Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy New Year

May God bless you all with a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

God will do great things. Sometimes, His great things do not line up with our ideas.

Praying for healing for an old friend...strength for her husband and daughters (and families)...hope, peace, joy.

Praying for those in my families...and my friends.

God has good things in store, now we just need to be obedient and open to receive them.

Happy, happy new year...or should I say JOYous new year. Joy is so much more lasting than happiness. Happiness is dependent on circumstances; joy is an attitude you choose.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone. May God bless you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Challenge

Pati challenged me to use a coaster and my Cricut to create something. Here it is.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Okay, going to try again!

Just joined the Y again. I'm determined to work out and lose weight. I've got to. I'm tired of lugging this extra weight around. So...keep me accountable if you will. I'm hoping to have some work-out buddies - you know who you are :)

If you have a Y membership and can work out around 4:30-5:30 in the afternoon (not Wednesdays), let me know.

Here is my favorite ornaments on the tree. The red bell is just like the one I had as a child. We each had a special ornament that we put on the tree each year and the red bell was mine. I found this one at a garage sale and was thrilled! The glass ball is one I bought in Germany a lifetime ago (okay, about 30 years but sure feels like forever ago).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas!



Wishing blessings and happiness to all of you. Susan

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cheated

Sitting in church today I wondered why I was cheated so much in life. Cheated out of a normal childhood (but then, what is normal?), cheated out of a dad to take care of me, cheated out of having my parents around me when I needed them, cheated out of having a relationship with my younger sister who died too early. Cheated out of so many things ... where was God?

He was right there. From the very beginning, He was right there. He promised never to leave me or forsake me - and He didn't. Any distance between me and Him was caused by me. Any lost hope, any loneliness, any consequences..He can fill.

We live in a fallen world. We live with consequences of our own making or as a result of someone's choices. But God is always there. God is always ready to reconcile. God is always ready to forgive. God wants reconciliation. God wants relationship with us. God is love and wants us to be filled with Him, with love.

O Holy night...Jesus was born with one purpose...to die in my place so I could be reconciled to the Father.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

getting merrier every day!

Brad asked me to make some cards for him to give to co-workers. I started to copy the design I originally did but finally broke out in some creativity! So...if you didn't pick your card yet, here are some more designs.





Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I like this letter!

Letter from Jesus about Christmas -

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up... It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5 Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.
9. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember : I LOVE YOU, JESUS

Monday, December 7, 2009

Life is good

As I get ready to go to bed, I'm taking a few minutes to reflect on how wonderful life really is. God has blessed us ... Brad, me and David ... so much. I'm thankful for all He has given us and all He has allowed us to gain.

Being happy, understanding joy, being full, knowing that what I have is enough and anything more is not necessary (but additional icing on the cake) ... this is being truly content. And I'm there.

Is there something different I want - some days, yes. But I don't need it for fulfillment. I want it to experience something else. One day...God will allow it (or not, and that's okay too). I just want each day, each experience, each new path to be shared with those I love - my husband, my son, my sisters, my friends.

God is so good. I am so blessed. I am content.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Merry Christmas - cards



I'm not sending many cards this year - can't seem to get into the mood to make them! So, if you don't get one from me in the mail feel free to print your favorite out and pretend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy your day today and take a few moments to remember all you have been blessed with. Take even more time to thank the One who has blessed us with so much - so much that is undeserved.

Be safe and be happy. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Project - Quilling

This is my second attempt at quilling for a card. I enjoy it! I hope the people who get them also enjoy them.

Friday, November 20, 2009

weekend!!!!

I'm so glad the weekend is here. I plan to scrapbook Saturday - hope faithbooking is still on - otherwise, I'll spend the day in my room!

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Go Eagles!!! Go Buckeyes!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Congrats to GCCS Eagles

Free Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.net The GCCS Eagles won their second game toward the championship! This is a team that is only 5 years old. They beat Shadyside (who stomped us a couple of years ago). Free Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.net

Congratulations guys - you looked great. Free Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.net

Thursday, November 12, 2009

changes

Changes - I don't think I like them...but some times they are good.

Watching a change in attitude in someone close and praying he is praying about the changes in his life.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sisters' weekend

Having an awesome time. At the Hershey Spa. My manicure is beautiful and I feel chocolately wonderful. Waiting for Terri and Debbie to get finished with pedicures.

Sitting in the "quiet room". Glad I have my Blackberry to keep me company.

Thinking of Mom. The last week we spent with her we had manicures and pedicures. I think she loved it. Mom kept admiring her nails. Glad we were able to spend that time with her (she passed a few weeks later). It was a gift from Father.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Extending support to Fort Hood and other heroes

Please take a few minutes to read:
http://www.owhhomefrontblog.org/2009/11/support-fort-hood-families.html

Many families will need our support and many military personnel around the world will be feeling this loss.

We will be praying.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Temptations - Thoughts - what to do

Romans 6:11-14: 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. 12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.

Sin does not have to control us - in fact, as Christians, if it does control us, we need to go to God for some confession (1 John1:9) and then look at all the passages that talk about the Spirit living in us. This is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead - pretty sure He is strong enough to overcome sin!

Verse 13 - Don't let any part of your body become an instrument of evil. What part of our bodies is usually that culprit? The MIND. Ah, yes, Satan plants those thoughts and what do we do with them? The answer will determine if we are letting sin control or if we are overcoming. If we dwell on them - they will grow into something more - something evil. If we take them captive (2 Cor 10:5) we are in control - it is our choice.

If we are controlled by the Spirit, sin cannot control us. If sin is controlling us, we are not controlled by the Spirit. In the end, it is OUR choice. We aren't dealing with anything we cannot overcome (1 Cor 10:13).

Spend today in control. Don't let thoughts come into your head unchecked. Examine them and get rid of those that aren't edifying, pleasing to Father.

Father, you are awesome. You have called me into relationship with You. You have given me everything I need. You gave me Your Son - Jesus because He was the only one who could pay the price of my sin. And He paid it while I was still a sinner - running from You. He was the only one who could restore me to You. You now give me the Holy Spirit to keep me close to You. You promise nothing will come my way that I can't handle with You. You are incedible, Father. Thank you for accepting me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being You. Thank you for being real.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Worship tonight

Tonight's worship was great. The choir did an awesome job. Praising the Lord with other Christians and incredible music...wow.

We serve an awesome God. If creation was the only thing He gave us, it would be too much. Flowers, colors, fish, birds, animals, music, aromas, bugs (yes, bugs), and people. So complex, yet so simple in its beauty.

But He gave us so much more. He gave us His Son. His Son left heaven and died in my place. The perfect Son, the perfect person, God and man as one. He lived and died and rose. He did this for me. For you. He did this so we can be reconciled to Father.

If you can, spend some time with other believers and worship Father. Thank Him for his gifts to us. Thank Him for salvation.

My soul is full and my spirit is joyful. My heart is rejoicing.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

12 more Christmas cards done. I will have a good bunch to send to OWH tomorrow. Now I'll start working on mine!

