Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here it is, Thursday! :D

How are you today? We're over the hump, people - it's Thursday!!!! :D
I will admit, I was weary and depressed yesterday; Stampin' Up! is having their demonstrators' convention this week, and I wasn't able to go. This is a big deal in our company, and this year is our 20th anniversary, so it's even bigger. But that's OK. I am blessed beyond measure, right here where I am!
Today is a whole new day, my friends. And I'm here to recommend that you RUN - don't walk, you might miss out!!! - to your local library or book store and pick up a copy of THE SHACK by William P. Young. It's an amazing book, given to me by my sweet sister, Kelli. THANK YOU, Kelli!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I finished it last night; I would LOVE to have some of you read it, and we could do a discussion on it. It IS a fictional book, but the Biblical truths in it are incredibly rich. God has used it to reinforce what He's been teaching me about His character lately, and to long to live in THIS moment, with Him, rather than dwell on the past or imagine the future. Oh, dear friend, you NEED to read this book!!!!
I haven't heard from some of you in a long, long time. I know it's summer, so that's what I'm chalking it up to - but if you can sound off and leave a comment, please do so - so I know what's going on with you!!! :)
Open our eyes, Lord! Help us to see You in every way - Your beauty surrounds us, Your Spirit is in us, and we want to walk in YOUR WILL!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Good Monday Morning!

How are you today? I hope you can read the picture beside this text; it's from Psalm 16, verses 5-6. God is GOOD, my dear friend. We've been singing a new song at church based on this Scripture - the boundaries of my life have fallen in pleasant places. My heart is FULL of that content feeling today - Praise God. :) He won the victory this weekend in our banking trial; my banking contact is going to close out the account today, and we move on. God is GOOD. What a relief!

So! What have you been hearing from God lately??? Did you get a chance to go to church yesterday??? Or perhaps listen to a sermon? What is God saying to YOU? (Blogger's not cooperating right now, so no cute little icon for sharing today! :D)

Our new sermon series at church is on servanthood. The pastor wasn't there - we're pretty sure this is his week to be in NYC, seeing some Broadway shows with his lovely wife :D - so one of the others, Bruce, spoke. Basically, his theme was that servanthood isn't about US. We do it because of the character of our Master. It's not a slave-owner relationship. And God WANTS us to get to the point where he no longer calls us servant - to the point where we KNOW what He wants done, and we do it without being told - and He calls us His friend. We're adopted into His family - our servanthood is our way of saying THANK YOU.

Pastor Bruce used the following Scripture to close out his sermon:

Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "

--Luke 17:7-10

Now, seriously. How often have you heard this passage mentioned ANY TIME in a sermon??? We like to feel ENTITLED - in fact, we've got a couple of generations coming along that feel entitled to anything they want, just because they want it, seems to me! But this passage certainly NEGATES that!!!! There's certainly a reward COMING, but our time here on Earth is to be spent SERVING. Not BEING SERVED.

Woah. Some serious re-thinking is going on in MY head, and I bet maybe yours, too. If you'd like to hear the whole sermon, please CLICK HERE - and keep checking until they post the sermon for JULY 27. :D

OK, dear ones. I'm going to fly now - I have a class to get ready for. :) I hope and pray you've been counting your blessings, and using them to encourage yourself in your walk. God LOVES you, SOOOOOOOOOOO much. He is just waiting for you to look out your window and see that butterfly, or savor your delicious lunch, or enjoy touching your loved ones. Each and every thing you enjoy has been put there by the Father for you to be able to enjoy. He just wants YOU.

LEAVE ME A COMMENT!! :D I'm lonely! :D

Friday, July 25, 2008

Find the delights!

I don't know about you, but this has been a TOUGH week - and the struggle isn't done yet. I'm still dealing with banking issues, and it's NOT a pretty fight. :( I have to get ready to go fight AGAIN. But I KNOW Who has the ultimate victory - it's the only thing I can cling to when I feel like giving up. God is GOOD. His love endures FOREVER!!! This battle has grown from a speed bump to a small mountain, steep at the summit, but He's there. :)

I'm looking for the abundance He has given us - and one thing around HERE, is produce. :) We've got CUCUMBERS like you wouldn't believe, and tomatoes! It's been an incredible growing year - we've pickled like crazy, eaten fresh foods, and blessed others. Isn't that what we're called to do with the abundance God gives us?? :)

Count your blessings, dear friends!!!! It does help - He has NEVER left you alone. He's ALWAYS there!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good Wednesday Morning!

