Thursday, February 27, 2014

Treasure Every Moment ....

This morning on facebook a friend shared the following. Anonymous Author, but I want to share with as many as will be encouraged by it.  Food for thought!

To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby.....

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Alone Yet Not Alone

Last week Holley Gerth challenged me to write about You Are Not Alone.  While this was in the back of my mind, I failed to refer to it.  I came across it on facebook one day.  Amazing true story, lovely heart wrenching yet deeply encouraging song by Joni Ereckson Tada is shared below....Amazing!   You know, I have nothing wrong with me, no health challenges, no handicaps, great friends and family, a great relationship with the Lord and I see people like Joni and others who've faced horrendous situations and am so encouraged by their gifts to the world and the Kingdom of  God.

The movie Alone Yet Not Alone looks to be a very harrowing bundle of tremendous challenges in lives of many.  This being a true story is even closer to my heart.  I look forward to seeing as soon as possible.  I've given you a link to the Trailer for this movie.  Be greatly encouraged.

Be blessed,

Encouraging I want to hear when I'm having a hard day!!!

The next writing prompt is this question: “What are the encouraging words you want to hear when you’re having a hard day?” 

Often when I'm needing encouragement I will get in the Word, listen to praise music or get with friends or my husband or other family members.  Gotta admit, too, that I will often cozy up in front of the TV for a good chic to see many of the ones on UPTV, Hallmark, INSP or other such channels, as they're usually based on the Bible.  Often, too, I read poetry, etc. books based on scripture dealing with what I am facing.

Here is one of my current favorite and most encouraging songs:

Don't Quit, Don't GIve In, You're An Overcomer.....this song can also go along with last week's challenge...You're NOT Alone....

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You're Not Alone

Oh LORD, thank You for that Promise!

As an Encourager, I want to emphasize that no matter what may be looming ahead of you now, or what has happened, or present situations, this Promise is for you this moment!

In fact I've received two reminders in just the past couple days; I've been so sweetly reminded of His continual presence!

The 1st reminder is of a long time friend who posted on his blog his testimony beginning at the age of 12 with a possible life threatening moment, upon calling upon God the situation was completely turned around.  His statement that he then knew he was Not Alone began.  Years passed and the fervor for the Lord had waned and another life threatening moment presented itself.  The same scenario happened until the 3rd incident when the Lord yet again assured him that again, He Was Not Alone...  After reading this I was reminded of all the times the Lord revealed to me that I am Not Alone.

Then the 2nd is reading the blog post here, on Holly Gerth's blog stating You're Not Alone!  Amazing!  My Father must be trying to tell me something.

I can say a 3rd reminder could be the challenge issued to write this blog post.

The Great Commission tells me to: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And gehold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.  (Matthew 28:19-20)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

