Saturday, January 30, 2016

to the hills

Last summer, I drove up to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina just to be alone, with nature.  Hubs and I both enjoy day trips up to the hills.  But, sometimes it’s good to get away, by one’s self.  It does a soul good to be alone with God, in His breathtaking creation...

I love the mountains unto themselves - the sights, the smells, the sounds, the breezes, the warmth, the colors, the beauty, the seasons, the peacefulness.  I call this 'God's Country'.  The Blue Ridge Parkway, the Watauga River, Linville Falls, Grandfather Mountain, Hebron Rock Colony, Valle Crucis, Boone, Blowing Rock...

The incredible countryside, dusty dirt roads, green pastures on hills, leaning fences, the old general store, powerful rivers, weathered barns, long forgotten fields, wooden bridges, sparkling creeks, worn pathways, abandoned houses, mighty waterfalls, rustic farms, massive boulders, tranquil lakes... 

God created this, as far as my eyes can see, and infinitely beyond.  I walk down a narrow path, up to a grassy place, near the edge of a bubbling creek.  I lie down with the sun on my face, a gentle breeze softly blowing, the melodious music of birds in concert with the splashing creek, the sweet fragrance of wildflowers drifting by...
My heart overflows, in the presence of God Almighty.  I know the Father knows me, He has plans for me, He strengthens me, He teaches me, He guides me.  I trust in Him... 

I close my eyes and relax in the presence of God.  I'm flooded with thoughts of His goodness, His lovingkindness, His greatness, His grace, His powerfulness, His compassion, His graciousness, His forgiveness, His strength, His mercy, His holiness, His truthfulness, His promises, His faithfulness, His righteousness, His glory, His mightiness...

So here I am, stretched out on my back, I open my eyes and look upward.  As the clouds drift by, their puffy white shapes are vibrant against the intense blue sky.  The sunbeams warm me, as I serenely drift off to sleep...

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5 NIV

Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:31 NAS

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 NAS

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 NIV

Thursday, January 28, 2016

forgiveness song

Yes I have.  Yes I do.  Yes I will.
It may be something that happened before I realized it.  It may be something I should have done, or something I shouldn't have.  It may be something I'm not even aware of.  It may be something awful, with regret, and sorrow.  
I make mistakes sometimes.  Thank you God for forgiveness.  Thank you to those who have forgiven me. 


(selected lines from song)

*'Cause we all make mistakes sometimes
And we've all stepped across that line
But nothing's sweeter than the day we find
Forgiveness, forgiveness
And we all stumble and we fall
Bridges burn in the heat of it all
But nothing's sweeter than the day,
sweeter than the day we call
out for forgiveness

*Forgiveness, we all need, we all need, we all need forgiveness

*My momma told me what I would be in for
If I kept all this anger inside of me pent up
My heart been broken, my wounds been open
And I don't know if I can hear I'm sorry being spoken
But those forgiven much, should be quicker to give it
And God forgave me for it all, Jesus bled forgiveness
So when the stones fly and they aimed at you
Just say forgive them, Father, they know not that they do

*No matter how lost you are, you're not that far, you're not too far
From forgiveness
Ask for forgiveness

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

soul song

TOBYMAC:Lose My Soul
(selected lines from song)

*Man I wanna tell you all something, Man.
Man I'm not gonna let these material thing's, get in my way, you all.
I'm trying to get somewhere,
That's real and pure and true and eternal.

*Father God, I am clay in your hands,
Help me to stay that way through all life's demands,

*I don't want to gain the whole world, and lose my soul,
Don't wanna walk away, let me hear the people say.

* But Christ came in range, we said yes now we changed,
Not the same, even though I made a fall,
Since I got that call, no more Saul, now I'm Paul.

*How do I sense the tide that's rising?
De-sensitizing me from living in light of eternity,

*Lord what we gonna do,We're relying on you,
all eyes are on you Lord,

*Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world,
That fight for our love, and our passion,
As our eyes are open wide and on you.
Grant us the privilege of your world view,
And may your kingdom be, what wakes us up, and lays us down.

*Don't let me lose my soul, I never wanna walk away,
Don't let me lose, my soul, I'm never gonna walk away.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Take my Life

Holiness, holiness... is what I long for
Holiness is what I need
Holiness, holiness
Is what You want from me

Take my heart... and mold it
Take my mind... transform it
Take my will... conform it
To Yours, to Yours, Oh Lord

Righteousness, righteousness... is what I long for
Righteousness is what I need
Righteousness, righteousness
Is what You want from me

Brokenness, brokenness... is what I long for
Brokenness is what I need
Brokenness, brokenness
Is what You want for me

(Mercy Me)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

wise words

Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing.
There are many things below it, but there are also things above it.
You cannot make it the basis of a whole life.  It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling...
Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go...
But, of course, ceasing to be "in love" need not mean ceasing to love.
Love in this second sense - love as distinct from "being in love" -
is not merely a feeling.  It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriage) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God...
"Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise.  It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run:
being in love was the explosion that started it."
~CS Lewis

Friday, January 15, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jesus is my friend

Jim's Prayer
A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.
Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn't shaved in a while.