The second card has an insert so the soldier can write more home. Having fun creating! Love my crocadile2. Pati, I hope you approve of my ribbons :P

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy 50th Anniversary - Don & Betty

Brad's parents had the 50th anniversary party tonight. Wow - 50 years. At the party were other couples who had celebrated 50 years this year, 55 years, 56 years; then there were us newbies who have celebrated 24 and 20 years!

Busy weekend

I got 33 cards made so far - planning on more tomorrow since I need to mail them to OWH on Monday.

Here are some cards done this weekend.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Read Redeeming Love for my book club. What an awesome story. It is based on the story of Hosea and Gomer. Hosea was a prophet in the OT and God told him to marry Gomer - who was a prostitute. She left his love and security several times to return to her old life.

In the book, Sarah traveled a hard road. There were many times, I had tears streaming down my face. This is the type of story I love.

I also realized how much I keep going back to the old life because it is safe...no, it's not. It's familiar. Safety is in Jesus. He knows my past, my present and my future - what could be more secure!

Read it. It is a beautiful story showing us the Savior's love for us.

Christmas cards

Here are a few Christmas Cards I finished tonight. Meant to spend only an hour or so...three hours later, I'm off to bed.
I don't like the pictures from my phone. Too tired to go downstairs and bring up my camera. Goodnight.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Results of my latest Card marathon

I bought some dollar items and couldn't wait to get home and do something fun with it! I'm going to work on some Christmas cards and by the end of the week, plan to send them off to OWH.

Monday, October 12, 2009


The Thinking of You card was made using a coaster! I added the flower in the middle The Christmas one was a "copy" of a pattern that I made my own.

Sweater

Finished my sweater (which is project 2 on my list for this week). I've never attempted anything like this and quite frankly it was much easier than I thought! Had to improvise on the sleeve cuffs, the sleeves weren't long enough so I had to redo the cuffs to make them longer. Then I made them shorter so the sleeves weren't as wide at the bottom.

Updating

Yikes, it's been awhile since I've posted. Life is moving along. One awesome thing.. I was in church Sunday and really enjoyed being in service. I know this sounds strange, but I've been struggling with some things and going to church has been tough - looked for any reason to miss.

I love corporate worship but didn't allow myself to get involved. Hurt feelings, that kind of stuff. But why should allow someone else to steal my joy? Get behind me, Satan.

I was doing my 1st Place devotion before service started and it was about God is good. It just struck my heart in a way that made me realize that God is good. Okay, I know that is basic but when I read it...really heard it...it changed my attitude.

God is good. He can't be anything else but good. He can't give anything but good. Everything God gives me is good - even His reproof, instruction, wrath, whatever. He is good so He can't give anything that isn't good.

For some of you, this may be a DUH kind of read, but for me it was like a light went on. I have absolutely no problem relying on God during the tough times in life. In fact, I run to Him and He sustains me. However, when life is moving along with no big crises, I tend to rely on me.

But GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. He wants me to live in His goodness all the time. He wants to do good through me ALL THE TIME.

My God is good and His goodness fills me. What will I do with it?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

cards for Care Packages to Heroes

A friend lives in a condo community and they are sending care packages to soldiers. I volunteered to do 4 different cards for each box plus a "any hero card" for the recipient. She told me that there are 25 boxes! That's 125 cards.

I got in the groove (by doing 4 different designs x 25 each). Got all the cards done and only need to do the any hero cards which I'll print off the computer so they will be quick and easy.

It is truly a labor of love. Our soldiers deserve so much and this is my small way of contributing to their work.

Monday, September 21, 2009

MAKING IT STICK - James MacDonald

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind." - James 1:5-6

How do you make it stick? How do you make your commitment to follow the Lord withstand the beating of the wind and waves of life? I want to keep submitting my life to God - but how do I do that? Great question.

If you're like me, sometime in the past you've given something to God in full surrender only to wake up the next day with it back in your hands. "I gave this to God - what's it doing back here?"

On day one, I surrender to God that difficult something that threatens to take me under or at the very least, get the best of me. "Here it is, God. Take it. Help me." On day two - without even realizing it - "I'm back in charge again. I'm nurturing my own set of rights and privileges. So back on my knees I go, submitting again to God. Here I am again, God. My life is yours. Not me, but You."

So the big question is, how do you stay there? I have found that the only way to maintain my submission to God is through believing prayer. Back on my knees, I give it back to God.

James 1:6-8 says the doubting Christian is "like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." The opposite of doubt is faith: standing on solid rock when the storm beats you from all sides. Believing prayer says, "Here I am again, God. I'm standing here on this rock. All the pressures of life and walking by faith are still as strong, but I'm still standing here.

"If you recognize you're in a time of battle, you need to be standing on that rock and praying like you've never prayed before. You know you need God's sustaining grace. Surrender once again to God. Get up from your work, step aside from whatever you're doing, bow your head at the traffic stoplight - wherever you are - give your burden to the Lord this moment, and day by day, and week by week. You can maintain your submission to God only through believing prayer.

Recommit your life to the Lord in unwavering submission to God by coming back to the throne of grace again and again.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lapghans for Veterans

I enjoy crocheting...but there's only so many blankets we can use! Here a few I have ready to send to the VA hospital. I'm glad I could mix something I enjoy with meeting another's need. I pray for the veteran while I crochet.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My sisters - in my heart always

I received this b-day card several years ago and loved it. I have three sisters and when I see this, I'm reminded that my sisters make me dance - they are full of love and joy and fun times...even in the hard times. I'm so thankful for their strength during our little sister's illness and death and in our Mom's passing.

I want to be their strength in their hard times. I'm here...always - even if only to lift you before the Father. I love you.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Soul Sludge - Turning Point devotion

My transgression is sealed up in a bag.Job 14:17

Last Christmas, a pristine corner of the unspoiled Eastern Tennessee mountains was marred by America's largest industrial toxic spill, caused by the failure of a containment dike at a TVA fossil plant. Residents of the town of Kingston found themselves facing 1.1 billion gallons of contaminated sludge, and the clean-up costs are expected to reach a billion dollars.

If Job were still around, he might use that as an illustration of the toxic guilt that often contaminates our hearts. In Job 14, he compared his sins to foul substances that God has sealed in the airtight containers of His mercy for permanent disposal.

If we have feelings of guilt over unresolved sin, we need to acknowledge our failures before God and pray as Jesus taught us: "Forgive us our trespasses." But when feelings of guilt are satanic tricks to shame us over sins already forgiven, we need to remember Job's words: "My transgression is sealed up in a bag."

It cost God a great deal—the shed blood of His son—to clean up the toxic spill of sin. It's never helpful to reopen the containers.

When we confess our sins, God casts them into the deepest ocean…. Then God places a sign out there that says "No fishing Allowed! Corrie ten Boom

How often we open up the bags and the let the stink back into our lives.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Who cares for you?

Turning Point devotion: And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things."Luke 10:41

If you could wear a tape recorder around your neck for one week—one that recorded every word you spoke for seven days—how many times would it record the word "worry?" "I'm worried about you—what's wrong?" "I've been worrying about her for weeks and haven't known what to do." "I worry that we won't be able to pay for John's medical bills since we don't have insurance."