Quick post today - I'm SO FRIGGIN' BUSY!!! - but I wanted to poke my head in and ask you:

HOW IS YOUR WEEK GOING???????????????????


Monday, July 21, 2008

God is SO good!!!

GREAT news on the banking front: we should have some resolution by the end of the week! :D I'm so grateful to Michelle at our local branch for being sympathetic and incredibly helpful!

ANYWAY. :D On to the post. I received this a while back from a dear friend of mine, and just wanted to share it with you. BE BLESSED, dear friend!!!

I Believe...
That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.
I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I Believe...
That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I Believe...
That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be. (That GOD wants, too!!!!)
I Believe...
That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I Believe...
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.
I Believe...
That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I Believe...
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I Believe...
That money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I Believe...
That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
I Believe...
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.
I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I Believe...
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
I Believe...
That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others; sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
I Believe...
That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I Believe...
Two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I Believe...
That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
I Believe...
That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.
I Believe...
That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I Believe...
That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.
I Believe...
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy Sunday Evening!

I know it's been a while since I posted, and I do apologize. This problem with the banking is eating up my concentration - I'm really hoping to clear the remains up in the next two days....

ANYWAY. It's not QUITE Monday, but sharing about God and His awesome goodness, grace, and mercy should never have limits, should it? :)

We had a WONDERFUL day. We slept in - we went to see Encore Theatre Company's presentation of SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN last night - if you're in the greater Nashville area, you should DEFINITELY go check it out!!! Paula Fox directs, and they've prayed this show into an annointed effort. PRAISE GOD FOR GODLY THEATER PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITIES!!! They need your SUPPORT, dear ones - we are FEW and FAR BETWEEN!

ANYWAY. Wow, not sure where that came from!. :D Anyway. On our way to church, we talked about a lot of "hot topics" - well, Kenn did. :) Our old church and the way things happened there still bother him, and this banking thing means we're running out of funds to live on, and and and. :)
May I just say, GOD IS TOTALLY ALL I NEED?!?!?!?!?!
He spent the whole service affirming His sufficiency to us. We sing a lot of songs at our new church that I don't know, and one of them the chorus was, "When we're lifting up Jesus, we're putting demons down". :) The lyrics to the verses were awesome - I've requested them from the worship leader, so I'm hoping to be able to share them with you.
Anyway. The message about tithing was from Malachi, chapter 3 verses 10-11:
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the LORD of hosts,
“ If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the LORD of hosts;
(emphasis mine! :))
The cool thing is, we'd both pulled out our tithes already. :) With all the fnancial stuff going on this week, it would have been easy to justify not giving. But we really feel the pull these days!!!
So, anyway. He went on to talk about the historical context of this - the land was in a deep famine, and even though we NORMALLY interpret this to be Satan, it's really "the devourer". So, the things that seem to devour our resources - God will rebuke them FOR MY SAKE!!!!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah, what a GOD we serve!!!!!!!!!!! You KNOW I'm claiming that one!!! :)
The sermon was the last of the six-week series on HOLINESS. In a nutshell: we do not have to strive to be holy. We cannot MAKE ourselves holy. WE ARE HOLY. And instead of trying to prove it, we need to walk in it. As I Peter 1:13 says, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed."
First, prepare. How very silly it is for us to not expect an attack daily. Pastor Ronnie was funny; he said, "It's like we get up in the morning, and think,'I think today Satan's taking a day off. He and some of his minions. I think I'm not going to have to worry about being attacked today.'" It IS silly, isn't it. Why do we not prepare ourselves first thing in the morning? For instance, our whole married life, Satan has attacked us in the financial area. It's certainly still happening! :D WHY do I expect anything different?
Next, show the Fruit of the Holy Spirit who resides in you!
God is SO good. Please don't stop praying for us - but know that God is much, much bigger than anything that I'm going through. Same for you, dear one. HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Please pray!!!