'Kudzu' is (should be) like Christianity July 2008
'Kudzu' is (should be) like Christianity
 The Great Commission
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."    Matthew 28:18-19  
      During the Ladies Bible Study this week we began to speak of Kudzu and its entrance into the U.S.  Some of my facts were not exactly correct so let me inform you for I've done some more extensive research since then. 
     That said, I began to compare Kudzu to Christians or with the way Christians should be.  We have been given marching orders to go into all the world...  On a radio interview with a man who became a Christian following having been told by someone that Jesus loves him I was intrigued by his openness of acceptance of the literal reality of God's Word.  After this statement was said to him, at which time he'd never even heard of Jesus, he began to read the Bible and as a result asked Jesus into his heart.  He was so excited to find the passion and drive these Christians he read about possessed that he began to attend a church and was shocked to find that the Christians he'd read about in the Bible were nowhere to be found in the church.  He was so excited about the passion and drive to fulfill the Great Commission in the lives of the people he'd read about but couldn't find it in the pews.  Am I guilty of that same thing when someone who is truly looking for Jesus in the pew arrives?
     That's where, I believe, the Kudzu comes in.  We should be those men, women, children with passion and drive to fulfill the call of God on our lives.  That passion and drive should be so rampantly spread wherever we go and whatever we do that we become like that Kudzu that we see on hillsides, on the sides of the road, etc.  One of the attributes of Kudzu is that it can thrive in many climates and adapts itself to its surroundings while still standing out in a crowd.  
     One of the sources I found while searching the internet states that scientists say Kudzu, one of America's most invasive plants, is also a potential for obtaining bio-fuel.  What a find at this time!  This plant can grow more than 6 1/2 feet a week.  Shouldn't we, as Christians, grow at that rate of speed, too, if we apply ourselves to the nutrients of God's Word?  In the research it has been determined that about 1/3 of Kudzu plants would be harvest-able to supply bio-ethanol.  I think we Christians can do better but only when we apply ourselves and encourage others around us to do the same.  We, Christians, should have a 100% harvest-able rate. 
     In my research, I didn't find much that was positive about the Kudzu vine.  Most want to eradicate it from its places of existence.  Most have tried everything they could think of but to no avail.  It may lie dormant for a bit of time but then it takes root and begins again to spread like crazy.  Do we really do that or do we just allow the voices, cares, opposition of the world to completely choke our witness out?  
     One of the places I worked had an eyesore of a hill that was also problematic of eroding.  The Kudzu vine covering that hill was truly extremely beautiful.  It never had to be tended, it grew over all of the hill and stopped at the stone, blacktop and concrete that surrounded it.  It is a great asset for the business it shines for.  Shouldn't we be like that Kudzu hill?  I think so!  
     In Ecclesiastes 9:10a we are admonished that Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,...  Often I'm guilty of NOT doing what I do with all my might and then God convicts me of my lack of commitment.  As I've said early in the year, commitment is something that is of great priority in my heart and my decision has been to be more proactive in my commitment to the things the Lord has called me to do.  I know that there will always be areas that I have to focus on and with God's help I will overcome any obstacles that hinder.  I also know and am persuaded that nothing can separate me from God's love that is in Christ Jesus my Lord as stated in Romans 8:39.  Also that promise is not just for me but for everyone.  Will you apply it to your life also?  I pray so.   As I've been thinking about this writing I've thought so much about the Scripture passage in Deuteronomy 6:6-9 where we're admonished to impress them (God's commandments or His Word) on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.  This is the way I've been thinking of Kudzu, it gets everywhere as God's Word should get everywhere we are at all times. 
     May the Lord richly bless you in all you do and lead you into the things He has planned for you.  I pray that as you delight yourself in Him then He will place his richest desires in your heart and you will then know how to wait on Him as an attentive 'waiter' stands ready to wait on his special dinner guest constantly watching to see if He needs anything.  I believe this is the 'wait' that 'wait on the Lord' means.  I DO NOT believe that 'wait on the Lord' means sit down and don't do anything else until God speaks to you in an audible voice and tells you what to do next.  As a Christian, some of the things we are to do are spelled out and some of the things are learned as the moment arrives.  We have need of 'waiting' on the Lord.  There may be need of a 'bottle of water' or a full 'five course meal' or maybe just a 'delightful dessert' or 'refreshing drink'.  We just need to be attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit to know what need is present.
     Since Bro. Carl issued the challenge at the first part of the year to find out what God is calling us to do I've been much more aware of the things I do.  I pray that God will stir your heart to find out what He desires for you at this moment in time.
In His Service,


"Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."  Jeremiah 33:3  "Then when you call upon Me and come and pray to Me, I will hear you.  When you search for me, you will find Me; if you seek Me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:12-13 "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."  Jeremiah 29:11    