A 1996 book by Richard Carlson was titled Don't Sweat the Small Stuff—and It's All Small Stuff. A point biblically taken. That doesn't mean there aren't important issues in life and serious decisions to be made. It's just that worrying about them (sweating them) does not make any impact on the outcome. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:27, "When did worrying ever add anything to your life?" (paraphrase) Answer: never. Worrying is a form of stress, and stress is bad for you. Instead of worrying, do something that is good for you: Commit all your concerns to the Lord in prayer and let His peace guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

When we are in difficult moments in life, it's easy to forget: God cares more than we care (1 Peter 5:7).

Worry is an indication that we think God cannot look after us. Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Check Your Height

Turning Point devotion: Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?Matthew 6:27

Popular culture has commented on "worry" more than once in recent years. Mad magazine used its iconic "Alfred E. Neuman" mascot on the cover with the phrase "What, me worry?" beginning in 1956. And in 1988, Bobby McFerrin's song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" reached number one on the pop charts. But there was something wrong with both those sentiments: no reason was given for not worrying.

Nearly two thousand years earlier, Jesus of Nazareth told His followers not to worry and gave them a godly reason why: because God would provide for them just as He does the rest of His creation. Jesus' words on worry form a key element of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6. Jesus points out that the birds of the air and the lilies of the field are provided for beautifully and faithfully—and we are much more important to God than these. Besides, "your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things" (verse 32). Instead of worrying, Jesus said to seek God's kingdom and His righteousness, and everything we need will be provided for us.

If you have been worrying lately, check your height—has worrying added "one cubit to [your] stature"? (verse 27) Try seeking God instead.

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but will get you nowhere. Unknown

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More cards!

Yeah Bucks - started working on cards after the OSU vs Navy game.

The tri-fold card was my first attempt at this - saw it on a website and thot it looked fun. My b-day stickers were from Odd Lots (of all places) and Christmas stickers from Michaels - each pack was $1 - felt that I got a real bargain.






Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blessed to be a Blessing - Turning Point devotion

This devotion goes right along with learning to be content. I hope it moves you as it did me.

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. Genesis 12:2

The Hebrew word for "blessed" can also be translated "happy," as in, "Happy is the man who . . . ." "Happy" in biblical days meant "content" or "satisfied" more than our modern understanding of happiness. Today, Christians sometimes act like God's blessings are primarily to make us happy. The truth is that we have been blessed in order that we might be a blessing to others.

When God called Abraham from Mesopotamia to begin a new life in Canaan, He set the standard for the meaning of blessing. He told Abraham that he would be blessed—no doubt about that. But He also said, "And you shall be a blessing." Abraham and His descendants were going to be blessed by God so they could become a channel of blessing to the world—and indeed they were as the Messiah, Jesus Christ, was born as a descendant of Abraham. Sometimes when we grow discouraged (unhappy) with the life God has given us, we need to remember that there is blessing in being a blessing to others. Happiness and joy come in this life when we share God's blessings with others.

Look for someone this week who needs God's blessing—and then become that blessing for them.

It is dangerously easy to fix our hearts on the blessing rather than the Blesser. Ronald Dunn

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Can you believe this??

I "borrowed" this content from another blog {http://karelj.blogspot.com/}- but it expresses my sentiments exactly:

I am officially teed-off. I just saw a COMMERCIAL for the George Lopez Late Night Talk Show in which OUR PRESIDENT is plugging the show. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! Are there no Health Care issues to debate? Are there not 2 (YES, TWO) wars we are ...engaged in? WHY IS THE LEADER OF OUR NATION PLUGGING A TELEVISION SHOW?????!!!!! Hey, Barrack! You run the country (right into the ground, apparently!), I'll watch TV!!

Please, Obama lovers---this has NOTHING to to with him, although I have never really been a fan. It has to do with the image of our nation and how we are percieved by the world. We have a President who apologizes for being an American, does not hold strong Christian values (which our nation was based upon, no matter what the pundits say) and is now, apparently trying to be a TV star. WHY? It doesn't make him accessible to the people---it makes him look shallow and caught up in our nation's *stupid* fascination and worship of media personalities. Can you imagine Abraham Lincoln touting a television late show? How about FDR holding a fireside chat with Geraldo Rivera? Oh, I know! Instead of making the difficult decision to take responsibility for the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy should have done a stand-up routine on Leno. I think it was silly for people to have gotten bent out of shape when Mrs. Obama wore shorts on vacation. I think Mr. Obama has every right to wear jeans and have a beer at a baseball game. But when he appears on a commercial, supporting a particular network and participating in a comedy routine, he crosses a line. He is no longer a candidate. He is the Leader of the Greatest Nation in the World. He needs to act like it.

Opposite of Faith? - Turning Point devotion

But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"Mark 4:40

In grammar school language studies we learned about opposites. Some were simple to understand like directions (up versus down), but others had shades of meaning that required more careful thinking (nice versus not-nice). When we come to opposites in the spiritual life, we move even further away from simple meanings. For instance, what is the opposite of faith? The easy answer is "unbelief." If we have faith, we believe; if we don't have faith, we don't believe.

But when Jesus called His disciples to account for their lack of faith, He suggested the opposite was fear instead of unbelief: "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" Why is fear the opposite of faith? In the setting where Jesus chastised His disciples, the issue at hand was the future. They were in the middle of a storm on the Sea of Galilee and the disciples didn't think they would make it to shore. So when we approach the future we can approach it one of two ways: with faith or with fear.

If you are in the midst of a storm and concerned about the future, let your perspective be the opposite that of the disciples. Choose to have faith in Christ to see you through.
The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of faith is the end of anxiety.
George Muller

Monday, August 31, 2009

Reminders of Love fm Daily Bread devotion

Read John 19:1-7, 16-18

After the US entered WW2 in 1941, Estelle tried to talk her boyfriend Sidney out of joining the Army. But he enlisted and began his training April of the following year. For the next 3 years he wrote her love letters - 525 in all. Then in March 1945, she learend that her beloved fiance had been killed in combat.

Althouth Estelle did eventually marry, the memories of her first love lived in her heart. To honor that love, she publisehd a book of Sidney's wartime correspondence more than 60 years later.

Like those letters, the Lord has left us with reminders of His love - the Scriptures. He says: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you" (Jer. 31:3). "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love" (John 15:9). The Bible also tells us that "Christ...loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Eph 5:25). "[Jesus] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us" (Titus 2:14). "God is love" (1 John 4:8).

Read God's Word often and be reminded that Jesus loves you and died for you. - Anne Cetas

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Storm Watching - Turning Point Devotion

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.2 Corinthians 12 :9

A woman was once asked what one of her favorite childhood memories was, and without hesitation she responded by saying, "Being woken up out of a sound sleep by my dad to sit at our bay window and watch the lightning crawl across the sky during a big thunderstorm." Watching storms was fascinating for her because she was in a safe, familiar place.

When storms arise in our life, it is comforting to have those around us who are familiar and safe—a spouse, children, or close friends. But when we are alone and facing uncertainty, we must remind ourselves that God controls not only the wind and the waves created by nature, but those created by life as well. We are never truly alone and facing the elements by ourselves; God will always walk through the storm with us.