My paypal account got hacked two days ago, and we have NO money available. I just need patience, and Kenn too! I'm dealing with a lot of STUFF, so please just pray. I know that 1) I'm not the only one this has happened to in the past week, and 2)it's an attack by the Enemy. PLEASE JUST KEEP PRAYIN'!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

God is GOOD, all the time!

Good afternoon, dear friend. I'm so glad you checked in! :D

My sister and brother-in-law are arriving this afternoon. We're going to be busy for the next few days - I'm even going to manage to fit in some work Sunday afternoon! :D

So, please forgive me if posting is a little sporadic. Not like I've been ALWAYS punctual or anything, but still! :D I hope you'll leave me a comment or two; tell me how God's blessed YOUR life this week!

What, the salad? :D It's an Applebee's oriental chicken salad, done at home. Check out this website to get the copycat recipe! You'll LOVE it - and be able to change it up as YOU want!!!

BE BLESSED, dear one! You ARE already, you know - try counting your blessings!! They add up quickly; you'll be humbled by how much God has done in your life. Don't forget to THANK HIM!!!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I've started a new blog! :D

If you like my photography, I'm starting a new blog called Heavenbound With A Lens. It's just for photos - and if I feel like putting a quote with it, I will. :D
Let me know what you think!

Happy Wednesday! :)

Well, OK, I'm not feeling so happy today. I'm feeling kind of beat up again. But I'm getting ready to go spend some time with Daddy, and studying a bit of His Word - so I'll be OK. :) I just wanted to give you something to meditate on today. Here's a photo:

And what, exactly, is love? Well, we ALL know that answer!

1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I would ask you to seek your Daddy today, too. Ask Him to reveal to you if you're truly loving "one another" as He would have you to. Especially in your fellowship of believers! William E.H. Lecky, an Irish poet, is quoted as saying, "There is no wild beast so ferocious as Christians who differ concerning their faith." Or maybe it's happened to you, too - friends one day simply vanish because of something that has happened between you.

Dearest Lord!!!! Teach us to love AS YOU LOVE US!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Capture That Thought!

Hello, dear friend. How are you doing today? Are you feeling blessed? Because you ARE. AND highly favored!
This isn't the message that I thought was going to be first to you, but it's the one God's been dealing with ME about, and I feel that He is asking me to share my struggle and my understanding on it.
Last night, I was REALLY tired. We'd been up a long time, today was going to be a busy, long day, and I was ready to rest. But God wasn't ready to let me end my day. :)
I lay in bed for a long time, trying to be still so Kenn could get some sleep. I finally crept into the bathroom and took a bath, hoping that would be relaxing enough to push me into sweet slumber.
I went back into the bedroom and lay back down. (My glasses were in there, so I couldn't really go anywhere else!) I decided to try some other tricks that usually work.
Finally - why is it ALWAYS the last resort???? - I asked God what He wanted to tell me.
"Capture every thought."
Huh? What did THAT mean??
And then I began to follow the "thread" in my life lately. Holiness. I'm sure you've either heard or sung the song "Holiness is what I long for". And that's been the sermon topic for four weeks at our new church. It's becoming more and more important to me; I want to seek holiness, to "be holy as I (God) am holy" - and I know I CANNOT be, except to let Him take me and fill me.
"Capture every thought."
OK, Father. I will. I know there's a Scripture that relates those very words, so I'll look it up.
Still no sleep. :::sigh:::
OK, God. I hear you. You want me to capture every thought. Practicing self-control in deed is not enough; each THOUGHT needs to be held up to Your light. No dwelling on past hurts, no thinking about temptations that I know I'll not succomb to (but thinking is fun!).
Yes, Lord. With You, I'll do it. You'll have to do it through me, though. I'm not strong enough.
The next thing I knew, it was morning. :D
Here is the Scripture, dear one:

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (New International Version)

