Saturday, June 23, 2018

God's light and truth in confusing times...

We live in a loud, noisy, opinionated culture. News outlets of every type and political leaning abound with opinions more than factual information. It seems that everyone on social media has strong opinions about everything and feels compelled to let us all know what those opinions are. Calm and rational discourse among those with opposing views is almost extinct. They see each other as the enemy. Hateful words abound. Emotions run high.

How do we know who and what is right? It's all too easy to think, "well, that person sounds right!". Then five minutes later someone posts another view and that person sounds right as well. Confusion and strife abounds. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, June 24th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Monday, June 18, 2018

A little blog break...

Taking a few days away from my blog in order to spend time with the five oldest grandkids on our second annual grandkids getaway at the little cabin on the Umpqua River! 

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

As far as the east is from the west-Father's Day Memories...

When Daddy left Mama and us kids for another woman, in my nine year old mind and heart I figured that Daddy had left Jesus, too. What I didn't understand is that Jesus didn't so easily let go of Daddy. Every Sunday our little church had a time for people who wanted prayer to come forward to the altar area. Every Sunday I went forward and had the pastor pray for my Daddy.

Daddy and I grew apart over the years due in large part to life circumstances, but also due to the hurt, and yes, unforgiveness, I still carried in my heart. I went off to college. I got married and my husband and I started a family. Daddy and his new wife were busy with their life and were raising two of her grandchildren. When I was pregnant with our second born, Daddy had a heart attack and open heart surgery. It seems like that was his turning point to make sure all was well between him and Jesus.

Some years later, Daddy's wife became very ill and the two of them had to be moved into an assisted living facility. When she passed away, he was moved again into a facility closer to where I lived. That's when God did a huge healing in our relationship. (If you'd like to read about that, click here.)
 (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, June 17th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Friday Faves...Summer-y mantel decor

In one week summer officially begins! But, to me, summer begins with Memorial Day weekend. In fact, the official first day of summer is a little bittersweet to me. It's the longest day of the year and after that the daylight hours will get a wee bit shorter each subsequent day of summer. See what I mean? Bittersweet.
 I like to make my home reflect the seasons so I recently "summer-ized" our mantel. I filled large glass vases with beach rocks and shells that I've collected over the years.
 I added a piece of driftwood and some beads we bought home from Hawaii.
 Simple and summer-y. Just the way I like it.

It's almost FRIDAY, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a BLESSED weekend!



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Homegrown Peonies!

In our previous home I could not successfully grow peonies. But, the peonies that we planted in our current home bloomed like crazy this year!
I often say that peonies are my favorite flower, but truth be told, there are just so many different types of flowers to love! Roses, lilac, flowering quince, lily of the valley, daffodils, daisies, cosmos, dahlias, zinnias...see what I mean?
But, I think I can safely say that peonies are in my top ten!

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Flower Friday

Monday, June 11, 2018

Give thanks and discover joy!

“The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world.”  Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks, 
piling up gratitude day by day in my journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-an unusual 9 hours of sleep!
-casting my cares on God's capable shoulders
-knowing that God cares about those I love even more than I do

-taking the two oldest grandkids to school
-"Tell me a story, Nana!"-(my four year old grandson loves me to make up stories)
-God's peace and joy

-a very clear word to my heart from God 
-a visit from my daughter and youngest grandson-who's walking all over now!
-sweet, silly N
-dinner outside by the river with good friends that we don't get to see often enough
-an encouraging text

-a good report from my drs. appointment
-celebrating the last day of school with the two oldest grands
-God working in situations we turn over to Him

-the yummiest blueberry pancakes for breakfast
-a sweet $4 bouquet
-the sweet smell of rain after a long, dry spell

-a walk in the rain
-a painting of Mama's hometown of Bath, Maine gifted to me from my sister
-a graduation celebration

-water baptisms
-God at work in lives
-our kids wanting to meet us for lunch

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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Filled and Flooded with God...

When we become born again, when we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and the Lord of our life, His Holy Spirit then dwells within our spirit. We had to make a choice, a decision, for this to happen.  Jesus Christ died for the whole world, but only those who accept and receive what He did for them personally are born again.  God wants voluntary lovers in His family. He doesn't force us to accept His offer of salvation. He extends the invitation and it's up to us to receive or deny it. (See John 1:12) We do not earn or deserve His great love or lavish grace and mercy. We simply believe and make the choice to open the door and receive it.

Similarly, when we are born again and God's Holy Spirit comes to dwell within our spirit, there can remain many unsurrendered areas in our soul-in our mind, will and emotions. Just as God doesn't force us to receive Him as Savior and Lord, He doesn't force us to let His Holy Spirit into the unsurrendered areas of our inner life. He will woo us and love us and draw us near. He will show us through our experiences that His ways are right and that His love is faithful and that we can trust Him. He will use His Word, and other means He deems necessary, to give us revelation and show us areas where we have yet to surrender to Him. Then, when we yield and open the door,  His wonderful loving, healing, delivering, bondage breaking Holy Spirit comes flooding in. Again, we simply choose to open the door to the rooms of our innermost being and welcome and receive His presence within.

After a season of struggle and weariness, I am learning to begin my morning quiet time by sitting in God's presence and inviting His Holy Spirit to fill and flood me. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, June 10th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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