Monday, February 20, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

words of wisdom

 I know my tears won't last forever.  In the end, there will be blessings.  My tears will be turned to joy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Talk to Your Tears
Desiring God, by John Piper

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6

There is nothing sad about sowing seed. It takes no more work than reaping. The days can be beautiful. There can be great hope of harvest.
Yet the psalm speaks of “sowing in tears.” It says that someone “goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing.” So why are they weeping?


I think the reason is not that sowing is sad, or that sowing is hard. I think the reason has nothing to do with sowing. Sowing is simply the work that has to be done even when there are things in life that make us cry.

The crops won’t wait while we finish our grief or solve all our problems. If we are going to eat next winter, we must get out in the field and sow the seed whether we are crying or not. If you do that, the promise of the psalm is that “you will reap with shouts of joy.” You will “come home with shouts of joy, bringing your sheaves with you.” Not because the tears of sowing produce the joy of reaping, but because the sheer sowing produces the reaping, and you need to remember this even when your tears tempt you to give up sowing.

So here’s the lesson: When there are simple, straightforward jobs to be done, and you are full of sadness, and tears are flowing easily, go ahead and do the jobs with tears. Be realistic. Say to your tears: “Tears, I feel you. You make me want to quit life. But there is a field to be sown (dishes to be washed, car to be fixed, sermon to be written).”

Then say, on the basis of God’s word, “Tears, I know that you will not stay forever. The very fact that I just do my work (tears and all) will in the end bring a harvest of blessing. So go ahead and flow if you must. But I believe (I do not yet see it or feel it fully) — I believe that the simple work of my sowing will bring sheaves of harvest. And my tears will be turned to joy.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

grandchildren and grandparents

"Grandchildren are the crown of old men..." - Proverbs 17:6

This is one of my recent devotionals from ‘Right From the Heart’.  Since I’m the proud Nana of four grandblessings, it puts the relationships into perspective.  I only remember my maternal grandparents.  I have some of the sweetest, precious, tender, and warm memories of our visits.  They lived in another state, and the distance was maybe 10 hours by car, much longer before the interstates were built.

I'm so grateful to have my grandkids living so close.  We get to see them often, do fun things together, go to exciting places, or just enjoy UNO or Legos or Barbies.  I'm amazed by the blessings God has given us - four beautiful, kind, thoughtful, and awesome grandkids!

Grandparents and Grandchildren

Isn’t it amazing how the normal conflicts in the parent-child relationship don’t seem to be a problem with grandparents and grandchildren? Now, grandparents may have old-fashioned values, but they’re loved and admired by their grandchildren.

What do you think of when you think of a beloved grandparent? Even hardened cynics often get misty-eyed when recalling memories of a grandparent, yet grandparents are often the forgotten victims of divorce and separation. In June of 2000, the Supreme Court defended the parents’ right to restrict or cut off ties with the grandparents of their children. Such a sad state of mind.

Parents, let’s do all we can to enhance the relationship between our children and their grandparents. It’s part of their heritage that they need to understand. It’s part of their identity that makes them whole. God’s Word says, “Grandchildren are the crown of old men.” If at all possible, don’t deny them their crown.

