Saturday, January 23, 2021

What Is Faith?

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

When our second granddaughter, (who will be twelve next month!), was little she loved it when I read Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey to her. 

One day that same granddaughter had a playdate with a new little friend named Nora who looked a bit like the illustrations of Sal in the book we'd been reading. My daughter heard my granddaughter calling Nora “Sal”.  She corrected her and told her that her new friend’s name was Nora, whereupon my granddaughter, who had decided that if her friend looked like Sal then her name must be Sal, insisted on continuing to call her little friend Sal.

Faith is not so mysterious and hard to grasp as we make it. Hebrews 11:6 helps us to define it in a simple way that we can grasp and hold on to.  Faith is simply believing God is Who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do.

Believe God is Who He says He is. My granddaughter insisted that her little friend, Nora, was actually a little girl named Sal based on a book she and I had read together. Similarly, it is very possible for us to mix the God of the Bible up with who we think God is based on our own experiences and feelings as well as things we've read, seen, or been taught that may or may not line up with truth.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 24th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Also happily linking up with:
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Monday, January 18, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Post



A year ago this month I went to the beach by myself for three days. I was weary in body, soul and spirit and my husband arranged for me to have a little getaway. God met me there in a very real, personal and significant way. A year later and my husband and I are in the same little rental by the sea for a couple of nights. In this past year, in spite of the pandemic, some difficult losses and the shaking that is going on in our nation, God has done/is doing a deep and beautiful work in us and our church. A year ago I never would have guessed the difficulties that lay ahead of us personally, in our nation or in this world. But, neither would I have guessed that in the midst of it all God would answer some prayers and heart cries that a year ago seemed impossibilities. It is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in my eyes-and I am so very, very, thankful.
*****************
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)
#14,079-#14,100

1-11-2021-
-the Holy Spirit who helps me to know how to pray when I don't know 
-a bouquet of tulips from my guy
-offers of help

1-12-2021-
-God's peace in these tumultuous times
-our trustworthy, honest mechanic
-God's Word that always anchors me

1-13-2021-
-waking up with an old chorus running through my mind 
-a super helpful customer service rep
-a quiet evening at home together 

1-14-2021-
-a beautiful spring-like day
-a friend's help
-revisiting a favorite old book

1-15-2021-
-Friday date day with my guy
-our granddaughter and grandson piling on our bed and singing worship songs with us before bed
-oldest granddaughter watching Jane Eyre with me and then buying the book to read

1-16-2021-
-God ordering my day in an obvious way
-singing with my grandson
-a young mama and daddy and their son including our grandson in their game of tag at the park

1-17-2021-
-the love and unity God is bringing in our church
-a safe drive to Cannon Beach
-watching the sun go down together

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

What Is Humility?

He leads the humble in what is right, and the humble He teaches His way. 
Psalm 25:9 AMPC

What is humility? It can often be seen as a weak and wimpy character trait, but in my opinion, it's one of the most powerful, godly traits we can have. Humility is, at its root, truly understanding our utter need and dependence on God. When we have this understanding then we realize we never have a reason to think of ourselves as better than someone else. We realize that all that we have and all that we are is due to God's grace in our lives, not because of some inherent worthiness on our part.   (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 17th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Also happily linking up with:
Sunday Scripture Blessings
















Monday, January 11, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Post


I know that we are all heavy hearted about the state of affairs of our nation. Giving thanks in all situations doesn't mean that we bury our head in the sand and refuse to see the reality of things as they are. What it does mean, is that we see and acknowledge and give thanks to God for His faithfulness, His blessings and  His care for us even in the midst of difficult circumstances. This helps us to keep focused on Him and reminds us that He is still in control, that He never leaves us or forsakes us and He never lets go of us. 
*****************
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)
#14,058-#14,078

1-4-2021-
-a rain free walk after a morning of heavy rains
-a new comfy mattress found on a good sale
-God's help as I prep for an upcoming meeting

1-5-2021-
-a walk by the river with grandbabies number six and seven


-reminders of God's strength and power from Psalm 71
-our nephew's help 

1-6-2021-
-a walk by the sea!
-the reminder as I look at God's amazing creation that He is still in control
-finding the very pan I've been looking for for years on the clearance rack for 75% off

