"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock & my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken."
Psalm 62:5-6

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday Sweet 61

Just doesn't have the same ring to it as             Happy Birthday Sweet 16, does it?  Of course I'm not 16 in the above photo.  The card on the sideboard indicates that this is my second birthday.  Oh, to be young again ... but to know everything I know now   : )

I received some nice gifts which I will try to post tomorrow.  If the truth be told, I haven't even opened them yet, but I'm sure they're nice   : )   John & I left early this morning to spend the day in Lexington.  We shopped here & there & then had a yummy birthday lunch at Red Lobster.  We arrived home a little while ago. It's 3:45 now & I'm exhausted.  Like I said above ... oh, to be young again!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Holy Ground

I must ask for your patience while I lead up to the topic I'm writing about today.  Please bear with me.  

John & I have been enjoying Christmas music for a few weeks now.  Not constantly, of course.  He has been slipping in a Christmas CD now & then along with other CDs he's been playing.  Some of these Christmas CDs feature one artist only. Others feature various artists.  One particular song has been showing up on more than one of these various artists CDs.  The title ... Driving Home for Christmas.  The melody isn't really unpleasant, but the lyrics drive me up the wall.  

I have my share of Christmas songs that I find annoying.  I'm sure there are a few such songs that come to your mind as well.  One person absolutely loves Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, but another person wants to cover their ears when they hear it.  All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth fills one person's mind with happy memories, yet another person can't shut off the radio fast enough when this song starts to play.  

I realize that song lyrics reflect the lyricist's manner of speech along with their own memories or idealization of a subject.  We are most likely all familiar with artistic license ...  "the distortion of fact, alteration of the conventions of grammar or language, or rewording of pre-existing text made by an artist in the name of art."  Artistic license is used quite a bit, & typically it doesn't bother me. But sometimes ... sometimes ... it does.  

The lyricist who penned Driving Home for Christmas relates the story of a man who is, as the title suggests, driving home for Christmas.  As he sets out for his destination, he decides to sing this little song to pass the time.  He is excited about seeing his family, sharing old memories, etc. At one point he looks over & sees a man in the car next to him, & he sings "I look at the driver next to me.  He's just the same."  I'm usually not so nitpicky, but really?  How can you look at the person in the car next to you & assume he's the same as you ... driving home for Christmas, looking forward to spending time with family, reliving holiday traditions, etc?  Maybe that guy doesn't even celebrate Christmas.  Maybe he's a Jehovah's Witness, or Jewish.  Maybe he hates Christmas.

The most annoying line of this song, however ... for me ... is where this person is stuck in traffic but he knows the freeway is up ahead.  The line goes like this ... 

"Soon there'll be a freeway,
I'll get my feet on holy ground."

Later in the song he eludes to the fact that when he arrives home he will be on "holy ground." 

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I'm pretty sure that neither a freeway nor the home where we grew up is "holy ground."  But what is?  Is it the floor of a church?  Is it the Via Dolorosa where Jesus walked, carrying His cross on the way to His crucifixion?  Is it the hill where He was criucified?  Is it the tomb in which His body was placed?  It is the stable in which He was born?  Well, God is so good!  He knew that my little pea brain was looking for an answer, & He gave me one via a Joyce Meyer devotional. Yes, I'm sorry ... Joyce Meyer again.  The devotional is titled Holy Ground.  After citing the above scripture, Joyce writes ...

"You are God's tabernacle.  Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  He lives in you!  Wherever you go, He goes.  If you go to the grocery store; if you play golf; if you go to work ... He goes.  Ordinary things & places are not holy in themselves, but when we go & do them, God has promised to be with us.  And any place God is becomes holy."

After reading this devotional, God led me to do a little more research on the subject.  I think David Wilkerson, American Christian evangelist & author of the book, "The Cross & the Switchblade," defines it best.

"Holy ground is not a physical place, but a spiritual one.  When God commanded Moses to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground, He was not referring to a two-by-four piece of real estate.  He was talking about a spiritual state.  ...Moses had arrived at a place in his growth where God could get through to him.  He was now in a place of reception, ready to listen.  He was mature & ready to be dealt with by a holy God."

I pray that I will reach this spiritual state in my relationship with God.  I pray that you will reach it too.

I wish you a blessed Sunday & week ahead!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

He is Always With Us

Nearly every morning, when I look outside the bedroom window, this is what I see.
The moon is on the left, & a bright star is on the right.  It makes me think of Revelation 22:16(b) ...

"I am the root & offspring of David,
the bright Morning Star."

Jesus calls Himself the bright Morning Star.  When I see that bright morning star out my window each morning, I smile.   It sort of makes me feel like there He is, saying good morning to me.  Of course I know that Jesus isn't a star.  That star is not Him.  It is, however, a reminder of how He is always with me.  Always looking out for me.

Some mornings are cloudy, & when I climb out of bed & look up at the sky I can't see anything. Does that mean the moon & star are not there?  No, they are still there.  They are always there ... just like Jesus is always with us.  It doesn't matter if I can see Him or not ... He is always there.  Always with me.  Always in my life.  

I don't know about you but that makes me feel very happy   : )

I wish you a very blessed Sunday & week ahead.      

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Good Cause

There are no women in my family who have or have had breast cancer, but I have quite a few blogging friends who have had breast cancer enter their lives.  Gaynor at Stitchers Anon is one of them. 

Gaynor works hard to raise money for breast cancer research.  She is now working toward a goal of raising 500 euros by the end of this month. For every euro you donate (one euro equals roughly $1.26), you will be given a "raffle ticket" for a chance to win a marvelous prize!  The current list of prizes can be viewed by clicking here.  