   This month I want to share with you some of the reflections I've been engaged in over these last few weeks.  Many of you know that I've had a bit of a different journey in the last few weeks and in that time I've been able to have plenty of time to ponder God's Word and to study a bit more than I usually am able to do.  I've so missed being able to participate in church like I'm used to doing.  I thank each of you who prayed for me, called me to check on me and prepare food for me.  I don't think I've missed this much church or my friends at church since I became a Christian.  It is so good to be back and on track again.  In the changes I'm experiencing there have yet again been doctors who have ordered tests due to some things 'they just want to look at'.  Praise the Lord!  All the tests have been completed and I've passed them all with flying colors.  No pre-cancerous cells are found and everything is perfectly fine.  The only thing I'll have to do is some minor medical treatments for the next three months.  I've been given a completely clean bill of health.  With all this being said the Doctor still wants me to see the General Surgeon for confirmation.  I guess it never hurts to get a 2nd opinion!  Again, I say, Praise the Lord!
   Tuesday August 19th, Jonathan and I returned from a trip to Omaha, NE that took us eleven days.  WOW!  What a trip it was.  We had a great time and had great experiences and are so glad to be back.
   August was the launch of Jonathan's newsletter, Kids Gettin' Radical for Jesus --- Thank you all so much for your great comments of encouragement.  He was extremely excited when people started emailing with their praise for his efforts.  With this newsletter launch and our cross country trip Jonathan is off to a good start as he has been back in school for about a month, too.  His curriculum is so much fun as well as imparting such great learning to him.  Since we are seeing this year's curriculum being so heavy on him and the newsletter does take a bit of time we are praying about sending it out once a quarter.  So look for his next newsletter to arrive in December.
   In my first ever blog submission I began with a story from 3rd grade in Kalamazoo, MI and some of the meaning of Psalm 1 for my life.  I began planning on sharing different Psalms however the Lord is continually giving me new direction for this path in my life.  I will place on the web site a new selection each Monday that pertains to whatever the Lord has put on my heart for that particular time.  I will not dictate to God what I want to share but will allow Him to lead.  I should always do this anyway and I often think I am then in retrospect see that I continued to place my ideas in the driver's seat and not allow God full control of what I do.  I feel like the way Paul must have felt in Romans when he said, 'the things I don't want to do I do and the things I want to do I don't'.  The thing is, often there is not even a 'knowing' that I'm in the middle of doing the thing that is not in line with God's will or best design for that time until it is over.  During the couple weeks I was confined to home prior to our trip I was able to spend a lot of time in Bible study, prayer and just alone time with God.  I've really enjoyed this time and feel like I've been in a sort of cocoon.  I know that He is doing something that I've not yet been able to put my finger on.  It is so amazing that the peace of God has had such a powerful rule over me and that I feel so close to the Lord and experience His presence ever so strongly.  He is really giving me the knowing that Paul also spoke in the Word saying 'I've learned in whatever state I am to be content'.  Many challenges have come my way in just the last month or two but through all of them I've definitely sensed His comfort and joy.  The faithfulness of God is really not contingent upon me or anything I do, but on Him and His love for me.  The only thing I have to do is pray, commune with Him, read the Bible, praise Him and allow His love to flow through me. 
   I pray that each one reading this will begin to reassess your walk with Him and where you feel discontent you will allow His presence to fill that realizing that the only way you can walk in that contentment He gives by communing with Him through Bible study, prayer and praise.  I urge you to come back to your first love, that you love of God you experienced when you first gave your life to Him and asked Him to fill you with His Spirit.
   May the Lord bless and keep you.       
In His Service,

The Spirit Guides

Psalm 32:8a "I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;.."
 WOW!  Today I read a devotion entitled 'The Spirit Guides, The Devil Shoves'.  Just let your mind wrap around that for a few minutes. 
  I know this may sound odd but I really don't remember that much about the reading itself but I do continue to hear that phrase resonating in my person.  I've often heard people for most of my life state that God made them do something or pushed them or drove them to do whatever.  But this confirms a statement that we know from the Word of God and have learned in relationship with Him and that is that He gives each one of us a 'choice'.  He is not pushy.  He does not demand but allows us the time, space and whatever latitude we may need in order to become acutely aware of the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. 
   I'm sure some of you may recall my state of being just prior to my coming to the Lord as a young woman.  I was going through some devastating times in my life and I just drove into my driveway, sat in my car in front of my house and hit my steering wheel.  I just yelled out, "Why did You have to just go and die, why couldn't You be here, NOW?!"  I know, and so do you, that those words were spoken in desperation to the only One who could lead me into the truth.  I was so desperate and grasping at whatever small bit of hope I could and my inner being just cried out to Jesus.  I knew even in my darkest times that only He could lead me into the true way and only He could make my life liveable again.  I probably knew deep down inside that Jesus is still alive but at that moment it didn't feel like it at all.  This began my journey to a deep and true relationship with Him and thus my beginning to understand the leading of the Holy Spirit in my everyday life.
   If you had known me then and now you would not believe I am the same person.  Which, in essence, I am not.  I am a new creation!  I've been born again, washed by the blood of the Lamb.  I had been to church for many years of my life but walked, of my own free will, completely away from any semblance of God.  I am so thankful for people in my life who prayed for me and didn't give up.  If not for a praying Mom and Grandaddy I would probably not be who I am now.
   I guess sometimes the leading the Holy Spirit gives does seem like He's pushy or shoving but completely contrary to that He is opening up doors and giving us a choice as to whether or not to go through them.  We are told 'it's darkest just before dawn'.  Well, in the spiritual realm it's the same way.  Just when all looks like gloom and doom just around the bend the Son shines brighter and brighter with each passing moment.
   Keep in mind that when things look tougher than they ever have that's the time the Lord is just about to step in and shine the Light on your situation.
   May the Lord bless and keep you.       
In His Service,