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12(NLT)
Relationships are an important part of life. We begin a relationship with someone from the moment we are born and most of us will continue in relationships of some sort until the day we die. God encourages relationships. The Bible is full of them. It is obvious that from the beginning of time, people need people. Even God Himself said about Adam in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him.” Jesus, too, did not do life alone. He had His family, friends, and disciples to love, help, and encourages Him throughout His life here on earth.
Today, I want to take a look at the different relationships in our lives. I also want to point out the importance of prioritizing them. Friends, if you want to lead a balanced life with purpose, it is crucial to order the relationships in your life God’s way.
Number One: Your Relationship with God. This should be the most important relationship in your life. Don’t say that you don’t have time– you do. We make the time for what is important to us, don’t we? The way to get to know God better is to spend time in His Word. Try spending at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time with the Lord every day. More would be better, but do what you can to develop the habit. God’s Word will teach, equip, cheer, encourage, and guide you.
Number Two: Your Relationship with your husband….if you are married, of course. Just like it’s important to spend time with God, it’s also important to make time for your husband. I have found that this relationship is the one that takes the most effort for me. I love my husband dearly, but I also take him for granted the most. It’s easy for me to allow my children, friends, or just busyness to get in the way of time with my husband. Set aside time each morning and evening to communicate with your husband in some way. Hug and kiss often and say “I love you” whenever you get the chance. Let your actions show him and others that you respect and honor him. One thing that my husband and I have started doing again is dating. Just like before we were married, we go out on dates. It takes time, effort, and often money, but it’s worth the investment. If money is tight, create a date at home or go to the park or for a walk together. Whatever it takes, spend time alone together, and make it a weekly habit.
Number Three: Your relationship with your children….if you are a mom. When I became a mom, I did not know what I was in for. I had no idea the extent of sacrifice it would take to raise my children. It’s worth every bit of it too. I once read that kids spell love – T I M E. I believe that with all my heart. God’s Word tells us that children are a gift from Him. We are to treat them like that, a gift. Motherhood is a high calling….possibly the highest we will ever have in our lives. It requires time and special attention. They are only with us for a short time, so let’s make the most of it.
Number Four: Your relationship with others. This includes everyone reading this. Our relationships with other people could include family, friends, business associates, mentors, neighbors and more. These are important, and in order to develop, grow, and nurture these relationships, time is needed. I happen to be blessed with many friends and cherished family members. Although I don’t have time to spend with them each day, I always want them to know how important they are in my life and how much I love them. That takes effort on my part, but what I receive back is priceless. If you find yourself lacking in this area, create special moments with these special people in your life. Make a phone call. Mail a card. Send an email. Invite to lunch. Have a party. Create a “girls’ night out” event. Pray for them.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us that alone we can be attacked and defeated. This says to me, that we need people in our lives. We weren’t meant to go this life alone. It is often someone close to me who reminds me that I’m special when I’m feeling defeated. When I am alone, I often listen to the wrong voice if I’m not careful. The people in my life offer me love, encouragement, and fulfillment that tell me otherwise. I often refer to them as Jesus with skin on. This verse goes on to say that “two can stand back to back and conquer”. Then there is my favorite part. It’s when God is a part of our relationships. “Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/relationships-2/#sthash.MGC4i5d4.dpuf
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12(NLT)
Relationships are an important part of life. We begin a relationship with someone from the moment we are born and most of us will continue in relationships of some sort until the day we die. God encourages relationships. The Bible is full of them. It is obvious that from the beginning of time, people need people. Even God Himself said about Adam in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him.” Jesus, too, did not do life alone. He had His family, friends, and disciples to love, help, and encourages Him throughout His life here on earth.
Today, I want to take a look at the different relationships in our lives. I also want to point out the importance of prioritizing them. Friends, if you want to lead a balanced life with purpose, it is crucial to order the relationships in your life God’s way.
Number One: Your Relationship with God. This should be the most important relationship in your life. Don’t say that you don’t have time– you do. We make the time for what is important to us, don’t we? The way to get to know God better is to spend time in His Word. Try spending at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time with the Lord every day. More would be better, but do what you can to develop the habit. God’s Word will teach, equip, cheer, encourage, and guide you.
Number Two: Your Relationship with your husband….if you are married, of course. Just like it’s important to spend time with God, it’s also important to make time for your husband. I have found that this relationship is the one that takes the most effort for me. I love my husband dearly, but I also take him for granted the most. It’s easy for me to allow my children, friends, or just busyness to get in the way of time with my husband. Set aside time each morning and evening to communicate with your husband in some way. Hug and kiss often and say “I love you” whenever you get the chance. Let your actions show him and others that you respect and honor him. One thing that my husband and I have started doing again is dating. Just like before we were married, we go out on dates. It takes time, effort, and often money, but it’s worth the investment. If money is tight, create a date at home or go to the park or for a walk together. Whatever it takes, spend time alone together, and make it a weekly habit.
Number Three: Your relationship with your children….if you are a mom. When I became a mom, I did not know what I was in for. I had no idea the extent of sacrifice it would take to raise my children. It’s worth every bit of it too. I once read that kids spell love – T I M E. I believe that with all my heart. God’s Word tells us that children are a gift from Him. We are to treat them like that, a gift. Motherhood is a high calling….possibly the highest we will ever have in our lives. It requires time and special attention. They are only with us for a short time, so let’s make the most of it.
Number Four: Your relationship with others. This includes everyone reading this. Our relationships with other people could include family, friends, business associates, mentors, neighbors and more. These are important, and in order to develop, grow, and nurture these relationships, time is needed. I happen to be blessed with many friends and cherished family members. Although I don’t have time to spend with them each day, I always want them to know how important they are in my life and how much I love them. That takes effort on my part, but what I receive back is priceless. If you find yourself lacking in this area, create special moments with these special people in your life. Make a phone call. Mail a card. Send an email. Invite to lunch. Have a party. Create a “girls’ night out” event. Pray for them.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us that alone we can be attacked and defeated. This says to me, that we need people in our lives. We weren’t meant to go this life alone. It is often someone close to me who reminds me that I’m special when I’m feeling defeated. When I am alone, I often listen to the wrong voice if I’m not careful. The people in my life offer me love, encouragement, and fulfillment that tell me otherwise. I often refer to them as Jesus with skin on. This verse goes on to say that “two can stand back to back and conquer”. Then there is my favorite part. It’s when God is a part of our relationships. “Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/relationships-2/#sthash.MGC4i5d4.dpuf
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12(NLT)
Relationships are an important part of life. We begin a relationship with someone from the moment we are born and most of us will continue in relationships of some sort until the day we die. God encourages relationships. The Bible is full of them. It is obvious that from the beginning of time, people need people. Even God Himself said about Adam in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him.” Jesus, too, did not do life alone. He had His family, friends, and disciples to love, help, and encourages Him throughout His life here on earth.
Today, I want to take a look at the different relationships in our lives. I also want to point out the importance of prioritizing them. Friends, if you want to lead a balanced life with purpose, it is crucial to order the relationships in your life God’s way.
Number One: Your Relationship with God. This should be the most important relationship in your life. Don’t say that you don’t have time– you do. We make the time for what is important to us, don’t we? The way to get to know God better is to spend time in His Word. Try spending at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time with the Lord every day. More would be better, but do what you can to develop the habit. God’s Word will teach, equip, cheer, encourage, and guide you.
Number Two: Your Relationship with your husband….if you are married, of course. Just like it’s important to spend time with God, it’s also important to make time for your husband. I have found that this relationship is the one that takes the most effort for me. I love my husband dearly, but I also take him for granted the most. It’s easy for me to allow my children, friends, or just busyness to get in the way of time with my husband. Set aside time each morning and evening to communicate with your husband in some way. Hug and kiss often and say “I love you” whenever you get the chance. Let your actions show him and others that you respect and honor him. One thing that my husband and I have started doing again is dating. Just like before we were married, we go out on dates. It takes time, effort, and often money, but it’s worth the investment. If money is tight, create a date at home or go to the park or for a walk together. Whatever it takes, spend time alone together, and make it a weekly habit.
Number Three: Your relationship with your children….if you are a mom. When I became a mom, I did not know what I was in for. I had no idea the extent of sacrifice it would take to raise my children. It’s worth every bit of it too. I once read that kids spell love – T I M E. I believe that with all my heart. God’s Word tells us that children are a gift from Him. We are to treat them like that, a gift. Motherhood is a high calling….possibly the highest we will ever have in our lives. It requires time and special attention. They are only with us for a short time, so let’s make the most of it.
Number Four: Your relationship with others. This includes everyone reading this. Our relationships with other people could include family, friends, business associates, mentors, neighbors and more. These are important, and in order to develop, grow, and nurture these relationships, time is needed. I happen to be blessed with many friends and cherished family members. Although I don’t have time to spend with them each day, I always want them to know how important they are in my life and how much I love them. That takes effort on my part, but what I receive back is priceless. If you find yourself lacking in this area, create special moments with these special people in your life. Make a phone call. Mail a card. Send an email. Invite to lunch. Have a party. Create a “girls’ night out” event. Pray for them.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us that alone we can be attacked and defeated. This says to me, that we need people in our lives. We weren’t meant to go this life alone. It is often someone close to me who reminds me that I’m special when I’m feeling defeated. When I am alone, I often listen to the wrong voice if I’m not careful. The people in my life offer me love, encouragement, and fulfillment that tell me otherwise. I often refer to them as Jesus with skin on. This verse goes on to say that “two can stand back to back and conquer”. Then there is my favorite part. It’s when God is a part of our relationships. “Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/relationships-2/#sthash.MGC4i5d4.dpuf

