Saturday, February 25, 2017

Not your own..

In the stubbornness of the human mind and heart is the innate desire to be the boss of our own life.  We like to call our own shots and run our own show.  Before a child is very old they start using the words, "Mine!" and "Do it myself!"  We embrace this as a normal and healthy part of childhood development.   It's called individualizing. The child is learning that they are an individual separate from their parents and possessing their own thoughts and desires.

In our current culture, the rights of the individual are being exalted and idolized.  We fight, march and protest for our rights. But, may I suggest that in the life of a believer, in the life of one who has received and accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, perhaps we've individualized a bit too far?  Let's look at what the Scripture says...

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Since the Bible is the plumb line for how a Jesus follower should think, act and live, we have to accept what it says to us about living for our own rights.  (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, February 26th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

The simple steps to renewing your mind...

In last week's Sunday Soul Food post, I wrote about tearing down the ungodly strongholds of wrong ways of thinking, reacting, responding and behaving in our lives and strengthening the godly stronghold of the Holy Spirit in our inner being.  We do this through cooperating with God using the tool of His Word to renew our mind.  Today I want to share the simplicity of God's plan on how this is done using Ephesians 4:22-25 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition).
22 Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.25 Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another.
I hope you'll pardon me for using a simple word picture that will help you to remember these simple steps by relating the steps of renewing the mind to the steps involved in changing a baby's diaper.
Step One-Recognize that your thinking stinks and choose to take it off. (v.22) 
(Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, February 19th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Blessed be the Lord...

Thank you so much to all of those who responded to my post about feeling a bit blocked in my writing flow due to various frustrations.  Your encouragement meant so much to me.  I also sensed your prayers and have felt much like a dam has broken up within me.  I've sensed a breakthrough in my own spiritual life and have been experiencing a freshness in my time in the Word and prayer.  I've been able to complete four writing projects that I had deadlines for as well.  Blessed be the Lord, and God's blessings to all those who encouraged me to keep writing and who took time to pray for me.  Thank you so very much!
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)

-a good time of prayer
-God working out things that I turn over to Him in prayer and don't try to interfere in myself
-youngest granddaughter sleepover at our house
-Papa taking us to a Moana sing-a-long

-little pocket packs of Kleenex bringing our grandgirlie such pleasure, 
("Nana!  These are so useful!")
-the power of agreeing in prayer
-God's blessing in bringing people into our lives who He knew we needed

-the book of James
-our middle grandgirlie's laugh
-my youngest daughter's pregnant belly
-the joy of doing premarital counseling with a sweet young couple

-writing time!
-an encouraging meeting with one of the young mama's from our church
-a great worship and prayer time

-encouragement to keep on writing
-checking things off our to-do list
-clearance sale bargains

-a sweet time in God's Word and writing
-confirmation from the scripture
-a beautiful walk
-encouragement from my favorite podcasts
-kisses from my grandson

-a victory 
-a great message on forgiveness
-texts from our pregnant daughter about our very wiggly grandson
-talking to my granddaughter on the phone about her upcoming birthday

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Saturday, February 11, 2017


In the life of a believer there are two types of strongholds that can reside in our lives. Negative strongholds are wrong ways of thinking, reacting, responding and behaving that are contrary to God's truth and His ways.  They are wrong mindsets and/or behaviors that have become entrenched in our lives. These types of strongholds are referred to in 2 Corinthians 10:4.  All of us know what it is to have a negative stronghold whether it be fear, worry, anxiety, doubt, unbelief, anger, lying, gossip, immorality or a myriad of other things I could list.  These harmful strongholds must be recognized for what they are, places within us where we are vulnerable to the wiles of the enemy, and they must be overthrown and destroyed by cooperating with God in the renewing of our mind.  Rarely do we see these strongholds torn down in a miraculous moment.  The majority of the time these strongholds are overthrown by concentrated cooperation with God over a long period of time by allowing His Word to do its supernatural washing, restoring and renewing work in our mind, for our thoughts become strongholds that influence our actions.

There is another stronghold that resides in the life of the born again believer, the dwelling place of God's Spirit within us.  Colossians 2:10 tells us that we are filled with the Godhead Who is the Head of all rule and authority.  This is what Paul is referring to in Ephesians 3:16, when He prays that we will be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in our inner being. (Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, February 12th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Faves...Winter Mantel

After the holidays I am always ready for simplicity in my decor.
I decorated my mantel without a lot of clutter using mostly natural finished wood items.
It's stayed that way since, not even being changed for Valentine's Day as I usually do.
My one nod to winter is my simple print saying, "let's stay home".
Winter is definitely the season to stay home by the fireside where it's cozy and warm.

I've been looking for some sort of natural wood vase since passing one by at Homegoods, 
then regretting not buying it but not finding it when I went back.
With an Amazon gift card that I received for Christmas, 
I bought this mango wood vase with the copper painted bottom.
I love it!

