We will magnify what we look at, are you seeing the “good”, or the “bad”? As a man thinks in his heart, so he becomes. What are you looking at and thinking about today?
We will magnify what we look at, are you seeing the “good”, or the “bad”? As a man thinks in his heart, so he becomes. What are you looking at and thinking about today?
Hmmm, this is interesting. Kinda an old farmhouse, cute, quaint. Let’s see what goes on here. So this is the living room, the room where they spend most of their time. They must be musicians, look at that corner – piano, bass, 2 guitars, and a djembe drum. OK, there are speakers in the corner, not like stereo speakers, but more like you would see at a concert. You don’t see that everyday! And a mixing board under the couch table. Kinda like a whole band righ there in the living room.
And look on the wall, there’s one of those shelves that holds old teacups…they all match, look pretty old. And what’s that, oh, looks like all kinds of homemade little trinkets that your kids would bring home from art class. Alot of pictures hanging, looks like original artwork, they must have kids. Yep, there’s the pictures…looks like a hockey player, a cellist, 2 really attractive young women, and 2 younger kids, a girl and a boy. Wow, thats 6 kiddos – 3 boys and 3 girls, that’s a handful!
And look at that TV, how could you miss it, it’s freaking huge, one of those projection things. Someone here must looooove movies. And there are two laptops and an ipad…hmmm. Must be geeks. Yep, there’s a laser printer on the end table. Only geeks would put a laser printer on an end table. Oh yeah, here’s more stuff, a computer bag on the couch, and a blue basket full of all kinds of random cat5 cables, power supplies, definitely geek stuff.
Furniture is lived in, but inviting. Looks like 2 couches and a recliner. Probably need two couches with 6 kids! That, or they have alot of people over. I mean who needs two couches? Speaking of cozy, isn’t that cute? There’s an electric fireplace on the back wall, dang that thing throws off alot of heat!
Hey, I found some books, lets see what they read. Looks like “Worship As it is in Heaven” ,” Worship Warriors”, a Bible, and a journal. Let’s peek, come on… ok, looks like dates and scripture verses, poems, or maybe songs. Oh yeah, the music. I’ve got it Sherlock, they must play at a church or something.
And look at that cute little black dog sitting in the recliner. She’s a bit chunky, but perky! She must think she runs the joint. She probably sits in that chair all day waiting for her people to come home. Look at that tapestry on the wall, pretty gazebos in a garden, with a verse on it. “Come with me to a quiet place and rest”. This must be the peaceful place, the room where their family gathers by the fireplace, where the musicians sing and praise God, and the bloggers/geeks “do their thing”…
Run outside. Take a picture of the first thing you see. Run inside. Take a picture of the second thing you see. Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.
Ok, I kinda put the pictures together…This swing is outside our front door, we are blessed to live in the country on about 2.5 acres. Together we have 6 kids, kinda the Brady Bunch thing, but no Alice! My husband, Bob, put the tire swing up last year for the kids. My dad gave us the wooden swing, it used to be at their campground. The pictures are original artwork made by my two oldest daughters, Jenny & Amanda. Jen is 24, Manda is 21. The pictures both hang on the wall in our living room. The connection? Jen and Manda are all grown up and on their own now, hence the wooden swing and tire swing are empty.
This post got me thinking about how quickly time passes, and how quickly our kids grow up. I still remember the girls and their turtle sandbox, the spaghetti in their hair, and the mud pies outside. And we would put on Stevie Ray Vaughn CD and dance in the kitchen. Then, in a blink of an eye, they are out of the house and on their own. I am constantly amazed at how beautiful and talented they both are. And smart, did I tell you that yet? I am so proud of both of them. They have overcome some amazing obstacles, and they are both such strong, independent women.
You see, they didn’t come from the “picture perfect” family. Life at our house was less than peaceful. Their dad and I divorced when they were 6 and 3. There was a 2 year battle for placement, I lost, and and they grew up living with their Dad. I lived in the next town over, but it wasn’t the same. Then, in my anger I went on my own little “spree”. I moved to NV, Maine, and Minnesota all in about a 3 year period. I was running from myself in those days. Let’s just say I was not the best mom in those days. I was not consistent. I tried, but I had alot of emotional and mental baggage I carried around from place to place. And no God, I was not a real believer yet.
Yet, despite my weaknesses and failures, they overcame. They did not let their past dictate their future. They are beautiful, talented, smart, and have amazing things in their future. Jen is getting married this year, Amanda is going to college…
Even though I am the mom, I think I have learned more from them. They taught me that your past does not determine your future. They taught me about forgiveness, when they “let me back in” their lives after my galavanting around the country. They taught me how hard work and tenacity pays off. And they taught me about love and forgiveness, and that’s it’s okay to make mistakes. They taught me that home is where the love is. They taught me about standing up for myself, about not being a “doormat” or a victim. They are both so strong, and I admire them so much. Thank you Jesus, for children, that teach us and love us despite everything. I love you Jenny & Amanda!
