Monday, February 25, 2019

Because of Him, we can have sweet communion

May the grace of Christ our Savior
and the Father's boundless love,
with the Holy Spirit's favor,
rest upon us from above.
Thus may we abide in union
with each other and the Lord,
and possess in sweet communion,
joys which earth cannot afford.

--John Newton

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Praising the LORD for our reasons for joy!

John 15:7-11
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 

My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 

These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

I will give my life, my all!

My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain;
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again;
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me in His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With pow'r upon my heart.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside;
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly;
Whose ev'ry promise is enough
For ev'ry step I take,
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To him who reigns above,
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace,
Whose ev'ry thought is love.
For ev'ry day I have on earth
Is given by the King;
So I will give my life, my all,
To love and follow him.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

With humility, pray without ceasing

1 Thessalonians 
"Rejoice always; 
pray without ceasing; 
in everything give thanks; 
or this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

Rise, My Soul, to Watch and Pray

Rise, my soul, to watch and pray;
From your sleep awaken!
Be not by the evil day
Unawares o'ertaken;
For the foe,
Well we know,
Is a harvest reaping
While the saints are sleeping.

Watch against the devil's snares
Lest asleep he find you;
For indeed no pains he spares
To deceive and blind you.
Satan's prey
Oft are they
Who secure are sleeping
And no watch are keeping.

Watch! Let not the wicked world
With its lies defeat you
Lest with bold deceptions hurled
It betray and cheat you.
Watch and see
Lest there be
Faithless friends to charm you,
Who but seek to harm you.

Watch against yourself, my soul,
Lest with grace you trifle;
Let not self your thoughts control
Nor God's mercy stifle.
Pride and sin
Lurk within,
All your hopes to shatter;
Heed not when they flatter.

But while watching, also pray
To the Lord unceasing.
God protects you day by day,
Strength and faith increasing,
So that still
Mind and will
Shall unite to serve Him
And forever love Him.

--J. B. Freystein

Psalm 34:15-18

"The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.

The face of the Lord is against evildoers,
To cut off the memory of them from the earth.

The righteous cry, and the Lord hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit."

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A flock of robins in an ice covered week

"Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a rail;
Niddle naddle went his head,
Widdle waggle went his tail."

*photo taken 3/3/14 in our back yard

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Kindness to others: Picture Book

Mr. Hatch has his routines. Every day he has a routine. 
Mr. Hatch lives each day and does what he is suppose to do.

One day there is surprise delivered to Mr. Hatch.
 His whole life is changed because someone else cares about him.
Everyone notices how Mr. Hatch has changed.

Eventually Mr. Hatch is terribly hurt, and every one notices.

A sweet, simple story of being kind to others. 
It is a treasure.

He who finds a wife finds a good thing

Proverbs 18:22
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing
And obtains favor from the Lord."

Waiting or looking for a mate:

Never date a non-Christian
Never rush 
Never settle
Never push
Always respect
Always be discerning
Always be alert for Red Flags
Be respectful of parents 
NEVER allow parents to manipulate and control either of you
Always be humbly in prayer with the LORD

Monday, February 11, 2019

Hallelujah, What a Savior!

When Sorrows Come
By Joni Eareckson Tada

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.”
Isaiah 53:4

The apostle Paul knew how to be joyful. This is the man who wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” But he also confessed to “great sorrow and unceasing aguish in my heart” over the spiritual lostness of his Jewish race. He described Christ’s apostles as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (Philippians 4:4; Romans 9:2; and 2 Corinthians 6:10). James advised us to “grieve, mourn, and wail” when we sin and break fellowship with Jesus (James 4:9).

The fact is, sorrow, tears, and disappointment are written into God’s plan for us. Yes, He lightens and brightens our days with glimpses of paradise; He gives foretastes of the great joys to come through a thousand blessings, large and small. But we’re not in heaven yet. And here on this side of life we—along with everyone else—will experience a measure of sorrow. When those sad times come, however, we turn our gaze to Jesus—remembering that He carried our sorrows on the cross and will walk with us through all of our troubles.

When I grieve, dear God, thank You for supporting me with Your presence. Let my tears help me to know You better and drive me into Your comforting arms. With the psalmist I declare, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul” (Psalm 94:19).

Joni, A Spectacle of Glory, February 10

Man of sorrows what a name

Man of sorrows what a name
for the Son of God, who came
ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
in my place condemned he stood,
sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Guilty, helpless, lost were we;
blameless Lamb of God was he,
sacrificed to set us free:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

He was lifted up to die;
"It is finished" was his cry;
now in heaven exalted high:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
all His ransomed home to bring,
then anew this song we'll sing:

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

--P. P. Bliss

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Magnificent Creation!

I finally took a photo of the Wall Art at our local Radiology Department.
It looks as if I took the photo of this magnificent bird.

Here in the Midwest we see these beautiful birds of prey every day.
What joy to look up and see them soaring or to look over at the trees 
which line the roads or rivers and see them dotting the high tree lines.