His shirt was kinda shabby and his coat was worn and frayed.
The man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away.
In the days that followed, each noon time came this chap,
Each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister's suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop the man and ask him, Whatcha doin here?
The old man, he worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power.

I stay only moments, see, cause the factory is so far away;
As I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kinda what I say:
"I just came again to tell you, Lord, how happy I've been,
Since we found each other's friendship and you took away my sin.
I don't know much of how to pray, but I think about you every day.
So, Jesus, this is Jim checkin' in."

The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime.
Time to go, Jim smiled, said ‘Thanks.' He hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the alter, he'd never done it before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love, met with Jesus there.

As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim's prayer:
"I just came again to tell you, Lord, how happy I've been,
Since we found each other's friendship and you took away my sin.
I don't know much of how to pray, But I think about you every day.
So, Jesus, this is me checkin' in."

Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn't come.
As more days passed without Jim, he began to worry some.
At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried, but he'd given them a thrill.

The week that Jim was with them, brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious. Changed people, his reward.
The head nurse couldn't understand why Jim was so glad,
When no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse's concern:
No friends came to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn.
Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile;
The nurse is wrong, she couldn't know, that all the while.

Everyday at noon He's here, a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:
"I just came again to tell you, Jim, how happy I have been,
Since we found this friendship, and I took away your sin.

I always love to hear you pray,
And I think about you every day,
And so Jim, this is Jesus checkin' in.

Source unknown

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016

the good old days: explained

An Incredible Look at Sayings and Customs from a Simpler Time
by Phil Mutz
We can learn a lot about ourselves by looking to the past. History not only provides us with a nostalgic glimpse at how things used to be, but its lessons can still teach us things today. Many of us fondly refer to 'the good old days' when times were purer and life was simpler.

And, this is what it was:
dustbowl photos

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. Once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. 

If you had to do this to survive, you were ‘piss poor'. But worse than that were the really poor folks who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot. They ‘didn’t have a pot to piss in’ and were considered the lowest of the low.
dustbowl photos 
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.

However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.  The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women, and finally the children.  Last of all the babies.  By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.  Hence the saying, 'don't throw the baby out with the bath water'! 

dustbowl photosHouses had thatched roofs with thick straw-piled high and no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.

When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, ‘It’s raining cats and dogs'.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.

Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the term, ‘dirt poor'.

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing.

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.  Hence, ‘a thresh hold'.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day, they lit the fire and added things to the pot.

They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.

Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, ‘Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.’

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.

It was a sign of wealth that a man could ‘bring home the bacon'. They would cut off a little to share with guests, and would all sit around and ‘chew the fat'.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.

This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the ‘upper crust'.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.

This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the ‘upper crust'.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days.

Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.

They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom of holding a ‘wake'.
dust bowl

In old, small villages, local folks started running out of places to bury people.

So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.

When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside, and they realized they had been burying people alive.

So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (‘the graveyard shift’) to listen for the bell.

Thus, someone could be ‘saved by the bell', or was considered a ‘dead ringer'.

Now, whoever said history was boring?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

potter poem

The Potter's Clay
by Deborah Smith Plemmons

I was but a lump of shapeless clay,
Until I was touched by the Potter one day.
With His hands, He started molding me
Into what He would have me to be.

I did not resist His gentle touch,
Though I thought I'd not amount to much.
He smoothed rough edges, getting rid of self.
I really didn't want to sit on a shelf.

He fashioned me after His own image.
I remained pliable to avoid any damage.
Thank you, God, for not giving up on me.
I pray I'll be all you want me to be.

God is the Potter and I am the clay.
He molded me into what I am today.
I feel now I'm a vessel fit for His use;
A vessel of honor to share His truths.

Friday, January 8, 2016


God Loves You!  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) 
God has a wonderful plan for your life!  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b)
Walking Down the "Romans Road" to Salvation . . . .
  • Because of our sin, we are separated from God.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  • The Penalty for our sin is death.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ!  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
    • If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins!  For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)
      ...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)
    To receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, pray this prayer:
    Lord Jesus, I'm like everyone else - I can't make it through life on my own. I'm imperfect. I'm prone to sin. I have come to realize that there's nothing in the world I can do to make myself acceptable to You. But I know that You have loved me so much that You were willing to submit to the cross and die on my behalf. That's a grace so amazing I cannot understand it; I can only accept it. And I do. I accept Your free gift, and I know that from this moment on, I am saved. I am a child of God. And I give the rest of my life to serving You and experiencing the joy that only You can offer. Fill me now, dear Lord, and raise me to walk in the newness of life. I thank You and praise You! Amen.
    Now that you are a "new creation" in Jesus Christ, the road ahead will be full of life-changing experiences. Growing in knowledge and understanding of the Bible and your Christian walk with God is essential for your spiritual growth. 
    Here are some ways that you can grow as a Christian:
    • Be baptized.  Baptism identifies you with Christ.
      Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. (Acts 8:35-40)
    • Study the Bible.  The Bible will guide you through life and answer life's questions.
      Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
      Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
    • Share your faith with others.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. (2 Timothy 1:8)
      Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32)
      But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witness to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
    • Be part of a local church.  And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Ephesians 4:11-12)
      Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)
    • Fellowship with other Christians.  And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24, 25)
    • God desires to meet your needs!  Make prayer a part of your daily life