1 Corinthians 13 The Message
The Way of Love
13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
8-10 Love never dies.
Dear Lord, I ask you to watch over and bless our children. Heal any hurts that we or others may have caused them. Restore them in all ways. Turn their sorrow into joy, and their mourining into dancing. Fill them with love, peace, and joy. Bless their coming in and going out, bless the work of their hands. Bless their relationships. Guide them, lead them, and protect them from the evil one. Give them a double portion, for surely they will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, in Jesus’ Name.
When is the last time you went to the movie theater? (or theatre, depending on where you live!) Remember the person that is inevitably behind you. I can hear them now, ” This is the third time I’ve seen this movie this week. I loooooooooooove it!” Then the movie gets to a suspenseful scene and they say, “I remember this part, they are going to…” at which point they blurt out what happens. Don’t you just wanna turn around and deck them at this point? It kinda ruins the fun when you know what’s gonna happen.
So my answer would be no, I would not want to read it. I can’t imagine knowing exactly what would come next in my life. It would take all the fun out of it! There would be no more surpirses, no more “ah-hah” moments. If we knew the ending would we enjoy the moment? Would we have miracle moments? I don’t think so. If I read something sad in the book, I would cry when I read it. But then when it happened, I think it would be empty, almost void of emotion. Same thing with joy. I wouldn’t wanna miss a chance to laugh!
One of the gifts of life is living it; with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Would you even feel things like happiness, sadness, joy, or sorrow if you already knew what was coming. I think I would feel robbed. It would make me feel like a puppet in a play. Or an actor reading her lines. Yeah, you could “pretend”, but it wouldn’t be the same. Could you even call it life?
I kinda like not knowing. It makes every day an adventure! And what about building your faith? Can you imagine a life without faith? or hope? You wouldn’t have to hope for anything, you would know what would happen already. And you wouldn’t have to trust God or anyone, you wouldn’t need to. And what about prayer, what would you have to pray about? You would know what happens to yourself and all your family/friends/acquaitences/church, etc. alreadly. Life without prayer would be unbearable. The more I write about this, the worse it gets!
Oh yeah, then we could get political. What about free choice? You really wouldn’t have a choice in anything for the future, the ending is already written. That must be illegal or something. What about the Declaration of Independence, why it would violate our civil rights! We like to choose, something about declaring these truths to be self-evident. (History was like my worst subject, well, other than gym) Ok, simmer down girl…
Hands down, it’s gotta be chocolate for me. Chocolate, a girls best friend, the one PMS medicine that works, and a wonderful “take me away” food. Plus, trying to justify myself here, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, it may help lower your blood pressure, and it increases the endorphin’s in your brain.OK, I know how to use Google. Truthfully, I would eat chocolate whether it was healthy or not!
I went to Baskin-Robbins (online), and there are pictures of all the flavors.
Kinda reminds me of all God’s kids,
many different flavors, but all good!
Lord, we just want to say thank you. Thank you for loving us forever. Thank you for covering us with Your grace and mercy. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for the new life You have given us. Thank you that we do not have to stay the same. Thank you for delivering us.
Thank you that we are Your kids. (Are we there yet Daddy?)
And God, thank you for ice cream!
We know you love us in all 32 flavors!
I wish my head wasn’t so hard. I wish I didn’t have to run into the brick wall before I got it. Oh well, it has made for an interesting journey. I was one of the kids that did very well academically, but I had no common sense. I was even voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in High School.
I had many wonderful teachers, and with the wonderful way I could memorize things I could ace most tests. But I really didn’t remember much the next day. I had a lot of book knowledge, but no wisdom. I looked in all the wrong places…
The world’s measuring system is different than Gods. In the world I am a success if I have a good job, have a lot of money, stuff, knowledge, degrees, etc. I bought into that lie once in my life, but it is empty, and meaningless.
Knowledge didn’t help me. I have the college degree, it didn’t help me make good choices in my life. Only wisdom could do that. And wisdom doesn’t come from a teacher or a class, it comes from God.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. ” (John 14:26 NKJV)
GOD’S PROMISE TO YOU:
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
” My child, listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands.
Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding.
Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
Then you will understand what it means to fear theLord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.
Wisdom will save you from evil people,
from those whose words are twisted.
These men turn from the right way
to walk down dark paths.
They take pleasure in doing wrong,
and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
Their actions are crooked,
and their ways are wrong.
Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman,
from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.
She has abandoned her husband
and ignores the covenant she made before God.
Entering her house leads to death;
it is the road to the grave.
The man who visits her is doomed.
He will never reach the paths of life.