Monday, February 13, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

my name is tank

This emotional story comes from an Uplift post on Facebook. Just had to share. Kleenex required. 

The relationship between a dog and his owner is very special. Dog fully trusts his human and simply cannot live without him. Just like this dog named Reggie who was surrendered to a shelter. When Reggie got a new owner, it didn’t seem like things were going well for them. The man tried everything, however, the dog didn’t want to cooperate. And when he was about to call the shelter to give Reggie back, he found a letter from his previous owner. What was inside changed everything...

  



Saturday, February 11, 2017

where the black eyed susans grow

Words by Dave Radford / Music by Richard A. Whiting, 1917

I know a plain old fashioned farmhouse down a pretty little lane Where yellow daisies make a pathway to the fields of golden grain. There a little girl is waiting where I found her years ago; Something tells me that I'm welcome where the Black-eyed Susans grow. 

Her daddy's just a plain old farmer, mother's just a farmer too; they surely raised some pretty Daisy when they raised my little Sue. You may have your pretty Roses, Violets and Pansies too; you can keep your snow white Lilies, I will leave them all for you. 

 I'm going back to a shack where the Black-eyed Susans grow I love 'em so, they're all around on the ground where I found the one I know so long ago. The honey bees all know I'm comin', I seem to hear them softly hummin', "You'll be losin' your little Susan, you'd better be getting busy buzzin' around." 

To stroll again down the lane to the plain old rustic seat will be a treat, and then I'll bring out the ring for the finger of my sweet, She's mighty sweet. And when I'm tied to the pride of the country side maybe I'll introduce you to my corn fed bride, when I come back from the shack where the Black-eyed Susans grow.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

feathers



Being under God's wings gives me a picture of resting in His love and care and protection. It’s such a blessing to have direct access to the Father, to know He's always with me, to tuck me under His wings, to feel the pure love that only He can give.
He is merciful and comforting. He is my refuge and my shelter. He is always, always faithful. He is my God in whom I trust.

You'll find many encouraging verses in the Bible about the attributes of God. He is holy and righteous and unchanging.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.   ~Psalm 57:1 ESV

The Lord repay you for what you have done,
and a full reward be given you by the Lord,
the God of Israel, under whose wings
you have come to take refuge!”    ~Ruth 2:12 ESV

for you have been my help, 
and in the shadow of your
wings I will sing for joy   ~Psalm 63:7 ESV

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”    ~Psalm 91:1-2 ESV


He will cover you with His pinions,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. ~Psalm 91:4 ESV