Monday, January 30, 2012

Just Thinking

We went to a memorial the other day, for a lady from our church that had passed away. It was a beautiful service.

There were friends and family that shared memories...it was obvious that this lady loved the Lord, loved his word and loved to worship. There was no doubt where her hope had been and in the process God was glorified.  I was blessed, encouraged and provoked.

The lady also journaled, apparently for many years. One of the things that was done as part of the memorial was to read a few excerpts from her journals. Some of the entries were everyday things that made me smile, but what I was struck with the most was her utter dependence on God...a place we should all be, yes?  I think about her family, those journals are a window into her life and will always be a memory of her.

What does your journal say about you? I can tell you mine shows that life has lots of twists and turns, failures, heartbreaks and struggles.Times of stability and praises and times when my plans were not his plans. Most importantly though, I hope my journals show that God is always faithful. That he is my strength, my peace, my hope and my joy. That yes I have failed but He never has. That God gives much grace. That he can be that light on the darkest days...that he gives me a future and a hope and is the one who sustains me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Time to be Thankful

Today I just want to take the time to list some of the things I have to thankful for, to give thanks to the Lord for what he has done and continues to do in our lives
  • Thankful to our pastors who are not ashamed of the gospel and are faithful to preach God's truth. This can be difficult to find these days and we are very thankful for them
  • Thankful for the godly women the Lord has put in my life, so many are encourager's
  • Thankful for some "down time" with sweet husband, we got to spend several days together, away from jobs and responsibilities
  • Thankful for coworkers that assisted me while I was gone, they kept my work up to date
  • Thankful for the days when my body feels its years...strange as it may sound...it loosens my grip on the things of the world and makes me think of "home"
  • Thankful for the squeals of delight that we heard when we knocked on the door of my son's house to pick up our dog. Grandchildren were excited to see us.
  • Thankful for today, it's a gift....may I treat each day as a gift. Lord do not let me waste my days.
We have a friend who lost his wife this week, the news took us by surprise. I still have a hard time believing it. Her passing has helped to remind me that we don't know what our future holds....if there will even be a tomorrow. It has also made me realize I had much to be thankful for...I needed to focus more on my blessings then what I perceive as need

Now listen you who say Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes. James 4:13-14

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Good News

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God   Romans 5:1-2

Monday, January 16, 2012

Our Sweet Lady

There was the medication that was supposed to help her memory...but it made her withdrawn, irritable and lethargic. She didn't want to interact with anyone, wasn't participating in the activities.

Then there was the doctors office that was slow to respond and reluctant to stop the medication, the doctor and my husband had a difference of opinion...the doctors point... it COULD slow the disease process... our point.... at what cost??.. so she remembers a little longer but is miserable....she made her wishes known above the debate...the medication has been stopped. (wondering why we didn't just stop the med ourselves, because she is in an Assisted Living facility and they will not stop a med once it's started without an order)

Then there was the holidays, more time away from that which is familiar. Spending more time with  family that is pretty laid back when it comes to schedules....when you need routine, this can be unsettling. What we thought would be enjoyable was actually more stressful to her.

Things are getting back to normal for her....routine....She took a picture of her grandparents farm off her wall to show a staff member the other day. The staff member said it brought a tear to her eye....she knew Sweet Lady was back.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Daughter In Love

I never had any daughters.... that is until my oldest son got married. Our relationship was messy in the beginning, she will be the first one to tell someone that, her honesty gives encoragement to others, I know this because I have heard from those that she has talked to.

She is a breath of fresh air, doesn't take her self too seriously and is someone you can relate to. I love her compassionate heart, her creative spirit and the way she loves her family....we are blessed to be part of that family now.

Thankful to this daughter of mine, she may not be part of my flesh but she is part of my heart.

                                           Happy Birthday to my dear daughter in love

Monday, January 9, 2012

Be Sowers

He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like, a man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.All by itself, the soil produces grain, first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come"  Mark 4:26-29

We are told to scatter the seed...we can't nag it to grow...or manipulate it to sprout...we just don't have that control. As I listened to yesterday's sermon I found myself saying yeah but....shouldn't we be watering...or fertilizing....or providing the right conditions..... my need to somehow control the sprouting of that seed....truth be told we cannot force a seed to germinate...it doesn't depend on us... it is God who does the work. His Word says the seed sprouts night and day whether we sleep or get up.

The application points from the sermon
  1. We are to sow...then...
  2. We are to rest (that means no striving, manipulating, worrying)
  3. We are to believe (in the power of the gospel)
I won't tell you this is going to come automatically for me...especially the resting part...but I am learning.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Almost Missed It

I was in a situation yesterday evening  where I needed to do something for someone, it was unplanned, inconvenient and something I didn't really want to do.  I found myself getting annoyed and irritated... oh how easily the flesh rises to the surface.

Thankfully I was alone when all this was going on (no opportunity for thoughts to be verbalized) and the Lord quickly convicted me. Wish I could say my heart was immediately changed and I joyfully accomplished the task at hand....but it was a process.

To make things even more interesting we had care group last night....we were definitely going to be late, staying home was a thought....going to care group was almost in the too hard category...but we were supposed to bring the snacks...so late it was.

Now here's the thing...God was at work last night in our care group....we worshiped, prayed for people and discussed different bible reading plans. We ended the evening by taking turns reading Psalm 119 aloud. (Psalm 119 is easily divided to do this) I was surprised how powerful that was, there is just something about reading the Word aloud...hearing and speaking truth. After we came home I reflected on the events of earlier in the evening, what a battle. We almost missed this....but we didn't.

Turn to me and have mercy on me,as you always do to those that love your name. Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me Psalm 119:132-133

Monday, January 2, 2012

Watcha Reading?

I am looking for a new bible reading plan for this year and our pastor recommended this site.   http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2011/12/27/bible-reading-plans-for-2012/
it has several reading plans to chose from.

I have to admit I have not totally decided on a plan yet. (I like having some direction versus just reading at random) I have used an audio bible reading for the last couple of years but they change translations every week and I feel like I want to do something different this year. I know the year has already started and I should have thought about this sooner but life always seems to get ahead of me.

I am also trying to put together a list of books I would like to read this year, I have a couple on my list but I would love some feedback on any other recommendations.

My List
  1. As Silver Refined by Kay Arthur
  2. Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything by Tullian Tchividjian (the sermon series was excellent)
As you can see it's not much of a list that's why I am asking for input. I hope to be able to get a little more reading done this year, at least that's the goal. 

What are you reading, what are some of your favorites? Not looking for fiction,  interested in books that could be considered food for the soul, any recommendations?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

What goes through your mind at the start of a new year, do you make resolutions, or have an area of focus that you feel the Lord is leading you in?

As followers of Christ we don't need a new year to give us a new beginning, we can push the reset button at any time just by repenting, but lets be honest don't we all like the idea of a new year?

During this time of year, I get a little reflective about the past year and also wonder about the future, what will this year be like. Where has the Lord brought me this past year but more important what are areas of sin and struggle the Lord has shown me that still have a strong root in my heart. Areas that still need refinement.

Contentment....despite the circumstances that I may find myself in, is an area that I struggle with.This can apply to so many different areas of my life and is something I feel like the Lord continues to try to teach me.

 Holman Bible dictionary defines contentment as "an internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances" Another definition I found for contentment was "ease of mind"

Satisfaction and ease of mind, that's what I want for this year.....it's going to be a process, hope you'll continue to join me on this journey

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  Philippians 3:2-3