Follow the steps of good men instead,
and stay on the paths of the righteous.
For only the godly will live in the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it.
But the wicked will be removed from the land,
and the treacherous will be uprooted.” (Proverbs 2 NLT)
MY PRAYER FOR YOU:
We thank you for those people you have put in our lives that give us wisdom, not just knowledge. They touch not just our heads, but our hearts. Thank you that we can learn from Your Word as Your Holy Spirit teaches us all things. We are asking today Lord, give us wisdom, give us understanding. Show us the plans that You have for us. Show us your glory.
Forgive us Lord, for thinking we knew better, for thinking we could live a life without You. There is no life without You, in Jesus Name, amen.
Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?
This was a hard year for our family, a year of enduring. My husband ‘s mom passed away this past January Then, we had fun with me breaking my leg in Feb, and being out of work for 6 months. Then, my mom passed away in September. Then, at the end of the year, even my father-in-laws dog died. Sounds like a year of enduring, that or a bad country song.
It was (and still is) a time where I felt/feel out of control. Christmas was not the same. I didn’t even want to decorate this year, but you know, we have kids, so 2 weeks before Christmas we bought a tree. But honestly my heart just wasn’t in it this year. This has definitely been a year of trials and testing.
As far as what I did and am still doing about it, I am daily choosing to trust God. There are times you read His Word, and times you desperately hold onto it for dear life. this would be one of those times. I feel like the kitty hanging on the tree branch. Reading His Word gives me peace, gives me hope that things will change, and helps me endure whatever I am going through.
One of the most memorable moments I have had in this mess was sharing the Word with both of my moms before they died. I read parts of the “Father’s Love Letter” to both of them. Have you read the Father’s Love Letter? Here is the link
And yes, I cried all the way through it. But I did get to ask them the question, yep, the most important question we will ever ask anyone. Do you believe in Jesus, that He came in the flesh and died for your sins, and was resureected on the third day? Yes, thank you Jesus, they were saved.
God’s Word has a way of coming alive and it was and is what gives me hope when I have none. When things are out of control and I can’t see my my way out, Jesus has lead me and carried me through. I know He is faithful.
I also know what NOT to do. I know that I cannot listen to the thoughts the enemy puts in my head. I don’t know if you know what I mean, but there are some things that do not get a say. There was more than one occasion I listened to “those voices” and I ended up in the psych ward for trying to hurt myself. The devil does come to kill, steal, and destroy. Some of us have lived to tell about it. And we know that there is a God, because we are still breathing.
These are the times when I find a promise in God’s Word that has not yet come true for me, and read it, speak it, believe in it, hold onto it for dear life, until I see it come to pass.
11 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God. Psalm 42:11 (MSG )
Dear Lord, I pray that you would renew our hope. Lord, lead us, guide us, and restore us as only You can. Let Psalm 23 come true for us, we are relying on Your Word Lord, in Jesus Name.
23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord
(TOP 10 SINGLE on Broadjam, Inc. R&B Religious Catagory 2012)
He is Father to the fatherless, Protector of the weak.
He is Husband to the forsaken, Defender of the meek.
He is Provision for the widow, Freedom for the slave.
He is Justice for the oppressed, Deliverance for the captive.
Jesus, The Anointed One, He is Jesus the Anointed One,
God in our midst. He is Jesus the Anointed One.
He is Shepherd to the lost one, Healing to the sick.
He is grace, mercy, and righteousness, His Kingdom has no end.
He is comfort to the broken heart, Counselor to the accused.
He is Prince of Peace in the storm, He is the King of Kings.
I, like many of you, have many favorite people, my husband, Bob, the love of my life, my beautiful children (all 6 of them), my Dad and Stepmom, my Father-in-Law, my brother, my sister-in-law Kris, my mom, and Bob’s mom(who both passed away this year), and all of the body of Christ, the many Pastors & their wives that have been such a blessing to me…too hard to choose for any mortal woman! So, since this is a blog, I think I’ll share a story….about the most wonderful person I have ever known.
We didn’t meet till I was 40. I had heard of him, but never really knew him. People talked about him, but I hadn’t really seen him for myself yet. Then, when marriage #3 was falling apart, (here we go again), there was this sweet woman that would come by my trailer and sing these old hymns, Grandma Pat. She’s a handful, very direct, but under her brass exterior is a woman that loved him. She told me she knew someone who could help cheer me up. And she was singing ALL the time. My life was falling apart, my ex refused to work, or keep a job any longer than 3 months, I had 2 babies, I was behind on my child support for the older two kids I already lost, we were losing the trailer, the power was going to be shut off, and she was singing – about him. She told me I should go with her to meet him.