During the uncertain and frightening storms of life, let us do as the Psalmist "…in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by" (Psalm 57:1).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fully Convinced - Turning Point Devotion

Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live.Proverbs 4:4

In his book, Shepherding a Child's Heart, Dr. Tedd Tripp clearly defines obedience for parents so they understand when and how to discipline their children in a godly way. He states that, "It means more than a child doing what he is told. It means doing what he is told without challenge, without excuse, without delay" (p.134).

When God is guiding us in His direction, oftentimes we get distracted by the little things that seem more important to us at the moment. Just as a child believes putting one more piece of a puzzle into its place is of the utmost importance before getting up to obey, we often consider our immediate desires a higher priority than promptly obeying when we hear God's voice beckoning us toward His way.

Imagine the kind of life we would experience if we were to follow God without challenge, without excuse, and without delay. Those things which seemed so important to us would fade, and we would begin to see what the Lord can do when we are not just almost persuaded but fully convinced that His way is better than our way.

To be successful in God's work is to fall in line with His will and to do it His way.Henrietta C. Mears

OUCH, this one hurt today!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our God is Merciful

This is from Turning Point today: But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back.Isaiah 38:17

There was a king who suffered much grief over his rebellious subjects. But one day a group of these rebels surrendered their arms, bowed at his feet, and begged him for mercy. He pardoned each one. One of the king's friends later said to him, "Did you not say that every rebel should die?" "Yes," said the king, "but I see no rebels here."

The Bible tells us, "There is none righteous, no not one," and we all deserve to die for that unrighteousness (Romans 3 :10). But God, in His perfect mercy, chose to allow His Son to take our place and die for us so that when He looks at us, He no longer sees the sin ; He only sees His precious Son, our Savior.

As imperfect children of God, we can be very hard on ourselves when we make a mistake and sin or struggle with a particular issue. But let us take comfort in knowing that because of Jesus' sacrifice, while we see our shortcomings, God sees the child He loves.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cards For Heroes


woohoo - 100 cards for heroes, 5 any-hero cards and 1 specific hero card. Met my goal a day early. I think I like making the cards more than scrapping photos!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More cards for CardsForHeroes

My fav so far is the hearts - altho I'd like them better with
glitter. I'll have to make some for my own collection.



Monday, August 10, 2009

Fires or Floods?? Turning Point Devotion

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. Isaiah 43:2

Anyone who has seen a rampaging river or a burning house knows the terror of flood and flame. The destructive power of fire and water is dreadful to see. Yet these are the dramatic images Isaiah uses to describe our own trials and troubles in life.

The Lord hasn't promised to keep us out of hardship, but He has given us two great promises to sustain us when we're in it: He will be with us, and our troubles will not overwhelm us. I will be with you… They shall not overflow you. Remember how the Lord brought the Israelites through the waters of the Red Sea in Exodus 14, and how He stood with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed- Nego in the fiery furnace of Daniel 3? If a problem is pressing down on you today, claim Isaiah 43:2. Picture the Lord as though He were really beside you, for He is. Trust Him to keep you from being swept away or consumed by your circumstances, for He has promised that His grace is sufficient.

When through fiery trials, thy pathway shall lie, my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply. John Keith

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lord, Change My Attitude - 7/8

Replace a doubting attitude...with an attitude of faith.

Doubt is a lack of confidence or assurance that God will keep His promises. Doubt involves a settled and persistent choice to live with uncertainty. Such doubt is dangerous. It's destructive and completely detrimental to any kind of relationship with God. I mean, if you don't have confidence that God will keep His promises, what do you have?

Faith is important and doubt is so detrimental that God places regular tests of faith in front of His children. These are not intended for our failure, but for our success. The Israelites failed the test {in Deut 1} because they wouldn't trust God. {V26,32: Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebeled against the command of the Lord your God...But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God.}

Am I going to trust God? Or I am not going to trust God?

When you're bumped, you spill what you're full of. If you're filled with faith, that's what comes out. If you're filled with doubt, that's what comes out.

God doesn't test your faith so He can know how much is there - He already knows. He tests your faith so that you can know how much is there and see it grow. Either we get closer to Him and more filled with faith, or we get further away from Him and more filled with doubt. In those critical moments, you make a crucial choice: Either you let your faith grow and flourish, or you choose doubt. {NOTE: choose doubt or choose faith - our decision}

God will go a long way in revealing Himself to a person who honestly wants answers.

Christians are sometimes genuinely puzzled, asking,"why do I find it so hard to trust God? God's been faithful to me. God's provided for me. He's done a lo tof good things in my life!" I find the reason usually is this: Instead of talking often about God's grace and recalling His miracles and thinking about all that He has done, people choose to focus on the obstacles, and they welcome doubt.

When surrounded by doubters, doubting comes easily. Those primary relationships with other believers are foundational to faith.

Why does doubting come so easily? Doubting is contagious, doubting is passive, douting satisfies our tendency towards self-protection, doubters are easier to find than friends of faith.

Doubting takes over when you do nothing. Faith requires doing something. You have to get focused and active to be filled with faith. Doubt never stands still. It's always sliding somewhere worse. It's a short journey from the doubt to despair.

I have never trusted God and regretted it. But I can think of many times when I have chosen doubt and missed incredible opportunities to prove the faithfulness of God.

Only when faith replaces doubt in the life of a believer can the joy of knowing God become a reality.

We may decide to change during a crisis, but we actually change mement-by-moment in the process of living. Every decision we make contributes in some way to the pattern of thinking that becomes your attitude.

Faith finds itself founded on a person - the creator God of the universe. Faithis active confidence in the God who has revealed Himself.

My faith, my active confidence in God, is the thing that I hold on to while I wait to see how the Lord is going to answer what I've brought before Him.

Faith is believing the Word of God and acting upon it, no matter how I feel, because God promises a good result. I believe in a God who wrote a trustworthy Book.

Do I act upon what I say I believe?

As you pursue the answer to the longings of your heart, faith determines where and to whom you turn.

God is true to His Word and can be trusted to meet all of our needs if, by faith, we choose obedience and refuse to be guided by emotion.

Faith, however, is not part of the Christian life; it's the whole thing.

Genuine believers trust God and exercise active confidence in God. Every good ting that God wants to bring to our lives comes through faith.

I John 5:4: This is the victory that has overcome the world OUR FAITH.

Pick up your hopes and lay them before the Lord. God is the One whom we're trusting. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. There is no other way.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God. As the Word of God is sown increasingly into our lives, we find our faith growing and flourishing.

If you want your faith to grow, confess your faith.

Choose to live your life in such a way that God has to come through for you. Make decisions that will cultivate and build your faith during tough times.

You may wonder, "But during those tough times, can I hang in there?" and "Can Jesus sustain me in faith?" Remember Jesus' admonishing words, "If You can?" All things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).

{This was a tough couple of chapters for me. I didn't think doubt was issue for me - but it is. I don't live in faith like I'm called to. I believe God - I trust Him. But do I live it? I'll be reviewing these chapters again.}

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gadgets and containers

I love gadgets and containers! Sometimes I buy something and hope I'll find a use for it. I know, it is probably some kind of sickness :P

I found these Craft Mates at Joann Fabrics (while looking for ATC cards that they didn't have). So I bought 4 thinking I won't ever use them all - wish I had bought more!