4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
That is my pledge this week. To capture EVERY thought. Every "pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God".
It's so easy to get caught up in Satan's lies and ambushes for us! To get caught in the daily grind, and - even though we know we don't "believe" it, our actions tell a different story! - to live as though the problems of our lives are all-consuming.
If you can grasp this ONE point that I have to share with you, dear friend, it's this: this life is so fleeting. We don't know from one moment to the next if we'll be ALIVE for that next moment. But worrying about the future consumes us! BE FREED FROM THAT. Yes, it's important - and we have to live with the repercussions of our responsibilities. But God is bigger than EVERYTHING. He's BEFORE everything, He's AFTER everything. He SO loves you. He's trying to get our attention. He wants us to know Him. Face-to-face. Intimately. And so many times in our lives, we have to chase down the kids, or talk to the doctor about a life-threatening illness, or deal with a butthead of a boss. And that clamor drowns out His voice, His pleading for a little time with you.
My prayer for you is that you can put all the noise, the clamor, the busyness, the hectic schedule, to one side. There's no checklist! There's no "Do this to get closer to God" instruction manual. Do you know, He's waiting to just BE with you? Tell Him you want to know Him, and then just be still in His presence. You might not hear His voice, but you will be so awed by His presence, His peace, His MERCY - His HOLINESS.
Just be STILL, and know.


Hello, dear friend! HOW ARE YOU??????????? Have you had a good LONG weekend??? What did you get to do?

Our Sunday was absolutely WONDERFUL again. :)

I had a hard time getting up, so it's a good thing that we go to the late service normally. :D But I'm looking forward to going to church every week! Believe it or not, I'm actually enjoying the long drives; it gives us a chance to catch up, and to be together. To hash things out, to laugh or to set things straight.

Church was WONDERFUL. We're on week 4 of the holiness series - I think servanthood is next, and that's a subject I really enjoy, so I can't wait! :D

ANYWAY. Pastor Ronnie spoke again this week. His text was Isaiah 6:1-8. "I saw the LORD...high and exalted." His reaction wasn't YIPPEE, aren't I special! :D It was "WOE UNTO ME!!!!!!!!! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips!!" In His presence, you don't look around and boast about how much better than someone else you are. You look at yourself - His perfectness and His light expose how DIRTY you are. I don't know about you - but I've felt that way during worship. I am SO unworthy to be in His presence - but HE MAKES ME CLEAN!!!!!!

All it took for Isaiah? An angel to touch his lips with a hot coal from the altar. It doesn't say it hurt, have you noticed? You know what I think (at this moment, anyway:D)? I think it DID, but NOTHING can overcome the overwhelming presence of the KING. There was so much more in the sermon, too - I can't even begin to fit it all in!!!!!! My heart overflows when I think of how much He loves me - so much that He sacrificed His Son so I could be in His presence!!!!

And you know what? The angel told him, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's what JESUS did!!!!!!!!

The next thing that happened?? God looks for someone who will go for "Us" to His people. Isaiah doesn't say, "I'm unworthy." Oh, NO. He's been ATONED! He says, "Here I am!!!! SEND ME!!!"

When God's love and redemption illuminates your heart, you don't spend precious time feeling unworthy. Oh, NO, dear one. You are equipped, THROUGH HIM, to go. GO!!!

And that is an INCREDIBLE segue to something I wanted to tell you about - thanks, God! :D

My dear friend, Kellsi, is in South Africa. She's a nursing student at Bellmont, and is an INCREDIBLE young person. They have a blog going for their trip; I'd really appreciate it if you'd visit, read, and encourage them with a comment! Most importantly, PRAY FOR THEM. They're in the middle of a dangerous area. So, GO HERE to read and thank God for these willing young people!!!

OK, so I'm still not caught up with everything I wanted to talk about, but I'm praying HARD about a subject I really feel the need to talk about. So, I'll be working on that the next couple of days.