When I was young I longed to see a Bald Eagle. As young parents
we saw one like a dot in a far, far away oak tree.  What joy to see 
my first one! Now for over 20 years I find it is still a spectacular sight 
every day!

Praising the LORD for His marvelous creation!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

What were we thinking?!

So we naively choose a wolverine, and his little cohort sister 
because they were so sweet! A year and a half later, we are 
only partly crazy, receive a little more sleep than before, but 
still under their cute-factor spell. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Our sins, like the wind, take us away

"Contact with my own species 
has always disappointed me."

  --"Captain Nemo", on the movie, Mysterious Island.

1 John 1:5-10

"This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, 
that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him 
and yet walk in the darkness, 
we lie and do not practice the truth; 
but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, 
we have fellowship with one another, and the blood 
of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves 
and the truth is not in us. 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous 
to forgive us our sins 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

If we say that we have not sinned, 
we make Him a liar and His word is not in us."
Isaiah 64:6
"For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY is always with His Own

We, who are children of God, saved by the grace Jesus' death on the cross bought for all our sins ~ we are never alone. The LORD is with us!  

You are never alone!

1 Peter 1:3-9
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who according to His great mercy has caused us 
to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection 
of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance 
which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, 
reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God 
through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, 
if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold 
which is perishable, even though tested by fire, 
may be found to result in praise and glory and honor 
at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, 
you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, 
you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 
obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls."

Today I have been thinking and praying for so many dear ones in their life's struggles.  My own situation and all of their situations are seemingly impossible. All of these situations are also seemingly never-ending.  

The situations are all so overwhelmingly heavy…and then I remembered:  

Each day I more than survive in our own never-ending trauma. 

I may more than survive but it is not me at all, it is the LORD in me, His strength, His comfort which is new every single day. He is totally, faithfully holding me through each day. The storms swirl around me, I may feel the pain and the struggles to a degree, but the LORD is my tether and most of the time the chaos seems to be behind Him sheltering me, leaving me so very safe in Him. I truly know that He is holding me no matter how I feel.

It is the LORD holding me, 
and it is me knowing He is holding me.

John 16:33 Here Jesus shares truth when the disciples are fearful, and we can be encouraged with His truth:  "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. 

In the world you have tribulation, 
but take courage; 
I have overcome the world.”

Perhaps reader, you may understand my statement: 

"I live in a horrific chaos, but even so, I know the LORD is with me through it all.”

Romans 8:18-25
"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."

So many of us, who are His children, live through difficult struggles. Even though things rarely or barely change, or these terrible things are hardly ever solved or never ended, as His children, we can still know that our Great God Almighty is holding us as we are in these storms of life.  

In this fallen world, Jesus has come and saved us, and now as we wait for His 2nd coming we are safe in the LORD’s arms no matter what comes next.

This may be the thing which you need to hear today, and be reminded of often:  

Even though we are the LORD’s child we do not live a happy-go-lucky life! That is a total fantasy many believe should be happening for themselves.  

The truth is that this world is evil and gross and bad things continue to happen to the good and the bad people.  We can KNOW that our Great Almighty God loves us so, and that He never lets go of us, He hears our cries and He hears our whimpers. 

Even if you feel He is not listening to you, He is!  Our feelings should never be our gage. His Word is our gage.

James 1:12
"Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; 
for once he has been approved, 
he will receive the crown of life 
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him."

What joy this brings us! We are not ever alone when we are His child! Even when our personal world is chaotic and swirling around us, we can have such peace in Him! The reason is because no matter what happens in this life we are safe in Him, He cares for us, and He helps us through all our struggles.

If you are struggling with anything ~ cry out to God! Ask Him to save you from your sins, accept Jesus as your Savior, the One who died for you!

If you already belong to the LORD as His child, be joyous!  Cry out to Him, talk with Him, preach to yourself the truth of how the He is with you always, through everything. Even when your hard situations do not change, He will work in you and change you, helping you abide in Him, to keep your eyes on Him, as the chaos of life swirls around you.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, 
yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us 
an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 
while we look not at the things which are seen, 
but at the things which are not seen; 
for the things which are seen are temporal, 
but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Oh LORD, Praises to Your precious Name!!!

"though you do not see Him now, 
but believe in Him, 
you greatly rejoice with joy 
inexpressible and full of glory, 
obtaining as the outcome of your faith 
the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Putting away and moving on

This week I took a couple of photos before I began to put away most of my "winter" decor.  I left out some of my "pickled Snowmen" since it is still winter, we have over 15 inches on the ground since January, and the festive red bows around the lids highlight the few Valentine things I have.

These photos show my bottle brush forest on top of the wardrobe where our Wolverine does not know he could jump to reach.  I nestled a few deer among the trees and greenery.  

The little red flocked deer is from my childhood and one of my most treasured Christmas decorations. 

When I was engaged to be married years ago my mother had me choose a few things from her own decorations to take with me as we began our married life together.  It was a precious thing for her to do for me.  The things she gave me are a treasure and full of memories of my childhood and into our own families traditions.