I thought, yeah right, who would want to talk to me? Here I am, no job, no money, living with psycho-man (very hot headed), and I’m supposed to go meet somebody? She must be crazy. I knew I was. For some strange reason I said yes, must have been desperation. She wanted to take me to church to meet him. I wasn’t really a church girl, if you know what I mean. I didn’t really think God wanted anything to do with me anyway. But, she was still singing.
Grandma Pat brought me to Abundant Life in Janesville, WI. I met Jim and Linda Moses, (Yep, I met a Pastor, and lived to tell about it, there was no lightning from heaven that came down or nothin!) And yes I was kinda shocked – they were married for like – forever….that was new to me. And they weren’t fighting. People always got divorced in my family, or at least fought alot so you wish they would have.
Anyway, I met him, yes, the Him, Jesus,the big guy in charge, one Sunday morning in Janesville, WI. I couldn’t see Him with my eyes, but I felt Him all around me…my heart was turning into mush, I was crying, and all these people I had never met, came and gave me a hug. Verrrrry strange, for a girl like me. That was the beginning, of the most important relationship I have ever had, and we are still learning about each other every day…
So, I guess it took 40 years…
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Luke 11:9-10
” For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Dear Lord, I ask You to draw us closer to You. You have called us, You have chosen us, we are Your children. I ask You to continue to touch our hearts and change our lives as only You can. Thank you for giving us hope when we had none, for making a way when there was no way, and thank you for not giving up on us, even when we had given up on ourselves, in Jesus’ name.
1 First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. (MSG)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NKJV)
1 In the beginning God made from nothing the heavens and the earth. (NLV)
Yep, you know I had to go there. Yep, my favorite book is the Bible. I don’t care what translation, let’s not go there. Funny, I think this line comes into our minds unconsciously, In the beginning….We just seem to know deep within our souls that it is. It just echos throughout our being….in the beginning…God…
I like that God made everything from nothing. I wasn’t raised in the church, so by the time I crawled in I really felt like “nothing”. Most of us don’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I think I’ll go to church.” It’s not till our world falls apart that we finally seek help. Just how it is, thank goodness God is patient.
And I like that He made everything we see, and everything we don’t see. I’m glad that He rules over the seen and the unseen, good to know He gets the final word. Don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods, but here in Wisconsin the s#$% has kinda hit the fan, excuse my “french”. No, I’m not going political today. That’s a fun subject with family get togethers….we’ll save that for another day. Don’t know about you, but I have seen both angels and demons, and I’m glad God has things under control, the seen and the unseen.
I have to admit, I am kinda a self-help junkie, I’ve read alot of “those” kinds of books. But since I have come to Christ I have to say that the Bible has come to life. Everytime I read it I swear there’s something new in there that I didn’t catch the first time. Guess that’s why they call it the Living Word…
“Blessed be your glorious name,
exalted above all blessing and praise!
You’re the one,
God, you alone;
You made the heavens,
the heavens of heavens, and all angels;
The earth and everything on it,
the seas and everything in them;
You keep them all alive;
heaven’s angels worship you!” Nehemiah 9:5-6 (MSG)
Dear Lord, I ask that you would reveal yourself in a mighty way to us. Give us a spirit of wonder and awe at what You have made. You are the Author of life, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Let us bless Your Name above all that You have made, for You are God alone. We worship and adore You, let us come to know You and Your ways, lead us Lord, in Jesus name.
Just a thought: Maybe this is the only time that I am quiet enough to listen…to just be…thank you Jesus, for sleep!
Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that you restore our dreams, our visions. Speak Lord, your servants are listening. Quiet our minds and hearts as we rest in You, and open our eyes to see You, and our ears to hear what the Spirit is saying. Jesus, you redeemed us at the cross with Your blood, You have paid the price for our sins, we accept your forgiveness and salvation.
Come Holy Spirit come, Show us how to dream again…
Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?
“You can laugh, you can cry,
you can live, you can die,
but there’s no love without scars.”
(“Scars”, a song in progress by Diana Rasmussen)
Funny how the same situation can make you laugh or cry, depending on where you are at. Is the glass half empty or half full? Did the chicken come first or the egg? Timeless questions that make us think and ponder the meaning of our existence.
As I get older, things that used to make me cry are now funny. Like when I locked my ex out of the house when he was in his bathrobe. Yep, it was another fight, and he had the hood of my car open and was pulling things apart. God told me to lock the door, so I did, and called the police…needless to say, he had to leave that night. At the time I was frightened, afraid of what he might do to me, and crying. But today, now that I am free, it’s hilarious!
MY PRAYER FOR YOU:
Help us find the humor in things today. You are the author of laughter, let the joy of the Lord overtake us like a flood. Help us not to take ourselves so seriously, and be thankful for all that you have done in us and through us. Let us dance in the rain, in Jesus’ name.
GOD’S PROMISE FOR YOU:
Everything Has Its Time
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)