Thank you for not giving up on me! :D I AM here, but this summer's been MUCH busier than I thought it was going to be - this week is SLAMMED, and my sweet baby sister is going to be here for a few days, too! :) HI, KELLI!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I'm going to run now - I have to go update my other blog, teach a class tonight, and have dinner with my wonderful husband. OH! So, anyway, after church, we went to a Japanese restaurant and had California rolls and some yakitori for me, veggie tempura for him. :) Then, we stopped at Providence Marketplace on our way home, and used a coupon at Marble Slab Creamery (buy one, get one 1/2 off!) and had ice cream together. It was a WONDERFUL day! :D

Anyway. LOL!!!! YOU ARE BLESSED, dear one!! Oh, gosh, I just thought of another topic to blog about. I type about 75 wpm, but I just don't have the time in my days to tell you everything I wanna!:D

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!!!! They re all around you! Did your little one give you a kiss this morning? Did your husband say thank-you? Did you see a beautiful flower, or get a laugh from something you read? God is a God of the little things, too, dear one. Little things are the moments you'll remember tomorrow. LOOK.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I've been tagged! :)

My dear friend, Nancy, tagged me with this meme. So, here goes! :D

Where I was 10 years ago: Florence, Oregon. I got my diabetes diagnosis that year, we were in the process of losing our store and one of our best friends to cancer, but what a grand, glorious place it was to live! ::::::::::::sigh::::::::::::

5 things on my to-do list today: Design and cut at least three cards for my Monday class, design one project for my Hostess Clubs this month, HOPEFULLY a Sam's Club run if Kenn's up for it :), drop off a Decor Elements brochure to a neighbor (Check out my Stampin' Up! blog for more crafting information!), and make Kenn chocolate chip cookies. (Don't tell him, though! By the time I put this up, they SHOULD be made. :D)

Snack Food I like: Chocolate! Popcorn, chips, did I say chocolate????

If I were a billionaire I would: After tithing, I would set up trust funds for my nieces and nephew, buy a house on the Oregon coast - this one, if I could! I'd buy a house in Indiana, and hire a nice couple to take care of it for us. :D I'd give my parents a million dollars, and Kaisa a million. I'd buy Kenn any camera his heart desired, and we'd travel and take pictures as long as he wanted. Oh, and I'd be sure to budget my money so I could always be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. :D Gosh, and then there are my friends. I'd probably do something super for them, too - a billion is a LOT of money! Oh, and my relatives who are missionaries, and build my own community theater....

Places I have Lived: Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, Oregon, Washington, Tennessee.

OK, now. Let's see. Who shall I tag? :D




Kenn - let's see if he'll play!

And if you decide to play, please let me know!!! :D

Creative Photography :)

Good morning! Roger is hosting a Creative Photography contest, so here's my entry for this week! I hope you enjoy it! :)

Hey! Didn't know, but the last time I entered, I won an award! Not FIRST place, but I got a reserve winner! :D Here's my award!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Have you ever felt so generally blessed that you couldn't put it into words?? That's how I've been feeling, ALL week. God is so awesome. He's blessed me businesswise in the past week, churchwise, and I'm just BLESSED. I have a wonderful husband who works hard to try and take care of me, I have wonderful friends who also protect me :) and who love me and laugh with me and praise God with me.

So, I have some challenges in my life. Don't we ALL?? Would we trade ANYONE'S burdens for our own? Nope, didn't think so. And you know what? Those challenges don't change who GOD is. They don't change His holiness, righteousness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or mercy! They may change ME - will I choose to use self-control? To allow Him to grow those awesome Fruit of the Spirit in me? To pursue holiness? Sure, it may STINK to be where I am at any given moment. But am I going to allow God to use it to GROW me?????

Wow. Not sure where that came from, but I think one of you must have needed to hear it, too! :)

OK. I didn't post yesterday - it's time to SHARE!!!!! What did YOU learn, either in church, Sunday school, from your private study, or from watching someone on TV? What is God saying to YOU???

We're continuing the series on HOLINESS at our new church. You know, if you'd like to hear any of our sermons, they're available online to download! Here's the link to the site! :) The series is the first three sermons at this point. A lot of GOOD HOLY WORD STUDY going on! It's making me thirsty again, my friends. I am sooooooooooo grateful!!!

Now, then. :) It's your turn! Share!!! And here's a picture for you to meditate on. :)
I can't wait to hear from you, dear one. God LOVES you. He's seeking YOU, He wants to know YOU face-to-face. Can you hear Him?