      • So He said to them, “When you pray, say: our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Luke 11:2-4)
      If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please request your FREE copy of Your Greatest Turning Points by calling our toll-free order line at 1-877-998-0222, or (

Thursday, January 7, 2016

money vs joy

I can't imagine having a large bank account, living in a pricey home, wearing all the latest fashions, owning expensive jewelry, enjoying spas, driving a luxury car, dining at exclusive restaurants.  I just can't imagine it because I seriously don't want a wealthy life. Sound crazy? Not really. 

All the money in the world will never make me happy.  I'm thankful that our needs are sufficiently met. Thankful that we tithe our income and can pay our bills and have plenty of food and clothing and a warm home and a job. Thankful to be able to do for others. There's another thing, serving others brings joy, giving to others brings joy. 

But, if I did had more money than I needed, I'd like to think I'd do the right thing. I would give more to support the church and missions. I would like to share it with the needy, the sick, the homeless.  I'd like to donate to worthy causes. And give it away. That's what I'd like to do. There's another thing, serving others brings joy, giving to others brings joy. 

Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Matthew 19:21 NIV

Looking at the other side now, excess money can be dangerous! Be warned, too much can be quite a serious problem!  It can make you selfish. You can become addicted. You can develop a deep love for money. You will want more, more, more.  It can become your life. 

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5 NIV

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
Matthews 6:24 NIV

Bottom line: you'll never be happy if you chase money all your life. Find real joy thru giving and serving others... 

Money vs joy: which will it be?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

and here is mrs jones

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.” “That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.

It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.” She went on to explain, “Old age is like a bank account, you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.” And with a smile, she said: remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

this is what love looks like

Being a Mom is an honor. 
Being a Nana is priceless. 

this is what hope looks like

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sunday, January 3, 2016

fear...of terrorism...

It hasn't gotten better. It has gotten worse. It's in our faces. Daily. TV, newspapers, Internet. 

I can't explain nor express the array of emotions that have made my heart grow even heavier. ISIS, Islamic terrorists, homegrown terrorists, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Taliban. These are the ones we hear about. But, make no mistake, there are so many more. 

It didn't begin on 9/11. That's when it got our attention. That's when it became the reality of our lives. That's when the wave of crumbling towers enveloped us in fear. That's when 'the religion', the 'cause', the 'message', the 'hate', the 'duty' that drove the full force of terrorism into our lives. Fear. Hope of survival. 
It's war. It's global. Violence, assassinations, bombings, beheadings, kidnappings, sucide attacks, rocket and mortar attacks, hijackings, explosions. Chemical, biological, nuclear attacks to come?  Fear. Pure. Evil. 

It's senseless.  Killings of loved ones. Innocent children, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, friends. Millions of refugees fleeing for their lives. For hope of survival. 

Where does it end? Is it realistic that military actions and reactions can put a dent in the war against terrorism?

Here's the thing, fear is what terrorists want. They thrive on it, it rejuvenates them, they grow bolder, the cycle continues and strengens and adapts. They plan and attack and destroy. 

People, satan is destroying our lives. We need God. Now. The One and only true God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Author of the Word. And, there  is hope. Hope of survival. Hope from and thru our Lord and Savior. Hope in eternal life. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

the past, the present, the future

Yesterday and today, I've thought back on the days and weeks and months of 2015. Contemplated life. 

All the dear moments I hold close. The times I was so excited looking forward to special times. When my heart burst open with more love than I knew was inside. At something I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. 

Feeling the ever-presence of God, within me. When I remember with a smile or happy tears. Things I want to always remember. Always. Flooded with the warmth of love and kindness and comfort and thoughtfulness and peace and sharing and love.  And, forgiveness. 

It's the Love. The Love of God!  Without Him, life is meaninglessness. 

All the bad moments I want to forget. Tears. Lots of tears. Mistakes made. Regrets. Struggles. Sobs that shake me to the core. Words that can't be unsaid. Grieving. Misunderstandings. Pain. Resentments. Being overwhelmed. Brokenhearted. Sadness. Hurt. And, the Depression. It's always there. Always. 

It's the Love. The love of God. Without Him, life is meaninglessness. 

The past, the present, the future. It's life. Live it. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 ~ National ‘Awareness’ Days, Weeks, and Months

January 2016

National Mentoring Month
National Blood Donor Month
Birth Defects Prevention Month
Mental Wellness Month
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

it's once again another year...

Wishing each of you a Happy New Year

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)