I sorted my dew drops by color - something my good friend Pati did and I laughed about it. I bet she's laughing now :O

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some of my cards

I am really enjoying making cards to send to our soldiers (so they can use them to write home). Here are a few that I've done lately.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Change my Attitude - 5&6

Sorry, I got behind. Still reading (trying to stay current with Wed. night church). These two chapters are on Replacing a Critical Attitude with ... An Attitude of Love.

Before I go on, I must say that the the Contentment chapter has really moved me. I'm so excited to live in contentment. God has been so very good to me. If I never receive another blessing, He's already given me so much. Because my Father is so incredibly awesome, I know He has so much more in store for me ... even if it is nothing more on this earth - heaven, eternity is waiting :)

Okay, on with the attitudes...

A continuously critical attitude toard those around me will consume all that is healthy and joy-producing in my life. {This is so true. I've seen it evidenced in my own life and in other critical people. I pray that each morning that I will not be critical. Correcting when necessary but not critical.}

Two people can look at the very same circumstance and experience it entirely differently basd upon the attitude they choose -the patterns of thinking that they have formed over a long period of time.

Criticism is dwelling on the perceived faults of another with no view to their good.

The question: Is it wrong if I talk with someone about someone else. The answer: It's only wrong if my intention is not to help the friend in whom I observe the fault. It's not a critical conversation when the goal is trying to help. {Remember the Word tells us that if we see someone sinning, we are to confront him, then take two or three witnesses... You can't find other witnesses if you don't talk to someone about it. But to talk about it for the sake of talking about it - that's wrong.} If you are not clear about your motives in sharing the situation with a third party, then you're probably practicing gossip and not a genuine, helpful spirit.

Criticism is sin. Criticism ruins our fellowship with God. It doesn't destroy our relationship with God, but criticism changes our capacity to sense His love and presence. God pays attention to the way we treat each other.

Our critical attitude hurts us. If we choose to sin, we choose to suffer. {wow - how simple and how true. I never thought about it in such simplistic terms but this is so very true.}

A critical attitude destroys our fellowship with others. If a person's heart is to criticize - if their heart is to find fault - there is absolutely nothing that can satisfy them. People can become critical of others because they're living in defeat themselves. Oswald Chambers wrote, "Beware of anything that puts you in the place of the superior person." Anything that makes you feel superior is not conducive to your spiritual life. People, including you and me, often utter careless, thoughtless words that strike others like a slap in the face. {I need to stop a minute and apologize to a lot of people. I'm sorry for the times I've made you feel small so I could feel good about myself. I realize that it not only hurts you but it hurts me and more importantly our Father. I'm terribly sorry.}

I challenge you to have a righteous, gracious attitude toward the church of Christ and toward the servants of Christ. The momentary relief you may get from criticizing other Christians is not worth the damage you will pass on to your family. And the critical attitude festering in your heart is not worth the damage you will do to your relationship with God. To restore God's blessing, we need to confess and forsake this wilderness attitude, and replace it with a Promised Land attitude.

Agape means a selfless love, giving love, you-before-me love. It describes love as an act of the will; a choice I make.

1 Cor 13:1 - If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels... There is no evidence in Scripture of an angelic language - they always spoke the language of men. Paul is saying that if we could be the most eloquent speaker or the most eloquent being - if we could be like angelic messengers and speak so clearly and plainly for God that it made a difference in people's lives, but didn't love the people to whom we were talking to, people wouldn't hear the message over the ringing in their ears.

No matter how clearly you understand God's truth or how capable you are of bringing truth to bear upon a person's life, if you don't love the person you're talking to, if you don't have a broken heart for the people that you're trying to share truth with, you are wasting your time. Your words are just like a clanging in their ears. We find that our effort creates destruction in their lives instead of good things. When we present the truth aggressively or with a critical attitude, they are irritated by what we say rather than blessed and uplifted. We're like clanging cymbals.

People care how we say it as much as what we say. Love is a balance between affection and truth. "Love does not act unbecomingly." It's not rude. Love is gracious.

Get your own pain behind you, so that you're really coming only for the good of the person that you're going to.

Love is patient...it waits for people to change. Love is kind...it looks for ways to express acceptance topeople that we might otherwise choose to be targets for our criticism.

Displace a critical spirit with an attitude of love! Move toward those people who are hurting you and inuring you and, in the power of God's Spirit and in the fullness that only He can give, love those people! {Wow, what a challenge. A totally different way than this world teaches.}

Love finds itself saying on a regular basis, "That's not what she meant." It believes the best about the other person. When Jesus said, "Judge not lest you be judged," He was specifically dealing with motives. Of course, we have to judge actions. What we're not to judge are motives. We don't know why people do what they do.

The love taught in 1 Cor 13 is the kind of love that unbelievers will wake up and watch becuase they have never seen it before. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John13:35

{what an awesome challenge. more than a challenge - a call to change our lives.}

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Change Your Mind - Daily Bread Devotion

I know this blog is supposed to be my thoughts, but when I read these devotions, they move me and I hope they will move others too!

Read Acts 26:12-23 - Paul is standing before King Agrippa giving his testimony.

One of my favorite Peanuts comic strips features Charlie Brown saying to Snoopy, "I hear you're writing a book on theology. I hope you have a good title." Snoopy responds, "I have the perfect title: Has It Ever Occurred To You That You Might Be Wrong?"

Snoopy's title reminds us that our understanding of God and what He requires of us is sometimes twisted. Because our wrong b eliefs lead to wrong behavior, we need to "repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance" (Acts 26:20).

The Greek word translated "repent" is metanoeo, which means "change your mind." As Paul indicated, repentance does not mean just nodding in polite agreement with God, and continuing the same way we were going. When we turn our thoughts toward God - when we truly agree with him about what is right - our behavior will follow. Like a car, we go in the direction we are pointed. So, when we truly turn our minds and hearts toward God, our actions change accordingly.

Instead of going happily along, assuming that our choices are right, we need to regularly stop and ask ourselves Snoopy's question. As Paul taught, it is only when we are willing to admit being wrong that we can be certain of being right with God. Julie Ackerman Link

I've learned over the last couple years to make sure what I believe is backed-up in the Bible. I may have been taught wrong and never checked it out. So know, if you want me to believe a spiritual point, be sure you can back it up in the Word and be sure to use Scriptures in context - because I will check :)

The Lord is good and is mercy is everlasting. Have a great day and a great weekend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Illegal Arms - from Turning Point devotion

Then his hand, which he stretched out toward him, withered….1 Kings 13:4b

In the book, Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer, Reverend S. B. Shaw reported on a minister who felt impressed to visit an older couple and pray for them. The conviction grew too strong to ignore, so he drove to their house, knocked on the door, knelt down, and prayed earnestly for their protection from violence of any kind. He specifically prayed that if any hand should be raised against them, it would be paralyzed.

Some months later this pastor was visiting a prison. One of the inmates asked to speak to him. This man had gone to the couple's house to steal a sum of money he knew was there. He had crept into the house and, as the minister prayed, raised his gun to fire his pistol.