I am donating two prizes.  First, this Christmas ornament ... BBD's Noel ... stitched by me & finished by the talented Myra.
My second donation is this Yiota's X Stitch kit ... Country Cottage with a Snowman.  The kit is sealed & includes chart, all threads, & evenweave fabric. 
If you'd like to donate a euro or two via PayPal to help Gaynor reach her goal by October 31st, click on the link below.         


Many thanks   : )

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Regrets

I don't know about you, but I have a lot of regrets. Things I did that I wish I hadn't done, & things I didn't do that I wish I had done.  If I were to write them all down, I'm sure I could fill a notebook with them.  Maybe a few notebooks.

I used to compare myself to an elephant.  You know what they say about elephants ... they never forget.  In my mind I would relive various situations from my past ... beating myself up for having done, or not having done, whatever it was that I had or hadn't done.  This is always a stupid thing to do.  You can't change whatever it was that you did or didn't do in your past.  That time has passed, never to return again.

You can always tell if you're in danger of reliving your past in a negative way.  Some of the telltale signs are thoughts that begin like this:

"Why didn't I ...."

"If only ....."

"I wish I hadn't ...."

Some of the regrets we have about our past have maybe impacted our present.  Our lives are what they are now because of something we did or didn't do in the past.

"Why didn't Bob & I listen to our parents & go to college first instead of marrying right after high school?  We both could have had better jobs, & we could have afforded a nicer house, & we wouldn't be having all the money problems we're having now."

"If only I had exercised & stayed away from junk food when I was younger, I could have avoided all these health problems I have now." 

"I wish I hadn't let my sister be in charge of things after mom died.  She took everything of mom's that had any monetary or sentimental value, & she didn't even like mom!"

If we allow them to, thoughts like these could ruin our present & our future.  They can make us bitter & resentful & depressed.

I am not proud to say it but I had a lot of thoughts like these once upon a time, & they indeed made me bitter & resentful & depressed.  I was especially foolish in that I would often relive the bad decisions I made in the past & this would of course make me relive the pain of what I had or hadn't done over & over & over again.

Can you imagine Paul thinking this way?

"I wish I hadn't persecuted the Christians.  If only I had taken the time to look into what this Jesus had to say, I would have realized that he was the son of God so much sooner, & the Christians I had put to death could have been alive today!  Why didn't I ask God to open my eyes to the truth instead of assuming I knew it all?"

Or Peter?

"I wish I hadn't denied Jesus three times.  He told me I was going to do it ... if only I had listened to him!  Why didn't I believe him?  I could have asked him to help me not deny him!"  

Paul & Peter probably regretted these things, but they didn't let them overshadow their present or future lives.  They looked back, acknowledged their bad decisions, learned from them, & moved on.

The regrets I had/have, I was never able to do like Paul or Peter ... acknowledge my bad decisions, learn from them, & then move on.  One of the things I often used to say was how it's not fair that you have to keep paying in the present for the bad decisions you made in your past.  Yep ... I said that.  I've grown up a bit since then   : )    

I learned a few years ago to not dwell on the past.  The bad decisions I made, however, are not forgotten.  Some of them have impacted my present & my future; some have not.  I still have regrets ... I suspect I always will ... but with God's help, I will never again allow them to drag me down into a pit of despair.

I read a great little devotional from Our Daily Bread last month.  It talked about Sarah telling Abraham to sleep with Hagar so that he would have the child God promised to him.  Sarah was not pregnant, & she was getting a little tired waiting for God to give them a child.  She decided that perhaps God meant for this child to be born of another woman.  I honestly don't know where her mind was at the time.  Anyway, when Hagar became pregnant, Sarah despised her.  The devotional talks about how bitter Sarah was against Abraham, Hagar, & Ishmael when he was born.  The last paragraph reads like this ...

"It may never have been easy for Sarah to have lived with the consequences of her decision to go ahead of God.  It may have taken a miracle of grace to change her attitude, but that could have transformed everything.  Sarah couldn't reverse her decision, but through God's strength, she could have lived with it differently & given God the glory."

This is what we all need to "get" way down deep inside us.  The bad decisions we have made in the past can't be reversed, but we can live with them differently.  God will help us.  We just need to ask for His help   : )

I wish you a very blessed Sunday!
_____________________  

Note:  The Our Daily Bread devotional I mentioned above is a devotional I read when I first became a Christian.  Somewhere along the pathway of my life I lost touch with it.  A couple weeks ago I was in a doctor's waiting room when I found one that someone had placed on a table as a giveaway.  I smiled at the memory of the pleasure it had brought to me in my early walk with the Lord & I have been enjoying it every day since.  I especially like that the devotions change from day to day, year to year.  If you would like to have a copy mailed to you every 3 months, they are free for the asking.  Just send a letter & ask for a subscription. 

RBC Ministries
PO Box 2222
Grand Rapids, MI  49501-2222  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Please Pray for my Grandson

You remember Flat Phoebe & Real Phoebe, don't you?  Well, that's Real Phoebe above with her brother Dante after a rough & tumble hockey game.  Dante is in need of prayer.  I do not wish to detail the reason why, but of course God knows the reason.  If you could spare a few prayers for Dante, I'd really appreciate it.

Thank you. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

1 Thessalonians 4:11

I'm coming up rather empty today I'm afraid.  Too many topics to choose from & no distinct feeling on which one to write about, so I've decided to just share one of my favorite verses with you.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday & rest of the week!