5-7

Was Jesus born in a barn?

Check out When we Understand the Text (WWUTT) to find out just what God's Word says about how Jesus came into this world.

Praise the LORD for His sacrifice for us!


O holy night! the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pinning,
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

    Fall on your knees
     Oh, hear the angel voices!
    O night divine,
    O night when Christ was born!
    O night divine!
    He knows our need,
    To our weakness is no stranger
    Behold your King,
    Before Him lowly bend!
    Behold your King
    Before Him lowly bend!

*2nd verse omitted

Friday, December 15, 2017

Deal Faithfully and Delight the LORD!

It becomes easier to lie again and again when covering up a prideful life.

Proverbs 12:22
"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal faithfully are His delight."

Colossians 3:5-11
"Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead 
to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, 
which amounts to idolatry. 

For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will 
come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, 
when you were living in them.

But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, 
and abusive speech from your mouth. 

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self 
with its evil practices, and have put on the new self 
who is being renewed to a true knowledge according 
to the image of the One who created him— 
a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, 
circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, 
but Christ is all, and in all."


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Pride of Life

A prideful person needs to lie to support their pride.

1 John 2:7-17

 "Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. 

On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining. 

The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. 
The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 

But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. 

I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 

The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever."

Christmas Kitty

A dear friend's Christmas Kitty

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sing Praise to God

Sing praise to God who reigns above, 
the God of all creation, 
the God of power, the God of love, 
the God of our salvation. 
With healing balm my soul is filled 
and every faithless murmur stilled: 
To God all praise and glory.

The Lord is never far away, 
but through all grief distressing, 
an ever present help and stay, 
our peace and joy and blessing. 
As with a mother's tender hand, 
God gently leads the chosen band: 
To God all praise and glory.

Thus all my toilsome way along, 
I sing aloud thy praises, 
that earth may hear the grateful song 
my voice unwearied raises. 
Be joyful in the Lord, my heart, 
both soul and body bear your part: 
To God all praise and glory.

Let all who name Christ's holy name 
give God all praise and glory; 
let all who own his power proclaim 
aloud the wondrous story! 
Cast each false idol from its throne, 
for Christ is Lord, and Christ alone: 
To God all praise and glory.

---Johann J. Schutz

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Different December

It has been a different December for me.  I have decorated the house with much less decor than normal -which includes no tree.  We have two kittens who wreak enough havoc without a Christmas tree and other ge-gaws to jump on, grab at, climb up, and knock off.  

Another difference this year is having my Christmas cookies already baked and delivered as of today. This is usually accomplished mid-December.

Even though things have been different there was still all the nostalgia and remembrance of all the years before from way back when I was a child to last year's memories.  

I am sentimental. I can't help it. This is me. 

I have such fond memories of my grandparents when we would drive all the way to Wisconsin to enjoy Thanksgiving or Christmas with them or when they would sometimes come to Ohio to visit us.  

I remember each home, including ours, all wonderfully decorated, and the excitement of Christmas day coming.  I remember the special baking days, the special foods, all the women dressed nicely and using fancy aprons. The air was filled with Christmas music, Christmas concerts, Christmas plays, and then the special shopping days downtown with my mother, shopping in Wisconsin with my grandparents, or going with my father to the Tire store to get yearly free Christmas record.

My first year of marriage my mother allowed me to choose a handful Christmas records out of their own collection so I could begin my new traditions as my Beloved and I became a family of our own.  I still marvel at how wise she was by giving me the opportunity to leave and cleave.

So many of these joys tied us together as family. Eventually we had children of our own and continued some of the family traditions which were in place and also began new ones.

All of these memories are in my mind and come to fruition as I bake, decorate, and enjoy this precious season.

As this season commences I can't stop "here" where Jesus came into the world as a baby.  The story was in motion then and it still is.  He was to grow up among us. He came at the right time for a purpose, and then His fruition was to be our sacrifice for our owns sins.  No animal could completely free us from our sins.

Jesus' story continues as we live each day for Him until He comes again for His final victory!  Even after His victory His story will always continue as we live in glory with Him!  

The world is fallen and we continue to groan, even the creation groans.  We can't rush it, we can't save it, but we can live for Him in our own sphere of influence.  We can glorify God in our own spot by living for Him.

May you be blessed each day as you live for the LORD in His strength and His comfort as we wait in anticipation for our Savior's triumphant return!

Romans 8:18-28
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 

For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, 

with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 

and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

Glory to God!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Do not be conformed

I have been contemplating the abuse of manipulation and control and the kinds of people who implement this in other people's lives.

UGH!  What a thing to think about!  But this subject is huge and it is real in my own life as I have had to deal with certain people.

It is difficult for me to fathom "how and why" anyone who claims the Name of Jesus in their life could be so evil in dealing with others.  

At any level of control and manipulation it is damaging, destructive, calculating, and cruel.  It is abuse.

I go through life making mistakes, hurting others, sinning, but I always know or I soon realize I am a sinner and ask forgiveness, and try to not repeat the hurt of others.

As I try to analyze the "manipulators" I have had to deal with in life, I still can not fathom the depths of evil they perpetrate on others just to get their way in life.


My home is "peppered" with special insignificant things.  A small maroon ottoman which was in the trash pile, silly looking ge-gaws no one desired: an elephant and giraffe, a sailboat tie-tac, a pretty pearl type necklace, little Snowwhite dolls carefully chosen, handmade airplanes made with care...

None of these things would mean anything to any one else, but what joyous memories they bring to my mind! None of these things are worth any money, and yet, they are priceless to me. Wonderful grandparents, a treasured grandma, a dear father, a precious mother, and adored children. This is why these things are valuable to me.

I love these things, but they could be destroyed, and I would still have their great value inside of me.  It is because I value each person and loved them dearly. I am so thankful to have had them in my life!

Praising the LORD for His continued grace and mercy on me!

1 Peter 1:13-16

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”