The prisoner pointed to his right arm, hanging lifeless by his side. "It was paralyzed on the spot," he said, "and I have never moved it since."

God knows how to answer prayer; He knows how to deliver us from our adversaries. And when He prompts us to pray, it's a matter to be taken seriously.

There is no substitute for prayer. Praise is excellent, and good works are noble, but prayer is indispensible. James H. Potts

: I was praying on my way to work this morning and just as I finished mentioning my brothers and started to pray for my nieces and nephews, my phone rang - I ignored it because I didn't recognize the number. When I listened to my voice mail later it was my brother asking that I pray for his daughter. WOW - then I come in a read this devotion.

Listen when the Holy Spirit speaks.

Years ago, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to send a card to someone. I didn't do it. Months later I found out this person was having surgery during that time and was feeling low. What a difference I could have made had I listened and obeyed.

Listen when the Holy Spirit speaks. You may be the one who changes a life!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Photobucket

A page I did for a challenge in my Scrapbookers group. I'm so thankful for Brad being in my life and knowing that I can count on him forever.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Forgiveness

From the Turning Point devotion: Two Kinds of Forgiveness
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12

Reading God's Word can produce questions. For instance, Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:7 that we have forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ. But Jesus said that forgiveness is dependent on our forgiving others of their sins (Matthew 6:14-15). So, is forgiveness conditional or unconditional?

Both! The forgiveness Paul wrote about allows us to be reconciled to God for eternity, the forgiveness made possible when Christ took our sins upon Himself and we placed our faith in Him. But there is another kind of forgiveness—the kind that restores daily fellowship between individuals and between a Christian and God. Jesus taught His disciples to ask God for forgiveness for their daily sins while they were forgiving others of their sins. He took it a step farther by saying that if we are not willing to embrace those who have sinned against us and restore fellowship with them, we should not expect God to do for us what we are unwilling to do for others. One kind of forgiveness results in salvation while the other restores fellowship.
If you are saved by the blood of Christ, make sure you are not separated from God and others by failing to forgive.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cards for Troops

Please join me in making cards for our troops. Use either link to on my blog to get more info.

Lord, change my attitude - 4

Replacing covetousness with contentment. This chapter really opened my eyes. Keep in mind the formula - Godliness + contentment = great gain.

A consistent attitude of contentment can bring lasting joy and lead you out of the wilderness of covetousness. Contentment is a satisfaction with God's sufficient provision. SATISFIED. You don't need anything else. However, we must never be content with WHO we are, only with WHAT we have. Godliness deals with who I am; contentment deals with what I have.

Absolute: 2+2=4 (no questions). Absolute: law of gravity. Absolute: only one gas we can breath. We don't question these equations. We don't use our feelings to decide if they are right or wrong. We should look at this equation the same way: godliness+contentment=great gain. All of these equations absolutely work because they come from the Creator and Designer of the universe. A road isn't right because you choose it; it's right if it's God's road. There is only one way that leads to eternal life. Jesus. The one Book God gave us gives us this absolute formula: godliness+contentment=great gain.

Steps to true contentment:
1. Look to eternity. I Tim 6:7 - For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. All the material gain on this earth is simply gain on this earth. It will not translate into wealth for eternity. Many ask this question when a person dies: How much did he leave? The answer is: EVERYTHING. Store up treasures in heaven where moth and rust cannot eat them.

2. Let enough be enough. I Tim 6:8 - If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. When we expect to be satisfied with the basics (food and clothing/shelter), God will often surprise us with treats! If we demand 31 flavors, we forfeit contentment, and our heart becomes like a wilderness.

3. Learn by example. John D Rockfeller was asked how much is enough - just one dollar more. He also said, "I have made millions, but they have brought me no happiness." Cornelius Vanderbilt said, "The care of millions is too great a load. There is no pleasure in it." John Jacob Astor, who acquired immense wealth in his lifetime, said, "I am the most miserable man on earth." Henry Ford said at the end of his life, "I was happier as a boy working in a mechanic's shop, though we had nothing." I Tim 6:9 - but those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare. The word want is from a Greek work that means, not a momentary emotional desire, but a settled desire born of reason.

Understand that money is not evil - it is a commodity. It is no more evil than chocolate chip cookies. The problem is the love of money. Loving it, wanting it, living for it. Believing that mney will make you happy.

I love this: We have so many options in life. Contentment is choosing to be satisfied in what I do have and not expending my best energies pressing of more.

Action steps toward contentment:
1. Seek it. Seek contentment as a lifestyle, as a choice. Make it your aim tocome to the place where you really believe that more does not equal happier.
2. Say it. Cultivate the capacity to say, "I have enough."
3. Settle it. I would challenge yhou to choose lifestyle. Don't let your income dictate your lifestyle.

One of the things James Macdonald said in the video and then in the book that really put it in perspective for me: One grain of sand represents life on this earth and all the rest of the grains of sand on all the beaches in all the world represent time in eternity. We're here grinding this one grain of said, our time on earth, to get everything out of it. But too often we ignore all the rest God has in store for us. To be content, focus on eternity. Let enough be enough here on earth.

Contentment brings blessings.

I love to read fiction - stories. I've never been one to read for instruction. But this book is incredible. It is written in a way that is easy to read and understand. It follows the video we are watching on Wednesday very closely so I get a double dose each week!

If you are not content and reaping the blessings of contentment - get this book and read it. I paid $5 on Amazon.com for it (including shipping). Or I'll be happy to lend you one of the copies I have (I bought Brad one to read too) when we are done with them.

Have a great day today.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lord, change my attitude - 3

Covetousness, rampant in the Western world and in the evangelical church, blocks the flow of God's fullness in our lives.

Covetous is: wanting wrong things, wanting right things for wrong reasons, wanting right things at the wrong time, wanting right things but wanting them in wrong amounts.

More of anything other than God will never fill that longing for fulfillment He has placed within you and me.

Covetous becomes sin when we yield. When we obey the covetous demands of our old nature and yield, we have gone from attitude sin to action sin. When we yield, we've ignored the warning signs.

When we dwell on desire, yielding is only a matter of time. You create rationalization in order to get the thing you want. Covetousness inflates the desire while it ignores the danger.

At the root of covetousness is a rejection of God's sufficiency. God has provided for our basic needs. The question is, will we be grateful and satisfied with God and His provision for us? Or will we covet more and better and different?

God, I just want You. All Your joy and peace and fullness and friendship, and that's enough for me.

Nothing is essential but God. Beware of begging God for nonessentials. In time you may hate what you had to have.

Those who choose murmuring as their lifestyle will spend their lifetimes in the wilderness, and covetousness is part of murmuring. God puts people in a wilderness existence when they want things other than Him.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lord, Change My Attitude, Chapter 2

Replacing the complaining with an attitude of gratitude.

Thankfulness is the attitude that perfectly displaces my sinful tendency to complain and thereby release joy and blessing into my life.

The story of the ten lepers shows ten guys healed and only one guy turning back to thank Jesus. The amazing part is that the one who turned back was a Samaritan - a person who had natural animosity toward Jews. This story shows that no one has an excuse for ungratefulness. EVERYONE can make the CHOICE to give thanks and acknowledge the goodness and the grace of God.