1-7-2021-
-God speaking to me from John 14:1 in the wee hours, "let not your heart be troubled"
-my husband's love for me
-singing to youngest grandson and him trying so hard to make singing noises with me, (he's seven months old) and a hug from his big brother, my oldest grandson, (he's sixteen)

1-8-2021-
-a talk on the phone with my big sister
-our daughters
-God's help getting a lot of to-dos done

1-9-2021-
-such an encouraging meeting with the ladies from our church
-hugs from one of the newer ladies, who recently moved to the area. 
as she told me how happy she is to have found our church
-an encouraging word from the Lord through another of the ladies

1-10-2021-
-the unity and love that God is building in our church
-lunch with our nephew and his family and our youngest daughter and her family
-Sunday afternoon rest

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Saturday, January 9, 2021

Dwell in Hope


 “…my flesh also will dwell in hope (will encamp, pitch its tent, and dwell in hope in anticipation of the resurrection.) 
(Acts 2:26 Amplified Bible)

We are living in what the Bible calls perilous times. Thank God that there is nothing that is happening that has taken God by surprise. His Word has already warned us of these times and has equipped us, and may I say appointed and destined us, to be born and to live in and through these times. In the midst of these times, we, the people who know, love and serve a living Savior, dwell in a land called hope. While our flesh walks this earth, the worst we can imagine here is still not the end. We have hope eternal, we serve a God Who promises us hope eternal and we can dwell in hope eternal right here in the messy reality of our broken world.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 10th at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


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Also happily linking up with:

Sunday Scripture Blessings


















Monday, January 4, 2021

Weekly Gratitude Journal


Well, we said goodbye to twenty-twenty and hello to twenty twenty-one this past week. As I looked back on the past year, there were definitely a few very hard things about it, but even in those I can clearly see how God used even the hard things for good in our lives. Isn't it amazing that we are never too old to let God change us and challenge us and grow us and teach us if we are willing to let Him. There was also the gift of our eighth grandchild who was born in twenty twenty. What a blessing he is to all of us! And now we all face a brand new year full of unknowns. Yet, we can be assured that God is good no matter what lies ahead - and for that we should be grateful.

*****************
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)
#14,037-#14,057

12-28-2020-
-finding our lost mailbox key
-plans coming together as I pray and lean on God's guidance
-God's care for our needs and so very many of our wants

12-29-2020-
-learning new things as I study the book of Revelation

-a great time of processing what God is doing in our lives and church with ministry friends
-God's continual work in us

12-30-2020-
-a really fun day antiquing with my friend
(my "new" antique dough bowl!)
-our sweet oldest granddaughter getting us great deals with the discount she gets
 from the store she works at
-our almost twelve year old granddaughter finding her brand new coat 
that she misplaced over Christmas 

12-31-2020-
-God's faithfulness through this past year
-even the hard things have been worth is all to see what God is doing in us and our church
-thank you God for our youngest grandson that was born in 2020

1-1-2021-
-a brand new year!
-BUILD- my word for this year-(God dwells in a life built according to His plans)
-a wonderful annual holiday dinner with our church leaders

1-2-2021-
-a home to clean and care for
-a warm cozy fire in the fireplace on a gray, gloomy day
-a quiet evening to write

1-3-2021-
-a fantastic message to our church
-asking God for wisdom and direction, which He promises to give!
-beautiful weather for a Sunday afternoon walk

still following,




Saturday, January 2, 2021

Being Renewed in the New Year


Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

On the last day of 2020 I finished the last page of my devotional journal. In year's past, wanting to begin the new year with a fresh, unblemished journal, I've tucked the old one away with some unused pages. It felt serendipitous to have filled up every last page of my 2020 journal before beginning my new one on the first day of the new year. As always, I begin with high hopes that my new journal's pages will be neater and tidier than the previous year's, but before many days go by I realize that the wee hours of the morning when I have my morning devotions aren't conducive to my best handwriting and error free sentences. Real life with its imperfections and mistakes are evident right there on the written page.

My attitudes about myself can be similar to my attitudes about my journal. I want to close the door on the old year and begin the new year fresh and clean. I want to eat right, exercise, be better, do better ... I want to be the best me, a new me, in the brand new year. But then, sometimes even before New Year's Day is over, I realize that I'm still the same old me with all of my mistakes and imperfections and inordinate affection for white cheddar popcorn.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, January 3rd at Woman to Woman Ministries, where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)


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