Well, it's Friday, friends.
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
and a safe and BLESSED weekend!


Shabby Art Boutique

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Abiding in peace...

I lost my writing rhythm sometime last fall and haven't succeeded in getting fully back into my usual flow since.  Some of the reasons are positive ones, a busier schedule with church and family, the grandkids in particular.  I don't regret the time missed sitting at the computer to write when it means I'm investing more in people's lives.  Some of the reasons are not so positive.  The current atmosphere of division and strife on social media, including misunderstandings and hurt and disappointment among writing friends that I've made since I began blogging has been difficult to work though and process. I have felt the sting of intolerance while being told I need to be more tolerant. I have wrestled with the knowledge that when I stand firmly in the pro-life camp, the women who read my words who have experienced abortion feel hurt and judged.  I have been confused by the lack of logic of those who use verses from Leviticus to support their view on one current issue and then say that other verses in Leviticus against another hot button issue are inadmissible because they come from the Old Testament.  I have felt overwhelmed and stretched thin from it all.  And this, the safe place where I express what God is doing in me and speaking to me, where I write about the things I see, feel and think, hasn't felt like such a safe place anymore.  

And yet, this is the year that I am supposed to be abiding.  Abiding in the shadow and shelter of the One Who is my Refuge and Fortress.  I am supposed to be abiding in His love for me and being a conduit of His love for others.  I'm supposed to be abiding in peace, and yet I sense the tension in the atmosphere, the war going on for the very life of what I hold dear and true.  I'm supposed to be abiding in Him, yet in my flesh I feel like I suddenly have spiritual ADD and get so easily distracted by who is saying what and what is happening now and what is going to happen and current events capture my attention more than He does all too often.

But then He reminds me of two little words, "let the".  "And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]." Colossians 3:15 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition I am reminded that it's my choice what I let rule my thoughts, mind and heart.  It's my choice where I abide and the atmosphere that I abide in.  It's my choice not to step into the current cultural fray unless instructed to by God.  If He tells me to speak up, then it's His approval alone that I must seek and I must not fear the disapproval of people.  It's my choice to reject the desire to make sure my voice is heard and to submit to His voice alone. It's my choice to abide in His peace and to let His peace abide and to rule in me.  

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Grateful thanks...

At almost sixty years of age it feels as if I've awakened in a world that I no longer recognize.  When it is common to see calls for our president to be assassinated or asking for a military coup in our nation on social media and on television comedy shows, I am dumbfounded that anyone, no matter how much they stand against our current president, could write or say such things and it not be thought of as appalling and dangerous.  More than ever before I am clinging, not to our president or the political systems of this world for hope, but to God.  I am continually fighting to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and not on all of the vitriol, division and strife.  I am praying for our president and our nation's leaders and for our country.  I am fighting against the darkness with praise and thanksgiving to the One Who still reigns on the throne of heaven and Who always has and always will show Himself to be faithful, true, steadfast and reliable no matter how topsy turvy this world of ours is. 
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)

-praying with my friend and her giving me Isaiah 49 to lean on
-coffee with one of the young gals from church
-a spur of the moment decision to go see a late showing of Hidden Figures with my hubs
 (what a great movie based on real events!)

-beautiful walking weather!
-a heart talk with Jesus as I walked
-fervent prayer together with our small group

-it's February!
-my granddaughter having so much fun chasing our neighbor's runaway garbage cans
 as we went on a walk together on this windy day
-letting go and trusting God

-youngest granddaughter all dressed up for the grandparent's tea at her preschool

-singing Holy, Holy, Holy is our God at the service before the tea
-dinner with our two oldest grands
-praying with our church for breakthrough

-a relaxing Friday date day with my husband

-the amazing message from our Senate Chaplain at the national prayer breakfast
-encouragement from a FB friend
-long texts with our girls
-a refreshing walk even though I got rained on

-my hub's message on cooperating with God's good intentions for our lives
-it is well with my soul-trusting God in these turbulent times
-God speaking comfort in unusual ways

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Saturday, February 4, 2017


Tree roots anchor the tree in the soil.  They help to keep the tree straight and stable. They absorb water from the soil. Tree roots also take the needed nutrients out of the soil and use them to produce what they need for the tree's growth, development, and repair.

We live in stormy times.  The winds of political upheaval and division are blowing strong.  The winds of cultural confusion are swirling all around us.  The winds of false doctrine and man centered philosophies assault us.  How are we to stand strong in times like these?  The roots of our life must be planted deeply in our relationship with God and in His never failing love for us.  The roots of our mind, will and emotions must be anchored in the unchangeable truth of His Word.  That is the only way we will remain straight and stable in these turbulent times.
(Join me for the rest of this post on Sunday, February 5th, at Woman to Woman Ministries where each Sunday I share a bit of Sunday Soul Food!)

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