Only when we recognize God as our gracious provider do we comprehend our need for God and begin to express faith in Him. All of the good things that God wants to bring into your life sprout in the soil of thankfulness. The kind of life-changing heart attitude that God desires is much deeper than surface verbal gratitude. Genuine gratitude requires that we get past obligation and somehow show that we deeply appreciate what we've received.

Here is a tough one to embrace: Eph 5:18,20 - this is the thankfulness that trusts God and thus is grateful for the bad things, even the things you wouldn't choose. Wow! Being grateful for even those things that are hard, unpleasant, down-right hurtful.

In spite of all that I see worthy of complaint, there is far more that I can choose to focus on that is worthy of thankfulness.

Choose to be thankful - moment by moment.

There is a great exercise at the end of this chapter (I challenge you...me too). Every night before you go to bed, right down 5 things that you are thankful for and every morning when you get up, read over your list. It'll change your dreams and your day!!

I'll start for tonight - God's love, Brad, David, my sisters, my job - as I continue, I will get more specific!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lord, Change My Attitude

On Wednesday night at church we are doing this study by James MacDonald. I bought the book and just finished Chapter 1 (well, I'm almost finished with it). Here are some excerpts:

Replace a complaining attitude - Chapter 1
Read Numbers 11:1-3. Complaining is an attitude choice that if left unchecked will wither my capacity to experience joy and genuine thankfulness.

When we express resentment over circumstances that are beyond our control and about which we are doing nothing, we are complaining. God hears it, hates it, and pushes everyone who persists in it toward the wilderness. Remember that those who choose complaining as their lifestyle will spend their lifetime in the wilderness.

I loved this statement: Until we embrace as fact the idea that we choose our attitudes, we will never be able to choose differently, and life will always be like a wilderness. By admitting you made the choice, you put yourself in a position to make a different choice next time.

God is directly affected when He hears our complaining and our wrong attitudes, because complaining questions God's sovereignty!

These sentences opened my eyes: Every one of us has a measure of adversity, and God Himself is the one who measured it out. And for that reason, every person has something in his or her life that God doesn't want to hear complaints about. You are forfeiting the grace that could help you through that trial by complaining about it. That very adversity that you so often complain about is the thing God wants to use to keep your heart close to His. In His grace, He grants adversity to bring us close to Him.

The bad thing isn't our adversity; it's our response. They (the Israelites) were longing for things that God was not willing to give them.

God hears our complaining (whether verbal or in our hearts) and He hates it! It breaks His heart. It's a slap to His face. It insults His grace. And He is angry.

I'm excited about the change in my life.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Birthday USA


Happy 4th of July. Our freedom was bought with a high price - the price of many new Americans' lives. They gladly sacrificed their lives for us. Appreciate it.

My Dad served his country and fought in Korea, my step-Dad served and fought in Viet Nam, and I have relatives who fought in the Revolutionary War. Now, I'm preparing for my Son to serve his country. The price is high.

America, land that I love. I remember when I was flying home from Germany (after living there for 2 years. As we approached JFK airport in NY, I saw the American flag flying and it brought tears to my eyes. I was home.

Father, thank you for the privilege to live in America. Show me how I should keep my country as a Christian nation.

Happy Birthday Americans! Stay safe.

What's going on in our country?

I have avoided the news because it can be so depressing. As I listen to Fox News, I'm truly concerned for the future.

Can't people see that we don't want national healthcare? In Canada, you will wait up to 6 weeks to get chemo for cancer - my then you could be terminal. This is not good. Do we need a fix in the US? Yes, but national healthcare is not the answer. Besides, those of you for it...your Congress won't be subject to it - they know it is a raw deal - just like social security. Why do you think they have their own retirement program.

WAKE UP, PEOPLE. Many people in government are in it for themselves and not for you.

What to do? I don't know.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Son

I'm so proud of David. He is joining the Army. I'm nervous - not for his safety because I trust that to God. I'm nervous about him being away from us - family. I'll miss him terribly. For 19 years he's been the center of my universe.

God, please protect my son. I know You love him more than I could possibly. Keep him close to You. Remind him that we love him.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Vacation was great - very relaxing. Already miss the beach but not the heat!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bird Brain

From Turning Point devotion: Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus… Philippians 2:5

Scientists have succeeded in causing chickens to sound like quail. Researchers took tissue from parts of the quail brain thought to control the bird's call and implanted it in the brains of five chicken embryos. The experiment worked! The hatched chicks sounded like quail rather than chickens.
When we accept Christ into our life, God implants His mind into ours and we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). However, unlike the chickens who sound like quail forever, Christians will not sound and act like Christ for the rest of their lives without continually fostering and putting on a mind like His.
The Bible instructs us to “…be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” which implies that we must be proactive in nurturing Christ-like thoughts (Romans 12:2). This can be done through daily Bible reading, listening to praise and worship music or an audio Bible, fellowshipping with other Christians who encourage you in your walk with the Lord, and spending time getting to know Christ Himself through prayer.
Though there are a variety of things you can do to renew your Christ-like mind, the key is to do something every day.

To renew your mind is to involve yourself in the process of allowing God to bring to the surface the lies you have mistakenly accepted and replace them with truth. Charles Stanley

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vacation


Looking forward to relaxation at the beach. No work, no worries, no pressure - just sunshine (I hope) and sand and waves. The trip so far has been good.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What is Truth?

From Turning Point devotion: Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth . . . . Ephesians 6:14a

Jesus Christ, in a prayer to the Father, said what truth is in just a few words: “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). God’s words, found in God’s Word (living and written), are the standard of truth concerning whatever they touch. The Bible may not address everything in all of history, but whatever it says about whatever it addresses is true.

To navigate the uncertain parts of life, you need an unchanging source of truth: God and His Word. When questions arise, make sure you answer them with the answers God has provided.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Body Armor

Turning Point devotion:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jeff O’Dell is a student at the University of Virginia Charlottesville with a personal interest in his research. The biomedical and mechanical engineering student is working on a new type of body armor for American soldiers. Most body armor can be damaged by one shot from an armor-piercing bullet; but the vest designed by O’Dell and his fellow students should be able to withstand as many as 32 rounds per plate. “It could not only save American lives,” O’Dell said, “but my own life, too.” That’s because O’Dell is a soldier who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan and expects to be deployed again in the near future.

Even the best body armor won’t help the soldier who doesn’t wear it. Every day we need to wear the breastplate of righteousness, the boots of the Gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and the other essential pieces of soul armor in the arsenal of our God.

We have the best armor in the universe, if we’ll just wear it.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Community

Community is so important. I spent last evening scrapping with a great group of women. Most I did not not know very well...some I got to know better. Gwen shared ideas with me regarding dew drops (or fake ones since I'm too cheap to buy them if I can make them). Loretta shared her glaze with me so we could see if that worked to make them. Julie and I talked all evening and gave each other new ideas for scrapping/journaling. Jan and I chatted about our husbands. Terri and the other ladies worked on card packs I put together for shut-ins. Jan stopped by to label the cards and get them mailed. And, of course, Pati is always fun to scrap with. She is so creative and great to talk to.

I enjoyed spending time with these ladies. I enjoy community. And today and tomorrow, when I'd rather stay at home (my cave!), I'm going to celebrate graduations with friends. I know I'll have a great time - I've just gotten so used to staying in my own space!

Thank you, ladies, for a fun and creative evening. I look forward to seeing you all next month.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom


Today (5-24) is my Mom's birthday. She died on Memorial Day last year. I really miss her. There's something about losing your mom - too soon. It'll be a tough day but one that I'll get through!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Lost Motorist

Turning Point Devotion: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8

A lost motorist asked a farmer for directions.
"Where is the main highway to Quincy?"
"I don't know."
"Well, where is the highway to Hannibal?"
"I don't know."
"Where does this highway go?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know much do you?"
"No, but I ain't lost."

Have you ever tried going on a road trip without a map? Trying to plan your life without God is just as ineffective. We can head in the general direction of where we know we should be, but without God as our guide, we'll be just like the lost motorist, asking everyone else for directions.

If we consult God in everything, asking Him to lead and guide us on life's journey, the Bible says His footsteps shall be our pathway and His plan will be to give us a future and a hope (Psalm 85:13, Jeremiah 29:11). Without Him, we will wander life's highways, not knowing where they lead.

When you find yourself making plans for your life, remember to first find out where God would have you go and then map out your next move according to His will.

The beautiful thing about this adventure called faith is that we can count on Him to never lead us astray. Charles Swindoll

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cheerful Heart

A portion of the Turning Point devotion: Proverbs 15:15 says, "He who is of a merry heart has a continual feast."

Every day has its share of burdens, and many of us have aches and pains. But a cheerful heart is as irrepressible as a cork in water. A joyful person just cannot be held down. What a privilege to serve the Lord with gladness and to use our gifts for His glory, doing so with a merry heart.


Pray with me that I'll be a joyful person that cannot be held down and that I'll count it a privilege to tserve my Lord. Now I'll have to find that area I'm supposed to serve in.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What's up?

It is a beautiful Saturday. I've enjoyed spending time in my scrapbooking room and being creative. The guys moved a shelf up for me so I could organize my stuff. Now my desktop is clean and roomy enough to spread out whatever project I'm working on. I love it. I can see at a glance (almost) what I have to work with. Now I just need to figure out out to organize my paper and stickers. I have little shelves for paper that hold other stuff. The reason I don't get it out is I have NO idea how to organize it. Then I have to pack it up twice a month to go scrapping with my friend. I'll figure it out eventually.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day - the first since I lost my Mom. Since we didn't get to spend the day together before, I don't think it will be as hard as I think. I miss her. I came across pictures of her and Dorothy last night while cleaning my room and I realize that I'm not ready to scrap them yet! One day.

A grand idea for organizing my stickers. Cork strips (I have one my door at work). Put them on the wall over my desk and pin up the sticker pages (I have them organized in vinyl pages. I knew something would come to me!

Gotta run - going to Zach's hockey game this afternoon and then dinner with Brad's family at Carrabba's for Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What Good Works Are Good For

Turning Point devotion: What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? James 2:14

Scripture memory is an important discipline in the Christian life. If there is a downside to memorizing one verse at a time, it is that important verses lose their context. For instance, Romans 8:28 needs verse 29 for its full effect. And Ephesians 2:8-9 (how we are saved) needs verse 10 (why we are saved) to get the full import of Paul's message and meaning.

Ephesians 2:8-9 are well-known verses that establish the truth that we are saved "by grace . . . through faith." And it makes clear that our salvation is "not of works, lest anyone should boast." But then verse 10 makes it just as clear that we are "created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." So, we are not saved by good works, but we are definitely saved for good works. We are saved so we can carry out those acts and deeds that fulfill the purpose for our salvation: continuing the kingdom works that Jesus did in the image of Christ himself (Romans 8:29).

Sometimes Christians are confused about good works—but we shouldn't be. They are the evidence, not the basis, of the believer's salvation.

We must come to good works by faith, and not to faith by good works.
William Gurnall

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Update

Today I treated myself to Mother's Day shopping! I spent $15 at the VOA Thrift store - bought a pair of pants, a top, ribbon holder (deal of the day), snaps (I'll only use the tops as embellishments), clamp light (to use when I'm crocheting, like a task light), and a red/white/blue picture mat that says "God Bless America" (for my son's Army picture when I get one).

I also received a toilet paper holder and shelf for my bathroom - had fun putting them together (and then taking the shelf apart because I put one part upside down!). Waiting for the over-the-toilet shelf to come in.

I also got a stainless steel bracelet from QVC that I ordered a long time ago and it was on back-order. I LOVE it.

Happy Mother's Day to me :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Resisting Temptation

We need to take responsibility for our actions and for our failures. But we can't wallow in them. We need to look for God's way to escape.

From Turning Point devotion -
But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13b

The source of one of the greatest insights about temptation is debated, though it is often attributed to the Protestant reformer, Martin Luther: "You can't stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair." If the birds are temptations, we can't prevent their presence in this world. But their presence should never be equated with the obligation to give them a place of residence in our life.

The apostle James gives the clearest description in the Bible of how temptation leads to sin: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (1:13-15). It's clear that we are responsible for allowing ourselves to be "drawn away" from righteousness by our own carnal desires. It is a process—temptation, yielding, birth, spiritual death—that we can stop with God's power.

It's not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to follow after temptation and not take the way of escape God provides.

Holiness is not freedom from temptation, but power to overcome temptation.
G. Campbell Morgan

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spiritual Bracings

From Turning Point devotion today:
My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word. Psalm 119:28

When designing a bridge, the engineer must take into account three different, but equally important loads: the dead load, which is the weight of the bridge itself; the live load, which is the weight of the daily traffic it must carry; and the wind load, which is the pressure of the storms that beat on the bridge. The engineer then plans for bracings that will bear all three loads.

As Christians, we need bracings for the dead load of self, the live load of daily living, and the wind load of emergencies and trials. The only bracings strong enough to withstand all three loads are found in Scripture, and they are available to us at any moment; all we have to do is open the Bible and seek the Lord.

How strong are our bracings? Every time we commit a verse to memory, read the Word of God, or ask for wisdom, we are strengthening our spiritual bracings so that during daily struggles or life-altering trials, instead of aimlessly searching elsewhere for solace and strength, we know exactly where to turn, seek wisdom, and take comfort.

Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.
Ronald Reagan

Am I chasing the right stuff?

Matt 6:25-34 - Is life not more important that food and the tody more important than clothes? We so often get our priorities mixed up and worry about the external or the temporal. I forget that my life and how I live it and how I serve my God are so much more important than the house I live in and the stuff I accumulate.

If I wonder how much God really cares for me I just look at nature. I see the beauty and splendor He gave flowers and trees and birds and fish and I'm reminded that I am so much more important to Him. I know He wants me to have so much more - but my "more" is not always the same as His "more".

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness...not stuff, not money, not food, not external, temporary things, but the everlasting Kingdom and His everlasting righteousness.